GBB Epic Forged, GBB Epic Star offer similarities in looks but there’s no confirmation either club will come to U.S. market
By Mike Stachura and E. Michael Johnson
Two new Callaway drivers, both carrying the GBB Epic moniker that’s also found on the top-selling driver in the market this year, appeared on this week’s USGA list of conforming drivers, but whether either, neither or both of these products will make it to the U.S. market remains to be seen.
According to the USGA’s list, the GBB Epic Forged and GBB Epic Star have been added to Callaway’s list of Epic drivers, which have combined to be the No. 1 selling drivers according to Golf Datatech since their introduction in January. That list includes U.S. top sellers GBB Epic and GBB Epic SubZero.
The GBB Epic Star is listed by the USGA as the second version with that name. Late this spring a GBB Epic Star was put on the USGA’s conforming list, but that product was sold only in Asia. It was built on the chassis and color scheme of the GBB Epic, but weighed around 300 grams, about 10 grams lighter than the standard GBB Epic.
According to the USGA list, the GBB Epic Forged is offered in 9.5 and 10.5 lofts and features centered and heel-biased weight screws. While the image of the driver accompanying the listing does not list Callaway’s trademark “Jailbreak Technology,” the GBB Epic Forged does appear to have two similar holes where the bars that make up “Jailbreak Technology” appear on standard Epic drivers.
The phrase refers to parallel bars that stretch from crown to sole just behind the face. The bars are designed to support the crown and sole and concentrate the flexing of the face. “This structure stiffens the body significantly and allows for greater face loading, greater deflection in the face,” Evan Gibbs, Callaway’s director of metalwoods research and development, said at the time of GBB Epic’s introduction in January. “Because the boundary’s so stiff, the face has to be about 20 percent thinner.”
The newly listed version of GBB Epic Star includes the phrase Jailbreak Technology on the sole and offers two movable sliding weights in a track in the rear perimeter. The original Epic had a similar track but only one weight.
Both GBB Epic Star and GBB Epic Forged appear to offer the same high concentration weight-saving carbon fiber in the sole found in the original GBB Epic drivers.
The new Epic drivers also join a handful of related Epic clubs, including the Epic and Epic Pro irons and Epic hybrid.
Over the last several years, Callaway has had a history of driver introductions in the fall, including Big Bertha Fusion, Great Big Bertha and Big Bertha V-Series. We’ll stay tuned to see if these latest entries or some not yet registered with the USGA find their way to your local store this fall.