Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero Driver Review

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50 Words or Less

The Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero may be one of the most hyped clubs ever.  With insanely good feel, exceptional performance, and killer looks, it lives up to its Epic name.

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The Callaway GBB Epic drivers’ industry buzz has been hard to miss since its announcement.  With claims of game-changing technology, the GBB Epic Sub Zero has quite a bit of hype to live up to.  After following all of the Epic buzz , I was more than happy to see what Callaway’s hot new driver was made of.  One might say the results were…epic.

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In Matt’s review of the GBB Epic, he claims it’s the best looking driver of 2017.  Not to say this season isn’t full of good looking drivers, but it’s difficult to argue with him on this one.  From address, the GBB Epic Sub Zero looks very similar to the GBB Epic with its round, symmetrical shape and carbon fiber crown.  If the carbon fiber crown doesn’t get you excited enough, you also see it on the sole of the club.  The black and metallic neon green is a killer color combo to really make the Epic drivers pop.

As Matt pointed out, the attention to the smallest details are what really makes the GBB Epic Sub Zero look so good.  Callaway was smart to make the two “Jailbreak” bars visible on the sole.  Not only does it display the new tech, it makes for a nice visual detail.

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Sound & Feel

I’ve mentioned 2017 is full of great new drivers, but the the GBB Epic Sub Zero is easily top two for best feel.  “Love at first hit” is how I would describe the Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero.  Every shot feels so solid.  Callaway’s crown construction makes the face feel reinforced through the shot and wins the compression battle against the ball.  If you like your driver to feel like it has a little extra heat to it at impact, the GBB Epic Sub Zero is for you.

Callaway has used the two weight system again to adjust the Center of Gravity (CG).  Making this adjustment will change the performance and will also affect the feel.



The big innovation in the GBB Epic Sub Zero is the new Jailbreak technology.  The Jailbreak bars connect the sole and crown to create a “strong vertical connection” between the two pieces.  Callaway shows that the crown and sole “bulge” at impact which causes less energy to be transferred back into the ball.  The Jailbreak bars maintain vertical impact so more energy is transferred, and thus you end up with higher ball speeds.  Pure shots are less impacted by Jailbreak, but the improved forgiveness is apparent on mishits.

As you can see in the graphic above, I had very different results by moving the weights in the sole.  My results are certainly a good argument for launching a driver higher in the air.  Interestingly, when I changed the weight position, my spin rates were about the same – nice and low.  The weight back had much lower speeds, but the higher launch paired with low spin gave me 302 yards.  If I can put a better swing on the ball with the weight back, this Sub Zero could be dangerous.  I liked the speed and feel of the weight forward, but my shots were pile driving into the ground.  The freezing ice shooting out of my hands created some shattering frozen ropes that would have no trouble finishing off anything caught in front of them.

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.

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I’ll admit I didn’t expect such good results from the Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero.  I knew it would be a good driver, but I thought living up to that hype would be tough.  After hitting the GBB Epic Sub Zero, I have to tip my cap to Callaway’s accomplishment.  The GBB Epic Sub Zero delivered in every area and set a high bar for the rest of the industry.  Keep your eyes peeled this season – I guarantee you’ll see a lot of Epics on the course.

Buy the Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero Driver HERE

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero Driver Price & Specs

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero Driver Spec & Price

Bill Bush
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  1. How does SubZ compare to the Cobra King Ltd in terms of your results? Would you make the switch to the Callaway?

    • Still kind of up for debate. I’ll say that I’m currently trialing the Sub Zero to see if it makes a difference. When I hit one dead middle of the face at usual speeds, the Epic is longer. My mishits with the Epic are much more generous. With the LTD, I’m way more consistent and have better control (as I should, I’ve been playing it awhile now). I will be interested to see if I ever get there with the Epic.

    • I tried this driver, looks nice, feel and sound were similar to the TM M2 2016. But after trying all the stock shafts in the retail outlet I was disappointed. All stock shafts made my drives go left. Callaway has many shafts that are available at no upcharge but retailers do have them in stock to test them. I will not be replacing my M2 2016 because of the shafts and price.

      • Gerry,

        While I can’t speak to your exact location, I would look into smaller Callaway dealers that may have better fitting options. For instance, maybe you can find a demo day at a local course, or get put in touch with a local rep that may be able to help you out.

        Also, did you try making adjustments on the adapter to open the face a little bit? Perhaps try the other Epic driver and adjust the sliding weight?

  2. Thanks for the review…
    Quick question – do you find this driver favoring fade shots? I watched a video review by Rick Shiels and he said him and other reviewers have found this driver to favor fades…
    I asked because I am fighting hooks due to steep attack angle and over wrist manipulation. Perhaps this driver could help.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    • If I’m perfectly honest with you, I’m not a big fan of his reviews and often don’t agree with him. Just food for thought.

