Published on February 14th, 2014 | by Kurt Theriault
Callaway Big Bertha Driver Review
The new Callaway Big Bertha relaunch, including the driver, is touted as “nothing short of groundbreaking…faster, lighter, hotter (of course), and more robust than ever.”
However, 2nd Swing Golf Blog blogger Kurt Theriault was underwhelmed ”given the amount of marketing hyperbole associated with the launch of new drivers.” Still, the Callaway Big Bertha Driver has its share of high points, too, he says.
Looks (2.5 of 5 stars)
The relaunched 2014 Callaway Big Bertha Driver is like khaki pants and a polo shirt. You won’t get noticed, but you also won’t be kicked out of the place. Nothing really stands out about the driver’s design features as you look down at it or flip it over.
A classy black crown does await your gaze down to the ball. The recognizable Callaway chevron is there to aid your alignment, which also is a nice touch. If you want to personalize the club, and don’t mind waiting to have it built, Callaway allows you to customize a Big Bertha Driver in a variety of colors. Personally, I love this.
You don’t have to look good to play good, but you definitely have to look good if you are going to play poorly.
Performance (2.75 of 5 stars)
The Big Bertha Driver has a shallower face and a smaller profile than it’s brother, the Alpha. You will notice this immediately if you have been playing 460cc heads for a while. Also, the weight of the club was noticeably light – it feels fast in your hands - which was nice.
The sound profile will not startle the neighbors. A muted thud, synonymous with Callaway drivers (not quite as hollow as the old FT-5), is what you will hear. The noise level seemed to match the low level of fireworks associated with the look of the club.
Well-struck balls, like any driver, feel good. And the Callaway Big Bertha Driver is no different. A flushed shot pops nicely off the face, as you would expect. However, compared to the three-year-old piece of technology in my bag today, there is no performance difference on similarly struck balls.
Off-center hits are fed back to you instantly. In my case, I didn’t notice the misses being recognizably different than with my current driver. When set to the same settings as my current driver, the spin rate and launch angle rose considerably. That likely is shaft related, but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.
Overall, given the amount of marketing hyperbole associated with the launch of new drivers, I was underwhelmed.
Technology (4 of 5 stars)
You can deep-dive on tech to your heart’s content at the maker’s website or any number of other review sites. I’ll net it out. The Callaway Big Bertha has two available adjustments. You can decrease loft by 1 degree or increase loft by 2 degrees in 1-degree increments. A sliding 8-gram weight in the back can provide a draw or fade bias. Neither requires an advanced-engineering degree to manipulate.
At the end of the day, eight independent loft/lie settings are available to you. The tool is simple and easy to use so you can change settings easily.
With all drivers like this, what’s great is it can grow with you if you change your swing. See a fitter, though, to get put into the right settings.
• Available in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 13HT.
• Stock shaft is Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Fubuki Z 50-gram shaft in L, R, S and X flexes.