For lots of golfers, hybrids may well be the most important clubs in the bag. There are so many players who could improve from 150 yards and out simply by making life easier for themselves and switching out the 4 and 5 irons for something a little more forgiving.
If you're someone who finds yourself with long approaches into the par 3s and par 4s at your home course, then adding a couple of hybrids into your bag could be a much easier way of saving strokes rather than agonising over whether you have the right wedge grind or correct driver loft.
Lucky for you, Callaway's new Big Bertha B21 range features a hybrid which is designed to provide distance and forgiveness in abundance, along with an offset look which should help those of you who struggle with a slice. Let's take a closer look...
What's It All About?
The B21 Hybrid follows the rest of the new Big Bertha range in falling within the 'super game-improvement' category that is ideal for beginner or high handicap golfers, who want a club that is going to be easy to launch and forgiving on off-centre strikes.
It features Callaway's Flash Face SS21 which has been seen across the Big Bertha and Mavrik ranges this year, and designed thanks to their AI super-computer to provide fast ball speeds right across the face.
There's plenty of offset to help with squaring the club face at impact, which will be music to the ears of slicers everywhere, and it could also give you a couple of yards extra distance too.
Combine this with Callaway's well regarded Jailbreak Technology, which links the crown and sole of the club together to ensure that energy is retained at impact, and this'll help with distance too.
In order to provide the launch and higher trajectory that many golfers crave, the B21 features dual MIM'ed tungsten weights placed in the sole of the clubhead to lower the centre of gravity.
The technology keeps on coming too, as there's a T2C Carbon Crown which is extra light and has been engineered so that weight can be re-distributed for more forgiveness, with the added bonus of making it easier to swing with a little more speed.
The B21 Hybrid features a new RCH shaft which has been specifically designed to enhance the club's performance, and features a new 'Active Tip' section which promotes an easy launch.
Callaway B21 Hybrid Review
Looks and Feel
As I mentioned in the B21 Fairway I am a big fan of the blue, silver and red colourway as it looks modern whilst also reminding me of some of Callaway's greatest hits from down the years.
When my colleague Sophie tested out the Mavrik Hybrid range earlier this year she noticed that both the standard and Max models were iron-like shapes with a square toe, and the B21 Hybrid continues on this theme.
As you'd expect there's a pretty noticeable amount of offset at address which I think will immediately exclude quite a few golfers from wanting to try this club - a common issue with hybrids, especially for better players, is that they can tend to go left and so a hybrid with even more offset than usual is not going to help with this!
On the crown, the Callaway 'V' helps you to frame the ball up nicely and I quite like the fact that the white scorelines are visible at address as it gives the impression that the hitting area is a little larger too.
To be honest I don't think you should worry too much about the feel of this club as it's really not too important. The B21 is designed for people who are just looking to make solid contact every time they hit it and get the ball up and around the green rather than fatting a 4 iron 50 yards in front of them.
Consequently the slightly firmer feel and high-pitched noise may provide the impression that the ball is coming off the face a little bit faster, which is a good thing.
The new RCH shaft is nicely balanced and makes the B21 easy to launch without too much effort. The one reservation I would have just one shaft option being available is that just because someone is a beginner or high handicapper, or struggles with a slice, doesn't mean that they can't generate plenty of club head speed.
So this is where the all-important testing comes in to make sure that this club and shaft is suited to you.
As soon as I started hitting balls on the range and then out on the course, I instantly noticed the high ball flight. Callaway has ensured that the weight is low and back on the clubhead to help with launch and this can certainly be seen in your shots as it's really easy to get the ball up in the air.
As expected, the offset and square-toe shape did produce quite a pronounced draw for me which meant that I had to aim right of target in order to shape the ball that, but this was reassuring as it suggested that the B21 would help to straighten up the ball flight of those golfers who struggle with the dreaded slice.
One of the key things that a hybrid needs to do is provide versatility and the B21 certainly felt forgiving from a variety of lies, even during some pretty wet conditions on the day of testing.
There's no specific technology built into the sole like you might see with the likes of TaylorMade V-Steel and Cobra's Rails but I was still impressed with the turf interaction.
As I mentioned with the B21 Fairway review, I think the one downfall in the club's performance is that it can be a little one-dimensional thanks to the big friendly head shape and offset, along with the strategic weighting for better launch.
Whilst I didn't like the offset look at address I think golfers may be able to get around that fact if they knew that it was doing them some good, and if you are a beginner or high-handicapper just looking for some more consistency then having a club that produces predictable results is not a bad thing.
The high launch coupled with slightly higher spin meant that this wasn't the hottest hybrid I've tested but it still held it's own well. With a 21 degree hybrid I'd usually expect 195 yards carry and the B21 came in at just under 190 yards on average, although I did have a couple of mishits which probably didn't help.
Of course if this was in the hands of somebody who did struggle with launch and consistent strikes then the numbers may be better than their existing option.
It's also important to note that hybrids also aren't really about how far you can hit them, but about filling a spot at the top end of your bag and providing some reliability when you're out of position or you've got a long way in to the green.
The dispersion from my session shows the clear draw bias as every shot finished to the left of target, whilst the ball speed hovered in the mid-to-high 120s (mph) apart from on one poor strike so the Jailbreak is working there to give you consistent numbers accross the face.
- Carry Distance - 187 yards
- Total Distance - 202.3 yards
- Ball Speed - 126.6 mph
- Spin Rate - 4139 rpm
- Peak Height - 31.6 yards
- Offline - 13.6 yards (L)
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Hybrid Verdict
When summing up a club's performance I suppose the most important thing to answer is whether it did as the the manufacturer claimed it would.
Callaway says that the B21 Hybrid provides 'distance any way you swing it' and is their 'easiest to launch'.
So did they keep their promise?
On the whole, yes. The B21 was very easy to launch and hit, and whilst I didn't see any distance increase I have to caveat that by saying that this club is not suited to me and so in the hands of someone who struggles with consistency in the long game I don't doubt that it would perform well.
Callaway say that the B21 Hybrid provides higher forgiveness, launch and draw bias than their Mavrik Max Hybrid, so if that's what you're looking for, then look no further.
Very easy to hit and launch
Blue, red and grey colourway looks great
Jailbreak Technology seemed to work on off-centre hits
Definite draw bias
Forgiving from a variety of lies
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Callaway Mavrik Hybrids Review
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver Review