Martin Hopley

The Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic fairway wood continues a long line of classic short grass metals that deliver forgiveness and distance in a good looking and easy to hit head.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway

That could be all I need to say, but there is little bit more to the Epic fairway.

By association with the Great Big Bertha Epic driver, you would expect the same Jailbreak rods inside the head to increase the ball speed.

However as in the genetics of life, not everyone in the family comes out the same way and at present the extra performance comes from more tried and trusted technologies that make the Epic fairway special in its own way.

Firstly we have Triaxial carbon in the crown that weighs under 6g and enables Callaway to save weight upstairs and put it downstairs to help launch and forgiveness. It also gives the crown a dynamic look as the carbon lattice structure is revealed around the rear of the head.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway

There is also the Speed Step crown to improve the aerodynamics. In this size of head the effect of the Speed Step will be positive, but not as much as the driver and probably equal to its role as an alignment device.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway

Therefore we come to the latest version of the thinner faster Face Cup, which is what gives Callaway's fairways and the Epic its playability and forgiveness.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway

As always this feels and looks great and Callaway has almost perfected this style of head now.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway

At address the rounded head sits a little squarer than the XR 16 fairway and the top line maybe looks a little sharper.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway

The sound is maybe a little on the hollow side and maybe not as luxurious as Callaway's steel or titanium fairways, but it is still pretty good.

It is very easy to hit from a variety of lies and is as comfortable off the tee as it is from the semi-rough, which is a good achievement.

There is a good choice of stock shafts that you can be fitted for, but you probably won't have to look much further than the 65g Project X HZRDUS graphite shaft that is light, stable and suits the club very well.

Project X HZRDUS shaft

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero Fairway Review

If you prefer a smaller more compact fairway that spins a little less, then the Sub Zero version of the GBB Epic fairway could be for you.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero Fairway

Available in two lofts of 13.5° and 15° with the same OptiFit hosel as the standard model, this has a lower flight and a slightly higher pitched sound.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero Fairway

It is really all about the flight you want from your fairway. The flight on the standard Epic should be fine for most players, but the Sub Zero will give you more options.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero Fairway

As well as the head profile, the sole also has two weight ports for a pair of 3g and 22g weights to be swapped between so you can play around with about 250rpm of spin.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero Fairway

Testing it in the forward position was hard work as you will need a tour level swing speed to get any joy from it.

However good amateurs may get on better with the back position if they get the face loft right and then it could become a powerful, Stenson like, driving fairway.


Let me be clear that the Great Big Bertha Epic is a very good fairway. The squarer look than the XR 16 and the all round ease of play combined with excellent performance and forgiveness makes this one of the best fairways in the market.

Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway

With the carbon crown it is a little pricier than most and £90 more than the XR 16 and given the family name I was expecting the Jailbreak rods behind the face to see if that had the same effect on ball speed.

From the nudges and winks at the launch, it is seems likely that this will come at some point in the future. It's probably just too early at this stage for it to fit in the smaller head and they are just fine tuning it to ensure it delivers to the fairway what it does to the Great Big Bertha Epic driver.

Like two heavyweights on a collision course, the Callaway Jailbreak technology is taking a different approach to faster faces from the slot technology used by competitors like the TaylorMade M2 2017 fairway.

I hope this match up transpires in the future as I would love to see them go face to face on the fairway.

Because that would be epic.

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
More from Callaway



Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway Wood - Product Details

UK Launch27 January 2017
UK Launch RRP£279
USA Launch27 January 2017
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts15°, 18°, 20.5°, 21°, 24°
Right Handed Lofts14°, 15°, 18°, 20.5°, 21°, 24°
Head Volume177 cc
Swing WeightD2
AdjustabilityLoft, Face Angle
Shaft NameDiamana M+ Green, Project X HZRDUS, Fujikura Pro Green, Aldila Rogue Max
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff, X Stiff
Shaft Weight40g, 50g, 60g, 70g, 80g
Number/Loft3+/14°, 3/15°, 5/18°, Heavenwood/20.5°, 7/21°, Divine 9/24°
Manufacturer's WebsiteCallaway Website

User Reviews

Pete Olski
January 2018

Last season, I purchased an Epic 3 wood. In three days, that became my favorite club ever. The ball just jumps off the face. My driver has been quite inconsistent the past two years. With the Epic 3 wood, I started using it at times off the tee box and found that often I held up in distance to fellow players using their drivers. I carry 3, 4 and 5 hybrids to cover distances from my 5 iron to my 3 wood. I use hybrids a lot. The Calloway OptiFit hosel adjustment system is the best, most intuitive I've come across. I've had other adjustable clubs and one I couldn't figure out without the manual. I'm interested in looking at the Epic hybrids this year.

Ben Elmore
August 2017

Bought the Epic 3+ 13.5 Deg. because I can't hit a driver with any consistency. Love this club. Long and straight. 230-240 off the tee when hit flush. That is what I was getting out of a good driver.

Pete Olski
June 2017

Just a great club. I'm near the bottom of the skill level totem pole. I picked up the Epic driver first, but I've been struggling swinging a driver the past year. After I bought the Epic 3 metal, it quickly became my favourite club. I'm much more consistent with it, both off a tee and on the deck. Ball comes off like a rocket. I've started teeing off with the 3 metal on certain par 4's, especially in league play, because I get the ball in the fairway without too much distance loss compared to my driver. Looking forward to the day I can hit my Epic driver with the same consistency.

May 2017

Currently playing an old R9, carry 225, rolls to 240 on track man. Field Tested Titleist 917, TaylorMade M1 & M2, Srixon Z65 and Callaway Epic. Absolutely no comparison for me. The Epic was significantly longer and straighter, with a carry to 250 and ran to 285+. Hit 4 iron into first 2 par 5's, very rare for me. What I find most compelling is noticeable lack of spin. Now set to 11 deg loft and D face, crushing it. Tried the Epic 3 metal next, set to 15 deg N face, carry about 220 rolls to 235+. Roll is significantly less, but relatively straight and high. I have never owned any Callaway products but I do now, Well done Callaway.

January 2017

I've just completed a fitting and I have to say, on a dry fitting (indoors, trackman, it performed very well. The dispersion front to back after 12 balls was about 10 yards. I struggle with driver and fairway due to a negative angle of attack but this performed well and launched well for me (generally a very low flight due to my angle of attack). Smash factor remained consistently 1.48-1.50 - unheard of for me. My own gaming clubs (srixon fairway and driver) deliver 1.38 at best, so Callaway have delivered a club that, for me, 75% of the time will clear 200 yards carry, which increases my course-management abilities. A good club worth trying

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