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2019 Official Forum Member Review-Callaway Epic Flash Drivers

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Coming off taking the title of 2019 Most Wanted Driver the Epic Flash Sub Zero and Epic Flash have been put in the hands of four valued members to to see how they perform for them. 

Follow the guys as they put these two drives using AI to use to see if they live up to the hype.

 

 

 

 

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Epic Flash Testers

@yungkory                    Stage 1                  Stage 2

@edingc                        Stage 1                  Stage 2         

 

Epic Flash Sub Zero Testers

@sirchunksalot             Stage 1                   Stage 2

@THEZIPR23                Stage 1                    Stage 2

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Stage 2 Official Review 6/2/2019

Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero by sirchunksalot

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It's been a joy and an honor to have been selected as a reviewer for the Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero driver. Thank you MyGolfSpy and to everyone who's followed along and been active in this conversation.

 

In what could be considered The Year of the Driver, what makes the Callaway a worthy winner of the Most Wanted Driver of 2019? I was lucky enough to find out along with a phenomenal group of testers to see what the Epic Flash line is all about.

 

For this test, I really wanted to see if this driver was as long and accurate as they claimed. I wanted to know if the technology would perform as described, and if the Flash Face was a breakthrough or another flash in the pan. After 12 range sessions, 13 rounds, and hitting driver on 127 holes, here's what I think.

 

Looks

 

The Sub Zero looks amazing at address, the dark coloring with the subtle lines at the front and back of the head give it a nice touch. I really like the bold Callaway chevron that they chose to add as an alignment aid as it basically says to me "Your ball is going this way". I love the carbon fiber on the back portion of the crown, it's barely noticeable looking down at it, but I think up close it gives a nice contrast.

 

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I like the graphics on the face of the club that give the impression of a bullseye, it really gives an accurate idea of where the ball struck after the swing or when using spray powder.

 

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The Golf Pride Align grip that is half white and half black pairs well with the Project X Even Flow Green shaft to really coordinate the colors looking down at the club. I do regret not knowing that the logo on the shaft would be facing down, as having it up would have been absolutely beautiful.

 

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What I'm not too fond of is the color combination that Callaway decided to go with for the bottom of the club, green and yellow. I can't say that I associate these colors with Epic, Flash, or Sub Zero. I more associate them with exit signs (Right turn here), the Andon board at work, and the Green Bay Packers. I'm married to a woman from the Chicago area, so that's a no go like the Florida Gators or Alabama Crimson Tide colors for a guy from Tennessee.

 

Looks (8/10)

 

Sound and Feel

 

My first experience with the sound of the Sub Zero was in a hitting bay at my fitting and it was LOUD. Getting out on the range, the sound was more muted but still a little louder than I like. Coming from a Ping G400 LST, which produced a nice, muted crack I found that I wasn't exactly in love with the sound the Callaway was producing. On some hits, it sounded a little tinny to me. Once I put spray powder on it I noticed a heel bias to my hits and that might have been a culprit in the higher pitched ting I was hearing. Now the sound is better to my ears, but it's not the auditory nirvana of the Ping.

 

When struck in the sweet spot, the Callaway feels like the ball isn't even there: it's gold. On off center hits, the driver head feels just a little stiff. My thought is the two bars that Callaway uses, their Jailbreak technology, it stabilizes the head and that makes it feel more rigid. The G400 had more of a feel that the ball was mashing into the face and it felt like you could feel the trampoline effect.

 

To the Callaway's credit, I've only had one shot that felt completely horrible. I was on the 250 yard par 4 12th hole at Waterville and hit a couple of shots to see if I could reach the green and hit one well on the heel and it stung. Other than that, I really like the feel. I can definitely tell where I've contacted the face and they managed to not really punish my hands with vibrating feedback on heel or toe biased hits. The overall feel is just not quite as good as what the Ping brings to the table, but it's not offensive.

 

Sound and Feel (8/10)

 

Basic Characteristics

 

For me, the Epic Flash Sub Zero is a high launching machine, paired with the Project X Even Flow Green shaft it really his the ball high. I believe in the adage "hit it high and let it fly". There's a hole at one of the courses I play, Chatata Valley, that the 5th hole requires either a fade or a shot over the trees to be in good position on the fairway and I'm not afraid to try to fly them. I'm not that good at shaping shots, so I pretty much let what my swing is doing that day dictate what I do. I have seen that the driver can move the ball in both directions, but this guy can't do it on command.

 

If you were to look at my driving stats, you wouldn't be too impressed with my accuracy. I miss more left than I hit the fairway. I've been playing a tight course for most of the test with a lot of fairways between 20 and 25 yards wide. I've been pleased to see smaller misses on average than with any other driver I've gamed, I'm still getting shots from just off the short grass that still have a line to advance.

