Martin Hopley
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With the return of an old friend with the relaunch of Big Bertha driver in 2013 it was surely only a matter of time before Callaway delved back into the box marked 'iconic golf club names' to bring us the Great Big Bertha driver.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

Yes I am ancient enough to remember the first time round when the outrageously bigger 253cc version of the Big Bertha was the ground breaking driver of its time.

So with drivers already maxxed out at 460cc, how would they put the Great in Big Bertha today?

Well, they haven't made it bigger. It may be 460cc but at address the Great Big Bertha (GBB) looks smaller than their largest looking current driver, the XR.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

So why is it a greater Big Bertha? Well if you buy into the explanation it is because it echoes the ground breaking nature of the original GBB. In that case I can't wait for the re-release of the Greatest Big Bertha.

Callaway say that this is a driver for everyone that will sit between the original Big Bertha and the Alpha 815 and offers the performance of an XR with some adjustability from the 10g sliding weight around the back of the head.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

This obviously looks like the Big Bertha launched in 2014 but now the sliding track is aligned more towards the heel side of the head with the track stop just half way round to the toe.

Apparently hardly anyone was using the toe end of the track in the Big Bertha to add some fade bias. They really needed more help to reduce fades so the Great Big Bertha is set up to be more neutral with a slight draw bias.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

In the centre of the sole there is now a visible sole weight that seems to be some sort of source of light and power according to the sole graphics.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

What it really does is move the CG lower and a little forward in the sole of the club. The crown is made of Forged Composite and the whole chassis is lighter, which comes from the Big Bertha V Series so you can see this is almost the greatest hits of recent Big Bertha features, so maybe that is the inspiration for the name too.

At address the more compact head looks pretty good with a small Callaway chevron on a matte black head. Although, if it is designed for everyone, then possibly most would prefer a little larger footprint like the XR as the GBB is verging on being a touch compact.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

However the sliding weight set up may have something to do with this and the effect on the flight of the ball was subtle but noticeable, more so in fade set up.

There is also a second generation of the R-Moto face from the Alpha 815 to aid weight distribution and forgiveness and like most Callaway drivers the sound and feel were excellent.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

Wherever you hit it on the face it performed well and it played a little larger than its head size, if you know what I mean.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

The flight was medium high and a little lower than XR depending on how you set up the sliding weight, the usual OptiFit adjustable hosel and your shaft selection.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

The stock Mitsubishi Kuro Kage shaft looks good and the club suits it very well, but if it is not for you then there is plenty of choice at your local Callaway fitting centre.

So how Great is the GBB? Well, really there is nothing to fault.

It looks good, sounds and feels great and the sliding weight and adjustable hosel gives you some fine tuning options to dial in the driver to get the most from you swing as you can tighten the weight anywhere you want along the sliding track.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

The decision is do you really need this option. When it hits the streets it will be well over £300 which puts it in the upper echelon of drivers, where, to be fair, it belongs.

However for around £70 less you can get an XR that will also have an adjustable hosel and a larger, albeit slightly more closed look. The XR will probably suit you just as well because it is aimed at the majority of the market who want an off the shelf driver without the extra adjustability or investment.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

That is really the choice Callaway is offering you with this driver. If money is no object or a fitting session shows you that the Great Big Bertha's sliding weight can improve the performance of your driving, then rest assured that the GBB will be a Great Big Bertha for you.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver

Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver - Product Details

Launch UK18 September 2015
Launch USA28 August 2015
Launch RRP£369
Handicap Range
Low
High
GolferMens, Women
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts9°, 10.5°
Right Handed Lofts9°, 10.5°, 13.5°
MaterialTitanium, Composite
Head Volume460 cc
Weight295 grams
Club Length45.5 inches
Swing WeightD3
AdjustabilityLoft, Face Angle, Weight
Shaft NameMRC Barassa 42g, Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Bkack 50, Fujikura Evolution 665 Tour Spec
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexLight, Regular, Stiff, X Stiff
Manufacturer's WebsiteCallaway Website

User Reviews

January 2016

Switch from a Titleist 913 which I used to hit into orbit with a light fade and high spin, loosing any run. Then I hit the GBB and M1 on a launch monitor and instantly gained 25 yards of carry with both clubs, and spin dropped by approx 1000rpm. GBB just felt a little nicer to me over the M1 and averaged just a little longer and straighter, plus I prefer the looks of the GBB. The GBB set up to draw has now allowed me to draw the ball, something I could never achieve with any of my past drivers. I was worried that the improvement seen on the launch monitor wouldn't be transfered to the course, but I'd needn't have worried. My approach shots are now at least 2-3 clubs less and I'm finally seeing the left side of my course! Plus when you have confidence in your driver it carries through to the rest of your game. Key is to get custom fit though and don't play with the adjustability after fitting.

November 2015

I'm swinging better so I suppose that helps... (I'm a 8 going to 7), but I can assure you that for me (with the Evolution shaft S) this club is easily 10 yards longer than the G30 or the Aeroburner - for me (SS 100 --max). It's not too light for me; it feels great off the face (great feel/sound for a Callaway driver) and it goes... low spin relative to what you might think. Try them all, but I'm not the only guy I know who hit it longer on the launch monitor and it proved no different in real play. I'm not crazy about the alignment arrow, but it's cleaner than the XR and, like I said, when you catch it most anywhere near the sweat spot, it just goes. I've got the 3 wood as well. It's long, but I wish it set up a little less closed. Cup face seems to be the real deal.

November 2015

The GBB is a revelation and as forgiving as Pope Francis. Ballspeed retention is excellent on off-center hits and you get more than you deserve. Regarding those off-center hits, if your miss is towards the toe, set the perimeter weight to fade and that twisty toe feeling disappears as well as the severe flight to the left. Instead, one gets a light draw. If your miss is heel, try the draw setting.

The driver comes alive when dialed in to your swing. Hit up on the driver and you get a mid-high to high flight with a more shallow descent than the XR. Complaints on the XR head is that it is too light, and without adjustment, it may not work for you. Buyer beware of the XR - demo.

The GBB's KK Black stock shaft is smoother than a baby's behind with a mid-launch, mid-spin character. If you want something lower or higher, check out the selection of shafts. You will find one that fits you - many without an up charge.

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