Club: Callaway GBB Epic Star
Price: $699.99 with Mitsubishi Rayon Grand Bassara graphite shaft
Specs: 45.5 inches long with titanium and carbon-fiber head and sliding weight. 10.5 and 12 degrees
In-store date: Sept. 29
Callaway designed this driver with extremely light components to give slower-swinging golfers more clubhead speed and carry distance.
Callaway released the original GBB Epic driver in the United States in January, and the company made a slightly different model specifically for the Japanese market called Epic Star and released it at the same time. Now that club has come to America.
“There is a niche of players that are looking for, and well-fitted to, that Japanese spec,” said David Neville, Callaway’s senior director of brand management. “They really like the lighter weight, and that was the impetus for bringing this driver out.”
The Epic Star’s head is made from lightweight titanium, and the crown and several areas in the sole are made using a triaxial carbon fiber that is significantly lighter. The crown weighs just 9.7 grams. A pair of titanium posts, which Callaway calls Jailbreak Technology, extends from the sole to the crown inside the head behind the face, and they help stiffen the body at impact. That helps broaden the sweetspot and protect ball speed across a larger area.
Like the original Epic, this club has a sliding weight in the back that allows golfers to create a draw or a fade bias, but the Epic Star’s weight is 11 grams instead of 17 grams.
Another difference: Unlike the original GBB Epic, the GBB Epic Star does not have an adjustable hosel. Going with a bonded hosel saved weight, and Callaway believed players who would be ideally suited for the GBB Epic Star are less likely to adjust the hosel.
The GBB Epic Star comes standard with the first sub-40-gram shaft Callaway has ever offered, the Mitsubishi Rayon Grand Bassara. It weighs 39 grams, and combined with the lighter head and the narrow-diameter, 41-gram Golf Pride J200 grip, brings the Epic Star’s total weight to about 283 grams. In theory, a club that light should allow slower-swinging players to boost clubhead speed for more distance.