Gearheads received an early Christmas present from the USGA on Monday in the form of official photos of Callaway’s soon-to-be-released Epic Flash and Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers — better known as the replacements for the company’s Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero models. Those who follow the industry probably saw images of both drivers in the past month, as leaked pictures made the rounds on social media.
Trusting cell phone photos from anonymous message-board handles is a dangerous way to go through life, but this time the leakers got it right. Acting as the official equipment spoiler, the USGA tends to approve drivers for the following year in the final few weeks of December — making the conforming club database a popular hangout spot for equipment nerds who can’t wait until the official product embargo date.
The most obvious change from Rogue to Epic Flash is the return of a sliding weight channel in the rear of the sole. The track is eerily similar to what’s currently found on the standard GBB Epic and likely allows golfers to alter shot shape (draw/fade) by simply adjusting the sliding weight. The track also serves another purpose: it lines up the center of gravity position with the most common impact location (toe or heel) to increase ball speed.
Callaway went away from the sliding track with Rogue but clearly sees a place for the technology in its newest driver — including the Sub Zero version, which has always been designed around a more forward CG location to reduce launch and spin. This time around, it would appear Callaway was able to add a forward weight position along with a rear sliding weight track. With only one weight position visible in the sole — as opposed to two locations on GBB Epic and Rogue — the forward port likely serves to dial-in swing weight more than launch and spin characteristics.
Three versions of the Epic Flash Sub Zero version can be found on the USGA’s website, indicating there will be Tour-specific models. It’s not uncommon for Callaway, along with pretty much every other OEM in the industry, to get the thumbs up on offerings not bound for retail. With the PGA Tour restarting in January at Kapalua, we won’t have to wait long to see the Epic Flash on course.