Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) announced that the X Utility Prototype irons, available only to Tour professionals up to this point, will be released commercially in the United States and available at select retailers as of December 1st. The announcement was made at the Company’s national sales meeting.
Callaway’s X Utility Prototype Irons were designed by Roger Cleveland and introduced to the Company’s Tour staff prior to the 2012 U.S. Open. Their introduction sparked a wave of interest on the PGA Tour that extended beyond Callaway’s staff professionals and the clubs soon stood atop the list of utility irons in play at PGA Tour events. Designed to replace the 2-, 3- and 4-irons that many players have been gravitating away from over the last several years, the X Utility Prototype Irons found an immediate home in the bags of several of the world’s best players, including Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace and Ernie Els. Els employed all three X Utility Prototypes en route to capturing his fourth Major victory last month at The Open Championship, held at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
“Utility irons are not new to the game, but the X Utility Prototypes feature a state-of-the-art forged construction that delivers a combination of distance, speed, feel and control that has been lacking in this important area of a player’s bag for some time,” said Luke Williams, Callaway’s Global Director of Woods and Irons. “Many players have replaced their long irons with hybrids, which are easier to hit, but the X Utility Protoypes offer a level of precision that our Tour staff has been very pleased with, plus these clubs offer a tighter dispersion than hybrids on mis-hits. The amount of excitement that our X Utility Prototype Irons have generated on Tour and among the avid followers of golf equipment has been overwhelming and underscores our commitment to develop and introduce exciting new designs through work with the best players in the world.”
Available in three lofts (18, 21, 24 degrees), the Callaway X Utility Prototype Irons are made with a hollow forged construction of 1020 carbon steel, a tungsten sole to precisely dial-in the CG location, and a high-strength maraging steel face that promotes high ball speeds. Each iron features also features removable weights on the sole that range from two to eight grams in two-gram increments that allow players to make swingweight adjustments to fit individual needs surrounding specific length, shaft and grip options. Callaway’s X Utility Prototype Irons will feature a new product introduction retail price of $199/steel and $229 with graphite shafts.
“I didn’t expect the [PGA Tour] players to gravitate much towards the 24-degree version,” added Roger Cleveland, Callaway’s Chief Designer. “I thought that loft would more address the needs of the Champions Tour, LPGA and skilled amateur golfers, but the guys on the PGA Tour put them right into play. Ernie Els immediately adopted all three and asked, ‘Where is the rest of the set?’