Callaway’s new Great Big Bertha Epic driver series was officially released last Friday, and I can already report from first-hand experience, that it’s exactly what everyone was predicting it would be: epic (please excuse the pun and allow me to explain).
We recently hosted a nine-person, appointment-only fitting at La Paloma Country Club in the days leading up to the product launch, and promptly went nine-for-nine! Everyone who tried the new driver that day decided to buy it.
In fact, the event was so successful and the feedback was so positive, we thought we might have enough interest to fill a second, appointment-only fitting session a little more than a week later.
We guessed correctly, and word of the fitting spread so quickly, we had to form a waiting list. It eventually got to the point where we had to start the fitting an hour earlier than previously scheduled, and members started sharing their 30-minute time slots in order to give their spouses or fellow members the chance to get properly fitted because all the blocks were full.
We even had to politely decline calls from members of neighboring clubs who had heard about the fitting and wanted to get in on the action.
When the tees finally stopped flying at the 2nd fitting, we had sold 17 more pieces, a combination of both drivers and fairway woods! Even though they couldn’t get fitted that day, some members still decided to buy it because they’d heard how great it was. Again, practically everyone who tried the new Callaway Epic purchased it.
I haven’t been in the golf industry all that long, but I’ve never seen anything like this, and according to the people I’ve talked to, they haven’t either. I guess I can say I’m surprised, but I probably shouldn’t be. This is exactly what I wrote about after attending Callaway’s Epic launch event in Scottsdale back in early December. The company was almost giddy about the product’s upcoming release.
The reason is this: Callaway found a way to put two thin titanium rods immediately behind the center of the face. This “Jailbreak” technology not only stiffens the body and allows for greater deflection in the face, it results in increased ball speeds for every player, regardless of swing speed. And that means more distance. Every mile per hour increase in ball speed equates to 2-3 more yards in distance.
Rory McIlroy recently switched to the Callaway Epic driver even though the company’s not paying him to do so. You can read about his decision here. McIlroy’s playing it for free and can walk away at any time. But chances are, he won’t. Rumor has it that he picked up six miles per hour in ball speed. Do the math. That’s almost 20 extra yards, and that could amount to a whole lot of extra prize money.