The "X" line has been a staple for Callaway Golf for a number of years now. It was the X-12, then the X-14, the X-16 and now the X-18. Each iron brought with it a series of subtle changes but the overall look of the iron remained the same. Was the newer version better than the old one? Maybe. Did it look different than the old one? Yes.
The biggest difference between the X-16 and the X-18 is the look. The X-18 is a very good looking iron. The graphics are eye catching, the finish is shiny and the iron looks very refined. I know that people shouldn't get caught up in looks too much… the real worth of the club is defined by how it performs… but this iron is pretty sweet to look at! So what else has Callaway done differently this time around? The undercut channel is deeper and the heel, toe notch weighting is thicker. This makes the club more forgiving and more stable at impact. It also produces a slightly higher ball flight than the X-16. Callaway has also made other cosmetic changes besides color and graphics. The X-18's feature a thinner top line and sole as well as a square toe… all small aesthetic changes to make the X-18 look more "traditional". The X-18 is a great iron but it has a long way to go before someone would consider it "traditional". The shafts used in these irons are Callaway staples and are more than adequate for most players.
The Callaway X-16 had to go and the X-18 is exactly what the doctor ordered. It was tough last year to sell any other Callaway iron besides the Big Bertha. Customers didn't really pay much attention to the X-16… partly because of its rather plain look. Callaway had the technology in the X-16 but didn't package it in a "flashy" way. The X-18 is much better looking than the X-16, it uses proven technology found in the X-16 and feels the same as the X-16. Customers are drawn to the X-18 because of its looks and the hype that has surrounded its release. They like the feel and forgiveness that it provides and the price is about par for the course. Callaway has a good one here… although I think the "X" line is getting a bit old.
Overall Rating – 80%
Target Handicap – 10 and above
Ball Flight – High
Offset – Maximum
Construction – Cast
Shafts – SYS 55 UL Light, SYS 75 CW Regular, SYS 85 CW Stiff graphite, Constant Weight Uniflex steel