Callaway GBB Epic Driver Review

Callaway GBB Epic Driver Review

Mathias Hamnvik

5/5 Stars

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    The Jailbreak Technology allows for top industry distance and forgiveness across the face, making your average driving distance increase (verified in testing).
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    A slick and cool look, with a nice color combination.
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    Great options for adjustability, especially for greater carry distance with higher loft.
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    Solid options in quality shafts, at no extra charge as well as neutral or draw swing bias.


  • The only real downside we could find to the Epic, is that is does not allow for a fade option in adjustments. The price is also fairly steep, but then again, if you want a great driver these days it does come with a price tag.

Callaway has now brought new life to the Great Big Bertha driver. The latest version is the Great Big Bertha Epic. This driver comes in two versions, the standard GBB Epic, which I will start off by analyzing, and the Epic Sub Zero which is designed for the slightly better player. More information about the Sub Zero will be found further down this page.

Distance & Forgiveness

The Great Big Bertha was wildly popular back in the day. Callaway is now bringing back the legend in a modern stylish looking driver with the latest of their technology, the groundbreaking Jailbreak technology which allows the clubface to be thinner and produce more ball speed, especially on off-center hits. A lot of the pure sweet spot hit distance is maxed out these days, due to the industry standard limitations set by the USGA.

When you think about it, off-center hits are just as important, if not more important to get max distance from, as they account for over 50% of hits in good golfers. This means that the average golfer is way above that again, on off-center hits, with about 60-70% of hits being off-center on the clubface. So for a lot of drivers these days, including the GBB Epic, it really comes down to maxing out on forgiveness in the clubhead, so that your average drive becomes longer.

Sweet spot hits are among the top in the industry with the GBB Epic, while forgiveness across the face is really what this driver brings to the table in terms of distance for both the average golfer and the more advanced player. Most players will see an increase in overall distance, especially if their last driver is 3 years old or more, as technology is constantly pushing the limits of what golfers can do off the tee.

The Jailbreak Technology

In short, this ground-breaking technology from Callaway helps you get more overall distance on your average drive. The clubface is more flexible across the face than before, which provides higher ball speed (verified in tests). The technology used to accomplish this is a set of two bars on the inside of the face, going vertically down from the top of the head, to the bottom. This adds stability and strength to the face, while allowing the overall thickness of the face to be thinner, thus giving more flexibility and a better "bounce" off the face at impact. This ultimately results in better ball speed.

This is the essence of what Callaway's Jailbreak Technology is all about, and if you wondered about the name, it's derived from the two bars used in the technology, just like jail cell bars, and that's how they made up the name for the marketing of the Epic. No matter, a good feat in driver technology that is surely worth noticing from Callaway. Users who have tested it report an increase in ball flight of up to 1.7 mph, resulting in 5+ yards increase in overall driving distance. That is something most players would be happy to take any day, making this a worthy candidate among the better drivers for 2017 and 2018.


The standard version of the GBB Epic has plenty of adjustability. Lie angle options include: Draw or neutral. Those are fair options, as many players struggle more with too much fade or slice than they do with hooks.

The loft of the Epic can be adjusted with +2 degrees up from the stated driver loft, or -1 degrees down. I think this is a smart move from Callaway, and it will also help you as a player, since these days, the way to bomb it long is to play the ball high into the air, with slightly less spin. As long as you have a decent shaft that fits your swing, you should be able to carry this out well, by adding some loft to your driver. On rainy days that would also give you more distance as you will have a better carry distance, with a higher ball flight.

All in all, you get the most essential features necessary for a good driver game with the adjustments offered in the GBB Epic.

Look, Sound and Feel

The Callaway GBB Epic has a slick and cool look. It uses black coating over the top of the driver, with the classic Callaway marker to pinpoint the sweet spot, and the driver uses cool looking bright green colors mixed with black on the design underneath the club head. Overall I would say Callaway has done a great job with the design, giving the Epic an appealing look most golfers will be happy with. 

