With its latest iron line, dubbed Diablo, Callaway is looking to reach the entire spectrum of golfers. Diablo Forged is for better players, though company officials say center-of-gravity placement of those sticks broadens their appeal beyond the low, single-digit handicapper. And while the Diablo Edge is designated as the game-improvement offering, some Callaway tour players have put longer irons from that series into their bags due to the formidable amounts of forgiveness and distance they provide.
Let there be no misunderstanding, however. These two models have fairly specific target audiences.
Diablo Forged irons are geared for golfers who have game. The thin top line, narrow sole, shorter blade length and minimal offset speak to that, and so does the way they allow players to “work” shots. By placing the center of gravity lower and deeper than in previous forged models, Callaway engineers say they are able to provide a more penetrating trajectory. And by employing a lightweight clubface that is welded on a forged back piece, they can reposition weight to the perimeter to help with mis-hits.
“These clubs are a little more forgiving than your typical forged iron,” says Dan Stevens, Callaway’s manager of industrial design. “And they have a very nice, soft feel.”
Price: $999 per set with steel shafts; $1,199 with graphite.
As for the Diablo Edge, it is built for the game-improvement crowd. Callaway calls them the longest stainless steel irons it has ever made. Stevens echoes that assessment, while adding that another enticing feature is their forgiveness.
“We did a lot of player testing in an effort to record hit locations of their shots,” he says. “Many of those were lower on the face, meaning players were hitting a lot of thin balls. So, we moved the center of gravity lower on the face to make the sweet spot more available. And at the same time, we created a wider sole to help with fat shots.”
Stevens says that the lower and deeper center of gravity will enhance distance. “The trade-off for better players with Diablo Edge is that it is harder to work the ball when the center of gravity is deeper in the back of the club,” he says.
The street price for the Edge is $599, and that includes an eight-piece set with steel shafts. The cost goes to $699 if you want to create a combo set that includes a pair of Diablo Edge hybrids – and six irons. Graphite shafts will bump the price of an eight-piece set up to $799.