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Equipment

Callaway’s new high-end Epic, Epic Pro irons and hybrids

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How does Callaway follow up the most popular new drivers on the market? It introduces a set of players irons built like game-improvement irons with never-before-seen technology, of course.

With its new Epic and Epic Pro irons, Callaway is introducing a new weighting system that starts with tungsten-powder pellets to dial in the performance and feel of each iron. It’s also bringing more distance and forgiveness into Pro-style irons (re: smaller frames, toplines and sole widths), helping the Epic Pro irons create more ball speed than the company’s popular Apex CF ’16 irons.

It’s no accident that irons called “Epic” are introducing new technology to the world of golf clubs. With its GBB Epic and GBB Epic Sub Zero drivers, Callaway gave the golfing world “Jailbreak,” or two titanium rods that connected the crown and the sole to produce more ball speed and overall distance.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Callaway’s Epic irons

Discussion: See Callaway’s Epic iron in hand photos and comparison pics with other irons

EXOCage

Like Callaway’s Big Bertha irons, the Epic and Epic Pro irons use Callaway’s Exo-Cage design.

For the irons also bearing the Epic name, Hocknell and a team of 70 or more engineers had no boundaries or budget to create game-changing irons. Hocknell’s goal was to create a Pro iron with distance-enhancing technologies. As such, “Doc’s Irons,” as the Pro irons were referred to internally at Callaway, were given Face Cups and an “Exo Cage” steel structure (pictured above) to support the Face Cups. While Callaway has used Face Cups to increase ball speeds in its metal woods and game-improvement irons, it has never before added the technology to a set of players irons like the Epic Pro.

Epic Pro Irons Gallery

The Epic Pro irons also employ a tungsten-steel weighting system that yields greater control over where center of gravity is placed inside each iron. The weights start as tungsten and steel powders, which are then cooked for 51 hours at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit before they’re injection molded into the center of the irons. The long irons use the intricately-shaped weights that are positioned low and toe-ward in the heads to influence a higher ball flight, while the shorter irons have the weights placed higher in the heads to encourage more spin, control and workability. This means each individual iron has a specialized center of gravity that plays to the needs of that iron.

TungstenWeighting

This weighting system also allows Callaway to control the weight of the heads. The company can make the club heads up to 5 grams heavier or lighter depending on a golfer’s needs, which gives consumers the same head-weight options as Callaway’s Tour players, the company says.

HoselThe two-piece structured irons also have a hosel that weighs nearly 30 grams less than the Apex 2016 irons. Eliminating weight from the hosel allowed Callaway to use that weight more efficiently, and helped to build up a stronger Exo Cage backbone.

The result of the new design is 0.5 mph of added ball speed compared to the Callaway Apex irons, according to Callaway, which are widely considered one of the longest-flying game-improvement irons available. As a reminder, the Epic Pro irons are more of a players irons, making those ball speeds quite impressive.

Epic Irons Gallery

Although the original intent of Hocknell’s design was for a Pro-style iron, he asked himself “What would happen if you enlarged the size?” Thus, the Epic game-improvement irons were birthed. The Epic irons have the same Exo Cage and tungsten-infused weight system that the Epic Pro irons utilize, except they have more offset, wide soles, larger club faces and slightly stronger lofts. Golfers can expect these irons to be a half-club longer than Callaway’s Apex irons, according to Callaway. They will suit the fancy of golfers who need a bit more forgiveness and distance than the Epic Pro offering.

The Epic and Epic Pro irons will sell for $250 apiece with steel shafts and $280 each with graphite shafts. If those price tags shock you — and we don’t blame you if they do — welcome to the current state of the market where high-end irons are more common than ever.

Epic Hybrid Gallery

To round out the line of Epic clubs, Callaway is also introducing Epic hybrids that use the same technologies as Epic fairway woods. That’s to say they have lightweight, carbon crowns and the company’s Face Cup technology to produce distance and forgiveness. They’re available for $279.99 each in 2, 3, 4 and 5 hybrid options.

