Callaway Rogue Driver Review

Callaway Rogue Driver Review

In this Callaway Rogue driver review, I’m going to take a close look at what Callaway’s design philosophy was, and to see how they engineered the Rogue to provide better performance than its predecessor.

Callaway had a big challenge ahead of them in 2018 when they were planning the successor model to replace the Great Big Bertha Driver. The GBB Epic had become hugely popular and had exceeded the expectations that most people had for it when it was released the previous year.  That was going to be a tough act to follow.  So what’s a company to do to replace such a successful product in their lineup?  

There’s really only one thing they could do:  offer a better driver.  And that was their goal when they introduced the Callaway Rogue driver.  

Did they succeed?  I’ll try to answer that question in this article. 

Highly Recommended

Callaway Rogue Driver

Callaway Rogue Driver

  • Light and easy to hit
  • Very forgiving
  • Nice feel and sound
  • Improves distance and accuracy

Callaway Rogue Driver Review

Features and Benefits: Callaway Rogue Driver

Callaway Rogue Driver Design Goals

When you take a look at the features of the Rogue, it becomes pretty clear that Callaway’s designers were mainly intent on focusing on two key areas:  1) incorporating features that would make the driver lighter and faster to generate more clubhead and ball speed and, 2) to maximize forgiveness.  Let’s take a closer look at how the Rogue’s feature set supports those two primary objectives.

One of the first things you notice when you look at the Rogue driver head is its somewhat unique shape.  Contrasted to the GBB Epic, and to many other more traditionally-shaped drivers, the Rogue is slightly more “elongated” from front to back.  

Callaway Rogue vs Callaway Epic

Like all of those other drivers, Rogue has the exact same 460cc volume (the maximum head size permitted under the Rules of Golf), but that size is allocated in a slightly different way.  

The Importance of the Head Shape

Why did Callaway do this?  For a couple of reasons.  First, they believe that this shape results in better aerodynamics.  They worked with Boeing on this aspect of the design, the outcome of which was the “Boeing Aero Package,” with changes being made to both their “SpeedStep Crown” technology (a slight rounding of the leading edge where the top of the face meets the crown) and to the overall shape of the head.   

In both areas, their goal was to essentially reduce the airflow over the crown (i.e., drag) during a swing and to thereby increase the club head’s speed.  If these changes could result in even one MPH of increased speed, the theory goes, golfers would benefit from a little added distance on their drives. 

The other important benefit of this head shape is that it’s a primary contributor to Rogue’s very high level of forgiveness.  By making the head shape shallower and deeper, they were able to re-locate the center-of-gravity (CG) rearward.  

That was one of the ways that they made the club more forgiving.  The other benefit of a CG that is positioned in the back of the head is that the Callaway Rogue driver will generate a high ball flight, which is an essential ingredient in the distance recipe.

Bottom line:  You’ll notice a slight difference in the head shape of the Rogue, but that’s been done for a reason:  to make the head more aerodynamic, and to have a better distribution of weight for more forgiveness and a better trajectory.  

Jailbreak Technology

Much has been made by Callaway of their groundbreaking Jailbreak Technology.  Jailbreak was introduced several years ago, originally making its debut in the GBB Epic, but it underwent a slight improvement in design for its implementation in the Rogue.  

Despite the thousands of mentions of Jailbreak that Callaway has made over the years in ads and commercials, it’s a good bet that people still don’t fully understand what it is and how it’s intended to help you.  I’ll try to simplify it.

If you were to open up the Callaway Rogue driver head, you’d see two vertical bars in the front of the head.  These two bars are immediately behind the face of the club and they connect the top of the head (the crown) to the bottom of the head (the sole).  These two bars are what Callaway call its Jailbreak technology.  

By connecting the top and bottom in this way, these Jailbreak bars fortify the face, so that it optimizes the way in which it flexes at impact.  Callaway’s lab testing has shown that Jailbreak really works to enhance the stability of the head and to increase ball speeds off the clubface.

Bottom line:  Jailbreak technology in the Rogue driver helps to produce the very solid feel that it is known for, and it helps to increase ball speeds for greater distance.

Callway Rogue Driver Face

X-Face VFT  (Variable Face Thickness)

Another feature aimed at increasing ball speed in the Callaway Rogue driver is the use of something Callaway calls “X-Face VFT.”  Optimizing the levels of thickness around the face of the club, based on sophisticated lab analysis, has resulted in much faster ball speeds.  This variable face thickness feature, in concert with the Jailbreak feature described above, provides for a better energy transfer from the club to the ball, and that is largely what is responsible for the boost in distance.

You’ll see that Callaway has continued to use VFT as their product line has evolved.  Later versions of Callaway drivers, released since the Rogue driver was introduced, use an updated version of this concept, which they now call their Flash Face technology.

Bottom line:  In fine-tuning the Callaway Rogue’s face by varying its thickness in strategically selected areas, they were able to increase ball speed, resulting in greater distance. 


Is the Callaway Rogue Driver Forgiving? 

As I mentioned, Callaway was obviously very motivated to create one of the most forgiving drivers ever with the Rogue.  Much of what they did in the design was centered around boosting its MOI.  

