- The Callaway Rogue ST driver family consists of four models
- While the shapes have been refined, all feature the full complement of Callaway technology
- Retail price is $549.99
I’m going out on a limb here but I predict the Callaway Rogue ST lineup will prove to be the best drivers made by a food and beverage company this year.
I’m kidding (a little) though, with more than half of its revenue coming from TopGolf, it’s likely Callaway will make more money selling fajitas and Bud Light than it will from its golf clubs.
What a world.
To be sure, money is money, Callaway is making a lot of it, and it all counts, but with its reach expanding further away from the golf equipment space with each new year and acquisition, it’s going to be interesting to see how Callaway decides to prioritize its expanding catalog of businesses in the coming years.
For 2022, it appears to be business as usual (and then some) for Callaway the golf equipment company. It’s offering up four new drivers and a whole lot of everything else for that matter, too. It’s perhaps slightly aggressive, though maybe Callaway needs to be just that, given the strength of its competitors’ offerings rolling into the new season.
TaylorMade feels like a lock to sell the most drivers this year and, while that might not sit well with Callaway, as the NIKE maxim says, “the consumer decides.” The corollary to that is that the consumer isn’t always right so, regardless of how the sales figures shake out, Callaway believes it will have the top-performing option across the various driver sub-categories.
Rogue ST Drivers – What They Have in Common
It should be obvious by now but whenever a golf company drops four of anything at the same time, there’s likely going to be plenty of shared technology.
Here’s your rundown.
Tungsten Speed Cartridge
It’s damned near impossible to write a golf equipment story without mentioning tungsten so I guess we might as well get it out of the way early. Depending on the model, Callaway has anchored up to 26 grams of tungsten to the extreme trailing edge of the driver. That, along with a new (for Callaway) shape, helps boost the moment of inertia. While forgiveness can mean a lot of things, MOI is almost invariably central to the conversation.
Looking at the big picture, Callaway’s Epic driver stories tend to be excessively speed-centric. With the Rogue ST line, Callaway hasn’t abandoned speed but traditional forgiveness is certainly a larger part of the design and the story.
The general shape of the Rogue ST driver family isn’t new nor is it unique to Callaway. SpeedBack, SIM Inertia Generator and several others … nearly every manufacturer has added some sort of dropped-tail design to their driver lineup. And why not? It’s an effective way to keep centers of gravity low and inertia high. I suppose you could describe the design as almost the opposite of Mavrik Speed. That’s not to say Mavrik is bad … just different … but if you’re trying to design a driver that works well for a significant portion of the market, the new shape of Rogue isn’t a bad place to start.
Stability and Speed from Jailbreak Speed Frame
Any time you mention “speed” twice in a description, you know you’re getting an eight-ball’s worth of it. So much speed, in fact, that, for 2022, Callaway has branded itself the ball speed company.
I love the confidence—and the fact that Callaway has provided a clear metric for us to look at more closely.
The finer point is that Callaway has redesigned its trademark Jailbreak technology to get more speed over more of the face. To be sure, that’s a story that has iterated year after year but, when you’re fighting for tenths of miles per hour or less, every little bit counts.
AI Designed Face
When I spoke to Callaway’s VP of R&D Alan Hocknell when the Epic Flash launched, he told me Callaway’s AI would evolve. To an extent, it learns from itself and adapts as Callaway feeds it new optimization challenges.
Evolve it has and, along the way, others have entered the AI space and spun up their own supercomputers. Callaway was first in and believes its AI tech is more deeply entrenched in its design process, thus having a significant leg up on the other guys.
If you’re hearing about AI-powered (artificial intelligence) design for the first time, the refresher is that Callaway leverages machine learning to help design its golf clubs. The computer has repeatedly created unique and often surprising face design topologies. The original iterations were all about maximizing ball speed but, as the technology evolves, Callaway has expanded its design parameters. This time around, it’s using computer-generated designs to not only generate speed but to lower spin rates as well.
