Hadwin Tames the Snake Pit

Without question the best known, and as far as I know the only professional golfer born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, is Adam Hadwin. Though a non-winner until Sunday he had posted a 59 in the third round of the Career Builder Challenge back in January so the win of the Valspar Championship was not a surprise.

Valspar is played over the very difficult Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., where the 29-year old was able to overcome second place finisher Patrick Cantlay by one shot with a -14 total. The Copperhead has a tough three hole stretch—15, 16 and 17—tagged the Snake Pit that every year seems to be the key to victory. Hadwin was even par on those holes for the four rounds including a double bogey six on 16 in the fourth round when he hit his tee shot into the water while Cantlay was one over par for the week in the Snake Pit…the same margin as Hadwin’s victory.

Callaway Golf staffer Hadwin plays the Great Big Bertha Epic, the driver that has been creating so much comment due to its unique construction.

Valspar Championship

Callaway’s Epic Sole Driver

Epic has a sliding sole weight to adjust fade/draw bias—21 yards according to Dr. Alan Hocknell, senior vice president of research and development—and the body of the clubhead which is an “exo-cage” of titanium. This looks like a metal skeleton and the areas in between are filled with something called triaxial carbon where the carbon fibers are laid down at 60 degrees to each other producing lots of strength with very little weight. For example the crown weighs only 9.7 grams which is the lightest they have ever produced.

The entire Epic clubhead surface is 46% carbon fiber creating with the titanium a lightweight stiff structure leaving lots of weight that can be used to increase adjustability. In addition to the sliding sole weight there is also a loft adjustable hosel, the same design used on previous models.

Valspar Championship

Callaway’s Epic Driver Tech

But what has caught everyone’s attention are the two titanium bars inside the clubhead just behind the face that are attached to the crown and the sole. Callaway calls it “Jailbreak” technology and at impact they keep the crown and sole from bulging outward. This concentrates more energy in the face giving added it flex and more ball speed.

The Epic is the best-selling driver so far this year in the United States. A low-spin version of the Epic, the Sub Zero, with a slightly taller clubface, has the same construction but uses interchangeable sole weights rather than the sliding weight.

Hadwin’s equipment for his Valspar Championship win:

Driver – Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic-10.5 degrees (MRC Diamana D+ 70x shaft) Fairway wood – Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic-13.5 degrees (MRC Diamana D+ 72x shaft) Hybrid – Callaway X Hot Pro-18 degrees (Matrix Ozik Altus Hybrid shaft) Irons – 3-iron Callaway Apex Utility, 5-iron through pitching wedge Callaway MB 2014 model (Project X 7.0 shafts) Wedges – Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind 52-, 56- and 60 degrees (True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue shafts) Putter – Odyssey Tank Cruiser V-Line Ball – Callaway Chrome Soft X



Hadwin is getting married in two weeks but with a spot in the Masters earned with his Valspar win, he and his fiancée will postpone the honeymoon so he can play in Augusta.

The Canadian is the first to win with the combination of the Great Big Bertha Epic driver and Callaway’s Chrome Soft X ball.

The GBB Epic driver is the same one Hadwin used to shoot 59 at La Quinta in only the third round he played with it.

Despite the winner using a Callaway Chrome Soft X ball, as they do every week Titleist won the ball count with 100 players playing the Pro V1/Pro V1x.

Images courtesy of Callaway Golf