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Forgiving, consistent and powerful, the Callaway Epic Speed driver is a great all-around performer. Captivating looks, tantalizing sound.
In the realm of golf, MAVRIK captured a lot of headlines in 2020 [check out all our reviews HERE]. Beyond the new name and fresh colors, Callaway optimized face performance utilizing A.I. For 2021, Callaway engineers used the power of A.I. to develop an all new Jailbreak Speed Frame for their latest woods. But don’t let the familiar name and green color fool you – the new woods go beyond simple evolution.
As much as I appreciated the fine stitching on the Epic headcover, I couldn’t wait to pull it off. What I discovered was an intriguing aesthetic dichotomy – both simple and complex. Let me explain.
The Epic Speed driver crown has a beautiful round shape that’s ever so slightly toe-centric. The gloss black crown offers a restrained look at the carbon fiber weave from which it’s built from. My eyes were naturally drawn to the white chevron at address. The trailing edge includes a modest “EPIC” and a touch of pin striping. Simple.
The sole of the Epic Speed driver has a lot to take in visually. Dividing the front and back is a shiny silver strip flanked by quintessential Epic emerald green that serves as a banner for “SPEED”. Paralleling the face are the ends of the Jailbreak Speed Frame – now four strong. The back half of the sole includes a section of raised fins, a weight port, an emerald lap pool, and large, white Callaway logo field. Complex.
With the contrast in looks between the top and bottom, the Callaway Epic Speed is one great looking driver. The green HZRDUS Smoke iM10 shaft adds to the visual appeal.
Sound & Feel
The Epic Speed driver produces a staccato ‘ting’ at impact that reminded me of a blacksmith hammer striking an anvil. The volume was restrained and stealthy, and I actually wrote “like an assassin” in my field notes. The sound was consistent across the face, only becoming a tad muddled with contact near the edges.
Balls felt explosive off the face and much like with the sound, feedback in my hands was limited to poor strikes. The clubhead felt very stable through the hitting zone. Overall, the Epic Speed driver had an excellent feel that gave an inspiring sense of precision.
The feeling of a boundless sweet spot appeared to be corroborated by consistent distances and flighting based on visual indicators on the driving range. Launch monitor data gathered at Club Champion confirmed my observations – the Callaway Epic Speed driver is super forgiving. Smash factors were consistently high in a tight range of 1.48 to 1.50.
You can note from the chart above that my spin and launch were on the low side which greatly influenced my carry distance. Designated a mid-spin, mid-launch shaft, the Project X HSRDUS Smoke iM10 shaft didn’t quite align to my swing. A quick check with an alternate shaft had my numbers popping higher across the data fields. As my confidence with the Epic Flash grew, it was exhilarating to see my swing speed increase and the golf ball travel further. Even more impressive was the tight dispersion. Finding fairways even without perfect contact is a wonderful thing.
As I mentioned in the intro, the new Jailbreak Speed Frame is at the heart of the sound, feel, and performance of the Epic Speed driver. Not only does the new Jailbreak Speed Frame provide vertical stiffening between the sole and the crown like the original Jailbreak technology, but it also boosts horizontal and torsional stability. Paired with the titanium Flash Face SS21, the Epic Speed driver delivers excellent ball speeds across an expansive hitting area.
To help golfers generate more swing speed, Callaway designers added tall fins on the sole and flattened the crown of the Epic Speed driver for improved aerodynamics. To enhance forgiveness, designers utilized a triaxial carbon composite for the crown material in order to save, and redistribute, weight. That same material was utilized in the white toe patch to promote a slight draw bias.
Callaway boasts that the Epic Speed driver has “fast ball speeds across more expansive area,” aerodynamics that make it the “fastest Epic driver head” ever, and more “forgiveness versus previous MAVRIK designs,” all of which I found no reasons to dispute. The new Jailbreak Speed Frame may hinder the feedback some better players prefer, but the improved performance consistency is worth the tradeoff – especially with the overall excellent feel. I started this review with an open question as to what driver I’m going to game for 2021 and the Callaway Epic Speed made a very compelling case.
Callaway Epic Speed Driver Price & Specs
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Fantastic review Meeker! There are several compelling new drivers on the market in 2021. I noticed a prevalent marketing push during the last 2 PGA Tour events for new drivers, Callaway included. Looks like a great time to #GetFit2021
Great article! As a big Callaway fan and an owner of the Epic Flash driver, I’ve been awaiting this new design. And it seems Callaway really delivered. I’ve not been a fan of the moveable weight on my last gen model – it seems clunky and there for fitters not users; at least I not for me. Looks like it’s time for an upgrade – a very good looking club that sounds like it works, i.e., better, and as a 65 year old, 10 index always looking for help and distance. As a recent adopter of Ventus (Velocore) shafts (Mavrik 3 wood) and watching two leaders of the AT&T using them I’m thinking that may be the killer combo.
Congrats on being the most precise, non BS reviewer of golf stuff on the web.
Great article and enjoy your takes since my ss is essentially yours. You say you used an “alternate” shaft and saw better numbers. Can you say which shaft and the what the increased numbers were? Based On your review of the F9 speedback I put that driver in the bag and am still enjoying it. I demoed the B21 and enjoyed that club too.
I ended up with the Diamana TB Jack. The immediate impact was increased spin – around 2000 – which provided about 10 yards more carry. With the better fit, swing speed started going up a couple of mph which also boosted carry. All while holding a tight dispersion. Give the Epic Speed a demo when you can.
