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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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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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

SPOTTED: New Callaway Forged irons… Apex or Legacy?

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Photos of a new Callaway Forged iron popped up in our GolfWRX Forums, and our members are trying to figure out whether they’re going to be replacements for Apex Pro irons, or whether they’re an update on the Legacy series. They could also be X-Forged irons, but since Callaway recently came out with new X-Forged irons, that would be unlikely.

Here’s what GolfWRX Members are saying:

  • elwhippy: A new Legacy iron? Looks a bit Japanese shaped. 
  • mattTHEkatt: Like an X-Forged/Legacy Black mashup. They look powerful. 
  • DTown3011: …gotta be the next Apex!
  • J13: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • mgholda: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • TheMoneyShot: I thought Cally was going to phase out the Apex name after they released the MBs?
  • john443: A larger cavity in these then the X- Forged… competitor to the 750 and AP3 maybe? …or Legacy Black finally brought to retail…hallelujah. CF16 replacement???!
  • Equipto: These look very sharp, and like thumpers. I don’t care if they are a Legacy Black or Apex replacement, call them whatever… i’ll try them 
  • mrmikeac: Next gen Callaway Apex Legacy? Hmmmm…..
  • Brizam: The Legacy Black might be the best players cavity back ever made.  If they were to become available they’d move straight to the top of the list of clubs to buy for me. 
  • Jourdan M: This is the Apex Pro 

Here are photos of the new Callaway irons we spotted

Previous Apex Pro irons

Previous Legacy irons

Which one do you think the new iron looks like? 

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Equipment

Wilson’s new FG Tour V6 RAW irons (yes, they will rust)

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Wilson came out with its FG Tour V6 irons in 2016, but these new Raw versions have a different look… and with time, they’ll have a VERY different look.

The new FG Tour V6 Raw irons have an unplated finish, and they’re designed to “develop a unique patina based on age, exposure and use over time,” according to Wilson. This gives each iron a unique look, and one that’s far from the clean cut original FG Tour release that had a chrome finish (which won’t rust).

In addition to the rusting effect, the irons are different because they have a copper badge in the cavity that will eventually match the color of the golf club over time. Here’s a graphic mock-up of how the Raw irons may look overtime.

Like the original releases, the irons have tungsten weights and mass behind the impact area for a “forged feel” and “improved feedback,” according to the company.

The FG Tour V6 Raw irons are a custom option on Wilson.com, and are available through Wilson’s premium partner accounts as of today, Tuesday, June 19. According to Wilson, the Raw irons “are a very limited production run,” so only a certain amount of sets will even be built.

 

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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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