During the mid-2000s, Callaway Big Bertha golf balls were one of the
company's most popular models. Because of their affordable price (MSRP
was about $25 per dozen) and ball flight characteristics, they were
especially beloved by mid- to high-handicap players. At the time, I
fell into that category, and I loved playing with Callaway Big Bertha
These are older balls (first sold in January, 2004) and they're getting hard to find nowadays. I played a ton of rounds with them, though, and my memories of them remain quite vivid. Back then, these golf balls were always my "go-to" balls. Have you ever stood on the first tee and just "knew" you were going to have a good round? I have, and when that happened I'd play Callaway Big Bertha golf balls so I would keep that high level of confidence. More times than not, they'd come through for me.
Like the Callaway CB1 golf balls I reviewed elsewhere on this site, Callaway Big Bertha golf balls came in Red and Blue versions. The Red was marketed as a soft-feel "distance" ball, while the Blue had a slightly softer cover and slightly higher compression. It was designed to promote more short-game spin but still provide distance off the tee.
Both types these balls used a two-piece construction, a soft ionomer cover, a large, low-compression core and Callaway's patented "HEX Aerodynamics." Still used on the company's current balls, HEX Aerodynamics consists of a geometric pattern of hexagonal and pentagonal indentations on the surface of the cover. These indentations take the place of conventional round dimples and are designed to produce greater lift, reduce drag and promote a strong, penetrating ball flight in various wind conditions. The system also creates a virtually seamless cover which can provide more consistent results (striking a ball on its seam sometimes affects the ball flight).
I always felt that these balls - I used both the Red and the Blue versions - gave me good distance. And I also liked the way they felt around the greens. Let me share some of my memories with you.
Big Bertha Red
Between the Red and the Blue, the slightly firmer Big Bertha Red was my favorite. At the time I'd only been playing a couple of years, and my handicap was significantly higher than it is now. This ball was perfect for my swing, which was slow and inconsistent. Sure, it wasn't as good a ball as the three- and four-piece balls that were being sold, but it came at half the price and it was just right for me. It gave me a bit more distance than some of the other balls I'd tried.
Big Bertha Blue
Blue gave me good distance too, although maybe a few yards less off the tee than the Red. Although I wasn't capable of spinning the ball on approach shots (because of my slow swing speed, not because of the ball), Big Bertha Blue did feel a bit softer than its Red sibling. For me, Blue was a nice combination of distance, control and feel. For players with faster swings, Blue would probably create more short-game spin than the Red.
Callaway Big Bertha Golf Balls in General
My swing has sped up to around 90 mph in the past few years, although no one would be tempted to call it "fast." Because my swing has always been fairly slow, I did - and still do - prefer playing low-compression balls. That's one of the reasons I liked the Callaway Big Bertha golf balls so much - their low compression was well-suited to my slow swing speed. Everything is relative, of course, but compared to some of the other balls I played, these Callaways felt smooth and long off my driver. These balls gave me good distance, and I always felt confident standing over them.
The Bottom Line: Both versions of the Callaway Big Bertha golf balls are well suited to mid- to high-handicappers with slower swing speeds. Big Bertha Red is firmer and produces less spin than Big Bertha Blue, but it usually gave me slightly more distance. If distance is your goal, choose the Red. If you're looking for a softer feel and more greenside spin, go with the Blue. I wouldn't balk at playing either one of these Callaway Big Bertha golf balls.