What we say...
The Callaway Epic Max is a powerful fairway wood that's forgiving and easy to hit – what's not to like?
Alongside three new drivers for 2021, Callaway released two new fairway woods, the Callaway Epic Speed and Callaway Epic Max.
Callaway say the two new fairway woods represent a "fundamental shift in the fairway wood category", with fast set to get faster, long going to get longer, and straight going to get a lot straighter.
This is made possible, they say, by a big improvement to the 'Jailbreak' titanium bars that have sat behind the face of every Callaway driver since 2016, connecting the crown to the sole and stiffening the face to improve ball speeds.
For 2021, Callaway have managed to angle the two bars and spread them out, which creates higher ball speeds across more of the face.
The Callaway Epic MAX is designed to produce high ball speeds but add extra forgiveness, making a powerful fairway wood that is easy to hit.
The Epic MAX fairway wood features the same ball speed-boosting technology as its Epic Speed sibling, but with enhanced forgiveness thanks to an oversized head and a shallow face that makes it easy to launch.
It's also possible to dial in your preferred shot shape (or reduce the one you're fighting against) thanks to two interchangeable weights, one 2g and one 14g. Users can put the heavier weight in the rear for more forgiveness, or place it in the front for lower launch and spin.
It may not be quite as long as the Epic Speed (though it won't be far off), but for the majority of golfers who sometimes struggle with fairway woods and therefore want a little bit of assistance, the Epic Max will be a great option.
Verdict: Callaway Epic Max fairway wood
Just like the Epic drivers this year, we’d say many golfers will prefer the head shape of the lower MOI Speed fairway over the Max. But with our Fairway Wood Test data showing almost twice as much carry distance drop off (25 yards to 13) on off-centre hits with the Speed, realistically Max is the model most club golfers should be using.
The Max head is generally bigger all round than the Speed, and thanks to 14g and 2g sole weights, fitters can tailor launch and ball flight to how players want to see it. By switching the 14g weight between the front and back ports, extra forward mass was a really good option for our pro – adding seven yards of carry distance in the front port.
At lower speeds, by switching weight to the rear, an additional 600rpm in backspin and an extra three yards of height, plus a steeper descent angle, would all help keep shots
in the air for longer to maximise carry distance.
WATCH: Best 2021 Fairway Wood video
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