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Callaway Big Bertha B-21 driver, fairway wood, and hybrids: All about forgiveness

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Callaway’s Big Bertha brand is synonymous with forgiving golf clubs. The Carlsbad-based company is bringing the name back once again to introduce their new line of ultra-forgiving, slice-reducing clubs, including the 2020 Callaway Big Bertha B-21 driver, fairway woods, and hybrids.

“You can’t argue with physics.” That was the tagline used the last time Callaway reintroduced the Big Bertha name to golfers, and the company remains absolutely right—it’s hard to argue against physics.

What’s also hard to argue is that, for the vast majority of recreational golfers, the most common miss is a high spinning shot to the right (for right-handed golfers) AKA  “a slice.” The ball flight is created by a glancing blow to the ball, which increases spin and spin axis, causing shots to veer offline.

If you fall into this category of frustrated golfer tired of yelling at your driver and fairway woods to “get down!” and “land soft!” then the new B-21 line from Callaway could be your ticket to reducing spin, reducing your slice miss, and shooting lower scores—or at least finding the fairway more often.

What is also very interesting with this release is the timing, because right now in recreational golf history, we are seeing an influx of new golfers not seen since the late ’90s. New golfers generally struggle with a slice miss, and as mentioned off the top, the name “Big Bertha” is well known to even casual golfers as forgiving. Regardless of whether you are just getting into golf or have been struggling with that banana ball for a while, the Big Bertha is here to help.

2020 Callaway Big Bertha B-21 Driver

Callaway is throwing everything its engineers know about drivers into making the Big Bertha B-21 a spin-killing, slice-reducing machine by pairing a more low and forward center of gravity (CG) with draw-biased internal weighting—along with many more of its proprietary technologies.

The other part of the B-21’s story is its MOI and ability to match a high-MOI forgiving design with a lower forward CG. When combined, it helps engineers generate spin robustness (a term we will continue to hear more about), which is a golf club’s ability to create more consistent numbers and smaller standard deviation from optimal conditions. It’s a much more specific way to say “we are building a big sweet spot”—and bigger it is.

One of the biggest keys to the B-21’s design is the face—it’s HUGE! It puts more surface area higher in the toe and lower in the heel, which is exactly where golfers who come over the top and create slice conditions mishit shots. Callaway conducted a test with golfers that had an average handicap over 17. In fact, 17 was the minimum handicap to be involved in the testing process and the B-21 dropped the average participant’s spin by close to 600 RPMs from their standard drivers.

This kind of spin reduction helps in aiding straighter shots, because as spin drops, so does the effect of a tilted spin axis. An easy way to understand the concept is that as an airplane turns it “banks” into the turn; you see it lean towards the direction it wants to move. A golf ball does the exact same thing when traveling through the air, and when you pair more axis tilt with more spin, you have shots that curve further offline—that is what the B-21 driver is designed to reduce.

Other key technologies included

  • Callaway’s Patented “Jail Break” technology to stiffen the frame of the driver and help boost ball speeds.
  • All-new, artificial intelligence-created Flash Face SS21 to better optimize the new larger face shape for the intended golfer.
  • T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown to save weight from the crown of the driver’s head and help in lowering the CG.

We’ve done a lot of talking about the head, but there is one last part to building a club that helps reduce spin and hit straighter shots: the shaft! For the Big Bertha B-21 Callaway is bringing back another component of the historic brand—the RCH shaft. This is an in-house designed profile with a higher balance point to help make it easier for golfers to square the clubhead.

We have seen this with a number of OEMs when it comes to building clubs as “total systems” designed to work in conjunction from grip to head. Yes, fitting is still important, and there could be potential gains from various shaft profiles, but the BB-21 is targeted towards the biggest part of the golfing bell curve with the stock RCH shaft (available in 45, 55, and 65-gram offerings).

