Callaway's timing has always been good. The trendsetting helped forge (excuse the pun) the move to metal and titanium drivers. They acquired Odyssey and several other brands to round out the product line. With sales that reflect golf's pandemic boom, the acquisition of Topgolf, and the stock (symbol ELY) at an all time high, the company is on a roll.
Oh, did we mention Jon Rahm coming on board?
Phew. But here is the thing. It all looks easy on the website and in the product info. There will be Distance Fittings, and virtual demo days. The PGA Show is even digital this year, breaking a tradition for AG Founder Pete Wlodkowski and our team.
As we said, Callaway's timing is good. They built a digital marketing and content team years ago - complete with a 4k studio in Carlsbad and weekly shows and podcasts. So we know they have the product awareness and education piece covered for their retailers, staff pros, and all of us golfers.
But how did all of those products GET here? Callaway was the first golf company to buy a supercomputer, and use its A.I. machine learning to design golf clubs. I told you their timing was good. Of course, there is still collaboration, human design, product testing, Tour prototyping, and more. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say there may not be so many products hitting the market if it wasn't for the supercomputer, which as far as I know still doesn't have a name.
With a big part in designing features like the new Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame in Callaway's Epic Speed lineup, it doesn't have to. The shots, and scores do the talking. Just ask Jon Rahm.
And now, for a look at the 2021 lineup.
Callaway’s Epic drivers and fairways have made money for Tour players, and won countless amateur tournaments and club championships. Heck, it only seems like yesterday that Maverick McNealy was playing an early release Epic Flash driver at the 2017 Walker Cup, won by Team USA at Los Angeles Club (he is now one of Callaway’s Tour Ambassadors, of course). Epic became known for Jailbreak, a behind-the-face support system that provided increased vertical stability. It really works. For 2021, Epic Drivers and Fairways (and their Jailbreak bars) got a major makeover that includes a new mechanism called the Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame. Through A.I., Callaway was able to manufacture a frame-like structure to improve stability in both the vertical, horizontal AND torsional direction. More ball speed across the entire face, even a “groove low?” We’ll take it.
Amateur golf’s audience will probably be most interested in the Epic Speed. It features an A.I.-designed Flash Face specifically engineered to optimize the new Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame, promoting fast speeds across a more expansive area. Each face and each head geometry are uniquely enhanced in Epic Speed, and the super strength titanium promotes maximum speed, forgiveness and spin robustness. Epic Speed Callaway’s fastest Epic ever. The new Epic MAX is their most forgiving Epic ever, and the new Epic MAX LS is designed for mid-to-low handicap players who want more speed, neutral ball flight and forgiveness in a lower spin, high MOI package.
Click here to learn how to launch it like Rahmbo
The Epic Speed and Epic MAX models are available in matching fairway woods. As with past models, we recommend looking at both before making a decision. The MAX is surprisingly turf and tight-fairway friendly and not just for high handicap players.
Check out Callaway's fairway club offering for 2021
Callaway's new irons for 2021 are based on a complete refresh of the iconic Apex line, with forged performance and our first forged irons with an A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup. Apex is a players distance iron that appeals to a wide range of golfers, Apex Pro is an impressive players iron, and the new Apex DCB is a tremendous game-improvement option.
Read our first take on Callaway Apex 21 irons
The new hybrids from Callaway are equally impressive, in looks, feel, and sound. Out of all of the clubs we borrowed to test, the Apex and Apex Pro models were the hardest to return. They look great at address, feel like butter, sound like a small fairway wood, and launch shots that can be shaped (even more with the compact Pro model) and launched high off of any lie.
Check out Callaway's 2021 Hybrid lineup
It seems like just yesterday that Callaway acquired Toulon putters, and with it legendary putter designer Sean Toulon. They have escaped "The Toulon Garage" to make an impact on the entire Odyssey product line. The new White Hot OG is more than just a nod to a classic with a 20 year history of tour and amateur wins. It's insert has the original White Hot formulation, feel, sound and performance are all back in one exceptional two-part urethane insert. (Tour players and golfers alike have been asking the company to re-introduce it for years, and Callaway listened.)
The multi-model lineup combines this insert with a rich silver PVD finish, and a fine milling on the finishes. It’s available in a premium stepless steel shaft, or Callaway's Tour proven, major-winning, multi-material Stroke Lab shaft to help improve your stroke.
Read our first take on Odyssey White Hot OG putters