Lamkin Grips

Callway RAZR X Black Driver Review

| March 1, 2012 | 40 Comments

We love talking golf equipment here at The Hackers Paradise. Stop by the forum any given day and you’ll see countless conversations going on revolving around the equipment we use to play the game that we all love with a passion. Of all that equipment nothing attracts varying opinions and debate more than the driver. Equipment junkies like me and thousands of other THP members have been spoiled a bit lately. The drivers that we’ve been able to discuss and test here in the past 18 months or so have been so good that it seems nearly impossible to settle on just one for your game.

You can’t talk golf equipment and drivers in general without Callaway Golf being one of the first couple of company names to roll off your tongue. In 2011 we witnessed Callaway completely change the game with the introduction of their forged composite drivers. They didn’t set out to reinvent the technology in 2012 because they didn’t need to. Still using the forged composite material that is lighter and stronger than titanium Callaway took what they learned from last year’s RAZR Hawk and Diablo Octane drivers and improved the design. One of the new models in 2012 is the RAZR X Black driver. THP received this driver well ahead of the release date to put it through the paces with a full review. Check it out.

Click on each picture for a larger image

From Callaway Golf:

With the RAZR X Black Driver, Callaway has crafted a club that looks just as mean as it behaves. The new driver features Forged Composite material in the crown and Distance Trajectory Weighting that promotes premium conditions for maximum distance in a high launch, low spinning ball flight. Designed for golfers who want the ultimate in speed and accuracy off the tee, the RAZR X Black driver also incorporates a Black PVD Finish for a look that’s just flat-out, head turning cool.

Looks, Sound, Feel:

Let’s start with the looks. Callaway uses the word ‘mean’ to describe the look and while I agree with them I think I’d use the word “awesome” myself. This is one bad looking driver for sure. I love the Forged Composite visible on the crown along with just a subtle red graphic that does not distract you at all, in fact I think it ties together a great look on the crown of the RAZR X Black. The black PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) Finish visible on the sole of the driver is equally cool to look at, this with a Callaway badge makes up the sole and really just completes a super unique look. While the Streamlined Surface Technology serves more of a purpose than just the looks it really helped achieve a very nice shape for the driver. I love the lines both around the face of the driver all the way through the entire club head. The red (fading to black) Motore F8 shaft completes what is definitely one of the better looking drivers you’ll see in 2012 in my opinion.

Sound wise this driver is unique from most every other driver on the market. The only other place you’ll hear anything similar is from the other Forged Composite drivers from Callaway. Not overly muted, yet not loud and tingy by any means either. If you’ve hit a Forged Composite driver from Callaway you can likely understand the sound I’m trying to describe. I find myself completely addicted to the sound of a well struck drive with the RAZR X Black driver.

The sound of the driver goes hand in hand with its feel. Not harsh and annoying yet not overly soft either. To say it feels very solid is probably the best way for me to describe it. In my testing I hit shots all over the face of this driver and you can certainly feel when you aren’t hitting the sweet spot but with the Speed Frame Face Technology in this driver it wasn’t real often that I didn’t hit that sweet spot unless I was doing it intentionally. I’ll get into the specifics of this face later but basically what they’ve done is expanded the sweet spot to increase ball speeds across the titanium face. I feel that the RAZR X Black driver brings the looks, feel and sound that I look for in a driver together very nicely.

Technology:

There are a lot of factors that come together to deliver the performance Callaway is shooting for with this driver. First I’ll identify what these factors are, and then I’ll tell you whether or not they perform as advertised.

Forged Composite- Revolutionary material in the crown that’s lighter and stronger than titanium. The driver’s crown contains over 12 million turbostatic carbon fibers that reinforce 27% of the club head. Forged Composite allows Callaway engineers to precisely control thickness, resulting in a club head that’s lighter but still has an extremely high MOI.

Speed Frame Face Technology- This is a combination of VFT and Hyperbolic Face technologies and what is does is allows Callaway to expand the sweet spot to increase ball speeds across the titanium face to achieve longer and more consistent distance. Something else this technology does is saves weight so they can move that to the perimeter of the driver to increase the MOI.

Distance Trajectory Weighting- Optimizes the center of gravity promoting ideal conditions for maximum distance with a high launch, low spinning ball flight. Forged Composite allows incorporation of a full length hosel while maintaining a low center of gravity for optimal performance characteristics.

