Callaway MAVRIK Driver Review

Introduction.

In this post we look at the MAVRIK range from Callaway, there are a few models in this range so we will focus on the standard MAVRIK. Callaway are amongst the top brands when looking at golf equipment in general, they have acquired iconic ambassadors over the years such as Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk as well as a large number of major winners including Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett. They know how to build high quality equipment and they do it well.

Let’s talk tech.

Now let’s talk about the big dog… they have ditched the sliding weight at the back of the head as seen in the ‘Epic Flash’ and have now gone for a standard design with less adjustability. This is for the better really as the previous sliding weight made very little difference to the overall performance of the club, this is the biggest change alongside the “new shape “. This leads us to the three biggest tech features that make the driver one of the best on the market today.

The shape.

The head now promotes their new ‘Cyclone Aero Shape’ which promises to reduce drag and increase club head speed which in turn allows you to hit the ball further. We’ve heard it before but in reality, picking up 1 or 2 mph club head speed does not mean you will be hitting it like ‘Phil the thrill Mickelson’ but it does mean the club feels easy to swing and it sits naturally and flush at address. The shape makes the driver seem more compact without looking small, and for those low handicap golfers, picking up a bit more speed may be the key to switching it up.  The shape is actually a nice touch, although there is some science behind the key performance improvements, this “new revolutionary shape” is not going to change the game for good as their marketing may well promise. It does however offer a lovely looking driver that feels great throughout the swing, this is because you can actually feel where the head is in the back swing and through the down swing, whereas in comparison some other brands do not offer quite as much feel and seem difficult to go at. In summary it looks great, feels nice and sits square behind the ball so no arguments here, except the marketing I guess…

The Face.

The A.I. (Artificial intelligence) designed ‘Flash Face’ has been developed to provide faster ball speeds coming off the face, the idea is that the face is made from a high strength titanium that’s lighter, thinner and has a ripple like effect on the opposite side of the face to increase forgiveness, speed and improve robustness. Now it’s difficult to measure if the benefits are really there unless you have a trackman or GC2 launch monitor, so we have conducted a test ourselves with a trackman. The results in summary proved a marginal increase in ball speed which would not be noticed on the course, this is mainly because the previous Callaway models like the Epic Flash, the Rogue and the epic are all excellent drivers and have been for a long time. Yes, there is an increase in performance but again it is not revolutionary as their previous models offer excellent performance numbers as well. However, if you are looking for a driver, do not discount the MAVRIK and go for an older model as the forgiveness levels that we noticed from this driver were a league above the rest. The closest comparison would be the rogue but the MAVRIK offered exceptional feel, distance and forgiveness so it can easily be considered a market leading driver. I have always felt Callaway make the best all-around drivers as they score highly in each category of forgiveness, distance, feel, accuracy and so on. So in summary, the A.I. designed face is not necessarily a gimmick as it does offer marginally better ball speeds, it is however quite difficult for Callaway to promise massive improvements because their previous models have all been very good.

Jailbreak Technology.

The jailbreak features two internal bars that sit just behind the face connecting the sole and crown on the driver, this feature offers… you guess it! faster ball speeds and a higher level of forgiveness. Now the ball speed may be a result of this feature but every feature Callaway boasts tries to increase ball speed, therefore I am associating this design feature with forgiveness! So this is meant to strengthen the driver head and offer better forgiveness and increased ball speeds on those off centred hits and in honesty I do think it works. Since Callaway introduced this feature I have always thought the feel had improved and the off centre shots (which I can do many of…) were never as bad as I would have expected them to be. Since the introduction of Jailbreak Tech, the feel off the face has been excellent and it definitely feels like a driver which you can really step on to get those extra yards when its needed.

Summary.

Overall, it is safe to say Callaway know what they are doing when making new drivers. The MAVRIK is (as the previous few models from Callaway have been) a fantastic all-around driver that covers every area of the game well. It offers great distance, forgiveness, speed, feel and a range of options that suits a wide variety of golfers. This driver is an absolute must try when considering a new bag addition… there are many comparisons out there but I find this one does it all well. The price is by no means cheap and definitely on the expensive side, however all clubs are moving in that direction so it is clear that in order to buy quality you will need to part with a bit more cash, but in this case it is definitely quality that you will receive. Give it a go and let us know in the comments what your thoughts are.

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