Computers and artificial intelligence have taken over almost everything these days. It comes as no surprise that they have officially begun to takeover the game of golf. The Callaway Epic Flash Driver & Fairways are the first golf clubs designed by a solely by a computer.
Engineers at Callaway took themselves out of the picture and let artificial intelligence analyze each element of the driver face at a much more in-depth look that a human ever could.
This was accomplished by machine learning, which in the golf world, had never been done before. Alan Hocknell, the Senior VP of R&D at Callaway, when asked about the process of machine learning, said:
““In order to do that though we had to create the circumstance where we could teach the computer to learn how to design a driver face by itself.”
Sounds like a tall task and I’m not sure about you, but it’s a bit above my head to say the least. Teaching a computer to design a golf club on it own is tough to even wrap my mind around. Nonetheless were gonna take a look at the new for 2019, Callaway Epic Flash Driver & Fairways.
Artificially Intelligent Design
Rumor has it that Callaway pumped over $ 5 million bucks into a super computer to design the “Flash Face”. Using the computer, the engineers input different limits of what is allowed and what is not allowed, and then they let the computer got to work.
Instead of the 10-15 iterations that human engineers come up with during club design, the super computer did 15,000! What it came up with is truly amazing and substantially different then anything we’ve ever seen on a driver or fairway.
The club face of the Callaway Epic Flash Series looks normal from the outside. However, from the inside it’s a whole new animal. A series of swirls that vary in thickness on the reverse side of the face make you go, “huh?”. Since a computer came up with this design Callaway is still trying to make sense of it. Lets be honest, it’s a mystery at this point, but if it works I ain’t certainly gonna complain. And I assure you it does!
The Flash Face is forged on the inside and milled on the outside for optimal thickness. The Callaway Epic Flash also employs the “Jailbreak” Technology that we saw on the Callaway Rogue Driver.
Callaway’s Jailbreak Technology
Callaway’s Jailbreak Technology was first introduced a couple of years ago when it was debut in the Callaway Flash Drivers.
The Jailbreak tech is basically 2 internal titanium rods connecting the crown of the club to the sole. At first thought you think it just increases stability and overall rigidity, and you’re right. But it was also found to increase ball speed by a significant amount!
More ball speed, more distance. You get the idea, let’s get to the part to see if the Callaway Epic Flash lives up to the name.
The Callaway Epic Flash appears to be a combination of the Callaway Epic and the Callaway Rogue series drivers. I think Callaway did an excellent job in combining what worked for both of the predecessors into the Epic Flash.
You get the ball speed from the Epic’s Jailbreak technology, as well as, that forgiveness that was missing in the Epic, but improved on the Rogue model.
When I say you get the ball speed I mean it. In the simulator I added 3-4 mph consistently on my swings. Usually for myself this translates to around 12-15 yards of added distance to my shots. It was only a simulator so I cannot confirm in course play.
Forgiveness wise I would say it is similar to the Callaway Rogue Series. Nothing too much to report. Nothing overly impressive to me. Very similar to most drivers nowadays seeing that they are all seeking to lower spin and reduce the severity of miss hits.
Regardless of what you think of the performance of the club, the look is surely enough to get you interested. The green and black, accented in yellow really pops.
For me personally, the look of a club is a big deal seeing as I work with the “look good, play good” outlook on golf. The Callaway Epic Flash Series look the part without a doubt.
They convey that look of confidence you want in you gear so when you address the ball you have no doubts floating through your head. The only thing that bothers me slighty is the Callaway logo lineup marker at the edge of the crown.
I have played TaylorMade for the last 15 years and the marker is much more subtle. It may just be me, but it is slightly distracting and gives me the feeling that I need to line it up perfectly. So for me the “addressing the ball” part of the shot is not my favorite with the Callaway Epic Flash.
Coming in at a whopping $530, the Callaway Epic Flash Driver continues golf’s endless pursuit of being the world’s most expensive sport. No hard feelings though… If people are going to keep shelling out for the latest and greatest they I don’t blame Callaway for coming their latest tech into a great performing woods.
With the Callaway Epic Flash you are for sure getting that “Epic” increase in ball speed that you may be looking for. You’re also going to get added forgiveness that is at the heart of all these new driver that have come out in the past few years.
If you are a Callaway diehard and you are currently using the Epic Model, it couldn’t hurt to upgrade. If the Callaway Rogue is your go to right now, I don’t think it is necessary to go with the Epic Flash just yet, but it is up to you. As they always say, “Try before you buy”!