The sound is slightly lower in this driver, but with distinct power. This is more normal nowadays, with carbon club heads in several of the top models. It is still very clear when you have hit the sweet spot when it comes to the sound feedback.

It has a solid feel, and off-center hits feel slightly better than expected due to the overall great forgiveness that is offered in the Epic.

Driver Specifications

The specs are fairly normal for this driver and offer what you as a customer most likely need and want. The shaft length is 45.5 inches. The loft is offered in 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees. Again giving plenty of options for enough loft. Remember you can also adjust loft -1 down or +2 degrees up. The driverhead swing weight is classified as D3, which is fairly average and should work well for most players. The club head is 460 CC, with a lie angle of 58 degrees.

Shaft Options

  •  Mitsubishi Diamana (Green) M+ 40 Graphite - Light/Regular Flex 
  •  Mitsubishi Diamana (Green) M+ 50 Graphite - Light/Regular/Stiff Flex
  •  Project X HZRDUS T800 55 Graphite - Light/Regular/Stiff Flex
  •  Fujikura Pro Green 62 Graphite - Regular/Stiff/XStiff Flex
  •  Aldila Rogue Max 65 Graphite - Regular/Stiff Flex
  • Aldila Rogue Max 75 Graphite - Regular/Stiff/XStiff Flex

To get a shaft that suits your swing the best, it would be advisable to speak with a teaching professional or club fitter for specific advice to your game.

Customer Feedback


"Best GBB yet!

I am a 66 yr old retired lawyer with 95 to 102 Clubhead speed and have played Callaway drivers since the original big bertha. I love this jailbreak head and it is everything that that it is being advertised to be."

Bootheel Bomber

"Best driver ever

I have played golf for more than 30 years. The last few years, regardless of which driver I hit, the results were very similar. So I was skeptical when I tried the epic. I also was not unhappy with my Ping G30. I did not expect what happened. The Epic is even easier to swing and I am hitting it 10 to 15 yards farther.

I bought it"


"I never buy clubs without hitting them outside on the range first. I hit this in our clubs simulator, and ordered one.

I get new wedges and a driver every two years. I was sure it was going to be a new M2, until my pro asked me to hit the Epic in our clubs simulator. At the first fitting the #'s were so different between the different drivers we were trying that I rescheduled, so I would start fresh.
Well the Epic is on order for me, I live in the North East, and want it in my bag when we finally get the greens open. 
& I asked my pro to push the "other" drivers to the guys in my golf group."


"Best Driver I've Owned

I Chose the GBB Epic to replace my Taylormade R11s driver. The R11s has very good distance and feel but I had some difficulty hitting fairways with it. I researched all the new drivers for 2017 and decided on the Epic. The first time I took it to the course I noticed how easy it was to hit fairways. (Problem Solved) The epic is extremely forgiving with stable ball flight. Its the easiest to hit driver that I've ever used. Also, you can count on getting the maximum distance that your swing speed will allow."


All in all, this is one of the better drivers that have come out lately, and we are proud to give it a 5 out of 5 star rating. Yes, it does have a fair price tag, but so do most drivers these days that are top performers. What really makes this driver unique is its ability to deliver off the club face, and especially on off-center hits. Like we mentioned before, more than 50% of most golfers club face hits are not in the center of the club, so it does really pay off to have those off-center hits go the maximum distance as well.

It would be advisable to go for this driver unless you are a high level or tournament player—in that case, the Callaway GBB Epic SubZero might be a better fit as it maxes out what you can do as a golfer if you are more consistent at hitting the sweet spot. All in all the Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic is a great driver that should bring a smile to the face of many golfers.

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Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero

This driver is designed for the slightly better player, giving up some forgiveness for more distance from consistent sweet spot hits. It also does not offer shot shape adjustability, something better players often don't use, or need, in any case. If you are a low handicap player or a tournament golfer, this driver might be a better fit for you.

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About the author

Mathias Hamnvik

Former junior elite player, 0.6 hcp currently, three times club champion - on my way towards +hcp and bringing you along for the ride!