Call this Automotive 101 tweaked for the golf industry. Callaway’s position is that a single-piece chassis is inherently better than bonding several different pieces (and a mix of materials) together. To be sure, Callaway is throwing a rock in TaylorMade’s general direction as that’s almost certainly a reference to the separate aluminum ring, face and body pieces in the SIM2 driver.
Callaway’s argument is that a single-piece chassis allows for better control of stiffness which in turn offers it greater control over how the body deflects at impact. It’s a roundabout way of arriving at a secondary speed story.
Have I mentioned that Rogue ST is fast?
No Movable Weights
While all four Rogue ST drivers feature Callaway’s adjustable Opti-fit hosels, there’s not a single user-swappable weight anywhere in the lineup. That’s certainly a rarity for a top manufacturer but SIM2 didn’t suffer for its lack of movable weight and neither should Rogue ST. With four models, Callaway has provided plenty of opportunity to fit golfers without the design penalties that come from the additional structures required to let you move stuff around. Sure, fixed weights aren’t nearly as fun as having parts to play with but they do make for more efficient design.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the four models that make up the Callaway Rogue ST driver family.
Callaway Rogue ST MAX
Among the four 2022 Rogue ST models, the Rogue ST MAX is billed as the best combination of distance and forgiveness. For that reason, Callaway believes the Rogue ST MAX will fit the highest percentage of golfers.
Consumers are highly responsive to the “MAX” moniker industry-wide right now so it’s all but a given this will be Callaway’s top seller.
As is the case with most any MAX driver, the Rogue ST MAX has a larger, though not unsightly, footprint. In line with the MAX mindset, it’s the most forgiving driver in the Rogue ST family. It has a slight draw bias but isn’t designed for shot-shape correction nearly to the degree that MAX D is.
Callaway Rogue ST MAX D
As you can probably guess from the name, the Rogue MAX D is Callaway’s draw-biased offering. It offers a large face and oversized footprint that sits slightly closed at address. I suppose you can classify it as having a bit of a super game-improvement-like footprint but it’s not like it’s offset or otherwise excessively unpleasant to look at.
The key point is that the Rogue MAX D is easy to launch without generating excessive spin and still helps golfers take the right side out of play.
The Rogue ST MAX D isn’t an unforgiving driver but if forgiveness is your primary objective, the standard ST MAX will likely be your better option. Adding draw bias to the mix means moving weight forward (and towards the heel) which invariably causes a dip in MOI.
Rogue ST MAX LS
Let me start by saying that the “LS” (low spin) in Rogue ST MAX LS is probably a bit of a misnomer. Last season’s Epic MAX LS was a low/mid CG offering with a solid amount of forgiveness (MOI). Despite the suggestion of low spin, it was in the performance wheelhouse for a lot of golfers. The same is almost certainly true for the Rogue ST MAX LS.
While I have no doubt Callaway will be proven correct when it says the standard ST MAX will outsell the LS—and I’ll always defer to your fitter (or at least your demo bay experience—I’d wager that, for the average MyGolfSpy reader, the LS is probably the best option in the 2022 Callaway driver lineup.
Callaway calls the Rogue MAX LS a unicorn in the market (one of two drivers we’ve heard described exactly that way. Check back in two weeks to hear about the other). Lower spin isn’t the same as low spin. And, yeah, it’s a bit less forgiving than the ST MAX but unless you’re in desperate need of a bit more forgiveness, it’s probably not worth agonizing over.
The Rogue MAX LS offers a neutral flight (no bias either way) with a bit flatter trajectory but, again, we’re not talking about signing up to hit low lasers. The idea is that while it’s not promoted as workable, for better or worse, it leaves the shaping of shots in your hands.
While “LS” or low spin often means compact, the Rogue ST MAX LS offers a larger, more forgiving shape. As with Epic MAX LS, it’s cut from much the same cloth as something like PING’s LST series and that should be plenty appealing. For all the popularity of MAX designs, we think the reach of designs like the MAX LS, PING LST and some other stuff we can’t talk about yet is bigger than manufacturers let on.
