Callaway is going Mavrik in 2020 with three MAVRIK Driver models: Callaway Mavrik, Mavrik Sub Zero and Mavrik Max.
A maverick by definition is “an unorthodox or independent-minded person.” And in the world of club design, Callaway is certainly thinking independently.
The new 2020 Callaway Mavrik series of drivers were created by utilizing an unorthodox approach to designing better golf clubs: artificial intelligence. It must be working—you may remember that A.I. helped design the Epic Flash drivers won our Best Drivers of 2019 award.
Now, armed with a greater understanding of how machine learning can help engineers, Callaway is applying A.I. beyond the face and around the rest of the head to assist in building a better driver—this, you could say, is a…Mavrik approach (I’ll see myself out for the obvious pun. No “Top Gun” jokes to follow, I promise).
The one thing it doesn’t take a supercomputer to figure out is the only real way to make a golf ball travel farther is to impart greater force on it—simple physics. The only way to create greater force is through either mass or velocity/acceleration (energy = mass X acceleration, after all), and as Callaway said many years ago with the Big Bertha Alpha driver with Gravity Core “you can’t argue with physics.”
Artificial Intelligence—Real-world Results
For Callaway, the first step in proving A.I. could help build better clubs was by giving it the task of redesigning a driver club face’s variable face thickness pattern to increase ball speed: mission accomplished with Flash Face, found in the 2019 Epic Flash drivers.
With the new Mavrik driver, it was going to take a lot more than a face redesign to improve on the Epic Flash, so Callaway engineers went back to the drawing board to not just rethink the face but the rest of the club from the ground up to make it faster.
It was a fine balancing act for Callaway engineers to create the new Mavrik driver since conventional thinking would lead most OEMs to simply reduce total mass of a club to allow golfers to swing it faster—a proven formula. The problem is, when you reduce mass, you reduce potential energy.
To increase the potential speed of the driver head, Callaway used A.I. to overcome the trade-offs of forgiveness, aerodynamics, and ball speed to build a new profile that is much more aerodynamically efficient and forgiving. Callaway calls it Cyclone Shaping.
Any time you discuss the development of any new product with an engineer, words like “balance” and “efficiency” come up a lot. In most industries, it’s a matter of cost vs performance or value, but in golf it’s a matter of balancing what’s possible under the rules without giving up either too much top-end performance or forgiveness and actually creating something to increase ball speed.
According to Callaway, the Cyclone Shaping as a standalone technology makes the new driver head 61 percent more efficient through the air, creating less drag and making the Mavrik 1 mph faster than the 2019 Epic Flash. All this while still maintaining a 460cc head volume. One mph of clubhead speed has the potential to add up to 3-4 yards total distance.
Each of the three driver models in the Mavrik line utilize the Cyclone Shaping to increase potential speed, but with three distinct models designed for different player profiles, there is more than just aerodynamics, that according to Callaway helps make this the “best driver Callaway has ever produced.”
Flash Face SS20
Time to go under the hood to explain how Callaway engineers, along with the help of A.I., managed to create more robust ball speed from a face already pushed to the limit.
After maximizing the aerodynamics of the head, the other key components had to evolve as well, including the face and how mass was distributed to maintain MOI in a slightly smaller footprint. To move more mass, the face had to be lighter, but there was one big problem: a thinner face created durability issues (along with CT creep, but we’ll get to that in a moment). The new Flash Face SS20 is six grams lighter than the previous iteration thanks to FS2S titanium face material.
NOTE: FS-2s is a proprietary titanium alloy developed by FS Precision Tech for high-stress applications in aerospace and mining, FS2s titanium is stronger and more fatigue resistant than conventional 6-4Ti.
The Hot Topic
Characteristic Time (CT) was a big topic of discussion this year on the PGA Tour, and at the Open Championship, when multiple OEMs had drivers test above the legal limit of CT, thus becoming non-conforming.
Callaway was one of the many companies caught in the crosshairs of this issue and the company decided to tackle it head-on. Knowing that drivers start as conforming can potentially become non-conforming after years and years of use/or by fewer “cycles/hits” at very high speed. Something had to change since amateur and professionals players alike rely on their equipment conforming to the rules and holding up swing after swing.
The new FS2S material allows Flash Face 2.0 to offer more robust ball speeds over a greater area of the face while also preventing CT creep over the use of the head.
There’s even more to the story: Not only is Flash Face SS20 lighter, faster and stronger, but with the aid of artificial intelligence, each model in the Mavrik family has a uniquely engineered variable face thickness pattern to maximize ball speed on off-center hits for the target player. This creates a driver family that, according to Callaway’s testing, has 13 percent more consistent downrange dispersion than the 2019 Epic Flash family of drivers.
