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2020 Callaway Mavrik Drivers 2020 Callaway Mavrik Drivers

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2020 Callaway Mavrik drivers: Faster means farther

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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.”

Callaway Mavrik Drivers 2020 lineup 2

Mavrik Sub Zero (left), MAVRIK Driver (center) and Mavrik Max (right)

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.

Cyclone shaping

Raised Skirt reduces drag

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.

Callaway Mavrik Drivers 2020 lineup crown

Mavrik Sub Zero (left), MAVRIK Driver (center) and Mavrik Max (right)

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

Callaway Mavrik Driver 2020 face

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.

Xander Schauffele’s non-conforming driver tested at The Open- CT creep

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

Callaway Mavrik Driver 2020 sole

Coming in at the legal limit of 460cc’s it is the head with the most dramatic Cyclone Shaping aerodynamics.

Callaway Mavrik Driver 2020 crown

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 Mavrik Sub Zero Driver 2020 sole angle

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.

Triple Diamond (left) vs. Standard Epic Flash

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.

The flatter sole profile of the MAVRIK Sub-Zero

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 Sub Zero Driver 2020 face

Callaway Mavrik Max Driver

Callaway Mavrik Max Driver 2020 sole

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.

Callaway Mavrik Max Driver 2020 crown

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.

Callaway Mavrik Max Driver 2020 face

Loft Specs and Availability

Lofts

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

Stock shafts

  • 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.

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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.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Moses

    Jan 16, 2020 at 8:03 am

    The Mavrik drivers are fantastic and will be in my bag in 2021 for $179.
    The flood of top of the line equipment every year makes for great prices the following year for the latest and greatest.

  2. Stuckenschneider

    Jan 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    It’s another Callaway driver that adds 20 yards and cost $500. Let’s see is this the fourth or fifth driver Callaway has introduced in the past 2 years? I believe they have introduced the Epic, Rogue, Epic Flash and now the Mavrik. Marketing is the name of the game.

    • Brandon

      Jan 15, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Each of those drivers you listed was released a year apart. Just like most of the big OEM’s do.

  3. Frank

    Jan 14, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Not playing any Callaway drivers with their V alignment marks on crown. Callaway had it right with the XR Pro and X2 Hot Pro and DBD lines.

  4. Sarsten Kolheim

    Jan 14, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    I tested these. I gained 1/2 a yard and increased my ball speed .7 mph. At this rate I’ll be crushing 347 yarders in 287 years and have spent $143,213 lining some guy in China’s pocket. Marketing works!!!!!!!!!

  5. Earvin Johnson

    Jan 14, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    “Goose, I’m switching to guns!” Cue Kenny Loggins theme! “Highway to the danger zone@!”

  6. scott

    Jan 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    I tested the sub zero version yesterday at Callaway. The numbers were (slightly) faster all around than my flash sub zero. However, they did seem to work out the sound/feel issues as the mavrik has a much more muted sound and better feel than the flash. Another quality offering in my opinion.

  7. Jordan

    Jan 14, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Sean Toulon: Big Top Gun guy.

  8. dat

    Jan 14, 2020 at 9:28 am

    No pricing available?

    • TBGC

      Jan 15, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      Did you actually read the article or just the headline?

  9. Billie Smith

    Jan 14, 2020 at 9:13 am

    It’s no different than the Epic Flash. I’ve played the flash for 1 year and don’t see any difference between these products other than marketing that suckers will fall for.

    At least it’s not that ugly green which is a total distraction. The Epic Flash green monster is a nice club but it’s ugly and sounds like crap.

    • CJ

      Jan 15, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      I get your obvious point. However, I’m guessing many like me did not buy a new driver last few years. For guys with epic no biggie.

    • Egbert Palmerino

      Jan 15, 2020 at 7:16 pm

      One might suppose you were in the sucker category yourself. After all, you do go out and buy the latest, greatest, newest toy being marketed on 2019. Pretty much exactly wht you are accusing the 2020 buyers of doing.

  10. Math

    Jan 14, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Try this: e = 1/2 mv^2

  11. Lar

    Jan 14, 2020 at 7:33 am

    By making them faster, does that mean they’ll be illegally hot faces that need testing all the time
    lmao

  12. D

    Jan 14, 2020 at 7:20 am

    English is not your first language, huh?
    I quit reading after about the first half sentence. I couldn’t go forward after that, it’s so poorly written and makes no grammatical sense.

    And if the driver is supposed to be AI designed blah blah, why is is still the same shape as last years

    • Call me Ishmael

      Jan 14, 2020 at 10:31 am

      dude relax. it’s an intro into specs on a new driver, not a herman melville novel.

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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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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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Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

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.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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