Callaway MAVRIK Drivers

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radiman

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Mav D Sole Shot-2.jpg

The Mavrik Driver

During my fitting at ECPC, my fitter, Nick, really honed in on the standard Mavrik after seeing me miss right with my irons more than I would like to admit :) What he told me was that the standard Mavrik has a slight draw bias to it. I was open minded and ready to try anything he wanted to put in my hands.

Draw bias the guy says. Huh? I look down at the club and the first thing I notice is that the face angle is far from closed as I would expect most draw biased drivers to be. If anything, it almost appears that it sits a bit more open than my Epic Flash SZ from last year. Anyhow, we pretty much stuck with the standard model as we tried a few shafts. The numbers with it were great. If anything, it was probably spinning a couple hundred RPM’s more than what I am used to seeing. But, the flight was good.

So, that’s how I came upon the driver. Now, I will try to break this down into what I see as the intangibles. Then, I will share what I have seen so far in terms of performance.


Looks:

I have always gravitated towards the smaller footprint drivers. I don’t like to see a lot of junk in the trunk. I played the Epic SZ, the Rogue SZ, and the Epic Flash SZ most recently. I could have played the standard OG Epic, but I felt the standard Rogue and Epic Flash drivers were too elongated for me. Just not a shape I wanted to see. So, I was a little apprehensive when the fitter recommended the standard Mavrik. But, I am glad he did. The shape isn’t quite as rounded and compact as the past SZ models that I have played. But, it is not elongated either. If I had to pick a comparison in terms of shape, I cannot think of a Callaway driver in recent memory that it reminds me of. From the side, you can see the noticeable aerodynamic design as the sole sweeps up to meet the crown. We’ll touch more on that later. Anyhow, it passed the looks test with flying colors.

Mav D Crown Shot.jpg
Mav D Face Shot.jpg
Mav D Heel Shot.jpg


Sound/Feel:

Alright, here is the hot topic. The Epic Flash was not universally loved for its sound. I am not going to argue that. It wasn’t the most pleasant to me but I enjoyed the performance enough to overlook it. Here, we are entering what I would call probably the most subjective portion of a driver, or any club for that matter, review. What sounds and feels good to me does not necessarily mean that you are going to enjoy it. I got along fine with the Epic Flash, a lot of people didn’t. I could not stand the sound of the Ping G lineup, but it’s been a big seller for them and a lot of golfers love it.

I really enjoy the low tone, dull sound of a carbon driver. Ever since the FT Tour came out, I was hooked on it. Almost every Callaway driver that I hit from that point fell in that category. The Epic Flash did not. But, Callaway made a pivot here. They used their fancy super computer and created what they are calling Acoustic AI. There are fins designed within the head that aid in creating a more muted sound than the Epic Flash. It isn’t quite OG Epic dull. But, it is extremely pleasing.

When you connect with this driver, it feels like the ball sticks to the face for an extra milliseconds longer than normal and just absolutely launches. It is so hard to describe. I love it. And, if you give this club a fair chance, I would find it hard to believe that anyone could walk away and say that this club doesn’t feel great. Regardless if you are buying it or not.


Tech:

We are looking at some interesting technology at play here. First, they built off of the success of the Flash face and have designed a face for each model that is even further optimized, delivering great ball speed over a larger area of the club face. The cool thing here is that they optimized each model independently of one another. So, the standard, SZ, and Max models each have a different face. They have utilized a stronger titanium in the process as well. SS20, the Super Strength face for 2020.

Second, to improve the acoustics, they have implemented Acoustic AI. The engineers leveraged the super computer to come up with what appear to be seemingly random fins inside the head that give this driver it’s addicting sound.

acoustic ai.png

Third, at least in the standard model, they have implemented a pretty sleek aerodynamic sole shape. An aerodynamic design that makes the standard model the fastest out of the lineup. OEM’s have used aerodynamics in the past with some success. I recall the Cobra F9 being an interesting feel as you swing the club. That is the same feeling I get when swinging the Mavrik. You can feel that there is less drag as the club cuts through the air. How much more swing speed that equates to for myself, I am unsure of at this point.

