WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The high-end XXIO line of men’s and women’s clubs ($1,200 driver, anyone?) continue their focus on distance, or more precisely the distance you’ve lost, by pushing the limits of lightweight woods and irons. Using driver shafts that weigh less than 40 grams, clubs with a total weight that’s about 25 percent lighter than standard models and heads that create hidden ways of adding more spring to the face at impact, these clubs aim to restore lost swing speed or create more velocity for improved distance for even the most trajectory-challenged golfers out there.
Price: XXIO Prime driver ($900), fairway woods ($600), hybrids ($400). XXIO Prime irons ($275 per iron, $1,100 for a four-piece set). XXIO Prime Royal women’s driver ($1,200), fairway woods ($800), hybrids ($450). XXIO Prime Royal women’s irons ($300 per iron, $2,400 for an eight-piece set and $1,200 for four-piece set). Available at retail on Feb. 12 (XXIO Prime), and March 12 (XXIO Prime Royal).
THE DEEP DIVE: A recent study of average golfer distances by Foresight Sports (makers of the GCQuad and GCHawk launch monitors) was as enlightening as it might be discouraging. According to Foresight’s data, the average male golfer hits his driver between 200-260 yards and the average female is between 140-200 yards. Conservatively, those numbers at the low end are at least a football field behind the professional averages. For the irons, the advantages may be even more glaring, with men hitting their 7-irons 115-155 yards and women at 65–115 yards. Again, at the low end, those distances may be 40-60 percent shorter than their professional counterparts.
In short, most average golfers are short, woefully so, and the real culprit is speed. The XXIO line of clubs always has sought to help average golfers find the distance they’ve been missing, largely through lighter weight designs. The flagship of that philosophy is its XXIO Prime clubs, which feature the lightest weights and fastest-flexing faces to help average golfers with below average swing speeds manufacture some of that distance they lack.
The new XXIO Prime lineup, which also includes the women-friendly XXIO Prime Royal women’s clubs, includes drivers that weigh around 250 grams or about 25 percent lighter than standard models with shafts that are as light as 36 grams—at least a third lighter than standard models and about the weight of those prescription reading glasses many XXIO potential customers might be sporting.
The entire collection of woods, hybrids and irons all feature fast-flexing titanium faces, powered by a special alloy (Super TIX-Plus). In the drivers, the face is supported by a pattern of alternating stiff and flexible zones that are designed to transfer more energy into the ball.
The driver, fairway woods and hybrids utilize what XXIO calls a “flat cup face” construction designed to improve off-center ballspeeds with more consistent face deflection over a larger area.
The irons feature channels cut along the perimeter of the back of the face to improve deflection, particularly on impacts low on the face. The sole features extra trailing edge relief in what’s called “a step sole” design to reduce contact points with the turf for less speed loss due to ground friction and smoother contact regardless of the lie.
“It’s safe to say that the new XXIO Prime woods and irons are the most advanced set of clubs ever developed for players with moderate-to-slow swing speeds,” said Jeff Brunski, vice president of research and development at Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO. “From the exotic materials and construction to the ultra-lightweight shafts, every detail has been engineered to add distance and accuracy, specifically for players who have lost some yards over the years. XXIO Prime is truly different and special.”
Not just a flat-out pursuit for the lightest clubs in the game, the XXIO Prime lineup again includes its counterbalanced weighting in the woods and irons. The extra mass toward the grip end is designed to help golfers position the hands and the club properly at the top of the backswing and then as the downswing begins the weighting helps to keep the club closer to the body for a more powerful move that approaches the ball more on plane instead of an over-the-top casting motion.
The XXIO Prime Royal woods and irons feature an even more ultra-lightweight design to help even more moderate swing speed women players generate distance.
The XXIO Prime clubs will be in stores Feb. 12, while the XXIO Prime Royal offerings are set to arrive March 12.