Could the new Callaway Big Bertha 23 Driver be the answer for the many golfers struggling with a slice?
Described as one of Callaway’s "easiest to hit clubs", that will help you find more fairways while optimising speed, spin and forgiveness.
As usual with new driver releases promising forgiveness and speed - it all sounds great, but is it too good to be true?
So, what has Callaway brought into the Big Bertha Driver to help with slice reduction? Interestingly, it seems that they have done something a little different to most manufacturers claiming to eradicate the slice off the tee.
Instead of moving the weight back, like most game-improvement drivers, they have moved the weight forward closer the head - more like you'd see in a better player, low-spin offering.
This main ‘anti-slice’ fighting tech is the ultra-low and forward CG placement. This helps to reduce spin on the ball, which could lead to a slice, while further promoting a draw by distributing the weight more into the heel of the club.
The A.I. designed XL face allows for a large sweet-spot, giving us that typical Big Bertha forgiveness seen in previous models. This face has been designed with cutting edge A.I. technology, giving a shape that increases ball speed while lowering spin, again helping to fight the slice and increase distance.
As seen in other Callaway models the Big Bertha features jailbreak technology, now as two strips connected together in a wishbone shape first seen in the Callaway Paradym early this year. Positioned on the internal face of the club, this is meant to provide optimized ball speed with improved MOI, while still delivering the stability we expect from Bertha clubs.
The clubhead itself is stretched Bertha shape to inspire confidence across a large, forgiving head shape. We also see the use of a triaxial carbon crown, helping to reduce the overall weight of the club for an easy-to-swing experience.
Watch on YouTube
You can watch my full review via the Golfalot YouTube channel here:
If you like what you see, please make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to see all Golfalot video reviews.
Callaway Big Bertha 23 Driver Review
Looks and Feel
Callaway has taken the design of this driver back to the original Big Bertha roots, which I’m a big fan of. The colour scheme features sharp red accents on top of a silver, black and white base with the iconic words ‘Big Bertha’ taking centre stage.
It’s certainly a bit bold and almost ‘in-your-face’ initially, but this is balanced out by a simple crown design, showing just the traditional Callaway chevron as an alignment aid, and only some small 'BB' detailing on the heel.
I much prefer the red details to the navy blue used back in 2021. Something about this design and colour-scheme promotes confidence – a feeling you want with a driver.
Personally, the design of this updated Big Bertha club ticked all the boxes for me, I was excited to hit each tee shot with some much confidence.
The first few shots out on the course felt very different to my current driver, the Callaway Epic Flash. The positive was that even hitting into awkward winds, it really felt as though the club was helping keep the ball in control.
However, I felt almost slightly held back with this driver – I wasn’t getting my usual distance and due to some of the design features of the club, I was struggling to launch it up as high as I normally would resulting in less carry.
The strike didn’t quite feel as pure as I’d like from a driver, it certainly wasn't ‘clunky’ but not quite super-clean either. There was certainly a lot of stability and forgiveness there, but that seemed to come with some sacrifice to flight and distance a little, which to be honest you'd expect.
The Foresight data backed up what I was sensing on the course. Compared to my current driver, I was losing some distance on the total, and a lot on the carry. This is because part of the ‘anti-slice’ technology used in the Driver works to reduce the spin rate, which in turn will reduce how far you’re carrying the ball but allows for a bit more run out.
My average carry dropped from 220 yards to 198, with my total from 240 to 232. As you’d maybe expect from those numbers, there was also a drop in ball speed from 136 to 132mph, and a drop in launch angle from 12.4 degrees to 10.7. The biggest change however was the spin – from an average of 2690 down to 1789 rpm. This is way too low, but in fairness to what Callaway are trying to achieve here, it's doing the job.
Another interesting stat comes from looking at the side-spin. My average with my own driver was 7-right, however with the Big Bertha I was getting 58-left. I'm not a golfer that struggles with a consistent slice, and this data confirmed that this driver really wasn't fit for my game.
It was very clear on the range that the club sets out to help you draw the ball, however, we needed to see if this would be the same story out on the course...
In terms of consistency and distribution, it would be fair to say that not a single one of my shots took a huge slice off to the right... even when I was trying to! This club doesn’t magically stop the ball from ever going off to the right, it just takes the severity of it down and keeps the ball in play even when a slice comes in.
I did find it a bit of a struggle getting used to the lower ball flight, and I wasn’t initially a fan of the huge drop in carry distance. That said, I did enjoy how steady the shots kept into wind or with a cross-wind and feel as though many golfers could benefit from the control this driver offers off the tee.
Callaway Big Bertha 23 Driver Verdict
After getting used to this club, I was almost feeling disappointed that it wasn’t the right fit for me. The design overall is fantastic in my opinion. Enough ‘flash’ to make you excited about the club, but enough subtility at address that you’re not over-faced with colour and decoration. The anti-slice features seem to work well, and I imagine could save lots of golfers from destruction off the tee. You just have to weigh up the benefits of stability and control, compared to the reduction in distances, most specifically in carry.
Who Is It Aimed At?
This club would be great for any player who struggles with a slice and needs a bit of help controlling their driver. For someone who knows one of their main downfalls is losing the ball right off the tee, this club could make a huge improvement to their game.
Would I Use It?
As someone who likes to chase height and carry distance on my own drives, I didn’t like how this was taken away from me with this club. I did, however, really like the confidence this driver gave me when hitting into awkward winds or on holes with trouble down the right.
This club really isn’t designed for me, as I don’t struggle to control the ball off the tee, and it actually works against my standard shot shape. I can, however, absolutely see the benefit of having this in the bag if I did struggle with a slice.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Titleist T300 23 21 Irons Review
Cobra Snakebite-X 2023 Wedge Review