Epic, Epic Pro and Epic hybrids will be available in stores and through Callaway’s website June 16.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Callaway’s Epic irons

Discussion: See Callaway’s Epic iron in hand photos and comparison pics with other irons

 

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

65 Comments

65 Comments

  1. John Krug

    Aug 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Why does the 2 hybrid have a loft of 18 degrees instead of 16 degrees?

  2. Mikee

    Jun 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I hit the new Epic CF17 last night. I was impressed. They don’t look great but………numbers don’t lie!

  3. TeeBone

    Jun 8, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Congratulations…your first post that made sense!

  4. TeeBone

    Jun 8, 2017 at 2:56 am

    “No boundaries or budget”? Ahh, the “PXG Effect”. $250 – 280 per iron? Ahh, the “PXG effect”. If the herd didn’t still think they can buy a game, these ridiculous prices wouldn’t fly.

  5. cray

    May 25, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Guys like you are boring. Hate to hate. First tee baby. My 250 3 iron down the center with high flight will be nice as you bang your 200 straight down the center.

  6. Lob Wedge

    May 25, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Dear Callaway,

    Congrats on picking up the Taylormade Marketing department.

  7. KK

    May 24, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    So all of these golf pioneers were just lying crooks cheating uninformed golfers: Ping with their Eye2 irons, Callaway with their Big Bertha drivers, TaylorMade with their R drivers, Vokey with his wedges. Right. I see your brilliance. I really do.

  8. Dave R

    May 24, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Tom you are right on well said. Hope some one in the golf market understands and starts to listen. Seems the billionaire is the one calling the shots with his screws in the clubs, the other companies just jumping on board . What’s the limit the market will bear? Only time will tell. I’ll continue to hack with my cheap 5 year discounted mizuno. They still work sometimes.

  9. Tom54

    May 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    $250 a club? What are they thinking when they plop this price on ? A nice set of irons might be worth $1200-1400 Even at that price it’s up there. Good irons last several years with proper care and grip changes. Only problem nowadays is if you’ve got a nice set for couple of years it is now 3-4 models old and no longer relevant. Let’s face it all clubs are maxed out technology wise so all they are doing is a cosmetic change here and there but you’ve just got to have it. Best way to go is wait 6 months and get today’s hot item for a fraction of the cost. I believe they have not found the holy grail club if it has to be changed twice a year.

  10. dcorun

    May 24, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I’m not a hater of any golf company but, I just don’t understand what’s going on. They say the game is going in the tank and then can’t understand why. People may think the economy is getting better but, $2000 for a set of irons better? As a previous member posted, practice and getting some lessons will help more than any club you buy. They have a driverless car but, haven’t invented the golf club that swings for you. What they need is another category for clubs.

    Players Clubs
    Game Improvement Clubs
    Super Game Improvement Clubs
    I HAVE MONEY TO BURN CLUBs.

  11. King of Carlsbad

    May 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Seem fantastic. Same haters had Callaway going out of business years ago.

    • Me

      May 24, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      It wasn’t haters, Callaway was practically a penny stock a few years ago. Poor distribution, 100s laid off, way over inventoried, low demand, marketing was awful, and retail prices were falling. Speculation was Nike was ready to pounce and probably should have. Nothing to do with hatred, just a grim reality of business.

  12. Dave R

    May 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Really $250.00 a club COM ON BOYS ? ONLY THE RICH PLAY GOLF IN THE FURTURE!!!!!!!! . Thought we were trying to promote the game not get rid of it.

  13. Joro

    May 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

    They are for people with way more money than a game. They are just continuing on their quest to buy a better game. Find a good teacher instead. You will not see very many real players with these, at least after a month. Part of their contract may require playing them for a while, but then back to the Gamers. Just another marketing scam for a production Club.

  14. MySlice

    May 24, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I guess in keeping with tradition, they HAD to release them but they are definitely ugly. Someone will like them im sure.