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This driver hits bombs! I've had a personal best (271) and several over 250. It's also pretty forgiving on shots on the heel and toe, it seems like the toe loses less distance than the heel. A good toe shot has given me drives in the 240-250 range, the heel has delivered shots 225-235. High and low strikes seem to lose more distance, bringing drives below 200 yards.

 

This is the first driver I've had that has both an adjustable hosel and a sliding weight. It's easy to tweak the settings, just loosen the bolt on the head, turn the adjustments where you want, put the head back on, and tighten. The sliding weight is as simple as loosening, sliding, and tightening.

 

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I've played with the settings, adjusting both the sliding weight and the hosel into extreme draw positions and lowering the loft to nine degrees. My current setting is neutral, 10.5 degrees, with the sliding weight 1/3 of the way into draw.

 

I have more confidence in my driving than I have in years. I don't play in tournaments, but in games with my friends I have no doubt that I'm going to go home with the bragging rights.

 

There's really nothing with this driver that I can think of that they can do to improve on it.

Basic Characteristics (20/20)

 

On Course Performance

 

Coming into this test, I had just recently bought a new Ping G400 LST and seriously had doubts that Callaway had made a driver that could outperform the matte black beauty I was sporting on the course.

 

I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong.

 

The Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero performs. I'm hitting longer drives than ever, I've hit my four longest drives EVER since putting it in the bag. I'm hitting less club into greens, a lot of holes it's driver then a wedge. Granted, I've played a shorter course than normal for most of my rounds just for the simple fact it's a tighter driving track. I will say I'm hitting fewer fairways, but the misses are smaller than usual. In fact, I also shot my lowest round ever (89) with the Sub Zero. I only hit 4/13 fairways, but all of my drives left me with good looks to advance my second shots toward the green. If I hadn't drove my tee shot down the middle of the fairway on 3 and into the creek, my score would have been better.

 

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that every shot was perfect, but going into this test I was struggling with some swing flaws (pulls, pull hooks, pop ups) that have been plaguing me, but this driver wants to hit the ball straight.

 

Callaway has always been a brand that I respected. I almost bought a set of the Rogue irons back in October, but the Cobra F8's performed as good as them. Plus, given the fact they received rave reviews here on the forum, they went in the bag.

 

As far as this driver goes, I think Callaway has hit the bullseye with Jailbreak, Flash Face, and the Opti-fit hosel. I don't know how they can improve on what they did this year, but if they do, it's going to be a beast!

 

Statistically, I'm only shooting about 1.25 strokes better a round with this driver. Looking at my Arccos stats, you'll see that both my overall and driving handicaps have gone down and my chipping and approach have gone up. Good drives can only do so much when you're shanking, chunking, and blading shots when it comes to improving scores. But, the Epic Flash Sub Zero is putting me into positions, if taken advantage of, that will help me score lower.

 

On Course Performance (30/30)

 

Miscellaneous

 

When it comes to the big picture, Callaway almost hit every major detail to make this a perfect club for me. In life, sometimes the small things can make or break a good impression. So, how did Callaway do with the more minor details?

 

It was packaged well, I didn't notice any blemishes on the head, shaft, or grip. They sent along a wrench, an instruction booklet, and a headcover. A couple of things about the headcover, it's a little bigger than the one for my G400 and still had the look of the Jamaican bobsled team. In fact, when I took it out of the package I tossed it at my wife while shouting "Cool Runnings!".

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One of the things I really love about what Callaway did with this club was to offer the Golf Pride Align grip standard. I know I mentioned it earlier, but I just love how good this grip goes with the club.

 

For the majority of this test I've played solo after work or been paired with another golfer. Getting to play with my normal buddies after several rounds was great, they're not used to seeing me hit bombs. Their reaction was priceless when I sent my first drive 253.

Miscellaneous  (9/10)

 

Play It or Trade It

 

My original plan was to play this club for about three rounds to get to know it and then compare it in alternating shots with the Ping. After those three rounds the only time I have hit my Ping was to do the sound comparison video and one drive on the course. I guess you could say the Callaway is firmly in the bag. I can't deny the fact that my driving stats are better with the Sub Zero leading off. I'm still not hitting fairways as well as I would like, but considering my swing has been a mess it puts me in better positions to score.

 

I was initially worried the better player tag that's associated with the Sub Zero line would be a problem with my playing ability, but it's been both long and forgiving. I'm hitting longer drives and definitely have more confidence off the tee.

 

I know it's the new normal, but the price point of $549 is a bit steep. Would I have bought this driver knowing beforehand how good it works for me? Without a doubt. I am a believer that if this driver can help a high handicapper like me that it can benefit all golfers with at least moderate skills. It's definitely found a home in my bag.

