Callaway Epic and Epic Sub Zero drivers

Callaway GBB Epic driver

Callaway Epic and Epic Sub Zero drivers

Equipment

Callaway Epic and Epic Sub Zero drivers

When a driver is named Epic, performance expectations are set pretty high. But Callaway thinks it is onto something that could be a game changer by using several new technologies and materials.

The most interesting feature found in the 460cc Epic is hidden inside the head: a pair of 3-gram titanium bars directly behind the face that attach the crown to the sole. Callaway calls it Jailbreak technology. Evan Gibbs, Callaway’s senior director of metalwood research and development, said it is something engineers have worked on since the release of the Big Bertha Alpha driver. 

 

Callaway GBB Epic driver

Under the carbon composite crown, a pair of 3-gram titanium bars connect the sole and the crown of the GBB Epic driver.

 

“That driver had a composite tube for the Gravity Core that connected the crown and the sole,” Gibbs said. “We really noticed that something unique was going on. We didn’t fully understand it or where it would lead, but we knew that the clubhead was flexing in a unique way, so we started doing research to better understand the relationship between stiffness of the body and the compliance of the face. Jailbreak technology is really the culmination of that research.”

The titanium bars stiffen the body of the club, especially around the face, so at impact the hitting area flexes across a larger area and energy is transferred back into the ball more efficiently. That means golfers should expect to maximize ball speed across a larger area.

To create more discretionary weight and lower the Epic’s center of gravity, Callaway designed the crown using a single layer of a proprietary braided-carbon material. Weighing 9.7 grams, the Epic’s crown is 30 percent thinner than the forged-composite crowns Callaway used previously and 64 percent lighter than the titanium crown found in last season’s XR16 driver. Callaway also used the material, called Triaxial Carbon, in three sections of the sole to remove weight from the middle of the club.

A lot of the weight savings were reallocated into a 17-gram adjustable weight that slides inside a track on the back of the head. A similar system was in the Great Big Bertha driver, but that weight was only 10.5 grams. 

“The difference between the extreme positions in the track is about 450 rpm of sidespin and 21 yards of dispersion,” Gibbs said. “The Epic is our most draw-capable driver. It really helps players who are trying to minimize a slice or help to promote a draw, yet it can also be set up to create a neutral or a slightly fade-biased shot shape. “

Gibbs also noted the track itself is short, and by combining it with a heavier weight Callaway was able to increase the Epic’s moment of inertia to enhance forgiveness. And to improve aerodynamics, the Epic has a series of ridges on the crown near the seam where it meets the face.

For golfers who create a lot of spin, Callaway also made the Epic Sub Zero driver.

“Historically, low-spin drivers have been smaller in volume, lower in MOI and fade-biased,” Gibbs said. “They’ve targeted better players with higher swing speeds, but this driver is different.”

The 460cc Epic Sub Zero has the same Jailbreak technology found in the standard Epic, as well as the same type of titanium chassis enhanced by a carbon fiber crown and sole panels. While the standard Epic focuses on shot-shape control, the Sub Zero version has interchangeable 2- and 12-gram weights that help create higher and lower ball flights. Gibbs said that while it creates about 200 rpm less spin than the Big Bertha Alpha 816 driver, its total MOI is more than 40 percent greater.

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero driver

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero driver

“In fact, it has got a higher MOI than an XR16 or a Great Big Bertha, which makes this low-spin driver different from any in the past,” Gibbs said.

The Callaway Epic and Epic Sub Zero drivers should reach stores Jan. 27. The Epic will come standard with a Golf Pride New Decade Platinum grip and either a 40-gram Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Greenboard, a 50-gram Project X HZRDUS Green, a 60-gram Fujikura Pro Green or a 70-gram Aldila Rogue Max shaft for $499. The Epic Sub Zero comes standard with the Aldila Rogue Max for the same price.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home