Let me start this Callaway Big Bertha driver review by pointing out that
Callaway Golf is widely regarded as one of the world's premier golf
club manufacturers. The company's stuff isn't cheap, but whether you're
looking for clubs, balls, gloves, golf attire or other golf equipment,
Callaway Golf always delivers quality, and Callaway's clubs are highly
desired by professionals and amateurs alike.
The name "Big Bertha" has occupied a warm place in the hearts and minds of amateur golfers for almost 25 years. This series of clubs is one of Callaway's most popular, and some might say it is primarily responsible for Callaway's fine reputation.
Big Bertha clubs, including the original Callaway Big Bertha driver, were first introduced in the late 1980s. They have been so popular that Callaway has created several "spin-off" series, including clubs labeled "Great Big Bertha," "Great Big Bertha II," "Great Big Bertha II+," "Biggest Big Bertha," "Big Bertha War Bird," "Big Bertha Titanium 454" drivers, "Big Bertha 460" drivers, "Big Bertha Fusion," "Big Bertha C4" drivers, and, most recently, "Big Bertha Diablo" clubs. Each of these lines of Big Bertha clubs used the finest materials and technology that were available at the time.
In addition to sharing the Big Bertha name, the original Big Bertha clubs and all their derivatives share a commitment to using superior materials, fine craftsmanship and cutting edge technology to improve golfers' scores. Like other Big Bertha clubs, the Callaway Big Bertha is designed to help amateurs reach their true playing potential. It accomplishes this goal by delivering distance off the tee, being forgiving and making it easier to launch the ball higher in the air. These characteristics, along with its continuing popularity, make the ground-breaking original Callaway Big Bertha driver worthy of a review despite its status as an older, classic driver.
In all honesty, I feel compelled to tell you that the original Callaway Big Bertha came onto the market back in the late 1980s. Its age might (or might not) have an effect on how you feel about it. For one thing, the development of new designs, club materials, shafts and so forth did not stop on the day the Big Bertha driver became available. Instead, golf club technology improves every year, so this driver just isn't cutting edge anymore. Second, because of its age, it's unlikely that you'll be able to walk into your pro shop or a big-box golf or sporting goods store and find an original Big Bertha driver for sale. That doesn't mean you won't be able to find one, however. Many websites sell older clubs at a substantial discount. Some even specialize in used clubs, which normally sell for much less than their original cost. I scoped out some of these places, and I found some used drivers selling for $10, although at that price I'm not sure about their condition. The moral here is that you're not completely out of luck if you decide you want an original Callaway Big Bertha driver. I just thought I'd warn you it won't be as easy to buy as more recent drivers.
Callaway's clubs have long been top-of-the-line, and the original Callaway Big Bertha driver was too, when it was released. It was billed as the "World's Friendliest Driver" and the first stainless steel (not wood) widebody driver. Taking its name from a famous cannon used in World War I, the Callaway Big Bertha driver has perimeter weighting for increased forgiveness. It also uses Callaway's patented, world-renowned S2H2 bore-through hosel, a technology that has stood the test of time despite being introduced by Callaway in 1988. The S2H2 system is considered to be one of Callaway Golf's true technological breakthroughs, and Callaway clubs still use it today. S2H2 allows Callaway to shorten the length of the hosel and move weight lower and to the perimeter of the clubhead. The bottom line, once again, is increased forgiveness. The original Callaway Big Bertha driver also features Tru-Bore technology, where the shaft extends through the hosel and clubhead, and its tip is visible on the club's sole. Tru-Bore technology is intended to improve feel and control.
The clubhead size of an original Callaway Big Bertha driver is 190cc - a far cry from today's 460cc drivers. This might or might not be a disadvantage. Some people prefer today's oversized drivers, but others prefer a smaller clubhead. Many amateurs say the larger drivers are easier to hit, but other players disagree.
The Bottom Line: the original Callaway Big Bertha driver isn't for accomplished players, but if you want to improve your game by getting a well-made club without spending a lot of money, it might be right for you.