By Jeff Barton, PGA Professional and Director of Instruction at Preston Trail Golf Club and Callaway Master Staff Professional.
The Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Driver, with its Jailbreak technology, was the most anticipated driver launch in 2017. Generating more ball speed and distance for players of all levels, it has lived up to the hype. Riding this momentum, Callaway recently launched two new lines of Epic and Epic Pro irons to go along with their Great Big Bertha Epic line of woods.
Design and Technology
Continuing to push the envelope, Callaway has created these exotic irons using ultra-premium materials including Metal Injection-Molded Tungsten that is inserted into the cavity of the iron to optimize CG location. This technology is a first for Callaway and like Jailbreak promises to be a game changer. The new irons also include The Next-Generation 360 Cup Face Technology that creates longer average distance off every iron.
The Epic Pro is everything you hope for in a player’s club. It has the right amount of top line and off-set with a good blade length from pitching wedge through long iron. At address the club gives you enough confidence to hit any shot along with the appearance of enough forgiveness from any lie. The look in the short irons are much more appealing with the less rounded toe compared to the Apex Pro Irons.
The standard Epic iron looks very forgiving and screams easy to hit sitting behind the ball. The bigger head shape, wider sole and more off-set will create confidence for those weekend players looking to hit their irons higher and farther.
Playability and Feel
I tested both the Epic and Epic Pro iron with the stock Project X LZ 6.0 golf shafts. I have tested and fit with this shaft before and have always received positive feedback about the feel and performance. After a short warm up I hit various clubs from each set along with my current set of Callaway Razor Tour irons. Below is the Trackman data of those results. When testing new clubs I prefer to use three shots as a sample size to eliminate the possibility that I will adapt to the new club after several shots. I want to insure a fair test rather than consciously adapting my swing to the club.
As promised, the Epic and Epic Pro irons delivered more ball speed and distance by carrying more than 6 yards farther than my Razor Tour 7 iron. The bigger head of the Epic iron didn’t quite fit my eye and maybe caused some dispersion, but the Epic Pro looked great behind the ball. The weight and feel of the Epic Pro head seemed to match my motion perfectly which can be seen in the Trackman results above. My only concern from the test was losing more than 200 rpms in spin and one degree of land angle into a green. It’s my opinion that you never want to give up stopping power into a green for more distance. However, the spin number and land angle decrease was small enough that adding a degree of loft or a higher launching shaft could help increase both.
In conclusion, the new line of Epic and Epic Pro irons deliver as they advertise. The standard Epic iron is bigger and has more offset than I want to play, but I can see many players enjoying the easy to hit club head. The club went through the turf nicely and produced a somewhat loud but solid sound and feel. Conversely, the Epic Pro iron could go in my bag immediately. I think the shape and size of the head is exceptional, sound and feel is spot on, turf interaction was good, and I can curve and flight the ball with ease. I would recommend all golfers go out and try the new irons from Callaway to determine which head fits them the best.
My name is Jeff Barton, PGA Professional and Director of Instruction at Preston Trail Golf Club and Callaway Master Staff Professional. Callaway asked me to test and provide and honest review of the new Epic Irons. Callaway provided me with the irons for the testing.
Thanks for the information. I am wondering how much improvement the Epic irons would be over my 2016 XR irons. My swing speed is only at 80 mph. I think golf is the #1 sport where the participants will try to buy a better game. I say that because I am always looking for an edge to play more consistently and if technology can help me, I will buy it. Guess I am just going to have to try the Epic irons to find out.
You should still see an improvement on the 2016 model clubs but I would not expect the same as Mr. Barton. The razor club is a bit dated in comparison.
I did the testing between the steelhead pro and the EPIC pro and still averaged another 4 yards with one shot way out there. Both the SH PRO and the EPIC pro had the same lofting. The EPIC Pro had a 105 g shaft compared to the recoil 780ES in the SH PRO..
The suprising similar result was the dispersion of the epic pro and the 105 g shaft made for a tight landing area. where the recoil SH pro i.e. lighter shaft was about the same at the regular epic in this article.
In either case the clubs are easy to look at while at address and the feel is on plane with the APEX.
@jimm9fa7 , thanks for the comparison. I am very happy with my XR's and it would be hard to justify the cost of the Epic's for a few yards difference. A whole club difference......maybe. When we have the next Callaway Demo day I will try them out for sure. Right now the dog days of summer have arrived and 105 heat index and up dampens my enthusiasm for anything outdoors.