Today I’ll be reviewing the Callaway MAVRIK MAX fairway wood.
The MAX is the most forgiving model in Callaway’s MAVRIK line of fairway woods. It has the largest head and adds two interchangeable weights that can increase MOI and introduce a draw bias.
So, how well does the MAVRIK MAX fairway wood actually perform on the course? Should higher handicaps choose it over other MAVRIK models?
Read on to find out everything you need to know…
What are the reviews like?
As with the other models of the MAVRIK fairway wood, the MAX has earned a gold medal on the 2020 Golf Digest Hot List.
It turns out that the MAX is a very popular fairway wood for average golfers — more popular than the Sub Zero and probably even more popular than the standard model. People tend to have a lot of success with the MAX.
It currently has an excellent 5/5 (100% recommended) average rating on the Callaway website and perfect scores from many of the more prominent equipment reviewers.
What People Like
- very easy to hit
- very hot face
- high launch that is useful out of bad lies
- very solid feel
- adjustable weighting allows for some flexibility to accommodate different swings
What People Don’t Like
- some people don’t like the very large footprint
- natural drawers and fast swingers can struggle with the ball flight
What are the features?
The MAVRIK MAX has most of the same features as the standard MAVRIK fairway wood:
- Flash Face SS20 w/ C300 Steel: the Flash Face SS20 is built from A.I. and maximizes ball speed across the face. It’s tailored for each loft and is made with very strong forged C300 maraging steel.
- Face Cup: allows the face to flex and increase ball speed.
- Jailbreak Technology: vertical bars behind the face that connect the crown and sole, placing more impact load on the face and increasing ball speeds.
- T2C Triaxial Carbon: a very light carbon triaxial fabric that allows for maximum weight savings. This weight is redistributed in the head to improve performance.
- Optimized Leading Edge Geometry: improves launch and performance.
The two key differences lie in the head size and weighting.
First, the MAVRIK MAX has a substantially larger footprint at every loft; for example, 200 CC for the 3-wood compared to 174 CC for the standard. This is meant to make it easier to hit.
Next, two interchangeable weights (2g and 14g) are positioned in the sole near the rear and heel, just like with the MAX driver. This allows you to adjust forgiveness and shot shape bias: place the 14g weight in the back for max forgiveness and more spin, or place it in the heel for max draw bias (ideal for slicers and faders).
The MAVRIK MAX fairway wood is available from 3W (LL) through 11W, along with a Heavenwood, over a loft range of 13.5° to 25°. Also available is the women’s MAVRIK MAX from 3W-11W and 15° to 25°.
Clearly, there are more high loft options with the MAX compared to the standard model, which is expected since those who would want to use the MAX probably need more help getting the ball up in the air.
As with the other models, an OptiFit hosel is not included.
The stock graphite shafts are the Project X EvenFlow Riptide 60/70 and UST Mamiya Helium Black 4/5. The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet ALIGN Grey. There are hundreds of custom shaft and grip options to choose from.
Full information on the fairway wood, shafts, grips and customization options can be found on the Callaway website.
Below are the specs of the MAVRIK MAX fairway wood. Click to enlarge.
How does the fairway wood perform?
In my review of the standard MAVRIK fairway wood, I praised the distance as being amazingly good. This was due to the hot face, high launch, and relatively low spin.
The MAX nearly matches this performance, but it depends on where you have the sole weights.
With the 14g weight in the back, you have more stability and forgiveness, but a slightly higher launch and higher spin that leads to about 10 yards less distance on average.
With the 14g weight in the heel, the distance is nearly identical to the standard model. You may even hit it farther if you get a draw shape since, as you likely know, draws naturally tend to go farther.
As for mis-hits, they still perform extremely well. If you make contact low on the face, for example, you can get ball speed numbers that are almost identical to sweet-spot strikes, which is just awesome.
One of the main benefits of the MAX fairway wood is that is allows for more flexibility in how you want to play.
This can take the form of more forgiveness. Putting the 14g weight in the back essentially puts the MAX into “forgiveness mode” — in this position, it certainly offers the most forgiveness in the MAVRIK line. In fact, it provides some of the best forgiveness I’ve seen in a fairway wood period.
Contributing to this forgiveness is a large head, large hitting area, and optimized leading edge. This means that with the weight back, it can be easy for even (objectively) bad golfers to get the ball up in the air.
As expected, forgiveness is one of the greatest strengths of the MAVRIK MAX.
Despite the potential for different setups and weight distributions, the trajectory of the MAVRIK MAX is similar to that of the standard model: high launch with a flat trajectory.
The biggest differences are draw bias and a higher trajectory that ranges from very slight to pretty significant. The trajectory that you see will largely depend on your swing and where the weights are positioned.
Struggling with slices or strong fades? Put the 14g weight in the heel and see how much it helps. I can almost guarantee that it will straighten out your shots.
Having said that, the MAX isn’t what you should use if you want ultimate control and workability. Shaping shots is possible, but it can be difficult.
In addition, the progressive leading edge design ensures that turf interaction will be optimal. In practice, I found that the MAX handles tougher lies well despite its larger footprint.
What about look, sound & feel?
First off, the MAX is larger and more elongated than the standard MAVRIK. Actually, the shape looks very similar to a driver. Indeed, many have remarked that the MAX looks like a “mini-driver” at address.
It’s worth stressing again that the head size is large for a fairway wood (take a look at the CC numbers in the specs chart) — something you would only see in models built for maximum forgiveness. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but some people will be put off by it.
Despite the larger footprint, the face isn’t too deep and the top edge is flatter.
The MAX has the typical MAVRIK aesthetic with orange accents. There is some offset, which should help golfers not miss it to the right.
All things considered, it sits nicely behind the ball without looking too clunky and unwieldy. If you want something that makes you feel confident setting up to the ball, this is definitely it.
The Sound & Feel
If I had to describe the sound and feel of the MAVRIK MAX clearly and concisely, I would say this: it feels super hot and very solid off the face, but the hit has a sharp (maybe even metallic) sound to it.
If you listen to people swinging the club, you’ll see what I mean. I personally prefer woods that sound tighter and more muted at impact, but it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
The feel of the MAX is remarkably consistent across the face. If you’re a high handicap who doesn’t care about distinct feedback, this is great. Still, there’s something about mis-hits that lets you know your ball contact wasn’t quite right.
Where should you buy this fairway wood online?
For a limited time, you can order a MAVRIK MAX fairway wood with custom specifications (loft, length, shaft, grip, etc.) on this page on the official Callaway website. Women’s MAVRIK MAX woods can be ordered here.
The MAVRIK is on the expensive side. If you want to save some money, you can find discounts on eBay.
Alternatively, look at what’s available on Global Golf.
There is other MAVRIK equipment that Callaway applies the “MAX” label to — the driver and irons come to mind.
I have argued that many MAX models aren’t worth using over the standard or pro models. But the MAX fairway wood is different; it has nearly all of the benefits of the standard model, along with more flexibility with the interchangeable weight system.
If you’re a mid or high handicap who wants a forgiving fairway wood, I would strongly consider the MAVRIK MAX. I had great success with it in my testing, and many others have experienced fantastic results with it.
Have any thoughts or opinions about the MAVRIK MAX fairway wood? Feel free to drop a comment below.
Callaway MAVRIK MAX Fairway Wood
- Hot face and very solid feel
- Very easy to hit with excellent forgiveness
- High launch is ideal for slow swingers
- Adjustable weights allow for more flexibility than the standard model
- The large footprint won't appeal to everyone
- Better players may not have great results with the MAX