Expert Review: Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver

Published on 03/14/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the golf club, which I purchased with my own money in June of 2022.
Jon W., Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Jon W.

All photos courtesy of Jon W.

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the golf club, which I purchased with my own money in June of 2022.

My take

I have really enjoyed the Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver so far. In the last few months I have seen significant improvements on my distance and control of the ball. This driver is really going to suit someone in the high to mid handicap category that needs a little more forgiveness on off-center strikes.

About the club I own

  • Model: 2022 Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver
  • Loft setting:
  • Shaft type: Fukikura Ventus Blue 5.5
  • Shaft flex: Stiff

About me

  • Average score: 86
  • Handicap: 16
  • Experience: 5 years of golfing
  • Right/Left-Handed: Right
  • Typical ball flight: Mid/High Fade
  • Golf ball used: Srixon Soft Feel
  • Club swing speed: 98 mph

Test conditions

  • When I bought the club: June 2022
  • Days tested: 15 days
  • Where I’ve used it: Multiple courses and ranges
  • Weather and wind conditions: Rainy, sunny, windy, and on mostly warm summer days

How it performs

Feel
5/5
Forgiveness
5/5
Launch
5/5
Distance
4/5
Sound
3/5
Workability
3/5

What I was looking for

Just like every golfer out there, I was looking for more forgiveness and distance. I was playing a PXG driver and did not get the performance I wanted with it. My search was based on finding a driver that would help me out a bit when I didn’t catch the center of the face, but would also perform well when I did catch it.

Why I chose this club

I spent two days in fitting bays trying multiple different drivers including the TaylorMade Stealth, the Srixon ZX5, and the Cobra LTDx. In the end it came down to the Stealth and Rogue ST Max. I was seeing about a five-yard gap and a much larger dispersion with the Stealth, but the Callaway was just much better than everything I tried. It went straighter and further than every driver I put in my hands, so it was a pretty easy decision.

What I love about it

  • Distance: I have really enjoyed the distance I am getting out of the Rogue ST Max. The new A.I.-designed face really gives the ball that extra bounce you need to get down the fairway.
  • Forgiveness: I absolutely love the amount of forgiveness this driver has provided. My biggest struggle is just making center of the face contact and the ST Max is a huge help off the tee when I catch the ball with the toe or heel. I have had multiple shots that I just knew were going to be in the woods or short, and the ST Max just seems to keep them playable more often than not. The stability provided by Callaway’s Jailbreak system has a lot to do with that.
  • Feel: This driver feels awesome off the face. The difference between it and the PXG I had is like the difference between cast and forged iron—it just feels better.
  • Shaft Feel: This Ventus shaft feels very nice. It loads well on the back swing and feels very smooth on follow through.
  • Shaft Performance: I really could not ask for more with the shaft. It is built for a medium tempo and that is exactly what I have.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: I love the look of the Callaway down at the ball. The way the matte finish on top fades to a carbon crown is just beautiful.
  • Grip Feel: The MCC midsize grip on the Rogue ST Max is the same one I have on all my clubs, and it is very comfortable in my larger-sized hands.
  • Launch Angle: I get a very nice mid-high launch angle on this driver which I really like. I went with the 9°, however if I went for a 10.5° I would see a much higher angle, but also just a bit too much spin.
  • Spin: The spin on this driver is great. I am in the low 2000’s on most swings which is exactly where I want to be.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Sound: I’m not a huge fan of the sound off the face. It is not bad at all, just not the “thud” golfers want to hear on a good drive.
  • Workability: This driver is great at hitting them straight but I do struggle sometimes to hit a different shot shape than my natural fade. Of course, that may just be an issue that’s unique to me.
  • Adjustability: I am putting this as an issue, but really it is just me being picky. I would love to see an adjustable or sliding weight on this club to adjust draw/fade bias. There is a good amount of adjustability on the hosel to help out though.

Best shot with this club

I play golf with my older brother on a weekly basis and he consistently drives the ball 10 yards further than I do. Of course he has been playing about 10 years longer than I have, but this has changed since getting my new Rogue ST Max driver. He still out-drives me a good bit, but not every time.

We were on a downhill par 4 recently and he hit a bomb off the tee. I knew I couldn’t match it, but I stepped up to the ball, took a nice smooth swing and watched my Srixon Soft Feel land five yards past his ball and roll out another 15. It was a thing of beauty!

Value for the money vs. other options

Despite being one of the more expensive drivers, I think the Rogue ST Max is a great value for the money compared to the other top brands like TaylorMade, Cobra, Ping, and so on. If I were on more of a limited budget and wanted similar performance I would be looking at the Callaway Big Bertha or Wilson D9. Both of those drivers are some of the most underrated drivers on the market. For players struggling with a slice, the Max D version of this driver may be a more suitable option due to it’s draw-biased design.

Final verdict

I am very impressed with the performance of this club so far and it seems to be getting better by the day. It has improved my ability to stay in the fairway more consistently and who could really ask for anything more? The forgiveness on this driver is a big standout feature and is the main reason I would recommend this driver to mid and high handicap players.

Best seller

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$349.99$549.99
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