Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero Fairway Wood Review

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50 Words or Less

The biggest update in the Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero fairway wood is the new Triaxial Carbon crown which increases forgiveness and power.

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Introduction

Right off the bat, I will point out to you that the new Callaway GBB Epic fairway woods do not have Jailbreak technology.  Don’t let this news deter you though, the Epic fairways may be Callaway’s best yet.  The GBB Epic Sub Zero fairway has a new, lighter crown and updated Hyper Speed Face Cup that make it both long and forgiving.

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Looks

Like the Epic drivers, the Epic Sub Zero fairway has visible carbon fiber on the head.  Callaway uses silver, white, and green accents to pop against the black carbon backdrop.  At address, the Epic Sub Zero fairway is compact and pear shaped.  The face is on the shallower side, so if you’re looking for a mini driver, this is not it.

Smaller details go a long way to add to the overall aesthetic.  Among those details is one of the coolest stock headcovers in the golf industry.  Callaway even has their shafts and grips made in unique matching colors.

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Sound & Feel

I don’t think Callaway has ever suffered in the sound and feel department, but the Epic Sub Zero goes above and beyond.  The Triaxial Carbon crown and fourth generation Hyper Speed Face Cup provide a lively feel and a solid “crack” off the face.  Callaway’s focus on speed has made the face considerably more generous on mishits.  Even without Jailbreak technology, the Epic Sub Zero fairway wood still feels very solid with plenty of heat.  The “crack” I mentioned before is muted but powerful.  The sound will leave you with zero doubt that you just hit a well-struck shot.

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Performance

My expectations going into this review were fairly moderate.  I was well aware of the significantly lighter crown but figured the Epic Sub Zero would perform similarly to previous Callaway fairway woods.  Hats off, Callaway, the Epic Sub Zero may be your best yet.  First let’s address the weight system.  Callaway has used the two movable weight system for a few generations, and it still works as designed.  I got significantly more carry and total distance with the weight back.  Moving the weight forward actually increased my spin, but I also launched the ball 2.7º lower, so I still got a little roll with that higher spin.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Epic Sub Zero’s ease of play and forgiveness.  Lately, my swing has changed, and I tend to not get along with forward CG.  What caught my attention with the Sub Zero was that the club felt easy to hit on every swing.  That’s not to say I couldn’t hit a bad shot, but it felt easy to hit good ones.  As much as I wish I hit the center of the face each shot, it just isn’t reality.  The Epic Sub Zero fairway wood did a great job of maintaining ball speed as you moved away from the center.  In previous years I may have recommended a club like this to lower handicaps, but I think the Sub Zero fairway could fit a wider audience.

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Conclusion

I believe the drivers are the crown jewels of Callaway‘s Epic lineup, but the fairway woods definitely hold their own.  The easy length and forgiveness of the Sub Zero fairway wood have the potential to unlock this area of the bag for a lot of players.  Given the breakthroughs with the Epic drivers, I have a feeling we’re just getting started with the Epic fairway woods.

Buy the Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero FW HERE

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero Fairway Wood Price & Specs

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Bill Bush

Co-Founder, Director of Technology at PluggedInGolf.com
Bill is a true golf gear nerd by definition who loves making custom club creations in his garage with tools like sledge hammers, blow torches, and his bare hands. When Bill isn't working on PluggedInGolf.com, or in the garage, he is a technology manager living in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and kids. Bill plays Scott Readman Concepts putters and accessories.

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16 Comments

  1. Philip Schnepp

    I have to disagree with your claim about sound and feel. When comparing to other recent releases the 3w sounded like a small caliber gun. Felt hollow, nothing like the Callaway Epic SZ driver, which I bought. At 13.5 the flight of the ball was considerably higher than the 15 3w I was comparing it with. Nice club but not for me.

    • That’s a testament to the subjectivity in golf. My perception is totally different there, and as always, different gear responds differently to each player’s swing.

  2. Chad Hershberger

    I tried this with the weight forward and hated it. Now I wish I would have asked them to move the weight back. I have the weight back on my EPIC SZ driver and it’s the longest driver I’ve ever hit from the numbers I’ve seen on the course so far. I need to go back and try it again.

  3. Does this club take the Cobra out? Can you let us know why or why not? Thanks!

  4. This club is a godsend for the player like me who prefer a smaller head and the confidence that comes with that on fairway shots. I haven’t gotten along with these modern fairway woods because I thought they were all too big and clunky. This head is 169cc and honestly looks even more compact than that. I finally hit my SZ driver and fairway last weekend and while they were both amazing, I haven’t stopped thinking all week how automatic this 3 wood is! It’s a seriously great club and I enjoyed this good review. Very interested to see how much more spin you had with the weight forward though, especially with the lower launch. I play the weight forward but like you, much preferred the 3 wood with the weight back.

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  6. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the review, I always enjoy the info. I know it’s subjective but with your initial thoughts so far testing both the GBB Epic and King LTD, what would you say is the one you would choose if you had to pick?

    I noticed your best distance with the King LTD was with 105 SS and 152 BS. The Epic seemed to have better speeds but not as long with results in carry.

    Thoughts?

    • James,

      Still too early to tell. I like the Sub Zero a lot but there isn’t a ton of pressure to remove the LTD from my bag. It performs well for me so we’ll see what happens as the season progresses.

  7. Between the Sub Zero, the regular Epic and the Big Bertha Fusion Fairway, which would you choose?

    • Kindra,

      I can’t possibly advise on that. What works best for me may work best for someone else. My preference is the Sub Zero, but plenty others prefer the regular Epic. You have to see which works best for you.

      Bill

  8. Bill, I play the Alpha 816 fairway wood and love it. The new Epic Sub Zero looks like the Alpha replacement. Is it worth upgrading? Many thanks.

    • It’s hard to tell, they feel pretty different to me. That need to upgrade is going to be subjective. For me, I just hit the new one really well so it was worth going in my bag. That said, I was hitting a Cobra King LTD just fine so it was more of a change of pace than anything else.

      I know that doesn’t really answer your question, but that’s the best I can really advise. I think you’d just have to hit them both and see which is best for you.

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