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Callaway Lightens Up with Ultra-Premium GBB Epic Star Line

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Callaway’s new Epic Star line targets golfers seeking maximum distance from lighter golf clubs: think seniors, juniors, women, and other slow-swingers.

The new drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons incorporate the same technologies as Callaway’s flagship Epic products, but they’ve have been lightened up with head design tweaks and lightweight, ultra-premium components to help golfers hit higher, faster, and longer shots.

The new clubs are available for preorder on September 22 and in stores September 29. Learn more about each of them below.

GBB Epic Star Driver and Fairway Woods

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Callaway’s Epic Star Driver (12 degrees).

The Epic Star driver is an import to the U.S. market, where the lightweight driver is the No. 1 seller in Japan. Its Japan-inspired theme continues through the shaft and grip. The stock shaft is an ultra-premium, 39-gram Mitsubishi Grand Bassara shaft that’s made at Mitsubishi’s renowned Japan facility. The driver also comes with a Golf Pride J200 grip that was also designed for the Japan market. It has a smaller diameter than standard grips, helping it tip the scales at a mere 41 grams.

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“There are pockets in the U.S. with some [golfers] who are looking for a premium experience with Epic, but in a more lightweight package,” says Callaway Brand Manager David Neville.

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Like Callaway’s GBB Epic driver, the Epic Star (available in lofts of 10 and 12 degrees) includes the company’s Jailbreak technology, two titanium bars located behind the club face that stabilize the crown and sole to improve energy transfer at impact. The new driver also uses the company’s extremely lightweight crown and sole construction, highlighted by its 9.7-gram triaxial carbon crown.

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The Epic Star is different in two important places, however, starting with its sliding rear weight that weighs just 11 grams — that’s seven grams lighter than the GBB Epic’s sliding weight. Callaway also saved seven grams from the driver by shifting to a fixed-hosel design, allowing the club head to weigh just 190.3 grams. The total weight of the driver is a mere 286 grams, making it Callaway’s lightest driver in history.

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The Epic Star fairway woods (available in 15, 18 and 21 degrees) also have a fixed-hosel design to reduce clubhead weight. Their Mitsubishi Grand Bassara shafts weigh in at just 49 grams.

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Callaway’s Epic Star 7 Wood (21 degrees).

The GBB Epic Star driver will sell for $699. The GBB Epic Star fairway woods will sell for $399.

Epic Star Hybrids and Irons

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Photo Courtesy of Callaway Golf.

Callaway’s new Epic Star hybrids are available in three lofts (18, 20 and 23 degrees), and like Callaway’s Epic hybrids, they bring golfers more distance by way of 455 Carpenter Steel Face Cups and an ultra-light, carbon triaxial crown. They also have a center of gravity (CG) that’s concentrated low and deep in the club heads via a metal-injection molded process (MIM) and a tungsten-infused standing wave. This technology, combined with their 50-gram, Mitsubishi Grand Bassara shafts, helps golfers send their hybrid shots higher and farther down the fairway or toward the green.

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The new Epic Star irons come stock with 55-gram Mitsubishi Rayon Grand Bassara shafts, as well as a Black PVD finish that gives the irons a sleek look at address. They’re available in 4-9, PW, GW, and SW.

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Like Callaway’s Epic irons, the GBB Epic Star irons showcase a 360-degree Face Cup design that measures just 1 millimeters at its thinnest point to help golfers maximize distance and forgiveness. They also share the company’s Exo-Cage design, a lightweight, steel framework that provides rigidity to help the irons deliver more ball speed at impact.

“There’s kind of a lighter, longer, stronger spec in order to maximize distance,” says Luke Williams, Senior Director of Global Product Strategy for Irons and Putters. “We’ve seen that there’s sort of an emerging category here and an emerging segment in certain players that really are looking for this type of product. So while this isn’t a broad offering for us — it’s a really targeting offering — there is a market.”

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In conjunction, a hollow-hosel design helped Callaway engineers shift more weight toward the center of the Epic Star iron heads to provide a better feel and optimize the launch conditions of each iron. In the long irons, the CG is positioned lower in the club heads to improve distance. In the short irons, the CG is positioned higher in the club heads to improve trajectory control. According to Callaway, each of the irons are close to achieving the USGA’s legal limit on COR, or coefficient of restitution, a measure of ball speed retention.

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The Epic Star hybrids will sell for $299 each, while the Epic Star irons will sell for $300 each, or $2,400 for an eight-piece set.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Epic Star line, as well as more photos of the clubs. 

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40 Comments

  1. Peter in Parker

    Oct 1, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Will any good samaritan buy me one …….. that price of that driver is almost my monthly rent. Wow oh wow.

  2. Ron

    Sep 15, 2017 at 1:29 am

    I have an xxioo driver 41gm shaft 10.5*I am 71 years old it’s fantastic. Bought it last year love it 220-230 that’s all I have but I am in the fairway.