  15. Matt

    May 24, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Wow, those irons are really fugly. 70 engineers but obviously none with a good eye.

  16. Judge mental

    May 24, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Golf clubs for rich kids

  17. Mat

    May 24, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Even
    Phil
    Is
    Cringing

  18. Mat

    May 24, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Embodied
    PXG
    In
    China

  19. Mat

    May 24, 2017 at 1:41 am

    Engineering
    Poor;
    Insane
    Cost

  20. tlmcik

    May 23, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Rube Goldberg would be proud.

  21. TWShoot67

    May 23, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I just find it hilarious that they are trying to sell us on SEVENTY I mean over SEVENTY engineers have worked on this aeronautical design. to get 0.5 mph increased ball speeds. And will that mean that crazy ECO Cage frame be Casted or forged? CNC’d? All this cost must be paying for those over 70 engineers. lol. I guess you really can’t blame them because if you listen to PXG they are killing it with a one of a kind tech, that’s why I see at least 1-2 sets being sold every week in the BST ( because the owners are so happy with this product). I see the same thing happening here with this Callaway product. They’re betting on those individuals that have that big bank account who still thinks its better to spend thousands of dollars on high end clubs then to buy lessons. As hard work and dedication is just that hard. It’s easier to try a hopefully buy a game. Have fun boys. all of this wonderful tech and still amateur golfers scores are no better then when they went out and picked up 200.00 sets of irons. Now they pay 2,000.00 a set and still can’t break a 100. I think maybe Callaway has too many engineers at one company to design a set of clubs.

  22. Mark

    May 23, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Are those the new RBZ irons?

  23. MrPoopoo

    May 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    hmm… Epic Ugly from a decal/graphics side, but at least they look pretty good from address… which is more important anyway.

    Better players don’t care about ball speed on irons. Distance control, consistency and workability are more important. Trajectory is important, but that can be adjusted with shaft fittings.

  24. Eric B

    May 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Lol cast clubs at Japanese forged prices. FoH Callaway.

  25. Duk Koo Kim

    May 23, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    He said “Nickent!” Great call!!

  26. Sam

    May 23, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    These irons are just compact hybrids. With Callaway’s reputation for quality, you’re going to get some real heaters that fly 20 yards past the green

  27. John

    May 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Yes, golfers are looking for GI irons that look like players irons. Like Ping I200. Now those are some nice looking irons.

  28. AceW7Iron

    May 23, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Yep..Im die-hard in the prime of my buying life but these are outside the boundary. I did reach for the Epic driver used off the Bay but $280 for just 1 iron? Off the hizzy…
    Im out… Enjoy them Gates & Company

  29. brian

    May 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    haha, I wouldn’t bag those ugly sticks for $800 a set, let alone $2k. Good luck with that, Callaway.

  30. Joey5Picks

    May 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Their target market: people with more money than sense.

  31. Bob Jacobs

    May 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I guess their figuring that PXG irons go for a ton of money, so what they heck, let’s go for it!! Silly

    I just dont get why these manufacturers dont go for a cleaner look all around. Also who came up with this incredibly gross green color theme?? I own an Epic and love it, but certainly not from an aesthetics standpoint.

    C’mon guys, give us less marketing, labels and phony tech looking stuff on the outside of the club!!

  32. Minnesota golfer

    May 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    It’s ridiculous the lofts of the Epic Irons are even stronger (lower number) than Apex cf16 irons. Definitely game improvement irons. PASS.

  33. alexdub

    May 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Lolz. $2k for face cups. I bet these are no different than the XR Pros. Callaway is doing is their own litmus market test for a higher price point — something akin to what Titleist did with the C16 line.

    • LH

      May 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      You mean no different to the original Fusions.

  34. Steve

    May 23, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Titleist sold their full stock of C16 irons so Callaway jumps on the bandwagon.

    In 2 years the “standard” set of irons will cost $1500.