Specs pricing, and availability

The Callaway Big Bertha B-21 Driver will be available in lofts of 9, 10.5, and 12.5 degrees in both right and left-handed and will be in stores starting September 10th. It will be priced at $499.99

Callaway B-21 Fairway Woods

“Drum roll, please! Now, introducing…for the very first time…Callaway fairway woods…with offset!”

This is truly a big deal, because beyond the center of gravity shifting and lie angle adjusting, adding offset to woods is one of the easiest ways to help golfers reduce a slice, and until now the biggest players in the fairway wood market has completely stayed away from adding it as an option in its lineups. Of all the OEMs, the only one to consistently offer an offset option is Cobra (I know this segment well as my dad has been playing offset woods for more than a decade, and any time a new line comes out the first question I get is “anything with offset?”)

When looking at the intended target golfers for Big Bertha B-21, fairway woods becomes a very important part of the set because they are used often and mostly from the fairway to approach greens. Since hitting fairway woods from the fairway is also one of the most challenging things for a lot of golfers, the designers at Callaway have put every tool they can into these clubs to make them as easy to elevate and confidence-inspiring as they possibly could.

The key design feature to make the B-21 fairway woods easy to hit from tighter lies is how designers have lowered the leading edge to get more face closer to the ground and below the ball. Now, speaking of the face, each head has been optimized with Flash Face SS21 and individually designed for the loft to create maximum ball speeds based on algorithms given to the AI from impact testing of golfers. I know that seems like a lot to take in, but what it really means is Callway knows where you are most likely to mis-hit shots and taken that into account when designing these clubs.

Other technology features include

  • Callaway’s Patented “Jail Break” technology to stiffen the frame of the fairway wood and help boost ball speeds at the center and around the face.
  • T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown to save weight from the crown of each fairway head and help in lowering the CG.

Just like with the B-21 driver, the stock Callaway RCH shaft has been specifically designed to work for the fairway woods and will be available in 45, 55, 65, and 75-gram offerings to allow golfers to progressively matching their shafts through their set.

This makes the Callaway Big Bertha B-21 fairway woods the most forgiving, slice-reducing fairway woods Callaway has ever made.

Specs pricing, and availability

The Callaway Big Bertha B-21 fairway woods will be available in a 3-wood (15 degrees), 5-wood (18-degrees), 7-wood (21-degrees), both right- and left-handed with a 9-wood (24 degrees) available in right-hand only, on starting September 10th.  They will be priced at $299.99 each.

Callaway B-21 Hybrids

This brings us to what could be the most valuable part of the line for regular golfers who struggle with long to mid-iron approach shots—Big Bertha B-21 Hybrids. These are a combination of everything Callaway has learned from previous game-improvement hybrid designs mixed with their most recent Super Hybrid. The B-21’s pack a major punch, all the way down to an available 8-iron hybrid.

They have more offset to fall in line with the new B-21 irons to help build combo sets and maintain a look as the set transitions from irons, and that’s just what you can see. Inside is a combination of technology and materials built to offer the maximum amount of forgiveness available.

The most important technology brought over from the Super Hybrid is the MIM (metal injection molded) tungsten weights strategically placed at the heel and toe of each club and optimized for loft and head weight. This puts upwards of 70 grams or more than 30 percent of the club heads total mass (depending on the loft) around the perimeter to boost MOI and raise launch. Raising launch also means shots that land with a steeper angle of descent, equalling greater stopping power.

Similar to other clubs in the new Big Bertha B-21 line, the hybrids and have:

  • Callaway’s Patented “Jail Break” technology to stiffen the frame of the hybrids sole to crown and help boost ball speeds around the entire face.
  • All-new, Flash Face SS21 created with the help of artificial intelligence to optimize each loft in the hybrid series for ball speed and launch.
  • T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown to save weight from the top of each hybrid to lower the CG and help golfers hit higher-launching, easier-to-stop shots.

The end result is a set of hybrids that can help any golfer in need of more launch and more distance, and the ability to properly gap from their longest iron to their highest-lofted fairway wood without having to sacrifice any forgiveness or ball speed along the way.