Mav D Vortex Tight Crop-2.jpg

Otherwise, the Mavrik drivers all utilize the same Optiforce hosel that Callaway has used for the last so many years. So, if you have an old trusty driver shaft, you don’t have to worry. You can plug it into these heads with a few turns of the wrench.


Performance:

I suppose, it wouldn’t be much of a review if I didn’t share what I have been seeing in performance. Take this for what it’s worth so far as I have had an extremely limited time with this club in actual play. Minnesota winters are not conducive to early club testing.

From the first shot with this driver, I noticed that it is going to be a higher launching head than my old Epic Flash SZ. As long as the spin remains manageable, that’s fine by me. I wouldn’t call this driver low spin, but I really would never say that it’s a higher spinning club either. It seems to live in the realm of 2500-2700. Where I was probably 2300-2500 in my past SZ drivers.

My Epic Flash SZ was no slouch off the tee. So, I am not surprised to see that I am getting similar ball speeds as I did in the past. The only caveat is that I seem to be having less cringe worth drives. Lol. I don’t have the data yet to prove it. But, I have a feeling that this driver is much more forgiving than the SZ I was playing before. There have been a few shots off the toe that I look up and see that I have hardly lost any ball speed at all. That is what has me excited about this release.

I have been hitting the driver in an indoor only scenario since returning from the Grandaddy. I have made a couple attempts at retrieving LM data. But, it has not gone according to plan. It is still in the cards in the future and I will share comparison data on both the Mavrik and the Epic Flash SZ I am coming from.

These are the numbers I grabbed when my swing was most definitely showing it's winter rust.

1578987514551.png

I am not too upset about the results. The smash was relatively high given the poor contact. If anything, it's a good example of what the driver can do for you when you're off :)

My Random Thoughts:

I understand that some people are going to try and make an apples to oranges comparison between the Mavrik and Epic Flash line. Just want to throw out the reminder that this line is not replacing the Epic Flash, rather complimenting it. I am providing my feedback between the two lineups as it is my most recent driver before this.

I honestly prefer the lack of a sliding weight. I have never felt that the sliding weights are a high enough percentage of the overall head weight to make a meaningful impact on ball flight. At least in my experience, I have not noticed it impact my game much at all. So, I am happy to save the weight of the sliding track and have it redistributed elsewhere to make a more forgiving club.

Seriously guys. This club sounds and feels fantastic. Plus, coming in right at $500 makes it a pretty attractive option vs other clubs on the market. But, get out there and try it for yourself. If you are content with what you have or find another club is a better fit, so be it. But, you owe it to yourself to at least give this club a look if you’re in the market.

Please, feel free to ask any questions. I will be here sharing what I know and trying to help complete the story on this line.

Here are some comparison pics I grabbed of my Epic Flash SZ and the new Mavrik.

Mav D vs EFSZ D Toe Shot-4.jpg
Mav D vs EFSZ Face Shot.jpg
Mav D vs EFSZ D Crowns.jpg
 
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chefkritter

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Now that the "sound" has been addressed I can't wait to get one of these in hand and see the all the craziness is about. With the Epic Flash I hit 3 balls and put it away, I just couldnt do the sound. Add in the increased % on misses (where I typically hit is a miss) and I would take that bit of help any day of the week. Only wish was that they were priced similiarly lower like the irons but it's the world we live in.
 

YukonLiving

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Awesome review!

Okay, these sound better - that’s great! And I like the splash of colour. And what’s that? Hello Riptide!
 

OITW

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Just waiting for some pics here ?
 

noodle3872

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TXG did a video of all three drivers. All three sound fantastic!
 

Mr Boof

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Just watched the TXG video. Seem to be some pretty good new drivers. Now to read the THP reviews!! Can't wait to hear about the Grandaddy guys talking through their fittings with this new product.
 

tomcat

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My experience over the past few years is that I was playing the XR16, loved it, and couldn’t find a real reason to spend $400+ for a newer driver. I’m sure that the advances in technology each year would in some way help my game, and I’ve no reason to doubt that. But, that being said, buying a new driver can be a considerable expense, so I never worried about it.

