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Callaway Strata Review: A Good Choice For Beginner Golfers?

Thinking about buying Callaway Strata golf clubs, but not sure if they’re right for you?

In this Callaway Strata review we cover everything you need to know to make your decision.

Are Strata golf clubs actually made by Callaway?

Let’s get this out of the way first.

There’s some debate about whether Strata are actually made by Callaway.

And as far as we can tell, the answer is… they’re not. They’re just distributed by Callaway.

But, on a positive note, Callaway is very protective of their golf brand, and the exceptional golf clubs associated with it.

Bottom line: they wouldn’t distribute Strata clubs if they weren’t happy with the quality.

And as Strata is proudly displayed on Callway’s website, advertised as “Maximum Performance Right Out Of The Box”…

callaway website

…it’s safe to assume that Strata is a brand that Callaway is happy to have associated with their company.

So while you won’t get a Callaway logo on your clubs, the fact that Callaway advertise, sell, and distribute Strata should give you some comfort.

But if you really want a Callaway logo on an affordable set of golf clubs, then you might want to look at Callaway Edge instead.

Who are Callaway’s Strata Golf Clubs for?

Let’s get something else out the way. While Callaway Strata are fantastic golf clubs for the price, you do get what you pay for.

And at a fraction of the price of Callaway’s premium golf clubs (such as their latest Mavrik range), you’re going to have to accept that the quality isn’t going to be quite up to the same standard.

Which means that they’re generally going to be most suited to beginner golfers.

And if you’re starting out in the game, or are an occasional player looking to upgrade from an old second hand set, then you won’t find a better set of golf clubs at this price point.

On the other hand, if you’re a more skilled player, but just need an affordable set of golf clubs you might be better served looking at used golf clubs on eBay. You’ll normally be able to pick up a set of older Ping irons (like the excellent G20s) for a couple of hundred dollars. Although admittedly by the time you add a driver, wedge, putter and bag, you’ll still probably be a little over what you would pay for a brand new set of Strata clubs.

Long story short:

We’re not here to tell you these are the greatest golf clubs in the world. But if you’re dipping your toes into golf, or are looking to upgrade from an old set of second hand clubs, then they’re an excellent choice.

What’s in the bag?

So now let’s take a closer look at the clubs themselves.

You’ve got a couple of different purchase options. Their sets are a little oddly named, as “12 piece”, “14 piece”, and “16 piece” suggests that’s the number of clubs you’ll get.

In each case however… it’s not.

In the “12 piece” Strata set you’ll get:

Driver, 3 wood, 5 hybrid, 6, 7, 8, 9 iron, pitching wedge, and a putter (9 clubs)

In the “14 piece” Strata set you’ll get:

Driver, 3 wood, 5 hybrid, 6, 7, 8, 9 iron, pitching wedge, sand wedge, and a putter (10 clubs – you’re getting a sand wedge)

And in the “16 piece” Strata set you’ll get:

Driver, 3 wood, 4 hybrid, 5 hybrid, 6, 7, 8, 9 iron, pitching wedge, sand wedge, and a putter (11 clubs – you’re getting a sand wedge and a 4 hybrid)

Which is fine to be honest. Whichever set you choose you’ll get all the clubs you need for now (if you really want you could buy a separate wedge). So we feel Callaway (or Strata?) should have been a little more transparent in their naming.

If you’re wondering, the extra “pieces” are not clubs, they’re the stand bag (in all cases), and head covers (in varying numbers).

So now let’s take a closer look at the clubs themselves.

Callaway Strata Driver

callaway strata driver

The first thing we noted about the Callaway Strata driver is the big “1” plastered on the site. A bit old school (yes, we can remember calling them 1 woods) and we kind of like it.

But cosmetics aside, what are you getting?

First up, you’re getting a 460cc head, which is the large driver head size you’ll see in most modern clubs. Some still refer to it as “oversized”, but these days 460cc is just standard.

Sidenote: we did chuckle at some other reviews (we won’t point fingers) going on about the driver head being “massive” or “gigantic”. It’s neither. It’s standard driver size. Any bigger would be illegal for tournament play.

Moving on…

The driver has a titanium head, and a large sweet spot for extra forgiveness.

The titanium head is a good sign here, as it’s what most more expensive drivers are made from and is lighter (read faster) than steel.

