The Callaway Mavrik range has landed, and like a passing fighter jet, they have made people stop and pay attention. The new Mavrik irons replace the Rogue series, with Callaway looking to maintain their title as the top selling irons manufacturer of the past five years.
What's It All About?
Callaway has again invested in Artificial Intelligence, in the form of a 'super-computer', to help with research and development for the Mavrik range. Last year this computer came up with the Flash Face Technology which was put into the Epic Flash Driver, and this year it has made the move into the irons for the first time.
Flash Face Cup creates a unique and sophisticated 'face architecture' for every single loft across three new iron models for 2020. this might I add, is an engineering feat which has never been seen before in the golf industry, once again highlighting Callaway's boundary pushing 'maverick' mentality.
There are thinner areas around the edge of the face, with a thicker, circular cup around the centre. This is supposed to significantly increase ball speed and improve spin robustness. No, I don't know what that means either, but if I was a betting girl, I would say you're getting more consistent spin...
A Tungsten Energy core is placed in the back cavity, which allows the centre of gravity to be shifted into the best position for each iron head to help with the desired launch and ball flight.
It also explains how Callaway are still able to get plenty of launch whilst making their iron lofts stronger.
Another area that the A.I. has worked on is the sound, and Callaway has introduced urethane microspheres which hold the tungsten in place whilst absorbing vibrations to create a sound and feel more familiar with a forged iron than a game-improvement model.
There are three club models available in the family:
This is aimed at the better player, but is still more than useable for the average golfer too. As a result, the heads are smaller and more compact, with less offset and a thinner topline to aid looks and workability.
This is the iron that will suit the majority of golfers. With the strongest lofts in the range, they feature a bigger head, thicker topline, larger face and longer shaft length in comparison to the Pro.
Slightly bigger and more offset than the standard iron, with the same lofts as the Pro. This club is the ultimate performance iron in terms of launch and forgiveness. It also features the same longer shafts than the Pro, helping to generate a little more speed and distance for golfers who struggle in that department.
Our Mavrik Irons appeal to a wide range of players, with incredibly fast ball speeds from A.I and our Flash Face architecture for long, consistent distance.
The Mavrik Max Irons are built for total distance with a larger body and a deeper CG for increased forgiveness and easy launch.
I took the Callaway Mavrik and Mavrik Irons to Prestbury Golf Club for some thorough on-course testing, comparing the performance of the two irons from a variety of different lies and also testing how they performed when wind is factored in, especially considering their 'high-launch' characteristics. I also wanted to see how the game-improvement irons reacted when hitting the greens. Would they stop up quickly or would I be rummaging around in the bush over the back every time?
I then headed to Trafford Golf Centre in Manchester to use their Flightscope launch monitor, collecting some extra data on each club's distances and ball flights in order to see whether they lived up to Callaway's promises. Let's see how they got on...
Callaway Mavrik Irons Review
Putting the Mavrik iron down next to the Mavrik Pro it was clear to see that this was a much larger footprint, with a higher toe and squarer features.
There was a little bit of offset and it was definitely what I was expecting to see when I thought 'Callaway game-improvement iron'.
The Mavrik irons actually sounded very good for an iron of this size, particularly when compared to the Ping G710 which I tested recently and sit in a similar game-improvement/premium position in the iron market. This could be down to the urethane microspheres that Callaway are using in the Mavrik range to dampen vibrations at impact.
It's a slightly different sound than the Mavrik Pro, probably due to the slightly larger head size, but they also produced a fast feeling as the ball came off the face. In true Callaway-style, and much like the Callaway EPIC Forged irons - these things really are rockets!
When I started testing these irons at Trafford Golf Centre I had to stop and check whether the launch monitor was broken, because the numbers were incredible!
I hit my second shot of the day 161 yards carry, 169 yards total, with a 7 iron!
Ok, the loft is closer to a 6 iron, and so was the shaft length, but the spin rate and peak height were exactly where you'd expect them to be with a 7 iron, something which wasn't the case with the aforementioned EPIC Forged irons I reviewed last year.