Shortly before we left for California I went to PGATSS and spent a little time on their monitors to get some updated numbers for the fitters. My swing wasn’t fantastic, so when I first posted a 25 yard increase at ECPC, I figured that some HAD to be attributed to my inconsistencies. When I got home I went back to the same PGATSS to check it out again. I’ll get to that shortly.

A portion of my fitting was spent just helping me groove my swing with some very minor adjustments to my body placement. With my high handicap, Nick went straight for the Max head at 9* (my XR16 was at 9*) and we got started. He swapped me into the 10.5* head for some higher launch profiles, which worked very nicely. Started with the Riptide, tried out the Helium, then back to the Riptide 50g 5.5.

Nearly all par 4s and 5s, I’m pulling driver, so I’m getting quite a few reps with this club, and so far, have really, really liked it. The Max / Riptide combo has been very stable, and I’ve noticed fewer crazy fades that find their way into the next fairway. :D

When I returned to PGATSS after the event, here are my averages over 10 shots on the monitor:
XR16: carry 178 / total 192 / backspin 1223 / club speed 88 / ball speed 117
MAX: carry 195 / total 209 / backspin 3083 / club speed 94 / ball speed 126

As you can see, there was a nice increase that has been helpful in several areas.

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Bunker Snot

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@tomcat Thank you for the write up. Looks like you're going to have a fun 2020 golf season. It will be interesting to hear more about your progression and see how the new tech plays into your improvement.
 

tomcat

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I’m really looking forward to it as well. I think several things have started clicking during the later half of this last year, and I’m seeing some overall better scores, and now that I can combine that with great technology, it’ll be fun no matter what.
 

TheDoctor

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Hmmm, I have watched one video review of these drivers and that combined with what the Grandaddy folks have said has got me thinking about which version of this driver I would potentially fit in to
Having the Epic Flash SubZero I was leaning towards the SubZero in the Mavrik line, but seeing some of the numbers I would definitely want to be fitted for this
 

tomcat

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While I wasn’t surprised to have been fit into the Max, I think a large number of our team was surprised they ended up in the Max. It seemed to encompass a good portion of golfers.

This entire line screams, GET FIT!!!! :D
 

DataDude

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Good write ups so far @radiman and @tomcat looks like this is another great offering from Callaway.
 

tomcat

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We think so, but like it has been said, go try them out when you’re able to. They may not be what you ultimately choose, but it won’t likely be due to lack of choices. Lots of options this year from the Chevron.
 

YukonLiving

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When I returned to PGATSS after the event, here are my averages over 10 shots on the monitor:
XR16: carry 178 / total 192 / backspin 1223 / club speed 88 / ball speed 117
MAX: carry 195 / total 209 / backspin 3083 / club speed 94 / ball speed 126

As you can see, there was a nice increase that has been helpful in several areas.
Those are some GREAT gains! Nice write-up, and photos.
 

zbeekner4

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mmaynard11

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Great write ups @radiman & @tomcat I was trying to drift off back to sleep however are now wide awake.
This driver has so much tech packed into it. Picking up17yds on avg is huge!!!
 

tomcat

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Tadashi70

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Nicely done @Jman, very well written. It amazes me what the lab rats come up with every year. I’m excited to see what more forgiveness in the face looks and feels like. I also can’t wait to see the shape of the driver, I have yet to have seen it live. I’ve always stayed swayed from the SZ versions but based on the photos it may be in the cards in 2020.
 

DNice26

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Daaaaaamn! Callaway going hard on these!

Loooove that there is a 4 wood option in the fws! Also intrigued by the pro hybrid! Cripes, and I thought my Ping 410 hybo was safe....
 

mjkladis

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2019 Grandaddy Alum are killing the reviews!
I was curious about the standard model’s head shape and now I completely understand it. I didn’t even think about it being aerodynamic.

The driver looks super simple compared to some of the other 2020 offerings but complexity doesn’t always mean performance!

I’m definitely going to put this up against my gamer to see what the Mavrik can do!
 

SquirrelyDave

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Great write @Jman, and great info from The Grandaddy guys too!
 

