Scratch’s Need To Know Facts
Don’t know if you Rock Heads have heard, but Callaway is bringing back the Big Bertha. We here at the Cave have been excited but nervous too. You don’t bring back one of the most legendary names in drivers without the tech to back it up. The first Big Bertha launched in 1991, bringing the era of oversized drivers with it; however, Callaway hasn’t introduced a Big Bertha driver since 2007. Don’t let the seven year break worry you Rock Heads, Callaway has it under control. Its new Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha represent the company’s most adjustable drivers to date. They deliver an unprecedented amount of control over launch conditions through their two moveable weight systems and use of different materials in construction.
Adjustable drivers are nothing new; adjustable weights, adjustable lofts, adjustable face angles have all been around for a few year. Callaway takes it one step further with the two new Big Berthas by adding an adjustable center of gravity. The Big Bertha driver features an eight-gram sliding weight in a five-inch-long track on the extreme perimeter of the driver that can change the horizontal position of center of gravity by more than 3.5 millimeters and sidespin by 360 rpm. Callaway says that this feature increases the MOI. The Big Bertha’s center of gravity farther back from the face; they’ve also increased the moment of inertia for stability on off-center hits. “The focus is more on the performance of the head when you don’t hit the center of the face,” said Dr. Alan Hocknell, vice president of innovation and design for Callaway. “The stability of the head is high no matter where the sliding weight is positioned.”
Meanwhile, the new Big Bertha Alpha driver will offer the capacity for the golfer to change center of gravity location not only in a horizontal direction but also in a vertical dimension, and its center of gravity in general could be thought of as being more forward.
Hocknell says that the development of two drivers is to more closely fit different types of golfers.”While loft and shaft flex and weight and total weight are usually addressed as primary elements when players are getting fitted for a driver, certainly in the first level of consideration among the second tier of significant variables is center of gravity position,” Hocknell says. “It’s a bit of a new stage for us to launch this into the consumer world, but our testing on players to this point suggests that there are good reasons for each one to be distinct from the other.”
Both drivers have Callaway’s OptiFit hosel – an eight-way adjustable hosel. This allows golfers to decrease loft by 1 degree or increase loft by 2 degrees in 1-degree increments. The loft can be changed to one of four settings (standard loft, minus-one degree, plus-one degree or plus-two degrees) as well as two independent lie angle settings (neutral and draw).
The Big Bertha Alpha’s center of gravity can be adjusted by a moveable weight system positioned in the center of the head called a “Gravity Core.” One end of the small Gravity Core weighs 12 grams, while the rest is much lighter weighing only 1.5 grams. The golfer inserts the Gravity Core, with its heavy side either up or down, into a carbon fiber tube that connects the crown to the sole of the driver. Putting the Gravity Core heavy side up in the head will raise the driver’s center of gravity. That’s good for golfers who tend to contact their drives high on the face, or for those who want to add extra spin to their drives.
However, putting the weight in heavy side down will create a super low CG position (lower by more than 2 millimeters!) and reduces backspin by more 300-600 rpm. Hocknell says that this decouples the problematic relationship between launch and spin found in other adjustable drivers.
“Once you offer adjustable loft, you’re giving people the opportunity to change launch angle and spin in some kind of fixed relationship,” Hocknell said. “But offering an adjustable CG height breaks that relationship, and gives a far greater amount of options of launch and spin and will help people achieve greater distance.” The Big Bertha Alpha also has the movable heel and toe weights (one, three, five and seven grams) that change the horizontal center of gravity. The ability to adjust the CG horizontally and vertically as well as the loft and lie angle independently puts the Big Bertha Alpha at the forefront of golf club innovation.
Both the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers have Callaway’s Forged Composite crown and Hyper Speed Face, which saves weight. The Big Bertha has a lightweight 198-gram head (a swing weight of D2); the Big Bertha Alpha has a head weight of 205 grams.
The Big Bertha is available in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 13HT, and comes stock with Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Fubuki Z 50-gram shaft in L, R, S and X flexes. The Big Bertha Alpha comes in lofts of 9 and 10.5 degrees with a 60-gram version of Mitsubishi’s Fubuki ZT shaft. All lofts are adjustable.
With all this information, are you interested in adding a Big Bertha to you golf bag? If so, head over to the Rock Bottom Big Bertha Pre Order Page and grab yours today!
For more information on the new revolutionary Big Bertha, check out this Callaway Talks Podcast Interview with Chip Brewer and Alan Hocknell!
Golfweek Magazine takes a look at the new Big Bertha Driver below!