I want to emphasize that the Rogue ST MAX LS doesn’t fit into a category of drivers often defined as for better players drivers or as spin killers. From a fitting perspective, I might be inclined to treat it as the baseline in Callaway’s lineup. If it’s not right for you, it should give you the insight needed to choose between the ST MAX or Callaway’s fourth option.
Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS
Callaway has occasionally offered its Tour-centric “Diamond” offerings to retail. Big Bertha Alpha 815 and 816 both came in Double Black Diamond flavors and, last season, Callaway added Triple Diamond offerings to its lineup mid-season.
Generally speaking, the Triple Diamond offerings are exceptionally niche which is why they rarely make it off the Tour truck. That said, with the not-super-low-spin ST MAX LS as otherwise the lowest-spinning driver in the Callaway lineup, it makes sense to round out the lineup with something designed to kill all your spins.
At 450 cc, the Rogue MAX Triple Diamond LS (I’m not sure I’m supposed to spell all of that out or just use ◆ ◆ ◆ — words are dead) is slightly undersized. Callaway says it has a neutral-to-fade bias which likely means it will play as neutral for the guy who turns it over a lot and fade a bit for the guy who doesn’t.
Realistically, it’s the only new Callaway driver you can expect to explicitly favor the right-side. In that respect, it’s a bit of an anti-MAX D and, unlike the MAX LS, it’s a textbook example of a better player’s driver. That’s typically code for low MOI which is typically positively spun as “workable.”
No need to muddy the waters, however. The Rogue MAX Triple Diamond LS is for guys who miss left and/or really need to drop spin—even if you have to sacrifice more than a little forgiveness to get it done. For some golfers, forgiveness comes from reducing spin and that’s what Triple Diamond is designed to do.
Callaway acknowledges the Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS isn’t for everybody and, by any sensible logic, they shouldn’t sell many. It quite rightfully will be the least popular driver in the 2022 Rogue lineup. That said, it exists for a reason and for golfers whom it fits, it may feel a bit like cheating.
There’s little doubt Callaway’s new Rogue ST drivers are going to perform. Callaway’s Most Wanted track record in the driver category is as strong as anyone’s. While the gold … excuse me … “bronze gold” (try and spin that one at the Olympics) accents aren’t my favorite, the drivers look good and, for the most part, the shapes are pleasing at address.
With that said, Callaway’s tech stories are starting to feel stale. I can tell you that it shouldn’t matter but I’m sure it does. So, as much as I believe Callaway went to the well one too many times with Epic, the same is absolutely true with Rogue (even if the franchise was briefly interrupted by Mavrik).
There’s plenty of evidence that Jailbreak and AI continue to keep Callaway near the top of the ball-speed charts but, even as I applaud the honesty in not overselling the story, I must acknowledge the story of the Rogue ST driver lineup is largely one we’ve heard before (several times now) and I suspect that in a year where TaylorMade launched Stealth, that’s going to be problematic at retail.
Specs, Pricing and Availability.
The Callaway Rogue ST MAX and ST MAX D drivers are available in nine-, 10.5- and 12-degree models. The Rogue ST MAX LS and ST Triple Diamond LS are available in nine- and 10.5 degrees. All SKUs are available in both right- and left-handed models.
Stock shafts include the Project X Cypher Black (lightweight/women’s – 40/50g), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue (50, 60 and 70 grams) and Mitsubishi Tensei AV White (60, 70 and 80 grams).
The stock grips are Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 and WINN Dri-Tac 2.0 (women’s).
Retail price for Callaway Rogue ST drivers is $549.99.
Pre-sale begins Jan. 21 Full retail availability begins Feb. 18.
Customization will be available through Callaway Customs for an additional charge.
For more information, visit Callawaygolf.com.
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