JMB3

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Like @radiman, I was fit into the standard model of the Mavrik driver. And of all the clubs I received from The Grandaddy, my new Mavrik driver is my favorite—hands down. To me, this driver combines a perfect shape and sound into Callaway’s fastest, yet forgiving, driver head.

Fast and Forgiving

As with the entire Mavrik line of clubs, the drivers incorporate a Flash Face SS20 (the “SS” stands for “Super Strength)—here, made of a stronger, more flexible titanium—that is optimized for each of the three different heads (Sub Zero, Standard, and Max). The face itself is also lighter than the original Flash Face, weighing in at just 6g.

Through the use of AI, Callaway has developed forgiveness in each face through spin retention, allowing them to rely less on body shape. This “unconventional forgiveness” allowed Callaway to develop a faster, more aerodynamic shape for the Mavrik that reduces drag from the Rogue and Epic Flash models. As you can see below, the shape of the standard Mavrik and Epic Flash models is drastically different:

fullsizeoutput_3b1.jpeg

Not only is the Mavrik crown shorter from front to back, but it is much less rounded off, with very little of the sole lying flat—instead, the sole quickly curves upwards to meet the crown.

So does the new Flash Face SS20 and shape make Mavrik faster? According to Callaway, yes. In fact, Callaway estimates that the Mavrik driver is five yards longer than the Epic Flash.

Since receiving my Mavrik driver, I’ve tested these claims, and based on my results, the standard Mavrik may be even a bit longer than that for me. As a high cap, I’m certainly not a robot, and I can see some pretty big changes in Smash Factor from swing to swing. But leading into The Grandaddy, I spent 2-3 days a week on the TrackMan, hitting my Epic Flash driver each time. With swing speeds in the mid-90s (93-97), my best strikes produced ball speeds in the low-140s, though I often lived around 138/139.

Five weeks after The Grandaddy, I hit the standard Mavrik for the first time on that same TrackMan. On four out of roughly a dozen swings, I topped 144 MPH ball speed, including the one shot I photographed below.

fullsizeoutput_3e7.jpeg

While some of my teammates can replicate that ball speed with their Mavrik hybrids, that’s really high speed for me. And as I focus on adding speed this offseason, I’m very excited about the prospects that this driver can “shorten” the course for me.

The Mavrik is faster than the Epic Flash, but is it as forgiving? Absolutely. As others have discussed, Callaway has also released a “Mavrik Max” driver, which is the highest MOI model from this line. When I heard about this model during the presentation, I assumed I’d be fit into it—I am, in fact, a high handicapper. But because of the Max’s extra draw bias—the standard has a slight draw bias but no added heel weight (see below)—my fitter thought I’d be better in the standard model with my typical right-to-left ball flight.

Even without “MAX MOI,” though, the standard model is incredibly forgiving. While I confirmed that the Mavrik driver will not save you from topped shots or massive blocks, I’ve also experienced that all kinds of swings can help you find the fairway.

Since the Grandaddy, I’ve only been able to hit my driver indoors, but I have gotten in some simulator rounds. This past weekend I played with one of my golfing buddies who knows as well as anybody that I can be very inconsistent off the tee. But after 7 or 8 holes into our round, he said, “I’ve never seen you hit a driver so straight.”

And he’s right. Before the Mavrik, I played the Epic Flash and the G400 Max, both of which are pretty darn forgiving. I know it’s early, but I truly believe the standard Mavrik incorporates similar forgiveness in a faster head. I’ll continue to test and report on these beliefs throughout the year. And if I ever run into any issues, I could always look to replace the 5g weight in the back of the club with something a little heavier.

fullsizeoutput_3e1.jpeg

Shape

When Nick fit me into the standard model, I darn near hugged him. I have long been envious of my high-speed friends who gamed Callaway’s Sub Zero models that simply did not fit my low-spin game. I always loved the more compact look at address. And while I likely would have been very happy with the Max, its shape is more Rogue-like. The standard model gives me exactly what I’ve always wanted:

fullsizeoutput_3e2.jpeg

To me, the shape of the Mavrik standard could not be any better. Thank you, Callaway, for building such a beautiful driver for a high capper!

Sound

While I love the shape of the standard Mavrik, the sound/feel of the driver may be my favorite part. It’s intoxicating.

