Callaway Epic Sub Zero v Rogue Sub Zero Driver Test - Technical Editor Joel Tadman tests the new Callaway Rogue Sub Zero against last year's Epic Sub Zero driver to see if the new model trumps the old.
Callaway Epic Sub Zero v Rogue Sub Zero Driver Test
The Callaway Rogue is an addition to its premium driver range for 2018 alongside the popular Epic model, launched last year.
This was an intriguing decision that no doubt left Epic owners wondering where they stood. We were also keen to find out if the new Rogue does in fact outperform Epic like Callaway say it should.
For this test, we hit Sub Zero versions both the drivers in exactly the same spec, weight setting, shaft and using the same Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. We hit 10 shots with each and deleted the two worst and one best to leave seven counting shots in each data set.
Before we talk about the performance, let’s cover off the looks. In our opinion, the Rogue Sub Zero driver is a marginal improvement in that the Speed Step crown is smaller and therefore less visually imposing.
Rogue also feels firmer, more solid and powerful, like less energy is lost in the collision between clubface and ball, especially on off-centre hits.
The Rogue Sub Zero, for a low spin option, is surprisingly forgiving, to the point that technical editor Joel Tadman has put it in the bag for 2018. You can see his full 14-club line up here.
The performance data from our GC2 launch monitor did show that Rogue offers a little bit more than Epic. The biggest observation was a big jump of 3mph in ball speed, and although it launched a little lower, perhaps because the heavy weight option in Rogue is 2g heavier, carry distance increase by three yards.
You’ll see our two longest shots were hit with the Rogue and that carry distances were generally higher with Rogue compared to Epic.
The fact it feels so stable across the face perhaps makes you feel like you can go at the ball a bit harder. We weren’t able to measure clubhead speed on this occasion, but it would be an interesting test.
In summary, if you have an Epic SZ driver you probably don’t need to be rushing to upgrade to Epic, although there’s no question that Rogue SZ is an overall more efficient clubhead that will deliver more distance and consistency on a variety of strikes for the faster swinging golfer.
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Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: Ping i230 4-UW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x
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