The 3 Callaway Mavrik Driver Models
Callaway Mavrik Driver
Coming in at the legal limit of 460cc’s it is the head with the most dramatic Cyclone Shaping aerodynamics.
The flagship Mavrik is the-all encompassing technology package that will fit the greatest number of golfers. It offers a slight amount of draw bias that can be neutralized through the hosel settings and is considered the mid-spin option. There is no adjustable center of gravity, because Callaway wanted to maximize the discretionary weight around the perimeter of the head for the most all around performance. With FF20 and boosted MOI, this is the club that will find its way into the majority of golfers bags.
Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero Driver
Callaway is calling the Mavrik Sub Zero the ultimate combination of higher MOI and lower spin. The shaping of Mavrik Sub Zero is where things get interesting. The Epic Flash Sub Zero was a huge hit both at retail and on tour—but there is a small asterisk next to that fact. Their was one model that started as “tour only,” but based on the popularity and demand from fitters and players, eventually became a retail release—the Sub Zero Triple Diamond.
The Mavrik Sub Zero is 10cc’s less than the standard model at 450cc, and takes its shape more from the previous Triple Diamond SZ than the original standard model—it goes to show that Callaway takes consumer and tour player feedback seriously when it comes to product development and evolution.
It is completely neutral in its weighting and has a flatter lie angle compared to the standard Mavrik model for more workability. Compared to the standard model, the sole is flatter from front to back to lower CG and decrease spin.
Last but not least, the moveable weights in the bottom of the Sub Zero are 14g and 2g respectively (other weight options are available through custom order) and allow the golfer to fine-tune spin and trajectory alongside the patented Callaway dual cog adjustable adapter.
Callaway Mavrik Max Driver
In what has now become common nomenclature in golf club branding and design the Mavrik Max is the most forgiving, highest-MOI model in the Callaway Mavrik family.
Coming in at 460cc in a shallower more draw bias shape, the Max has the largest footprint from address and is the easiest to launch of the three models. Although not as aerodynamically efficient as the other two Mavrik models, it still has all the key features of the line including FS2o, Flash Face 2.0, and Jail Break. Like the Sub Zero, the Max has two weights (14g and 2g) that when moved between positions offer either a maximum MOI setting or maximum draw with the weight position in the heel.
Loft Specs and Availability
Mavrik will come in three loft options of 9, 10.5, and 12-degree heads
Mavrik Sub Zero comes in the loft options of 9, and 10.5 degrees
The Mavrik Max will be available in 9, 10.5, and 12-degree lofts
- Project X EvenFlow Riptide 50g and 60g in A-Flex, Regular, Stiff, and X-Stiff
- Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 60g and 70g, in Regular, Stiff, and X-Stiff
- UST Helium 40g and 50g, in Women’s, A-Flex, Regular, and Stiff
Availability and Pricing
Pre-sale for the Callaway Mavrik drivers starts today, January 14th, with clubs being available at retail starting January 23rd.
Each driver in the Mavrik family is $499.99.
TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max driver review
New for 2020, TaylorMade has launched the new SIM driver family. First the lower spinning SIM then a more forgiving higher spinning SIM Max and a SIM Max D head to help draw the ball for those that need it.
We have seen the tour players using all three of the SIM drivers.
- Keegan Bradley WITB using the SIM Max D
- Tiger Woods WITB using the SIM
- Dustin Johnson WITB using the SIM Max
The SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers from TaylorMade feature an asymmetric sole shape as well as a redesigned Inertia Generator. The asymmetric sole shape of the drivers is designed to reduce drag while providing faster clubhead speed, with the redesigned Inertia Generator redistributing weight at the very low-and-back portion of the club in a bid to provide improved forgiveness.
The SIM Max D clubhead contains a heel-bias internal weight with a topline masking to make the clubhead look more open at address to help golfers who struggle with a right-miss.
Other features of the SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers includes a speed injected twist face, inverted cone technology, a thru-slot speed pocket, multi-material construction and an adjustable loft sleeve.
Exclusive to the SIM driver is sliding weight technology which allows face angle and flight bias preferences of up to +/-2° loft change and up to +/-20 yards of draw-fade bias.
Here are the individual reviews from GolfWRXers’ trip to The Kingdom.
Tester: Rob “osubuckeyes691“
I’ll start by saying this. SIM is very good. It’s not a magical 30 yards like everyone is talking about here. That comes from being properly fit. But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have.
