50 Words or Less
The Callaway GBB Epic driver looks great, feels amazing, and produces huge ball speed. Worthy of the crazy hype it has received.
It didn’t matter what booth you were standing in, everyone at the 2017 PGA Show was talking about one club: Callaway’s GBB Epic driver. But building great hype for a product is only the first step; it also needs to perform. We put Callaway’s latest to the test to see if it could back up the buzz.
Let me cut right to the chase: the GBB Epic is the best looking driver of 2017, hands down. It starts with a solid look at address. The Epic is round and symmetrical with a crown that fades from gloss black to carbon fiber. It’s unique and sexy without being distracting.
Where the Epic really sets itself apart is in the details. The head cover has the silver Jailbreak dots on it. The shaft and grip match the black and green color scheme. It’s a complete package that looks slick from top to bottom.
Sound & Feel
Before testing the GBB Epic for myself, I had read comments about how good the sound and feel were. It took one swing for me to say to myself, “Wow, they were right.”
Above all else, the Epic feels solid. It’s truly unlike any other driver that I can remember hitting. Impact sounds and feels more like smashing the ball with a sledge hammer than striking it with a paper-thin piece of titanium.
The headline technology in the GBB Epic is Jailbreak, so let’s start there. The idea is that the bars in the head change how the head and face behave resulting in more ball speed across the face. From what I saw in my testing, and what I’ve heard from Club Champion fitters, Callaway’s claims are true. My ball speed and smash factor were consistently high, even when my ball striking was consistently spotty.
Another key feature in the GBB Epic is the Adjustable Perimeter Weighting. The 17 gram sliding weight can change the feel of the club substantially. More important, it has a huge impact on the ball flight. Callaway’s testing showed that it was capable of 21 yards of shot-shape correction. My driver swing is not robotic enough to make precise claims like that, but the differences were very noticeable, particularly on mishits. With the weight in the toe (fade bias), shots off the heel peeled hard right. With the weight in the heel (draw bias), shots in the heel flew straight.
As has become their standard, Callaway is offering a number of stock shaft options. In the 40 gram range, you can get a Mitsubishi Diamana. In the 50 gram range, you have the choice of the Diamana or a HZRDUS. The Aldila Rogue M*AX is available in 60 and 70 grams, and the Fujikura Pro is a 60 gram option. Couple those choices with the Opti-Fit Hosel, and you have a lot of ways to optimize the Epic for your swing.
It’s rare that a much hyped product lives up to its billing, but the Callaway GBB Epic driver does just that. The chevron should be commended for absolutely crushing every aspect of this driver from the look to the feel to the performance. Expect to see the Epic in a lot of bags from the Tour to your local muni this year.
Buy the Callaway GBB Epic Driver HERE
Callaway GBB Epic Driver Price & Specs
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How does the Epic compare to the Ping G, TM M2, and the Cobra King LTD in terms of forgiveness?
Which shaft did you test and would you expect even better performance if you used your normal gamer (still the Speeder 757 Evo III?)?
I tested the GBB Epic with the Fuji Pro shown in the pictures. With a perfectly fit shaft, I’m sure the numbers would be a bit better, but I’m not sure how much.
I didn’t test the GBB Epic head to head with any other driver, and I haven’t hit the LTD at all, so I’m hesitant to offer much in the way of comparison. All I’ll say is that the GBB Epic is certainly in the discussion with ANY driver this year, and everyone should get fit to find out if it’s the best one for them.
Great Review, Matt. Is the Epic a driver for the masses or for the lower handicap player? At $500 per club, your opinion is appreciated.
The Epic is meant for everyone. The forgiveness is quite good, and everyone can benefit from more ball speed.
Do you notice the difference of the Fusion and Epic drivers. Are they about the same. which has most
They’re noticeably different in shape, and I prefer the Epic in that regard. Both are excellent and should be considered in a fitting.
Hi Matt, 282 yards is not mind blowing distance !! Were you not getting that at least with your own driver?
Where did I state the distance was “mind blowing”?
Would like to see some testing from someone with less than 100 MPH swing speed.
Agree with W.B. Neal. If I’m going to spend $500 for this driver I need to see how it performs with a senior shaft and higher handicap (15+ ) player. Can you help in that regard?
In a perfect world, we would have a wide range of players test each club, but that’s not realistic at this time.
That said, even if a reviewer had the same measurables as you, you would still be wasting your money if you didn’t get fit.
Where would you rank the Epic with regards to distance versus Ping G, 2017 M2, etc?
I haven’t hit the 2017 M2 yet, but regardless the answer is that it depends on who’s swinging the club and how it’s fit.
My 9 year old granddaughter tested both and the fusion seemed to give her more control and distance . With all set at netural. She only have a 75 swing speed but was about 170 distance and no difference with either. She felt the Epic was a bit lighter maybe because the head seems smaller in apperance but the sound was a bit weird for her also. Felt she was hitting off center with the Epic sound soma mental thing I suppose. So we got the Fusion
I currently have a Ping G 30 LS tech with a Mitsubishi Diamana Ahina X 75 shaft. My question is can that shaft be removed and installed in the Epic driver head? My instructor says it can be done.
Yes, a good club builder can remove the PING adapter and install the shaft into a Callaway adapter. If you have a Club Champion location near you, I would recommend having them do it.
I’m a 11 handicapper and I have a swing speed of 88 mph, as I’m 75 I cant get much faster lol, any way I tested the Epic, I had it fitted with Adila Rogue Max 65 regular shaft, and set up at standard with a draw bias, its the 13.5 degree model, the sliding weight was set towards fade but not fully, now I have been hitting a Nike Covert 2 driver with a stiff shaft pretty well, around the 220 mark, but when I swung the Epic, well its an entirely different experience, at 88 mph I was carrying 265 yards, and very straight as well the dispersion is around 10 yards either way from a fade to a straight hit, so I purchased it as its improved my game wholesale, I’ve found that if I use Callaway Chrome soft or the TM T5 balls I get outstanding results, with the TM T5 shading the distance by around 10 yards, so I hope this helps with you question on a mid handicapper test
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Do you think the combination og Callaway Epic Driver and EvenFlow Blue 65 shaft is something worth trying?
Sure, no reason not to try it.