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GolfWRX Spotted: Callaway Epic Speed and Epic Max drivers on conforming list

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The rumored and much-discussed Callaway Epic Speed and Epic Max drivers are now officially on the R&A’s conforming list. (Expected to see them soon on the USGA Conforming Club List). The newly updated January 4 list includes the Callaway Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS (which is generally used to define Low Spin).

With the PGA Tour season about to start, and players gearing up with all the 2021 equipment, including the newest Callaway staff player Jon Rahm, it should come as no surprise to see them pop up on the list this week. In true Callaway fashion, there are a number of different versions that can be found, but judging by the names, some will remain as “tour only” options for now.

With these drivers now on the list, we can probably expect to see an official announcement soon along with a retail launch date.

Callaway Epic Max

Upon first glance, the Callaway Epic Max looks familiar, but when analyzed closely, there are a number of new things going on with the sole of the driver to make us believe Callaway has done some serious tweaking under the hood.

The first and most obvious are the four Jailbreak ports on the sole behind the face. Jailbreak was a revolutionary change in design for Callaway to help retain ball speeds around the face, and with the Epic Max, it appears that the company is doubling up on these support structures to add rigidity and increase stability.

The other new addition is the carbon toe portion of the sole. It’s safe to assume that the crown will continue to be carbon composite and this toe part is being used to save additional mass. The last time Callaway went to a carbon sole portion was with the original Epic, and it proved to be quite useful.

What we know for sure

The great thing about visual technology is that, well, it’s visible, and on the sole of the Epix Max we can also see

  • An adjustable sliding weight
  • AI Speed frame – to optimize the internal structure
  • Horizontal lines indicating that some of the Cyclone shaping introduced in the Mavrik line will also carry forward.

Epic Speed

The name is the giveaway for this club head, and based on the removal of the sliding weight track, which requires additional mass to support, the Callaway Epic Speed has been designed to absolutely optimize speed and boost MOI.

The head features the same four Jailbreak ports as the Epic Max, as well as the carbon composite toe. Replacing the sliding track is a single weight in the rear of the head, which is likely to be used to push weight low and back for added forgiveness while also allowing final swing weight adjustability.

Epic Max LS

The Callaway Epic Max LS looks to have all of the same technical attributes of the standard Epic Max but in a smaller package. It’s hard to tell from the black and white images but the telltale sign is the angle and radius from the hosel to the back edge of the driver with the Max LZ version (on the left) being less round and bulbous compared to the standard Max version (on the right).

The Epic wildcards

The wildcards spotted on the conforming list are the Epic Speed DS and Epic Speed LS.

They share the same technologies as the other drivers listed but with the noticeable exclusion of the four Jailbreak ports for two ports and adjustable front weight. Callaway is well known for producing tour only product for some of its staff players—most famously Phil Mickelson, and with the recent signing of the highly ranked Jon Rahm, it could be that one of the parts of his deal was that Callaway would do anything they could with drivers to make sure Jon was comfy with the new products.

They could also be special editions to be announced alongside the rest of the new line but it would seem a little odd that there would be versions with less face tech—only 2 Jailbreak pieces instead of four.

Conclusion

With the success of the 2020 Mavrik and the previous 2019 Epic Flash driver lines, Callaway looks to be progressing with a proven formula of building driving uniquely targeted to golfers’ needs by offering three unique heads to help find the best fit—seems pretty epic.

To see what other golfers are saying check out the GolfWRX forums.

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Ryan Barath 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.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. stephen

    Jan 4, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    You all sound like haters just stay off the blog we really don’t want to hear it, just keep playing your 10 year old cheap clubs.

    • Ben

      Jan 5, 2021 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I feel exactly the same. I don’t understand why there are so many haters on the most Gear centric community leaving useless comments.

  2. Stacey Abrams

    Jan 4, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    Yeah, love the roll out of 5 and 6 drivers per model! Drives me nuts!!

