By Alex Gallemore
Callaway has its sights set on being ‘top gun’ again in 2020 with their latest Mavrik driver. We find out how the Callaway super computers have been working overtime to keep their driver evolution progressing and hope the design software is better than its spelling programme!
The spelling of Mavrik actually has more to do with registered trademarks and the fact that Top Gun 2: Maverick is also due for release next month. We wonder if Callaway ëGooseí could have worked better? Maybe Henrik Stenson could have his own IceMan model – sorry we’re getting a little off topic!
Naming issues aside, let’s delve into the serious matter of what makes the new Mavrik tick. With drivers edging closer towards being optimised at the legal Coefficient of Restitution limit set by the USGA and R&A, manufacturers are having to get very creative to prevent things from technically stalling.
Why use a supercomputer?
Epic Flash set new boundaries by being the first driver developed with the aid of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to discover how to make the clubface more efficient. A.I has also been instrumental in the design of the Mavrik’s Flash Face design. The system ran thousands of virtual prototypes to create a new face, created to work specifically with the head of each Mavrik driver (more on the different models later).
If it isn’t broke: don’t try and fix it
Arguably Callaway’s ‘Jailbreak’ technology has been one of their greatest R&D breakthroughs. By connecting two internal bars behind the face between the sole and crown it produced faster ball speeds. So it’s understandable that Jailbreak is still a key feature in the Mavrik driver. Callaway has linked the Jailbreak bars to a new, lighter carbon crown which has allowed them to redistribute the weight saved to other key areas to help raise the Moment of Inertia and increase forgiveness.
Flash Face SS20 explained
To achieve faster ball speeds the face is now made out of a stronger titanium called FS2S, which is six grams lighter than traditional materials. This has enabled Callaway to produce a thinner, faster face without the fear of it splitting under impact stress.
The Mavrik head has also been redesigned to create their new Cyclone Aero shape. It’s shallower from front to back, with a flatter crown and a sole that sweeps dramatically to the rear to create a higher trailing edge. All with the aim to decrease drag and increase clubhead speed.
The new A.I system has addressed the niggles found in the Epic Flash. The face structure has been improved and the sound is much better. As for distance gains, well, Callaway claims it goes 1 mph faster than the Epic Flash which has the potential to add 3-4 yards in distance. Just imagine if you compared the Mavrik to an older driver…
Mavrik – Of the three models, Mavrik (no suffix) is the only one that features the Cyclone Aero shape. It is the mid-spin model, with a faint draw bias. This will be the main retail model aimed at around 70% of golfers who are in the market for a new driver. It features a single, 5-gram rear weight for swing weighting purposes only.
Spec: The 460cc head will be available in lofts of 9°, 10.5°, and 12°.
Mavrik Max – As the name suggests, this has the largest footprint out of the three heads with the largest MOI, which makes it the easiest to hit and launch. The Max comes with two interchangeable head weights. Positioning the heavier 14g weight in the heel and the 2g in the centre back will create the maximum draw bias for players that lose it right off the tee. If you want more forgiveness just switch those weights around to create the maximum MOI.
Spec: 460 head comes in 9°, 10.5° and 12° lofts
Mavrik Sub Zero – The Sub Zero aligns itself to the better golfer with a higher swing speed. It has a 450cc head which is based on last season’s tour-only Sub Zero and does not have the Cyclone Aero shape. The reason behind that is the player this club appeals to already has the speed and it was worth sacrificing the aerodynamics in order to lower the centre of gravity. It has the same 14g and 2g weights as the Max, but this is for fine-tuning when it comes to optimising spin and launch
Spec: 450cc head comes in 9° and 10.5° lofts
What are Branden Grace’s first impressions after adding the Mavrik straight into the bag after winning the South African Open?
“I love it. It’s one of those cubs that’s really easy to adapt to and add straight into my bag. I love that Callaway give me many different options with the MAVRIK driver. I’ve decided to go with the Sub Zero 9 degrees. It’s got a bit of a deeper face which I like. I’ve never been a fan of the big heads in a driver and this MAVRIK looks smaller and feels more aggressive to launch off the tee. The sound has altered too. It’s not a big ‘ting’ anymore and I love it. When you look at the numbers, it really performs as they told me it would. The ball speed has jumped up 2/3 mph quicker so I’m delighted with it.”
Kiradech Aphibarnrat tells us his thoughts about the new Mavrik
“The new Mavrik is one of the best drivers I’ve ever hit. It looks great at address and I’ve picked up a couple of miles per hour ball speed so it goes further and with less spin which is what the Tour pros are looking for. When Callaway announced they were releasing a new driver I thought they might struggle because the Epic Flash was so successful and hard to improve on but the Mavrik has answered this.”