Matt, are you going to review the Mizuno St-X? (I assume your partner will review the ST-Z) It has gotten some buzz– and it is cheaper. One of the stock shafts is the Riptide CB 50 which should work for you (or you can J-Spec it and put in a 40g shaft)
I don’t have any Mizuno clubs on my docket. Feel free to give Mizuno a nudge on social media and let them know you want PIG to review them.
Have you compared this model against the Epic Max Speed? Would like to know if there is a huge difference between the two models.
I have not hit the Epic Max yet Mark.
Thank you for the review.
Looking forward to receiving the Speed and fitting it to a TPT Red shaft.
The Mavrik (standard) has great feel, and felt like you could pound it. The Epic Speed’s design would seem to add to consistent ball speed across the face along with a great feel, and possibly a small gain in club head speed – nice fins.
Nice review Matt. But I will be keeping my Mavrik Sub Zero another year at least, which I bought as a demo. This folly of bringing out new equipment every year is getting old and expensive. Most people should be looking at getting the correct shaft in their current head rather than buying a new head.
I can’t argue Gerry. Thanks for the comments.
What are your “optimal” launch and spin numbers at 80 mph? Even 2000 rpm with the Diamana sounds low, no?
The 2000 was just a check point after a few swings. The focus was on the driver, not the shaft.
That spread between carry distance and total distance seems a “bit much”? Those numbers of swing speed, spin and carry difference are very much like mine as a 70 year old 6-8 index. My launch monitor would give a total distance more like 195 yards which is what I see out on the course. I wonder if the monitor you are using maybe has a setting for fairway condition like soft or fast and firm? I just read an article about how golf shops can change settings to give you inflated distances like setting it to a high altitude! Just wondering. Like the review but at 70 ain’t much gonna help or change.
at my course total yards would be roughly 180 max
Matt, I really like your reviews. They are very helpful!! Last year I played with the Mavrik’s and loved them.
Based on your review I just ordered the driver, 4 wood, and 5 wood! By the way, have you reviewed Sqairz golf shoes yet? I actually picked up distance with irons and my woods. If come to believe shoes are really equipment! Thanks so much!!
Thanks for the nice comments Jack. Saternus reviewed those shoes – drop him a comment on that post.
Cheers – Meeks
Matt, how does this driver compare with new Callaway GBB B21 driver?
You can read my review of the GBB B21 HERE. Will do my best to answer any specific questions if you still have any.
Great review! Just bought the Epic Speed #4 wood, and so this is a natural contender for the driver spot in my bag! #GetFit2021.
I have the epic flash driver and fairway woods which i love, what should i expect from the epic speed as far as distance, forgiveness, etc.
You should see a bit more distance and increased forgiveness with the Epic Speed Craig. Hopefully you can hit them side by side for an accurate comparison. Let us know what you discover.
Hey Matt, sure is nice to get a review by somebody who has a SS like my own. Most reviewers have swing speeds in the 100s category.
This will put you on the spot, but…Which driver would you choose as your gamer: The Cobra Speedback or this Epic? Jon #GetFit2021
You can always check what equipment we are gaming or using on our “about” pages Jon. I’ll be updating my page later this week when the Epic Speed goes in my bag.
One of my partners played a round with a demo and I and he found the sound to a bit tinny as compared to my Epic Flash.
I’ve had the Speed now for 6 rounds…. the last 2 rounds have produced best scores this year……+3 ; 74 and -3 ; 69 on different courses!
I’m normally 215-235 kinda guy but this Speed with Tensei Blue AV 65R 💙 is 225-255 with the occasional downwind 270-290!
I haven’t hit these kind of numbers in 3yrs…..M3 with Diamana S+ Limited 60R……
Accuracy hasn’t been an issue for a bit ….craving distance and I think I’ve found it…..
Also, the sound/feel, flight and looks are perfect and total reincarnation of my all-time favorite driver the R510 non-tp 330cc from 03-04
Callaway has a winner
What loft and shaft flex did you test?
10.5 degree with stock HAZRDUS as shown.
Thanks for your input, Matt! Recently, I got fitted for a driver and the Epic Speed ended up being my choice. I have been using an Epic GBB that I got used 3 years ago. It is still hitting well, but there is a rattle in the head caused by a tee head going up through a slot in the bottom, and debris getting in there.(Anyone else have this trouble?) As there is no connecting seam on the underside in the Epic Speed, I see no equipment malfunction of that sort ever happening. Being 64, I wondered about the flex and weight of the shift. My fitter said that being 225 lbs and having an average swing speed of 90 plus the stiff flex 70 gram shaft would be best for me. I had my favorite Golf pride wrapped jumbo grip attached and hit the most consistent drives I ever had. With a 10.5 degree face, the apex was greater than my GBB which I had turned to 9.5, and the distance was at least as far, even though the wet Fall fairways gave me no roll. Also tested the Ping G425 driver, but the Epic Speed was better for me. However, the Ping G425 irons beat out the Srixon CX5’S, barely, as both were excellent for me.
Glad to hear Martin – thanks for sharing your experience.
Great review, my pro has just fitted the Epic Speed in my Tensi Blue 55 Reg shaft as a surprise test and I was amazed with the results.
Loved the very visual chevron on the crown and stability when striking shots.
I will be trying it on the Littlestone Links today in Kent UK hopefully it still performs on the coast.
Really enjoy your reviews. I never buy the latest drivers….just wait until the prices go down. I am presently hitting the Callaway Epic Flash and was wondering if it make sense to upgrade to the Epic Speed?
My advice is always to test your current gamer against what you’re considering so you can see exactly what the new model will give you.