The Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods line utilizes A.I. research to optimize the clubface like never before

By Jon Levy

Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods review“How?” you may ask. “How can Callaway claim yet another breakthrough technology when it seems like Epic and Rogue are still brand new?”

It’s a valid question any consumer would, and should, pose.

Apologies to Forest Gump for the whiff-of-a reference here, but golf equipment is, after all, like a box of chocolates. Once you sift through the hype and actually hit the product, you never know what you’re going to get.

Like Apple never stops releasing new iPhones, however, golf equipment manufacturers are constantly innovating. The truth is, as soon as a new product hits the market the OEM is already well down the path of its next creation.

So, take heed on that point and don’t get caught up on the fact that you’re sold on new clubs promising the world, when you still love your driver of two years ago.

New golf clubs do NOT necessarily mean your favorite club is obsolete. But they will, due to advancements like what lies within the new Callaway Epic Flash, improve the average result of your shots compared to virtually any previous model the manufacturer has put out.

Not just another pretty face

Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods review

Callaway debuted Epic in 2017, featuring a new technology called Jailbreak. Two vertical bars placed behind the face effectively add to the stability of the club and enhance energy transfer to the ball.

The result was a lot of golfers singing Epic’s praises, which led to Callaway taking over the No. 1 driver in the game from neighbor and competitor, TaylorMade. The Rogue franchise, led by a new hourglass Jailbreak design and MOI-enhancing weight redistribution, continued the trend for Callaway in 2018 with another massive year.

Callaway, however, didn’t rest on its laurels and has unveiled what it says is perhaps an even bigger innovation than Epic — a clubface backed by four years of A.I. research.

Yes, robots are taking over the world and golf is included.

“We think this is the first consumer-manufactured product in sports to ever use A.I. and Machine Learning.” 

— Dave Neville, Callaway Golf

Callaway Epic Flash- driver sole
Callaway Epic Flash Driver

From five or seven prototypes to 15,000

Every new line of product a golf club manufacturer releases – assuming Marketing is doing their job – has a story to tell.

Epic had an incredible one. TaylorMade, with Twist Face in the M3/M4 and now Speed Injection in the M5/M6, the same. But a golf club backed by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning? That’s about as sexy as it gets.

The Flash Face in these clubs, however, is more than a leading character in the Epic Flash novel. It’s a VERY advanced take on driver faces, crafted to life from thousands of virtual prototypes created by the “super computer” Callaway invested in four years ago.

Yes, you read that right — a computer you’d think of living in the halls of NASA or a Silicon Valley tech giant landed in the hands of Dr. Alan Hocknell and his team of engineers at Callaway, all stemming from a thought they posed about golf club design in the future.

“We asked ourselves a question,” said Dave Neville, Callaway Golf Sr. Director, Brand Management. “What if Artificial Intelligence designed a driver?”

Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods review

For one, this new form of golf club engineering allowed Callaway to test roughly 15,000 clubface optimizations to find a winner, as opposed to its previous method of vetting just a handful — a common scenario for most OEMs out there today. Neville said it took the computer nearly a month to complete the process.

The result was a face with dozens of subtle ripples, or waves, flowing from heel to toe to work in unison with Jailbreak and elevate COR (ball speed) in the face’s center region. It’s Callaway’s thinnest center of the face to date.

“When you look at the design, it appears completely random. But that couldn’t be any further from the truth.” says Neville.

A Flash in the pan, or way of the future?

Callaway divulged that robot testing of Epic Flash vs. Rogue saw an average ball speed increase of 1.5 MPH, which equates to about 6 yards of added distance and a 23 percent tighter degree of dispersion.

Callaway Epic Flash- driver woods review top down group

So, yes, Epic Flash is longer and straighter than Rogue … which is longer and straighter than Epic, and so on down the line.

Of course, you may roll your eyes upon hearing that same, overplayed tune of “longer and straighter.” Hence the chocolate box conversation. But technology often advances piece by piece, and when bottom lines and product cycle dates have to be met, you do get improvement, however slow and steady it may be.

While Epic Flash won’t make your two-year-old driver obsolete, it will – in an apples-to-apples comparison, assuming both are fit properly for your swing – perform better. So, take that for what it’s worth.

Demo and purchase the Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods at GOLFTEC! 