  3. golfer

    Jan 4, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Consumers have to stop buying the $550 dollar driver and $1500 set of basic carbon steel/chrome blades if we ever want the price to come back down. Buy Hogan, buy sub70, buy used. We drive every pricepoint with our wallets.

  4. MNW

    Jan 4, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    how about showing pics of the club from playing position??
    Who cares about the bottom.
    be like saying “Check out my New Corvette”
    then posting a pic of the under frame.

    • Golfer

      Jan 4, 2021 at 8:50 pm

      These are photos from the Usga conforming club database. They are only so players in the future and the usga can identify clubs. tough to do that from the crown view

  5. Joey5Picks

    Jan 4, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    Where are all the Taylormade haters chiming in about Callaway releasing a new driver that *may* make you longer, at the rate of $550/yard?

  6. simms

    Jan 4, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    I wonder if it starts at $500 or $550 maybe $599 this time…need to pay for those two new 50 cent jail break bars…

    • Desert Hacker

      Jan 4, 2021 at 9:21 pm

      HA!! And Mr. Jon Rahm’s contract. ?

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2021 Tour Championship DraftKings fantasy golf picks

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Welcome to a new installment of DraftKings picks from staff writer and host of the Inside Golf Podcast, Andy Lack.

The PGA Tour travels to Atlanta, Georgia, this week for the Tour Championship, the final event of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Only the top-30 players in the FedEx Cup standings will be in attendance at East Lake Golf Club, and all will be competing for the FedEx Cup trophy and the top prize of $15 million dollars.

While this is an incredibly compelling week from a viewing standpoint, it does present an interesting proposition for those inclined to play DraftKings this week. Beginning in 2019, this event switched to a staggered scoring format to eliminate the confusion of two potential winners for the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup title. Patrick Cantlay, who is in first place after his victory last week at the BMW, will begin the tournament at 10-under par. Tony Finau, the number two ranked player, will begin at eight-under par, and so on until we reach the 30th ranked player, who will begin at even par.

Because of this new format, pricing is all over the place. Patrick Cantlay is the most expensive golfer at $13,400, and Erik Van Rooyen is the cheapest option at $5,000. Since there are only 30 players in the field this week, multiple players will crack 30% ownership, and only one or two players will have single digit ownership. While this week certainly isn’t for everyone, I do believe we are presented with an appealing opportunity to lean on game theory (even more than we usually do) and capitalize on some value. Let’s dig into my DraftKings picks for the Tour Championship.

$10,000 range

Jordan Spieth, $10,400 (Projected ownership: 10.98%)

I had no real plans to deploy Jordan Spieth this week, but he is a must play at this ownership. Spieth is in a bit of a dead-zone in the $10,000 range with Dustin Johnson, and double the amount of people are choosing a slightly more expensive Johnson in this spot despite him starting a stroke behind Spieth. That makes little sense to me. While the three-time major champion’s ball-striking has regressed in recent weeks, Spieth has been known to show up on tracks that he loves, regardless of form, and rise to the occasion. So long as he can find some of these fairways, East Lake is a good course for the 12-time PGA Tour winner, as evidenced by his win here in 2017. Spieth has also won at Innisbrook, been solid at TPC Southwind, and experienced plenty of success on Bermuda-grass greens.

$8,000 range 

Harris English, $8,700 (Projected ownership: 10.84%)

Since there are only two players in the $9,000 range this week and I will be playing neither of them, let’s jump down to the eights. I usually fade the Harris English chalk at all costs, so I was shocked to find out that the recent Travelers Championship winner currently carries the third lowest ownership projection of all 30 players in the field. English has been dominant on TPC Southwind, excellent on Bermuda-grass greens, and he profiles well for East Lake statistically as well. Over his last 36 rounds, English ranks 11th in fairways gained and fifth in scrambling. The University of Georgia product should be right at home this week in the southeast.

