Are Callaway X20 Irons Still Good? – Are They Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Callaway X20 irons debuted way back in 2007 but are still being sought after in 2023? But do they really still have anything to offer the high handicap golfer?”
Irons are some of the most difficult clubs to master and they prevent multiple problems for high handicappers and beginners. But that’s why companies like Callaway have put so much research and development into game-improvement irons.
The game-improvement category of golf clubs focus on increasing forgiveness and generally making it easier to hit the ball accurately. They are also supposed to give the average player more distance.
The Callaway X20 irons definitely fall into the game-improvement category and after our testing, the consensus was clear: they are certainly viable for beginners and high handicappers. Let’s explore why.
Are the Callaway X20 Irons Still Good?
“Even though a lot has changed since 2007 as far as golf club manufacturing goes, the Callaway X20’s still have forgiveness features that are still considered essential in 2023.”
One of the things that really surprised us about the Callaway X20 irons is that they were easy to hit in all kinds of lies. From the deck, they help scoop the ball up and send it far. But even in the cabbage, the narrow soles allow you to attack the ball aggressively.
The Callaway X20’s also have slightly compact heads when compared to other irons in the game-improvement category. This made them more usable from tight lies. It also enhanced workability around the pin.
Still, the Callaway X20’s are fairly chunky so you get a lot of sweet spot to work with. They have a great look overall as well – they don’t scream “game-improvement” in the bag but behind the ball, they look large and very forgiving.
Are the Callaway X20’s Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“It’s important to note that the Callaway X20’s are cavity back irons and that they have notched weighting.”
The notch weighting allows more weight to be moved to the perimeter of the head. This increases MOI which will help the head to resist twisting when you miss the sweet spot. Translation: more distance and a straighter ball path when you strike the ball errantly.
Our testers noted that shots made closer to the heel were still clocking comparable ball speed to ones hit dead-center. This was very encouraging and it’s a feature that will surely help a lot of high handicappers.
Callaway X20 Vs Callaway Big Bertha Irons
“The Callaway Big Bertha B21 irons have a larger profile than the Callaway X20’s.”
So right off the bat, they look more forgiving than the Callaway X20’s. However, one thing we didn’t like about the Big Bertha’s is that they have an overt game-improvement look to them.
They have very pronounced offset which is great for high handicappers; but we actually preferred the understated look and more compact profile of the Callaway X20’s. The Callaway X20 irons have less offset than the Big Bertha’s; but that also means that they are more accurate around the pin.
Callaway X20 First Impressions
“What struck us first about the Callaway X20 irons was the relatively compact profile.”
Don’t get the wrong idea. The Callaway X20’s certainly aren’t the smallest irons on the market. But they provide a good mixture of forgiveness and workability overall which we really enjoyed.
While feel was a bit lacking, both our high and mid handicap testers were able to get good all-around use out of them. They look really nice in the bag and have deep cavity backs which makes them very tempting to swing.
Callaway X20 Irons Selling Points
- Notched perimeter weighting
- Deep cavity backs
- Progressive wall reduction system
- Low CG in the long irons
- High CG in the short irons
- Short, straight, hollow hosel design
- Variable face thickness
- 180 degree undercut channel
Callaway X20 Key Technology
“Being Callaway clubs, the Callaway X20’s have some core technology that has become the hallmark of Callaway irons.
Variable Face Thickness: This feature puts more mass behind the hitting zone and thins out the face to promote flex in areas where players usually mis-hit.
Progressive Wall Reduction: Thinning out the interior walls throughout the set allows for more precise CG placement. In the Callaway X20 set, the long irons start out with lower CG to promote ball speed and launch while the short irons have high CG’s which allows for better spin control and accuracy.
Notched perimeter Weighting: Placing more weight near the toe and heel of the club head allows it to resist twisting on errant shots.
Callaway X20 Loft & Lie
Who Should Buy the Callaway X20 Irons?
“Surprisingly, we found that the Callaway X20 irons are great for high handicappers but good for mid handicappers as well.”
The relatively compact heads and the high spinning scoring irons really make the Callaway X20’s viable for mid handicappers. However, we feel that high handicappers and beginners would get the best use out of them.
We really liked testing these irons at the range because they play very long and are very comfortable on full swings. The CG feels very low in the long irons so they produced really good launch as well.
And as far as distance goes, the Callaway X20 irons really bring the heat. On average, our testers were getting 198 yards after three swings with the 3-iron in this set.
So if you are looking for distance alone, it might be a good idea to simply replace one or two of your long irons with corresponding Callaway X20 irons. But as a complete set, they offer very well-rounded performance from top to bottom.