Epic drivers background
The latest release of Callaway Epic drivers feels long overdue in my opinion, I thought the previous Epic Flash drivers were their best to date.
I’ve got a buddy at my golf club who’s a huge fan of Callaway Epic drivers too and still games the Epic GBB (Great Big Bertha), which came out two years before the Epic Flash.
He was planning on upgrading his Epic GBB but wasn’t convinced by last year’s Mavrik.
There’s no doubt that it produces great numbers. His issue was the orange finish. This is understandable, after spending hard-earned cash on a driver, you should love it from top to bottom.
So, it’s a huge relief that Callaway have brought out three new Epic drivers for 2021.
But just how epic are they? If you love Callaway drivers, or new drivers period then I’ve got a treat for you. Let’s get into my Callaway Epic 21 drivers review.
Recommended reading: best drivers for fixing a slice
Callaway Epic 21 drivers review
For 2021, Callaway has released three models: the Epic Speed, Epic Max and Epic Max LS. All of the models were designed using AI and feature Callaway’s famous Jailbreak technology. Let’s take a closer look at the three models released for 2021.
A Driver Overview:
️ - Callaway Epic Speed Driver
The clubhead on the Callaway Epic Speed driver is in my opinion the sleekest of all 3 models, with a classy feel at address. The Epic speed is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 12° loft settings. For ball flight, there is a slight draw bias, and it’s worth noting that this doesn’t come with adjustable weighting. If your miss is a slice or “power fade” as I call mine, this club offers a little help.
In terms of technology, the Epic Speed is the only driver which benefits from the Cyclone Aero Shape. The technology we saw in Callaways’ previous driver release (the Mavrik) is designed to reduce drag and encourages increased clubhead speed.
I’d say this is a driver for players who don’t feel intimidated by a slightly smaller clubhead. If you feel confident about hitting the center of the face, a more streamlined head won’t be an issue. If anything, a smaller clubhead can be beneficial. The aerodynamic design will allow you to swing faster and should see you hitting the ball a greater distance.
Remember, a faster swing speed doesn’t always mean more distance. If your strike gets worse you will probably see less overall distance. Fear not, for those of you who aren’t so consistent with center strikes you’ll love the next driver in the range.
️ - Callaway Epic Max Driver
If you know a thing or two about drivers, you could probably guess by the name that this driver offers the most forgiveness. The clubhead sits a little bigger at address. I wouldn’t say it’s bulky but large enough to give you some extra confidence.
It’s worth noting that the drivers are all 460cc, but the Epic Max has what Callaway calls a “large” head profile. Unlike the Epic Speed, which came with no adjustable weight the Epic Max comes with a movable 16g perimeter weight. This is a great feature for players like me, who don’t get fitted for clubs but love having the ability to tweak it and maximize performance. You get the same loft settings as the Epic Speed, with a choice of 9°, 10.5°, and 12° options.
In terms of shot shape, with the Epic Speed, you’ll notice I used the word “slight” when describing the draw bias. The flight of this club is even more biased towards a draw, but remember this can be tweaked using the movable weight.
If you’re worried that the slightly bigger clubhead will negatively impact distance that’s understandable. The numbers suggest that the Epic Max is a few yards shorter than the Epic Speed. If you’re a player who needs more forgiveness, I wouldn’t worry about the tiny drop-off in distance. After all, I’d rather be 270 yards long and hitting my next shot from the fairway, than 285 yards into the trees.
This is by far the most forgiving driver in the Epic 2021 range. It’s plenty long and gives you a bunch of confidence when standing over your tee shot. My prediction is that the Epic Max will become a favorite among amateur golfers for years to come.
️ - Callaway Epic Max LS Driver
Last but not least we’ve got the Callaway Epic Max LS. This is a driver designed to provide low spin, but still offers excellent forgiveness.
Most amateur players gravitate away from low spin drivers and can be intimidated by them. This is because low spin drivers of the past haven’t offered great forgiveness and some players struggle to generate the spin they need. Callaway has addressed this problem with the Epic Max LS.
The Max LS shares (by Callaway’s own admission) the same “large” head profile of the Callaway Epic Max. It’s worth noting this has a neutral center of gravity so doesn’t favor a draw or a fade. It’s only available in 9° and 10.5° of loft.
In terms of forgiveness, considering it’s designed to generate low spin I’m really impressed. It’s not quite as forgiving as the regular Max driver head, but you can get away with off-centered hits without ending up in trouble. The Epic Max LS features a 13-gram adjustable weight, so tweaking its ball flight bias is also an option.
So, this driver isn’t the most streamlined out of the Epic 21 range, and it’s not the most forgiving. So who would get the best use out of this? This driver would be a great option for “good” amateur golfers. Those who want to optimize performance and are chasing lower spin rates. If you’re not ready to make the jump to a driver with a smaller head profile, the Callaway Epic Max LS is the perfect middle ground between the Epic Speed and Epic Max.
️ - Which Epic drivers should you use?
Now you’ve had an introduction to the new Epic drivers series, and understand the differences between them. I thought I’d take this opportunity to make a recommendation on which type of player should be using each one of these drivers.
High Handicap Golfers
In my opinion the driver best suited to the higher handicap golfer would be the Epic Max. This is down to its excellent performance on off-centered hits. You honestly won’t lose much distance compared to the Epic Speed, but you might get better distance on average thanks to the forgiveness. Stood behind the ball with this thing you’ll feel so confident because of the large head profile. It’s easily the most forgiving Epic driver, and will be a real hit amongst high handicap players.
