Gear: Callaway Mavrik, Mavrik Sub Zero, Mavrik Max drivers
Price: $499 with Project X Even Flow Riptide, Aldila Rogue White or UST Mamiya Helium shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align grip
Specs: FS2S forged titanium face with carbon-fiber crown, adjustable hosel and moveable weights
Available: Jan. 23
In 2019, Callaway released the Epic Flash and Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers, clubs that featured hitting areas created by supercomputers that tested more than 15,000 face designs using artificial intelligence.
After investing in greater computing power, Callaway has tried to solve a thorny problem: How can they make a driver more forgiving and, at the same time, more aerodynamic? Their answer is designed into the new Callaway Mavrik, Mavrik Sub Zero and Mavrik Max drivers.
Callaway said the key to unlocking performance in the Mavrik drivers was making a face that delivers more ball speed and enhances forgiveness by protecting ball speed and spin rates on mis-hits more effectively. To achieve that, each Mavrik driver model’s face is slightly different, with thicker and thinner areas created by AI. And there is a different face for each loft of each driver. For example, not only is the Mavrik driver’s face different than the Mavrik Sub Zero face, the 9-degree Mavrik’s face is subtly different than the 10.5-degree Mavrik’s face.
Callaway said that by fine-tuning each face this way, the Mavrik drivers produce more ball speed on well-struck shots and improve performance on mis-hits to provide the stability that golfers typically associate with clubs that feature high moment of inertia.
With increased stability coming from the face instead of a low-and-back center of gravity, engineers were free to make the body of the Mavrik drivers more aerodynamic. Compared to last season’s Epic Flash, the sole now rises up more and the carbon-fiber crown is higher, so the club creates less drag on the downswing and allows golfers to swing it faster with the same amount of effort. Callaway said the Mavrik creates 68 percent less drag than the Rogue driver it replaces.
Callaway also wanted to push the limits of characteristic time tolerances to make the drivers as springy as possible, but it wanted to ensure the faces stay within the USGA and R&A’s limits throughout their lifespan. To do that, it opted to make the faces from an exotic material, FS2S titanium, that is lighter, stronger and more resilient.
To enhance the sound of the Mavrik drivers, designers turned again to AI. After studying thousands of combinations of internal rib structures, the computer revealed to Callaway the optimal combination. Inside the head, there is a rib in the toe and others near each weight port that make the sound of impact deeper.
The three Mavrik drivers feature carbon-fiber crowns, Jailbreak bars that stiffen the front of the body at impact and adjustable hosels that allow the stated loft to be increased or decreased by as many as 2 degrees. However, each model is designed for a different group of players.
The standard Mavrik should fit the greatest number of players, and it has a slight draw bias. The 460-cubic-centimeter head has a single 5-gram weight screw in the back of the sole, which also has the most prominent rise, making it the most aerodynamic. It is available in 9-degree, 10.5-degree and 12-degree versions.
The Mavrik Sub Zero has a 450cc head and two weight ports. When the 14-gram weight is in the front and the 2-gram weight is in the back, it creates less spin and a lower launch angle. When the heavier weight is in the back, it creates more spin and a higher launch. It is available in 9-degree and 10.5-degree heads.
The Mavrik Max, a 460cc club, has two weight ports, with one in the heel. When the 14-gram weight is placed there, it creates a large draw bias, but when that weight is in the back, it plays like a traditional high-MOI club with a low and deep center of gravity. The Mavrik Max is available in 9-degree, 10.5-degree and 12-degree versions.