Callaway Lets Out the Shaft with Diablo Octane

We hit our longest golf shots with our longest clubs—that’s basic physics. So along comes Callaway Golf debuting the Diablo Octane driver, complete with a stock 46-inch shaft. Good for basketball players but not jockeys? Not necessarily. Callaway has been down this road before, with its Biggest Big Bertha of some five years ago. That driver also came stock with a 46-inch shaft.

If you played Biggest Big Bertha you’ll recall her all-titanium clubhead, very high-tech for the time. Diablo Octane features a significant upgrade from all-ti, Forged Composite. It’s a highly refined material developed by a Callaway team working with Automobili Lamborghini. To the Sons of Ely, Forged Composite is a wonder material for making clubheads. It delivers a greater transfer of power at impact and more accurate trajectories than plain titanium could dream of. Forged Composite allowed designers to pull weight from the crown and slide it deeper in the clubhead. The logical payoff is more swing speed and better accuracy.

And that’s just from physics of the Diablo Octane head. Shaft it up at 46 inches—a half-inch over industry standard—and you’ve got speed on top of speed. PGA Tour players are talking “46” quite a bit these days—and not in reference to the 1985 Chicago Bears defense. Graeme McDowell, a former Callaway staffer now with Cleveland/Srixon, is one notable example.

McDowell has shown a big heart in competition but at 5-foot-11 he is not a big guy. Of course, he’s got three inches on me, and 20 times more talent, so I figure I’m an ideal test driver of the Diablo Octane (suggested retail price $299). A couple of test sessions and I’m ready to call up my jockey friends. A brief warmup with the club and I was easily used to the extra length. When I asked the head product design guy at Callaway how that happened, he tapped on Diablo Octane’s handsome red-and-silver clubhead

“This head is lighter than the head we made for Diablo Edge, which this driver is replacing,’’ Luke Williams told me. “That enabled us to move weight lower and deeper and then go longer with the shaft without compromising swing feel and forgiveness. We’re able to maintain the moment of inertia factor we had with a slightly heavier head. We’re talking grams, but little difference can make big difference in performance.’’
Half inches of length and grams of weight may seem small, but all you need on the tee is a few more miles per hour to get the distance you want. Diablo Octane is a good candidate to get it for you.

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