In this Callaway Epic 21 drivers review, Joel Tadman takes the three new models out on the golf course to put them through their paces.
Callaway Epic 21 Drivers Review
Callaway set the bar at a fairly lofty height last year with the Mavrik drivers but now it has its own internal rival with the launch of Epic Speed and Epic Max for 2021, which replace Epic Flash but run alongside Mavrik.
Unsurprisingly, Callaway continue to utilise its involvement with Artificial Intelligence, spreading its influence to the design of the Jailbreak as well as the Flash Faces.
Visually at address the three models look very different, but not how you might expect. It’s customary for the ‘low spin’ model to also have the most compact profile, appealing to the better player that likes to shape the ball, but this crown in fact goes to the Epic Speed.
The Epic Max LS (low spin), by comparison, has a more stretched out look, which becomes even more exaggerated in the Epic Max. The slimline look of Epic Speed may be intimidating for some, but all three are easy to align and undoubtedly strike an ideal balance of catching your eye without looking cheap or gimmicky.
Callaway sent us the entire contents of their Opti-Fit fitting cart for 2021 to test these drivers. With the abundance of choice it was the Mitsubishi MMT 60 shaft in x-stiff we settled on.
Our first take away would be that these drivers feel fantastic. The heads are powerful, solid and stable in equal measure with a relatively high pitched sound at impact that was most prominent with Epic Speed, but not as off-putting as it was in Epic Flash.
We didn’t get any more clubhead speed from the cyclone head shape of Mavrik last year, but in a change of fortune, we increased our clubhead speed with Epic Speed by nearly 2mph over the other Epic 21 models.
This meant the Epic Speed was the fastest for us overall but did spin more and travel on a flight we would deem to be higher than optimal.
In the same loft, it was interesting to see the Epic Max LS spin around 300 rpm less than Epic Speed and fly on a flatter, stronger trajectory and carrying a touch further.
Lofting down to 8° on Epic Speed meant it matched Epic Max LS for distance, albeit again with more spin and on a higher flight.
The Epic Max undoubtedly provides the most forgiveness and spin, ideal for golfers that need help to keep the ball in the air and strike lots of different areas of the face.
But for us, it came down to a choice between Epic Speed and Epic Max LS and the deciding factors come around the looks, feel and flight.
The Epic Max LS has a larger footprint behind the ball and also provides shot shape adjustability, which allows golfers to either control their bad shot or encourage a particular shot shape.
On centred hits, we’re confident we’d get more distance out of Epic Speed because of the ability to swing it faster, but Epic Max LS has the lower spin seemed to work better for our swing speed at generating distance.
It was hard to tell if one was more forgiving than the other, although the higher spin of Epic Speed meant high toe shots didn’t fall out of the sky as quickly where the spin often drops off.
Only by testing all three models you know for sure which model is best for you but we're confident through a custom fitting that the Epic 21 drivers will beat what is currently in your bag.