- The Great Big Bertha is a new ultra-premium offering from Callaway.
- It’s a technology-packed, lightweight design intended for moderate swing speed golfers.
- Retail price is $699.
- Available beginning Nov. 11
The fall release cycle is when Callaway typically launches products that fall outside of the mainstream. Some of my recent Callaway favorites have been fall releases: the Epic Super Hybrid, Big Bertha B21 and the grossly underappreciated Big Bertha Fusion driver come to mind.
While the mainstream stuff is designed to appeal to the masses (thanks, Captain Obvious), Callaway’s fall releases tend to target a narrower segment of golfers. That’s certainly the case with the latest incarnation of the Great Big Bertha family.
Billed as “ultra-premium,” the Great Big Bertha driver is packed with nearly every bit of technology Callaway has. The paint scheme is technically “sage” but, with a price tag of $699, it should probably be called “money green.”
Great Big Bertha—A New Callaway Franchise
This isn’t the first time Callaway has reached for the top of the market with a fall release and, in many respects, the Great Big Bertha driver is the evolution of the Epic Star line. The difference, according to Callaway, is that the new Great Big Bertha doesn’t ride the coattails of something else. It’s an entirely new lineup.
Rather than piggyback on the mainstream stuff as it admittedly has done in the past, Callaway says Great Big Bertha was built from the ground up. With the requisite mention of being Years in the Making (the actual length of Callaway’s journey was unspecified), Callaway has committed to its most premium line in a way it perhaps hasn’t in the past.
Dedicated teams developed the products and golfers should expect subsequent Great Big Bertha products will follow roughly every two years.
For the Affluent Golfer
As you’d expect from the $700 driver, Callaway’s Great Big Bertha’s market skews towards the more affluent golfer—guys who play most of their golf at private clubs.
It’s expensive for sure. Callaway wants Great Big Bertha to be an aspirational product.
That said, I’d be remiss to point out that $700 is less than you’re likely to pay for any 2023 driver with something other than a stock (or other no-charge upgrade) shaft.
Bottom line: PXG and Tour Edge this is not.
Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver Construction
It’s fair to say the Great Big Bertha falls in the ultra-light category. Arguably the weight or lack thereof (it’s 30 grams lighter than Rogue Max) is the defining performance characteristic of the new driver.
That should be your cue that the Great Big Bertha driver is designed for moderate (slower swing speed) players. While there will be exceptions for sure, if you’re looking for a ballpark handicap range, Callaway puts it at 12+.
The construction of the Great Big Bertha is noteworthy for its mix of titanium, carbon fiber and then a second type of carbon fiber.
A titanium Jailbreak Speed Frame chassis is paired with Callaway’s AI Designed Flash Face (also titanium). The crown is made from triaxial carbon fiber. It’s the same material Callaway has used on its drivers for the last several generations.
The benefit, as it usually is, is that carbon fiber saves weight (relative to titanium) and ultimately helps boost MOI and increase forgiveness.
Save Weight, Lose MOI
The MOI boost here is important because of the correlation between weight and MOI. A lighter driver is inherently a lower MOI driver so companies will often do whatever they can to find a little bit extra where they can.
The second bit of composite material is a patch of forged carbon fiber on the sole. This isn’t the first time Callaway has used a forged composite material. You may recall that the RAZR Fit and RAZR Fit Xtreme, as well as the Big Bertha 814, had forged composite crowns.
The point is that the material isn’t new, or even new for Callaway, but this is the first time the company has used two different composites in a single design.
Why Forged Composite?
The reason behind using forged composite is that it’s a bit more pliable and can be formed into shapes that aren’t attainable with Callaway’s Triaxial material.
While the material is a bit different, the purpose is the same. The forged composite saves a bit of weight which you have to do if you’re going to make an ultralight driver (Thanks, again, Captain Obvious).
As an aside, the forged composite provides a little bit of a marbled look and because of how the material is made, like a snowflake, no two patches of forged composite are exactly the same.
In that respect, every Great Big Bertha driver is unique.
While Callaway hasn’t positioned Great Big Bertha as an anti-slice offering (again, light weight is the thing here), a strategically placed steel sole plate serves to bake some draw bias into the head.
The objective is to design a higher-launch, somewhat forgiving driver head that will help golfers gain clubhead speed.
While it goes without saying that your results may vary, and I’d add that lightweight designs most definitely aren’t for everybody, for the right golfer, Callaway says it’s seen clubhead speed gains of 3 to 5 mph.
Specs, Pricing and Availability
To achieve an overall weight savings of roughly 30grams, Callaway had to use lightweight components in every aspect of the design.
To that end, the stock shaft is a UST Helium Nanocore (also billed as “ultra-premium”). Over the past few years, the Helium line has become the go-to for much of the industry. The Nanocore (40- and 50-gram options) builds on that with what should prove to be a high-launch design.
The stock grip is a Winn Dri-Tac Lite which offers a weight savings over a typical grip.
The Callaway Great Big Bertha driver is available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees. Callaway’s Opti-Fit hosel allows fitters (and golfers) to reduce loft by one degree or increase it by two degrees.
The stock length is 45.75 inches.
All lofts are available for both right- and left-handed golfers.
Retail price is $699. Availability begins Nov. 11.
For more information, visit CallawayGolf.com.
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