Callaway Mavrik Irons: Callaway's AI computer said 'put a different face in every iron'... so they did exactly that!
The Flash Face in Callaway's 2019 Epic Flash driver was a big home run for the brand, so it's no surprise that Callaway want to build on the tech for 2020 and their Mavrik irons.
Engineers realised the next big opportunity for artificial intelligence – after the new Mavrik woods – was iron faces. But it took a lot more effort than you might think.
Callaway had to teach their computer how different golfers typically impact iron shots... all of them, from a low-heel 4-iron to a high- toe 8. It means all three Mavrik irons have AI optimised faces. And we're not just talking faces optimised for each family. Callaway's engineers have optimised each iron in all three new sets; that's 27 different designs!
Callaway built their fitting knowledge into the computer and subsequently each new Mavrik iron design. And just like the Mavrik drivers, there are three new models to suit golfers – from scratch handicappers to super game improvers.
◆ Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate 95 (s), Project X Catalyst (g)
◆ 7-iron loft: 27°
Callaway's new Mavrik irons are designed to suit the vast majority of golfers.
The long irons are designed for launch and speed, the mid irons target speed and spin consistency while the short irons are optimised for spin and precision to promote pinpoint shot-making.
Callaway insist that thanks to the complexity of their newest irons, strong lofts are a necessity to deliver what's considered a "normal" ball flight. The standard iron has a 27° 7-iron (joint strongest in 2020), but Callaway say that's a one dimensional way to look at it. It needs strong lofts because Cup Face tech adds at least a degree of dynamic loft at impact, and the tungsten energy core is so good at positioning mass accurately it now flights strong-lofted irons very differently to traditional strong-lofted models.
◆ Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate 105 (s), Project X Catalyst (g)
◆ 7-iron loft: 30.5°
The Mavrik Pro irons have been developed with similar traits to the Sub Zero driver. Flash Cup face and a multi-piece urethane microsphere and tungsten weight bar change shape and size for each iron. The idea optimises the CG location, absorbs unwanted vibration and improves spin and launch.
Designed as a tour/player-sized iron, and even though the head is cast, thanks to AI, Callaway's engineers have dialled in how the new Flash Cup Face and body vibrates, so they've tuned impact frequencies to the same levels as a forged iron. The Pro is more compact, has a flatter lie angle and a thinner topline, all of which Callaway say gives better players workability and control. Tungsten weighting and urethane microsphere tech position the centre of gravity for player-preferred trajectories, spin rates and landing angles throughout the set.
◆ Stock shaft: KBS Max (s), Project X Catalyst (g)
◆ 7-iron loft: 30°
Just like the drivers Callaway have done some serious sound analysis while developing the Mavrik irons. Through their new AI computer, engineers have dialled each iron in to have its own sound. So where better players want a muted forged sound from the Pro model, the Mavrik Max targets specific frequencies to sound powerful.
Callaway’s easiest-to-launch iron. The heads are larger with extra offset, and there’s a lower centre of gravity for increased forgiveness. A 30° 7-iron means extra help flighting shots for maximum carry, for golfers who don’t quite have the swing speed to launch the stronger lofted standard Mavrik. Callaway say there’s a larger area of the face at the maximum rebound speed allowable by the rules, and you get more speed when shots are hit lower on the face (a trait of mid-high handicappers), which is a difficult trick to pull off.
First Hit: Callaway Mavrik Irons
It might sound bonkers creating 27 different faces for three different iron models, but Callaway insist the idea makes a big difference. It means the sweetspot can be positioned right where data and AI say golfers hit each particular iron, which makes huge sense.
We love how the standard Mavrik sits behind the ball, the improved sound is light years away from traditional loud fast face tech and the Pro model looks really sleek. If you've been put off strong-lofted irons, 2020 is the year to give them another look, as the latest tech really does make them very playable.
For £849 a set, Mavrik look like very reasonable value, too.