 

Play It or Trade It (20/20)

Conclusion

 

Callaway has got a winner with the Epic Flash Sub Zero. It delivers distance and forgiveness, even for a hacker like me. It's not quite perfect, as the sound and color combination are not the best. It's not horrible in either respect, but could use a bit of tweaking. But, man, does it perform! I've shot my lowest round ever and also hit the four longest drives of my life. Flash Face is legit, I'm not the most consistent ball striker, but I'm seeing better performance on my mis-hits. Anyone looking for a new driver should definitely put it on their list of clubs to try.

 

Final Score (95/100)

 

 

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I would like to thank MGS and Callaway for the opportunity to test the Epic Flash Sub Zero, it is my first testing opportunity and a fun and enjoyable process. I was able to get in 24 rounds and multiple range sessions since the club arrived. Hosel adjustments and the adjustable perimeter weighting were tested in almost all positions (I didn’t test in max loft with weight in full fade position). The results will speak for themselves.

 

LOOKS

    I was able to get my hands on the driver well before it was released to the public through our local Callaway rep and my first thought was gawd that is a terrible combination. I still feel this way about the color combination. It is just not my cup of tea, in fact the headcover was described by someone at my club as an ugly paint can. Luckily my Dodger blue cover replaces this, it is just paint fill after all and pretty easily changeable if you desire, or for some more coin Callaway can do it for you.45F90940-A3D6-4735-99E7-522890C8BAA0.thumb.jpeg.39ef4c691763b0f06a85cea3d7265769.jpeg

 

The colors aside the rest of the club is gorgeous. The carbon crown is glorious and transitions beautifully to the face. The crescent on the top helps with overall alignment and the deeper face screams bomb me at address. Durability is normal. There are a few scratches on the face, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Score: 8 out of 10

 

Sound and Feel

    I have always been unbiased by sound and feel. Don’t get me wrong they add to a club, but I am strictly performance based. If it works, I don’t care about sound or feel. The first time I hit the Flash it left a ringing in my ears. My first thought was wow that was something. Of course, it was with range rocks so it was a different sound than I would hear playing. The sound has grown on me so much so that I don’t even notice it. It is definitely high pitched and tingy and extremely different from the previous gamer.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Basic Characteristics

    When I got fit, I was not swinging great but the CHS and ball speed numbers were fantastic. My instructor/fitter told me I am not going to put you in a different shaft to help with dispersion at the cost of ball speed. Well, he was right, first drive I hit on the course was in the fairway at 299. 

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I would bottle that one and hit it on every hole if I could. 

    As you know Callaway employed AI to create the face of the Epic Flash in order to increase ball speed and I can say without a doubt it worked! I have been consistently achieving distances that I reached when I was 25 (I am 42 now). But that distance doesn’t just equate to perfect swings. Where the Flash really shines is off center hits. There is always some distance drop off when not struck sweetly but not anything I have seen with any other driver. My low range stats show that I am longer on mishits than I was on average with my previous gamer. Let me repeat that; I AM LONGER ON THE BOTTOM RANGE THAN PREVIOUS GAMER WAS IN MIDDLE RANGE. 17 yards on low range, 11 yards on smart range and 4 yards on high range. Just incredible!2A2693B2-1AFB-481C-997E-944860B8ED68.jpeg.c7e55e1857c95b1e139e2ef7c3407000.jpeg

It is not like my gamer was old either it was a Rogue Sub Zero. So, from one generation of driver I have seen a huge increase across the board. 

    Distance and forgiveness are part of the equation but accuracy and how all three combines to performance when the pressure gets ratcheted up are really what I look for in a driver. If you read my stage one you know left is death for me, it has always been, and probably always be the miss that gets me in trouble. The first tourney I played in with the Flash was at Del Monte GC, the ninth hole is a par 5 with OB left. In order to have any shot at the green you have to hit it down the left side. Standing on the tee box I picked out a tree on the left that is about 3 yards from OB and against my better judgement I trusted it. The results were close to perfection. The ball went exactly where I wanted to, no left, very little side spin. The Flash comes through again. 01C14DB1-2FEC-4862-B7D8-9D1003426F7A.thumb.jpeg.9a83bfe36a362899e4ef827b26f6c7e3.jpeg

My fairway accuracy is actually down a little compared to the Rogue but the majority of that comes from me not knowing where to actually start the ball to take in to account the lack of side spin and overall distance I am getting. The lack of side spin does lead to a little bit lack of workability. I am still able to move the ball some but not near as much as I have been able to with previous drivers. This is both good and bad, while the spin negates some workability it in turns leads to an overall straighter ball flight. With the perimeter weighting track, it is easy to adjust the ball flight on any given day to suit your needs of that course. The track is also placed in such a way that for me, the flight moved significantly with just the tiniest of adjustments. 

