Equipment: Callaway Great Big Bertha driver review

Golf Equipment

One of the best looking drivers of 2015 according to James Savage - but how does it perform?

We tested the Callaway Great Big Bertha on the driving range at Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds.

We used premium range balls and gathered data using the ES14 launch monitor.

Callaway Great Big Bertha review – First impressions

They brought back the Big Bertha in 2013 and now another iconic name has been given a second run.

There’s a very smart headcover here from Callaway but when I pulled the driver out my jaw nearly hit the floor.

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This is easily one of the best looking drivers of 2015.

The colours and design make it a really enticing offering and it’s nice to see that Callaway have simplified their range a little bit.

The Great Big Bertha (£369) now sits in the middle of the all-ability XR (£299) and the better-player’s Bertha Alpha 816 DBD (£429).

There’s a sliding weight rail on the sole which goes all the way into the heel but not quite all the way to the toe.

This tells me that they are aiming more at the mid to high handicappers as it’s in the heel where they will probably need the most forgiveness.

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This is a 460cc head but it looks more compact than that at address. Saying that it doesn’t look intimidating at all and has the classic Callaway alignment aid which all Bertha fans will be familiar with.
Very user friendly with a wonderful sound and feel”

Callaway Great Big Bertha review – The Tech

There’s a very light, aerodynamic, multi-material design here aimed at producing maximum ball speeds.

There’s a forged composite crown which allows more weight to be positioned lower in the club. There’s a visible sole weight low and forward with a 10g adjustable weight at the rear.

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Second generation RӢMOTO Technology provides the structure for a thinner face, leading to high ball speeds on centre hits and off-centre hits too.

We’ve got the Optifit hosel which lets you choose from 8 different configurations to tune loft, lie, and face angle.

With the rear weight track and the adjustable hosel it really offers golfers the opportunity to get properly dialled in by a fitter.

The stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage which looks great with this driver although there are a number of custom options available.

Callaway Great Big Bertha review – Performance/NCG Verdict

This is the sort of driver that just looks so good you really hope you can hit it!

Thankfully, it was very user friendly with a wonderful sound and feel.

I’m a fan of the XR but the Great Big Bertha really feels like a step up in class. You can see and feel where the extra money has gone.

I hit 10 shots with the adjustable weight in the neutral setting and then 10 shot with the weight moved towards the heel. I then recorded the data using our ES14 portable launch monitor (available from golfswingsystems.co.uk)

With the first 10 shots I was pleased with the results. The spin rates were particularly good – between 2000 and 2500rpm

The average distance was 245 yards with a few going out at about 260. I felt the shots I hit towards the heel were losing quite a bit of distance.

So when I moved the weight into the draw position I found there was a bit more forgiveness which put my average distance for the 10 shots at 254 yards.

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Overall I was really pleased with the ball speeds. I was able to get some at 149mph which is very good for me. I know from a lot of driver testing that anything 140+ is very good for me.

As I said, I’d always recommend getting a proper fitting before playing around with any adjustability on a driver. If I was going to put this in my bag I’d go and see my local fitter first before deciding on the best setting.

But what is clear is that the adjustability on offer does work and does what it is supposed to do.

In conclusion, this is a brilliant-looking driver with performance to match. It will suit a wide-range of abilities and can be custom-fit to any swing.

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