      I would like to know how he determines that data point. Were all of these players using the appropriate shaft for them? Did they set the adapter to the right settings? You get the drift.

      Personally, I’m exactly the opposite. The handful of times I’ve played this driver now, I’m consistently playing left when I’m usually more of a fade/cut.

  3. Comparing Epic to Epic Sub Zero, which one do you feel is better all around? Which one would you recommend to a low teen handicapper?

    • Unfortunately I can’t answer that. Neither is better than the other. They’re different clubs that do different things. The only way to really know which is best for you is to hit them both.

  4. I play x flex load hard 4-6hcp. Mid to low ball striker due to my draw swing. I tested Cally Epic SZ. 10.5 Weight fwd and back, Rogue Max 75x, SS 102mph . LA 12.2, My spin was 1100-2k with avg 1500!… give or take 200rpm with tinkering settings and weights. The shots were low flying draws to center. I call them rainbow draws that dropped out of the sky with top spin, 250 carry with low peak height 23-25y. The M1 / Hzdrs was better. However I settled on the Mizuno JPX 900 which gave higher spin 2400, similar distance with 1/2 inch shorter shaft!… the Fuji 661x ‘real deal’ JPX had much tighter dispersion, nicer flights, more adjust ability, WAY more control, high ball speed on off center strikes. Epic SZ I felt I would nut 1 of 5 shots…Clearly not worth it. JPX900 out shined Epic on every shot hit or miss. JPX900 was a surprise to me and is the sleeper. I did want to test F7+ but feel it will launch too low for me too.

  5. I have this driver and love it as much as you but your launch monitor numbers leave me scratching my head. I don’t claim to be an expert and am asking genuinely for the sake of discussion. How could only moving the weight up front have that big of an affect on clubhead speed? Also how could the higher launch angle at 7pm slower ball speed get 38 yards of roll when at 50rpm less spin, the lower show with an extra 7mph ball speed get only 15 yards roll? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • If I’m perfectly honest, it didn’t make much sense to me either. Alas, those were the numbers. It’s pretty common for me to have very different swings with the weights shifted in woods, often resulting in different speeds, but still surprised at the difference here.

      Down the road, I would like to have numbers with a more comparable swing speed between the two weight positions.

      Also important to note, when we’re reviewing equipment, we aren’t always robots so weird differences can happen. My take away was that I swang the club very different and it was good I hit it on the Trackman so I could see what the end results were. If I was going just off speeds, I may have left distance on the table.

      • Thanks for being honest, Bill. And I hear you about not being robots!

        Is there a chance that you got the carry and overall numbers backwards for the two? It still doesn’t add up to me. And could the ground conditions have been on different settings on the launch monitor?

        Finally got my SZ this week and can’t wait to hit the range this weekend. I don’t care if it’s only going to be 30* here in NH.

        • Nope, I hit it on the same monitor back to back. All that changed were the tags for the logging. Only thing I can come up with is imagine throwing a fast ball as fast as you can straight into the ground and then imagine throwing a change up with less speed but more arc. As I stated in the review, the weight forward gave me pile driving ropes.

          • Hi Bill,
            I agree with you, but what helps feed the oddity is that the faster, lower spinning “line drive” actually carried farther, which I would expect to have a more shallow angle of descent and, at less spin with all previously mentioned factors, would suggest greater roll (Trackman assumes a flat range/fairway, right?).

      • Those are some very strange numbers! But Since you’re human and not using a robot swing machine, I suppose there are other differences from swing to swing, that can account for the odd results. Quite interesting.

  6. Stephen Dillon

    Just wondering what the main differences were for you between the epic and the epic sub zero? And which driver would you say offered more forgiveness?

    • I haven’t hit both drivers. As far as which offers more forgiveness, it’s going to vary from person to person. They’re both known for forgiveness and hot faces so it likely comes down to whichever one you interact better with.

  7. Stephen Gengaro

    I had a question on the launch monitor data. The “weight up” numbers show higher ball speed, lower launch, lower spin and higher carry distance. The oddity is the total distance number is lower. I would think the landing angle would be shallower with lower launch and lower spin, leading to more roll versus less. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • It’s been awhile so I don’t know how well I can answer the question, but if memory serves, my Smash was better with the weight back and weight up wasn’t bad but it was almost like I was pile driving the ball into the ground. I tend to get squirrely results with weights forward. Given some of the info you’ve cited, I’ve tried to get adjusted to playing the weight forward because I think I could have better results if I found the center of the face better.

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