Specs, pricing, and availability

The Callaway Big Bertha B-21 hybrids will be available from 3-hybrid all the way to 8-hybrid, in both right and left-handed starting September 10th. The stock shaft with be the Callaway RCH 65-gram hybrid.

They will be priced at $249.99 each.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. VooDoo

    Aug 19, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Time to take a trip to the PGA superstore and listen to the sales pitch.

    I bought a XR16 when it was released and has been working great, so good I have tried every Callaway release since and have yet to see more than 3 yards gain,,,,

    • Doug Star

      Aug 21, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Same, I use the 6 year old BB V-Series with an updated Evenflow stiff 65g shaft that I took off my updated Rogue driver. It work better for me, so no further need for the Rogue head and my drives easily match or better all the new drivers being played by my colleagues. Although, I do like the look of the BB B21.

  2. Paul

    Aug 18, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    So it’s the 2017 Big Bertha with jailbreak? That driver didn’t get nearly the attention it should have. I have that head in a 70 gram aldila green shaft, and it matches or beats everything I try against it.

    • Gunny

      Aug 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm

      $499 to get people into the game is s tough sell. This could’ve been a changer for Callaway at $349.

      • Je

        Aug 18, 2020 at 8:46 pm

        We can wait one more year and get it from callaway preowned. Will be cheaper than 350 for sure.Some of my friends who don’t want to practice but still want to enjoy golf are highly interested.

      • Pushslice

        Aug 19, 2020 at 2:38 am

        Cobra F-Max anyone?

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Equipment

Golf 101: 5 Tips to building your golf bag with CH3 (+ Charles Howell III WITB)

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I think at this point it’s safe to say that Charles Howell III is the adopted son and patron saint of WRX.

Not only is he a member of the site and visits regularly, but he’s also an avid club nerd and tester. I’ve become friends with CH3 over the past couple of years and have had some fun gear geek sessions with him. Want to know the coolest thing of all? He’s still as passionate and curious about gear as we are and not just Titleist (who he is on staff with) he’s curious about it all.

So who better to ask about how to build a great golf bag than with a man who knows it, does, and plays for his livelihood week in and week out?

These are 5 Charles Howell III golden nuggets that any golfer can learn from—and oh yeah, his take on the future is spot on.

Rule #1: Stability over speed no matter what

“Even for the guys on tour, stabilizing the clubface is paramount to good driving. One of the reasons I love testing shafts so often is to see if there is that magic combo of speed and control. However, the stability of the clubhead and shaft have to be there—I could find a combo that’s 20 yards longer, but if it’s something I can’t control, it doesn’t have a place in my bag. Extra yardage is fun until it isn’t.”

Rule #2: Find wedges that can do it all

“I chose the Vokey SM8 M Grind in the 56 and 60, because as the grind spectrum goes, they fall dead in the middle for me but everyone is different. I discovered that finding a middle ground grind wise solves the “different wedges for different grass problems” some players find themselves in. Even at Augusta, there was more Bermuda sticking out than normal which made shots from behind 15 different for example a little trickier. Not only are you chipping back towards a downslope with water behind, but it’s also now into the grain. Knowing I had wedges to combat either scenario made it that much easier. As a player, you have to put all the grinds through the paces and see what one checks off the most boxes. It might be something you never considered.”

Rule #3 Forgiveness looks different for every player

“Iron set makeups have changed so much in recent years. Pay attention to the soles when choosing your irons, even in the longer irons. It would be easy to think that bigger heads wider soles would be a no-brainer to hit, but to be honest, it’s not that simple. Sometimes finding a sole that will help the club get in and out of the ground easily will get you that center contact you were looking for. Although guys on tour may choose beefier long irons, it’s pretty rare to find one with a really wide sole. Soles that large encourage a player to try and sweep it off the turf which is counter-intuitive with an iron in your hand. When getting fit, pay attention to attack angles and center contact with your longer clubs; you may find that thinner soles help you more than anything else.”