$7,000 range 

Brooks Koepka, $7,800 (Projected ownership: 17.90%)

Another week, another under-owned Brooks Koepka. I get it, the TOUR Championship is not a major, but I have a hard time believing that the four-time major champion can’t sink his teeth into the task of tracking down his peers from a giant hole. There’s a lot of money on the line this week, even for finishing ninth, and judging from Koepka’s dogged interest in the “PIP”, I think it’s a safe bet to assume this tournament will have his upmost attention. It was obviously overshadowed, but Koepka was good last week at the BMW as well. The Florida native was never going to win, but he fought hard all week and finished a respectable T17 while losing strokes putting, which kind of pokes a hole in the “Brooks only cares when he’s in contention” narrative. If the eight-time PGA Tour winner can grind out a solid weekend while not in contention on what players claimed to be both the hottest week of the year and the most difficult walk of the year, I think it’s fair to surmise that he’ll play hard for four rounds at East Lake, a golf course he’s already finished third and sixth at before.

$6,000 range

Joaquin Niemann, $5,600 (Projected ownership: 18.43%)

While we are not exactly getting a giant ownership break with Joaquin Niemann, fantasy managers are gravitating to the likes of Daniel Berger, Sergio Garcia, Corey Conners, and Hideki Matsuyama in this price range instead. Give me Niemann at depressed ownership. There seems to be a prevailing narrative that the young Chilean should only be deployed on Bent-grass greens, but Niemann has actually averaged 2.6 strokes putting across seven Bermuda-grass starts this season. The former Greenbrier Classic winner is also coming off a performance at the BMW Championship where he gained 1.5 strokes off the tee and 3.9 strokes on approach. Niemann is under-priced and under-owned for the upside he possesses.

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Tour Rundown: Cantlay’s playoff heroism, Curtis Cup remains in US hands, Højgaard

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You’d hardly know that it was the end of August, with all the golf being played. We’ve got PGA Tour playoffs, Solheim and Ryder Cups on the horizon, and a full slate of events on the world’s major tours. As the eighth month of 2021 draws to a close, we’ve a bit of time to present another installment of Tour Rundown. It was an exciting week, filled with unexpected champions, so let’s not waste another moment.

USGA: Curtis Cup remains in USA hands

For a time, Great Britain & Ireland held a lead over the USA, and the world turned upside down a bit. Perhaps it was the home cooking at Conwy in Wales, but that 4.5-1.5 advantage after day one had the local folks smiling. It didn’t last, sadly, but it was a wonderful start to the competition. On day two, the powerful USA side did a 4.5-1.5 number of its own, and the biennial matches came down to the day-three singles. On Saturday, the American side surged and dominated the singles matches by a 6.5-1.5 margin, which led to a five-point victory. Rose Zhang of the Americans turned in the only undefeated performance on the week, losing just a half-point on day one. The two sides will reunite in 2022 at Merion Golf Club, in Pennsylvania. After the 2020 matches were postponed until this year, the R&A and the USGA agreed to return to an even-year slate of challenges.

PGA Tour: BMW Championship ends in six-hole playoff

Bryson DeChambeau came within inches of a 59 on Friday. On Sunday, he came within inches of a win in regulation but made bogey at the last. With that misstep, he and Patrick Cantlay headed into a playoff to determine the winner of the second FedEx Cup Playoff event of 2021. The pair matched pars over the first four holes, then did the same with birdie at the fifth. When Cantlay dropped a birdie at the sixth playoff hole, DeChambeau had no answer, and the battle of California Kids went to Cantlay. One thing is for certain: if he goes extra holes, bet on Cantlay. Four of his five PGA Tour titles have come in extra holes. Both DeChambeau and Cantlay will feature on the USA Ryder Cup side next month, as the Americans attempt to reclaim the treasured trophy that once made a near-constant home on this side of the Atlantic.

Korn Ferry Tour: Nationwide Children’s Hospital trophy heads north of the US border

Vincent Whaley and Stephan Jaeger entered the final round in a first-place tie but, the way this weekend went, an overnight lead meant nothing. Whaley posted plus-1 on day four and dropped three spots, while Jaeger’s even par was good for a tie for second, but nothing more. Bronson Burgoon posted minus-5 on Sunday to jump up a quintet of places, but it was only good for a tie with Jaeger. The big winner (and, truly, the only winner) on Sunday was Canada’s Adam Svensson. The former Barry University golfer was four-under on the day and, despite a one-over 36 on the inward half, escaped with a one-shot victory.

