2018 was another good year for Callaway Golf. The company has seen strong support for its products by recreational golfers. Jailbreak technology was followed by Epic and Callaway has boasted its market share has been higher than any other brand in golf. In the last two years alone, Callaway’s metal woods business has increased from $216 million at the end of 2016 to $308 million in 2017. Final numbers for 2018 will be released in early February and its expected to surpass last year’s levels. The metal woods category is important for several reasons. It offers the greatest profit margin but it also creates momentum that often spills into other equipment categories, which leads to additional sales. Going into 2019, Callaway has added a new technology called Flash Face to help golfers produce more ball speed for more distance. 

According to the company, Flash Face’s unique, internal mapping consists of dozens of subtle ripples flowing from heel to toe. Though the size, height and configuration of the ripples appears random, they in fact work together to elevate COR in the face’s center region. Callaway believes the result is a significant ball speed boost when you make solid contact. 

 

Flash Face’s architecture was created by Artificial Intelligence – the first known instance of using A.I.in the golf equipment industry -- and “Machine Learning,” a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to "learn" with data without being explicitly programmed. 

 

A new driver face design typically takes eight to ten iterations, Callaway said. Through Machine Learning Callaway said its computers cycled through 15,000 face architecture iterations, learning from each one, before arriving at Flash Face. The distinctive topography on the inner side of the Flash Face is forged from a special titanium and heat treated at 595 Celsius (1100F) for two hours to create a face that combines a low modulus measurement, for flexibility and speed, coupled with excellent strength properties. 

 

The Epic Flash driver also incorporates Jailbreak technology. The two internal, hourglass-shaped Jailbreak bars connect the crown to the sole, stabilizing and stiffening those two parts at impact, allowing the face to take on greater impact load to generate faster ball speed. Together, Flash Face and Jailbreak make the Epic Flash one of the most technologically advanced drivers in Callaway’s illustrious history. 

 

“We couldn’t have come up with Flash Face using conventional engineering principles,” said Dr. Alan Hocknell, senior vice president of R&D. “We wouldn’t have gone in this direction without A.I. because it’s non-intuitive compared to previous face technologies, including our own VFT and X-Face. The wave configuration isn’t symmetrical, nor does the pattern seem logical. Yet the ripples work together in a complex manner to maximize ball speed. There’s never been anything like Flash Face before in golf equipment, and the effect on performance is intense.” 

 

Employing A.I. allowed Callaway engineers to speed the evolution of face technology dramatically. “Flash Face isn’t something a human would have arrived at any time soon,” said Hocknell. “Without the help of A.I. and machine learning we couldn’t have come up with this design.” 

 

Epic Flash also incorporates a new triaxial carbon fabric, called T2C, which has a tighter weave that allowed Callaway to take weight from the crown and reposition strategically in the head to create high MOI that promotes better distance and accuracy performance on mis-hits. Epic Flash also benefits from Callaway’s Adjustable Perimeter Weighting, with a 16-gram sliding weight that can be easily positioned anywhere on the built-in track at the rear of the clubhead. The golfer can promote draws, fades or a straighter flight by positioning the weight in different places on the track. 

 

 

The Epic Flash driver will make its retail debut on February 1st. It is priced at $529.99. Matching Fairway metals are priced at $299.99.