“Both the MAVRIK and Sub Zero seriously impressed me, even against my own fitted driver,” writes Golf Australia magazine’s equipment guru, Jimmy Emanuel.
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4)
MODELS PLAYED: MAVRIK 10.5˚, fitted with Project X EvenFlow Riptide 50 stiff and MAVRIK Sub Zero with 9˚ loft, with Aldila Rogue White 60 stiff shaft.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: As has been the case with all of Callaway’s driver releases in recent years, I was eager to get the MAVRIK models on the course as soon as I laid eyes on them. Both drivers feature classic Callaway looks at address with a bold new orange colour scheme I enjoyed.
Sitting both side by side, the Sub Zero was slightly smaller, mostly from front to back, however, the difference was difficult to discern unless looking for it. The most significant difference is in the sole, due to the standard model’s unique raised back for clubhead speed.
The Sub Zero got first chance during my testing and didn’t disappoint, delivering great feel off the clubface and a perfect drive down the 1st hole. When I opted for the standard model, I was equally impressed by a slightly higher, yet strong ball flight, and almost identical sound and feel.
HOW IT PERFORMED: Callaway’s driver offerings in recent years have been extremely good and one would imagine hard to top from a design standpoint for the company’s engineers. Although the MAVRIK models aren’t leaps and bounds better than the previous Epic Flash, there have been multiple small improvements that I really enjoyed.
The love-at-first-hit continued with both models throughout multiple testing sessions but for different reasons.
The standard model is, put simply, extremely easy to hit. The launch is high and extremely consistent. Even on mis-hits my ball flight was in a great window for maximum distance, and when I didn’t hit my best shot the drop off in distance was never significant.
Fractionally higher in sound to my ear, the standard model felt great off the face. A powerful thud is an improvement over some of Callaway’s other recent drivers, while the look at address is confidence-inspiring.
Adjusting the loft and face angle of the MAVRIK produced the expected results, and turning the loft sleeve down one degree and effectively opening the face a little delivered all I could want in a driver. Launching high with low spin, this setup very rarely went left, however, moving the settings around meant I could easily turn the driver over, making it suitable for a range of players.
In comparison, the Sub Zero was a lower launching, lower spinning beast. A piercing flight that never seemed to move off-line on a good strike was a pleasure to watch each time and the slightly more solid feel was fantastic.
With its smaller head shape and made for better players, I found it easier to work the ball with the Sub Zero. However, these same characteristics meant my mis-hits were far more severely punished.
In terms of distance between the two, I was slightly longer with the Sub Zero, around five metres at most, a fact that didn’t surprise me as someone who typically spins the ball a significant amount with driver, and considering some of my testing was done in windy conditions.
Both the MAVRIK and Sub Zero seriously impressed me, even against my own fitted driver. I loved the Sub Zero’s flight on good swings and the feel and look are fantastic, whereas the forgiveness of the standard model was an absolute standout, with a really bad drive not occurring once.
Picking one or the other for me would be a tough decision. My absolute best drives came with Sub Zero that also saw more missed fairways given I don’t quite hit it like a Tour player, in contrast to the ease of the standard model that wasn’t far behind when it came to distance.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: Across the three MAVRIK models, there is a driver for every golfer. The standard will suit the majority of players, while the Sub Zero is designed for better players and the MAX is built for maximum forgiveness with draw bias.
SHAFTS: The Aldila Rogue White, Project X EvenFlow Riptide and UST Mamiya Helium Black are offered in a variety of weight options as standard.
LEFT-HANDED: The MAVRIK and MAVRIK Sub Zero are both offered in 9˚ and 10.5˚, while the MAX model is available in 9˚, 10.5˚ and 12˚.
CALLAWAY SAYS: MAVRIK drivers feature new ‘Flash Face SS20’ architecture, designed by Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), with a more expansive area that delivers ultra-fast ball speeds.
Each driver model’s face is designed to work with the individual specifications of each head to maximise distance. The complexity of each Flash Face SS20 design demands a new and stronger material — FS2S titanium — to allow the ultra-thin design to stand up to the stress of impact, maintaining fast ball speed without compromising clubface integrity.
For the first time engineers used A.I. to create a new internal rib system designed to more efficiently control impact vibration to promote more satisfying sound and feel.
In addition, MAVRIK drivers leverage several proven technologies that are crucial to the overall performance – ‘Jailbreak’ and a ‘T2C triaxial carbon crown’. Jailbreak features two internal bars that connect the sole and crown to promote faster ball speed, and the T2C triaxial carbon crown is significantly lighter to raise moment of inertia (MOI) and forgiveness.
For more information, visit www.callawaygolf.com.au