A few years back, Callaway made waves in the golf equipment industry when they relaunched one of the more famed lines in their history, the Big Bertha. Since that time, the line has seen yearly updates with new technology coming along the way. The Big Bertha 816 and Big Bertha 816 Double Black Diamond were particularly well received. That being said, since the original relaunch, I would say it fair to call the updates evolutionary, meaning that while they did improve over their predecessors there was nothing that you would necessarily call groundbreaking. With this release, however, Callaway is touting the new Epic line as a huge release with major new technology. Continue reading to see what makes the new clubs so revolutionary and stay tuned to the Sand Trap for our in-depth reviews of the Epic and Epic Sub Zero drivers to see if they really live up to their name.
When I said earlier that the prior updates to the Big Bertha were simply evolutionary, that was not meant as a knock against Callaway. At this point, with the restrictions from golf's governing bodies on technology, there is only so much you can do and still produce a conforming club. With the new Epic drivers, there are four key technologies at play; some which we have seen before and others which are brand new. Both the Epic and Epic Sub Zero will have the ability to tweak the clubs weight; on the standard Epic this is done through the use of a sliding weight, while the Sub Zero version uses interchangeable weights. Both clubs also feature the new Jailbreak technology along with Speed Step and Triaxial Carbon and Titanium Exo-Cage technology.
In particular, it is the Jailbreak technology that has everybody excited. One thing that not everybody may realize is it just isn't the face that bends and flexes at impact, but also the crown and sole. Because they are all connected to one another they influence and affect each other. What Jailbreak does is positions two ultra-light (3g) titanium bars behind the face parallel to each other and connected to the crown and sole; this essentially reduces the amount that the crown and sole bend and flex and allows the face of the club to take on more of the load at impact. This creates a situation where the face can now produce higher ball speeds across a larger portion of the face leading to more distance and forgiveness.
The other two technologies, Speed Step and the Triaxial Carbon and Titanium Exo-Cage, deal with improving aerodynamics and weight distribution, respectively. Obviously large objects with one side that is essentially flat like drivers aren't the most aerodynamic; however Speed Step technology puts an emphasis on reducing the drag of the club during the swing. As far as the Triaxial Carbon and Titanium Exo-Cage goes, Callaway has long been a proponent of using light weight materials for the crown and sole of their drivers. They have found the Triaxial Carbon that they are using on the GBB Epic line to be 65% lighter and one-third the density of titanium while being twice as strong as the forged composite material that the company previously used. This allowed engineers at Callaway to better allocate the saved weight and create a club with a more ideal CG.
To go with the new drivers will be the matching fairway woods, and like the drivers, there are two different versions; the standard and the Sub Zero. The fairway woods uses all the same technology as the drivers with the exception of the Jailbreak face technology. In place, both the GBB Epic and GBB Epic Sub Zero Fairway woods use the company's next-gen Hyper Speed Face Cup.
Depending on the exact model of club that you choose, there are a number of premium stock shafts available in different weight classes as well as different lofts. Details are as follows:
GBB Epic Driver - 9°, 10.5°, or 13.5° models with either the Rogue, Fuji, HZRDUS or Diamana shafts.
GBB Epic Sub Zero Driver - 9° or 10.5° options with the choice of Rogue, Fuji, or HZRDUS shafts.
GBB Epic Fairway - Available in 3+W (13.5°), 3W (15°), 5W (18°), Heavenwood (20°), 7W (21°), or Divine 9 (24°) models.
GBB Epic Sub Zero Fairway - 13.5°, 15°, and 18° models available.
The new GBB Epic line will be available at all your favorite golf retailers on January 27th. Both drivers will carry a price of $499 while the fairway woods will go for $279. Obviously that is not a small amount of money, so remember to check out our review of the clubs to see if it's worth the investment to add one to your bag.