CATEGORY: Game Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9° (adjusts 8° to 11°), 10.5° (adjusts 9.5° to 12.5°), 13.5° (adjusts 12.5° to 15.5°) with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage TiNi 50, Mitsubishi Bassara E 42, and Fujikura Speeder Evolution TS 665 graphite shafts
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Great Big Bertha comes in at 295 to 325 grams, based on the shaft weight.
DISTANCE: “Big” and “Great” cover it; as long as anything tested and capable of a few “Wow!” shots per round; this could be the hottest game-improvement driver that Callaway’s produced to date.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Borderline unmissable, unless you call the first cut a miss; exceptionally forgiving — nearly the entire face hits it straight, and it controls spin really well.
FEEL: A light, stable, easys-winging club with a nice whip through impact — encourages you to swing for the fences; the giant sweet spot delivers a scorching-hot crack through the ball, with a rebound like a tennis racket.
PLAYABILITY: Real-deal, intuitive adjustability; the sliding weight lets you tweak your way into anything pre-shot — it’s like having ground-control for your ball; a dependable, obedient club for minor draws or fades.
LOOK: A sophisticated, formal appearance at address — this Bertha is red-carpet ready, with a dark finish that sets up easily and hides its size well.
Several guys detect a distinct draw tendency when it’s set up neutral; alignment aid is tough to pick out; ultralight 43-gram shaft option can lead to whippy misses, so choose wisely.
BOTTOM LINE: The Callaway Great Big Bertha driver is easily one of the best we tested — it flies straight and hits the hell out of the ball. Plus, you don’t need an engineering degree to program preflight instructions. A huge range of golfers could put it in play.
HOT STIX’S TAKE: The is a throwback name with modern technology. Placing the sliding weight in the heel creates an extreme draw bias, while positioning it in the rear produces a high flight.Launch: Mid; Spin: Low-Mid
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MORE INFO ON THE CALLAWAY GREAT BIG BERTHA
From GOLF.com, August 4, 2015:
The newest Great Big Bertha is aimed at a wide range of players looking for a driver that can be custom fit to provide an optimum combination of distance and forgiveness in a variety of weight options. Just as with the previous V Series driver the Great Big Bertha is available in a variety of weights including 295g, 305g, 315g, and 325g, allowing players to maximize their speed while also finding the right feel for their swing. To further customize fit and performance the GBB also features an adjustable perimeter weighting design with a sliding weight that can be positioned to favor varying degrees of draw, fade, or neutral shot shape. All told the technology spans approximately 18 yards of shot customization. In addition, Callaway’s Opti Fit hosel technology provides eight-way adjustability to further dial in loft and face angle.
The GBB design doesn’t just focus on custom tuning, however, as a thinner clubface and more aerodynamic head shape combine to promote faster swingspeeds and overall ballspeed while up to 300rpm less spin in comparison to the V Series helps enhance distance as well. The thin clubface, as well as a more stable, higher MOI design, provides improved performance on shots struck away from the center of the hitting area and enhanced overall forgiveness.
Standard shaft options for the new GBB include the Mitsubishi Bassara (43g), Mitsubishi KuroKage (53g), Fujikura Evolution 665 (65g), and Mitsubishi Diamana D+ (70g). A wide range of aftermarket shafts is also available at no extra charge. Standard loft options are 9, 10.5, and 13.5-degrees. — Michael Chwasky