As driver technology continues to improve, 2 manufacturers have set themselves apart from the rest of the pack: Callaway and TaylorMade.
The Callaway Epic was a huge hit in the golf world and acted as a springboard for Callaway to continue to push the limits of driver technology.
The Rogue came around about a year later and this is the comparison of the Callaway Rogue vs Epic as they both helped Callaway to see some of their old “Big Bertha” glory.
The Rogue introduced a new Jailbreak technology that offers great support and stiffness to the face while decreasing the weight of the rods found in the Epic driver by 25%. Jailbreak technology is found in 2 titanium rods connecting the sole and crown of the Rogue driver. In the Epic these rods were linear and heavier, but the Rogue changed to an hourglass shape that provides the stability needed but with much less weight. The weight savings were then used in other parts of the clubhead to maximize ball speed and forgiveness.
Unlike the Epic, the Rogue does not feature an adjustable weighting system. Callaway found that very very few golfers were using the adjustable weighting for fades so the new Rogue Driver is neutral or you can purchase the “Rogue Draw” if you want a 5g heel weight to promote a draw. Again, the weight that was used on the adjustable track is now used to lower the Center of Gravity of the club to promote a higher launch.
While both drivers are 460cc, the Rogue has a bigger imprint and looks more forgiving and easier to hit at address. Rogue also uses the X-Face which means that the variable thickness of the face is varied in an “X” pattern which means that the face is thinner in some parts and thicker in others to promote faster ball speeds across more of the face and less mishits as well.
- Even though they are both 460cc drivers, the Rogue looks bigger and more forgiving at setup.
- The new “Speed Step” arrangement on the crown of the club face reduces drag and streamlines the turbulence around the clubface for higher swing speeds.
- The Jailbreak technology is lighter and better in the Rogue compared to the Epic.
- Weight savings in both the adjustable track and Jailbreak rods allow the Rogue Driver to focus more on forgiveness and swing speed by using those weight gains in other places across the clubhead.
- It is not built for shot shaping or workability.
- It is more expensive than the 2017 Epic driver.
The Epic driver was the first to use Callaway’s Jailbreak technology and every driver manufacturer since has been trying to compete with it. The Jailbreak Technology increased ball speed across a huge area of the club face which also increased distance on off-center and sweet spot shots alike. The added distance was noticeable and the increased forgiveness and larger sweet spot made the Epic one of the best drivers on the market when it came out.
The Epic also features a 17g sliding weight that allows you to fit the club to your swing and change the shape and trajectory of your drives without changing your swing.
Like the Rogue, the Epic features Speed Step technology created by Boeing to make the club as aerodynamic and fast as possible. There are multiple shaft options both in terms of flex, launch, and brand and each option is high end.
- A high launch, low spin design but with some shot shaping features as well.
- When the driver was introduced, it was one of the longest and most sought after on the market.
- The first driver to feature Jailbreak Technology which really set Callaway apart in the driver market for a couple of years and forced other companies to compete with the added distance.
- Great adjustability with a sliding track on the carbon fibre sole so that you can set the face up for a fade or draw with different launch angles.
- While the Epic was very technologically advanced when it hit the market, a few years have gone by and other drivers have surpassed this advantage.
- Lacks the “X” face VFT face technology found on the Rogue, and this is a pretty significant increase in forgiveness and sweet spot size.
Features Face To Face: Callaway Rogue Vs Epic
The main advantage the Epic has over the Rogue in head construction is adjustability. The Epic driver can be transformed from a neutral club to one that promotes a fade or slice easily and quickly and there are also ways to adjust loft and lie as well. In Callaway’s estimation, however, this was not a big advantage for most golfers. They found that strikingly few people actually used the “fade” weighting opting either for neutral or a draw bias. When the Rogue came out, rather than “wasting” weight on adjustability, they offered the Rogue or Rogue Draw and used the weight they saved to make the club more forgiving and longer. The Jailbreak Technology was improved in the Rogue, the X-Face was added, and the Speed Step was a new feature all making the Rogue faster, longer, and more forgiving than the Epic driver.
Both clubs have a wide variety of available stock shafts. In fact, you can find a shaft at 40g, 50g, 60g, and 70g of weight with different manufacturers and styles. The Aldila and Fujikura shafts are well liked, and the Project X HZRDS in the Rogue driver was a favorite for many golfers in the 70g weight. The key is that in both drivers you can find a shaft that fits your swing speed and style.