My current set up is a Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond with a Fuji Ventus Black 6x. LOW LOW LOW combo…and I still hit it high haha. I live in the low to mid 170s ball speed with spin sometimes getting up to 2700 2800. Drives I hit well, spin around 2100. My miss is a big push slice.
But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have. -Rob
I ended up being fit in to a SIM 9* with the new KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5. This shaft is super interesting. It’s really hard for me to describe but it has feel, and a lot of it. Spin dropped to about 2400 on my miss right and really, that’s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted something that when I missed, wouldn’t lose me 30 yards. We put the weight in the heel and it really did help straighten out the miss. Huge advantage for me. I knew as someone who swings 120ish I wasn’t going to pick up 20 yards. I wanted to reduce my miss and that’s exactly what SIM was able to do for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Will “fillwelix“
For my driver fitting, I was with Perry, who was a blast to get to work with. I started by hitting my gamer on Trackman, talking with Perry about what my misses usually are, and what I wanted to get out of the fitting.
I usually don’t have a problem with distance so I told him the biggest thing I was looking for was a tighter dispersion. I don’t have the trackman numbers yet but with my gamer, I was averaging about 110 club head speed, 160-something ball speed, 270-275 carry, 285-290 total. Launching a bit too high but spin was okay.
The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. -Will
We tried the 10.5 SIM in a Ventus Black 6x, and he gave me a couple tips in my setup, because my AOA was something like 4 or 5 degrees up. The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. Carrying 295-300, total of 315-320. One shot carried the fence of the driving range at The Kingdom.
Spent some time going through different shafts to see if there was an improvement, played with weights, etc. but the best numbers were with the 10.5 SIM with Ventus Black 6x and the weight all the way in the toe, because my miss is usually left. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Nick “n_rones“
I started off with my fittings working with Joe. After some warmup we started with the drivers. Coming in I was playing a Srixon Z785 with a Hzrdus black 6.5 70 gram shaft at 45 inches.
I’m a really tough fit because I have an unusual swing and hit down on the ball heavily with every club. My AOA with the driver was between 5 and 7 down which is pretty nuts I always knew I hit down on it but not that much. I’m still waiting on the trackman date to be emailed to me but with my own driver I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 109 swing speed with a launch angle of 4 degrees and 4000 spin (Ridiculous I know right).
I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. -Nick
His main goal for me was to get launch up and spin down. The first club he handed me was the Sim 10.5 turned up to 11.25 with a Graphite design IZ 7x. Instantly my launch angle increased and spin dropped. We then went through a few other shafts like graphite design ad di 7x. We came back to the IZ and with a quick change in tee height we ended up where we wanted. We knew with my angle of attack we were never going to get me to super low spin and high launch we just wanted to get it to a manageable number.
By the end of the fit I was hitting the sim with the iz under 3k spin with a couple down at 2500 and 9 degree launch increasing my carry from the 244 range up to the 260-265 range on good swings and we neutralized my cut massively. I was fortunate enough to finish my fit while other guys were still busy so we went right into the build shop and he built me my driver on the spot and gave me a super cool kingdom exclusive headcover. I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. Most of that is me never being through a proper fitting before but a big factor was I was able to get into the sim head with high loft but it was a great spin killing head for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
I am one that gained a good bit of ball speed from getting fit for the SIM driver. My gamer is a Titleist 915D3 9.5* with a Rogue Silver 70X. I wasn’t fit for the driver as I just bought the parts off of the BST. I always felt that I lost yardage due to high spin. The Trackman didn’t lie as I was getting 166mph ball speed and 3000 rpm of spin on well-struck shots. Where this posed a problem was when I was off-center, the ball would be a high right spinner that would lose a lot of distance.
Where I saw great gains was in dispersion. TwistFace just flat out works. Toe shots came back to closer to center, and heal shots faded right back towards center. I also didn’t lose as much yardage. I did pick up about five mph in ball speed. There are a plethora of reasons for this gain and the resulting 20 yard gain in ball flight.
Some could attribute the gain to almost 30 feet of height in ball flight. It could also be because there was 300 less RPM, or over a degree increase in launch angle. Either way, it has proven to me that getting fit by a knowledgeable fitter is crucial. This is the first time that I have been fit for a driver. All the expectations of mine going into this fitting have been met.
