Callaway Epic Speed and Epic MAX drivers and fairway woods unveiled

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The new range of Callaway Epic drivers includes Callaway's fastest driver ever, and their most forgiving.

The foundation of every Callaway driver launched since 2016 was a chance discovery.

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Callaway engineers were looking for a way to secure a 'Gravity Core' weight in the Great Big Bertha Alpha they were designing, which would mean the driver's centre of gravity could be adjusted to meet the individual golfer's needs. Their solution was to place two titanium bars behind the driver face, connecting the crown to the sole. 

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It wasn’t until Callaway’s boffins had finished making the Alpha and started testing that they realised those two titanium bars created significant gains in ball speed. At first, they weren't quite sure why it was having that effect, but Callaway R&D Chief Dr Alan Hocknell made it his mission to find out. 

He discovered that joining the two parts stiffens the body, which means the face is forced to take on more flex, creating more ball speed and distance.  

The new range of Callaway Epic drivers and fairway woods.

The idea was so effective it became the key technology behind not just the original Great Big Bertha Epic but also the Rogue, Epic Flash and Mavrik drivers, all of which featured the two hidden bars that went on to be called 'Jailbreak'. 

But now, with a few years of Jailbreak experience under their belts, Dr Hocknell and his team reckon they’ve come up with an even better idea. And this time around it’s called Speed Frame.  

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Just like Jailbreak, Speed Frame sits behind the driver face, stiffening the body.

Speed Frame features in all three of the new drivers and Callaway say it essentially takes Jailbreak to the next level. After looking at multiple ways of connecting the crown and sole with everything from extra bars and funky batwing shapes, Callaway have settled on a frame design that works with Flash Face to retain more energy, not just within the face but also over a larger area of it.

The idea works better than Jailbreak because it increases stiffness horizontally as well as vertically, whereas Jailbreak alone only worked vertically. That means the increases in ball speeds carry over to impacts across the driver face. 

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Callaway Epic drivers have titanium bars behind the face, helping to improve ball speed

Callaway say the new design is so good it reduces crown deflection by a further 20% over and above anything Jailbreak could achieve. That means golfers get faster ball speeds and more distance from their clubhead speed, hence the name Epic Speed.

Epic Speed is built on an equation that Callaway believe is going to make a profound impact on the drivers category. 

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Artificial Intelligence + Jailbreak technology + a new Speed Frame = more distance for every player.

Callaway say this breakthrough is the future of driver technology and about to change the industry forever.

Here's what to expect from the three models in the Callaway Epic Speed driver range:

Callaway Epic 2021 drivers

Callaway Epic Speed driver (aka The Fast One)

Price: £499 

Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12° 

Stock shaft options: Project X Cypher / Project X HZRDUS Smoke IM10 / Mitsubishi MMT 

Adjustable hosel: Yes (-1°+2°) 

Callaway Epic Speed driver

The new Epic range is all about speed, and this model is the fastest of the three, so that should tell you that it's pretty fast. It's likely to be between 0.8-1.5mph faster than the Epic MAX or Epic MAX LS. Given that every 1mph of clubhead speed equals roughly 3 yards in distance, that's not to be sniffed at. It's also impressive that Callaway have created the extra speed without simply reducing the head size, which was a classic way for manufacturers to create "fast" driver models. The Epic Speed features a full-size 460cc head; the extra speed is possible thanks to an advanced aerodynamic head construction that promotes less drag.

Callaway Epic Speed driver

But the Epic Speed's enhanced speed doesn't mean sacrifices elsewhere. Epic Speed is a direct replacement for the Callaway Epic Flash, and offers increased MOI (moment of inertia), which makes the clubhead more stable and less prone to twisting, helping to keep shots on target. That's thanks to a new, larger carbon crown and toe section, which frees up 16g of weight that Callaway have been able to relocate to improve MOI and help increase forgiveness. 

Golfers can expect slightly higher launching shots compared to the Callaway Mavrik, along with medium spin rates and a moderate draw bias (thanks to the carbon toe section). 