  35. Prut

    May 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

    They have Nickent look to them.

  36. Dat

    May 23, 2017 at 10:25 am

    “If those price tags shock you — and we don’t blame you if they do — welcome to the current state of the market where high-end irons are more common than ever.”

    The prices don’t shock me at all. Especially from a cheesy marketing company like Callaway Golf – which is exactly that. Their clubs, aside from the Rory MB protos, are purely built on technology that is over a decade old in new skin and fancy graphics. The market will only bear this for so long; so take advantage while you can, Callaway. Ride is about to end. Golf is in for a rude awakening when these clubs fizzle at retail. Everyone saying, “I told you so” is going to be correct here. Most players want a set of irons at $1000 or less, not $2000 or more.

    • Vanessa Carlysle

      May 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      +1000

      The last two announcements on WRX from Callaway/Odyssey have been embarrassing.
      1. The red putters – copied exact color from TM – Pathetic
      2. High Price, Ugly look Irons – copied idea from PXG – Pathetic

      Would like to see more imagination, innovation and origination from this company, but not going to hold my breath

    • setter02

      May 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Just makes them seem like a bargain when they are 50% off in 6-8 months and they are still making money off of them. Retailers not to much, but the OEM’s don’t care about them as the ‘cost’ pricing keeps going up and up and up for no real reason.

    • Feel the Bern

      May 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I agree with you, but I would add that the Rory MB’s are built on technology over 4 decades old!

      • Me

        May 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm

        Rory no longer plays with Callaway blades….he now plays Taylormade. Just sayin

  37. C

    May 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

    That’s a lot of offset.

  38. SoCalSlicer

    May 23, 2017 at 10:02 am

    How many levels of approval do these go through, before they are given a green light? Those have to be some of the worst, and I mean the most hideous irons I’ve ever seen. Ever. Good god.

  39. BB

    May 23, 2017 at 9:52 am

    $250 an iron? Overpriced junk.

  40. Leon

    May 23, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Callaway will be the next Taylormade, that’s it.

  41. Golferguy

    May 23, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I would’ve loved to see these clubs dressed up in plain steel, a la Srixon, Mizuno, etc. Going forward, I’m considering a set of Miura clubs if I choose to go high-end, though my Mizuno sticks are working for me really well.

  42. Tyson Rochambeau

    May 23, 2017 at 9:17 am

    High end? They look like a set from Wal-Mart.

  43. J C

    May 23, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Those of you who are saying these are ugly you need to seem them in person. The pro’s look great. I would like to know what shafts are available for the hybrids.

  44. DJ

    May 23, 2017 at 8:32 am

    My goodness those are hideous. Callaway making it very hard to become a fan

  45. Teaj

    May 23, 2017 at 8:24 am

    A players iron that looks like a GI iron, I’m not sure the market for players irons wants a busy looking club head, I have been wrong before though. I am sure people will bring up the fact that you do not see the back of the club when at address but there is something to be said about looking at your bag from a far and seeing a nice clean looking set of clubs (my opinion)

    • Steve

      May 23, 2017 at 11:15 am

      The funny thing is I think the market wants the EXACT opposite – GI irons that look like players irons.

  46. Greg V

    May 23, 2017 at 8:24 am

    They look cheap.

  47. LH

    May 23, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Gorgeous. Count me in for Epic Pro

  48. Nath

    May 23, 2017 at 7:51 am

    I really like the shape of the hybrid

  49. Corey

    May 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I like Cally, but not gonna sell a whole lot at that price. If your gonna be expensive, you better be pretty.

  50. Desmond

    May 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Assume the pics at address and that overly thick topline (reminiscent of the Big Bertha OS) are of the normal Epic, not the Epic Pro.

  51. Duk Koo Kim

    May 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

    +2……..and at 2 grand a set? As the kids used to say, REALLY? Callaway needs to get tossed away!

    And what may I ask is “high end?” What a riot!

