When people think of Callaway most of the time, one name pops into their head. The BIG BERTHA. In 1991 Callaway created the “Big Bertha” Driver, an oversized driver named for the huge gun used by the Germans during World War I to drop shells on Paris from six miles away. The principle behind Callaway’s creation of the metal wood driver was that it put more weight around the perimeter of the head of the club, resulting in a thinner face. According to Callaway, this gave the golfer a greater “feel” at the time of impact with the ball. Moreover, the golfer did not have to hit the ball precisely on the button to obtain directional control and good distance. Soon golfers were swearing by them, and sales surpassed all the other brands of golf clubs made in America.
Fast forward 18 years Callaway is launching their new version of the club called “Big Bertha Diablo”. Over that time the company has released countless versions of the driver that made them famous and many of them were fantastic drivers. For the past few years however the testers at The Hackers Paradise were not thrilled with the Big Bertha releases. This driver for some reason stuck with us as one that we could not wait to try out. Just the name alone makes you think Evil, and the new shape had us extremely excited to give it a whirl. What got us excited about this club was the fact that Big Bertha drivers have always been very “user friendly”. Extremely forgiving off the tee and at a price point that does not make most golfers buckle over. However this year the Big Bertha Diablo adds Hyperbolic Face Technology. If it works anything like it did in the Callaway FT-iq Driver Review than we will all be extremely happy.
Hyperbolic Face Technology increases ball speed across the entire face of the club helping launch the ball further, even when you miss-hit it. The Diablo is available in both Draw and Neutral with the Draw version being 1* closed and the Neutral being .5* open. Callaway was kind enough to send us one to try out and that model was the 9* neutral setup. The shaft that is used in this club is the Big Bertha Diablo DVS From Aldila. While we found it adequate, it would not have been our first choice in such a strong driver. The headcover is well done as well. Very colorful and has a nice pull tab to get it off the driver and out of your golf bag quite easily. Once armed with our Big Bertha Diablo we were eager to try it out on the range and could not wait any longer. The day it arrived, we assembled four testers and headed out to the course.
We each took turns hitting our personal drivers and then hitting the Big Bertha Diablo. The results were automatic and the same for all four of the players. We all loved the overall look of the club. The head shape is not completely traditional but very close and is extremely nice looking to the eyes at setup. The shaft was not really to our overall liking but did not really take away from the testing of the club too much. It just seemed to get the ball up a little fast rather than a penetrating type of trajectory we like to see. The head was HOT!!! What we found with the Diablo was very similar to the FT-iq that we tested a few weeks back. They have extremely hot faces and the ball just flies at impact. Apparently our issues we have had with previous Big Bertha models are behind them because these seem to perform as advertised.
Over the next couple of days we put it into play quite a bit. 7 different golfers used it for a round of golf and all seven reported back the same findings that we had come up with. A really hot face on a driver that gets the ball up in the air extremely fast and flies very straight. This is one of the first drivers we have encountered that on miss-hits does not really lose a ton of distance. Most were pleased. One thing I noticed when using the driver on the course is that the stock grip that comes on it did nothing for me. It was almost slick in our humid FL conditions.
We decided to take the Big Bertha Diablo to a very busy local driving range and bring it to the masses to check out. We were lucky enough to catch them at a very busy time and every area of the range was full. Thankfully THP was able to convince 24 additional players to try out the new Big Bertha Diablo. One by one we marched up and down the range having golfers of all skill levels tee it up with this soon to be released driver. We were a little surprised to find out that many of the high handicap players did not really care for the driver as much as we did. That could be because the setup we had was slightly open but we received quite a few comments calling it a “slice machine”. The better players out there all really liked the club. Surprisingly enough in our minds, it is marketed the exact opposite.
Overall, we really liked the driver. We think that with the proper setup (draw or neutral) it can fit just about any golfer out there. Some of the testers at the range struggled with control, however I had no issue with that at all. Neither did any of the players the first day at the range or the next few days on the course. We would have preferred a different shaft in the club, but that is more about preference than quality. With the MSRP at $299.95 we feel it is a great combination of price and performance. The Callaway Big Bertha Diablo will be available in stores on March 15th, 2009. Give it a try and our feeling is you will not be disappointed.
Till Next Time