What we say...
Callaway's new Epic Flash Sub Zero Driver features new 'Flash Face' technology and adjustable perimeter weighting
Callaway’s “Sub Zero” drivers have been hugely popular with harder swingers who want to cut spin numbers, as they have more weight forward which creates a high launch, with low spin.
Callaway's Epic Flash Sub Zero driver continues that theme, with a package of tech that Callaway says delivers the ultimate combination of low-spin and high MOI in a driver.
Flash Face uses an entirely new method of face design to give golfers a remarkably hot face that delivers a boost in distance-enhancing ball speed in the face’s centre-region.
Developed with the help of Artificial Intelligence and “Machine Learning”, the Flash Face design is a drastic departure from any previous Callaway face technology.
Callaway’s R&D chief Alan Hocknell told TG: “Even if we humans had that much computing power in our brains, our own beliefs about what works would have constrained us from coming up with something as radical as this. That’s why it looks totally different to any driver face you’ve ever seen before.”
Read on for the rest of our Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Driver review.
Watch: Callaway Epic Flash vs Flash Sub Zero
Tested: Do I need a Low Spin driver?
Review: Our Verdict
The Sub Zero can cut backspin by 500rpm over the standard Epic Flash, hence you'll find it in plenty of hard hitting tour pro bags. Our data suggests the top five low spin drivers are really evenly matched when it comes to ball speed and carry.
In our book Flash, like M5 and the Ping G400 LST, is a brilliant mix of lower spin, without unduly hurting golfers in terms of forgiveness and ball speed protection.
The Epic Flash Sub Zero driver was the longest on test for our TG Top 50 pro Neil Wain.
Using his preferred AD Tour Shaft, the differences were notable. In comparison to the Epic Flash Driver, Neil had the same launch but a decrease in spin from 2930rpm to 2447rpm, resulting in an increase of 9 yards over the Epic Flash Driver.
In comparison to last year's Rogue driver, he produced an increase of 1.9mph ball speed and 5 yards carry distance.
WATCH: Should you be using a low spin driver?
Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero: Key Features
New Flash Face Technology for more ball speed
Callaway engineers used Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create a radically different face design to increase ball speed in the centre region of the face.
Flash Face’s unique, internal mapping consists of dozens of subtle ripples flowing from the heel to toe. Though the size, height and configuration of the ripples appears random, they in fact work together cohesively to elevate COR in the face’s centre region.
Flash Face’s sophisticated architecture was created by Artificial Intelligence – the first known instance of using A.I. in the golf equipment industry – and “Machine Learning”, a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” with data without being explicitly programmed.
Watch: Best 2019 low spin driver test
A new driver face design typically takes 8 - 10 versions. Through Machine Learning Callaway’s computers went through 15,000 iterations, learning from each one, before arriving at Flash Face.
The distinctive topography on the inner side of the Flash Face is forged from a special titanium and heat treated at 595° (1100F) for two hours to create a face that combines a low modulus measurement, for flexibility and speed, with excellent strength properties.
“The centre of the face is now the thinnest region of the face, not the thickest,” says Hocknell.
Watch: How it works - Callaway Epic Flash driver face
“It’s completely the reverse of some of the things you’ve seen from us. In a lot of our driver designs of the past we were limited by the rules about the ball speed from the middle, so we focused on ball speed when you don’t hit the centre. This face does that, but also delivers more ball speed from the centre of the face. So you’re best shots just got even better, which is something we haven’t been able to say for a while. You can illustrate the benefits of this driver very clearly because there’s a direct advantage in ball speed.”
WATCH: BEST OF 2020 - DRIVERS
Jailbreak Technology for faster ball speed
The Epic Flash and Epic Flash Sub Zero models also incorporates Callaway’s Jailbreak technology that promotes fast, face-wide speed. The two internal, hourglass-shaped Jailbreak bars connect the crown to the sole, stabilising and stiffening those two parts at impact, allowing the face to take on greater impact load to generate faster ball speed.
Together, Flash Face and Jailbreak make the Epic Flash one of the most innovative and technologically advanced drivers in Callaway history.
Adjustable Perimeter Weighting for Control
This is also the first Sub Zero driver to include Callaway’s Adjustable Perimeter Weighting (APW) technology. It consists of a 12g sliding weight which has been repositioned on a track located at the back of the head to give golfers the power to easily promote draws, fades or a straighter flight.
Golfers can influence shot shape a lot or a little by positioning the weight at different points along the track. The closer you position the weight to the heel, the more draw-bias; the closer it is to the toe, the more fade-bias.
Additionally, a visible weight is permanently embedded forward in the sole, to pull the CG lower and forward to reduce spin. Heavier or lighter weights can be installed in production to achieve different swingweights requested through custom ordering.
High MOI / low spin head design
Advanced head shape and internal weighting create a rare combination of high MOI and low spin in a player’s driver, resulting in more forgiveness and longer distance.