The Callaway Epic franchise grows with the release of Epic irons. Our in-hand review

By Jon Levy

Callaway EPIC driver backIf you’ve been on planet Earth in 2017 and play golf, you know about the Callaway GBB Epic driver.

We first covered Callaway’s highly-touted series of Epic drivers and fairway woods when they launched in January. And, boy, did they launch.

The Callaway Epic driver has dominated driver sales amongst competitors in 2017, and it’s not even close. Which creates perfect timing to release the next in line of their growing Epic franchise: Callaway Epic irons.

GOLFTEC got a recent sneak peek at this new Epic series, which consists of two iron versions – Epic and Epic Pro – and the Epic hybrid.

Starting at $2,000 per set and available for pre-sale on 6/2 and retail on 6/16, Epic irons are a sign of Callaway dipping its toe into the ultra-premium market, competing with the likes of PXG and Miura.

Review: Callaway Epic IronsBut, why now?

Why introduce a product that says your current Callaway model of the same class – which is already supposed to be the best of the best – is now in some ways inferior to Epic?

These clubs are geared toward a different market segment, for one.

But Epic irons originated from a robust, open-ended RFP of “innovation without boundaries” that has pushed Callaway beyond where they’ve ever gone in the iron department.

Or, at least, that’s how Callaway terms it after a challenge by CEO Chip Brewer to Head of R&D, Dr. Alan Hocknell, led to over 70 product engineers being tasked with two simple messages above all: Groundbreaking innovations and no boundaries.

“If you could design the very best iron that you would play, if you wanted maximum performance without any limits to the cost or engineering process; what would that be?”
— Callaway CEO Chip Brewer on the genesis behind Epic irons

And so Hocknell and co. spared no limitation in design or material composition during an often constraining process that requires some compromise, considering the reality of mass production and budget limitations.

What makes Epic irons epic

Improved 360 Face Cup. A LOT of Tungsten (over 664 grams in the set). The same Exo-Cage used in their Big Bertha OS iron. Precision milling and robotic welding for each club.

Think of Epic irons as Callaway improving on the best parts from all of their other designs, and then rolling them into one super-club.

Callaway Epic Pro ironsFace Cup: Callaway started the Epic iron design process by improving its 360 Face Cup technology with a thinner and more flexible “rim” around the perimeter of the inner side of the face, which resulted in more ball speed on center and off-center hits.

Tungsten: They then studied new ways to enhance launch and trajectory, which resulted in introducing a very high amount of MIM’ed (metal-injected molding) tungsten into their Internal Standing Wave technology. The added weight of the tungsten created a new opportunity to control the clubs’ weighting characteristics, meaning they could fully optimize GC location for each individual club. (Translation: lower CG in long irons for higher launch and higher CG in short irons for more controllable flight.)

Exo-Cage: What Callaway says truly sets this club apart is its Exo-Cage construction that uses a high-grade steel structure in the center of the cavity to stiffen the body, topline and sole, so the face can take on more of an impact load. Utilizing this technology, which allows the face to behave more efficiently or “energy lense” for faster ball speeds, raised the COR in each iron right up to the legal limit – a first for Callaway.

Precision Milling and Robotic Laser Welding: Ensuring the tightest of tolerances within each step of the complicated production process, Callaway engineers used precision milling and robotic laser welding for total control over CG location, COR, MOI and vibration control, with maximum structural integrity.

The end result, says Callaway, is “the most premium iron to ever bear the Callaway name.”

*Contact your local GOLFTEC to demo or purchase these clubs!

In-Hand Photos: Callaway Epic irons

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In-Hand Review: Callaway Epic irons

Callaway Epic Pro iron at addressThe rundown Callaway gave us on all of the new technology, features and benefits in the Epic irons sounded incredible.

But, as a golfer, it ALWAYS comes down to getting the club in your hands and taking a few swipes with it.

At first look, I was surprised how clean both the Epic and Epic Pro irons appeared from all angles, considering the massive amounts of tech employed.

Generally, a technology-laden iron means – for lack of a better term – complete ugliness. Not the case with Epic irons.

While chock-full of ball-flight-enhancing characteristics, both models maintain a clean, traditional look at address. Especially the Epic Pro irons, which Callaway noted should end up in the bags of some of their Tour players.

After hitting a few shots with Epic irons in a GOLFTEC bay, it should be noted they have a markedly different feel than my current gamers, the Apex Pro.