RELATED: Callaway Epic Speed driver – Full Review 

Callaway Epic MAX (aka The Forgiving One)

Price: £499 

Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12° 

Stock shaft options: Project X Cypher / Project X HZRDUS Smoke IM10   

Adjustable hosel: Yes (-1°+2°) 

Callaway Epic Max driver

While Epic Speed is the fastest of the three models, the Epic MAX is the most forgiving. In fact, Callaway say not only is the Epic MAX the most forgiving of their three new driver models, it's the most forgiving Epic ever made, which means it will be a fantastic option for many amateur golfers, particularly those who struggle with consistency and don't always find the middle of the face. 

A more elongated shape means the MAX head has a more rearward centre of gravity, so it boasts higher MOI numbers than the Epic Speed, making it more forgiving and promoting straighter drivers and tighter dispersion. 

Callaway Epic Max driver

The design is more aerodynamically efficient than last year's Callaway Mavrik MAX, which will help increase speeds. 

For golfers battling a slice, the Epic MAX will likely be the go-to option, thanks to a 17g sliding weight that can be used to create up to 20 yards of shot shape preference.  

RELATED: Callaway Epic MAX driver – Full Review 

Callaway Epic MAX LS (aka The Low Spin One)

Price: £499 

Lofts: 9° / 10.5° 

Stock shaft options: Mitsubishi MMT 

Adjustable hosel: Yes (-1°+2°) 

Callaway Epic Max LS driver

Sub Zero has been Callaway’s low spin driver offering for a few years, but the brand say things are shifting on tour, as players are less keen to chase super low spin at all costs. As a result, whereas Sub Zero models were previously designed to be ultra-low spin, the new Epic Max LS is designed to control spin performance in a much more rounded and complete way.    

Callaway have used tour player input to design the Epic Max LS to create 2600-2700rpm of backspin, which they feel is the optimal number. It means the Epic Max LS is more forgiving than previous Sub Zero models which were great when you pured them, but less forgiving on imperfect strikes where spin could actually drop too low. 

Callaway Epic Max LS driver

Aimed at better golfers, who are less likely to be battling a slice, the Epic Max LS is also the most fade-capable of the three drivers. A 13g sliding weight can be used to dial in up to 13 yards of shot shape preference. 

RELATED: Callaway Epic MAX LS driver – Full Review  

Callaway Epic Speed and Epic Max fairway woods

Alongside the three new drivers, Callaway are also releasing two new fairway woods, the Callaway Epic Speed and Callaway Epic Max. 

Here's what's on offer from each model.

Callaway Epic Speed fairway woods

Price: £299 

Lofts: 13.5° (3W+) / 15° (3W) / 16.5° (4W) / 18° (5W) / 21° (7W)

Stock shaft options: Project X Cypher / Project X Hzrdus Smoke IM10 / Mitsubishi MMT 

Adjustable hosel: Yes 

Callaway Epic Speed fairway woods

Callaway say that with the Epic Speed fairway woods, fast is going to get faster, long is going to get even longer, and straight is going to get a lot straighter. They claim to have set a new bar for ball speed technologies in the fairway woods category. 

How have they done it? 

The completely new Jailbreak system spreads and angles the Jailbreak blades which stiffens the body and allows the forged cup face to flex more, creating higher ball speeds across the face. 

Callaway Epic Speed fairway woods

High strength C300 Maraging Steel provides outstanding strength and flexibility while the Face Cup provides speed and spin consistency across the face.

The centre of gravity is placed forward in the head to create hot, penetrating ball flights with consistent spin levels.

Callaway Epic Speed fairway woods

RELATED: Callaway Epic Speed fairway woods – Full Review

Callaway Epic MAX fairway woods

Price: £299 

Lofts: 13.5° (3W+) / 15° (3W) / / 18° (HVN) / 21° (7W) / 23° (9W) / 25° (11W) 

Stock shaft options: Project X Cypher / Project X Hzrdus Smoke IM10  

Adjustable hosel: Yes 

Callaway Epic Max fairway woods

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. 

Callaway Epic Max fairway woods

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.