Lifestyle

Callaway Updates Great Big Bertha Clubs

Callaway’s Great Big Bertha line always incorporates the “best of the best” club technology and features. Thankfully, I recently had the chance to preview these latest new-for-2023 ultra-premium clubs over five rounds.

For starters, the driver features an ultra-light graphite shaft, carbon crown and sole, Jailbreak speed frame, artificial intelligence-designed clubface, and soft lightweight grip. It’s an uber lightweight driver that’s designed to generate loads of clubhead speed, carry, trajectory, distance and forgiveness. Spoiler alert: it does on every front. Most notably with the distance. It’s long – more so than some of the other top 2022 and 2023 drivers I’ve tried. My very first drive with it – on a short par-4 hole I play often – the ball split the fairway and ended up 15 yards longer than any previous tee shot I’ve ever hit there. Contact felt solid, with an impact sound just loud enough to let me know I nutted it. That said, the shaft felt whippy. I almost always draw the ball, and this club consistently produced a slight fade – regardless of how I altered my swing to remedy it. But hey, who am I to argue with mighty drives down the middle – there’s more than one way to get to the green, right? And I love the aesthetics – a shiny sage green crown that almost looks light gray, depending on the angle you view it from, with roundish shaping. Looks great while standing over the ball. There’s a weave pattern in the carbon portion of the soleplate, which you will easily see in the sun. Overall, this is a fantastic driver for all skill levels. But it will set you back $700.

I also tried the matching fairway woods ($500 apiece) and hybrids ($450/club). Suffice it to say that the classy look, lightweight feel, high-end technology, and excellent performance is consistent throughout. The 3-wood I tested was longer than some drivers I’ve tried. And the hybrids have driver viscera built in, to make them longer, as well. And I tried them from every conceivable lie – they delivered and gave me plenty of trajectory.

The irons ($450 each), which Callaway touts as reinvented titanium irons, are the brand’s first ultra-premium multi-piece, titanium irons – promising driver-like power with an iron’s precision. Each iron has a forged titanium clubface and titanium body housing up to 145g of tungsten. That leaves more discretionary weight – helping you get speed, forgiveness, distance and overall performance. The multi-material, lightweight construction includes artificial intelligence–designed characteristics to further enhance ball speed, and urethane microspheres that help soften impact sound and feel, while still letting the face flex for a ball speed boost. I like the looks – its clubhead shaping is confidence-inspiring, the face height and offset are just right, as are the top line thickness and matte finish. Plus, I relish the soft grip. There’s also a carbon weave in the cavity cut-out plus a nicely shaped sole. It all comes together well. As with the driver, the graphite shaft feels a little whippy. But ball flight is nice and impact feels crisp. And turf interaction is fantastic. Honestly, they seem like awesome game-improvement irons — yet better players may well like them, too.

As with many other consumer goods, the price of new golf clubs is getting higher. And the Great Big Bertha exemplifies that inflation, in each category. But if that’s within your budget, definitely give them a try. They’re fun, look great, and may well help you lower your scores.

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