Not that one is better than the other. Just different.

Callaway Epic Irons employing tungsten insertsPerhaps it’s all the tungsten in there, combined with every other technology enhancement under the sun.

And though I can’t offer an in-depth review of on-course performance, what I can offer is this: The Epic irons do feel really, really good.

Especially with my tendency of missing shots on the toe. Both the Epic and Epic Pro models felt surprisingly solid with off-center hits, and my shot pattern on our Foresight launch monitors remained more consistent than I would have expected.

My first-take conclusion, therefore, is that you’ll be surprised how good Epic irons clubs look at address, and equally surprised with how well they perform on your not-so-great swings. Two clear indicators that these irons are worthy members of the growing Callaway Epic family.

*Contact your local GOLFTEC to demo or purchase these clubs!

Features & Benefits: Callaway Epic irons

Callaway Epic iron at address

Epic Irons

Next-generation 360 Face Cup technology for longer average distance
Advancing the industry-leading face technology that made Callaway the No. 1 Iron in golf, the rim of the Face Cup is 1 mm at its thinnest point. This adds even more ball speed on center hits and further minimizing distance loss on off-center hits.

Exo-Cage for energy lensing and maximum COR
Exo-Cage head construction stiffens the body to allow the face to take on more of the load of impact. This is known as “energy lensing” – it promotes faster ball speed for longer distance, and it helped raise the COR in Epic irons right up to the limit in each iron, which Callaway has never done before.

Multi-material Standing Wave to optimize CG location
Multi-material construction demands strict tolerances, seamless fit and secure bonding. Each iron is precision-milled and robotically welded, and uniquely constructed for maximum integrity and optimum performance. Incorporating tungsten in the Internal Standing Wave allowed Callaway engineers to precisely position the CG in each individual iron. This includes a lower CG for easier launch and long carry in the long irons, higher CG in the short irons for a lower, more controllable flight, and left-to-right CG control in tandem with the hollow hosel.

*Contact your local GOLFTEC to demo or purchase these clubs!

Callaway Epic Pro iron at address

Epic Pro Irons

Next-generation 360 Face Cup technology for longer average distance
Advancing the industry-leading face technology that made Callaway the No. 1 Iron in golf, the rim of the Face Cup is 1 mm at its thinnest point. This adds even more ball speed on center hits and further minimizing distance loss on off-center hits.

Exo-Cage for energy lensing and maximum COR
Exo-Cage head construction stiffens the body to allow the face to take on more of the load of impact. This is known as “energy lensing” – it promotes faster ball speed for longer distance, and it helped raise the COR in Epic irons right up to the limit in each iron. This is the highest level of speed and forgiveness Callaway has ever had in a Pro head shape.

Multi-material Standing Wave to optimize CG location
Multi-material construction demands strict tolerances, seamless fit and secure bonding. Epic Pro irons are precision-milled and robotically welded, and every iron in this set is uniquely constructed for maximum integrity and optimum performance. Incorporating tungsten in the Internal Standing Wave allowed Callaway engineers to precisely position the CG in each individual iron. This includes a lower CG for easier launch and long carry in the long irons, higher CG in the short irons for a lower, more controllable flight, and left-to-right CG control in tandem with the hollow hosel.

High performance players’ shape
A slightly smaller head, slimmer topline, thinner sole and less offset all promote the kind of keen feel and workability better players want.

*Contact your local GOLFTEC to demo or purchase these clubs!

Callaway Epic Hybrid sole

Epic Hybrid

Maximum forgiveness from the ultra-light triaxial carbon crown
Weight saved by the ultra-light triaxial carbon crown (which is significantly lighter than steel) was repositioned to increase MOI and lower the CG for easy launch and longer, straighter shots.

Faster ball speed from Hyper Speed Face Cup
The next-generation 455 Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup is more efficient at delivering faster ball speed across the face, especially on mishits, for an increased average distance.

Increased performance from the ultra-premium body frame
Robust body frame positions weight strategically around the perimeter to increase MOI, and concentrates weight low in the head to keep the CG low and deep for easy launch.

Next generation standing wave maximizes CG location and adjustability
Precisely shaped MIM’ed tungsten piece inserted in the Internal Standing Wave gives this adjustable hybrid the same low-deep CG properties as a non-adjustable hybrid.

*Contact your local GOLFTEC to demo or purchase these clubs!

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