The Callaway Epic MAX driver is one of the most forgiving drivers of the year. MAX is definitely referring to MAX forgiveness, but it also refers to the insane price that will be required for you to game this driver (for now).
Priced at $530, we think there are many better value options on the market. However, if money is no concern, then you might as well go with the latest and greatest like the Epic MAX.
Anyway, here’s a pretty detailed review.
Appearance & Performance
The classic, sleek, black crown of Callaway has always been an appealing one. You won’t find a better looking driver in my opinion, but looks isn’t everything.
The club head is 460cc, which is the max size according to the USGA. The larger head results in a pretty large sweet spot thankfully.
If you take a look at the sole of the driver, you’ll see practically all of the “innovations” in maximizing ball speeds and forgiveness, like: the 4 jailbreak bars, the AI speed frame, and the adjustable weight on the rear. Those all sound nice, but they seem a little gimmicky to me, honestly.
When it comes to performance, it will depend 99% on you and your swing. Let’s be real here. It’s an awesome driver – no question about that. But it won’t fix your swing faults.
In GENERAL, though, you’d have a hard time finding a more forgiving driver head. Even my mishits seemed to fly far and straight. That’s a huge benefit if you are like me and can’t practice every day to keep my game in tip top shape.
When it comes to ball flight, you can expect SUPER high flying shots. Due to the really low center of gravity and high MOI design, the Callaway Epic Max driver results in high launching ball flights that most golfers will benefit from.
In the neutral weight setting, there is a slight draw bias with the Callaway Epic Max driver, which will benefit the majority of mid to high handicaps who often struggle with leaving the face open at impact.
There are two components of adjustability with the Callaway Epic Max driver: the sliding weight on the sole of the head and the adjustable hosel.
Sliding weight: I don’t like to adjust weights on drivers, but you can definitely make some significant changes in your ballflight by doing so. If you struggle with slices and pushes due to an open club face at impact, you can move the weight towards the heel to encourage the face to close easier. If you struggle with hooks and pulls due to a closed club face at impact, you can move the weight towards the toe to encourage the club face to stay more open through impact.
Adjustable hosel: Like the majority of drivers these days, the Callaway Epic Max comes with the adjustable Optifit hosel to adjust loft and lie angle. This will allow you to:
- increase loft by up to two degrees from the standard loft
- decrease loft by one degree from the standard loft
- change to a draw or neutral lie angle setting
Who It’s Best For
The Callaway Epic Max driver is best for newer golfers that 1) want the most forgiveness and highest launching driver possible and 2) don’t care about spending lots of money for it.
If you are on a budget, then I’d recommend finding a better value alternative (scroll down). But if money is no issue, then you might as well pull the trigger and get the cream of the crop driver.
If distance is want you want, then stick with the Callaway Epic Speed driver. But if FORGIVENESS and HIGH launch is what you want, then you came to the right place. The Callaway Epic Max is more forgiving and higher launching than the other two models released at the same time.
Pros & Cons
- The most forgiving driver of the year so far
- The highest launching driver of the year so far
- Oversized driver head and sweet spot
- Decent stock shaft if you don’t want to get custom fitted
- Will be outdated and lose significant value within the year as Callaway continues to oversaturate the market
- Priced at $530, which is more than I spent on my entire set of high quality, premium clubs
- May lead you to blame the driver’s adjustable settings when really you should work on your golf swing with a PGA pro.
Compared to the Epic Speed and Epic Max LS
Compared to the other models, the Epic Max driver is:
- more forgiving than the other two
- higher launching than the Epic Max LS
- more adjustable than the Epic Speed
- less compact then the Epic Speed
- better for beginners who want some extra help on their mishits
- better for slower swing speeds than the Epic Max LS
Sub $200 Alternative
I despise the idea of spending $500+ for ONE club. That’s ridiculous. I don’t like to do ridiculous things like that. So, I’m always looking for a better value alternative.
Sure, this alternative may perform 1-5% worse than the Callaway Epic Max driver on average, but the price difference is substantial and well worth the savings.
The similar performing driver that can be had for less than $200? The Callaway Great Big Bertha.
This driver is about 6 years old now. It was one of the most popular drivers of the year, and for good reason. Super long. Super forgiving. Super adjustable.
Does it have the latest Callaway innovations like jailbreak technology and AI utilized club faces? No, but those are mostly just gimmicks anyway.
The main difference between the two clubs? The name, the paint job, and the price tag.
Like the Callaway Epic Max driver, the Callaway Great Big Bertha driver has an adjustable hosel and a sliding weight on the sole to adjust ball flight.
You can pick one up in great condition for under $200 without too much difficulty. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to find one closer to $150.