VIDEO: Callaway Epic Flash Driver

VIDEO: Callaway EPIC Flash Fairway Woods


IN-HAND REACTION: Callaway Epic Flash

How power feels and sounds

A small group from GOLFTEC had a chance to test the Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods this fall at the Ely Callaway Performance Center in Carlsbad, Calif. 

Our reaction after hitting Epic Flash was collectively similar surrounding how it compares to Rogue — it feels more powerful and sounds better, especially on mishits.

Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods review

I know what you’re thinking. Reviews like this sing the same song as much as the regular at Thursday Night Karaoke.

But here’s the truth: I’m not a huge fan of Rogue’s sound compared to its closest competitor, the TaylorMade M3/M4, because the TaylorMade sounds and feels more powerful. Of course that’s personal preference, and a disclaimer that I’m not referencing performance, because I’ve tested both with similar results and I’d step on the first tee of my next tournament with either.

However, I’m changing my tune with Epic Flash. These clubs have maintained the solid, “thwack” sound and feel of Rogue, but elicit a slight hint of “ting” along the lines of M3/M4. Likely the influence of the varied thicknesses of the Flash Face working in tune with the rest of the head.

That said, it’s a nice combination that gives the feeling of power behind your hit — more so than Rogue.

Fairways and greens … and yellowsCallaway Epic Flash driver and woods review

Save for the new green and yellow color scheme and a slightly more pear-shaped, players club appearance with Sub Zero, the overall look of Epic Flash is similar to Rogue. What’s new is a flashback to the Epic franchise with Callaway’s moveable, 16-gram (APW or Adjustable Perimeter Weighting) track on the sole that adjusts CG position for a draw or fade bias.

The Sub Zero model also holds this technology, albeit for the first time and with a 12-gram weight, as well as an additional weight near the face to move CG forward and keep spin down for players needing it.

Believe it – or not

Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods review

Hopefully, everything you’ve read and watched has provided useful information about Callaway’s latest creation — a dynamic story surrounding a technologically superior clubface, with space-aged technology to back it up. Also the anecdotal take of a few golfers lucky enough to hit these clubs before being launched.

But don’t take my word for it. The only way you’ll truly know about the performance of Epic Flash and if it’s right for you (GOLFTEC plug coming) is if you demo this line of clubs and get properly fit. Only then will you see if Flash Face technology and A.I.’s influence on golf club design is the right route for your tee shots.

My guess is you won’t be disappointed in the Callaway Epic Flash driver and fairway woods, as Rogue’s proven performance and an upgraded sound and feel – led by truly futuristic clubface – make these clubs a package that’s hard to deny.

Demo and purchase the Callaway Epic Flash driver and woods at GOLFTEC 

FEATURES & BENEFITS: Callaway Epic Flash

Epic Flash driverCallaway Epic Flash driver sole

New Flash Face Technology for Faster Ball Speed
Callaway engineers used Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create a radically different face design to promote faster ball speed in the center region of the face.

Jailbreak Technology for Faster Ball Speed
Internal Jailbreak bars stiffen and stabilize the crown and sole, placing more impact load on the face to promote faster ball speed.

New T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown Material for Higher MOI
A new lighter triaxial carbon fabric called T2C has a tighter weave; the weight it saves is redistributed within the head to raise MOI for exceptional forgiveness on off-center hits.

Adjustable Perimeter Weighting for Ball Flight Control
Sliding 16-gram weight gives golfers the power to easily promote draws, fades or a straighter flight.

*Epic Flash drivers offered in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees at a standard length of 45.5 inches and D3 swing weight. Loft adjustability is -1 degree to +2 degrees with each head.
*Stock shaft offerings include the 60 (R, S, X) & 70 (S, X) and Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 60 (R, S, X) & 70 (S, X); Women’s in the Project X Evenflow Green 40 (A, R) and 50 (A, R, S)
Retails starting at $529 and hits shelves on Feb. 8, 2019

Demo and purchase the Callaway Epic Flash driver at GOLFTEC!

Epic Flash Sub Zero driverCallaway Epic Flash sub-zero driver sole

New Flash Face Technology for Faster Ball Speed
Callaway engineers used Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create a radically different face design to promote faster ball speed in the center region of the face.

Jailbreak Technology for Faster Ball Speed
Internal Jailbreak bars stiffen and stabilize the crown and sole, placing more impact load on the face to promote faster ball speed.

Adjustable Perimeter Weighting for Ball Flight Control
Repositioning the 12-gram sliding weight gives golfers the power to easily promote draws, fades or a straighter flight. The first time for APW in a Sub Zero driver.