We love the look of both drivers both at setup and in the bag. They both have a very aerodynamic look and feel to them but the Epic is a little bulkier up and down and the Rogue has a larger profile because it is longer with a wider and shallower face. I would give the edge to the Rogue, but just by a little and just because of personal preference. The longer and seemingly stretched body of the Rogue looks more forgiving at address.
The Rogue is clearly longer and produces more ball speed than the Epic, and this is seen even more clearly on off center and mishits. The X-Face technology greatly increased the size and performance of a large surface area of the Rogue’s face, and the improved jailbreak technology along with the Speed Step made the club slightly longer on center strikes as well. In addition, the Epic produces a little more spin than the Rogue so that the Rogue maintains distance and accuracy better as well. If distance is what you are looking for, the Rogue clearly outperforms the Epic almost across the board.
Launch is another area where the Rogue has a clear advantage over the Epic. With the weight savings found in taking away the adjustability track of the Epic, the Rogue was able to use that weight to move the Center of Gravity down and to the back of the club head. This lowered center of gravity increased the launch angle of the Rogue when loft is equal and both clubs feature adjustable lofts.
While they are both low spin, high distance drivers, the Epic provides more shot shaping characteristics than the Rogue. The main advantage comes in the ability to adjust the weight in the sole of the Epic while that same feature does not exist with the Rogue. While spin rates are slightly higher for the Epic in general, the ability to promote a draw or fade simply by adjusting the weights mean that there will be increased spin rates in those directions when the weight is changed.
They have a very similar sound and feel, and it would be difficult to distinguish between the 2 if you could close your eyes during your swing. The Rogue is a little more aerodynamic and a little faster, so that does add a little to the sound and feel at impact. In general, however, there is not much difference between the 2.
At this point, you can find both of these drivers at discount prices so there is not a huge difference between the 2, especially if you are ok with pre-owned models. If you were to look at regularly priced items, the Rogue was actually a less expensive driver in general than the Epic, but there have been a few different iterations of the Epic driver since the one described in this article. Remember, when it came out, the Epic driver was one of the most technologically advanced out there, and the Rogue had the benefit of using many of those features and improving on them in different places.
Standout Features of The Callaway Rogue Vs Epic
If you want a driver that has easily adjustable weights that allow you to promote draws or fades depending on your game, then the Epic has a clear advantage over the Rogue in this department. You can purchase a Rogue Draw that moves the weight a little toward the heel of the face so that a draw is promoted on every shot, but that is not the same as having a driver that can help you change your ball flight by the simple slide of a weight. Most golfers fight a natural fade/slice and therefore desire a driver that helps to fix that. If that is you, then the Rogue driver or Rogue Draw will suffice. However, if you want the flexibility and adjustability to change the ball flight of your driver without changing your swing, the adjustability track on the Epic driver is a great feature.
Most golfers want as much distance from their driver as they can possibly get. In fact, if you polled 100 golfers on what they wanted most from their driver, I am guessing ball speed and distance would be the no. 1 thing they are looking for almost unanimously. With that said, the Rogue driver produces more clubhead speed, ball speed, and distance than the Epic driver. The increases in technology discussed above have clearly set the Rogue driver above the Epic in this feature, and even a few yards here and there are important to most golfers.
If adjustability and shot shaping goes to the Epic and distance goes to the Rogue, we need a tie breaking feature. Forgiveness is that feature, and it is one of the most important aspects of a driver. It is also another area where the Rogue driver clearly has an advantage over the Epic. The X-Face VFT face of the Rogue driver alone would give it a much bigger sweet spot and more forgiveness than the Epic, but there is more. The Rogue has a higher MOI with more weight down and back in the clubhead which means that it will not twist at impact and it will let the improved technology of the driver perform at optimal levels.
Final Thoughts On The Callaway Rogue Vs Epic Drivers
Simply stated, the Rogue was Callaway’s attempt to improve upon the massive success of the Epic Driver, and their attempt was a success. The Rogue has almost all of the same features that made the Epic great, but improved upon and added to those features as well.
While the Epic has the edge in adjustability, the vast majority of golfers do not need that in their driver. Most golfers just want to be able to hit the ball long and straight, and the Rogue and the Rogue Draw do that better than the Epic.