I know sound/feel is purely subjective. For reference, I did not love the muted sound of the OG Epic or the Rogue. On the off chance I crushed my tee shot, I wanted at least my foursome to hear it. On the other end of the spectrum is the Epic Flash. While it’s louder than I’d like, I probably liked it better than the OG Epic sound. I didn’t mind the G400 Max sound either.

Callaway heard the feedback on the Epic Flash, and it developed a sound that is so good and somewhere in the middle of the two Epic drivers. And they developed this sound using “Acoustic AI”—specifically optimized for frequency and amplitude! How cool is that?

Get Fit

As a long-time self-fitter, I almost feel guilty recommending that everyone interested in a Mavrik driver get fit for it. But with the three model options currently released, I believe there is a driver in the Mavrik lineup that can fit just about anyone—you just may be surprised which model that is. As I mentioned, I would not have expected to be fit into the standard model. But that head, along with the stock Even Flow Riptide (55g in 5.5) shaft, is a perfect fit.

I am truly excited about this driver—so much so, I may even play around in the Customs shop…. I’ll be updating my performance with the standard model all year long, and if you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask.
 
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NoShanks

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Mavrik Standard Driver

1579019439527.jpeg


Quick background on my game: I am a 1 handicap and my swing speed is generally around 113-118. I fight high spin on the driver in the 2900-3500 range due to a negative AOA. This is an area that I intend to work on improving this coming season. Hitting the driver is the strongest of my game. I came from Ping G400 max, which I have gamed the last 2 seasons.


I was fitted into the Standard version during my fitting at ECPC with Jason. I tried the Max and SZ version and the Standard was giving me the best numbers for spin and ball speed. SZ was very close behind. I was fitted into the Ventus Black 7x tipped 1 inch to play at 44.5”



I haven’t had the opportunity to get to a trackman yet to get some numbers to round out this review. That is in the works and I hope to have it within the next 2-3 weeks.





Looks:



Personally, I just love the look of the standard at address and the shape is just perfect. It is my favorite out of the bunch. The way it sets up to the ball reminds me of classic shapes in the past. It is not elongated at all. It looks very powerful. I love the look of the crown- super clean and sharp. I hate anything too busy at the top. Simple, clean and straight to the point.


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Sound/Feel:


Being hearing impaired, sound does not mean much to me. I don’t depend on it to hear if the ball is struck well or not. It’s all about feel for me. I am very picky when it comes to drivers based on the feel. I need to feel where the ball is struck. If I can’t tell I hit the sweet spot, it is not good enough for me. With the Mavrik, hitting it on the middle is the best feeling driver I’ve ever hit. It is very addicting and powerful.





Performance:



I’ve played 4 rounds so far with this driver and I am still getting to know it. I knew after the first round at Hideaway, this driver is the real deal. It is very versatile for my swing. I can fade it, draw it, control the trajectory. I play it at the -1 setting at 8.0 with the D for draw biased and I feel pretty dialed in on it. I have been hitting drives in the 290-325 range consistently. I plan to get some trackman numbers in the coming weeks to expand beyond that for ball speed, spin numbers and smash factor.



Off centered hits stays on-line and goes pretty far for me. I hit a few toe shots and I was blown away on where the ball was going. Usually I know those type of shots would land in or near the woods. The tech in the face contained those shots pretty well and kept the ball in play for me. I am not looking for more distance. Dispersion is super important for me, something the G400 max was able to provide for me the past couple seasons…but the Mavrik Standard is able to match it and does much more than the G400 max. In my opinion, the Mavrik line is a G400 max killer.





Overall Thoughts:



The Mavrik is fast, long and powerful. I played with one of my friends who rarely gives out compliments to anyone’s golf game. He has told me that he has never seen me hit the ball that far and he loved how the driver sounded. He hit my driver on one of the holes and he outdrove his ball by 15 yards. I had to yank it out of his hand and tell him to get his own.



If you are in the market for a new driver, don’t pass this one up. Give it a try and see for yourself. It’s important to get fit as well. With the right shaft and head, you will unlock everything the driver has to offer for you.



I cannot wait for spring to get here.


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