Slowly, surely, the big guns of golf manufacturing are revealing their new products for 2017.
Among the most anticipated in social media circles has been the Callaway Golf Great Big Bertha EPIC drivers and fairway woods.
Coming to retail on January 27th, we can now reveal details on the drivers and fairway woods that will be available in both “standard” (Great Big Bertha EPIC) and GBB Epic Sub Zero models.
Last month we took a trip to Toronto to meet up with Evan Gibbs of Callaway Golf and try the new product. Gibbs, the Director of Woods and Research & Development for the company, gave us the low down on what he thinks makes the new EPIC driver the “culmination of many, many years of research”, and having a number of technologies come together the same time. (See interview below)
Gibbs mentioned that in his 17 years with the company, “I don’t think there has ever been a product that has generated this much excitement.” He added that the design is so complex that he does not even think the driver could have existed back in 1999 when he started with the brand.
Attention will quickly be drawn to a technology not even visible from the outside of the clubs, what the company is calling “Jailbreak Technology”. This comprises two 3-gram Titanium bars that run from the sole to the crown in support of the club face. The company claims reduced crown and sole deflection give more energy back to the ball across a wider area of the face. Interpreted that means greater ball speed, both on the centre of gravity and away from it.
In concert with Triaxial carbon fibre technologies used extensively throughout the head, a titanium exoskeleton, and higher moments of inertia (big improvements in this area), you end up with a very effective drivers. Moveable weights (a 17 gram sliding weight in EPIC and two interchangeable 2 and 12 gram weights in the EPIC Sub Zero) also allow for more refined fitting to the individual golfer. The slightly deeper faced Sub-Zero model offers a flatter trajectory option and lower spin without giving up as much forgiveness as previous SZ models.
Both retail models will have 460 cubic centimetre heads (there is a 440cc model for tour only) and have 45.5″ shafts as a standard option. Each head features “Speed Steps” on the clubhead crown for extra aerodynamic advantages and alignment. The Speed Step was applied using a 3D printing process.
The GBB EPIC driver will be offered in 9, 10.5, and 13.5HT lofts in both left and right hand. The Sub Zero will be sold in just two lofts – 9 and 10.5 degrees. The Opti-Fit adjustable sleeve also allows for three degrees of loft and lie adjustment.
A number of premium shaft options will be standard offerings: HZRDS, Diamana, Fuji, and Rogue in four weight classes: 40g, 50g, 60g, 70g.
Overall we found the club shapes and sounds to be pleasing, the forgiveness and feel factors were high, and there is lots of intrigue for those in the market for new woods.
Matching fairways come in a wide number of lofts and we’ll provide more details on those in further editorial.
Enjoy the interview…