Callaway 2019 Big Bertha Irons Review

50 Words or Less

Callaway continues to set the bar higher in the super game improvement category with the 2019 Big Bertha irons.  Effortless to launch and wonderful ball flight – all in a great looking set of clubs.


For golfers like myself with a little grey upstairs, the name Big Bertha conjures up fond memories of when clubs became more recreational player friendly.  The latest generation of Big Bertha irons are touted as being the “easiest to launch distance irons” in the brand’s storied history.   That statement alone was intriguing, but they grabbed my full attention with the first picture I saw of the new irons.


I won’t dance around it – I’m a big fan of the smoked grey finish.  Paired with the shiny silver/grey Recoil ZT9 shaft, the Big Bertha irons are standouts in the looks department.  The white paint fill in the bottom two grooves really pops on the face giving my eyes solid references for alignment.  The slightly rounded edges and dark finish make the thick topline less noticeable at address.  In the cavity, the red highlights give the irons a high end, stealthy look in the bag.

Sound & Feel

There’s a design element that’s relevant to this section as well as the next – the Suspended Energy Core.  Simplistically, it’s a tungsten bar surrounded by urethane microspheres positioned low inside the head.  The combination of materials provided for a very pleasing, woodsy ‘tak’ sound.  Medium in pitch and volume, the sound is consistent across the face – playing partners will think you’ve flushed every shot.

Although there wasn’t audible feedback, I could feel mishits in my hands.  Nothing harsh, but off-center strikes were obvious.


Callaway’s tag line for the 2019 Big Bertha irons is simple:  “Easy Launch. Serious Distance.”  The first part – “Easy Launch” – may be an understatement.  With the Suspended Energy Core so low and across the length of the face, every swing sent the ball airborne.  Even my menacing thin strike surprised me as the ball sailed up in the air.

As far as “Serious Distance,” Callaway is also spot on, but that wasn’t as shocking to me. The Big Bertha irons share a lot of technology seen in other models in Callaway’s lineup, including 360 Face Cup that wraps around the edge, creating a flex that boosts ball speed.  The Big Berthas aren’t as long as the Rogue X, but that’s because the lofts aren’t as strong.

The high launch combined with the strong carry distances resulted in solid green holding for the Big Bertha irons.  An added bonus was the realization of that old saying, ‘the club will do the work’.  The balance of the shaft and head made every swing feel effortless with my moderate swing speed.  My dispersion came down as I trusted that a reasonable swing would produce powerful ball flights.


Performing research for this review, I was pleased to see how Callaway incorporates technology across its lines.  The 2019 Big Bertha irons share many features with even their premium players’ irons.  There’s no mistaking that the Big Berthas are SGI irons, but they may be the most attractive in the category.  Looks don’t lower scores, but the combination of powerful launch and distance of the Big Bertha irons sure can.

Callaway Big Bertha Irons Price & Specs

Matt Meeker
Latest posts by Matt Meeker (see all)


  1. I use the 2016 big bertha os irons, how do these compare? Would it be worth an upgrade to these?

    • I don’t recall ever hitting the OS BBs Keith. I was able to compare them visually at Club Champion and the new irons are noticeably thinner on the top line and the cavity design gives them a slimmer look. Typically, most golfers don’t notice big differences in performance between consecutive models, but Callaway did space them two years apart and incorporated a lot of ‘recent’ technology. So it could be worth a head to head comparison for you.

      Let us know your findings.

      – Meeks

  2. How do these irons compare with JPX 919 Hot Metal ?

  3. How would you compare these to the Rogue X? I noticed ur comment about distance between but as far as forgiving? Are these more forgiving for a high handicapped golfer? Would these new irons be a step or a lateral move?

    • Matt Meeker

      It’s been a while since I hit the Rogue X Jeremy, but I’d say the Big Berthas are a slight step up. If you already own the X, I wouldn’t necessarily run out and buy the BBs, but Callaway is always putting the latest technology in the newest releases. If I were deciding between the two I’d go with which ever felt best. And if that was a tie, which looks better to your eye.

      – Meeks

  4. Scott Richards


    How would compare to the PING G700?


    • Matt Meeker

      Sorry Scott, I never hit the G700s. Try to hit them both to see which is best for you. Come back and let us and all the readers know.

      – Meeks

  5. Scott Richards

    Hi Matt,

    Hit both the Big Bertha and G700 as well as the i500. I liked them all, with the Bertha giving the best distance. Would you feel these would still be a good club as I improve my game? Also they gave choice of Recoil ZT9 and ESX, do you know the difference? Thanks for your help.


    • Always glad to hear that a PIG reader hit several brands/models. You interestingly tried the full spectrum of irons: super game improvement, game improvement and players. Unless you are a single digit handicap golfer wanting to get better at shaping the ball and vary ball flight, the Big Berthas will serve you well as you improve your game. The Recoil ESX are lighter weight than the ZT9 intended to help with slower swing speeds.

