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December 02, 2013

First Look: Callaway Big Bertha drivers

Posted at 10:11 AM by Robert Sauerhaft | Categories: Callaway, Drivers

Big Bertha is back. It's been five years since Callaway rolled out a driver with the iconic name. Now come two new models, the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha, with innovative technologies.

The newest Big Bertha is designed to max out distance for average players. It has a 19% larger sweetspot (the face area that provides ball speeds within 2 mph of max speed) than last year’s RAZR Fit Xtreme, and features the same 8-way adjustable hosel (four lofts, two lies) as in Callaway’s Optiforce drivers. The coolest update is an 8-gram weight that slides on a five-inch track along the back edge of the club. Moving the slider can shift the club’s lateral center of gravity up to 0.138 inches. Callaway says it translates to a 360 rpm change in sidespin, and a 15.6-yard dispersion.

In addition, a composite crown helps to keep the club light despite the rear track, while added perimeter weighting boosts forgiveness. Available in 9°, 10.5°, and 13.5° lofts with a 45.5-inch Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki shaft. The club will be at retail on February 14, 2014. $399.

Its sister product, the Big Bertha Alpha, has adjustable loft settings to strengthen loft by 1° or weaken loft by 2°. The Alpha, for better players, has a first-of-its-kind removable carbon tube in the head -- heavy tungsten on one end and a light nylon on the other -- which allows you to alter backspin up to 300 rpm without changing loft. Positioning tungsten near the sole creates a mid-spin head; tungsten higher in the head makes it a low-spin driver. The club will be at retail on February 14, 2014. $499.

(Photo: Michael Chini)

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