  52. Powder skier

    May 23, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Hope they work better then they look uugh

  53. Mr Muira

    May 23, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Fugly.

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Equipment

Chief Engineer Chris Voshall on Mizuno’s approach to the Tour and some of the most insightful pros

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Mizuno’s Chief Engineer Chris Voshall chatted with Johnny Wunder on the latest episode of the Gear Dive.

Voshall offers innumerable interesting anecdotes–particularly interesting is the development of the JPX 900 iron for Brooks Koepka and Voshall’s discussion of his work with other Tour talents.

In the excerpt below, however, Voshall discusses Mizuno’s approach to Tour players and further, whose feedback has proven particularly valuable.

“We’re not making them something special. If they’re coming to us, it’s because the product is that good…They come to us instead of us having to go to them…that’s one of the really exciting things.”

Voshall indicated that players on Tour play essentially the same Mizuno products that are available at retail.

“If the Tour van is out of inventory, they can reach out to us…and we’ll get them more heads. There’s nothing unique about what they’re playing, which I think speaks to the customer…you can almost not trust marketing around the whole world these days, but for us to say ‘there’s nothing different’…that’s something we really hang our hat on.”

With respect to excellent testers on Tour, Voshall sang Luke Donald’s praises, as well as Jhonny Vegas and Brian Gay.

“I love working with Luke. Luke, especially when you’re talking irons…turf interaction, that’s the thing he’s looking for. So with Luke, you’ve really got to speak to him about how it feels, how it enter, how it exits [the turf] and how that’s causing the ball to launch. You could give him the exact same head with a slightly different sole grind, and he will love or hate one versus the other. He’s really cool to work with on that front.”

“Jhonny Vegas…he’s raw power. He goes at it. He wants to slam the club into the ground as hard as he can and see where it goes. He very much on the opposite end of the spectrum as Luke, who’s very much an artist out there, trying to work it, trying to do different things.”

“One of my favorite guys to work with, even though he’s not on staff anymore, is Brian Gay. He knows his game. He knows equipment. Speaking to the fact that he’s been out on Tour as long as he has and has the wins he has with the length he hits the ball, it shows that he does not miss a shot. And he knows everything…when he makes a comment on a club, that’s the one that I take most serious.”

For the rest of Voshall’s insights and perspective, give the full podcast a listen below.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: Srixon Z-785 driver, Z-U85 utility irons

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We recently spotted new Srixon Z-785 drivers and Z-U85 utility irons, which are likely future replacements for Srixon’s Z-765 driver and Z-U65 utility irons. Srixon is staying hush on the tech details at the moment but did allow us to take photos of the new equipment.

Released in 2016, the Z-765 driver was a smaller-profile, lower-launching counterpart offering to the Z-565 driver, so it could be possible that there is also a Z-585 driver, counter to the Z-785 driver that we spotted. Also, it appears the Z-U85 utility irons come in at least 5 different lofts: 2-6 irons.

See more photos below, and check out discussion on the Z-785 drivers and Z-U85 utility irons.

Srixon Z-785

See more photos and discussion about the driver

Srixon Z-U85

 

See more photos and discussion about the irons

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Apparel Reviews

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit: 2018 U.S. Open

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Brooks Koepka played like he dressed on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills for the final round of the U.S. Open; his outfit was athletic, well put together, boring with a bit of flash (those shoes!!), and most importantly, it got the job done.

See the golf clubs and shafts Brooks used to win.

A great representative of the new age of golf, Koepka has the frame of a baseball player, and he’s not afraid to accentuate it with tight-fitting polos and an athletic look. For Sunday, he chose a white-on-gray-on-gray look that was understated, but clean — just like his scorecard. He really made the Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE shoes, with hits of electric orange, the star. Check out the details on his full outfit below.

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit

  • Hat: Nike AeroBill Classic99
  • Shirt: Nike Zonal Cooling polo
  • Belt: Nike Stretch Woven
  • Pants: Nike Flex
  • Shoes: Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE
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