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.
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.
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.
The 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.