Pros: Sound/Feel, Distance, Premium Golf Shaft, Forgiveness, Adjustable
Cons: Workability, Stock Lightweight Shaft
Here is the review of my Callaway Big Bertha Driver that I won on The SandTrap during their British Open Winners Contest.
Hyper Speed Face
Callaway claims a very fast clubface, that offers a more robust sweet spot. Now with the USGA rules on COR with club to ball impact. Given the USGA only measures on sweet spot hits. New claims are mostly taken with off center hits. With a few miss hits I can claim the face of this driver has a pretty large sweet spot.
Adjustable Perimeter Weighting
Callaway has built in a sliding weight along the rear perimeter of the club. This shifts the weight more backwards, as well as letting the golfer adjust the gear effect (how much the ball curves based on its strike relative to the center of the face). If you set the weight up towards the heel, then the gear effect will shift the spin axis more towards a draw. Now does that mean the ball will draw, no! Ball striking still counts more in this, but if a person is finding themselves hitting too much of a fade, they could temper that by shifting the weight. I have mine set near the center, maybe 1-2 marks towards the heel.
Advanced Adjustable Hosel
Like many drivers today, Callaway is offering the ability to adjust the loft and lie angle. A golfer can adjust 1 degree down, or 2 degrees up in loft. As well as adjusting the lie more upright or more flat for a draw or fade.
Forged Composite Crown
Callaway has been big on using different materials with their clubheads. This continues with their "Forged Composite" crown. It is a high strength, low weight material that weights only 8 grams. Given that drivers only weight about 180 to 200 grams, that means the crown is only 4-5% the weight of the club. This shifts the Center of Gravity lower on the clubface with out sacrificing the structural stability of the club. This helps produce a more forgiving, and lower spinning driver.
Premium Mitsubishi Fubuki Golf Shaft
Typically when companies like Mitsubishi have their shafts put into drivers, it is usually a "Made For" golf shaft. Which can tend to have alternate specs to the authentic shaft of the similar name. This is not the case for this driver. This golf shaft is the legit Mitsubishi Fubuki Zeta golf shaft.
The stock shaft for this club is the Fubuki 50 gram shaft. For the Stiff Flex, that is 59 grams, mid torque and mid flight. So far the shaft has performed well for me. The swing weight for this shaft and clubhead combination is D2. I do prefer a heavier shaft, but the swing weight, and the way the club loads fits well for me.
The Big Bertha has a very classic shape to it. There isn't this overly distorted tear drop shape that some clubs get when they try to extend the weighting back more. The clubhead doesn't look overly big down by the ball, which I like. The crown has this deep midnight blue color, which I absolutely love. When you throw in the Blue and White Fubuki Shaft it just has this very regal striking looking to it. The "V" line up mark is very classic Callaway. It is really easy to line up the ball with the contrast between the Silver Metal finish on the face and the Dark Blue crown.
The sole is clean looking. Nothing too outrageous. The adjustable hosel screw is hidden well. The sliding weight in the rear doesn't detract from the looks.
My current driver is the Taylormade SLDR because it is a very low spinning driver. I really do like the trajectory the SLDR puts on the ball. It is a much more boring trajectory, where the ball has a very shallow ball flight.
How does the Callaway Big Bertha driver compare, I would put the trajectory as similar to the SLDR in overall flight, but overall it goes a tad bit higher. This type of ball flight tells me that the Big Bertha isn't an extremely low spinning driver, but it does have a lower "Center of Gravity" and is a lower spinning driver. Overall I really enjoy the ball flight of this club produces.
This is were the Big Bertha shines over the SLDR in my opinion. I hit a few shots on the toe, and low on the Big Bertha and the ball still gets out there a good ways. With the SLDR the Center of Gravity is so low and forward that shots high on the clubface do loose a lot more distance than a typical driver. Also with toe shots the SLDR will produce a BIG push draw because of it does have a more aggressive bulge (roll) of the clubface. The Big Bertha has a more moderate roll on the clubface, and the toe shots produce a much less extreme ball flight. Also on misses higher on the clubface the ball still gets out there a good ways compared to the SLDR. I haven't caught one overly thin yet with the Big Bertha. I know the SLDR excels at keeping the distance on shots hit low on the clubface.
As for workability, the SLDR does curve the ball more. I am still not sure if I enjoy that aspect or not, because it does make it less forgiving driver. The Big Bertha is very much, see ball hit ball, watch ball go straight type of club. The ball can curve, as I have hit some nice push draws and straight fades. I haven't really tried to put a ton of draw or fade on the ball with this club yet, but most of my shots were very neutral in ball flight compared to the SLDR.
Comparing this to the SLDR, I would say it is less heavy feeling at impact. The face is thicker on the SLDR, and when you strike the ball in the center, you can feel the weight behind the strike. I really do like that sort of feel. I am not a fan of hallow, ball isn't there type of feel. The Big Bertha is similar to the SLDR in that it has a very nice strike on impact. You can feel the clubface striking the ball.
Now the part were everyone always wants to know about. How does the distance go. Well, I can say it stands up very well. Actually, on a well struck ball, the Big Bertha performs just as well as the SLDR. I know, shocking right. I've claimed the SLDR as a beast, mostly because it fits my swing so well. Honestly, I think I hit the SLDR too low sometimes. The ball flight and the hotter face on the Big Bertha makes it compete very well with the SLDR.
Ball Flight: 8/10
Overall a very SOLID driver. I would recommend anyone, if they are looking for a new driver, don't pass this one up.