Martin Hopley

With all the advances in technology, most drivers are pretty forgiving for the majority of players. However if you still struggle reigning in the big dog, then what do you do? Of course you go for a super-forgiving driver and Callaway Big Bertha Fusion driver is one of these options.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

In order to make a driver 'super-forgiving' you need to increase the MOI and that means getting the weight low and back. However an all metal head keeps a lot of weight high up in the crown so reducing that is a key aim.

Since 2004, Callaway's Fusion models have built on their extensive knowledge of carbon and composite drivers to achieve this by replacing the heavy bits in the driver head by lighter bits.

In the Big Bertha Fusion they have taken this a step further by using a titanium 'Exo-Cage' for the body and then adding an ultra light Triaxial Carbon crown and sole to enable them to save weight and move it elsewhere.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

The Triaxial Carbon is 35% lighter than titanium and 15% thinner than even their Forged Composite material that Callaway used most recently on the Great Big Bertha driver.

All this saves around 35g of weight that can then be redistributed through the medallion, internal weight pads and rear screw to increase the MOI by 17% over the Callaway XR 16 Driver.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

Now I said you needed to keep the weight low and back and that is reflected in the shape of the 460cc Big Bertha Fusion driver at address, which can only be described as triangular.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

This may be unconventional, but from a forgiveness point of view it is ideal and is not all that new. Visually it is not far removed from the Callaway FT-iZ driver of 2010, which in turn was the successor of the square Callaway FT-i driver.

Callaway FT-iZ FT-iQ Driver

Square drivers were very high MOI, but the shape meant that it was slower through the air than the more triangular FT-iZ, so you could say that the Big Bertha Fusion is taking the high MOI story forward to the next level.

Speed is key and Callaway has added the Speed Step crown from the XR 16 to the Fusion to smooth the airflow over the top of the head and maximise the club head speed.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

The back of the crown has some nice styling where you can see the woven structure of the Triaxial Carbon and I think it looks pretty cool and overall, given the shape, Callaway has done very well at making it look as good as it can be.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

If you have used a composite driver before then you will be familiar with the lovely solid low pitched sound that you get from the carbon of the Big Bertha Fusion at impact.

I compared the Fusion to the XR 16 on Skytrak using the adjustable Optifit hosel to fit the same shaft to both in order to see the differences in the heads.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

As you can see, for me the Big Bertha Fusion launched it fractionally lower, but it flew higher with around 250rpm more spin and that is consistent with what Callaway were expecting.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

The carry distance from both clubs was the same with the lower flight and lower spin of the XR running out a couple more yards. The extra spin is what will help with the forgiveness so if you are in the market for one, it will just be a case of trying them both and seeing which one gives you the best results.

You will also have a choice of shafts, but as standard the Big Bertha Fusion comes with the very light 45g-55g UST Recoil or 63g Diamana Red in 45.5 or 44.5 inch lengths.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

The latter is 0.5 inch shorter than the standard for drivers so this will help when it comes to increasing the forgiveness. I have always felt that anything over 45 inches is too long for most golfers and there are plenty of studies to show that a shorter driver shaft actually increases distance as you are more likely to hit the centre of the face more often.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

The feeling is that the 44.5 inch shaft could be the more popular option and if that is the case, then this could be a turning point for driver shaft lengths in the future. In player testing with the Fusion, Callaway found that 30% of golfers were longer with the shorter shaft.

The Fusion is really for all levels of player as it comes in 9.5°, 10.5° and a very high lofted 13.5° heads that can be adjusted down 1° or up 2° in a draw or neutral face angle, so there is plenty of flexibility.

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

Super forgiving drivers come in several forms from offset hosels, to heel weighting to high MOI so there are several options out there if you struggle with your tee shots.

The Callaway Big Bertha Fusion may cost a little more than the XR 16, but for that you get cutting edge materials in a distinctive head shape with all the latest aerodynamic technology and if it enables you to hit more fairways then it will be a worthwhile investment.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
More from Callaway



Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver - Product Details

UK Launch30 September 2016
UK Launch RRP£369
USA Launch30 September 2016
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts9°, 10.5°
Right Handed Lofts9°, 10.5°, 13.5°
Head Volume460 cc
Weight295 grams
Club Lengths44.5, 45.5 inches
Swing WeightD2
Shaft NameUST Recoil, Mitsubishi Diamana Red Board
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff, X Stiff
Shaft Weight45g, 55g, 63g
GripGolf Pride New Decade Platinum
Manufacturer's WebsiteCallaway Website

User Reviews

Matt, South Carolina
May 2018

This club has given me so much more confidence off the tee. I can comfortably hit tight draws down the middle and the distance is much better than I'm used to.

March 2017

Purchased the BB Fusion with the 44.5" shaft. It is very forgiving, mis-hits stay in the fairway. It has added 15-17 yards to my drive. Tried a few different drivers, Epic ,M1/M2 and a couple others. The Fusion works best for my skill level. I'm a mid 80s player. Love this Driver.

February 2017

I demoed a 9 degree model with a stiff shaft and the 45.5 length which are all completely wrong for me. Nonetheless I was quite impressed. I was seeing shocking increases in clubhead speed with this driver over the Great Big Bertha. Later I was able to locate a 44.5 inch club with the regular flex shaft at 10.5 degrees. I think this is the sweet spot for me. I found I was getting nearly identical clubhead speeds with the 44.5 inch shaft combo while gaining much more consistent contact . Callaway might have trouble convincing the general public that shorter is better but they've got a convert with me. This driver is in the bag for the foreseeable future.

February 2017

Bought one and love it. Longer and straighter off the tee. Have played only 3 rounds so far and have only had one unplayable drive. No more slices and 80% are down the middle. The shorter shaft has changed my game! It is that more accurate!

January 2017

I tried this driver out at Lookout Mtn. in Phoenix AZ and it was an absolute dart. I found on mishits where I would expect a bad slice from my M2, the Fusion delivered a nice baby fade. I love the sound and feel off the face, and the shorter shaft added so much confidence off the tee. I felt like I could hit a 10 yard wide strip of fairway without a question, and I'm usually one who struggles with a slice from time to time.

December 2016

Best driver I've ever owned. Was fitted for and purchased a Big Bertha Fusion with the 44.5" shaft. Goes 10 to 20 yards farther than my original Big Bertha with a standard length shaft. Most shots are in the center of the face compared to a lot of shots struck on the heel with my old driver. Dispersion is also much tighter. For me the shorter shaft length makes all the difference. Have played ten rounds with the club since purchase. It's a keeper.

November 2016

I compared the Fusion to the XR 16 earlier in the year and to be honest much preferred the XR 16.

Much nicer head design and I was getting a much more consistent flight with the XR 16 as well.

I found very little between the two in terms of forgiveness as well, so try the XR 16 if you want to save yourself a few quid.

October 2016

Love the 44.5" Big Bertha Fusion. If I get out in front of the ball I might shove it right....but it will not slice which happens at least twice a round with a 45.5 to 46 inch shafted driver. Very straight with a slight draw bias. Picked up the 3 and 5 woods as well. I love the 5.

September 2016

I normally use the Big Bertha Alpha and have been playing the Fusion for two days now and am having a difficult time hitting it so I took it out of the bag. Might fool around with it at the range, but not on the course. The Alpha is always straight as an arrow. I'd rather be in the fairway than long.

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