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A very solid upgrade to the RAZR Fit and RAZR Fit Extreme. Big Bertha introduces new technologies while maintaining excellent performance.
Unless you live under a rock, you know that Callaway is bringing back Big Bertha for 2014. While the Big Bertha Alpha is getting most of the headlines, the “other” Big Bertha driver is worthy of plenty of ink as well.
As someone who has played Callaway drivers exclusively for the last two seasons, I was very interested to see how Callaway could continue to improve on already-great drivers. Here’s what I found:
At address, the Big Bertha driver shares many characteristics with last year’s RAZR Fit Extreme, most obviously the gloss black crown and the symmetrical shape. The two noticeable differences are that Big Bertha sports a chevron alignment aid and is slightly larger from front to back.
Overall, Big Bertha straddles the line between having the look of a player’s driver and game-improvement club. The size says “forgiveness,” but the shaping is so well done that I can’t imagine better players not bagging it.
Sound & Feel
The sound of the Big Bertha is average in volume and slightly explosive in tone. It’s a solid crack that feels hot and long without being too loud or shrill.
The feel is solid, but slightly less responsive than the RAZR Fit Extreme. This is the tradeoff with forgiveness: mishits perform better, but it can be harder to know when they occur.
Big Bertha introduces two new technologies to Callaway’s top-of-the-line driver, Adjustable Perimeter Weighting and the Advanced Optifit Hosel, and both are substantial upgrades. Last year’s RAZR Fit Extreme featured adjustable weights, but the Big Bertha offers an equally effective, easier to use sliding weight instead of the two interchangeable weights. Additionally, the Advanced Optifit Hosel, first seen on last year’s Optiforce drivers, gives players far more options in setting up the club. They can now change the lie angle as well as adding or subtracting loft.
On the launch monitor, Big Bertha lived up to her name and the reputation built by her predecessors. Despite being a slightly lower loft than I typically use, the launch remained high and the spin stayed low. In fact, the spin was about 200 RPMs lower than I’ve been seeing with my RAZR Fit Extreme.
Additionally, the Big Bertha packs noticeably more forgiveness than the RFE. Both drivers are great in and immediately around the center of the face, but it’s on the bigger misses that Bertha surpasses her forerunner. My typical miss is on the heel, and on that shot I felt much less twisting and saw more ball speed than usual.
While not as revolutionary as the Alpha, the Callaway’s 2014 Big Bertha driver is an extremely solid performer. All the subjective elements should receive praise from both high and low handicappers. Most importantly, the driver delivers mid to high launch with low spin, a recipe that will help any golfer get bigger drives.
Price and Specs
Callaway’s Big Bertha driver retails for $399.
Big Bertha is available in lofts of 9°, 10.5°, and 13.5°.
The stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Z.