We’ve all heard the age old saying “drive for show, putt for dough.”
Although this may be true, who doesn’t love a little show? I certainly do!
With tour pros like Phil Mickelson and John Rahm “hitting bombs” and averages off the tee at an all time high, offering a club to increase distance is every equipment manufacturer’s goal.
Well, this year the Callaway Epic Driver Series has met and exceeded that goal. High handicappers, weekend warriors, scratch players, and tour pros all have the opportunity to gain yards and consistency off the tee with the all new Callaway Epic Driver Series.
Callaway Epic Driver Review (The SERIES as a whole)
Driver Models – Callaway Epic Speed vs Epic Max vs Epic Max LS
- Epic Speed
- Epic Max – click here for our full Callaway Epic Max Driver review
- Epic Max LS (low spin) – click here for our full Callaway Epic Max LS Driver review
- Triple Diamond editions
The Epic Speed, made to be the “one size fits all” offering. The Epic Max, for the mid to high handicap player looking for higher launch and forgivenessand. And the Epic Max LS, geared more for a lower handicapper looking for lower launch and spin.
Callaway also has Triple Diamond versions of the Speed and LS which contain a more “tour preferred” shape and size. If there is a better tour preferred model on the market, I haven’t seen it.
Construction and Tech
This time around, Callaway put focus on speed… why? Because speed equals distance!
Callaway used the help of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to deliver speed and forgiveness that has simply changed the game on the tee box.
Packed with technology in the A.I. Jailbreak Speed Frame, A.I. Flash Face, and lighter (but just as strong) Triaxial Carbon Fiber, the Epic Driver Series was constructed with distance and game improvement in mind.
Simply put, with the A.I. technology and proprietary materials, Callaway put together a driver with more speed and forgiveness than ever before.
The Jailbreak Speed Frame is back, but better than ever. The previous Jailbreak Frame was designed to stiffen the body vertically, which improved ball speed.
Now, the new Jailbreak Speed Frame not only strengthens the clubhead vertically, but also enhances horizontal and torsional stability.
But what does this all mean??
More distance and forgiveness across the face, which, unless you carry a tour card, is helpful when the ball doesn’t find the middle of the club face.
Callaway also implemented an A.I. designed Flash Face that dramatically improves distance and forgiveness across the entire face.
This iteration of the Flash Face was designed specifically to optimize the Jailbreak Speed Frame.
The variable thickness, which resembles ripples in a pond, promotes fast ball speeds in a much larger area of the face. The use of A.I. gave Callaway the ability to find the right design between face and frame faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Callaway uses their proprietary Triaxial Carbon on the crown and toe in the Epic Series that saves 16 to 19 grams of weight across the series versus titanium, without losing stability.
That discretionary weight is then positioned to enhance forgiveness. The Triaxial Carbon in the toe also promotes a natural draw bias to promote a powerful shot shape.
Callaway’s OptiFit Hosel allows you to adjust the loft and lie of the club to fit your needs on the course. The OptiFit Hosel allows you to adjust between 8 different loft and lie combinations.
The hosel consists of two cogs that rotate independently. This allows you to increase or decrease the loft from -1 degree to +2 degrees, and adjust between standard lie, draw, and fade bias.
This adjustability, along with adjustable perimeter weight in the Max models, allows you to fine tune your driver to maximize performance off the tee.
Worth the Upgrade? – The Mavrik vs Epic Speed
Every year, golf manufacturers across the board introduce their new driver that they assure is their best ever, all in an attempt to get you to open your wallet… To chase that few extra yards. To hit bombs. To put on a show.
But to put on that show, you’ll have to shell out some dough. With new models often $500+ you’re left asking yourself “is it worth it?”
The Callaway Mavrik series is an amazing line and offers a lot of what we want in a driver, but the Epic Driver Series just does it better.
The Mavrik series comes equipped with the Jailbreak Frame and the Flash Face, but the Epic series has improved on those two vital pieces of technology.
