How XXIO’s lightweight clubs make golf so much easier | Proving Ground

XXIO 13 womens clubs proving ground

XXIO offers premium lightweight clubs to help moderate swing speed golfers gain control and distance, and we put them to the test.

Ryan Barath

Welcome to’s ClubTest Proving Ground, where Managing Equipment Editor Jonathan Wall and Senior Equipment Editor Ryan Barath put the latest designs and groundbreaking technology in the equipment space to the test on the range and the course.

This installment, however, is a little different. Rather than one of our editors testing the clubs, we brought in someone to help us evaluate clubs that are a little out of our spec range. Dana Barath (16 handicap, avid golfer, and yes, my wife) is jumping in to break down her firsthand experience with XXIO’s newest line of women’s clubs.

Let’s have Dana take it from here.

Barath - golf swing XXIO
XXIO 13 women’s club-tester Dana Barath. Golf

Tools: A full set of XXIO 13 women’s clubs from the driver down to the sand wedge.

The set included said driver, 3-wood, 7-wood, 5-hybrid, 5-iron to pitching wedge, sand wedge, and a Never Compromise Model 1 putter. I chose these clubs to test since it’s how the clubs in my bag are usually set up.

XXIO 13 Driver

XXIO 13 is a lightweight and premium set of Woods and Irons that helps moderate swing speed golfers hit longer, straighter golf shots. Its unique technologies specifically benefit the golfer who swings 90mph or less, improving speed, accuracy, and consistency for your easiest golf yet. NEW DUAL ACTIVWING This new, two-stage airfoil design harnesses aerodynamic forces to better stabilize the clubhead during your downswing. New ActivWing helps guide the club face into optimal strike position, making it easier for you to hit the sweet spot and improve ball speed. FLAT CUP FACE To Improve COR across the entire face, our Flat Cup Face has a larger, thinner center portion. This design allows for increased ball speed and distance no matter where you strike the ball. The Driver face is made from special Super-TIX® 51AF Titanium to allow for an even thinner, faster face.
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The test also included two Cleveland CBX4 ladies’ spec wedges in the lofts of 50 and 56 degrees, since I was curious to compare the XXIO sand wedge to the more traditional Cleveland offering.

The test: Rather than simply grabbing numbers with a launch monitor and calling it a day, I have been using these XXIO 13 clubs since they arrived in March and have played a lot of golf with them. From my local nine-hole course to some recent travel that took me to Pinehurst and Prince Edward Island, I have used these clubs under different conditions and on various course types to see how they truly benefit my golf game.

The results are focused on qualitative observations, along with specifics about how certain clubs made the biggest differences for my on-course results.

Dana golf swing pinehurst
Playing golf at Pinehurst No. 10. Connor Federico

XXIO 13 design notes

I’ll leave this part for Ryan…

As one of the leaders in the lightweight club market, XXIO offers premium technology designed to help golfers with moderate clubhead speeds hit the ball higher and longer through the entire set.

The driver includes technologies like Rebound frame to boost ball speeds and forgiveness along with ActivWing aerodynamics to help stabilize the clubhead during the start of the backswing, making it easier to close the club face and square it up at impact.

XXIO 13 ladies driver
The ActivWing on the XXIO 13 driver helps to close the club face at impact. Ryan Barath

The fairways and hybrids offer a similar BiFlex Rebound frame design and cannon sole to a substantial amount of mass low in the head. This provides a deeper center of gravity to increase launch and normalize spin on mishits — especially on common lower face strikes.

xxio 13 irons
XXIO’s 13 irons are multimaterial to provide extreme forgiveness and distance. Dunlop Sports

As for the irons, the four-piece, hollow-cavity XXIO 13 irons are equipped with a thin titanium face and tungsten-nickel sole weight (on the longer 5- through 7-irons) to move the CG low and away from the face to help get the ball in the air easier and peaking higher. This helps with carry distance and stopping power on approach shots.

XXIO testing results

OK, now it’s my turn again.

How could I not start with the driver?

Even though I have used various women’s-specific clubs in the past, the weight and balance of the XXIO 13 driver felt extremely easy to swing faster and with greater control. To gain control with previous drivers that always felt heavier, I usually played them at 44 inches or less even though I knew I was giving up some swing speed.

With the XXIO I don’t feel like I give up anything off the tee, and with the lighter weight and extra length (44.5 inches) I have hit some of the longest drives of my life — and I’m hitting it higher! This has helped so much on par-4s and 5s and at my local course where conditions can be on the soft side.

Gaining height and distance is a big theme with these new clubs.

XXIO 13 ladies 3 wood from address
The shallow profile of the XXIO 13 3-wood makes it easy to hit and inspires confidence to hit it from the fairway. Ryan Barath

Similar to the driver, the XXIO 13 3-wood has been a great addition to my golf bag and added a lot of distance. With my previous 3-wood, I would only ever hit it off the tee because I found it hard to get up into the air, but with the XXIO I have full confidence off the ground and the tee. I even hit it at least 50 percent higher than I did before, and that’s with the same 16 degrees of loft.

The hybrid and irons follow the same trend as the driver and fairway wood with extra distance and height. Since changing to the XXIOs I play a much more consistent straight-to-drawing shot with my irons, whereas with my previous irons I used to default to a fade.

I also used to dread par-3s but now I’m more excited than ever to play them. On our recent golf trip to PEI, I made two par-3 birdies in the same round at Andersons Creek, and I can’t think of a time where I have ever done that before.

xxio 13 ladies irons 2024
The XXIO 13 ladies irons offer extreme perimeter weighting and a low center of gravity. Ryan Barath

Average carry distances based on launch monitor data
Driver: 170 yards
3-wood: 150 yards
7-wood: 132 yards
5-hybrid: 125 yards (I really like it from the rough)
5-iron: 125 yards
6-iron: 116 yards
7-iron: 104 yards
8-iron: 90 yards
9-iron: 78 yards
Pitching wedge: 70 yards

As for the wedges, the matching XXIO 13 sand wedge is, in my opinion, a great option for golfers who don’t try to do too much around the green with their short game and are more focused on maximum forgiveness.

Cleveland CBX4 ladies wedge
Cleveland’s CBX4 women’s wedges offer a great alternative to the XXIO wedges for golfers that want a traditional look. Ryan Barath

As a golfer who has always used blade-style wedges, I preferred the Cleveland CBX4’s contrast to the XXIO because of their traditional look from address and the rounded sole shape. They felt like they moved through the grass a bit easier when chipping with the face open and the front edge of the club sat closer to the ground on the sand wedge when opening it in bunkers too.

I still think the XXIO wedge is a great option, but the Cleveland was just a better fit for me.

Conclusion: From the top to the bottom of my set, the XXIO 13s have improved not just my golf game, but also the confidence to execute shots that I wasn’t able to before, especially when it comes to my woods and irons.

As a golfer who generally feels like I make good contact but struggles to stop approach shots into greens, I found the XXIO irons to be a huge help to my game, especially on par-3s where I often found myself rolling off the back. The extra height and easy-to-swing feel the XXIO 13 clubs provide is something I believe any golfer can benefit from, especially for a golfer like me who lives in that moderate swing speed range.

Want to overhaul your bag and find your own perfect fit? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.

Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.

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