PGA Tour Champions: The Ally Challenge features a surprise titleist

Under Bernhard Langer in the reference book, see GB&I Curtis Cup side, Whaley, Vincent and Jaeger, Stephan. The German champion began the week with an age-matching 64, and ended it with a one-shot loss to a resurgent Joe Durant. Langer was in the driver’s seat after eight holes, but played the final ten in even par. Durant was five under on the day and held a two-shot lead on the final tee. The four-time PGA Tour winner played it safe at the last, closing with bogey for a one-shot advantage. Actually, safe isn’t the proper word. Durant struggled to close the deal, but rolled his yellow golf ball into the jaws of the hole from ten feet at the 54th hole to cement the victory. With the win, Durant earned a fourth Champions Tour win to match his regular-tour tally.

European Tour: European Masters ends in tasty Danish

After American Sean Crocker stumbled to an even-par 70 and a fourth-place tie, the lane was open for anyone to make a run at the 2021 title. First came Henrik Stenson, who managed five birdies on the outward half, but cooled to just two on the inward side, for 63 and -11. Next came Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, whose day was progressing marvelously at seven-under through 14 holes. He made an unthinkable bogey at the next, but followed it with a birdie at 16. Inexplicably, Wiesberger made double at the last, to fall from 14-deep to 12-under par. With that fissure, the barn door lay wide open for Rasmus Højgaard. The Great Dane kept a clean card on day four and closed 5 under over his final six holes. Højgaard matched Stenson’s 63, emerging the unlikely winner of his third European Tour event in three seasons.

LPGA: Senior LPGA Championship finds an English home

The week prior to the Solheim Cup was a quiet one for the regular tour, so leave it to the senior champions to put on a show. Despite 18 American names in the top 21 spots, the championship came down to an Englishwoman and a Welshlady. On day one, England’s Trish Johnson took a one-shot advantage over Becky Morgan of Wales. On day two, the entire field struggled, with 71 being the low tally. Johnson and Morgan matched 73s and ventured into the final round with a one-stroke degree of separation. Morgan took the lead through seven holes, but couldn’t hold on. Her topsy-turvy inward half of 37 returned the lead to Johnson, who held on for a 69 and a one-shot victory.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the 2021 BMW Championship (plus links to all galleries)

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GolfWRX has an assortment of photos from the 2021 BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland, including in-hand photos of equipment, shots from the range, exclusive photos of new Scotty Cameron T11 and T11.5 Prototype putters, and more.

Links to the galleries, below.

Here are a few of the most interesting shots from the BMW.

Scotty Cameron T11, T11.5 putters are prototypes and for tour players only.

Jhonny Vegas is testing the new Mizuno Pro FLi-Hi and 225 irons.

Gotta like the SuperStroke tour umbrella grip! Only Jordan!

 

Really, Chris?

Paul Casey gets special treatment from Scotty. Normal pros get “for tour use only.” But if you have met Paul, you know he is good people.

 

Another Srixon ZX7 disciple: Harold Varner III.

Collin Morikawa likes his cereal. Right?

Corey Conners with new Ping i59 irons in the bag.

DJ: Always evaluating his putting prospects.

All our photos from the 2021 BMW Championship

General galleries 

2021 BMW Championship – Tuesday #1

2021 BMW Championship – Tuesday #2

2021 BMW Championship – Tuesday #3

2021 BMW Championship – Tuesday #4

2021 BMW Championship – Tuesday #5

2021 BMW Championship – Tuesday #6

2021 BMW Championship – Tuesday #7

Special galleries

Cameron T-11 & T-11.5 putters at 2021 BMW Championship

Mizuno Pro FliHi and 225 irons – 2021 BMW CHampionship

 

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