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This is a comprehensive review of the Callaway MAVRIK Sub Zero driver.
The Sub Zero was designed for more skilled players who want a MAVRIK driver that is forgiving, but has lower spin and more controllability than the Standard version.
It has most of the features of the MAVRIK Standard, with the addition of two interchangeable weights that can alter launch conditions and spin rate.
So, how does the MAVRIK Sub Zero shape up in practice? Should lower handicaps choose it over other MAVRIK variants?
Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this review:
- Features & Technologies
- Look, Sound & Feel
- Where To Buy This Driver Online
Read on to find out everything you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
As with the other variants of the MAVRIK driver, the Sub Zero has earned a gold medal on the 2020 Golf Digest Hot List.
Critics and professional reviewers in particular view the MAVRIK Sub Zero very positively; they find that it’s longer, sleeker, and more controllable than the Standard.
What People Like
- the longest MAVRIK driver for many
- low spin is great for certain types of golfers
- many love the sleeker, more compact look at address
- workable while still being forgiving
What People Don’t Like
- less forgiving than the other MAVRIK models
- not ideal for golfers who normally struggle to get their ball up in the air
- many dislike the look and colour scheme
What are the features?
The MAVRIK Sub Zero driver has most of the same features as the MAVRIK Standard:
- Flash Face SS20: generated by artificial intelligence and delivering greater ball speeds over a larger area of the face — improved over the Flash Face of the Epic Flash.
- FS2S Titanium: used in the face, this is a type of titanium that is lighter than regular titanium and results in better overall performance.
- Jailbreak Technology: vertical bars behind the face connect the crown and sole, placing more impact load on the face and increasing ball speeds.
- T2C Triaxial Carbon: a new, very light material used in the crown. It enables weight savings that are redistributed to increase MOI.
The key differences lie in the head size, shape and weighting.
First, the MAVRIK SZ has a slightly smaller footprint. It also doesn’t feature the new “Cyclone Aero” shape of the Standard version — this is easy to see by looking at a front-to-back view of both drivers.
Next, two interchangeable weights (2g and 14g) are positioned in the front and back of the sole. This enables you to alter the CG and hence change the launch angle and spin rate: place the 14g weight in the back for a higher launch and more stability, and place it in the front for lower spin and more workability.
The MAVRIK Sub Zero driver is available in 9° and 10.5° standard lofts at 450 CC.
As usual, you have the OptiFit hosel that allows you to adjust loft (over a range of 3°) and lie (neutral or draw).
The stock graphite shaft is the ALDILA ROGUE White 130 MSI 60/70. There are over 100 different grips to choose from, and you can also specify a custom length.
Full information on the driver, available shafts and available grips can be found on the CGPO website.
Below are the specs of the MAVRIK Sub Zero driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
In most cases, the MAVRIK Sub Zero driver is longer than both the Standard and MAX versions. I personally was getting 5-10 yards of extra distance.
This isn’t that surprising of a result given the fact that the SZ is meant for lower spin. Lower spin doesn’t always mean more distance, but when the launch angle is in the correct range, the ball is going to go farther.
With that said, golfers who traditionally struggle with low tee shots (or have low swing speeds) may actually lose distance. This is because the MAVRIK SZ may not do enough to get the ball up in the air.
In general, the distance of the SZ is very similar to that of the Epic Flash.
If the MAVRIK SZ has one weak point, it’s forgiveness. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s definitely the least forgiving model in the MAVRIK line.
With the 14g weight in the rear, forgiveness is marginally worse than (or perhaps even the same as) the Standard. With the weight in the front, you need to be sure that you can hit the ball solidly, because your misses will probably miss the fairway.
The MAVRIK SZ may be meant for better players, but it’s still very easy to hit, making it very viable for higher handicaps. It’s also quite easy to shape shots with if you have the competence.
As expected, the ball flight seems to be a little lower and more penetrating than with the Standard, particularly when the weight is in the front.
If you find that your drives are coming out too low, I would first put the 14g weight in the rear slot. If necessary, you can try increasing loft further by using the adjustable OptiFit hosel.
As is the case with the MAX, the interchangeable weights aren’t just a gimmick — they make a good bit of difference and are worth experimenting with.
What about look, sound & feel?
The MAVRIK Sub Zero has the width of the Epic Flash Sub Zero and the more rounded shape of the Rogue Sub Zero, with a sole that is much flatter than the Standard version.
The driver is 450 CC, so the footprint is slightly smaller; contributing to this is a top face edge that is relatively flat. The driver sits quite neutral at address.
The Sub Zero has a carbon fiber crown and sports the design and colour scheme that marks the MAVRIK line of drivers: black with orange and white accents. Also apparent are the two interchangeable weight slots on the front and back of the sole.
Performance aside, this isn’t my favourite look for a players driver. I prefer the looks of the Epic Flash SZ and Rogue SZ drivers, particularly the soles.
The Sound & Feel
The MAVRIK Sub Zero driver has the same terrific sound that marks the MAVRIK line of drivers: a solid “whack” with a touch of clickiness.
The feel is very solid, but more than that, the SZ has a “hot & fast” feel off the face that I really like.
In my opinion, when you make contact with the sweet spot, the Sub Zero is the best-feeling driver in the MAVRIK line. I wouldn’t necessarily say it has the best sound & feel that I’ve ever tested, but it’s up there in the ranks.
Mis-hits definitely sound and feel a little worse, but not disastrously so. The upside is that audio and tactile feedback is plenty distinct, allowing you to easily dial in your swing.
Where should you buy the MAVRIK Sub Zero driver online?
The MAVRIK Sub Zero driver is now more than a few seasons old, and you can no longer order it custom-made directly from the official Callaway website.
The best you can do now is look for it on Callaway Golf Pre-Owned and eBay. CGPO has a bunch of these drivers on offer with a 90-day buy-back policy, 12-month warranty, and free headcover included.
The MAVRIK Sub Zero driver is an excellent alternative to the MAVRIK Standard for lower handicaps or any golfer that wants a driver with a smaller footprint.
It’s long and workable while still retaining good forgiveness. And many people experience faster ball speeds with the MAVRIK SZ than with any other 2020 driver, let alone Callaway driver.
Aside from having slightly less forgiveness, the SZ does almost everything better than the Standard version. Having said that, it’s practicaly impossible to know how the driver will actually perform for you until you try it, and I highly recommend doing so.
Are you interested in the MAVRIK Sub Zero driver? Have you tried it yet? What have your results been like? Let us know in the comments below.