ClubTest 2022: The inside story behind XXIO’s new drivers (plus reviews!)
This year’s ClubTest is bigger and better than ever. To help you make sense of the mountain of high-tech new clubs on the market, we put all of the latest offerings from the top golf club manufacturers to the ultimate test, making use of a state-of-the-art swing robot to put each club through its paces. Below you will find our deep dive into XXIO’s newest drivers, including full reviews and test results toward the bottom of the page.
You can find the full list of ClubTest driver reviews here.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.
The XXIO company has ruled the lightweight luxury category for some time now. Its premium grip to clubhead offerings embrace meticulous manufacturing detail and precision to ensure each club is as light as possible.
The latest entries in the XXIO catalog is the subtly named 12 (following last year’s 11) and a redux of the popular X line. Also new: ActivWing, a stability-inducing technology that stabilizes the clubhead during the first part of the downswing, a critical point that leads to smoother and more stable acceleration through the ball. It’s visible tech—look for the trapezoidal feature protruding from the crown, which, when aerodynamic forces are applied during the swing, helps to correct the face angle for fewer slices.
“Every generation, we look at how we can better our lightweight technologies that will benefit our target golfer,” says Amelia Delazzer, product manager at XXIO. “With this generation, we’ve focused more on aerodynamics. What we’ve found is that the majority of golfers arrive at impact with their face open. When this happens, it’s impossible to capitalize on all the benefits of a larger sweet spot or premium face materials. So we tested ways in which the clubhead could do more of the heavy lifting in the swing so the face can practically square itself, especially for rec golfers.”
Great point. Often we see the bulk of new driver tech geared toward elite golfers, not those with moderate to slow swing speeds. But in XXIO’s case, they start their designs first and foremost with the needs of the everyday player.
Now, you wouldn’t think a brand keen on primo aesthetics would dare add a “bump” to its crown, but XXIO pulls it off beautifully and claims ActivWing helps tighten shot dispersion by 17 percent over previous XXIO drivers. “It’s exciting to be on the cutting edge of not only a new tech feature,” says Delazzer, “but one that helps the everyday golfer enjoy the game that much more.”
ActivWing proved so beneficial, XXIO included it throughout the wood line. “Though the shaping is different from the driver to the fairway and hybrid, we’ve found the same performance benefits with both designs,” says Delazzer.
Complementing ActivWing is XXIO’s Rebound Frame, a new technology that delivers a four-layer sandwich of flexible/rigid/flexible/rigid zones for maximum distance across a wider range of the face. At impact, that four-layer oscillation between flexible and rigid produces big gains in ball speed and, according to XXIO, an increase in coefficient of restitution (COR).
Also, the clubface on the drivers is divided into six sections, each with its own variable bulge and roll measurements to correct drives hit high, low or off the toe and heel for straighter and longer shots. On the fairway woods, the Cannon Sole’s floating weight pad optimizes launch and improves face flex, and a stepped crown further lowers the center of gravity for a higher launch.
XXIO takes a holistic view of its products, meaning they’re designed with specific shafts and counterbalancing. Each driver comes with a premium Miyazaki shaft and Weight Plus grip—a proprietary handle design that adds weight underneath the shaft for a more balanced feel during the swing.
“With all this talk of Rebound Frame and ActivWing, it’s easy to forget all the other tech that we’ve packed into this line,” says Delazzer. “We cater to the moderate swing speed player, from head to grip, and now with Rebound Frame and ActivWing, they’ll be able to consistently gain more ball speed and remain in the fairways.” — Ryan Noll
XXIO DRIVER REVIEWS
We tested: 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°
Our take: We know the X is designed for the high-end golf equipment connoisseur, but according to our testers who have slower swing speeds, “We may be seeing these in more bags moving forward.” Additionally, “for those who could use a boost of trajectory, these help the ball get airborne faster and put up some impressive launch numbers.” Make no doubt about it — the X is an expensive driver, but sometimes you truly do get what you pay for.
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XXIO X driver
The details: The X has a carbon fiber sole paired with a cupface design resulting in an exceptionally light driver (less than 300g), even though it has brass and rubber weights in the grip end to raise the balance points (making it feel more balanced). When combined with the stock MP1000 shaft, the driver has what XXIO calls True-Focus Impact Tech, making the club super easy to swing via reducing forces acting against your body as you swing. Meaning, for slow to moderate swingers, this driver will make it a cinch to add more clubhead speed and hit longer shots.
We tested: 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°
Our take: Does this driver have a jewel in it? It appears that way but it’s just a weight plug located on the rear sole of the clubhead. Catering again towards our testers who have slow-to-moderate clubhead speeds, this driver “impressed with its durability and performance,’” and despite the sticker stock, “is worth the price and produces a soft, buttery feel with added height and overall distance. It’s a great option for senior players.”
XXIO 12 driver
Robot’s take: The lightweight 12 can boost clubhead speed with minimal effort and is favored toward slower swing speeds. Produces draws with a medium launch trajectory and lower spin.
The details: The Activwing – Aerodynamic Control technology helps stabilize the lightweight head by improving aerodynamics, specifically during the first half of the downswing. The 12 also comes with a multi-level firmness Rebound Frame/cupface design for added distance and improved forgiveness.