Rule #4 Enjoy the process of learning and testing

“Obviously playing for a living gives me the advantage of testing a ton of stuff, but it’s just as fun doing the research at home (online) and understanding what certain equipment can do and the idea behind it. I still rely on testing as much as I can to see what works but it’s the pursuit of knowledge that keeps it all fresh week in and week out. Technology is so good these days but like anything you have to ask questions, look around try some stuff and then make a decision. Remember it’s your golf bag, take some pride in demanding that every inch of it works for you.

Eyes on the future…

“I think as we go down this Bryson/distance chase, the ultimate result on tour will be a lot of two driver bags. Look at it this way, having a 47-inch driver for long bombs, and a 44.5 inch for tighter drives, and a 4-wood isn’t all that hard to imagine. Players can tweak lofts in the irons and wedges easily to adjust to gapping. It’s not rocket science, and I don’t think we are that far from seeing multiple players on tour doing it that way.”

Charles Howell III WITB

Driver: Titleist TSI3 (10.5 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)

Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 6 TX

3-wood: Ping G425 LST (14.5 degrees)

Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 8 X

7-wood: Ping G425 Max (20.5 degrees @20)

Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 9 X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-6) 620 MB (7-9)

Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (48-10F @47, 52-12F, 56-08M, 60-08M)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

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GolfWRX Classifieds (12/3/20): Mavrik SubZero, rare Scotty Cameron, Wilson Staff

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member CLRMTgolfer – Wilson Staff forged combo set

This is one extremely nice custom combo set of irons from Wilson golf – from blades, all the way to the Staff utility, this set has everything you need for shotmaking.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Wilson staff iron set

Member EHSgolf1 – Callaway Mavrik SubZero driver

Your chance to get an almost new Callaway Mavrik SubZero for less than new price!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Callaway SubZero

Member Champ 2430 – Scotty Cameron Timeless longneck prototype

As they say “if you know you know” and this rare Scotty Cameron Prototype longneck is a thing of beauty – the only thing is I really hope you have a big golfing budget.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Rare longneck Cameron

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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Adidas X Vice Golf launch The Vice Golf Shoe by Adidas

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Adidas has teamed up with Vice Golf to launch the new Vice Golf Shoe inspired from off the course which includes a dozen Vice Pro Drip Lime x Adidas golf balls.

The Vice Golf Shoe from Adidas contains ultraboost and a signature lime-green colorway to accent the designs for life both on and off the golf course. The shoe features a camouflage pattern in gray and white on the top of the shoe, while a brand-new drip pattern decorates the boost material at the bottom.

The shoe features branding “discoverables”, such as a subtle Vice logo on the tongue of the shoe while a collab logo is celebrated within. The company’s motto “Embrace Your Vice” runs down the spine of the heel, while another Vice logo lives underneath the 3-stripe caging on the inside of the foot.

If golfers want a brighter color pop, the alternate neon lime laces give that option.

“Based in Bavaria like Adidas, we have always looked up to this global ambassador and brand that has made big moves in both the golf and footwear in recent years. It is a great honor to finally present the result of 22 months of work with tears of happiness when the final pair of shoes arrived” – Vice Golf founder and CEO Ingo Duellmann

In addition to the shoe, the packaging of the Vice Golf Shoe by Adidas is made to look, feel and act exactly like their signature golf ball packages. 

The bottom of the box is wrapped in a neon lime camouflage pattern, and the top cover features the exact, embossed Vice logo colored in neon lime drip pattern as seen and felt on the brand’s golf ball packaging. The connection continues after lifting the lid and discovering an actual box of Vice Pro Drip Lime golf balls, with Adidas logos, sitting in its own compartment.

The Vice Golf Shoe from Adidas (plus one dozen Vice Pro Drip Lime X Adidas golf balls) costs $219.95 and is available to purchase from December 7, 2020, 11 AM EST at ViceGolf.com.

 

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