Mid Handicap Golfers
The Epic Max LS in my opinion, suits the mid handicap golfer perfectly. It’s still a highly forgiving club; the large head still offers plenty of help when you strike it badly. The low spin option might be just what you need to lower that spin rate and optimize your drives.
You should also think about your shot shape. As I mentioned earlier, the Epic Speed has a slight draw bias, and the Epic Max has more of a draw bias. If you battle a nasty hook you might be worried about buying a driver that would exaggerate it. The Epic Max LS could be your preferred option with a neutral bias and an adjustable weight offering you some help.
Low Handicap Golfers
If you’re a great ball striker you can’t look anywhere other than the Callaway Epic Speed driver. Honestly, this thing absolutely bombs it and if you’re looking for those extra couple of miles per hour, the slick head profile just screams clubhead speed. Unlike the Epic Max or the Epic Max LS, it’s probably less suited towards inconsistent ball strikers however it’s still impressive on the forgiveness front.
Epic 21 drivers technology
When it comes to Callaway drivers, you might hear words like jailbreak and flash face being thrown around. If you haven’t bought a driver for a few years, you might be out of sync with the technology used in the new Epic drivers. Fear not, in this section of the review we’ll be looking at some of the technology used and how it can benefit your game.
Before we dive in just how effective is the technology used on the Epic 21 models? Today’s golfer found them the longest driver of the year, with 3 out of the top 4 drivers on their list belonging to the Epic 21 range.
Jailbreak technology is something that’s not exactly new to Callaway drivers. We saw Jailbreak in both the Callaway Rogue, as well as the original Epic GBB driver.
Jailbreak previously consisted of two metal rods, which helps create a connection between the crown and sole of the club. The bars are placed just behind the clubface, and when the ball is struck the energy created is redirected to the clubface. Essentially, a rebound effect is created when you make a connection with the ball helping to make the face hotter.
This year, there’s a slightly new feel to this innovative Callaway technology. Callaway has used A.I to create what they’re calling a Jailbreak Speed Frame. Rather than just having Jailbreak bars that provide vertical support, the new Speed Frame helps improve the horizontal stability to spread the Jailbreak effect further across the face.
The Jailbreak can definitely help golfers achieve a greater ball speed. Ball speed equates to distance and we all know what that can do for your game. The Epic 21 drivers Speed Frame will allow this effect to be moved further across the clubface horizontally helping you achieve higher ball speeds even when your strike isn’t perfect.
Flash Face SS21
Flash Face technology also uses A.I design to help further optimize the innovation behind Callaway’s jailbreak speed frame.
Flash Face has been famously used in Callaway Drivers such as the Epic Flash. It makes use of internal mapping consisting of ripples flowing across the clubface. These ripples work to enhance the COR (Coefficient of Restitution), which in basic English refers to the velocity created between two objects when they collide.
The geometry of the clubhead and clubface have been innovatively enhanced, making use of super-strength titanium which is designed to deliver spin robustness, optimal speeds as well as forgiveness.
I personally believe golf should be considered more of an art than a science, but as someone with a background in tech, I’m wowed by the A.I technology Callaway uses when it comes to their club development used for the Epic 21 drivers.
For those players who turn to equipment to help fix holes in their game, you might feel a little more assured knowing that Callaway developed a supercomputer to refine their club technology. They decided to develop a supercomputer rather than rely on cloud-based systems, which sits on campus boasting over 1000 cores.
The result; Alan Hocknell, Callaway’s Senior VP of Research says that tasks that used to take four to five weeks can be finished in just a couple of days
So how does this help your game? Well, you’re buying into a company that takes their research very seriously. By leveraging their expert club building experience, combined with A.I you’re getting your hands on a driver that’s designed to give you optimal performance backed by an abundance of data analysis. Thanks to this approach to club building, they’re able to bring you all-new features such as the speed frame and Flash Face SS21 that will help make your game better.
️ - Which was the longest in the drivers review?
So, we’ve looked at all three new drivers, the technology behind them and who they’re suited to. With carry distance the new hot topic, I think there’s still one more question on your lips. Would it really be a drivers review without telling you which of the new Epic drivers delivers the best distance?
The undisputed king of distance out of this year’s Epic drivers was….
The Callaway Epic Speed!
Who would have guessed? The driver with speed in the name delivering the best speed out of the Epic family! As a pretty solid striker of the ball, I found myself finding the middle of the face more often than not. This meant crazy ball speed, and thanks to the new horizontal and torsional dispersion of ball speed, even the shots I didn’t hit perfect were still bombs.
️ - What is the best Shaft for Callaway Epic drivers?
The best shaft for Callaway Epic drivers is the one that fits your swing speed. The Callaway Epic 2021 drivers come in Project X Cypher and Project X HZRDUS Smoke. It’s recommended you get your swing speed measured to help you understand which flex and weight you should be looking for in a driver shaft.
Drivers review conclusion: Epic 21
I hoped you loved my Epic drivers review just as much I loved writing it. It’s clear that the Epic range for 2021 has something to offer every golfer, from tour pro to weekend hacker. Hopefully, this review helps you find a driver for your bag that offers you the speed that you need to take your game to the next level!