Gear: Callaway Epic Flash, Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers
Price: $529.99 with Project X EvenFlow Green, HZRDUS Smoke, or Mitsubishi Tensei Blue shafts and Golf Pride New Decade MulitCompound Align grip
Specs: Carbon-fiber crown and panels, adjustable sole weight and hosel. Available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees (standard); 9 or 10.5 degrees (Sub Zero)
Available: Feb. 1
Using a new face technology, Callaway aims to bring more ball speed and distance to every golfer, while an adjustable weight and hosel makes fine-tuning and fitting easier.
Many golf equipment makers have designed variable thickness faces in their drivers for the past several seasons, typically making them thicker in the center and thinner around the perimeter. The idea is that center-hits are already achieving maximum ball speed, while the thinner face in other areas protects ball speed on mis-hits.
For the new Epic Flash and Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers, Callaway engineers and designers taught a powerful computer how to design a driver face, a process called machine learning. The advantage of machine learning is the computer could test over 15,000 virtual prototypes to see which face could generate the most ball speed. Most human-designed faces typically have been updated and tested five or six times before being put into a club.
The result, the titanium Flash face, looks nothing like any other driver face on the inside. It has non-symmetric ridges and valleys, with thick portions next to very thin areas. Callaway said it delivers significantly more ball speed across a larger region than any other face Callaway has made. To ensure the faces are made precisely, they are forged, machined and laser-welded into place.
Like the original Epic driver released two years ago and last season’s Rogue drivers, the Epic Flash drivers were designed with JailBreak. The bars in the JailBreak system are directly behind the face and help make the front of the head stiff, so at impact the club deforms less and more energy is directed into the shot for extra distance.
Both Epic Flash drivers also have a carbon-fiber crown that weighs less than a titanium crown. This creates discretionary weight and lowers the center of gravity.
Much of the saved weight was put back in the form of a 16-gram moveable weight in the sole of the standard Epic Flash and a 12-gram weight in the sole of the Sub Zero version. Moving the weight allows players and fitters to create a draw or fade bias.
The OptiFit adjustable hosel allows each club’s loft to be increased or decreased by as many as 2 degrees.
The Epic Flash and the Epic Flash Sub Zero are both 460cc drivers. The standard model is larger from face to back, while the Sub Zero edition has a deeper face. The Sub Zero’s 2-gram front weight in the sole pulls the center of gravity more forward, resulting in a slightly lower launch and less spin.
In addition to the green and yellow trim, Callaway offers hundreds of color options through Callaway Customs on its website.