  3. Mike

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    New gear from Callaway, gee it must be at least a month since they promised we could win everything with there last offering. Might wait another month to see what changes the world and then there’s Christmas. Old Mr Callaway would be so dissapointed at these cowboys

  4. Double Mocha Man

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I am not a slow swinger (108 mph swing speed with the driver) so 7 years ago I bought the Taylormade Superfast TP Burner driver at 284 grams. Then I removed the 50 gram grip and installed a 25 gram grip. Sucker swings fast. Still have it. Still outdrive everyone in my foursome by 25 – 60 yards, averaging 265 to 295 (300 downhill, downwind, firm ground :)). But I will be checking out this new, lightweight, Epic Star. If you put a good swing on it a lightweight club will go… and go… and go…

  5. Mark

    Sep 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

    The original should have been black and gold. Kinda like the John Player Special Lotus F1 cars of the 70’s.

  6. Lemming

    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:17 am

    OK, I’ll bite. Got me hook line and sinker. I’m a sucker. Take my money. I’ve got plenty of it. lol

  7. UnclePhil

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Uhhh….would this driver be considered a “game improvement” club? Lol! Hahahahaha!! What’a riot!!

  8. GolfKnut

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Ultra-Premium ‘Star’ SGI Clubs…. only for the discerning golf gearhead who has more money than brains or talent.

  9. XO

    Sep 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Looks like the big OEMs are concentrating their marketing to the upper 1% where price doesn’t matter, and neither does performance because rich guys are mostly incompetent. Their personal clubs are only for show and status symbols.
    An $800 driver is equivalent to $8 for a multi-millionaire….. and a $3000 set of clubs is like $30….. and a $100,000 car is like $1,000 ….. get the drift? And that’s the market the golf OEMs are targeting with their new offerings because multi-millionaires are bigger suckers for glitzy clubs.

    • LITM

      Sep 12, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Why don’t you get the rest of the trailer park to chip in and y’all share

  10. Orville

    Sep 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    If you have a slow (<90 mph) swing speed and dropping yearly, equipment will not compensate significantly to restore speed. Your aging body just can't put out any more swing speed effort and if you believe an $800 "driviagra" will rejuvenate you, you are clinging to hope based on fantasy.
    Just buy a simple economical driver with extra face loft and that is the only prescription for retaining distance. Of course if you want to send your money to Japan ……

    • James

      Sep 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Have you seen any testing with XXIO? Keep holding onto that idea that equipment won’t effect distance as your swing speed slows.

      • XO

        Sep 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        No I have not seen any testing with XXIO clubs and I just don’t trust manufacturers data on their own clubs. I have read the many promises made by the company here:
        http://www.xxiousa.com/
        …. but I am still dubious. If you are with XXIO send me a set of forged clubs and I will test them for you.

        • LITM

          Sep 12, 2017 at 7:23 pm

          Or pawn em so he can buy jimmy frank’s shotgun

      • Double Ace

        Sep 21, 2017 at 12:48 am

        As they age they will see things differently, unless they are the old guys who still think they drive it 290 when it’s closer to 150.

  11. GB

    Sep 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Greatest clubs since apple pie was stolen by Yanks

  12. Wally

    Sep 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Went on the website and saw the specs C-8 SW and the 7 iron has a 26* loft. Not for me.

  13. Swingman/Jerry

    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:49 am

    So you are getting a lighter Epic with a $450-500 aftermarket shaft in the driver. I own that shaft – in R Flex, it is 43g and is incredibly stable with a smooth kick. If you are using a 60g shaft, you may pick up 2-3 mph in this shaft.

    The issue is whether a liteweight shaft fits you – if you are a 70-90 mph speed with a smooth transition, odds are you will like it if you can get sufficient clubhead feel – swingweight D2 or so – to get a consistently high smash factor. Like any other club, get fit.

    I think it’s a club for the 55+ club who don’t have the greatest swing and just want to play, and range time is not play time.

    • GB

      Sep 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      U will only have a stable shaft with this 39gram Bassara if the driver head weighs very little. 190 grams is still on the heavy side, so I’m surprised that Callaway didn’t go sub 180gram, as this shaft will bend a lot because of that 190 weight and might make the ball spin too much. But to put that Epic head on it, this is as much as they could have done. And they didn’t want to put a heavier grip on, obviously, nor shorten the club.

    • James

      Sep 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Anyone who thinks that you’re getting the $500 Grand Bassara is greatly mistaken. Please look at the link and tell me where there are the 49 gram wood options and any resemblance of an iron shaft with Grand Bassara name. You also do not own a 43 gram Grand Bassara shaft. You may own the GG or P Series, but not the Grand Bassara.

      http://www.mca-golf.com/products/grand-bassara%E2%84%A2

  14. Steve Hamer

    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:31 am

    is it made of gold not for me at that price

  15. B-Man

    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

    There is no opinion given by the author in this article. Therefore it appears as nothing more than an advertisement.