Streamlined Surface Technology- Aerodynamic contours reduce energy loss from drag during the downswing by 17% compared to the Diablo Octane Driver. Streamlined Surface Technology creates higher impact speeds for added distance.

Testing:

There is certainly no shortage of technology packed in this driver. Everything above leads you to believe that you’re grabbing a hold of a driver that is sure to be an absolute bomber. I couldn’t wait to get started with my testing. Going in I had a couple of concerns, the first concern I had was with the shaft. Would the 60 gram Motore F8 hold up to me swinging full bore with the RAZR X Black driver? My other concern was with the launch of this driver. I am all for high launch/low spin combinations in drivers but only to a point. I didn’t want to be out there hitting sky balls that didn’t roll out for me. Playing in windy conditions a lot of the times has me trained to be a little apprehensive to hitting the ball too high off the tee.

Immediately my first concern was put to rest. The Motore F8 shaft not only held up just fine for me it also delivered a nice tight shot shape and complimented the driver quite nicely. I had no issues with swinging easy or with reaching back and really going after the ball with this shaft. The feel from the shaft was also a nice surprise as well. I’m not an extremely fast swinger with a swing speed right around the 105 mark but this shaft certainly held up fine for me.

Before I even focused on the distance I was getting I was checking the launch angles. The first time I tested this driver was outside on the driving range and I could tell it launched pretty close to what I’d consider perfect for my game. No sky balls and absolutely no ballooning was a very welcome site indeed. The second time I tested this driver I was able to get on a Trackman launch monitor to get some hardcore launch numbers to see just how close this thing was to my ideal launch conditions.

Here are some numbers from Trackman, these are numbers I pulled from a 10 shot average again with a swing speed right in the 103 to 105 mph range.

Ball Speed: 151.6 mph
Vert Launch: 12.1 deg
Launch Spin: 3013 rpm
Smash factor: 1.44
Carry: 246.3 yards
Total: 269.4 yards
Land angle: 37.4 deg.

I’m quite happy with the numbers here, if anything I could ask for slightly lower launch spin here but otherwise I’d take these numbers any time.

Final Thoughts:

The RAZR X Black driver I tested is a 9.5 degree head that sets up 1 degree open but you’d never really believe that. Or at least I didn’t. It seems to setup a lot like a Diablo Octane and have a bit of a closed setup at address to me, not real bad mind you, but it definitely does not seem to be 1 degree open to me. My normal ball flight with just about every driver I’ve used lately is a fade with the occasional big push fade if my swing isn’t exactly cooperating with me that day but with the RAZR X Black driver I did not hit more than just a couple balls that even looked like they might try to go left to right, everything was a nice tight baby draw with the rare pronounced hook coming in. This was actually quite a welcomed occurrence for me and I hope the trend continues on as I use this more as the season gets into full swing real soon.

The look of this driver really catches your eye and I’m happy to say that the performance keeps your attention as you continue using it. It’s not a sheer bomber like you might be lead to believe based on all that wording of the technology used, but what it is for me is a steady performing driver that I know I could count on to hit the ball in the fairway with some pretty decent distance behind it. That’s really what we’re all after anyway isn’t it? One knock on this club is the absence of any kind of adjustability, it seems that every driver out now has wrenches and manuals and adjustability on top of adjustability but the RAZR X Black has none and if you’re like me, that’s ok. I’ve seen countless golfers with adjustable drivers only to leave them at their stock setting and never go back to change it. So why pay for it if you don’t need it? The RAZR X Black will be available in mid March and will be quite affordable at $250. I hope that people see this great looking driver with a really great looking price tag while they’re out testing drivers in 2012 because I think a lot of golfers out there will find that it flat out performs and saves them a few bucks for a nice new putter or something to go along with it.

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Category: Drivers, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Jason is a busy husband and father of 2 daughters who are both just starting to take up the game that he has loved for years. Golf is his passion, when Jason is not playing golf and testing equipment he's hanging out with all his friends on the THP forum discussing every aspect of this great game.

Comments (40)

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Callaway Golf Diablo Octane Driver 105 Mens | December 15, 2012
  1. MattyKrack17 says:

    Great review!! I can’t wait to hit this at the outing!! I’m a natural high launch guy so curious how this will perform

  2. damaikis says:

    Wow awesome review! That is a really awesome looking driver and it sounds like an absolute beast. There is so much technology crammed into there. And nice numbers too. Thanks again!

