The Callaway Epic Flash Star woods and Epic Forged Star irons are dedicated to bringing the benefits of ultra-lightweight construction to below average swing speed golfers. But while restoring some lost speed might seem the obvious benefit, there’s more to it than that.
The high-end luxury series of clubs, which includes the Epic Flash Star driver, fairway woods and hybrids and the Epic Forged Star irons, combines lighter grip, shaft and head elements to create more opportunities for this class of golfer. That trend begins with the metalwoods, including most notably a driver that at 266 grams is some 50 grams lighter than Callaway’s standard Epic Flash driver (and 19 grams lighter than the previous Epic Star driver), said Evan Gibbs, Callaway’s director of research and development for woods.
“For us going with the lighter grip allows us to make the head lighter and that’s where we start to see the performance differences,” Gibbs said, talking about the driver but the words resonate for the entire lineup. “Because the head weight is lower you don’t often see gains in ball speed just from a head speed gain. We do see a number of other things that happen for lower speed, higher-handicap players when they get this weight configuration. They do get more head speed, but we also see they have a more centered impact, they have a more consistent impact so they’re able to swing more repeatably. They don’t hit as much on the heel as they tend to do with heavier clubs. The closure rate is a little higher so the face angle at impact is not as open so we a four- or five-yard difference in dispersion just based on face angle and impact locations.
“It’s just often difficult with heavier models for these players to have control and deliver consistently, while the lighter weight helps them square it up, helps them hit it a little bit more centered.”
That thinking demands a comprehensive approach to the “Star” lineup of clubs, which was first seen two years ago with the original Epic Star. Now, Callaway is offering a lineup of woods and irons supported by ultralight grips and shafts. That includes 30- and 43-gram grips from Golf Pride and UST Mamiya’s ATTAS Speed shafts in the 30- and 40-gram weight range for woods and 40- to 50-gram weight range in the irons.
The Epic Flash Star driver features many of the features of the standard Epic Flash driver. That includes a variable thickness face design created through the learnings of artificial intelligence. The Epic Flash Star driver, fairway woods and hybrids also feature the parallel vertical bars inside the head that join the crown with the sole to concentrate more flexing in the face.
The Epic Flash Star fairway woods and hybrids utilize high strength Carpenter 455 steel in a wraparound cupface design. Both also feature a broad range of lofts. That includes a 3-, 5-, 7-, 9- and 11-wood in the fairway woods and hybrid lofts that run from the 3H to the 8H.
The Epic Forged Star irons take their cue from the recently launched Epic Forged irons. That includes a thin 17-4 cupface construction set in a forged carbon steel body. That yields a larger area of the face with maximum ball speed. An optimized tungsten weight suspended in thermoplastic urethane in the head positions the center of gravity ideally for launch and spin.
Like on the Epic Forged irons, the faces on the Epic Forged Star line uses a variable thickness design to maximize off-center ball speed.
The Epic Flash Star driver is available in three non-adjustable lofts (10.5, 12 and 13.5 degrees). Removing the adjustable hosel also improves potential launch conditions for these players by allowing more weight to be redistributed low as opposed to being tied up in an adjustable hosel that these players are less likely to use. The fairway woods and hybrids are available in five and seven different lofts respectively.
The driver ($700), fairway woods ($400 each) and hybrids and irons ($325 each) will go on sale Aug. 2. Click here for more information at Golf Galaxy (here for Epic Flash Star metalwoods; here for Callaway Epic Star Forged).