    • Robert Parsons

      Sep 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      That’s wrx for ya! The owners and staff get free equipment plus they get invited to all the corporate outings. Of course they’re more than willing to run these ads. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. And believe me, these guys are fed well!

  16. Dat

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Callaway will be going the way of TaylorMade sooner than most think (holding company). Laughable price tag and product strategy.

    • XO

      Sep 12, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      The big US car companies are surviving only on sales of hugely overpriced pickup trucks for the macho midgets who use them for personal transportation. Little men in big trucks.

      • OX

        Sep 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        So you mean to say little geeky men will want to own the TM GBB Star SGI drivers because they suffer from TD (Trajectile Dysfunction)?

  17. Jon

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I see the Epic Star line more of a competitor to the XXIO Prime line of clubs rather than PXG.

  18. Marc Oreille

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Slow swingers on WRX?

    • Casa Nova

      Sep 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      I have an 85 mph swing speed and launch the ball over 250 yards carry. My Smash Factor is 1.65 !

      • Kym

        Sep 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        A Smash Factor of 1.65 when only 1.50 is possible. You should perhaps do your homework before posting such a non-sensical comment

        • Kym

          Sep 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

          Further if we take your Club Speed of 85 mph, even on your best day you will only see 229 Carry (Club Speed X 2.7)

          With an impossible Smash Factor of 1.65 and a Swing Speed of 85 the Ball Speed would be approaching 140+ which is very unlikely with a Club Speed of 85

  19. cgasucks

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:01 am

    It seems that every OEM is trying to get on the PXG bandwagon…

  20. Scott

    Sep 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

    $800 driver, $300 each iron. Laughable. Heads should roll at Callaway for this strategy. I’m pretty sure they’ve misread the market….

  21. Mark

    Sep 12, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Being a senior golfing, this REALLY had my interest until the price… are you kidding !!!

    • Swingman/Jerry

      Sep 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      You can always pull the shaft and re-use it – it is a great shaft for the market it fits and its aftermarket price is $450.

  22. Scott

    Sep 12, 2017 at 8:06 am

    $800 driver!? Bye

    • Shadow

      Sep 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Agree bye! Geeze you really getting ripped off in the US with this driver. First of all it comes in 10.5 & 12*. The 12* is not even offered in Japan. Overall you are getting a recoloured driver from Japan. The grip mentioned, not even stock or an option in Japan – I cant find it here in Japan. The bassara shaft is just a one off option in customisation for Japan. They don’t even make this driver/shaft combination to buy off the rack!

      The stock offering in Japan is 9.5 & 10.5*. The stock or base model Epic star weighs 289grams just 3 grams more than the US version. Stock shaft is 49grams. The Bassara in Japan also comes in 32.5 & 35.5 grams. The “speeder” option shafts come in weights of 29.5, 33 & 35.5 gram options.

      Save yourself money and buy the stock Japan version through Rakuten @ about US$450.

      For US$799 I would look at the GBB Epic Forged driver direct from Japan.

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19th Hole

GolfWRX Spotlight: Evalu18 – ‘Evaluating golf architecturally’

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When it comes to course directories with an emphasis on past and present architects, Evalu18 is likely to be one of the most in-depth—for UK and Ireland golf courses—you’re ever likely to see—highlighted by the site’s wealth of information and user-friendly navigation.

Jasper Miners, a Canadian now living in London, is the brains behind Evalu18. He explained to me how the concept began as a map with courses that he wanted to play based on his extensive research, which was then added to based on the recommendations of others. Frustrated by the lack of an easy way to access the information in a modern format – he created Evalu18.

“After some time I shared a map with a good friend, an American from New York whom I worked with who was a very keen golfer. The map and my notes allowed him to find great golf wherever he was and to plan a trip easily. 

Everyone has heard of the Open rota courses and perhaps some of the courses which are intimately linked to the history and origins of the game. However, for every well-known course, there are 10-20 that may be just as good that we and even locals may never have even heard of. Evalu18 exists for those – sound golf is the criteria for being listed.” – Jasper Miners, founder of Evalu18

Beginning with the site’s interactive map the depth of research and information available is striking. The filter option, which has been crafted down to the minutest detail, puts the directory in a league of its own and allows golfers to plan for the perfect day out or golfing trip.

Whether you are looking for a particular golf course from a specific architect or consultant, to whether the track is dog-friendly. or is suited to trolleys or buggies, Evalu18 has you covered. The directory allows you to filter courses based on the level of difficulty their walkability is, what is available practice facility wise or if you’re looking for a course which has ever hosted a specific event as well as much more.

