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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.

Callaway-GBB_Epic_Star_Fairway_Wood

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.

Callaway_Epic_Star_Irons

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

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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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 14max who asks WRXers what’s the oldest club in the bag that they regularly use. Our members list the clubs that have been playing the longest and their reasons why – with trust often playing a significant role behind their decision.

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.

  • el_rousso: “I’m still regularly playing an old (about 25+ years old) American Open 56* wedge, the grooves on it are likely too worn to be of any use but it’s still pretty much the club I trust the most around the greens, the rest of my bag is around 2005ish (irons) or 2011ish (woods and other wedges), but I recently pulled the trigger on a driver upgrade…”
  • SecondandGoal: “Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT. Made in 2007, got it for $25 on Craigslist about 4 years ago. I’ve changed every other club in the bag at least twice since then. Going to be hard-pressed to get this out of the bag.”
  • lefty1978: “I don’t always bag this club anymore. But I have a 17° Controller driving iron from around 1999. I like it because it hits low running bullets.”
  • James the Hogan Fan: “Putter- 65ish years old, Irons from 2003, Woods from 2008, Driver from 2014, Wedges from 2016, but, one from 2002. Quite the mix I’d say.”
  • ChipNRun: “A few years ago, it was a Ping Pal putter from circa 1973. I sent Ping a photo of the clubhead for verification: they said it was legit, they just couldn’t tell what batch it came from due to primitive data markings. Until about a year ago, I played Callaway X20 Tours (2008 origin); CPreO sold me a display set in 2011. Right now, the Tour Edge XRail 7W (2012) – and sometimes its brother 4W – hold the record.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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2020 Odyssey Golf launches new Bird of Prey and Stroke Lab Ten putters

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Odyssey Golf is taking Stroke Lab technology and innovation further with the release of the all-new Stroke Lab 10 putters along with the introduction of the Bird of Prey putter for 2019 and 2020.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten Bird of prey putters golf 2020

2020 Odyssey Bird of Prey, Stroke Lab Ten putters: The details

To say Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, along with the revolutionary mass-shifting Stroke Lab shaft, have been a success both on tour and with regular golfers would be a huge understatement. On the professional side—since their introduction at the beginning of 2019 as a prototype product, Stroke Lab putters have become the number one putter on all tours and won more professional tournaments (65 to be exact) than any other brand on all tours combined.

Now, Odyssey’s General Manager Sean Toulon and his design team are looking to advance designs again with what many would call familiar shapes but with unconventional advantages.

Odyssey Stroke lab ten putter golf 2020

First off, we have the Stroke Lab Ten. And, yes, even Sean Toulon himself is willing to admit it shares similarities to a particular arachnid-style putter that he helped originally design at another OEM many years ago. But, as a modern equipment historian, I believe it’s important to point out that as much as the “arachnid” style has been popular for quite some time.

There was another putter that predates it (released in 2005), which offered an extremely high MOI design but without the catchy name: the Ping UG-LE. The UG-LE pushed mass way back and to the corners of the head to create (at the time) the highest MOI putter on the market.

But here’s the thing: Putters and material design have come a long way since the introduction of the UG-LE and the original arachnid designs, and Odyssey is here to prove golfers just how much better with the Stroke Lab Ten.

The Stroke Lab Ten’s frame is made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene…don’t worry, I had to look it up too). Here’s a further explanation

“It is an amorphous polymer comprised of three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. ABS is most commonly polymerize through the emulsification process or the expert art of combining multiple products that don’t typically combine into a single product. When the three monomers are combined, the acrylonitrile develops a polar attraction with the other two components, resulting in a tough and highly durable finished product. The different amounts of each monomer can be added to the process to further vary the finished product. The versatility of ABS plastic properties contributes largely to its popularity across several industry sectors.” (Thanks, Adreco plastics)

According to Sean Toulon, what the ABS material allows is maximum distribution of metal (heavy) mass parts to the back and extreme perimeter of the putter to blow past other putters’ MOI (Moment of Inertia: a measurement of forgiveness) but also in sound and feel.

“The sound and feel of this putter is special (thanks to the material advantage of ABS)”  Sean Toulon, Odyssey Putters General Manager

Beyond just the shape of the putter, the sole has been meticulously crafted to help the head aligned square when grounded towards the target in the playing position. Sean continues

“We got these putters to the point where ( with the alignment on top ) they have become point and shoot” 

There truly is a lot going on to make sure these putters do everything they can to help both regular golfers and touring professionals align properly and get the best possible result when putts are not hit absolutely perfect.

The Stroke Lab Advantage

Considering the MOI of these designs, you would think that the highest of high handicappers would be the target market, but in that assumption, you couldn’t be more incorrect. The designs of both the Stroke Lab Ten and the Bird of Prey were entirely driven by the tour and player desire to get every last bit of performance out of their putting games.

These putters will all come stock with the Stroke Lab shaft, which pulls mass from the shaft and redistributes it under the grip and into the head for even greater stabilization. Odyssey has proven that the shaft alone can help stroke consistency across the board, and the most notable stat is the 13 percent increase in face angle delivery at impact. This increases the make putt percentage, which when you think of a round of golf, equates to strokes saved.

If there is one more thing Odyssey knows about putters, it’s roll and inserts. With the new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey designs, the company is using an all-new Microhinge Star insert to increase the sound for better player feedback. Generally, inserts are used to decrease the sound, but in the case of the New Microhinge Star, engineers at Odyssey wanted to recreate more of the original sound and feel of the White Hot putter but with the added benefit of the Microhinge to increase forward roll.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter Insert roll Ten Bird of prey

This new Microhinge Star insert improves the correlation between the sound and expected distance a player will hit the ball—firmer means further. This is just another step in the design process put in place to help players of all abilities putt with greater consistency since without audible feedback, all players will have a more difficult time controlling distance.

The new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey putters will be available starting November 1. For more information check out OdysseyGolf.com

 

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Equipment

2020 Cobra Golf T-Rail iron hybrid set

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Cobra Golf T-RAIL

New for 2020, the Cobra Golf T-Rail (Transitional Rail) super game improvement iron—the company’s first all hollow iron hybrid set.

Cobra T Rail irons fuse a hollow, hybrid shape with an iron face and topline, with the iron-hybrid design aiming to provide golfers with the perfect blend of distance, forgiveness, and accuracy.

According to the company, the hollow body construction creates a lower, deeper CG than traditional cavity-back iron designs. The lower, deeper CG aims to aid golfers in getting the ball in the air and on line easier than conventional cavity-back irons.

Speaking on the new T-Rail irons, Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D, Cobra Golf, stated

“T-Rail irons make it easy for beginners and golfers who have lost some distance and control to gain the confidence needed to play better and have more fun. Players who need max forgiveness and are looking for more distance will be amazed at how far and straight they hit these, even being able to get them airborne from tough lies.”

The irons feature the brand’s Baffler Rails technology which seeks to provide players with more speed and stability out of every lie through its turf interaction.

The irons also contain a high-strength, forged steel face designed with E9 technology, which includes a thin pocket from heel to toe which is intended to offer maximum ball speed and forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

The new additions from Cobra arrive in a hollow, iron-hybrid construction in the 5-PW with a 4-hybrid to make a 7-piece set. The irons, which come in a black/blue colorway for men and black/lilac colorway for women, come equipped with Cobra Ultralite 50g graphite shafts (Stiff, Regular and Lite) and Cobra Lamkin REL midsize grips.

Both the Men’s and Women’s T-Rail sets will be available beginning November 1, 2019, and cost $899.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

 

 

 

 

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