I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the platform but I have gone through the Callaway fitting protocols, not the Master program (yet) but I do know how to fit players and its been something I enjoy doing for certain players. In this case it was my Uncle Rob who was my gateway into golf as a teenager and a person I have played HUNDREDS of rounds with.
As a kid, my Uncle Rob Wunder was one of my idols. For starters, he was an NAIA all-conference basketball player at George Fox (which is awesome), but it was the fact that he was 6’7 and fun to climb on. It was like having a walking tree in the house as a 6-year-old.
When I got into Golf, his legend grew; he was one of the best players in the club I grew up at (Rainier CC in Seattle) but to take it even further, he won the 1997 Club Championship by taking down Tom Brandes, who is hands down had the greatest over 40 Amateur career in state history. We are talking about appearances in multiple U.S Senior Opens, Sr. British AMs, U.S Senior Ams, etc. The guy is a STUD, and my big Uncle Rob TOOK HIM DOWN. That was a huge thing for the Wunder clan.
Needless to say, Uncle Rob has played some good golf in his career, and now in his late 60s and retired, he has gotten the itch back, and I wanted to dial him in.
Currently, Rob is a member at Indian Ridge CC in Palm Desert and played off of an 11…until I got my hands on him:)
His old iron set-up was a set of graphite shafted cavity backs (I won’t mention the company) that worked well for him, but as time went on, the launch went down, the descent angle got shallow, and spin went down. He went from being a long, high ball, high spin player to having trouble holding greens.
During a day at Indian Ridge in late January, I was able to put Rob thru the ringer and see if we couldn’t turn back the clock 10-15 years.
I tried two different sets with him, APEX 21′ and ROGUE ST MAX, I knew he would fall between these two, and as I mentioned in the title, the results were jaw-dropping.
This is what happened:
With his old set-up this is what the numbers looked like:
7-Iron (31 degrees), 38.25 length, 63 lie, Aerotech Steel Fiber I110S
Ball Speed: 109MPH
Club Head Speed: 81MPH
Peak Height: 81 Feet
Land Angle: 41
Carry: 146 yds
Then I moved him into the Apex 21,’ and my hunch was these would work from a launch/spin aspect but might not check off every box. I was surprised at what happened here.
7-Iron: 30.5 degrees, 38 length, 63 lie, TT Elevate 95S
Ball Speed: 113MPH
Club Head Speed: 83
Peak Height: 89 Feet
Land Angle: 46
Carry: 157 yds
How this happened:
When the lofts are “strong,” you need a deep CG to drive the ball up, and you need a face that will support the proper spin. The ball wants to get up fast when you incorporate tungsten weighting low in the head. Couple that with a flash face cup and an AI-tuned face, and you get the numbers above. The Apex 21, at the time of release, was the pinnacle of that combination, all packed into a forged player’s design. Hence their immense popularity in the market. Fast, Forgiving, players look with forged feel. No Brainer.
Those are pretty impressive numbers; honestly, I could have stopped there and been a hero, but I wanted to see what the Rogue ST Max could do…YES, I know they have a strong loft package, but these next results were a literal Time Machine.
7-Iron: 28 degrees, 38.25 length, 64 lie, KBS Tour 105S
Ball Speed: 117MPH
Club Head Speed: 85
Peak Height: 93 Feet
Land Angle: 49
Carry: 165 yds
How this happened:
If you have done any research on the Rogue ST Max you will find that these irons are PACKED with technology. In my uncle Rob’s case it was three main things that made the difference.
- Even more tungsten (up to 62G) low and deep to increase launch. The Apex 21′ got him to a nice middle ground but the extra help down low in the Rogue ST Max took him from pretty good to amazing. Instantly.
- The shape of the head helped quite a bit. A bit more offset and wider sole gave Rob more help overall. This made his thin shots fly a little higher and the ball speed increased as well.
- The face on these things are insanely hot. Flash face cup has been a real game-changer over the past few years. Callaway R&D not only made the face HOT but added in the AI fine-tuning for spin robustness across the face. So in simple terms, they can decrease loft AND increase launch (CG) and create a spin profile (AI flash face cup) that allows my uncle Rob to swing normal and hit a longer shot that flies and spins like a proper 7-iron. The technology isn’t always about distance, it’s more to create the proper shot associated with that club.
Keep in mind that the one constant variable in this whole test was the human being. Same person, same number on the club and three wildly different results.
I had a chance to catch up with my Uncle last week on his thoughts and this is what he said…
“I am having the time of my life with these irons, the main thing I’m seeing is the ball really getting up in the air, and that alone solved many issues for me. I’m hitting the ball like I did when I was 40, and even at my age, I can see some of my best Golf ahead. It’s been amazing.”
-Rob Wunder, my Uncle
Tale of the Tape:
Old Gamer VS Rogue ST Max
Ball Speed: 109MPH VS 117MPH (+8MPH)
Club Head Speed: 81 VS 85 (+4MPH)
Spin: 5038 VS 5637RPMs (+600RPMs)
Launch: 13.2 VS 15.9 (+2.7)
Peak Height: 81 VS 93 Feet (+12FT)
Land Angle: 41 VS 49 (+8)
Carry: 146 VS 165 yds (+19 yds)
It’s one thing to read about it, and it’s even better to see it, so I’ll follow up with a video on this in the coming weeks. It’s incredible.
What we see here is modern technology working…in a BIG way. It’s not often that you hand a club to someone and turn the clock back 15-20 years. I mean, look at the numbers, just one of those data points is impressive, but EVERY CATEGORY?
Since the test, he has received his new full set of Callaway’s, and his handicap has gone down to 6.2. Let’s face it, getting older sucks. 25 years ago, he was a two HDCP and a club champion, but as time goes on and life is in session, youth isn’t something you can rely upon anymore. That clock is now going the other way.
I’ve played a lot of golf with my uncle, and I have seen the deterioration of his game. Going from a consistent mid to high 70’s player (on any track) to a player where breaking 90 was a victory…killed me. But seeing his face light up again and watching him out on the range banging balls and loving what he sees makes me smile. Flash Face Cup, AI Tuned face, and Tungsten weighting all played a factor in that smile, and that’s the point of all of this. The ball is flying like it did when he was younger. That’s why Callaway R&D continues to push the envelope.
It wasn’t a swing coach or a secret tip. We just installed some modern tech into his bag, and BOOM, he’s off to the races, hitting it like he did when he was 40.
We didn’t stop there, BTW, I yanked all 14 of his clubs out of the bag, and he’s DIALED.
His new WITB:
Driver: Rogue ST 💎💎💎LS firstname.lastname@example.org w/ Graphite Design UB 6X
3-Wood: Rogue ST Max D 16 w/ Fujikura Ventus Blue 7S
5-Wood: Rogue ST Max 19 w/ Fujikura Ventus 7S
4-Hybrid: Epic Super Hybrid w/ MCA Tensei Blue Hybrid 80S
5-Hybrid: Epic Super Hybrid w/ MCA Tensei Blue Hybrid 80S
6-AW: Rogue ST Max w/ KBS Tour 105S
Wedges: MD5 52/12W, 58/12W w/ KBS Tour 120S
Ball: Chrome Soft ’22