When the original Big Bertha was introduced by the German artillery during World War I, it required ten railway cars to move it into position to fire into enemy defenses. The soldiers in the battery could not stand within 300 yards of the weapon when it was in operation and had to make sure their mouths were open when it was fired or else their eardrums would blow out.
When Callaway Golf introduced a slightly less version of firepower to the golf world in 1991, the company looked no further for a name than the moniker Allied soldiers gave the old German guns. And, with all the new features the original club brought to the game, the Callaway Big Bertha caused mouths to hang open as well—just like its namesake—and was followed up with even more great lines like the Great Big Bertha, and the Biggest Big Bertha.
Now, Callaway is bringing back that same jaw-dropping experience with the all-new for 2015/2016 Great Big Bertha drivers, a redesign of the original Great Big Bertha’s from 20 years ago.
When the Word “Revolution” Isn’t Strong Enough
The official patent number was 4,511,145. It outlined the process for attaching a hollow stainless steel head to the business end of a golf shaft. When the first Big Berthas appeared on driving ranges it was in a forest of persimmon-headed woods.
The new stainless steel heads were enormous – 190 cubic centimeters or 12 cubic inches – dwarfing every driver on the market. The original Big Bertha and its imitators changed the golfing landscape forever, marking the beginning of an ongoing trend. Callaway tried to keep pace by birthing the Great Big Bertha and the Biggest Big Bertha, but eventually the company drifted off into an ever more complicated maze of technology and numbers, ultimately dropping those famed models.
The Return of the Original (at least in name)
In 2014, Callaway brought the Big Bertha drivers out of mothballs. This time, it was as big as legally possible – 460 cubic centimeters or 28 cubic inches, more than twice as large as the elephantine heads that kick-started the revolution a quarter-century ago.
The thing to remember about the Big Bertha and the Great Big Bertha is that it is a club for the high-handicapper, which is most of us. You can get into the bells and whistles of this new generation of Great Big Berthas. For example, the adjustable perimeter weighting corrects up to 18 yards of wayward ball flight, and the advanced adjustable hosel technology allows you to tweak the club eight ways. However, at the end of the day, it’s still the club that is just there to help the average golfer crush it off the tee, sending shots straighter and farther.
Explore the all-new Callaway Great Big Bertha driver in all its 3D glory, courtesy of Sketchfab:
The Great Big Bertha was only approved by the USGA this month, and old (and new) fans are lining up to play it. The Great Big Bertha is now available in driver or fairway wood form. Here’s where you can check out each version: