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Top 5 drivers of all time: 400cc and under

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With modern driver technology, 460cc is the club head volume that reigns supreme. Even modern “tour” drivers being offered by OEMs are over 430cc, and those releases are becoming less popular as modern players are choosing total forgiveness over workability.

But there was a time not too long ago when 350cc was considered “a toaster on a stick.” As technology and manufacturing techniques improved, those 350cc toasters became 400cc “Volkswagen vans.” If you didn’t hear one of these phrases muttered when you pulled out a new driver in the early 2000s, you’re lucky!

The 400cc-and-under drivers of the early and mid-2000s shifted the way golfers now look at technology, and with let’s take a look back at the top five 400cc-and-under drivers of all time.

Taylormade R510 TP

The driver for which an entire half-decade of clubs were compared to. You couldn’t hit a driver or talk about new clubs without someone saying “is it as good as the R510 TP?”

TaylorMade’s dominance in the driver category didn’t start with the R500 series though, it was the previous 300 Series that was revolutionary in changing the way golfers looked at driver models to fit their game by offering three completely different heads (300, 320, and 360) to fit player types and preferences.

The R500 Series took the multi-release concept a step further with the 510, 540, and 580 drivers, but then came the “holy grail” R510 TP (Tour Preferred), and the rest is history; an open look from address, inverted cone clubface, a real-deal Fujikura 757 Speeder shaft (huge deal at the time)—this is a driver people still talk about, and for good reason.

Titleist 905S

With the massive popularity of the Titleist 983K and E drivers, it was going to take a LOT from the Titleist R&D team to convince both tour players and regular golfers to make another switch – but they did it with the 905 Series.

The 905 series, originally launched with the 905T (more pear-shaped ) and the 905S (deeper face) models. These were both eventually followed by Titleist’s first 460cc driver, the 905R.

The 905S was the direct replacement to the player preferred deep faced 983E and to this day is still considered one of the great designs in the 400cc era.

It had a strong titanium face insert to boost ball speed, and aluminum shaft sleeve to help push mass and COG lower into the head because they were still full bore through at the time. The shape of the 905S made it an easy adjustment for players coming from smaller drivers and was just so good looking from address. It came with a nice selection of stock shaft options and a very cool headcover.

Honorable mention to the 905T—a driver used by Steve Stricker for a long time with a ProForce V2 shaft

Cleveland Launcher 400

For Cleveland Golf, the Launcher brand was synonymous with “big” drivers and long drives. Beyond Tiger Woods, there wasn’t a hotter golfer on the planet in the mid-2000s than V.J. Singh, and he was also one of the longest on tour.

The Launcher 400 came after the original 330, and although from the outside it looked simple, from a technology standpoint, it had an extremely light crown that pushed CG as low as possible to offer forgiveness and low spin. At the time, Cleveland Golf was pushing the limits of thin-walled casting, which allowed them to push the driver to the 400cc, which also made it very forgiving.

You can’t forget it came stock with a matte gold finished Fujikura shaft that helped it stand out at retail and on the tee.

Ping ISI Tec

For a long time, the Ping Isi Tec was “THE driver,” and I have some fun facts about it.

It was the last Titanium Driver to ever be made in the United States, which also made it one of the most expensive drivers to ever hit retail shelves.

It was the number one driver on the long drive circuit, before other companies starting coming in and producing speciality heads for those competitors.

It had the first mass market adjustable hosel thanks to the plastic sleeve that could be ordered through the Ping WRX department. Each sleeve had a small code to signify the setting (RSS for example was Regular, Standard, Standard). The biggest issue was to be “adjusted,” it needed to be re-shafted, which wasn’t very economical.

Last but not least, the “loft” on the bottom wasn’t actually the loft at all, “ET” stood for effective trajectory, and like with anything Ping, there is a reason for this. The Isi Tec driver moved the CG a lot more forward that previous model. This made it lower spinning. The actual loft was about 1.5-degrees more than the ET. Ping wanted to make sure that players could keep the ball in the air with the new lower spin design—thus the birth of effective trajectory instead of loft to help players find the right head.

Mizuno MP-001

I’m sure you didn’t open this up expecting to see a Mizuno driver, but the 400cc MP-001 was a huge leap forward in driver technology, and like many things Mizuno, it slid way under the radar—just like the 460cc MP-600 that had the very first sliding weight track in a driver.

The MP-001 was the very first driver to use a carbon composite crown to help bolster mass properties and increase forgiveness. What this also did was make it sound muted and “thuddy” a sound that at the time was very different from other drivers on the market.

In traditional Mizuno style, the MP-001 was understated in its looks but had a lot of technology under the hood to earn its spot in the top five. A forged face helped reduced wasted material that could be positioned around the head to optimize flight. Unlike a lot of drivers at the time, it sat very square to the target making it a club preferred by better players.

 

What do you think GolfWRXers? Are there any 400cc-or-less drivers you think belong in the top five that aren’t included? Any that are included you don’t think should be? Have your say below!

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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.

75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. Caleb

    Nov 18, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    I had that ping up to 3 years ago, lots of vibs tho cause hit 300 yards now, went to g30 and that got to loud/hurt ears,. Now g400 lst matrix 82 grams shaft 1/2inch butt trim. I use to hit 275 with hat old driver straight a kid for like 20 years

  2. Carp

    Nov 7, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    975jvs

    • Bob Kendall

      Nov 10, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Ryran, I would add the Titleist 983E.

  3. Mike

    Oct 28, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    obviously someone born after 1990.
    the game changers
    – the first Taylormade burner driver-early 80’s
    – the Callaway Big Bertha Driver- early 90’s
    – the Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver- mid 90’s
    – Titleist 975 driver- mid 90’s every good player had one
    – Taylor Made R7- game changer with movable weight

  4. Josh

    Oct 28, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Gotta have the Big Bertha on there as well as the Titleist 975d, Taylormade 360, and King Cobra. I agree on the ISI but think the others are a miss.

  5. Dan

    Oct 26, 2019 at 8:48 am

    All time?
    1. List is irrelevant without Callaway big Bertha.
    2. J’s Professional Weapon for us older guys
    3. Taylor Made Burner Plus w Aldila Tour Gold

    Thanks for

    • Ygolf

      Oct 26, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      MacGregor 693 circa 1950, GOAT.
      Then BB Memphis 10 shaft and half cord grip. It left the Taylormades in the dust.

  6. Deepred

    Oct 26, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Wilson Fatshaft Metal Matrix. As long as any driver I’ve ever hit even though it looks like a 3 wood today.

  7. Fergie

    Oct 25, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Isi Tec was not a reliable fairway finder for me. Launcher 360 I liked for forgiveness, but otherwise unremarkable. Not on the list, but my favorite was Titleist 975J, as sub-400cc drivers went.

  8. Noosh

    Oct 24, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Me no likey kooche

    • Mike T

      Oct 25, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      Kduooooooooooche, kduoooooooooooooooche, kduooooooooooooooooooche…

  9. turfrex68

    Oct 24, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    The Northwestern powerkick shaft driver was a beast!!

  10. Ryan Barath

    Oct 24, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Hi WRXer’s

    Thanks for all the feedback and replies. Some of you have pointed out some amazing honourable mentions including the eZone, and the J33P ( I still have a J33r – 420cc model that comes out multiple times a year ) and others from cobra and callaway.

    In fact the J33 was my 6th option since all that driver makes me think about is Stuart Abbleby mashing it around Kapalua in the early 2000s.

    I realize that the title leaves something to the imagination as far as “any” driver under 400cc including persimmon but I was sticking to modern just under 400cc clubs. Appreciate all the great replies.

    RB

    • hollabachgt

      Oct 25, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Might I suggest then you change the name of the article. Something like “Greatest 380-400cc drivers made since 2000”

      Your last two “of all times” articles has greatly ignored anything made outside of the last 25 years, which is frankly ignoring a tremendous amount of all time greats.

      I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that when you make an “of all time” article about irons you’re going to include clubs like the MP-14, MP-29, and Taylor Made TP-MB but not include the originator of that design, the Hogan Precision.

    • Young Zach Morris

      Oct 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      Should change the title to say “last 20 years” or “recent” instead of “all time.”

    • myron miller

      Nov 27, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      Thern why the title? It says best under 400cc, not best since 1990 (“with let’s take a look back at the top five 400cc-and-under drivers of all time.”). Grossly misleading and just flat out lousy writing to mislead people like that. Like others said, Big Bertha has to be on list as did the 975d. Way more classic of both of these than the mizuno or Ping.

      In fact, the 975d was the first meetal head driver that I switched to from wood heads. And I switched because it hit the fairway more often, not for the distance. It was overall shorter by about 20-30 yards from my persimmon driver but hit the fairway about 70-80% more.

      Taylor Made with Burner shaft is another all time revolutionary driver. Probably caused more people to switch to metal woods than any other club. But again it’s pre-1990.

      And I don’t see one Persimmon head driver on your list yet some of them were as revolutionary as anything nowadays. But it seems clear that you have limited experience with any drivers prior to 1990

  11. Moses

    Oct 24, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    R510TP and TecTI drivers were used to win ALOT of money back in the day. 😀 They were the longest drivers of the day without a doubt for me.

  12. Pineapple

    Oct 24, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    RB: come on buddy!!!! you are missing here some Legendary Models
    Callaway Great Big Bertha
    Titleist 975D
    Mizuno 300S
    King Cobra DeepFace
    among others. MP001??? hehehe no way!!!!

  13. Chuck Taylor

    Oct 24, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Whaaaat!!! How’a bout the Northwestern driver from Target! That thing was bullet proof! Literally!

  14. Ben

    Oct 24, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    300 series from Taylormade.

  15. David Wusstig

    Oct 24, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    You nailed it on the Ping TiSi driver… I replaced mine just a few years ago with the Ping G20. The G20 was not longer, just more forgiving. My ‘miss’ on the TiSI was left and needed the RSL hosel (I’m short and needed a lower lie angle) but Ping (at the Phoenix HQ) could no longer source the adjustable hosels as they were end of life and no longer stocked otherwise I might still be hitting it! As a ~5 HC, I’ve yet to find a newer driver that I hit better or longer than the G20 now (G400 was the last I tested).

  16. t

    Oct 24, 2019 at 10:40 am

    This list without the Bridgestone J33P is just wrong

  17. Kale

    Oct 24, 2019 at 8:58 am

    510 TP all day baby.

  18. David

    Oct 24, 2019 at 5:58 am

    Uhhh. Callaway big Bertha! Cobra deepface!

  19. Mike Barnett

    Oct 24, 2019 at 5:56 am

    975D. Driver deserves top spot in the hall of fame.

  20. Bobby

    Oct 24, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Purespin Diamond face driver with the fat kevlar shaft

  21. jgpl001

    Oct 24, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Great Big Bertha and 983K – 2 greats in their day

    • Joe

      Oct 24, 2019 at 9:44 am

      I concur on 983K and Great Big Bertha. I picked up a mint 983K with an aftermarket 757 Speeder for $15 at a sporting goods store a few summers ago. Gamed it for a while and still scratch free. I remember dropping $400 back in the day on it. As for the GBB I had a sweet Red AJ Tech horizontally wound XFlex that used to rip.

      • George

        Oct 24, 2019 at 2:23 pm

        Dude you nailed it. The 983 clubs were so solid, especially with the Fujikura 757 Speeder shaft. I got a 983E with the speeder shaft for like $20 preowned from golf galaxy and I let my buddy borrow it when he was having his driver replaced. He was hitting it 350 and I’m just a little bit shorter than him off the tee but we were both bombing it as far or further than clubs that were made 2 years ago. Just such a solid club I think about going back to it all the time!

        • Dan

          Oct 26, 2019 at 8:54 am

          I still use my 905R w real 757
          Speeder and it’s still the longest driver I’ve ever owned. Longer than TM R1, M3, Callaways etc

  22. Matt

    Oct 23, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Kuch sucks

    • Mad-Mex

      Oct 24, 2019 at 4:18 am

      Give it a rest loooooooooser! Bet your one of the idiots who screams “mash potatoe” or other equally obnoxious drunken childish remarks during tournaments and is the only one who thinks it’s funny,,, get a life!

      • beamanandwalkthecourse

        Oct 24, 2019 at 3:16 pm

        Winners spell potato without an e! ….ps Kutcher should not have been so cheap and ungrateful. The Mexican caddy helped Kutcher get back on the winning track!!!!

    • Not Mad Mex

      Oct 24, 2019 at 4:56 am

      No man, he’s a winner. Keep it up with the Matt Kuchar insults, like on every comments board. I like reading them. Kuchar is a fake tool anyways. I come to the comments section to read the stupid stuff. Love seeing people actually get bent because someone took 2 seconds to throw some shade. Deal with it.

      • Erik Morden

        Oct 24, 2019 at 7:52 am

        Matt is the Golf WRX troll. You could write something about anything in the golf world and he would hate it. You could be God himself and he would hate you. Like a previous poster said he is a tool his last name maybe Craftsman or Kobalt or SnapOn.

        • Not Aaron Judge

          Oct 24, 2019 at 8:57 am

          World needs Trolls too.

          • Mad-Mex

            Oct 25, 2019 at 8:30 pm

            Wish their parents had used birth control,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

            • Not on my bridge

              Oct 26, 2019 at 9:44 am

              Pretty soon, the trolls will take over. They are the terminators of the future. People like you will explode and become non existent. They will be washed out by the power of the troll movement in the 2020’s…

      • Jeremy

        Nov 11, 2019 at 9:59 pm

        I totally understand thinking the internet is funny, but what you’re missing is that this is a website about golf. And you’re trolling. It is basically showing that you are not cool or smart or funny enough for 4chan, and come troll on a golf website. Gg.

  23. Rich Douglas

    Oct 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Big Bertha, because it started the whole revolution towards bigger driver heads.

    Great Big Bertha–titanium.

    Any driver that was constructed contrary to good engineering–the Pod, Hammer, and whatever that hard (low-COR, it turns out) driver MacGregor came out with.

  24. Matt

    Oct 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    For me it was the Titleist 975J, but it might have been the after marked graphite design ys7 shaft that made it work so well for me. However I did try a golf buddies 510tp around that time and it was the first time I remember flying the bunker on my home courses 15th hole. Need less to say it left quite an impression but so did the seven hundred dollar price tag!

  25. lnholly

    Oct 23, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Bridgestone Whopper

  26. tom

    Oct 23, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    No original Callaway Great Big Bertha Warbird???????? This is the driver that changed everything.

  27. Fhartt Dikkwater

    Oct 23, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Today I learned golf started in 1995. There were no good drivers before this. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer used catapults for their tee shots then used blade irons, which they were the only ones in the galaxy legally allowed to play. Also learned thats its humanly impossible to use a 56* wedge for around the greens. Have to have a 60* with a special grind on it to accomplish this task.

    • Blowfeldher

      Oct 23, 2019 at 8:30 pm

      I like your name. I could see that on a Korn Ferry leaderboard right next to Sepp Straka the Bond villian.

  28. Curt

    Oct 23, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Nobody could out drive me and my blue nike 400. Just made others mad and out of bounds.

  29. James

    Oct 23, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    MacGregor M85, Cleveland TC15, Powerbilt Citation, Wood Brothers Texan?

    Titleist 905S? Seriously? 975D long before.

  30. Paul

    Oct 23, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    The Cobra 370 SS unlimited was phenominal in its day, still by far the longest driver I’ve ever hit

  31. Joseph Runtz

    Oct 23, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    The Tony Penna Innovator- Cobalt was longer than the great Big Bertha, the Cleveland Launcher was a close 2nd as was Titleist’s 983
    Head to Head the Innovator took all challenger at that time.

  32. Old Zach Morris

    Oct 23, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Opting for the 905S over the OG 975D is a travesty.

    And for the rando pick, they should have went with the Goldwin ADVP.

    • Patrick M.

      Oct 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      975D was great until 983 came out and then the 905s.

      975D was the best driver of the 1990s.

  33. TG

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Not including The Great Big Bertha is Hard to understand. So many tour pros played this in the late 90s.

  34. Bernie Mac

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Jack Hamm, HAMMER driver. Nuff said.

  35. Ol Skool

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Titleist Howitzer and Starship were gamechangers. However the Jack Hamm endorsed “Hammer” brought 400 plus yard drives into our bags.

  36. Jim

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Titleist 975D – Just ask that Woods guy.

  37. Jim

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    “Of all time” should be removed from the title of this article, as it really means just the last 30 years, while conveniently ignoring clubs of the classic era of golf.

  38. Mardukes

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Toski CZAR 270cc

  39. Jim

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I would take “of all time” out of the title so people will know you are focused only on metal-woods of the last 30 years or so and completely ignoring the classic persimmons of the past.

  40. Jeremy Thompson

    Oct 23, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Well the GBB and BBB were all north of 400cc so can’t be included. No original Big Bertha is a serious omission, the driver that was a complete game changer and industry changer. And no 975D either???

  41. Vas

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Leaving off Callaway is just trying too hard. Also, if you’re going to go Titleist, you’d need to go 983-series instead of the 905s. The 983E with the EI-70 Tour X was a game-changer for me, but most of my friends preferred the K.

    Agree about the E Zone 380. Unreal.

    • joe

      Oct 23, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      My 983E is still the best ever for me. GD Ys stiff shaft. I could really put it out there comfortably, and I could work it nicely.

  42. Jeff E

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    I played a Titliest 975D for years, and it was head and shoulders above the 983 and 905. Loved that driver, and hit it better than the 510TP from Taylor Made as well…. I’d put it #1 on this list.

  43. PC

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Yonex E Zone 380…. the best head ever made.

  44. Ray Bennett

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I am surprised that the KZG PFT 300 didn’t get a mention.

  45. Kevin kelly

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    The original Bobby Jones driver was as long as any driver I hit in my lifetime. I played a long time with persimmon and was very slow to switch to metals. Their 7.5 was awesome.

  46. Jose

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Actually I liked the Mizuno MP-001 375 driver because I could hit it of the deck fairly well.

  47. Tiger Woods

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Cmon man — no Great Big or Biggest Big?

  48. EgdewRich

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    KZG CHII with Fujikura Vista Pro shaft. Smaller head but right there with TM 500 series!

  49. Ed LeBeau

    Oct 23, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    You left out Callaway’s Big Bertha
    That’s a serious omission

  50. drjacko

    Oct 23, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Ryan, this is a great series! There is always a temptation to build a classic set out of your lists.

  51. A. Commoner

    Oct 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    RB: Give it up.

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Equipment

2021 Callaway Epic Speed Launch Day Report: Everything you need to know about the new equipment from Callaway

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It’s the official launch day of the all-new Callaway Epic Speed line of metal woods, which includes both driver and fairway wood models—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic LS. To summarize the newest releases, Callaway engineers are taking their artificial intelligence as far as they ever have by using it to optimize both the face and body of the driver to deliver forgiveness and distance increasing ball speed across the face like never before.

If are looking for in-depth information, on the ins and outs of the new designs and the technology that makes them possible, check out our full launch pieces below.

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown lighter with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.

Perspectives from the GolfWRX forums

  • bcflyguy1 – I’ve also found the Max head to be excellent when lofted down and weight pushed to the toe; becomes surprisingly neutral when configured as such. Obviously can see where many will prefer the more muted sound/feel and compact footprint of the Speed head or may need the greater fade bias from the Max LS and its Trip Diamond-ish shaping. However, the Max offers a VERY rare combination of tons or horsepower but with sufficient traction control to keep even me from figuratively wrapping it around a light pole.
  • noodle3873 – Just got back from hitting balls. My local Pro was breaking in his Epic LS 9° against his Mavrik SZ TD 9°. Both heads were built/hotmelted to the same weight. He was using GC Quad and brand new Srixon range balls (not ideal but numbers are like for like). On average he was getting more launch, more ball speed and a couple more yards out of the LS.
  • mtp –  I hit the whole lineup today. Not a fitting.  Just trying them out. Was using the HZRDUS Smoke Green. LS was best for me. Prefer the shape, sound and feel over my current Sim Max.
  • zeke66 – This thing is a beast. Hit it with a Paderson ballistic tp. I was swinging awful with all 3 drivers I was hitting including gamer, and wouldn’t leave the hitting bay until I started hitting it better. So I grabbed the Max Ls 9.0 and worked through it. Average ball speed was around 177 low 120’s with spin around 2100-2200, launch 12-15. When you catch one on the screws… it goes as good as anything I think.

More from the GolfWRX forums

GolfWRX’s resident equipment tester, Brian Knudson of the Club Junkie podcast, had this to say

Epic Max driver: A lot of draw bias, but easy to launch high and takes some right side out even with a neutral weight. Sound and feel are improved over Mavrik, much more muted and solid feeling. Center strikes are hot, and even misses carry some good ball speed.

Epic Speed driver: The best looking of the Epic drivers. Offers the most penetrating flight. Seems to be pretty low spin and easy to work the ball in either direction. Misses don’t stay online as well with more curvature. It is long and going to be a really good option for skilled players.

Epic Max LS driver: Very forgiving and offering a straighter flight than Max. Slightly lower trajectory as well. Toe misses hold their line better than the other two. Shots low on the face don’t get up as high as expected but still carry. Misses off-center still have good carry distance

Here’s what the biggest YouTube testers and reviews have to say on the newest Callaway Apex line

And on Instagram

 

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From the Twitterverse

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Equipment

Best utility iron of 2021 – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing 2021 utility irons. WRXer ‘Krod10359’ kicks off the thread, saying:

“Just want to know your opinion on what new utility iron you have hit this year. Looks like a lot of solid offerings out right now from Ping, Srixon and Callaway. Let me hear what you have to say about these clubs.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

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.

  • hypergolf: “This…(photo above)”
  • TigerInTheWoods: “Sim Udi is a beauty. Launches a bit higher and is a bit more forgiving than the P790 UDI which was really the benchmark for this kind of club.”
  • craz-e: “Hard to go past the Srixon for performance and value. The current offerings from Titleist (u500 & u501) and Mizuno (HMB) are also great options and worth trying.”
  • Golfingfanatic: “The new Callaway one is pretty good.”

Entire Thread: “Best utility iron of 2021”

Not yet a GolfWRX member? Sign up for FREE here.

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Equipment

2021 Callaway Epic driver: Epic Speed, Epic Max & Epic LS drivers

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Callaway Golf introduces new Epic driver lineup for 2021—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers—giving us the best of everything.

When it comes to a hot face, Callaway Golf has been at the top of the heap since its introduction of Jailbreak Technology back in 2017. In simplest terms, Jailbreak allowed Callaway to vertically stiffen the face, which allows the face to absorb a ton of energy and release it right back into the golf ball.

When Epic hit the market, it was instantly the driver of that year due to its ball speeds and forgiveness across the face, but most importantly for Callaway, it gave the company a strong foundation to build from for models to come.

In 2020, with the help of artificial intelligence, Callaway engineers were able push that idea a bit further with the successful Mavrik line. This time, artificial intelligence took Jailbreak and found ways to make it even more efficient with the addition of the Flash Face.

Now, in 2021, using every piece of tech at its disposal, Callaway officially launches the new 2021 Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers.

The new AI-designed, carbon-loaded, MOI machines are the culmination of now four iterations of Jailbreak technology, and in my opinion, Callaway has its fastest but more importantly—most golf-course friendly—driver ever.

Let’s dive in…

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed Driver, Cyclone Aero Shaping

In addition, the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and the new look Jailbreak Speed Frame create stiffness not only vertically across the face but east and west as well. The result? Speed, stability, and a ton of forgiveness.

The new 2021 Callaway driver, face on

“Spin robustness” is another key term in the 2021 Callaway campaign. What this means for us is giving players spin where we need it (i.e. off the heel spin stays down, off the toe spin stays up, out of the middle the ball goes forever).

Another key aspect to notice across the line is the enhanced composite crown. The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver has a triaxial carbon crown that covers even more real estate allowing Callaway to redistribute 16 grams of discretionary weight. The larger carbon surface area also innately created a way for Callaway R&D to make the Epic Speed a bit more draw friendly without having to add external weight to the heel.

Callaway Epic Speed driver, address

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

Sole view of the new Callaway Epic Max driver

Yes, the new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Sliding weight

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Address

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Incorporating the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and Jailbreak technology, Callaway has created a new more forgiving profile in a players driver.

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.
Like Epic Max, LS also has a sliding weight to tune in adjustability.
Inspired by the Triple Diamond tour heads of the past, Callaway decided to go away from cranking spin down to oblivion and offer a driver that was actually closer to what the tour leans towards. Yes, they love a low spin head, but not too low spin. The Triple Diamond heads were basically a Sub Zero shape in a higher MOI profile. If you go through our tour photos, you will see more Triple Diamonds than anything. Obliterating launch and spin sounds good for Trackman, but it’s hard to play that way on the golf course all the time.

Initial Tour Reaction

I had a chance to chat with  Callaway’s PGA Tour Manager Jacob Davidson on the early response and this is what he had to say.

JW: In early testing, what is the first thing players are seeing with Speed and LS?

JD: Early feedback from the tour guys has been a noticeable difference in an increase in ball speed across the face but more importantly the dispersion has tightened down range. Many guys have also quickly fallen in love with the sound of the new metal woods.

JW: What most excited you with the new line?

JD: We knew early on with this product launch that we had an exceptional driver. To start- the look of the heads and the shaping allows the clubs to sit beautifully at the address position. From there the overall feel and sound matches exactly what tour guys prefer. The guys we have worked with have converted into the new woods extremely quickly with very positive feedback. For us, we are excited to have some great starting lines, a competitive ball speed advantage, and an increase in forgiveness.

We are constantly studying what makes world class drivers of the golf ball world class. After much research, we determined the ideal spin/ degree of launch and worked closely with our R&D team to reach these numbers. We were absolutely amazed to see what they came back to us with. Using AI they were able to figure out how to increase the MOI in this line of drivers while also focusing on more ball speed. It truly is remarkable the new frontier of technology we are using in our drivers to help our players play their best golf.

Overall Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Epic Flash (acoustics), and Mavrik was solid but didn’t blow me away. This new 2021 Callaway Epic line of drivers is exactly what players want: a golf club that is playable all while providing the distance and performance we have gotten used to over the past few years. It’s a new trend in the market that I’m loving. Drivers are becoming golf course friendly again. We tried to kill spin—when ultimately it was our best friend in the long run.

Specs

At Retail: 2/18

Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12 degrees (Epic Speed) 9, 10.5 degrees(Epic Max & Epic Max LS)

Price: $529.99

Stock Shaft Offerings

  • Epic Speed Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g – S)
  • Epic MAX Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g -S)
  • Epic MAX LS: Mitsubishi MMT (60g – S,X. 70g – S,X)
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