This isn’t a comeback, Bertha has always been here, but this time the new Great Big Bertha is taking a unique place in the Callaway lineup. Rather than replacing the flagship Epic or Rogue releases, GBB is more or less assuming the place previously held by Epic STAR. Yes, Bertha is going ultra-premium in both technology and, yes, price. If you are sitting there thinking it is a simple change of name for the STAR line, you are dead wrong.
Great Big Bertha is, like STAR was, absolutely aimed at maximizing weight savings to create an ultra-light offering which doesn’t sacrifice ball speed or forgiveness for the sake of being lightweight. However, that is the only similarity, because this time the name of the game is what Callaway is calling “A material difference in performance” which centered around each club type in the lineup having its own dedicated design team. Aimed at golfers in the 12+ handicap range who have the means to pay for distance, this is a niche release that will turn heads.
While this is a complete lineup, with so much to cover it made the most sense to break it up. Here, we take a closer look at the hybrids and irons but be sure to check out our other article on the metalwoods.
Callaway Great Big Bertha Hybrids
As the years have gone by, no company has done as thorough a job developing and pushing the envelope when it comes to hybrids like Callaway. Frankly, they are cannons. This time around, the goal is to harness that into a club which slower swing speed players can take advantage of while also complimenting the new irons we will get to in a bit.
Immediately, the shaping stands out as it is a departure from the very squared off look which Callaway utilized so well. With the new GBB, everything is more rounded, similar to a fairway wood shaping and also utilizes more sole camber to improve versatility as well as turf interaction. The sizing and offset are quite well done with neither overdone, with its “Sage Green” metallic crown color the hybrid appears to be extremely well thought out.
The fact that Callaway is calling this one a hybrid with “driver DNA” however, merits the largest share of discussion. A recurring trend in this new lineup, the hybrid is also a titanium construction in the body and face which allowed them to free up weight to be moved elsewhere. More is being saved by finishing out the body of the club with the triaxial carbon crown and new Forged Carbon sole. How much weight? The application of 78g of tungsten provides that answer. If you don’t already know, that is a ton of tungsten in any design, let alone a hybrid.
Internally, for the first time Callaway is implementing Jailbreak with Batwing tech into a hybrid and of course they have utilized their A.I. system to integrate it alongside Flash Face. According to Callaway, this has let them find even more ball speed than before, as well as more spin consistency on misses across the face.
The Great Big Bertha hybrid is going to be offered in 3-Hybrid through an 8-Hybrid, yes, you read that right. Thanks to the weight savings via materials, Callaway was able to implement the OptiFit adapter into the design. Combine that with the UST Helium Nanocore (40, 50, 70) shaft, Winn Dri-Tac 2.0 grip, and lofts from 18.0 to 32.0 degrees, it appears that Callaway has definitely delivered on the goal of making the new Great Big Bertha as premium as possible. If the tech doesn’t confirm that for you though, perhaps the $449.99 price point might.
Callaway Great Big Bertha Irons
The club which might be the biggest showstopper of the new Bertha lineup looks to be the irons, with a shape and profile that is based around what the Apex DCB established. Being that the focus is on maximizing launch and forgiveness, the size makes sense as it allows for mass in all the right places while not being too much. The rest of the aesthetics showcase the borderline absurd amount of tech Callaway has pumped into this one.
You see, this is a design which Callaway has been working on for years. For the first time in the company’s history, they are producing a one-piece titanium body iron and marrying it to a forged titanium face. The forged face is the thinnest Callaway has produced thus far as they continue to find ways to push the boundaries, and in this case the use of CP4 titanium as the body is the key. What is CP4? It stands for “commercially pure” and has to this point been used in medicine.
The reason for applying it here is one of the traits it possesses is bendability which had previously been an issue using titanium in irons. Well, that is one reason, the other is the fact that it saved 96g of weight versus steel. Yes, 96 grams. That is a jaw dropping amount of weight in any clubhead, let alone an iron. So, what did Callaway do? They have implemented the most high-density tungsten ever for them in the Great Big Bertha irons, up to 145g, that is 50% more than any other iron on the market for those keeping track at home.
Around that massive amount of tungsten is all the other tech Callaway has up its sleeve in irons. A.I. Flash Face has been implemented on each club in the set to optimize the spin and ball speed potential of that thin forged titanium face, and to help preserve feedback they are also utilizing Urethane Microspheres. According to the company, the Great Big Betha irons are basically a titanium driver face in an iron. They state that it makes for a more “powerful” sound (feel) than 17-4 steel irons and that it is utterly unique which will no doubt make it fun to get the feedback of golfers who get out to try them upon release.
The Great Big Bertha irons are, like the rest of the line, all about differentiation. From a design standpoint there is nothing on the market like this, heck, I doubt some companies have even considered some of this possible to pull off. The irons are available with UST Mamiya’s Helium Nanocore (50, 60) as the graphite option and for the first time ever Nippon is a stock option for Callaway in steel with their NS 850GH Neo (85) shafts. The set makeup includes 4-PW with AW and SW available as well. For those curious, though the set is aimed at distance and speed, the material design has made so much power that the lofts are not as strong as you might suspect with the PW at 43.0 degrees. All that said, at $449.99 a stick, the target audience here is very clear.
Callaway has stated that the Great Big Bertha is a different beast, a lineup totally focused on being different with the understanding it will not be for the masses, but rather a very focused segment. While there is no doubt the price point will be the initial driver of the conversation, you cannot deny that Callaway cuts no corners within that price, they throw the entire house at it, let alone the kitchen sink.
What do you think? Are you curious? Does the target demographic fall in your wheelhouse? Jump into the conversation on the THP Community or in the comments below and let your voice be heard!