The Mavrik Jailbreak Frame strengthens the clubhead vertically, while the Epic Jailbreak Frame sprawls across to offer vertical, horizontal, and torsional stability.
The Mavrik Flash Face (SS20) was A.I. generated, the same as the Epic, but the Epic Flash Face (SS21) was A.I. generated with a symbiotic relationship between it and the Jailbreak Frame.
With the frame and face working together, you get fast ball speeds and more forgiveness across more of the face than the Mavrik lineup.
It’s basically a situation where the two technology upgrades are MULTIPLIED together rather than ADDED…. Or a “1 + 1 = 3” type situation in my opinion.
These important improvements will give you tighter dispersion, and more consistent distances.
If you want to “hit bombs” like Lefty (Phil), find fairways like Rahmbo, and put on a show… there is no better dance partner than the Callaway Epic Driver Series. Go long!
Callaway Epic SPEED Driver Review
The Callaway Epic Speed driver comes in three loft options of 9, 10.5, and 12 degrees. All of which are adjustable with the OptiFit Hosel by as much as -1 degree to +2 degrees of the stated loft.
Give this a read if you’re unsure what driver loft you should be playing.
Epic Speed was constructed with all golfer types in mind. Low to mid handicap golfers can find that this model suits their game best, while high handicap players may find the Max model more suitable.
Equipped with the all new A.I. designed Jailbreak Speed Frame and Flash Face, the Epic Speed delivers more speed across the face than its predecessor, the Mavrik.
The Cyclone Aero shape design flattens the crown and elongates the trail edge a bit for lower drag and higher club head speed.
The 16 grams of weight saved favoring Triaxial Carbon over titanium in the crown and toe patch is positioned low and evenly to create a lower and further flight trajectory. Think of that beautiful fighter jet taking off type launch, and seemingly never ending rise. The ball flight path you and I see tour pros have with ease.
The Callaway Epic Speed driver has arranged the saved weight through the composite design to enhance forgiveness and add draw bias. A nice, consistent, powerful shot shape is everything we all look for in a driver, and a lot of golfers are still looking for it!
Callaway Epic Speed Driver Shafts
The Epic Speed comes stock with premium shaft options from Project X. The Project X HZRDUS Smoke iM10 in 50 and 60 gram options, along with Project X Cypher 40g for a lighter, more flexible option.
Give this a read if you’re unsure what driver shaft length you should be playing.
- Speed? ✅
- Distance? ✅
- Forgiveness too!? ✅
Although the entire Epic line is all about speed, this model will give you the fastest clubhead speeds compared to its siblings. Given that 1mph equals about 3 yards in distance, a little faster goes a lot further! I’ll take 3 extra yards wherever I can get it!
Reshaping the clubhead to gain more speed sacrificed a small amount of forgiveness across the face. So if you tend to struggle to consistently find the center strike, the Max version may be more your speed (pun intended).
However, with consistency towards the center, you won’t be disappointed with the distance and workability. The world number one, John Rahm, uses the Callaway Epic Speed driver, specifically for those reasons.
Increased MOI (moment of inertia) over its older brother, the Epic Flash driver, keeps the clubhead more stable through the swing path, which makes it more forgiving.
The new carbon toe patch generates medium spin rates, and you will see a higher launch and slight draw bias compared to the Mavrik.
The look for the Epic Speed is second to none… clean, simple, understated on the crown, making it feel stable at address.
No two tone crown to distract from the goal. I appreciate the subtle pinstripes and simple “Epic” printed on the slightly elongated trail edge of the crown. No distractions is the focus on the alignment aid with just a simple chevron guiding you to the center of the face.
The bottom is another story however… Flashy, colorful, sexy. Complete with “on brand” bright green and white accidents. Speed denotes the bottom, just in case you forget it’s fast. A statement, but not busy.
The four Jailbreak anchor points are visible on the bottom, which is a noticeable difference between the Epic line and Mavrik.
