Callaway Epic, Epic Pro Irons

Callaway Epic Pro and Epic irons Callaway Golf

Callaway Epic, Epic Pro Irons

Equipment

Callaway Epic, Epic Pro Irons

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On the heels of the successful launch of the GBB Callaway Epic and GBB Epic Sub Zero drivers, Callaway has announced the release of the new Epic and Epic Pro irons.

In many cases, manufacturers create a standard version of an iron, then make a better-player version of it by thinning the topline and sole, reducing the offset and taking out distance-enhancing technologies. But Callaway began this project by designing the Epic Pro first. The irons will cost $2,000 for a set of eight with steel shafts, offering what Callaway calls several new technologies to greatly enhance performance.

At its heart are three key design features, the first being a milled, variable-thickness cup-face hitting area. Instead of being a flat piece of metal, the edges of the face extend back so the hitting area can bend and flex more efficiently at impact. That helps create more ball speed and distance. Callaway used cup faces before, most recently in the Steelhead XR and the Big Bertha OS irons.

Callaway said that to make the face perform even better, the chassis has internal support beams that link the sole and the topline. Callaway calls the design an Exo-Cage, and it is extremely light. Even the transition area where the hosel blends into the face is hollow to save weight.

Callaway Epic Pro iron

Callaway Epic Pro irons have a weight-saving Exo-Cage body and cup face. (Callaway Golf)

“That’s a first for us,” said Alan Hocknell, senior vice president of research and development for Callaway. “It has something to do with the way that we build this iron in two pieces. That allows us to gain access to that part of the head that is normally solid steel. We can hollow that out because we build the iron in two pieces.”

In a Callaway Apex iron, that area alone weighs about 61 grams, Hocknell said, but in the Epic Pro it is just 38 grams. In the 3- through 8-irons the Exo-Cage represents an average of just 43 percent of the total weight of each head, yet it stiffens the areas of the head that support the face.

“The added stiffness of the body makes the face cup work harder,” Hocknell said. “It flexes more during impact, and that allows us to generate more ball speed.”

Callaway Epic Pro irons

Callaway Epic Pro irons. (Callaway Golf)

After Hocknell and his team created a highly responsive face and saved significant weight in the body, they repurposed the discretionary weight in each head in the form of an internally positioned, tungsten-infused alloy.

“That weighting element is an alloy that is designed specifically for each iron in the set,” Hocknell said. “We can do that because we are mixing steel and tungsten together starting in a powder form, and we can choose the ratio when we put the two together.”

After the powders are mixed and baked in an oven at 2,500 degrees for 51 hours, they are formed into the exact shape required for each iron using a technique called metal-injection molding.

In the long irons the weights are lower in the heads to lower the center of gravity and make hitting high shots easier. Gradually the weight rises through the set, which raises the center of gravity progressively in the short irons to promote spin and control.

“We have not used this technique before, but we had to go to these extremes in order to get the amount of weight movement that we needed in the small format of a ‘Pro’-shaped iron,” Hocknell said.

Callaway Epic irons

Callaway Epic irons. (Callaway Golf)

The standard Epic irons have the same Exo-Cage body design, cup face and internal weighting, and they feature slightly larger faces and sole widths. The standard Epic also has more offset and stronger lofts.

The Epic Pro and Epic irons will be available June 16 and come standard with Project X LZ steel shafts and New Decade Platinum grips for $250 each or with UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts $280 each.

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