Picking up the Callaway Big Bertha V Series fairway was like meeting an old friend that you haven't seen in a long time. The present this old friend brought me was the classic Warbird sole that defined a generation of fairway woods in the 1990s.
Why they ever did away with it always baffled me as the contoured design is perfect for all the many lie angles you encounter on the golf course.The other advantage was that the deeper, lower centre point of the sole was also pretty good out of longer grass in pre-hybrid times.
Fast forward to the 21st century and the Big Bertha V Series fairway features a mid sized head that sits squarely at address. It has a glossy crown that does reflect everything in range, but the white chevron alignment aids stands out well.
Unlike the 'standard' Big Bertha fairways, there is no adjustable hosel on the V Series fairway, which is a good thing as the long slim hosel blends in nicely to the dark looks. This helps to keep the weight and probably the price down too and Callaway say that with the introduction of extra lofts such as the 20.5° Heavenwood should provide enough options for all golfers.
The key to the performance on the V Series Big Bertha range is the lightness of the steel clubhead for greater speed. Callaway are focussing on physics by saying if the club is lighter then you will be able to make it go faster with the same effort, as the graphic on the sole with their cartoon Sir Isaac Newton reminds you.
Even with Sir Isaac hanging off the back, the fairway does feel quite light thanks in part to the 52 gram Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara shaft, so we wouldn't dream of arguing that this does not help the club head speed marginally. The shafts are also little longer than usual with the 3-wood coming in at 43.25 inches to help gain a little more clubhead speed.
Like the originals, the Big Bertha V Series fairways feel light in the head when you swing them too, as the higher pitched, but pleasing, sound shows. If you like your fairways heavy or want to feel them coming down through the swing then this may not be the club for you.
However it was lovely to hit and the lighter weight made it effortless to get the ball away on a medium to high trajectory. Mid to slow swing speed golfers will love these clubs and the return of the longer 43 inch shafted Heavenwood could be a secret weapon for some.
The Hyper Speed steel face gives plenty of feel and converts all that extra clubhead speed into ball speed very well. Over the last few years, Callaway have got their faces to be hot once again and now they have the frame to put around it to get the most from the extra clubhead speed.
The X2 Hot fairway feels a little heavier and that may suit just as many people, but if you prefer the weight of the Big Bertha V Series then the Warbird sole, Hyper Speed face and the modern take on an old classic are all the reasons you need to put it in your bag.