Loft (non adjustable) is set at 12 degrees. We’re happy to see this as more loft = more backspin (higher launch) and less sidespin (tighter dispersion). So that’s going to be perfect for most beginner golfers and higher handicappers.

Tip: if you’re launching your driver too high, you might be hitting down too much. Try moving the ball up in your stance and hitting up more. That will bring down the backspin and give you a more optimal launch angle. Most pros hit down on their drivers, but us mere mortals should be hitting up.

All in, a nice big (but not “massive”) confidence inspiring driver, with a large sweetspot to maximize forgiveness on off center hits. Hit it well and you’ll hit it far.

Callaway Strata Fairway Wood

callaway strata 3 wood

You’ll get one fairway wood in your Callaway Strata set, specifically a 3 wood.

Unlike drivers there’s generally a bit more variation when it comes to the size of 3 wood heads, and we’d say that the Strata 3 wood is on the larger side. Which should give you the confidence that you’ll be able to get it up in the air from the short stuff.

Loft on the 3 wood is set at 15 degrees. To be honest, we’d like to have seen this at maybe 16 degrees, but the large head and forgiveness should balance out the lower loft a bit.

Weighing in at 351 grams, the Callaway Strata 3 wood is nice and lightweight, which will help slower swingers get a little more zip.

And if you plan on using your 3 wood from the tee, again the larger head, should help with tee box jitters.

Callaway Strata Hybrids

callaway strata hybrid

As Callaway Strata is designed for beginners and high handicappers, it’s no surprise that the set forgoes long irons and swaps in a hybrid (or two).

You’ll get a 5 hybrid (replacing a 5 iron) with all three sets (12, 14, and 16), and an additional 4 hybrid (replacing a 4 iron) with the 16 piece set.

Loft on the 4 hybrid is set at 22 degrees, while the 5 hybrid has a loft of 25 degrees.

Unsurprisingly Strata’s hybrids are designed to be easy to hit, and for long approach shots (or even from the tee on tight fairways) they’ll serve you well.

Callaway Strata Irons

callaway strata irons

Moving onto the irons, and again they’re designed to get your ball up in the air, with a high level of forgiveness on off center hits.

They’re never going to be as forgiving as the premium clubs (like Callaway’s Mavrik), but if you’ve been gaming older clubs (or heaven forbid blades) you’ll notice the difference.

And as I mentioned blades, I should probably confirm that Callaway’s Strata Irons are indeed cavity backs. The cavity seems a little shallower than what we’ve seen on other beginner golf clubs from the likes of Wilson, and to our eyes that looks a little neater at address.

These are very much game improvement irons and are designed to minimize curve. So don’t expect huge workability. But let’s be honest, most of us would take a straight(ish) ball flight every day of the week. You might not be able to hook it round the tree with ease, but the straighter flight should ensure you’re having to hit that shot less often anyway!

Callaway’s Strata irons are made from stainless steel, with lofts running from 28 degrees on the 6 iron, up to 40 degrees on the 9 iron.

The wedges (PW and sand) are really a continuation of the irons here (same cavity back design) so we won’t cover them separately. But we were surprised to see that the “sand wedge” has a loft of 60 degrees, which to be honest doesn’t really make it a sand wedge (we’d expect a 52 or 54 degree loft there).

And that does leave a rather large gap between the PW (44 degrees) and the SW (60 degrees). So you’ll probably want to practice your half wedges. But on the positive side, if you go for the 14 or 16 piece set (with the sand wedge) you’ll have more shot options around the green. So horses for courses we guess.

Callaway Strata Putter

callaway strata putter

The included putter is reasonably no-frills, but is mallet style (which we prefer) and has a visual alignment aid to help you line up your putts.

It’s going to be fine for getting you playing golf, but it might be the club you think about swapping out first as you move from beginner golfer to intermediate.

After all, if you’re shooting somewhere around 90, you’re going to be using your putter for at least a third of your shots.

Short story: the putter is fine for beginner golfers, but unless you love it (every golfer is different) you might want to try out different putters in the future to find out which is best for you. Becoming a better putter is the quickest way to lower your scores.

What else is included?

callaway strata stand bag

With all sets, you’ll get a stand bag. It’s on the cheaper side, so don’t expect fantastic waterproofing, and if you’re storing valuables in this bag (like your phone) then you might want to invest in a separate dry bag to keep them in.

The good news is there’s plenty of storage space on the bag, with 2 zip pockets for balls and tees, and large compartments on each side.

