by Nate Lammers, Club Fitter
In 2016, the origin of Callaway “EPIC” was born. In that first rendition the mind set was simply “More Ball Speed”. This was achieved with technology offering less wasted energy, greater aerodynamics, and deeper center of gravity. Thus, “Jailbreak” was born. In “Jailbreak” vertical bars behind the face keep the crown and the sole of the driver head from being pushed away from each other, retaining more energy in the face of the club. With Callaway’s enhanced aerodynamics, the club can travel faster through space, hopefully allowing the player to swing the club faster with less effort. Also, the triaxial carbon fiber crown allows for weight savings that could be moved to the bottom of the club for a lower deeper center of gravity giving the drivers low spin and high launch characteristics.
Fast Forward to 2021 and Callaway has released its latest version of the EPIC family of drivers: EPIC SPEED, EPIC MAX, and EPIC MAX LS. These models focus on more speed, maximum forgiveness and greater adjustability. Advancements in Callaway’s proprietary technologies create this reality, and it all starts with the new and improved Jail Break Speed Frame and AI Flash Face (available in all three drivers).
A.I. Designed Jailbreak Speed Frame – previous Jailbreak architectures stiffened the body in the vertical direction. By applying Artificial Intelligence, this new structure is designed to enhance horizontal and torsional stability to promote an increase in ball speeds across the face.
A.I. Designed Flash Face – specifically engineered to optimize the Jailbreak Speed Frame, promoting fast speeds across a more expansive area. Each face and each head geometry are uniquely enhanced in Epic Speed, and the super strength titanium promotes maximum speed, forgiveness and optimal spin.
Callaway claims this to be the fastest driver that they have ever produced. Due to its improved Cyclone Aero Shape and its advanced composite design, the EPIC Speed allows for less drag and a more stable club head for heightened club speed with less effort and directional forgiveness for better accuracy. With a slight draw bias (at its neutral setting) the EPIC speed creates lower spinning shots on heel and fade misses for greater distance and straighter ball flights.
Callaway’s OptiFit hosel gives the players and club fitters the option to change loft
(-1*, +1* & +2*) to create the best carry and total yardages possible. There is also a lie adjustment D (for draw) which makes the driver more upright, shifting the CG toward the heel allowing for faster face rotation and less misses to the right.
Below is Callaway’s description of the advanced technologies available in the New EPIC Speed:
Cyclone Aero Shape
- The advanced aerodynamic head construction promotes lower drag for higher head speed. The taller ribbon and flatter crown are engineered for a precise and more aerodynamic shape that can help golfers generate more speed from their swing.
Advanced Composite Design
- Proprietary Triaxial carbon covers a larger portion of the crown and toe, leading to weight savings of over 16 grams vs. a titanium crown. Callaway engineers have redistributed that saved weight to enhance forgiveness versus previous MAVRIK designs. An additional Triaxial carbon toe patch adds draw bias while saving weight to promote a powerful shot shape.
The most forgiving driver in the EPIC family creates higher & straighter ball flights through a low and deep center of gravity from its larger overall footprint. The deeper CG allows less curve on miss hits while maintaining optimum energy transfer. The EPIC MAX also uses the re-introduced sliding rear weight for heightened MOI (moment of inertia) for maximum ball flighted correcting properties. At neutral the MAX is the most draw biased of the three drivers with a more upright lie for even greater yardage on heel miss hits and hopefully removing the right side of the golf course (for RH players).
Callaway’s take on new EPIC MAX technologies:
- EPIC MAX creates exceptionally high forgiveness, starting with a lighter, stronger Triaxial Carbon material that saves over 19 grams of weight vs. titanium. Our engineers have redistributed that saved weight to promote high launch and more forgiveness. This driver delivers an exceptional combination of a deep CG, draw bias and higher MOI to promote a tighter downrange dispersion that leads to straighter drives.
- With a 17g sliding rear weight, golfers have extensive adjustability to promote the ball flight that they want to play. Combined with the OptiFit hosel, the Epic MAX provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.
EPIC MAX LS
LS standing for low spin, the MAX LS is Callaway’s lowest spinning and launching driver with the most fade bias characteristics. The fade bias and lower spin are created by having a flatter lie angle (as opposed to the more upright lies of the SPEED & MAX) and a slightly more forward CG. The forward CG makes the LS slightly less stable than the MAX, allowing for more workability but less forgiveness on miss hits. To be clear the MAX LS is still extremely forgiving and stable. The less forgiveness is only compared the MAX. This driver also gives the player and fitter weight/CG adjustability like the MAX, but with less draw and fade correction due to the weight being 4g less and a shorter slide range.
Technology breakdown from Callaway:
- Our proprietary Triaxial carbon covers a larger portion of the crown and toe, leading to weight savings of over 13 grams vs. titanium. Callaway engineers have redistributed that saved weight to enhance forgiveness versus previous MAVRIK designs. This driver delivers an exceptional combination of a deep CG and higher MOI to promote a tighter downrange shot dispersion.
- The MAX LS is the most fade capable driver in the EPIC family and Adjustable Perimeter Weighting provides up to 13 yards of shot shape correction to fine tune ball flight. Combined with ultra-high MOI, the MAX LS provides a unique lower spin option for mid to low handicappers.
We took the three new EPIC drivers to The Cluboratory for testing. Here are the results:
|Driver||Ball Speed||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry||Total|
|EPIC SPEED||165.8 mph||13.8 deg||2600 rpm||289.3 yds||305.2 yds|
|EPIC MAX||165.6 mph||15.3 deg||2565 rpm||286.9 yds||306.6 yds|
|EPIC MAX LS||165.2 mph||13.6 deg||2313 rpm||287.7 yds||310.2 yds|
The Takeaway: Callaway has produced very efficient drivers once again. They generate great ball speeds with low spinning capabilities in all three heads. EPIC MAX is by far the highest launching and highest spinning head with mild draw bias at neutral. EPIC SPEED and EPIC MAX LS have comparable launch angles and speed with MAX LS spinning the least, allowing the player with greater club head speed to gain control and distance. With these drivers offering a wide array of adjustments there is a good chance that any one of these beautiful drivers can fit most players. To see what EPIC can do for you, schedule your next driver fitting in The Cluboratory.