  3. Wakerider says:

    Great review, Definitely one of the top 3 drivers I’ve hit in 2012, such a solid feeling driver.

  4. Paulo says:

    That’s a really great review Jason. You covered all the bases, got some solid numbers and backed it up with some nice pics! Really enjoyed reading through that.

    I don’t see anything there that puts me off taking this baby for a spin. Callaway definitely has some amazing tech going on in the driver department, and with that in mind, this driver is at a very attractive price and might prove to be a bargain for some players!

    Surprised to hear that the face is set up slightly open. It won’t put me off at all, and if it really doesn’t look like it, probably wouldn’t influence the average customer either.

  5. White Rhino says:

    Great review as always Jake, looking forward to hitting this club in May. Keep up the great work you do.

  6. INgolfer says:

    Great review, I’m excited about this driver!

  7. pkielwa says:

    Nice review! I love that club’s looks!

  8. royalwulff says:

    Great write up there Jason! I am looking forward to trying this driver out later in the year after I get comfortable with my swing changes.

  9. Cookie says:

    Very thorough review Jake!

    My oh my, do I love the looks of this driver. When I was “high launch” I got a bit concerned but reading a minute later and you squashed that concern very quickly.

    It has the looks, solid performance and possibly the best price point tt we could ask for. I am ready to try the one…..NOW!

  10. ghsace says:

    Great review Jake. I need to see this driver in person. I love the look and the designs on the top of the head!

  11. Yoccos says:

    Great review Jake. It sounds to me like its a fantastic value. I’ll be looking at this one. I have the Razr Hawk Tour and at sometimes wish I had something al ittle more forgiving.

  12. Ryan H. says:

    Hard to beat the price and it really sounds like a solid driver. Excellent review, Jake.

  13. adwillingham says:

    Enjoyed the review Jake…will be very interested in trying this club out at the Demo Day. I really like that Callaway offered something new at the $249 price point.

  14. 9-Iron Man says:

    Excellent review Jake! I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t making me ponder.

  15. TripleBogieTim says:

    Nice write up Jake! I am definately looking at this driver for my Morgan Cup bag….sounds like a solid option and I can’t wait to hit it myself

  16. Coolbreeze says:

    Great review Jake, I mean really really good. I look forward to hitting this driver in the near future and you have made that wait all the more painful.

  17. War Eagle says:

    Great review! I think the Razr X Black is being over shadowed by the Fit, but from everything I have heard that Black is a very, very good driver. Great price point, I think a lot of people will be quite happy with this one.

  18. Freddie kong says:

    Good review Jake, I have been a fan of the color scheme of this driver since I first saw it. I actually preferred the flight of this over the Fit.

  19. TheDue says:

    Great job with the review Jake. Love the look of this driver and sounds like they have really done their homework in designing this. Thanks for bringing it to us!

  20. yorkem says:

    Great review Jake. I love the looks of this driver, and have a feeling we may see it in a few MC bags in July.

  21. SW says:

    Great feedback Jake. This driver should be on lots of radars as the golf season approaches, its got looks and power, a lethal combo for hitting fairways and shooting better scores. Callaways decision to sell this one for $250 is a genius move.

  22. Chris says:

    that is a horrid looking driver…destined for the $89 rack by september

  23. hanks says:

    great review buddy….I liked how you worked some hard numbers into the review. I really like the graphics on the crown as well.

  24. Smallville says:

    What a ponder for me. Between this and the Fit, I am still undecided.

  25. Kmac™ says:

    Great write up Jason. Quite a lot going on on top but I dont really mind it. And your numbers were pretty damn good too so whats not to like if you get the results.

  26. big bear says:

    Great review, but i have to agree with Chris it is horrid looking but could get past that if the ball flight and carry were right.

  27. Frank Bullitt says:

    THP keeps getting better and better – GREAT REVIEW!!!!! I can’t get past the head graphics though, I’m a HUGE Callaway fan boy, and wanted to celebrate my 50th this year with complete set of Callaway clubs, I play Razr XF irons and now have their forged wedges, I REALLY wanted to match my irons with Callaway Woods, I hit everything, including these and the Fit, and I just kept coming back to Ping G20 (which I hit further than the Fit). This club has a 46″ shaft, the G20 had a 45.75 and I seemed to have a little more control and the head looks classic versus the graphics on the Razr X Black

  28. Dave says:

    Just go to hit this today at a demo. I was sold on this club within the first few swings. Completely agree with this review. I was thoroughly impressed with this driver and will be buying it next Friday.

