Awesome write-up!I think this will be a talking point with this driver because it's a pretty big departure from the dull, boring thuds of composite drivers in the past. The Epic Flash is not afraid to speak it's mind at impact and greets you with an explosive sound which right away reminded me of some older more classic drivers. There's a wide spectrum of sounds that come from different corners of the face, with some large misses actually getting pretty darn loud. One of my main criticisms of the original Epic driver was the dull sound and the fact that no matter where on the face I hit the ball, it sounds the same. I am happy to report that is no longer the case here and while the sounds may not always be 'nice', they are effective at telling you where you've strayed.
The feedback on center strikes is as good as I've ever felt with a perfect mix of "pleasant sound" and "BOOM!". I've so far found it incredibly rewarding and brings the enjoyment of hitting middle to an entirely new plateau. To me, the face has a nice firm feel and rather than feel like the ball is squishing into the face, it feels more like the ball wants nothing to do with the face and is gone instantly.
I'm still confirming this next part, but I'm convinced that the sound changes quite drastically as the APW is moved around the track. I have the APW weight all the way in the heel and for me it definitely makes the head a bit quieter than with the weight in the center.
As always with subjective topics like sound/feel - your mileage may vary. I'd love to hear what any of you guys think when you hit one!
I will dive into performance in future reviews but for now here are some pics:
What shaft were you fit into? Can you speak to sound improvement over the original Epic?
Awesome share of the AI piece Frank, that is just mind blowing, reading it on the homepage and seeing all of you guys talking about it blows me away. Awesome to see all of this making it's way into the golf industry.Many of you have probably seen the Callaway teaser for the Flash driver. You probably focused on the green and yellow colors, or the carefully teased looks at the club face or maybe even the playful graphics which showed moving yellow lines. What most of you probably missed was the caption and its meaning: “Faster Than Humanly Possible.” Let’s explore that part more carefully.
Callaway employed the use of a super computer with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design the Flash line of drivers and fairway woods. I’ll be honest, when I first heard this I had flashbacks to the first Terminator movie and a bit of a feeling that maybe this was going to be a marketing driven release. I could not have been more wrong.
Consider that during a typical release Callaway runs through a small-ish number of prototypes. For the sake of argument and confidentiality, let’s say less than 25. By using the super computer with AI they were able to generate over 30,000 prototypes. Now let’s pause to think about what a prototype is: the manifestation of design concepts to validate performance. It is an opportunity to learn which parts of a design work, which ones don’t and to improve upon that design until we reach a final product. By using the super computer and AI Callaway was able to exponentially spike the learning and improvement curve during the design of this driver: 30,000 iterations of improvements instead of less than 25.
But beyond the volume of prototypes Callaway was able to produce, using the AI super computer allowed Callaway to approach the design of this driver from an outside the box perspective. The process started by removing the traditional design parameters or constraints that Engineers are taught and conditioned to start with. The super computer did not start with those constraints. In this way, the “Fast Than Humanly Possible” tag line is literally correct. This was such an outside the box approach to developing a driver that it is literally true to say no human engineer would have EVER come up with this design.
So what did Callaway come up with? You have seen the picture of the back of the face elsewhere in this thread. Look at it again. Notice how it is irregular and seemingly haphazard, with thick and thin sections next to each other in unpredictable ways. The back of a typical Callaway driver face is flat and smooth, but for two regularly placed raised lines that look like an X on its side. How does this happen? Callaway engineers input parameters in place and told the super computer to build. The super computer designed a prototype. Callaway engineers tested the prototype then adjusted the instructions given to the super computer. Because it has AI the super computer learned and evolved as it developed new and improved prototypes. Repeat 30,000 times.
Now maybe – just maybe – some of you are still dismissive. “So what, the back of the face has some funny lines. Whatever, just throw that face onto every Callaway driver body and let’s call it a day.” Nope. The face is one part of an overall integrated design, it ONLY works with the Flash body. Callaway discussed what those other unique elements were but honestly, I’m not sure I could explain it again to anyone else. But suffice to say, this driver borrows from a familiar line…it’s not just a pretty face.
All of the above is interesting, but does it work? At the end of the day that is the bottom line. To be honest, my results so far have been mixed. From a recent session with my instructor and some time on a TrackMan I know that the worst of this is 100% Indian, not arrow. I am having a hard time controlling the face and getting it closed properly. I am coming from a Rogue with the EvenFlo Black shaft (stiff). I did not have this challenge with that setup – or at least not to the same degree. I’m going to chalk this up to having a new driver with a new shaft, and I’m going to give it some time. What else about the driver? Let’s take a closer look:
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I remember reading about how much you liked the Ping, that you sold it that quick speaks to how crazy good this is, thanks for the initial thoughts.Here we go!
Overall I’m extremely excited about this driver. Last year was the first time in a very long time I didn’t make a driver change. I was absolutely in love with my Ping and my plan was to keep it around to do some head to head testing and keep stored away “just in case”. However after what I saw I came home and put that up for sale about 2 days after. Driver can be a weakness for me but I’m all in on what the Epic Flash can do for my game this year!
Great pics Clayton! Looking forward to your thoughts.The new 2019 Epic Flash Driver is the new big dog on the block! It’s been an absolute blast to play. There’s a ridiculous amount of tech that comes together to create a system of speed, distance, launch and forgiveness that is intoxicating on well struck shots and shockingly forgiving on off center shots. There were MANY times, I should’ve been punished for the garbage swing I threw at this thing and it still peformed like a champ. It’s not a miracle club so you can still snap hook or slice it, but it is a forgiving performer. That said….hit the middle and MY GOODNESS!
The story around this club is obviously the new Flash Face, which was designed using AI from a supercomputer that in short allowed for maximum optimization through accelerated iterations in design...34 years worth! Long story short. Ball go far! Ball go fast!
Lots of thoughts coming, but you really want is pics right?
Thanks for keeping it real and admitting your thoughts on the colors, but going into detail about it how you've gotten past the critiques.
The driver - if you scan the web there has been a lot of criticism of the color choices, some of the graphics on the crown and the sound. I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of the colors. Give me this driver and another with a color scheme more to my liking and I might gravitate to the other. However, the colors carry through the color green of the Epic driver with a touch of yellow added for differentiation I would assume. I use headcovers so the only time I see the sole is when I take the club out of the bag so in the long run the colors don’t matter to me at all, and the little bit of color at the back of the head is really inconspicuous at address. Not having seen or received the retail headcovers I can’t say anything about them. Some have commented on not liking the gray line that runs across the crown near the face and some do not like the Chevron used as an alignment guide. To each his own but I just don’t understand people not playing a club due to these characteristics! Personally, my focus is on the ball and I don’t even notice these things once I am set up.