Callaway Rogue’s Secret to Forgiveness … Moment of Inertia (MOI)

So what actually is this thing called MOI and how is it measured?  To understand its function, it helps to first understand what it’s attempting to correct or offset.  

On any driver, when a ball is struck somewhere other than the center of the club face, the club head will have a tendency to twist.  It will twist open when the ball is struck toward the toe, and it will twist closed when struck toward the heel.  In either case, the face is not square at impact.  Shots will fly shorter than normal, and will usually fly offline as well.

What MOI does is to enable the club head to resist that tendency to twist open or closed on mishits.  Consequently, the head remains more stable regardless of where the ball is struck, and mis-hit shots will still fly almost as far and almost as accurately as if you had struck the center of the face.  So, clearly, having a high MOI is a very good thing. 

Technically, the way MOI is measured is in grams per centimeter squared.  And although you’ll never need to remember that, you should know that the higher the MOI, the more forgiving the driver.  And the MOI on the Rogue driver is one of the highest of any driver on the market.

Callaway Rogue vs Callaway Epic Forgiveness

Callaway Rogue vs Callaway Epic

Just for some perspective, Callaway considers any MOI measurement above 7,000 to be very forgiving.  The GBB Epic driver, for example, was measured as having an MOI of 8,000.  That’s very impressive in terms of forgiveness.  But with an MOI measurement of around 8,600, the Rogue is even more forgiving.

The Rogue driver has all of the innovative and game-changing features that the Epic had (Jailbreak, etc.), but it leap-frogged the Epic in terms of distance and forgiveness.  

Bottom line:  the Callaway Rogue driver  is one of the most forgiving drivers on the market, with one of the highest MOI ratings of any driver.


3 Versions Compared: Review Callaway Rogue Driver

The Rogue family of drivers comes in three versions, with each targeted at the needs of specific types of golfers:  the standard Rogue, the Rogue Draw, and the Rogue Sub Zero.

Callaway Rogue Driver Testing
  • Standard Callaway Rogue

This is the version that will be suitable for the majority of Rogue buyers. The Standard Callaway Rogue driver has relatively low spin, a high rate of forgiveness, and greater ball speeds across a large part of the face.

ModelLoftAvailabilityLength
Rogue Standard 9°Adjustable (8°-11°)RH / LH45.5”
Rogue Standard 10.5°Adjustable (9.5°-12.5°)RH / LH45.5”
Rogue Standard 13.5° HTAdjustable (12.5°-13.5°)RH45.5”
Callaway Rogue Draw Driver
  • Callaway Rogue Draw  

For those golfers who struggle with a slice (and based on statistics, that’s the majority of amateur golfers), Callaway offers another option in the Rogue line:  the Callaway Rogue Draw.  The Draw version does what its name implies.  Its design incorporates technology to offset the slicer’s usual side-spin, by building into the head a natural draw bias.  

They do this by using a 5-gram external sole weight that’s been shifted toward the heel of the club to allow the toe to more easily turn over, encouraging draw spin.  Callaway claims that, compared to the standard Rogue model, the Draw version has 17 yards of draw bias!  That means that those drives that would normally be destined for the right rough (or worse) , will have a far better chance to end up in the fairway.

ModelLoftAvailabilityLength
Rogue Draw 9°Adjustable (8°-11°)RH / LH45.5”
Rogue Draw 10.5°Adjustable (9.5°-12.5°)RH / LH45.5”
Rogue Draw 13.5° HTAdjustable (12.5°-15.5°)RH45.5”
Callaway Rogue Sub Zero Driver
  • Callaway Rogue Sub Zero   

If you’re a golfer who tends to generate too much back spin on your tee shots, you would be encouraged to look at the Sub Zero version.  Its more neutral center-of-gravity bias works to lessen backspin significantly, by as much as 300 RPM compared to the standard Rogue model.  This Rogue model is mainly targeted at better, faster-swinging players.

ModelLoftAvailabilityLength
Rogue Sub Zero 9°Adjustable (8°-11°)RH / LH45.5”
Rogue Sub Zero 10.5°Adjustable (9.5°-12.5°)RH / LH45.5”

Final Thoughts

I started out talking about Callaway’s goal when they introduced the Rogue, which was to offer a driver that exceeded the performance of its very successful predecessor, the Great Big Bertha Epic.  Did they achieve that objective?  By almost all measures, they certainly did.

Even though the Callaway Rogue driver has been on the market for a few years now, it still rates very highly, even compared to today’s high-end drivers.  And the upside of it being a “veteran” product is that you can purchase it at a price that’s more friendly than the current $500+ drivers that it still competes with.

The Rogue has been one of the best drivers on the market since its release.  If you fit its primary target profile – mid-to-high handicappers who can benefit from its distance and market-leading forgiveness — then I’d encourage you to take a serious look at this gem.

Highly Recommended

Callaway Rogue Driver

Callaway Rogue Driver

  • Light and easy to hit
  • Very forgiving
  • Nice feel and sound
  • Improves distance and accuracy

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