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Back in 2017, Callaway launched the GBB Epic driver. For the brand, it was a pivotal moment in its progression to become one of the best when it comes to the driver market. The driver featured many pieces of tech that helped it make its way into tour pros’ bags, but one in particular stood out. Jailbreak. That, however, has been replaced by the Ai Smart Face.

Let’s dive in…

What is Jailbreak?

In the simplest terms, Jailbreak is two pieces of metal that sit behind the clubface and connect to the sole and the crown. It helped create very fast ball speeds, and it’s something that’s remained in Callaway drivers ever since. Until now.

Why don’t we have Jailbreak in the Callaway Ai Smoke?

In short, the engineers at Callaway came up with something better. Or rather, they let a super-computer come up with something better for them. If you have the technology, why not use it, right? Artificial Intelligence is having an impact on everything we do these days. The golf clubs we hit are no different. In this case, it’s the Callaway Ai Smart Face. This all came about through Callaway’s testing, which included data from 250,000 golf swings. They called this Swing Code, and gave it to a super-computer. That computer then gave 50,000 different options for a driver face, and Callaway selected this. No Jailbreak? If that’s what works best, so be it.

Callaway Ai Smart Face
Callaway’s engineers used Swing Code to help design the Paradym Ai Smoke range. (Credit: Callaway)

Does the Callaway Ai Smart Face work?

In our testing, this driver performed extremely well for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s very forgiving. Our gear editor James Tait thought it was the straightest line of drivers he had ever hit – quite a claim from a man who has hit virtually every driver released in the last few years. A large part of that forgiveness and consistency is down to the micro deflection points on the clubface. These act like mini sweetspots, so even if you mishit your drive, you’re going to get the ball moving in the right direction.

Callaway Ai Smart Face
The Callaway Ai Smart Face features mini sweetspots, to limit the damage of mishits. (Credit: Callaway)

What does Swing Code measure?

The only thing this measured in golfers was what was happening right at impact. No matter where the club was at the top of the backswing, all that matters is where golfers tend to hit the ball on the face.

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Metrics such as swing speed, club delivery and face orientation are measured to make a driver face that is going to work for every golfer. Yes, even you.

You might think every manufacturer does this but that’s not really the case. Robot testing is the most common way that clubs are designed, and that’s going to produce centre strikes all the time. As we know, even the best golfers on the planet don’t hit the middle all the time. So, why should clubs be designed for a player that does?

Callaway Ai Smart Face Xander Schauffele
The Callaway Ai Smart Face is designed to tighten dispersion for every player. (Credit: Getty Images)

Is this a new phenomenon?

Yes and no. If you’ve been paying attention to what Odyssey, Callaway’s putter wing, has been doing, you’ll know that artificial intelligence is already making an impact there, and with great results, too. But when it comes to drivers, we’ve not seen anything like the Ai Smart Face before.

Let’s talk numbers…

During the process, there was a period of trial and error to ensure that Callaway had the best possible face going into their driver. After 5,000 face iterations, their downrange dispersion covered a total of 85 yards. After 10,000 face iterations, that number was 68 yards. After 50,000 face iterations, they arrived at 33 yards. Basically, the average golfer’s dispersion should be around 30 yards, give or take, with this driver. That sounds good to us.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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