This is important, as it means your chances of stopping the ball on the green with these mid-to-long irons are increased. I felt liked I'd gained a club in distance, but not experienced any chance to my trajectory.
Using the 7 iron my ball speed was up to LPGA average of 104mph, with the spin touching 6000rpm and a peak height of almost 32 yards which was reassuring.
I also found that the consistency of the irons was impressive too, with the ball speed and distance remaining relatively high even when I didn't catch these irons out of the middle. This perhaps suggest that the Flash Face Cup is working to maintain the ball speeds across the face, as testing proved it only dropped down 2mph below average on the mishits.
Out on the course, this can have a real positive effect as it means the mishit is more likely to still catch the front of the green, rather than hit the water or bunker in front.
Despite the slight offset look I also found that I didn't lose too many shots to the left either, which again is reassuring. So these clubs fly high, long and are pretty forgiving too. Sounds pretty good, right?
Callaway Mavrik Max Irons Review
At address there is hardly any really difference between this iron and the standard Mavrik, with just a slightly rounder head and a touch more offset. There isn't much difference to tell with the topline whatsoever.
One downside which I experienced throughout the whole Mavrik range was that, whilst the shiny chrome heads did look great to begin with, they did start to mark up a little after just one day of having them in the bag.
Not what you'd want to see shortly after spending up to £1,000 on these irons depending on your shaft choice and set makeup.
Once you start hitting the Mavrik Max iron you start to get more of the typical game-improvement sound that you'd expect from an iron of this size.
The ball also seemed to come off the face a little more 'spinny' - for want of a more technical term, and I think this actually hampered forgiveness a little.
You'd think that this bigger head size would be much more easy to hit but this 'spinny' feeling made it seem that the mishits may end up floating a little and you'd be potentially punished more - I just felt they were harder to control.
I knew pretty quickly that these irons weren't really for me, and this showed by looking at my dispersion during range testing. The first two shots at the range went left way left.
The offset had me fighting the over-draws and so I ended up overcompensating and consistently missing right - so I can only imagine that these clubs would only really suit golfers who really struggle with slicing/overfading the ball.
My ball speed was the same as both the Pro and standard models, at 102 mph, and the distance was pretty similar with a slightly higher peak height. The 6200rpm spin rate was marginally higher, though this is probably because the lofts are not quite as strong.
Out on the course, the club felt stable and got through the turf well, particularly when hitting out of the rough. However when hitting into the wind I did struggle to keep the ball low without losing it to the left.
High, left and spinny became a bit of a recurring theme throughout my on-course testing at Prestbury GC - not an ideal combination in iron play.
Callaway Mavrik Irons Verdict
Having tested all three irons in the Mavrik range, I completely understand the Pro and the standard Mavrik but the Max just doesn’t seem necessary to me. I asked a 5 handicap golfer to tell me which iron he thought would be the 'Max' model and he actually picked the Mavrik.
Looks-wise there is nothing in it, and performance wise the Mavrik gives you so much more. It is long, forgiving and really easy to launch - basically everything you'd want from a game-improvement iron.
There is no need for the Max in my opinion. If you are a golfer who wants to hit an 8 iron when everyone else hits a 7, then this Mavrik is for you. The best thing is the sound is so good and the flight high that nobody will say “yeah but it flies like a 7 iron”. Plus, the forgiveness is more than good enough that you don't need to go for the bigger head.
I always wondered why I had different faces in my wedges but the same face in all of my other seven irons. Fair play to Callaway for attempting to rectify this with their different face in each club through the bag.
If I was to rate this separately, I'd give the Mavrik irons 5 stars and the Max 3 stars. As I'm reviewing them together, it'll have to be 4. All in all, a job well done which could see Callaway attain the spot at the top of the irons tree.
Mavrik Iron Pros
Mavrik Iron Cons
Mavrik Max Iron Pros
Mavrik Max Iron Cons
No more forgiving than the Mavrik
Less distance than the Mavrik
Chrome head marks too easily