  29. Chris says:

    Worth upgrading from a Diablo Octane?

  30. charlie ho says:

    JUST GOT ONE AFTER READING UR REVIEW, THANX

  31. Matt Waldron says:

    I have been swinging the Cleveland CG Black driver, 9 degree and R flex, and although this driver is a rocket I was not happy with the consistency. I was hooking it just as often as I hit it straight, and for a guy who has historically been a slicer of the golf ball…..that was disturbing and encouraging at the same time. Anyway, I got a great deal on a RAZR X Black, 10.5 degree and R flex, and took.it to the range. Firstly, this is a mean looking club. Next, this joker is looong,…..if anything it is a couple yards longer that the Cleveland CG Black. Next, consistently straighter than the CG Black…fewer hooks…..reminded me of the RAZR Hawk driver. The only thing I can find any fault in is the trajectory……very high! I had pondered getting the 9 degree but had been scared off by the 1 degree open face (I had not read this review). The 9 degree would probably have been perfect and would probably have netted me a few more yards on an already impressively long driver. This driver will stay in the bag the rest of the season….unless I can find a deal on the 9 degree version.

  32. Barry says:

    Hi, I’m about to go buy one and have read your review and it has been helpful thank you. I am going to use it to replace my trusty 2005 Big Bertha Fusion FT3. The club I have looked at has the black top, as in your photo, but instead of the top marking being red (as in your picture) it is grey. Would there be a reason for this? is it last year’s model or something? Or simply does it not matter? I am looking at the 10.5 degree loft version. Thanks – Barry M

  33. speedracer12 says:

    I own this club and it is awesome. Being only 5′ 7 I did have the shaft cut one inch and the results gave me solid hit with a power fade. I love watching the launch of the ball and the slight fade as it lands. Well worth the money.

  34. Jim says:

    Unfortunately, this driver may have a great appearance and maybe a good Callaway head but the stock Fujikura F8 shaft is unstable. Shots are not consistent due to the poor tip and torque engineering. For a low handicapper, left-right “army” golf is unacceptable and that is what you get with this driver. Perhaps having the Fujikura shaft replaced with a Penley or some other well-engineerd shaft would present a better club.

  35. Ron says:

    Just won this driver at a tournament. Took it out to the range to see how it performs. It definitely is a nice swinging club. I hit longer and straighter than usual. I noticed however that the joint of the face and the top of the head was not flush. The face of the club is slightly set in creating an edge on the top of the face. The result is paint chips along the entire upper portion of the club if you hit the ball high (and I’m not talking about skymarks). I brought it in the the golf shop who sent it to Callaway. Callaway promptly returned a brand new one to me. The new one seems just like the first one. Will try it tomorrow to see if it starts to chip again. not so pleased

  36. Steve says:

    I won this in a tournament last week. Been hitting a 9 degree Callaway X driver, slight draw of the ball. This was a 10.5 degree and I hooked it badly. Played one round and will not hit it again. Did not like the muffled sound, did not hit it as far. I could care less how it looks. I will not be able to get rid of this fast enough.

  37. Ernest says:

    Great review.
    I finaly was interested in swicthing out the driver from a 9.5 deg Cleveland DST. Which I found to be too light and out of control. So I borowed a 10.5 deg ugly and too light RAZER Black from a friend to try for a round. As soon as I picked it up the thoughts were; “way too light for me”, “the 10.5 deg head will probably burn up into the atmosfear” and finnaly “it has too shallow a face”.
    My swing speed is 104mph and I love taking a RIP at it. So common sense rules. I teed the ball to a three wd hight and gave it a go. All but one drive was a miss hit. Out of all these miss hits one was a snap hook and all were playable. The shortest drive was 220 yrds and the longest 260. My wife’s comment was, “if those are your miss hits what going to happen when you hit it bang on?”. The driver is now considered bought since I “seem to have forgoten to give it back at the end of the round” emailed my friend.
    Cheers

  38. Gerry says:

    What is the difference between the razr x black driver and the razr x black Ti?

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