“First Impressions” Review – Callaway Golf MAVRIK Driver

About two weeks before the 2020 PGA Show I wrote an article that speculated about what the MAVRIK (and MAVRIK Sub Zero drivers might be like. That article can be seen here MAVRIK Speculation. In that article, it was my assertion when I had asked one simple question towards the end. It read like this…

Is MAVRIK “Rogue-like” with Flash Face Technology?

At the 2020 PGA Show, I would answer that question at Demo Day.

As far as I’m concerned, the Epic Flash (EF) was near perfection. It featured pretty good looks, a powerful sound at impact, and the ballflight was long and strong. It was a runner-up for the “Top Driver” Teezy Award in 2019. So the MAVRIK had pretty big shoes to fill.

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The Set-Up

When looking at the MAVRIK family of drivers head-to-head against the last couple of drivers that Callaway Golf has produced there are some similarities. Technologies like their long-standing “OptiFit Hosel” and “Jailbreak Technology” come to mind. Introduced in 2019 “Flash Face Technology” returns. Flash Face Technology, was the incorporation of using A.I (Artificial Intelligence) in determining the perfect face to match the rest of the design. Using A.I expedites the process of developing prototypes. In fact, A.I allowed Callaway Golf R&D to come up with 15,000 prototypes in 2019.

For 2020, Callaway Golf developed Flash Face SS20. This new face promotes higher ball speeds across a larger surface area. Callaway Golf used “FS2S titanium, an extremely strong material that’s 6 grams lighter than traditional titanium” which further aids in providing optimal speed and forgiveness. T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown is a very lightweight carbon fiber. The weight savings in employing something like a lighter carbon fiber allows engineers to place more weight in more strategic places. Like low and back, to help with forgiveness and allow for the easier launch of the golf ball. A couple of grams doesn’t sound like much. But in terms of R&D with golf equipment, It translates to a lot of weight.

The MAVRIK is offered in three heads. The MAVRIK, MAVRIK Sub Zero, and the MAVRIK MAX. The Sub Zero features two interchangeable weights to fine-tune your trajectory, whereas the MAX is their easiest to swing and is the most-forgiving of the line-up . The MAX also features two interchangeable weights, but the difference is that they are adjustable for forgiveness or to make it very draw-biased.

There are three stock shafts offered with the MAVRIK line-up.

  1. UST HELIUM BLACK – 40g
  2. PROJECT X EVEN FLOW RIPTIDE – 40g/50g/60g
  3. ALDILA ROGUE WHITE 130 MSI – 60g/70g

Shafts are very important, and choosing the right one is absolutely vital as you will see.

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The Transition

I visited the Callaway Golf booth a little bit later in the day at Demo Day. By the time that I had gotten there, it was pretty quiet and I had no issue stepping in and making swings. The wind at their booth was blowing hard from left to right.

I really liked the overall looks of MAVRIK. MAVRIK features an orange/white color scheme reminiscent of the X2 Hot. The crown looks sharp because of the carbon fiber crown and it glimmered in the Florida sunshine. The orange and white accents are tastefully done on the trailing edge and look smart. The “Chevron” alignment aid on the leading edge of the crown is typically there and gone is the white line “a third” of the way back as there was on EF (I never did understand it. Maybe to frame the golf ball?). In all, the crown is relatively clean. Flipping it over, consumers are going to notice the MAVRIK on the racks in stores. MAVRIK is bold in block lettering, while the white “pin-stripes” on the sole makes MAVRIK look fast, while it sits still.

The drivers that I tested at Demo Day were the MAVRIK and MAVRIK Sub Zero variants. At the time, I was not aware of the MAX version. I opted to go with 60-gram Stiff flex shafts in both heads using both the Aldila Rogue and the PX Even Flow RipTide. I won’t lie to you. It was a struggle.

The MAVRIK looks real nice in the address position and I noticed one thing right away on the first pass. The sound is definitely different in comparison to EF. With the EF you knew when you made square contact. There was some “sound” to it. Not overly so in my opinion but just enough to let you know that the ball was “hit”. The MAVRIK is more muted. Depending on the golfer, this might be preferred. My first several swings were a mixed bag of results. Some penetrated and went straight. Others were quite wayward (high and right) Maybe it was me getting tired, maybe it was the wind, or maybe it was a combination of both. I was perplexed. At one point, I thought that Callaway Golf made a mistake with MAVRIK.

Before walking away, I re-visited a couple of other clubs that I put swings on with and then went back to the driver. Unknowingly, I grabbed a MAVRIK Sub Zero with an X-Stiff Aldila Rogue in 70-grams. It wasn’t until afterward that I realized my “mistake”. The first swing was met with a feeling of force and power. The golf ball flew straight. It was an eye-opener. I teed up another golf ball and it was more of the same. The feel and acoustics of the head at impact was powerful, hot, and muted. Not in a “ho-hum” kind of way just sort of surprising. You know that you put a good swing on with it,  but the muted acoustics hid the fact that the golf ball was traveling a long way. Swing after swing produced the same kind of ballflight that I look for in a driver. The reality is that MAVRIK produced some fantastic results with a wind that was not complimentary.

mav3

The Finish

It’s amazing. By accident, the MAVRIK went from “zero” to “hero”. I would love an extended on-course look at this driver. There might be a degree of truth to my assertion that it’s “Rogue-like”. But, it’s far better than Rogue.

Getting the proper shaft is vital no matter the club or manufacturer. This “First Impression” made that abundantly clear. The mistake that I made in accidentally grabbing a heavier, more stout shaft ended up being a saving grace. It took some work and a mistake to find the right combination. I’m glad that had happened.

The net result is that MAVRIK is a “stick” that provides a lot of pop, albeit in an understated way. It’s muted. Think of it as a stealthy assassin. You may not hear it but when it sneaks up on you and is unleashed it “kills”. MAVRIK is easy to launch and is a head that offers lower spin. The MAVRIK driver found its way into the Teezy Awards discussion for “Top Driver”.

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Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

 

 

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