The green accidents marry well with the HZRDUS shaft for a complete (should I say Badass?) look.
The headcover takes a page from the bottom of the club head with green and white predominance, and leaves no question as to what bazooka you have in your bag.
Sound and Feel
Upon testing, I was impressed by the feel and acoustics of the Epic Speed.
The ball EXPLODES off the face, even on off-center strikes, and leaves you thinking the ball may actually enter orbit.
At impact, the club face feels in control, and solid. Even on practice swings, I can feel the speed and power.
The sound matches the explosive feel perfectly. I have heard a similar noise while watching a farrier shape a red hot horseshoe fresh out of the flame. Just not quite as high pitched; slightly more tone than pitch really. A statement “ting” that is surely heard at neighboring tee boxes.
Off center strikes are slightly less powerful in sound and feel, which is a good indicator of a poorly hit ball. You won’t get much feedback in the hands on those swings like you would with other options, which I prefer.
- Look at address – Square and powerful
- Improved distance – More swing speed = more distance
- Improved forgiveness – The all new Jailbreak and Flash Face tighten dispersion overall
- Cyclone Aero head shape – Increase head speed to generate more distance
- Unmatched feel and acoustics – The sound at impact is extraordinary, and I just feel in control!
- OptiFit Hosel – Allows for adjustment in loft/lie/face angle
- No movable weight – None on the Speed, but the Max and Max LS have sliding weight
- Price – Premium offering comes at a premium price
- Off center hits can be spiny – Mishits can come with a lot of spin, which shortens distance
- Limited feedback – The feel of a missed strike is fairly nonexistent (try the Triple Diamond version if this is important to you… more on that later)
The Bottom Line
The Callaway Epic Speed driver is a fantastic option for every type of golfer. I would be hard pressed to find a better option for someone outside of the Epic line. If movable weight is too advanced for your game, this club is for you. If getting maximum clubhead speed is important to you, this is the club for you.
If you’re looking to upgrade from the Mavrik, or other previous models, it’s worth it. Callaway has made marked improvements, thanks to A.I., in distance and forgiveness, making this driver one of Callaway’s best to date.
Again, if you want more forgiveness, or you need help with launch and getting the ball higher in the air, then check out the Epic Max version.
Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond Driver (quick review including TD LS)
Callaway offers the Epic Speed driver and Speed LS in a Triple Diamond setup (you’ll notice the three diamonds just above the hosel in the photo above). These are Callaway’s tour preferred models.
The Triple Diamond is set up to be more neutral at address, and a center of gravity set for more control and workability.
The footprint of the Triple Diamond is a little smaller (450cc instead of 460cc). This increases the swing speed of an already incredibly fast lineup. The Epic Speed Triple Diamond has the Cyclone Aero head shape still for maximum speed.
Some slight adjustments were made to the head shape to make it more ‘tour preferred’. A straighter top line, higher toe, and more face progression give the look tour players desire, along with workability to bend and shape shots around the course like…well… a tour player.
Both the Epic Speed Triple Diamond and Epic Speed LS Triple Diamond have adjustable weights. The Speed version has two 8g weights, as opposed to no adjustable weight on the regular Speed. While the Speed LS version has 10g and 6g weights.
You will only find 9 and 10.5 degree loft options with this line, but the OptiFit hosel will allow adjustments from -1 to +2 degrees.
Alternative Choices to the Epic Speed
Ping G425 LST
I’m comparing the Speed to a similar option here… Ping’s G425 LST, because it’s the most aggressive in their driver series. The difference though, is that it’s a low spin model, thus launching a bit lower when compared to the Callaway Epic Speed driver.
Technically, the SIM2 is TaylorMade’s low spin model, but it’s also their most aggressive model in the series. Meaning it’s the least forgiving, but the lowest launching and with the most distance. It’s similar to the Callaway Epic Speed driver, but different.
