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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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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

Bargain Challenge 2: Putting together a $500 set of clubs for a mid-handicapper

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Last week, I posted about what clubs you can get with $500. I built a set that I would use myself to show that even golfers with particular specs can find what they want for a decent price. Overall the feedback on the post was good, but I did want to follow up since one of the commenters put me up to a challenge. See below.

Well alright James, challenge accepted.

Challenge: A set of mid-handicap clubs with stiff shafts for less than $500.

Driver

Since I was going to be building a set of a mid-handicapper, my goal was to find a driver that got solid distance, but was also forgiving. I found this R9 460 in 10.5 degrees for $65. While the paint has seen better days, this should perform exactly how we want it to. Plus it is adjustable.

Wood

The 3-wood search stumped me for a bit. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to go with. I knew I didn’t want a strong three wood and I knew I needed something with forgiveness. After some searching I found a Ping K15 16 degree with a stiff shaft. While the loft is higher, I have found that many higher handicap amateurs can find good use out of a higher lofted 3-wood. On top of that, the K15 is an incredibly easy to hit and forgiving head.

Hybrid

I knew what most mid-handicappers would have a hard time hitting a 2 or 3-iron, so my mind immediately went to a 3-iron hybrid. After some searching, I stumbled on this Ping Rapture V2 with a stiff shaft. Historically, the Raptures have been really easy to hit which makes this a great addition to the bag.

Irons

I had the hardest time in this entire process finding irons. There were just too many to choose from. You had great player irons like the Ping S57 and you also had the super game improvement Adams irons. To find something slightly more in the middle, but still easy to hit, I went with the 2012 TaylorMade CBs. A great year for TaylorMade irons and easy to hit with the irons only going down to the 4. This is where someone can have some fun with their choices if they want.

Wedges

Wedge shopping was still hard this time around. Since the PW in the iron set was strong, I knew I needed a stronger gap wedge. I found a Callaway X-Jaws 50-degree for $24. Really, the entire point of the 50 is to have another iron and bridge the gap to the sand wedge. Speaking of the sand wedge, I went with the 56-degree Ping Gorge SS wedge. It has good grooves and will get the job done around the greens. For the lob wedge, I went with the Cleveland RTX 2.0 60 degree: A really solid wedge with good groves to give you the zip you need around the greens.

Putter

And finally, I went with another great blade putter for $55. Honestly, there were a lot of different options in the range from mallets to blades, so don’t be afraid to search around.

Total

In summary, anyone and any skill level and swing speed can find something in the used market. In fact, it was even easier to find clubs in stiff than X-stiff because most X-stiff clubs are custom and are in less demand making, them more rare and expensive than stiff clubs. Take a look, you never know what you may find.

Related: Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500

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Forum Thread of the Day: “What’s the best budget wedge?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from bamagator, who asks fellow GolfWRX members what wedges they feel offer the best bang for your buck. As always, our members display their diverse taste, however, Maltby wedges prove to be a particularly popular choice.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • BIG STU: “Depending on the fine line of how you really want to do it and the budget Maltby is a good bet. Their stuff is as good of quality as any. If you are able to build your own clubs, you can do the shafts, and grips like you want them. You can also mix bounces and even style of heads within the set.”
  • Orlandogolfguru: “Rock bottom t7 for 69. Dicks – gg rtx 3 for 69. Or Maltby for like 39. I have all of them and can’t decide which I like best. They are all great, depends in the shape you like really. Can’t go wrong.”
  • Lefty431: “Don’t sleep on Wilson FG tour pmp wedges…  especially tour grind!  They seem to be readily available and super affordable!!”
  • kiw1982: “Wilson PMP. You are welcome.”

Entire Thread: “Best Budget Wedge”

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Equipment

In-hand photos of prototype Ping “Blueprint” irons

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Our Johnny Wunder paid a visit to Ping HQ in Phoenix, and in addition to getting to step inside to company’s legendary gold putter vault, The Gear Dive host got an exclusive in-hand look at Ping’s new prototype Blueprint irons.

While we can’t provide any additional details at present, we do have these photos of a 6-iron for your viewing pleasure.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the irons in the forums. 

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