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July 02, 2013

First Look: Callaway FT Optiforce driver

Posted at 3:46 PM by Robert Sauerhaft | Categories: Callaway, Drivers

Midsummer is rarely the time for a major product launch, but Callaway's new management team is shaking things up.

The FT Optiforce driver weighs less, offers greater adjustability and is more aerodynamic than both the RAZR Fit Xtreme and X Hot models unveiled earlier this year. With FT Optiforce, you can dial in four lofts ("standard," -1°, +1°, +2°) and two lie angles (standard or 2° upright) in a single head. By contrast, the RAZR Fit Xtreme and X Hot only allow you to adjust face angle.

The 460 cc head, for 100 mph or slower swingers, is pre-set at 10.5° loft ("standard") and can be altered to 9.5°, 11.5° or 12.5°. A 440 cc version, for players with 100-plus mph swing speeds, comes standard at 9.5° and can be tweaked to 8.5°, 10.5° or 11.5°. As you'd expect, the 460 cc head has greater MOI (more forgiveness) than the 440 cc and produces higher- launching shots with slightly more spin. Initial robot tests indicate that the 460 cc is slightly higher-spinning than the X Hot, while the 440 cc spins slightly more than the X Hot Pro.

At 290 grams, the FT Optiforce is noticeably lighter than many other adjustable drivers. A combination of the sub-200-gram head (titanium body with carbon crown) and light shaft should help players swing faster, while subtle changes to head shape can improve aerodynamics. Refinements to decrease club drag include a shallower face, changing the height differential between the top of the face and highest point of the crown, and relocating the crown's peak.

The FT Optiforce driver will be available at a suggested retail price of $400 starting July 12.

(Photo: Andrew Schlotterlein/Callaway)

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