High MOI – Low Spin Head Design
Advanced head shape and internal weighting create a rare combination of high MOI and low spin in a player’s driver, resulting in more forgiveness and longer distance.

*Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers offered in 9 and 10.5 degrees at a standard length of 45.5 inches and D4 swing weight. Loft adjustability is -1 degree to +2 degrees with each head.
*Stock shaft offerings include the 60 (R, S, X) & 70 (S, X) and Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 60 (R, S, X) & 70 (S, X); Women’s in the Project X Evenflow Green 40 (A, R) and 50 (A, R, S)
Retails starting at $529 and hits shelves on Feb. 1, 2019

Demo and purchase the Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero driver at GOLFTEC!

Epic Flash fairway woodsCallaway Epic Flash fairway wood sole

New Flash Face Technology for Unprecedented Ball Speed
Callaway engineers applied learnings from Artificial Intelligence to create a new fairway wood face design that promotes increased ball speed for longer distance.

Forged Carpenter Steel Face Cup for Fast Speed
Forged 455 Carpenter steel construction combines with Face Cup technology to deliver fast ball speed across the face for distance on center and off-center hits.

Jailbreak Technology for Fast Ball Speed
Our innovative Jailbreak Technology incorporates two internal bars that stiffen the body, placing more impact load on the face for fast ball speed.

New OptiFit Hosel for Easy Launch and Optimal Flight
Callaway designed an entirely new hosel system that’s shorter and lighter; the saved weight issued to reposition CG for easy launch and high, long-carrying flight.

*Epic Flash fairway woods offered in 13.5 degrees (3+), 15 degrees (3), 18 degrees (5), 20 degrees (Heavenwood), 21 degrees (7), 23 degrees (9) and 25 degrees (11) at a D2 swing weight. Loft adjustability is -1 degree to +2 degrees with the 3+ through 7-wood heads.
*Stock shaft offerings include the Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70 (S, X) & 80 (S, X) and Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 60 (R, S) & 70 (R, S, X); Women’s in the Project X Evenflow Green 40 (A, R), 50 (A, R, S) and 60 (A, R, S)
Retails starting at $299 and hits shelves on Feb. 8, 2019

Demo and purchase Callaway Epic Flash fairway woods at GOLFTEC!

Epic Flash Sub Zero fairway woodsCallaway Epic Flash sub-zero fairway wood sole

New Flash Face Technology And Carpenter Steel Face Cup For Fast Ball Speed
Callaway engineers applied learnings from Artificial Intelligence to create a new fairway wood face design that promotes increased ball speed for longer distance.

Jailbreak Technology for Faster Ball Speed
Internal Jailbreak bars stiffen and stabilize the crown and sole, placing more impact load on the face to promote faster ball speed.

Adjustable Sole Weighting to Control Launch, Spin & Trajectory
Switch weight positions(16g and 2g) between front and back to adjust launch, spin and trajectory.

New OptiFit Hosel for Loft and Lie Adjustability
New, lighter OptiFit hosel design saves weight while offering a wide range of loft and lie adjustability to dial in easier launch and differing flights. And the saved weight allows us to combine Jailbreak and adjustability for the first time in a fairway wood.

*Epic Flash drivers offered in 13.5 degrees (3+), 15 degrees (3), 18 degrees (5) at a D3 swing weight. Loft adjustability is -1 degree to +2 degrees with each head.
*Stock shaft offerings include the Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70 (S, X) & 80 (S, X) and Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 60 (R, S) & 70 (R, S, X); Women’s in the Project X Evenflow Green 40 (A, R), 50 (A, R, S) and 60 (A, R, S)
Retails starting at $299 and hits shelves on Feb. 8, 2019

Demo and purchase Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero fairway woods at GOLFTEC!


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25 COMMENTS

  1. Since Rogue could not out perform Epic, you decided to re-release Epic with claims of being better. Makes sense marketing wise but I am very skeptical that it will be better than original Epic.

  2. MORE & MORE FANTASTIC ITEMS I WANT AND ARE NOW ON MY WISH LIST. HINT, HINT, MY BIRTHDAY IS NOT FAR AWAY.

  3. Have had many Golftec leesons, referred friend & signed up my boys as young teen-agers. Enjoy Rogue 3 wood. Wonder about Epic utlity & Driver

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