Hello fellow MGSers,
The journey to finding a new driver has been a long one, and it was worth the wait. I have been gaming a TaylorMade Burner for a decade, but just in 2021 have I been playing seriously (few times a week instead of a few times a year). I was fit in January to TaylorMade P790 irons, but the driver fitting didn’t produce a driver that outperformed my Burner. Most of it was my fault. Horrible swing mechanics, grip, swing path, everything. Every month or so since the original fitting I have been going in and trying again. Every time, the most premium offerings were head to head with my Burner, and my Burner was holding its own. I am not sure if the improvements in my swing or fitness had everything to do with it, or that I may not have tried this club at previous fittings, but my June fitting went differently. It started the same. Burner up first; hitting 225, a slice every few swings, and a terrible launch. Then SIM2 was up, and it was nearly identical numbers. Ping G425, same story. Cobra Radspeed, slight improvement, but not $500 improvement. I was thinking I was doomed. Then, for what I am pretty sure was my first time trying it, the fitter brought me a Callaway Epic Max. Details to follow, but I went home with it that day, along with a big smile.
So as I had mentioned in the intro, I had been to many fittings for driver to try to update my big stick. The Burner has been good to me, but it was time to move on. With this being the fourth driver I tried during the fitting, I was not optimistic. The fitter set me to a stiff Hzrdus Smoke Green shaft, the hosel set to Draw and +1 degree, and the sliding weight just slightly towards the heel. First swing was not love at first sight. I got way under it, the ball hit the metal frame at the top of the projector screen, ricochets back at me, and hits me in the face! Just below my eye! Hurt terribly, looked even worse. Sorry no picture of the damage. I shake it off, and switch the rubber tee to a lower one. Send the second ball, and it reads 250something carry. Okay, not bad! Some improvement! Third 260something carry! Fourth 260something again! And this kept happening! Better yet, the dreaded every couple shot slice I have lived with my whole life wasn’t showing up! Some shots were even drawing a little. It was amazing! I was sold.
I wasted no time in getting out to try this thing. I was so excited about it. I never had a new driver (Burner was used), and never one with adjustability. The sound was amazing. Like you hear on TV. The Burner sounded like it looked, tired and ugly. The feel on center strikes was just how I remember hitting the sweet spot in baseball. You just know. I made the mistake of playing with the adjustments. It’s shocking the difference it makes, and I finally understand why every company has these options. I was quickly back to what the fitter set me to. I have hit nearly every fairway, and my misses have all been left. I never missed left before. It really changed how I play golf! Just yesterday, I was playing a par 4, 320 yards, and with some help of a nice breeze and a healthy bounce, I ended up on the fringe. The forgiveness must be second to none, because even heal and toe strikes are finding the short grass. I am experiencing an overall gain of 40-50 yards off the tee, and sometimes even more.
The biggest pro to me is the look at address. Having that square, slightly closed look at address has fixed my mental block. My Burner had an open look, which would play with my mind, make me swing to adjust, and cause a major slice. I never realized it until I got this driver. Other pros include the amazing sound (which I can’t seem to capture on video? Every shot sounds muffled regardless of club). The weight distribution makes the club seem super light, but not too too light. The feel is incredible. You know when you hit it good, and you know when you miss. The biggest pro, outside of fixing my slice, is how hot this club is. The increase in distance, for me, is incredible. The speed frame and AI forged face make the ball explode off the tee. Amazing.
There isn’t much and they are mostly fixable. The worst was the stock grip. It comes with a black GolfPride with the Align technology, which I was excited about. However, whoever or whatever adds the grips to the drivers in the factory doesn’t ensure the grip is aligned properly. Mine was turned a bit forward, so the Callaway logo on top made me want to open the face for it to align with the ball. That also makes the Align technology off, and almost MAKES me hold the face open. I took it back to the store, and we compared it to others on the rack, and almost all of them were slightly off, like mine. The fix was getting a new grip that you see pictured. Went with U of M colors (Go BLUE!). Another gripe is the head cover. Suuuuuuper ugly. Some may like the look, but I sure don’t. Thankfully I have a head cover that matches my bag, so no harm no foul. The last gripe, and again, a minor one, is the cogs for the hosel. There is two of them, and they are pretty tricky to get lined up to fit together. Seems like the system could have been put together better. Again, no big deal, just a gripe.
So I wasn’t aware of this until they were handing me the receipt, but I purchased this club during the purchase period for the “If Callaway Wins You Win” giveaway. For anyone not aware (as if there is anyone on this forum that isn’t), if you buy a Callaway driver between x and y dates, you pick what Callaway pro you think will win the US Open, and if that person wins, your driver is free. Pretty cool deal. I found out recently that you can mail in a pick and win the driver with no purchase at all. Well, right now, you look at the list of Callaway pros, it is hard to not pick Jon Rahm. He is playing some stellar golf. I went with Rahmbo, and I am glad I did! Just a last week I got a $586 gift card in the mail to Dicks Sporting Goods! Just another AWESOME thing that came out of this purchase.
Overall, anyone looking for some more distance off the tee, and adjustability to combat some swing flaws, look no further than the Callaway Epic Max.