In this Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver review, Joel Tadman tests the driver claiming to combat your slice without losing out on distance
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver Review
The latest driver offering from Callaway promises the holy grail of driver performance – a combination of low spin and forgiveness with some slice-fighting capability thrown in for good measure. Find out more about the technology here.
The target golfer is anyone who struggles with a miss to the right, especially a shot pattern that is accentuated by excessive spin from a downward attack angle where the ball travels across the fairway rather than down it.
Admittedly, this is the most common shot pattern amongst amateur golfers but its appeal is somewhat limited in that it immediately eliminates anyone that draws the ball, or who’s bad shot is a hook, given this driver has even more draw bias built in than the Mavrik Max.
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At address, the footprint is generous and the blue carbon crown with red lines adds a modern touch. It is a little triangular in shape too, reminiscent of the impressive Big Bertha Fusion driver but a little less drastic.
We tested a 10.5° head lofted down to 9.5° with the stock RCH 55 shaft. We’re aware, as a fast-swinging golfer with a natural draw, we are not the target demographic golfer for this driver, and as such weren’t expecting the numbers to compete with what we currently play.
Nonetheless, there were some interesting findings from our testing on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor.
Firstly, even in a higher loft than we usually play this driver produced impressive ball speeds averaging 158mph, comparable with drivers from this year we’ve tested in lower lofts.
The launch angle of 16° is high but not excessive but it was the spin that hurt us in terms of generating maximum distance, with an average of 2,660 rpm where we’d normally like to be closer to the 2,000rpm mark.
This will be down to the set-up of the driver and can be easily rectified via a fitting but it wasn’t as high as we were expecting it to be. An average peak height of 46 yards shows us this driver has no issue in getting the ball up in the air and keeping it there, with an average carry of 266 yards.
The shot pattern was a strong draw every time with some initial misses to the left rectified via a change in aim. Make no mistake, as someone with a tendency to produce a slight draw it is almost impossible to hit a fade with this driver, which will be music to the ears of serial slicers.
On the range once our aim was calibrated correctly, we could hit shots that finished close to the target line with regularity and with a stronger flight than we were expecting.
The feel of this driver is also worth mentioning – it has a light feel, partly down to the 55g shaft, and a solid yet explosive feel off the middle plus it felt noticeably stable on those all-too-common mishits too. Clearly this is a driver designed for golfers that utilise a large portion of the face during the course of a round.
For golfers that struggle with a slice, this is certainly a model worth testing as it has the capability to straighten out your ball flight without sacrificing distance.