Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway Wood Review

50 Words or Less

The Callaway Big Bertha B21 fairway wood is the easiest-to-launch fairway wood that I’ve ever hit.  Excellent ball speed.  Not as draw biased as expected.  Unusual look at address.

Introduction

The Big Bertha name has been part of Callaway Golf for a long time.  At times it’s been assigned to clubs for better players, but for the B21 line, it’s back on clubs designed for players who want some help hitting the ball straighter, farther, and more consistently.  As someone who could use help in those areas when it comes to fairway woods, I was very eager to test the Big Bertha B21.

Looks

The Callaway Big Bertha B21 fairway wood stands out in its appearance at address.  What I first noticed is the offset.  It doesn’t have the wild gooseneck of yesteryear’s offset fairway woods, but it is noticeable.  The other thing that really caught my eye is how shallow the face is.  I can’t think of another fairway wood with a face that’s this slim.

In addition to the shape, the B21 fairway wood has a dark blue crown with Callaway’s signature fade to carbon fiber.  There’s also a thin red stripe on either side of the chevron alignment aid.  Finally, Big Bertha branding appears on the back edge of the crown.

In the bag, the Big Bertha B21 has a bold appearance that had me thinking back to some of the Big Bertha offerings from the mid-2010’s.  The sole is navy blue with red accents and a large patch of metallic grey through the middle.  Callaway’s Jailbreak Technology is visible on the sole, as is a weight at the rear of the head.

Sound & Feel

Striking a good shot with the Big Bertha B21 fairway wood produces a high pitched metallic “clink” with slightly above average volume.  It’s a pronounced version of what I consider a prototypical fairway wood sound, and it was a wonderful reward for making a good swing.

Feedback from the B21 fairway wood was better than I expected.  Missing the center of the face dulls the sound noticeably, and you can easily feel mishits in your hands.

Performance

I have never hit a fairway wood that is this easy to launch.  Full stop.  If, like me, you struggle with fairway woods because you don’t launch them high enough or consistently enough, go try the Big Bertha B21 fairway wood right now.  Thank me later.

When I first set down the B21 fairway wood, I thought, “This face is super shallow.  I hope it delivers on being easy to launch.”  And it did.  It launches high, it launches easily, and it launches consistently.  My thin shots were launching at over 10 degrees.  I launched a couple shots at 16 degrees.  It was so far from the norm for me that I actually made a note to check the loft, which was actually 15 degrees.

Launch isn’t the only story here.  Thanks to AI-designed Flash Face and Jailbreak Technology, the B21 fairway wood is also really fast.  Smash factors of 1.5 were not unusual during my testing.

The other thing that Callaway is touting with the Big Bertha B21 is the slice-busting.  This is the one thing that made me nervous because I hate hitting hooks.  I was surprised to find that, despite the offset, the B21 doesn’t really want to hook.  Yes, my dispersion was a little more left than normal, but it was very playable.  My shots went straight or drew, which is a combination I can certainly live with in a fairway wood.

Finally, if you’re debating between the MAVRIK MAX and the Big Bertha B21, Callaway has a useful chart comparing their two most forgiving fairway woods.  To summarize, the Big Bertha B21 fairway wood has more offset, higher launch, a shallower face, and more forgiveness.  The MAVRIK MAX is easy to hit; the Big Bertha B21 practically swings itself.

Conclusion

Virtually every club that’s released these days comes with big promises, but few deliver on them like the Callaway Big Bertha B21 fairway wood.  This club makes the long game so much easier thanks to its high, easy launch and a little help in keeping the ball from slicing.  If you’ve sworn off fairway woods, give this one a try, you won’t regret it.

Visit Callaway Golf HERE

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway Wood Price & Specs

Matt Saternus

29 Comments

  1. I have the Mavrik Max now and it would be hard to convince me there is something better.

  2. Matt, did you feel that Callaway’s stock shaft in the B21 fairway wood is adequate? What about in the other B21 clubs that you have reviewed? I’m seriously thinking of purchasing a set of these clubs based on your reviews!

    • Matt Saternus

      Joe,

      I can’t speak to all the B21 clubs – Meeker has done some of these reviews – but the FW shaft is a good match for the head in my opinion.

      -Matt

  3. It’s been said that lower swing speed players (90mph driver) should consider a 4 or 5 wood rather than a 3 wood off the fairway. Do you believe these players should consider trying the 3 wood?

