Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 Driver Review

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50 Words or Less

The Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 is the most impressive mini driver that I’ve tested.  Versatile and long.

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Introduction

Much like utility irons were a few years, mini drivers have gone from much-hyped trend to a predictable part of the line up for many OEMs.  The reason?  They provide another option for players looking to get the most out of their set.

The Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5, with two different loft options plus adjustability, epitomizes the trend towards set optimization, and it flat-out performs.

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Looks

At 235 cc, the Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 is roughly half the size of a modern driver, but it’s substantially bigger (approximately 30%) than most three woods.  The extra size is evenly distributed between making it larger from heel-to-toe, front-to-back, and making the face taller.  Though I’m not a great fairway wood player, I had no problem confidently hitting the Bertha Mini 1.5 off the turf or the tee.

It’s worth noting that this club sits square, maybe even a touch open, in the neutral position.

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Sound & Feel

As far as I’m concerned, the Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 pushes all the rights button when it comes to impact sound.  It’s quiet with a crisp, metallic sound that makes you feel like the ball is going for a long ride.  Add to that the fact that the feedback is excellent – both clear and precise.

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Performance

The main reason that mini drivers are so popular is that they offer an alternative to the driver off the tee.  In this area, the Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 is superb.  I tested the 12 degree head and, as you can see above, it produced numbers on par with almost any driver that I’ve tested recently.  It launched high with low spin and the ball speed was excellent.  Also, the 44″ shaft is 1″-2″ shorter than most drivers which helps to make it more accurate.  Compared to 3-woods, the Bertha Mini 1.5 is bigger which makes it more stable and more confidence-inspiring at address.

As someone who isn’t a great fairway wood player, I was skeptical about how well a 12 degree club would perform off the turf, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the Bertha Mini 1.5.  With very few exceptions, I was able to get the ball airborne and on my intended line.  I won’t tell you that the shots I hit were towering – 12 degrees is 12 degrees – but they were very consistent.  Callaway says it themselves about this club: you need some club head speed if you want to hit this club longer off the turf than your current 3W.

This club would be outstanding if it stopped there – great performance off the tee and from the deck – but it also adds more fitting flexibility than any other mini driver to date.  The Bertha Mini 1.5 is offered in both 12 and 14 degrees, so you can pick the loft that will do what you want: maximize distance, improve accuracy, or make it easier to hit off the turf.  You can further dial in loft, lie, and face angle with the OptiFit Hosel, adding up to two degrees of loft or subtracting one.  Finally, it will be important to pick the shaft that suits your intended use for this club.  The stock shaft is a Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver TiNi that weighs roughly 65 grams.  For many golfers, this will provide a good balance between distance and accuracy, but, as always, you should get fit for the best shaft for your swing.

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Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a driver-alternative for tee shots or a way to get to more par 5’s in two, the Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 is a great choice.  It has tons of ball speed and it’s low spin, but it’s still easy to hit off the tee and the turf.

Matt Saternus
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6 Comments

  1. I have really enjoyed reading your club reviews (I will go so far as to say you have become my favorite reviewer.
    I am a very Senior golfer playing to a 12 handicap and am interested in buying a mini driver. I now play a Titleist 915F 3 wood but would like to try either the Ping Rapture 2014 or 14 degree Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5. I intend to use the club both from Tee and Turf.
    Which would you recommend.

    • Matt Saternus

      Van,

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoy the site.
      As a regular reader, I think you probably know my answer: you need to try both before you buy. A fitting would be best, if possible.

      -Matt

  2. Matt, I have a SLDR S 12 degree mini driver. Think this Bertha is worth a swing? Given a choice which would you choose between the two and why?

    • Matt Saternus

      Mark,

      There’s certainly no harm in giving it a try. I think the Bertha might be a bit more forgiving – many players find the low & forward CG of the SLDR line a bit tough to deal with.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Jeff Larsen

    Great review. Just picked a 12 degree and can’t wait to play it. I wonder if I can swap the shaft out of my Call away Optiforce driver into this bad boy. They seem to have the same set up on both. I started on persimmons and I have never liked these big headed drivers of today.
    Any thought?
    Thanks,
    Jeff

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