Score: 19 out of 20

 

On Course Performance

    There is not really much to say here. If you followed along on the thread you’ve seen the results that all testers have gotten. The Flash is the best driver I have probably ever played, and I have played many. There have been a few bad driving rounds over the last 24 but they are few and far between and there is nothing a club could do to fix that. The year of the driver has produced! Overall, I don’t think there has been a round that I have played that I have not been impressed with the Flash. I have shorter clubs into every hole. Two par 4’s that I haven’t been on in over 18 years, I was able to drive. My driving handicap has come down almost 6 full shots according to Arccos. Nothing different just a driver change. That is incredible, and it is still trending down. With the increase of distance my scores haven’t dropped significantly but are much more consistent than they have ever been. I have a much tighter range and expect the low scores to be lower as the season progresses and the rain stops. One major aspect that stands out to me is the driver at address. It sits wonderfully behind the ball and increases confidence when playing. FCFB89A5-35B1-41CA-814A-C137A29DFA10.thumb.jpeg.8ed0f4b2b0fb2bd5bdacc2f8add93a2a.jpeg. I really like the deeper face and any extra boost in confidence is bonus. Overall the club just flat out performs.

Score: 30 out of 30

 

Miscellaneous

My club has roughly 160 members 17 of them are now playing the Flash partly based of the results I have had with it. It is now normal to hear my playing partners shaking their heads on multiple tee boxes. That is always a wonderful result. I even had someone I don’t play with comment on how well I have been driving it. Which means I’m famous, just saying.

The Opti-fit adaptor that Callaway uses is IMO the best on the market. It allows every adjustment to be made without changing the orientation of the shaft. This is a big plus when it comes to grips, shaft graphics or puring.

 

Score: 10 out of 10

 

Play it or Trade It

 

    As of right now it is an emphatic play it for me. The results have been amazing and completely unexpected. I assumed there would be some improvement from the prior generation, but nowhere near what I have seen. It would be a buy for me if you would’ve told me I would pick up 10-15 yards even at $529, which falls in line with other drivers in the market, and unfortunately that $500 driver is now the norm. If you are in the market for a driver, I would make a strong recommendation to try The Epic Flash. The Sub Zero I tested is definitely the lower spin option, It fits nicely with my swing and if you are a higher spin player it is a great option. 

 

Score: 20 out of 20

 

Conclusion

    There are not enough superlatives to describe the Epic Flash Sub Zero and how I feel about. I am stunned at the performance. It has been an incredible addition to my bag and will be a key player in helping me reach my goal of scratch. Thank you Callaway, fellow spies and MGS!!

 

Total score: 93 out of 100

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2 hours ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Stage 1 is up. 

 

Dude, your swing is great. Reminds me a lot of Rickie, and from now on I'm going to call you Big D*ck Zip!

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9 minutes ago, yungkory said:

Dude, your swing is great. Reminds me a lot of Rickie, and from now on I'm going to call you Big D*ck Zip!

Thanks!

Actually laughed out loud...

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Stage one up for me, too. 

@THEZIPR23 Add me to the list of jealousness. I'm working on getting that turn!

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Well done so far! Great intros and stages ones... Pumped for the rest of it even if the flash hasn't been on the top top of my list 

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47 minutes ago, Apolloshowl said:

Well done so far! Great intros and stages ones... Pumped for the rest of it even if the flash hasn't been on the top top of my list 

Still in honeymoon phase, but initial reports show that computers are smarter than humans.  

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2 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Still in honeymoon phase, but initial reports show that computers are smarter than humans.  

I concur. I'm really excited to see my GAME Golf driving stats by the end of this season.

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It's going to be a lot of fun to follow along and I can definitely tell how excited both of you are to get it all started and going. Awesome to hear things are looking good so far!

How do you guys like the stock GP Align grips? 

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Great stuff so far fellas!

Team G410 vs Team Flash Face.  Let's go! 
This is gonna be fun to follow. Here is hoping for great results and maybe a little trash talking!

Sent from my Moto Z3 Play using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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1 hour ago, Apolloshowl said:

How do you guys like the stock GP Align grips? 

I think, subconsciously, the alignment aid helps. I seem to be getting the handle and clubface into the same positions without much thought. I love that the OptiFit allows for individual adjustment without affecting the alignment aid.

I'm not sold on the MCC grip, however. As someone who has always had clubs with velvet grips, it's an adjustment I may eventually get used to.

You might have noticed I ordered the grip +2 wraps. That was not really covered in my fitting, I made that decision myself. That turned out to be a very good idea. I'm going to give the MCC a few more rounds and then I might go for an Tour Velvet +4. I like the slightly oversized feel even though my hands are quite small (medium glove size). 

 

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