The final piece of Callaway's Epic Flash jigsaw comes in the form of the Epic Flash Hybrid, which features the same hot 'Flash Face' and is aimed at the game improvement market.
After the Epic Flash Driver and Fairway Wood received top marks during Golfalot testing, I was looking forward to seeing whether the Hybrid could complete a clean sweep...
What's It All About?
There was once a stage where it felt like the major equipment manufacturers created hybrids almost as an afterthought alongside their driver and fairway wood offerings. This is certainly no longer the case, as their popularity continues to grow.
Callaway appears to be acknowledging just how lucrative this market can be when they say that the new Epic Flash has the most advanced innovations that they have developed in one hybrid, with all of the main technologies seen in the driver and fairway wood also included.
First off, Callaway is maximising ball speed through the use of their Jailbreak Technology which features in the rest of their metals. This consists of two internal bars between the crown and sole which strengthen the head and increase energy transfer at impact. An ultra-thin forged 'Flash Face' includes Face Cup technology which promotes long distance even on off-centred strikes.
The large tungsten weight in the sole of the head has been added using Metal-Injected Molding, which lowers the centre of gravity for enhanced launch and trajectory, whilst the weight has been optimised to add forgiveness to the head too.
A new, lightweight crown made using a material called T2C Triaxial Carbon saves weight which can be redistributed elsewhere to produce those changes in CG and increase the MOI.
Finally, the OptiFit 3 Hosel is more lightweight, which allows for weight to be better used elsewhere, as well as being able to tailor launch and ball flight to suit your game.
Callaway is the #1 Hybrid brand in golf and the new Epic Flash represents the very best of our industry-leading technologies in this category. We’ve engineered our most advanced hybrid innovations into one club to deliver total performance in a premium design.
I took the hybrid down to the fantastic Prestbury Golf Club on a stunning autumn's day to put it through its paces. I hit positional shots from the tee and approach shots from both the fairway and rough to see how the club and its features performed out on the course.
I also completed further testing indoors at The Range in Manchester, to check whether the numbers produced matched up with Callaway's claims and placed the hybrid within the game-improvement category.
Callaway Epic Flash Hybrid Review
Putting the club down by the ball at address, I have to say that this is one of the best-looking hybrids I have seen. The carbon crown looks really smart, the head shape feels friendly and forgiving, and it is easy to align too.
There seems to be a little less of the green and yellow splashes when compared to the driver and fairway, so this looks a bit more classical too.
It's a much bigger footprint than Callaway's other hybrid option, the better-player's Apex 19, with a tear-drop shape that has plenty of clubhead behind the ball for a confidence-inspiring look.
The Epic Flash feels and sounds a little more like a wood than a hybrid. There's more of a thud than the traditional, high-pitched clink of a hybrid, and this actually suits the shape of the head as it does feel a little more like hitting a 5 wood with a 'deader' feel as the ball leaves the face.
I actually quite liked it although it probably takes a bit of getting used to, as you don't quite get the instant feedback on strike like you would normally with a hybrid's louder acoustic and feel.
Off The Tee
The Epic Flash was at its best from the tee on positional plays. The ball was just so easy to get up and going off just a small tee, but there was also no fear of losing the ball to the left which is a common concern that players have with hybrids as they can often be draw-biased. Happily this one wasn't, and the OptiFit hosel is there to rectify that in any case.
The ball flight was strong without being too high, and after a little bit of experimentation I decided on 18 degrees of loft using the OptiFit hosel.
If you are looking for a little lower flight, or conversely a higher launch, you can tweak the loft by a couple of degrees to suit your preference.
Off The Deck
Playing from the fairway and rough, it could be argued that the Epic Flash was maybe a little too hot on occasion. Whilst it was very easy to get the club through the first cut of rough and advance the ball towards the green, I was a little worried about that 'knuckle-ball' effect.
On the par-5 11th hole, I had around 200 yards left to the pin for my second shot. The ball was on a slight downslope so I expected the ball to come out a little lower, which it did, but it also came out with very little spin too which meant that my ball carried over the back of the green - at least 220 yards.
This was something that I was a little worried about thanks to that low tungsten weight and head shape, so if you do suffer from shots like these make sure you get properly fitted first, so that you have the right shaft and specs to try and negate this.
From tighter lies on the fairway, some golfers may feel that the head does look a tiny bit big too. If you struggle with hitting a 3 wood or 5 wood from the deck then it is definitely worth trying this club first before making any decisions as I did find it took a little bit more concentration to get the strike right in these instances.
Having seen that shot which worried me a little bit on the par 5 I was keen to see how the hybrid performed on the launch monitor too. I wanted to see a tighter front-to-back dispersion with the ball going a consistent height, distance and showing consistent spin rates.
Whilst the shape and flight of the ball was relatively similar throughout, producing a little draw at a medium-height, the front to back dispersion was a little bigger than I was hoping for. There were a couple of poorer strikes which meant that the distance dropped off slightly (such as the 182 carry which came from the toe), but I was a little concerned by the eighth shot which jumped out at 218 yards carry, 241 total.
This is around my 3 wood number and was produced without me really feeling as if I had swung or struck the club any different. If I was going to use this hybrid I would have to conduct some further testing to check how frequent these kind of shots are, as they could be potentially damaging during a round of golf.
On average though, the 201 carry produced is exactly where I would want this club to sit, being set at 18 degrees, whilst the spin rates and average height were also good too.
Callaway Epic Flash Hybrid Verdict
Better players may be better served sticking with the Apex Pro thanks to the more compact shape and penetrating, workable flight. But for mid-handicap golfers looking for plenty of distance and easy launch from a friendly-sized head, the Epic Flash could be a winner.
Callaway says that this hybrid features 'premium technologies' and the addition of the Jailbreak technology, along with other features like the excellent OptiFit hosel and really useful Align grip (if you struggle with grip position this is definitely worth a try) mean that the Epic Flash really does live up to their claims.
Would I Use It?
For looks, easy launch and forgiveness, definitely.
The only thing that would possibly put me off is the range in front-to-back dispersion, but if this could be controlled through a full custom fitting session to really get dialled in then I would have one in my bag in a flash.
- Big, friendly footprint
- Easy to hit off the tee
- Strong ball flight
- Plenty of adjustability to hone to your own game
- Good sound and feel
- Looks big on the fairway
- Head shape may not suit all
- Front-to-back dispersion was quite wide