      You’re going to have a great 2019 with your new clubs.

      – Meeks

  6. For those wanting to know how these compare with past Big Bertha models, let me say…this is the best version yet! They have improved in every way! Looks are much better, as is feel. These are so effortless, very user friendly, but does not lose feel as many game-improvement irons do. I would have never believed how good these are if I had not played a round with these to try them out. I think it’s Callaway’s best iron for 2019. I also played with the new Apex 2019, but found I preferred my older Apex Irons over those.

  7. Stewart Taubr

    Matt, I own a set of Big Bertha OS irons. They have definitely improved my game. Do you think it’s worth upgrading?

    • Matt Meeker

      Always a tough question Stewart. Typically there isn’t a huge difference in performance between concurrent generations – especially with models that come out annually. The OS irons launched in 2016 and technology improvements over three years puts you in that definite “maybe” category. To help settle the tug of war in your head, I recommend hitting the new Big Berthas and see if there’s value in upgrading.

      Let us know what you discover.

      – Meeks

  8. Don Crocker

    Hi Matt.

    I play the BB Fusion. (2008~vintage, I know) I believe these were the beginning of the current technology. However, I already have a high ball flight. Handicap 12, and have no complaints…other than missing out on a big technology upgrade.

    Since the 2019 version is at least $1600 + 13% tax here in Canada, I’m hesitant to purchase if there is not a notable increase in overall technology.

    I appreciate your input.


    • Matt Meeker

      Before spending money it’s always worth seeing if there are performance advantages by comparing what you are gaming and what you are considering. In 10+ years there’s been significant technologies implemented that improve performance – with forgiveness and distance the focus by manufacturers. And don’t discount the ‘new’ factor in game enjoyment.

      – Meeks

      • Don Crocker

        I’ve been meaning to let you know, I finally decided to make the purchase. Your review was most helpful. I did a comparison test between the old classics and the new BB 2019 , with Recoil shafts,, and found a significant improvement in the technology. Club fitting strongly suggested I go with the light flex, which also made a positive difference. Appreciate your help.

        Thanks Don

  9. Ernest Mullins

    I have seen reviews stating that the Big Bertha irons show wear very quickly. Do you know if this is true ? Need to know before purchasing an expensive iron set?

    • Matt Meeker

      “Quickly” is a bit subjective Ernest. It will take a while to note wear hitting golf balls in normal conditions. If you bang out 1000 range balls a day with your 6 iron – yes, you’ll have a wear spot, but it will be impressive! The more notable marks in the finish will be caused by rocks and such. Like a brand new car where the first shopping cart rub is painful, you quickly get over it.

      – Meeks

  10. Roeland Gotlieb

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the review. I bought these clubs and am happy with them, but I didn’t buy the AW and SW. Did you try them as well or do you have an opinion on them? It seems a bit odd to have such type of club as wedge. I’m using still my old Callaway forged wedges.

    Thanks and kind regards, Roeland

    • Matt Meeker

      The set only goes down to AW – no SW. And yes, I did test the AW and found it very in line with performance. I typically like pitching and gap wedges to match the irons as they most often get hit with full swings where forgiveness is still important. Right now I complete my set with 54 and 58 degree wedges – check out my WITB in the About section.

      – Meeks

    • They do show wear fairly quickly. But I still love them!

  11. Roeland Gotlieb

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for your answer. On the Callaway website the SW is shown with 54 degrees.
    kind regards, Roeland

  12. Bradford Tunell

    I have 12 year old big berthas. I am 62 yrs old, 12 handicap, and hit a 7 iron about 150-155yds now. 5 years ago, the 7 was going 164. What could I expect from the BB 2019’s with the recoil ZT9 shafts generally speaking/compared to my existing clubs?I am in the market and have loved my BB’s.

    • Matt Meeker

      Your long term enjoyment is a testament to the quality of the Big Berthas Bradford. With 12 year old clubs, you should certainly see performance differences with the latest generation. Your declining distance is most likely the result of loss of club head speed – been there – and I would expect that you not only gain a few yards with the newer model, but also better ball flight than you are currently seeing. Take your 7 iron into a local store and compare it to the new one. Let us know what you discover. Even better, head to a qualified fitter and optimize the set with the best shafts for you. I see that handicap coming down!

      – Meeks

  13. what about all the complants about the finish?

    • Matt Meeker

      Not sure where you are seeing all the complaints Robert, but if you are concerned, don’t choose a club with a dark finish.

      – Meeks

  14. I’m a high handicapper having played only for a year, finally broke a 100 with a 97. Played several sets of used clubs since starting and finally comfortable with my swing to finally look into jumping all into golf and buy a new set. I’ve narrowed down to Big Bertha, TM M2, and Cobra SZ irons. What are your thoughts on my final 3?

    • That’s a great final trio Erwin. Hopefully you narrowed it down based on performance. Make sure you get shafts that suit you to continue to lower your score and maximize enjoyment. Let us know what you decide on – and results.

      – Meeks

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