The Cobra Radspeed model is pretty comparable to the Speed in the sense that it’s Cobra’s most skill-advanced model in my opinion. It’s also their most adjustable model. BUT, it is technically a low spin model, probably a little bit more so than the Speed. You can check our Radspeed review here if you’d like.
Draw Biased Drivers
Since the Callaway Epic Speed driver does have a SMALL draw bias, I wanted to recommend a few more in this category for those that may want a little help fixing that dreaded slice off the tee.
The Epic Speed is a more advanced driver in my opinion, so if you’re looking for a “slice fixer”, or simply just want to play more draws from the tee, AND you want a more forgiving setup, then something like the TaylorMade SIM2 Max D or the Ping G425 SFT (full review here) would be great.
Or you can check out our review of the best drivers for a slice.
Best Golf Drivers Period
If you’re one of the more advanced players, you’re looking for the most distance possible, you’re willing to sacrifice a little forgiveness, and you’re looking for some alternatives to the Epic Speed that are a little more toward the “player’s” side of the spectrum, I’d suggest reading our reviews of the best golf drivers.
Note – Some of these FAQs were covered throughout the article, but I still get these questions a lot… so here are the “short and sweet” answers to the most common questions:
Callaway Epic Settings Chart
Callaway Epic Driver Settings
|-1||Subtracts 1 degree from the Stated Loft||N – Neutral Setting|
|S||Stated Loft (loft stamped on the clubhead)||D – Draw Setting|
|+1||Adds 1 degree to Stated Loft|
|+2||Adds 2 degrees to Stated Loft|
Is the Epic Speed driver forgiving?
Yes, the Callaway Epic Speed is a forgiving driver, but not as much as the Epic Max driver.
What year did the Callaway Epic Speed driver come out?
The Callaway Epic Speed driver came out in February 2021.
Who uses Callaway Epic Speed driver?
- Phil Mickelson
- Xander Schauffele
- Jon Rahm
- Dylan Frittelli
- Kevin Na
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout
- Marc Leishman
- Sam Burns
Is Epic Speed better than epic flash?
The Callaway Epic Speed is 1 year newer than the Epic Flash driver, and is a better driver in my opinion. The upgraded Jailbreak frame strengthens the club both vertically and horizontally, compared to just horizontally in the Flash. Overall, there is more forgiveness in the newer Speed club head.
Is Epic Speed Driver adjustable?
Yes, the Epic Speed Driver is adjustable. The adjustable hosel has 8 different settings to adjust loft, lie, and shot shape bias. It does NOT, however, have the adjustable sliding weight (for more shot shaping bias) like the Max does.
What driver does Phil Mickelson use?
Phil Mickelson uses the Callaway Epic Speed driver. He sometimes uses the Triple Diamond LS version, depending on the course and conditions.
Which Epic driver is the longest?
The longest, as far as distance, of the Epic drivers is the Epic Speed. And to be more specific, the Epic Speed Triple Diamond LS is the longest. Just be careful, this is not a very forgiving option, and you must be able to make consistent center strikes. For the ametuer golfer, I’d recommend the Epic Speed (not the Triple Diamond) or the Max version.
What driver does Xander Schauffele use?
Xander Schauffele uses the Callaway Epic Speed driver most of the time. Sometimes he uses the Triple Diamond LS, depending on the course and conditions.
What does Triple Diamond mean for Callaway?
Triple Diamond for Callaway simply means their most “tour preferred” or advanced line of drivers. This line is the least forgiving, but offers much more control, workability, and distance for the most advanced golfers.
Is Epic Speed draw biased?
Yes, the Callaway Epic Speed is a draw biased driver. However, it is a VERY SLIGHT draw bias. It’s not the most forgiving driver, so I wouldn’t recommend it for fixing a slice. But if you can control the ball relatively well, and want to play a baby draw off the tee, it’s a great draw biased setup in my opinion.
What are the other Callaway Drivers by Year?
Callaway has released over 100 drivers over the years. If you want to see the history and release dates, check out our Callaway drivers by the year article.