Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Wood Review: 2023 Updated

I think a lot of average players would improve their scores if they left the driver in the bag and used a fairway wood instead. In this post, I’m going to be reviewing the Callaway Steelhead XR fairway wood and sharing my honest opinion after swinging it around the course. It was designed mostly for mid to high handicaps and was supposed to be super forgiving, but that being said, how did it perform?

The Steelhead XR wood would be perfect for you if you’re a mid to high handicap player who’s in the market for a new fairway wood and don’t want to break the bank, I’d highly recommend this club. I used it for a while (before the newer models came out) and I always loved it and have recommended it to a lot of friends. Overall, a high-quality fairway metal that’s both long and forgiving.

The things we look at when testing fairway woods is how long they were, how much forgiveness they had, how high was the launch, and also the price. Continue reading if you want a more detailed review and the best place to pick one up.

Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Wood Review


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How Was The Design?

I’ve always liked the way Callaway clubs were designed and things really haven’t changed with the XR. It’s a bit of an older model but you can normally find them for pretty cheap and they’ll still perform as well as some of the newer woods.

In my opinion, Callaway drivers, woods, and hybrids are the easiest to align and that’s why they’re some of the best clubs for mid to high handicaps who need all the help they can get (myself included). If you don’t align things properly at the start it’ll be pretty tough to compensate during your swing.

The head size is pretty average but it has a taller face on it which helps with forgiveness and generating a higher launch angle (more distance and more confidence). The one downside to that is that it’s not as good for hitting out of the rough. I normally use a hybrid for that anyway. Overall, the design was great in my opinion. Here’s a demo video:

Callaway XR Steelhead fairway wood review by Mark Crossfield & GolfOnline

How Was The Sound & Feel?

The sound and feel of a club are super important to me and I’ve always found Callaway to be the best in this area. Some clubs feel way too light and don’t have that nice clicking sound when you make solid contact. A lot of clubs sound like you just smashed a bunch of plates, and nobody wants that.

The XR didn’t feel too light or hollow like a lot of other woods on the market. It felt really balanced and the weight was just about right. It has a solid sound and feel to it at impact. I think you’d like it as well.

I also found that there was a good amount of feel to the club (through impact) which was definitely a boost to the confidence since I felt like I had more control with the ball and it wasn’t just bouncing off.

How Did It Perform?

In my experience, the Steelhead XR would be best for a mid to high handicap player who needs all the distance and forgiveness they can get, rather than workability and ball shaping. It’s not the best when it comes to shaping the ball around or controlling the trajectory, but the average golfer probably doesn’t care about that.

I noticed that it was a lot better than others when it came to thin shots and still being able to generate decent distance. This is probably the most common mishit that high handicaps face with their woods. That’s the most common fault I see when the average player is hitting off the fairway.

Another plus was the nice and high launch angle it gave me. For whatever reason, a lot of woods have a lower ball flight for me personally, so it was nice seeing that. Everyone wants a higher shot because it should add some distance and best of all, it looks nice.

That being said, it’s probably not the best for low handicaps (there isn’t much workability with this wood). You could use it if that’s you but I think there are better options out there.


  • It’s fairly inexpensive (compared to other woods).
  • It felt solid through impact (good amount of feel).
  • The sound was good (not hollow).
  • It still gave decent distance on off-center hits.


  • It’s not the best for shaping the ball around (draw/fade).
  • It’s not the best hitting out of the rough.
  • There are no adjustments to it.

The Breakdown

  • Performance Score: 9
  • Price Score: 9
  • Sound & Feel Score: 9
  • My Personal Score: 9/10

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What lofts does the Steelhead XR come in?

A. It comes in a 13.5, 15, 16, 18, 21, or 24 degrees.

Q. If I have a slower swing speed would this be a good club?

A. I have a slower swing speed and really liked the club.

Is It Worth It?

If you’re in the market for a new fairway wood, you don’t want to break the bank, and you’re a mid to high handicap player, I’d give it a thumbs up for sure. It was the fairway wood I was using for a number of seasons and absolutely loved it. I only upgraded because I needed to try new woods to review them.

It was solid in almost all areas and it was the best wood on the market when it first came out (it still stacks up well to this day). It’s the perfect wood for anyone who doesn’t golf a whole lot or someone who doesn’t want to spend a fortune (there’s really no need to spend more).

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

Looking to get some new golf gear? Click here to check out our recommended gear page to see the stuff we’re recommending and the cheapest place to get them.

Last update on 2023-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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