Basically, it’s not the greatest golf bag in the world. But as a golf bag can easily set you back $100 or so on its own, it’s around the quality we would expect (considering it’s basically free).

You’ll also get head covers for your driver, 3 wood, and hybrid(s).

Any negatives?

So if you’re a beginner golfer, the Callaway Strata set is going to be a great choice. But let’s have a quick look at the potential downsides.

Firstly, it’s a set of golf clubs that you might quickly outgrow as you improve. Either because you want more workability with your irons, or are looking for that little bit of extra distance you get in the more expensive clubs. But we can balance that out really with the fact that this is a ridiculously affordable set of golf clubs. And you’ll also be able to trade them in (or sell them) when/if you upgrade. So it’s no biggy.

Secondly, as we already mentioned we don’t like the naming here. It’s not a “12 piece” set, it’s a “9 piece” set. It’s not a “16 piece set”, it’s a “12 piece set”. We believe this could cause confusion/disappointment to some purchasers. And to clarify, it’s not the lack of clubs that’s the issue (you get plenty) it’s just the way they are marketed. But as you’ve read this review, you know exactly what you’re getting, so there will be no surprises when you open the box.

Finally, let’s address the potential deal breaker (and why it shouldn’t be). We’ve noticed a couple of reviews that mention that the driver broke after not a lot of use.

The first thing we should point out is that there are only a small number of these reports across thousands of purchases.

But the second, and more important thing we have to say is that this can happen with ANY driver. I’ve personally snapped the head off a $600 Ping G400. How did it happen? A bad swing, where I came down way to steep and slammed the clubhead into the ground.

And let’s be honest (if a little harsh). As Callaway Strata is aimed at beginner golfers, there are probably a higher than average number of “bad swings” being put on the golf ball. Basically if you slam a driver into the ground at anywhere from 70-120mph, it’s got a chance of breaking. No matter how expensive it is.

So while exercising caution, we’d not be too concerned here either.

Now let’s answer the big question.

Should you buy Callaway Strata golf clubs?

With the potential downsides out the way, let’s get to the crux: are Callaway Strata right for you?

Our opinion: if you’re a beginner golfer, or even a higher handicap looking to upgrade, then yes, Callaway Strata are going to be a solid choice.

They’re not the greatest golf clubs in the world. But for the money, they are a solid set of golf clubs that will help you either get you started, or improve your game.

And the final thing we would say here is this:

You searched for a Callaway Strata review (or similar) as you were seriously thinking about purchasing them. In fact, you’ve probably already read several reviews. So if the golfer above sounds like you (beginner, or high handicapper) and Callaway Strata fits your budget, then you should just go here right now and buy them.

Why do we say that? Because we’re golf nuts just like you. And when we’re looking for equipment we’ll tend to read every review under the sun.

But in this case, as Callaway Strata are so popular, we’ve found a lot of reviews that tend to go overboard on their quality. We’ve not done that. We’ve been honest about the good and the bad so you know exactly what to expect.

So we wouldn’t waste another half an hour googling. You know what you need to know.

And we’d highly recommend either going here and buying them, or having a read at our Callaway Edge review (a level up in quality, slightly higher price point, but still in the “affordable” category).

Either way, enjoy your new clubs, and see you on the course!

Should you buy Callaway Strata golf clubs?
  • Forgiveness
  • Distance
  • Ease of launch
  • Value for money
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Summary

Are Callaway Strata right for you? If you’re a beginner golfer, or even a higher handicap looking to upgrade, then yes, Callaway Strata are going to be a solid choice.

About David McSweeney

David is one of the founders of Golfer Logic, and on a mission to improve his swing, while sharing advice, tips and "eureka!" moments with the GL community.

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4 thoughts on “Callaway Strata Review: A Good Choice For Beginner Golfers?”

  1. I just wanted to say that I bought these clubs recently. Also, I really enjoyed this review! You were honest and straight forward and helped me justify my purchase! Great article and review.

    Reply
  2. Thank you for this review. I just took up the game at the age of 53 and was very nervous about buying clubs since I knew nothing about them. This review gave me the confidence that made me feel comfortable purchasing them.

    I can’t speak to how good they are, because I really don’t know enough and don’t have much to compare them to. Besides, I’m quite confident that regardless, until I get better my clubs won’t be the problem. I am sure they will serve me well until my game warrants an upgrade.

    Reply

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