Review: Callaway Diablo Octane Driver

Callaway Diablo Octane Driver
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The Callaway Diablo Octane driver is a good-looking and performing driver aimed at golfers looking for extra distance. A new composite creates a lighter head, and coupled with a longer shaft length allows higher swing speed and greater distance for the same effort.


  • Extra yards off the tee for mid- and high-handicappers due to lighter weight and longer shaft
  • Lighter weight is easy to swing for majority of golfers
  • Upgrade Project X is stock equipment


  • Carbon and resin head does not deliver traditional titanium driver sound
  • Longer shaft can sacrifice accuracy in pursuit of distance

Review: Callaway Diablo Octane Driver

When your golf-industry competition claims to have the longest driver in the market, you can't be content to let those claims go unchallenged. So, Callaway - which has created many iconic drivers in its history, including the original Big Bertha - has answered with the Diablo Octane driver. The equation is relatively simple: a longer shaft (arc) + lighter weight = greater clubhead speed. Greater speed = longer drives.

Working with the design team at performance automobile company Lamborghini, Callaway developed a material it calls Forged Composite. It's sure to get a golfer's attention, but that title is a little bit of a misnomer since the word forged usually refers to irons made from a single block of metal. The Callaway/Lamborghini Forged Composite material instead is made from "millions of turbostratic carbon fibers" that are "forged" together to make a lighter crown, allowing Callaway to move the saved weight around in the driver's head. This material is actually visible in the head. (The Diablo Octane Tour model does not reveal a visual of the material to the user). The Forged Composite results in an overall weight saving, and coupled with Callaway's longest stock shaft ever (a 46-inch Grafalloy low-kick Project X), looks like it follows the trend of lighter, longer drivers yielding longer drives. Let's find out if it does.

Most Low-Handicappers Will Opt for Tour Model

The marketing campaign for the Diablo Octane driver touts 8 more yards of distance. Nice attention grabber - who doesn't want to be using one club less into the green? But real-world testing along with testing on a simulator showed the gains were harder to come by, and in some cases didn't come at all. A solid 1-handicapper tested Diablo Edge and Diablo Octane drivers with the same specs on a launch monitor. The longer shaft on the Octane did result in higher swing speeds and greater ball speed, but another result was more off-center hits and a decrease in average driving distance. That highly skilled 1-handicapper (who also is a recent state "Open" competitor) was losing between 5-8 yards with the Octane compared to the Diablo Edge.

It should be noted, however, that the 1-handicappers out there are more likely to opt for the Tour model. The results with the standard model and more aspirational golfers were more in line with Callaway's expectations.

3- to 10-Yard Gains for Mid-, High Handicappers

Testing showed the Diablo Octane is more likely to produce the results trumpeted by Callaway with mid- and high handicappers. A 13-handicap golfer and a 24-handicap golfer (one of those a "white-beard" retiree golfer) showed gains of between 3 and 10 yards versus their current (and standard 45-inch length) drivers. Maybe too scientific, but then "turbostratic" needed the science of a launch monitor to understand the advantage. Good news for all parties was that spin rates came down about 10-percent with the Diablo Octane, meaning greater roll upon landing is in the cards for this driver.

So, will you be first to hit in your group on each tee box after picking up the Callaway Diablo Octane driver? Will you be picking up another 8 yards over your present driver? That probably depends on the level of your game, but you'll definitely have more than a long shot with the good looking and performing Callaway Diablo Octane.