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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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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: GolfWRX Members Choice: Best driver of 2021 – GolfWRX

  2. DUKE PARK

    Jan 16, 2021 at 8:02 am

    Same old schmeel “lower spin & higher ball speeds more forgiving” blah blah blah.

  3. Dan

    Jan 15, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Based on early pictures, all the tour staff isn’t playing these drivers. So what gives?

  4. John

    Jan 15, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of the mmt Mitsubishi shaft? Is it any good

  5. Leon

    Jan 15, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    It must be a painful job for the Callaway marketing team to make up with some new technology “words” every year

  6. John WIlkins

    Jan 15, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Don’t like them at all! Looks like a Ping and nowhere as good as their competitors products.

    Do they add distance? Will the paint fall off again?

  7. Jack Nash

    Jan 15, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Oh goodie another $600 driver.

    Rounds of golf played in northern climes(weather permitting) – 50 rounds(hey I’m an old fart)
    New Call driver (here) probably $700
    Value per round? $14/round then add fees, cart etc looking at about $80-100 per rnd.

    Whereas my latest acquisition TS3 for $200, cost is cut in about half. Sure if I had the money to waste I might try it, but how many people today have any money let alone money to waste?

  8. Smith

    Jan 15, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Decent-looking driver. Interesting that everyone seems to be taking Ping’s LS and Max monikers though.

  9. Liam

    Jan 15, 2021 at 6:10 am

    I look forward to trying the Max LS and Epic Speed. Not thrilled with the stock shaft offerings though.

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Equipment

‘Changed drivers and it made a difference’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing their experience changing drivers. WRXer ‘PlayIt’ is looking to hear from those who have found a mighty difference from changing drivers recently, and our members have been sharing their experiences 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.

  • rooski: “I completely redid my (quite old) bag this year and went from the Nike Covert 2.0 Tour to the RadSpeed. Made a pretty significant difference in forgiveness, partially the head, partially spending lots of time getting shaft/length/swing weight correct, which I’ve never paid attention to before. I can hit it exactly as far with either driver though, and last time I picked up a Callaway Big Bertha in titanium, I also hit it just as far as those two for the most part. The biggest differences between new and old are forgiveness, not so much distance.”
  • Billfitz: “I went from a Taylor Made M1 to a Cleveland Launcher HB. The distance is the same, but the Cleveland is far more forgiving. I really have to mess up to slice or hook with it, but I’m still able to work a controlled fade or draw at will. What makes it a real win-win is it’s priced around $150 less than most drivers. The new XL Lite is very similar.”
  • TupperWolf: “I’m sure it’s down to the shaft, but my Mavrik SZ is the driver I never thought actually existed. I’ve seen good drivers of the ball, and I’ve hit the occasional good drives, but I’ve never consistently hit the ball long and straight. I recently hit 13/14 fairways when my previous average was 4-5. I literally just aim and swing as hard as I want, and it goes straight. I can’t wait to see how it helps my game over the next few rounds. Prior to this, I was playing an old 910D2, and I tried a TEE C721, great head, but the shaft didn’t work for me.”

Entire Thread: “Changed drivers and it made a difference”

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (09/30/21): TaylorMade OG Mini Driver

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a TaylorMade OG Mini Driver.

From the seller (@texas_tom): “Used for a week just not for me. MINT. Mid launch and mid spin, the original is a money maker club. Get this while it lasts. 11.5 degrees with diamana F65 Stiff – $300.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: TaylorMade OG Mini Driver

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Equipment

A look at Bryson DeChambeau’s prototype line drive driver

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Editor’s note: We filed this story for PGATour.com’s equipment report.

Dechambeau’s much ballyhooed bid to compete against the professional long drivers — and just a few days after the conclusion of the Ryder Cup — has captivated the gold world. Even casual fans of the Golfing Scientist have to admit they’re curious to see how the TOUR’s longest hitter stacks up against the guys who blast bombs for a living.

Of course, at the Equipment Report, our interest is a tad more specific. Namely, how would Bryson switch up his driver setup to hit the golf ball as far as he possibly can — with only a modest concern for accuracy.

According to Cobra’s Ben Schomin, DeChambeau is using a prototype Cobra RadSpeed driver with 5 degrees of loft for this week’s competition (he used a 2015 Cobra King LTD Pro driver for most of the 2021 season). We assume that, since the club is outfitted with a MyFly loft sleeve, the club is turned down a half-degree from the 5.5 degrees it is labeled as having. DeChambeau could dial the loft down even further — to as low as 4 degrees with the MyFly adjustability.

“We chose to remove adjustable weights to lighten overall head weight and give us more discretionary internal weight movement,” Schomin told PGATOUR.COM.

According to Schomin, along with the 190-gram head, Bryson is using a 48-inch version of the LA Golf Axis Blue 60 X shaft he plays on the PGA TOUR.

Two interesting items here about the clubhead: the weight ports and hot melt.

In a bid to maximize ball speed while still offering a measure of forgiveness, the retail Cobra RadSpeed driver has a 12-gram weight near the face and a two-gram weight near the rear of the club. Cobra’s RadSpeed driver uses radial weighting, by which engineers were able to maximize the distance between the front and back weights for greater stability. Built on a T-Bar Speed Chassis, RadSpeed drivers also feature a thin-ply carbon wrap crown for additional weight savings.

Read the full story here.

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