Another cool feature of Evalu18 is its “Collections” element. With taste and preference regarding golf courses being so vast amongst golfers, the site doesn’t separate courses by ranking but lets you home in on that ideal course in a simple fashion.

The Collection section showcases courses that are grouped according to identifiable characteristics. Featured in this area of the site are nine-hole courses, truly unique courses, bunker-less courses, hidden gems, bang-for-your-buck courses as well as so many more cool categories.

Each course on the site contains information that a typical guest would want to know, with plenty also featuring full reviews written to enhance the experience.

Additionally, a “discover” section of the site allows golf-enthusiasts to explore golf course architecture books, magazines and pertinent works with the company confidently claiming to have “the most thorough collection of GCA book reviews anywhere online.”

 

As for what’s next for Evalu18, international growth along with a unique travel guide, says Jasper

“We are working on improvements to the site and a unique travel section that will have substantial guides. Every course can also have included recommended accommodation, food and drink venues and tourist sites. We engage with the clubs and have them help us tell their story – what makes them unique and worth your time, attention and $.”

Whether you are already in the UK and Ireland or planning that dream golfing trip abroad, Evalu18 is a site that is a must for any golfer to check out. Once you do, it will likely place you on your ideal course—which before you may not have even known existed.

Check out Evalu18 here.

 

 

 

 

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Today from the Forums: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Today from the Forums shines the spotlight on new LA Golf Shafts featured at this week’s Honda Classic. The new shafts have gone down well with our members, who are excited about what the company has in store for 2020.

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.

  • QuigleyDU: “Nice! The mentioned during the discussion they did here that new stuff was coming. I have heard the TRONO is straight up rebar stout.”
  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I am so intrigued by the Trono since I saw it on one of TXG’s Videos.”
  • bfizzy: “I like how they are taking their time to bring out new products to retail and consumer-oriented channels. Will be cool to see what they come out with!”

Entire Thread: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Top 5 modern glued-hosel drivers

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Modern adjustable drivers are a marvel of engineering and something we now take for granted—considering every OEM utilizes some type of adjustable system to assist with fitting and dialing in launch conditions.

However, as every WRXer knows, before we had these tools to our disposal, we had to rely on the good old-fashion glued-in shaft drivers.

These five models are among the best from the recent past.

TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP

Released in the fall of 2010, the Burner SuperFast TP was the undisputed king of ball speed for a very long time. Many will default to thinking the R510 TP was one of TaylorMade’s best, but for both the average golfer and for tour pros, this 460cc driver offered a lot more forgiveness than the R510 thanks to its size and aerodynamics. For those who had one, it stayed in the bag for a long time if you got the shaft right.

Adams Insight Tech a4 Prototype 9015D

Adams. Really?

It was a question a lot of people asked when these started showing up in golfer’s bags.

The 9015D was the brother to the original Adams 9016D, which was specifically built for the long drive circuit when Adams Golf was the official sponsor. It had a high toe profile and sat open at address—something that was often hard to come by in the glued hosel era of driver design.

One fun thing to consider when looking back at this driver is the protruding mass towards the back of the head to lower the center of gravity—vaguely similar to the TaylorMade SIM’s Inertia Generator and Cobra’s SpeedBack—minus the multi-material construction. Those Adams engineers were onto something!

Titleist 905R

Titleist’s very first 460cc driver was introduced not long after the 400cc 905S and the 905T (made famous by the notorious old-club using Steve Stricker) hit the scene.

The 905R stayed in some player’s bag for an extended period of time, including the bag of Adam Scott, who didn’t switch until the 910 came along. Many golfers referred to the 905R as a big version of the famous 975J, and from address it’s hard to argue.

Callaway FT Tour

One of Callaway’s first “tour” style drivers. The original version of the FT Tour was called the FT-9 Tour Authentic and was Callaway’s attempt to compete with the popular Tour Preferred line from TaylorMade. The price tag was high but so was the performance.

The FT Tour was a workable low spin driver and the grandchild of the FT-5 TH—a tour only driver that offered Callaway’s very first traditional-style hosel and got them away from the S2H2 designs that built the brand in the 90s. At 460cc’s, it still looks small by today’s standards, but if you can find one give it a hit.

Bridgestone J33R 460

The J33R 460 will go down as one of the all-time best drivers of its era. Its popularity even made trying to find one more difficult than it should have been at the time because Bridgestone struggled to find brick and mortar stores to carry their hard goods (beyond golf balls) at a time when big-box was the king of golf retail. The J33R was the third generation of the J33 driver line that included the J33P (375cc) and the original J33R (420cc).

Stuart Appleby famously hit a 426-yard tee shot at the 2006 Mercedes Championships (Tournament of Champions in Hawaii) that nearly went over the green of the par-4 12th hole with the J33P—now imagine the punch of the 460 version!

What do you think of these selections, WRXers? Any drivers you’d add?

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