    • Matt Saternus

      Alex,

      I understand why these kinds of “rules” exist, but I don’t support them. There are 90 MPH players who launch it plenty high to make a 3W work. I have more than 100 MPH but a 3W rarely works for me. Golfers need to be fit individually. So all that to say, yes, a 90 MPH player should try this 3W.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. I tried it and thought it was a really bad club and a really bad shaft.

    • I question your response about the Callaway BB , First you didn’t say why the club BAD and why the shaft was BAD . I don’t believe you have ever swung the new offering and wonder why you’d say such a negative comment without take one for a spin. Unless you’re a brand basher.. Being loyal to a brand is okay but to lie about another without trying it, is as Bill & Ted once said, bogus dude..

  5. Given your ballflight and historic hybrid preference, how close would this come to making it into your bag?

    • Matt Saternus

      Matt,

      I’m really happy with what’s in my bag at the moment, so not that close. If I weren’t happy with my hybrid, I would give serious thought to dialing in one of these.

      -Matt

  6. Callaway hides the offset well as to noticing it- I keep hearing the B21 wood line is about spin reduction which may be one reason it doesn’t go to extremes – left or right. I believe the shaft helps launch and the RCH 55 in lighter flexes states a low kick and low to mid kick, which will help in the lower lofts. The shallow face – look at the TEE EXS 220 – the face is one reason I bought that wood – the shallow face that rivals the B21. And I agree, if you don’t have above 95 MPH swing speed but have a shallow face and a low kick shaft you may be surprised at the height you will gain with such a combo.

  7. Hi Matt –

    Unlike most golfers I know, I love hitting the 3W off the deck. I rarely use it off the tee, since I can generally figure out a way to make my driver do what most players are fearful about off the tee, but it would be nice to find a 3W that could do both deck/tee.

    I was just wondering about the shallow face on this club. Is there any truth to the adage that the shallower face clubs are easier to hit off the deck vs tee and the inverse for deep face woods? I seem to recall that the shallow face gets the ball up quickly to a higher trajectory, which is what your experience seems to confirm. So why aren’t there more shallow faced 3W’s on the market? Does that also imply that the shallow face clubs launch too high off the tee?

    I know this is all theory, but just curious on your take.

    Thanks, as always Matt. Your knowledge and experience are ever insightful.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jay,

      Generally, yes, shallow faced clubs are going to launch the ball higher and more easily because of the lower CG. You can make the CG lower in a shallow faced club compared to a deep faced club. I think people like a deep faced club off the tee because it’s comforting to see a little room for error.
      Though it’s a bit reductive and perhaps not what you’re asking, we don’t see more shallow faced FWs because they don’t sell as well. If I were guessing, I would say that’s because hybrids have replaced FWs for “off the turf” shots, which leaves FWs to focus on being played off the tee. And/or golfers are buying deeper faced clubs even though they’re not the best thing for them.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Hi Matt

    Would you recommend this to someone who swings 100-110 mph. Is it similar to a heavenwood launch

    Thank you for all your great reviews

    • Matt Saternus

      Phil,

      I wouldn’t discourage anyone with that speed from playing it, assuming it was fit to them.
      Which Heavenwood are you referring to?

      Best,

      Matt

  9. I had an epic heavenwood and found that the launch was very easy. I was just wondering if this club had the same flight (but I guess it all depends on the person swinging)

    Thanks again!

    • Matt Saternus

      Phil,

      Callaway uses the Heavenwood name primarily for a particular combination of high loft and slightly shorter shaft. The B21 at 15* won’t launch that high.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. The shafts are a little shorter for better contact. Did you notice that having a negative impact on distance? Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Ken,

      Not for me, no.

      -Matt

      • Dear Matt
        My Driver 10.5 degree Swing Speed average 84mph about distance average 190 to 210 yards. My Height is 5.5 inche..My Wrist to the Floor is 30.5 cm…What shaft you recommend for 3 wood n Length?.. thanks

        • Matt Saternus

          Faizal,

          I would recommend working with a fitter to find your ideal length. There are plenty of charts online that can give you estimates, but you can only get a definitive answer from trying different lengths yourself.

