Equipment Review – Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Driver
Epic or Hype? !
January 9th, 2017
It’s been a while since there’s been as much hype surrounding a driver release as with the Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic. Callaway’s newest driver hits shelves on January 27th and there’s been a lot of talk about the driver, the technology and who’s playing it (Rory McIlroy we’re looking in your direction). As one of the biggest companies in golf we expect a lot of interest when Callaway releases any product but the intrigue in the Epic seems unparalleled. The important question though is whether or not this driver deserves the hype.
At Peak Performance Golf we’re fortunate to get products early to test them and make our own decisions about what works and what doesn’t. Most manufacturers’ claims bare some truth but we don’t like to take them at their word. Using FlightScope and an unbiased approach we like to make our own determinations as to what advancements products offer. This past week we got to spend some time with the new Callaway Epic and the following data and summary represent our thoughts. We compared the Epic vs. Callaway’s Fusion, which was released in late 2016 and was it’s most upto-date release. Let’s look at the numbers first.
Admittedly, that’s a lot of info and depending on what kind of device you’re reading this on it might appear a bit small to read. That being said, all that data is important for complete transparency. We don’t have an agenda when it relates to equipment so we like to present the full picture. The big takeaways from the data are:
• 10.8 yards gained in Carry Distance and 8.5 yards gained in Total Distance
• Every shot hit with the Epic was longer than the longest hit with the Fusion
• All other numbers are identical or have a negligible difference
It’s important to state that our tester was not fit into either of these drivers. He used the stock stiff shaft in a 10.5 degree head set Neutral/Standard and in the case of the Epic the moveable weight was positioned in the neutral position. Some of these numbers (Launch Angle, Spin Rate and Lateral Landing) wouldn’t be what we would be looking for in a fitting; however, for the purpose of comparison we want to keep things as neutral as possible.
Our tester, a single digit handicap, experienced significantly longer tee shots and potentially most importantly, the length was consistent. Every shot he hit with the Epic was longer than the longest hit with the Fusion even when Club Head speed and Smash Factor was nearly identical. i.e. shot 5 with Fusion and shot 4 with Epic.
We’ll leave the complicated technical explanations to Callaway but we believe the reason our tester saw this increase was the advent of the new Jailbreak technology Callaway introduced in the Epic. In short, Jailbreak technology is two bars running vertically behind the face that join the sole and crown. In all other drivers when the ball strikes the face, the face compresses and energy is forced in, up and down. The energy going up and down tries to force the head apart resulting in not having 100% of the energy transferred back out to the golf ball. The bars behind the Epic face reduce this energy loss and creates higher ball speeds regardless of where on the face you hit it.
If you’d like to find out if the Epic is the right driver for you we would suggest a fitting where not only your driver but all current driver options are explored based on your individual needs.
The Epic is being complimented by the tour inspired Epic Sub-Zero, featuring a slightly smaller head with reduced spin and a matching fairway wood as well. We will be releasing a comparison of the Epic and the Epic Sub-Zero in the coming days.
If you have any questions about this product, Peak Performance Golf or to schedule a fitting please contact our Director of Instruction, Ryan Holley at firstname.lastname@example.org.