The SIM is forgiving. The SIM is aerodynamically superior to what I have been playing. The SIM just flat out performs for me because it doesn’t balloon, it is forgiving on mishits with good direction and ball speed, and it reduced my spin rate. –
The sounds of the SIM line is amazing. The solid “thwack” sound it makes at contact is extremely welcoming. Gone are the days of high pitched aluminum baseball bat sounds. Now, some sounds just sound perfect to me. Johnny Wunder posted a video on Instagram of me hitting a driver, and you can hear the sound. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Building the perfect half set
Beyond physically putting clubs together, one of my favorite games to play is trying to build the ideal half set, and taking it out for some testing on the course. The goal is to see how few clubs I can play with before it becomes a detriment to my game and my scoring—while still having fun trying to hit all kinds of creative shots along the way
Many golfers have, at some point, played the “three-club challenge” (three including a putter), but that often becomes an exercise in caution and course management instead of what many would consider a usual round of golf. Although from the conversations I’ve had with golfers about trying out an extremely reduced set, the consensus generally ends up at, “I shot one of my best scores in a long time.”
I’m not sure how that sentiment potentially relates to handicap or not, but one way or the other, it’s a great way to lighten the load and have some fun thinking differently about your shots.
My ideal half set consists of 7-8 clubs including a putter, but in some cases, I will take it all the way down to 5-6. I love having the option to play with a full set and most times do, but I have gone weeks playing only with my half set and don’t see a noticeable variation in my scoring.
It actually makes me question why I carry a full set and in the grand scheme of golf. I think it would be one of the most entertaining experiments to have a PGA Tour event where players are limited to seven clubs. It would have the potential to make gearheads and the general fan engage in an interesting conversation.
Whatever way you choose to build your set, this is a quick start guide to play your best half set golf.
Thinking Your way Through Building a Half Set
- The Putter: This is the one club that probably isn’t going anywhere (unless you are a virtuoso putting with a bellied wedge). You are going to be using this club on every hole, and depending on your comfort level hitting certain shots, you might end up using it further off the green than normal—cheers to the imagination! Build out from here, because shots inside 100 yards are still going to take up the majority of strokes on your card, and your putter is going to save you shots.
- The “Wedge”: Remember that it wasn’t until the last generation of golfers that players started using a lob wedge. Tom Watson famously never put one in the bag and only carried up to a 56-degree. The ideal loft to start your set with is 52-54 degrees, because you can still hit shots out of the sand if needed, and it’s a great club to still hit full shots with—something that many golfers struggle to do with a lob wedge.
- Your “Go-To” Shot: I think most golfers agree that trying to get more out of a club distance-wise often ends with less than great results. This is why as you go through your set and start to pick clubs, it’s important to think about your favorite go-to shots. You want to do everything you can to avoid standing over a ball trying to manipulate a club because you don’t have “that distance” in the bag. This is hugely important when you realize that close to 90 percent of hazards are placed in front of the green or target areas and being able to get over comfortably should be priority number one.
- Know Your Iron Lofts: Most modern sets have 4-5 degrees between each club, but as you get to the longer irons, even towards the middle of the set (7-iron to 5-iron) loft gaps can get smaller quickly, and for some this can equal a diminishing point of return on distance gapping. Don’t just grab every other iron, take a few minutes to think about the carry distance of each club, because that’s going to be important.
- A Driver is Still Important: We all cant be Henrik Stenson with a 12-degree 3-wood we hit 300 yards. Unless you have plans to go truly minimalist, keeping a driver in the bag is a good idea. It is the largest and most forgiving club off the tee and will help put you into places that will make second shots a lot easier.
What GolfWRXers are saying are the top-3 underrated blade head designs circa 2005
GolfWRXers have been discussing the top-3 underrated blade head designs circa 2005 after forum member ‘8620’ created a thread with a desire to “build a set that starts with a ‘retro’ blade head, that incorporates a modern shaft (Nippon Modus Pro 130)”. Our members have weighed in on the subject, with some inspired by ‘8620’ to follow suit in his project.
Here are what our members are saying on the subject, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below,
- Gopher68: “Bridgestone J33 blades.”
- BCULAW: “Mizuno MP67. Awesome blade that never really caught on due to the popularity of its predecessor (MP33) and its sister offering (MP32). Also, the small ‘cut muscle’ gives it a bit of an old school vibe like the old Wilson bullet backs.”
- Golfingfanatic: “OG Nike Forged Blades.”
- cardoustie: “Bridgestone MB’s, love my J15’s.”
- OldTomMorris: “I’ve got a set of mp-37 irons that I am putting TT DG AMT white S300 shafts in right now. Curious to see if I can keep the short irons lower than my current set of irons.”
- Rapidcat: “This interests me as I played Mizuno SPL blades for a decade and still have the heads in very good condition, thinking about a reshaft for them to have some fun.”
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