          Best,

          Matt

  11. Price Brown

    I am a 77 year old senior , begin playing in my early 70s and have lost alot of motions and speed do to both knees replace and both shoulders failing to age , I love golf and I have always been very active in life which brought me to the Doctors saying you have just worn out a number of parts . All my boys play golf so I turned to it and found it to meet my desire . I have bought all the clubs to help as my joints & speed slows down . I shoot in the high 90s and play about every chance I get 3to4 times weekly 18 & 9 hole rounds . I like Callaway Big Berths . Woods where I hurt 1-3-4. need help with setup of the shaft , grips & other on a new set . Just want to stay with the same clubs for awhile ! Help

    • Matt Saternus

      Price,

      If you are looking for a fitting, I would suggest finding your nearest Club Champion.

      Best,

      Matt

  12. I added these to my bag back in March (7 wood and 5 wood) and they have been a complete game changer. Previously I struggled with hybrids and woods but these are extremely easy to hit. The offset is not over powering and there’s no fear of hooking. Ball flight is high and straight with the occasional baby draw. My handicap has dropped 2 points since adding them to my bag. Honestly the best golf purchase I’ve ever made.

  13. Dean Jensen

    Not a fan. Doesn’t hold a candle to my old Taylormade Burner TP. Difficult to get airborne and about thirty yards shorter than my TM despite being custom fit to my swing speed and height. Good club to trade in until something better comes along to replace old faithful..

  14. I have the B21 in 5w and 7w. I use them on clean fairway lies when I need to cover a second shot for 150-180 yards total. I use them to either run up onto the green or to put the ball close enough to the green to wedge in. When I hit them right, they are $$$$$.
    I use my Ping 5 Crossover (25*) if I need to launch the ball hi and drop it on the green from the same lie or distance.
    My 5w shaft is the RCH 55 R and my 7w shaft is an RCH 55 A.
    I LOVE these fairway woods. I am 56 with a mid-80s swing speed. They do the job for me.
    Callaway makes good products. I also swear by my Callaway PM 19 wedges and an older Callaway 1.5 Mini Driver.

  15. The comment about the heavenwood and it’s dimensions . The heavenwood the head is about the size of a 3 wood the shaft length is between a 3 and 5 wood . in a 7 wood loft.

  16. I’ve tried so many Callaway fairway woods, especially 3 woods (3+ Epic and 4W too). For quite a while the Mavrik 4 wood with a Tensei Blue 65 Regular shaft was great. A Japanese Version Epic 3+ with a Speeder Evolution V 60S shaft would go a long way, say 210 yards off the deck, but a bit inconsistently. (I’m a 65 year old male golfer with a 10 index. Gym work etc.) This Big Bertha 3 wood is remarkable off the deck. Still dialing in consistency, but it’s there. So easy to launch, and I’m starting to get consistent with it. The club is what I searched for. Love the low profile – and flatness of the club bottom, for turf interaction. Mine features a Ventus Blue 60S (Velocore) shaft, and it’s a wonderful combination. Hope my journey helps someone. This club is highly recommended, and stock shafts seem to perform well too from online reviews.

    • Doug K again, just to say added the BB21 5 wood and 7 wood with the stock shafts (RCH 65, S and R flex, respectively). Excellent clubs, great ball flight, even easier to hit. Know they are now discontinued however still highly recommended. I do play an older Rogue 5 Hybrid (Japanese Version with the Graphite Design Tour AD 75 HY shaft, regular flex) so a bit redundant with the 7 wood, but so far finding I benefit from both in differing situations and shots. (Could not find S flex for the 7 wood, and it launches high, sometimes to the point of being entertaining….:- )

  17. DAVID POLOMBO

    Hi Matt,
    I realize that I am about 3 years late to the game (no pun intended), on this club. However, I have been struggling with my driver for about a year. A few years back, I was using a Cobra 3 wood as my driver and hit it very well. I recently decided to go back to a 3 wood and after much research, all roads lead me to the Callaway Big Bertha B21. Long story short, off the tee, I am now hitting the fairway over 90% of the time I have gone from “hit the driver and pray” to Mister consistency in the fairway. I actually gained distance over my driver due to the straight ball flight and roll. I was so impressed that I now have the BB21 5 wood and 2 of the B21 hybrids in my bag.
    The best part of all of this is that I was able to purchase all of these clubs off the Callaway, preowned site, in like new condition, for a fraction of what they previously cost new. Golf is now FUN again.

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