Callaway Epic Steel Irons
Callaway Epic Steel Irons
Innovation without boundaries
A few years ago Callaway’s CEO Chip Brewer came to our Head of R&D Dr. Alan Hocknell with a unique request. Chip asked, “If you could design the very best iron that you would play, if you wanted maximum performance without any limits to the cost or engineering process, what would that be?” Alan is a passionate golfer, and he was excited by the endless possibilities for such an ambitious project. Once he determined what the iron should be, he dedicated more than 70 of the best engineers in golf to the project with two key messages: we want groundbreaking innovations, and there are no boundaries.
The engineering team had the freedom to give these irons every performance advantage by using the most ultra-premium materials and advancing some of the most revolutionary technologies in the industry. We were confident they would make something special, yet the final product greatly exceeded our expectations. And we knew that it deserved to be called Epic.
To develop Epic irons, we pushed ourselves in a way that they could elevate performance to the highest level we’ve ever achieved. It had to provide the absolute best combination of ball speed, distance, forgiveness, accuracy, control and feel. And to go beyond that standard, we had to be extremely meticulous, creative and committed to carefully crafting each material.
Callaway has been the #1 Iron in golf since the beginning of 2015. While developing Epic, we started by improving the technologies that made us the category leader. And our revolutionary 360 Face Cup is the technology that truly led us to #1.
The Face Cup incorporates an ultra-thin rim around the perimeter of the inner side of the face. At impact, the rim flexes and rebounds to add ball speed on center-face hits and minimize ball-speed loss on off-center hits. It’s especially effective on the most common mis-hits -- toward the toe and low on the face. To further improve face performance, we increased the rim’s flexibility by reducing the thickness to 1 mm at its thinnest point, resulting in even faster ball speed on center and off-center hits for more distance.
Every iron in this set is uniquely constructed to promote optimum performance. During development we studied and tested new ways to enhance launch and trajectory, and succeeded by introducing an incredibly high amount of MIM’ed tungsten (over 664 grams in the set) into our Internal Standing Wave technology. MIM’ed stands for Metal-Injection Molding, an injection-molding process using finely powdered metal to create intricately shaped parts with tremendous precision.
Tungsten is relatively heavy, which allowed us to control the head’s internal weighting so that we could give each individual iron its own optimized CG location. To do this, we engineered a precise amount of tungsten for each club. We could lower the CG in the long irons for easy launch and high, long carry, and raise the CG in the short irons for lower, more controllable flight. And we could better control the left-right CG positioning in tandem with the hollow hosel that creates weight savings. This is an expensive alloy to manufacture, but it’s integral to enhancing performance in the Epic Irons.
Yet what truly sets this iron apart is the Exo-Cage head construction that we first applied to an iron in the Big Bertha OS, the only iron to earn five stars in every category of the 2017 Golf Digest Hot List. The high-grade steel structure in the center of the cavity stiffens the body, especially the topline and sole, so that the face can take on more impact load.
This is known as “energy lensing”, and in the irons energy lensing allows the face to behave more efficiently to promote faster ball speed and distance, dramatically enhancing performance. In fact, it helped us raise the COR right up to the limit in each iron. We’ve never reached that level of speed in a full set.
The multi-material head consists of a variety of premium components, each precision-milled and robotically laser-welded to give Callaway engineers precise control over CG location, COR, MOI and vibration control, with maximum structural integrity. A multitude of processes, steps and inspections are required to create each head. The result is the most premium, high-performance iron ever to bear the Callaway name.