Callaway have unveiled new Epic Flash and Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers and fairway woods, which all feature the brand's latest AI-developed 'Flash Face' technology.
Callaway are making some big claims with their latest metalwoods, which all feature a brand new 'Flash Face' developed with the help of Aritficial Intellegence, Machine Learning and a $5million super computer to help golfers get more ball speed for more distance.
It's the first known use of AI in the golf equipment industry, and according to Callaway, it has created a driver face that's unlike anything that has gone before, producing the hottest driver face it thought possible, within the framework of the rules, to help golfers get both more ball speed and distance.
A new driver face design typically takes eight to ten iterations. Through Machine Learning their computers cycled through 15,000 face architecture iterations, learning from each one, before arriving at Flash Face.
"We've had to invent new processes for manufacturing and measurement," said Alan Hocknell, head of R&D at Callaway, "there are no easily measure flat surfaces – in addition to all the work to write software, so it's not at all clear to our competitors what on earth we did to arrive at this. And this face will not work in any other driver.
➤ Callaway Epic Flash Driver
➤ Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Driver
➤ Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
➤ Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Fairway Wood
➤ What is Epic Flash? Behind the AI Technology which developed Callaway's new driver face?
"The centre of the face is now the thinnest region of the face, not the thickest. 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."
How does it all work? Flash Face's unique, internal mapping consists of dozens of subtle ripples flowing from 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 cente region. That convention-defying accomplishment results in a significant ball speed boost for a noticeable distance increase when you make solid contact, helping make your longest drives go even longer.
Callaway’s new Epic Flash Driver features the new AI developed face technology, created by Callaway's new $5million super computer and machine learning.
The distinctive topography on the inner side of the Flash Face is forged from a special titanium and heat treated at 595 Celsius (1100F) for two hours to create a face that combines a low modulus measurement, for flexibility and speed, with excellent strength properties.
Apart from the Flash Face, Callaway’s 2019 driver has a suite of features the company says creates their most innovate and technically advanced drivers ever. Along with Jailbreak technology, which promotes fast, face-wide speed via two internal, hourglass-shaped bars connecting the crown to the sole, Epic Flash also has a new triaxial carbon fabric, called T2C, which has a tighter weave that allows weight to be moved from the crown and repositioned strategically in the head to create high MOI that promotes better distance and accuracy performance on mis-hits.
In addition to that, Adjustable Perimeter Weighting has a 16g sliding weight that can be easily positioned anywhere on the built-in track at the rear of the clubhead. The golfer can promote draws, fades or a straighter flight by positioning the weight in different places on the track.
Lofts: 9° / 10.5°
Stock shafts: Project X HZRDUS Smoke, Mitsubishi Tensei AV
Adjustable hosel: Yes
Loft change: -1/+2°
Callaway's Epic Flash Sub Zero driver comes with a package of technology which Callaway says delivers the ultimate combination of low-spin and high MOI in a driver for high launch.
Callaway’s “Sub Zero” drivers have been hugely popular with harder swingers who want to cut their spin numbers, as they have more weight forward which creates a high launch, but low spin.
The Epic Flash Sub Zero continues that theme, with a package of tech that Callaway says delivers the ultimate combination of low-spin and high MOI in a driver. This is also the first Sub Zero driver to include Adjustable Perimeter Weighting (APW) technology, consisting of a 12g sliding weight on a track located at the back of the head, to influence shot shape a lot or a little.
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
Callaway’s A.I. computer was presented with a whole new set of challenges when the team asked it to come with a new face for the Epic Flash fairway woods.
R&D boss Dr Alan Hocknell told us: "The Flash Face of the fairway looks completely different to the driver, but still embodies the same design principles.
"A fairway wood is a lot shallower than a driver, and the usage is different – you hit a bunch of shots off a tee that you might hit more centred, but shots from the fairway will be a little bit lower on the face. So we had to take all that into consideration.
"The result is a face that’s still hot from the centre, when you hit it off a tee, but even hotter from the key impact zone low in the face. “So unlike the driver, the thinnest area is low on the face, creating a lot of speed; the centre is relatively thin, too, so there’s sort a face within a face. We were challenged when we first saw it, but we prototyped it and it worked."
Like the Rogue fairways, Epic Flash features Jailbreak Technology connecting the crown to the sole, stabilising and stiffening those two parts and allowing the face to take on greater impact load to generate faster ball speeds.
But CEO Chip Brewer also wanted his top-line fairways to be adjustable, so Hocknell and his team delivered a new OptiFit hosel just for these woods in order to combine loft adjustment with Jailbreak and maintain the Rogue’s MOI and CG properties.
The Sub Zero version has all the same features, plus adjustable sole weights (interchangeable 16g and 2g). Installing the heavy weight in the front location promotes lower spin and a flatter trajectory; installing the heavy weight in the back promotes easier launch and a higher trajectory.
New Flash Face Technology And Carpenter Steel Face Cup For Fast Ball Speed
Callaway engineers applied learnings from Artificial Intelligence to create a new fairway
wood face design that promotes increased ball speed for longer distance.
Jailbreak Technology for Faster Ball Speed
Internal Jailbreak bars stiffen and stabilize the crown and sole, placing more impact load
on the face to promote faster ball speed.
Adjustable Sole Weighting to Control Launch, Spin & Trajectory
Switch weight positions (16g and 2g) between front and back to adjust launch, spin and
New OptiFit Hosel for Loft and Lie Adjustability
New, lighter OptiFit hosel design saves weight while offering a wide range of loft and lie
adjustability to dial in easier launch and differing flights. And the saved weight allows us
to combine Jailbreak and adjustability for the first time in a fairway wood.