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Callaway Epic Flash Star line: Light and launchable

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Imagine being given one job as a design team…

Make it light, use all available technology, make it look really good, and make it fast.

This is the Callaway Epic Flash Star.

This new Callaway Epic Flash Star line includes a driver, fairway woods, hybrids, and a set of forged irons—because forged can be fast too, like really fast. This lineup, which is an update to the original Callaway Epic Star line, is introducing improvements across the board and sets a new level of performance in the premium lightweight equipment category.

When it comes to designing ultra lightweight clubs, there are some serious design challenges because you are limited by the amount of mass you can use move around based on the final target total weight. Even with these challenges Callaway engineers along with component partners have produced a set of clubs that incorporate every available piece of technology, including Flash Face and Jailbreak, to help slower swing speed golfers get back more distance from everywhere. I know it often sounds silly but stats prove that for every club less a player hits into a green, the likelihood of making a lower number goes up. This is why golfers in need of more speed will benefit from a set that allows them to hit those shorter clubs more often.

Epic Flash Star Driver

50 grams.

Thats the difference in total weight between the new Star and the standard Epic Flash Driver. Thats MASSIVE! 50 grams is 22-25 percent the mass of a traditional driver head on its own and when talking about the whole package thats a mass reduction of just under 16 percent ( 15.8 percent to be precise ). Engineers work tirelessly to shave three grams here and four grams there when it comes to club design being able to get 50g out of what is already the lightest club in the bag is astonishing. A lot of that weight reduction comes from the removal of the adjustable hosel making the Epic Flash Star the only driver in the Callaway lineup with a non adjustable hosel. No hosel adjustability means offering more loft options, which include a 10.5, 12, and now a 13.5 degrees (perfect for those golfers who have a difficulty getting the ball into the air).

As I have said before, a club is only as good as the sum of its parts, and there is no ignoring the fact that thanks to UST Mamiya, the Epic Flash Star is equipped with a 30-gram shaft: the Attas Speed—yeah you read that right 30 grams! The Attus Speed, until now, has been a product available exclusively in Japan (a golf market know for not turning an eye to premium performing products when they offer a tangible benefit), and is now available in North America.

Don’t think for a second that they are stopping at the shaft either: The club will also feature a Golf Pride 30g JLoo grip. All of this combines together to help slower swing speed players deliver the head back to the ball as fast as they can, with more consistency. All this adds up to a driver that has the potential to deliver some major gains.

Retail price will be $699.99

Epic Flash Star Fairway Woods and Hybrids

Much like the Star driver, the fairway woods incorporate proven technologies, including Jailbreak, Flash Face, and Face Cup—the same tech that has been making Callaway fairways woods some of the longest available dating back to the XR (remember how fast those were compared to everything else?). To give you a refresher on what the Face Cup does, it uses variable face thickness built into the forged 455 Carpenter steel face to promote fast ball speed on all shots especially mishits.  It does this by having the thinnest parts act like a hinge that’s activated the face and gives you all the “spring” you need (within the legal limit).

More weight is repositioned to create greater forgiveness and lower the COG thanks to a new T2C triaxial carbon crown and fixed hosel.

Since this is a full line launch the other similarities include a 40-gram ATTAS Speed shaft and choice of JL00 or J200 (42g) grip. Availability includes  3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 models which is a big expansion versus the original Start line which only went up the the 21-degree 7-wood. Considering the player demographic for these clubs, the 9 and 11s are going to be very popular.

Retail price is $399.99

Epic Flash Star Forged Irons

Meant to be launched!

The Epic Star irons are an ultra-premium forged iron designed for pure acoustics, feel, and explosive distance. Using what Callaway is calling an infinite black finish, every detail was carefully thought out in an effort to help golfers in need of distance get every technological advantage they can.

Just like with the standard Epic Flash, Callaway is using a suspended tungsten core for greater control over launch and spin while High-COR Faces with 360 Face Cup Technology maximize distance off the center and off of mishits. To also help with distance the lofts of the Flash irons are stronger BUT…thanks to the optimized CG locations (ala suspended tungsten ), and super hot faces, the peak heights are less affected.

Just like with the rest of the Star Line, the greatest design advantage they offer beyond the clubhead is the incredibly lightweight total club weight to help players in need of speed maximum their ability and in the end create great swing speed. Thanks to the UST ATTUS Speed ultra-premium iron shaft coming in at only 40 and 50 grams respectively (depending on set configuration and fitting), along with the same Golf Pride 30g JLoo grip used in the rest of the set—players should expect to see at least a whole club gained in distance.

The Epic Star Forged irons are available from 5-iron to sand wedge with a retail price of $325 per club.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm WITB 2020

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  • Equipment accurate as of the WGC-Mexico Championship

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees @ 16.5)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM (19 degrees @ 20.5)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8 X

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe (52 degrees), TaylorMade MG2 (56-12, 60-TW-11)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X (36 inches)

Ball: TaylorMade TP 5 (#10)

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Red/Black Midsize (1 wrap of tape)

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Equipment

Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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