Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver and Fairway Wood Review
30 Aug 2016
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews

Fast and Forgiving: Callaway's Big Bertha Fusion Driver
Fast and Forgiving: Callaway's Big Bertha Fusion Driver
by Pete Wlodkowski - AmateurGolf.com

I've often said I've never met a 460 cc driver I didn't like. But I mean that tongue in cheek -- what I really should say is that there is a 460 cc driver for everybody. If you can't find one you like, you aren't looking hard enough.

If you're looking for forgiveness, without losing out on all of the benefits that today's drivers offer, such as adjustability and pop off the face, Callaway has some new weapons for your arsenal.

Callaway's new Big Bertha Fusion driver is an aerodynamic, space-ship resembling vessel that is probably (and I say probably) best targeted at upper single digit to mid handicap golfers. (More on that below.) The look at address is really quite clean. It's the exposed carbon fiber-topped "wing" that extends almost to a point in the back, that gives it the space age feel. It's also a key component in making Big Bertha Fusion Callaway's most forgiving driver ever.

The idea is to create a high moment of inertia (MOI) so that Big Bertha Fusion produces an acceptable result on off center hits.

I took the BB Fusion out for a casual 18-hole game and after only 3-4 practice shots on the range to get adjusted to the different shaft from my gamer and lighter overall weight (or so it seemed) I was ready for the course. My first drive came off a little low on the face, but still scooted out to where I would normally hit it on a hole I had played several times in the last month. The only comment I would make on the other shots was that normally when I miss it's out on the toe, and with the BB Fusion that miss comes with a slight draw. But hey, that's something I could probably get used to pretty quickly.


If you really want to know what makes the BB Fusion different, you've got to dig a bit deeper into the technology that's literally "under the hood." Callaway started with an aerospace- grade titanium exoskeleton that they call the EXO- CAGE. They wrapped that exoskeleton with strong, super light carbon triaxial fiber, which allows for the cool look where you see the weave, and allows for Callaway to take 35 grams of weight and strategically redistribute it. The resulting 17% higher MOI is definitely noticeable.

"Triaxial carbon is a form of carbon fiber that no one else is using," says Callaway VP of Product Design Dr. Alan Hocknell. "It allows us to get extreme strength in all directions."

The key, according to Hocknell, is the integration of the lightweight triaxial carbon into the titanium exoskeleton, saving weight that is incorporated in the extreme front-to-back shape that results in so much forgiveness.


One of the things I noticed when I sat the BB Fusion down on the range was that the model I was given was shorter than my gamer (and that's no more than 45 inches). Turns out that Callaway's fitters have discovered that to truly maximize distance for those that don't have a scratch golfer swing, shorter shafts can help them to maximize the number of times they hit the sweet spot. This increases smash factor and overall distance, over, say, the course of a round. Isn't that what matters?

So BB Fusion is offered in several shaft options at 44 1/2 and 45 1/2 inches. Shorter shafts mean you've got to offset the reduction by putting more weight into the head (for a consistent swing weight) so that gave Callaway even more room to "play" with in the head, while still keeping the feel of the driver light overall.

Callaway has also continued to work on aerodynamics; BB Fusion incorporates a Speed Step design that results in less drag.


This is the tricky part. We can't simply say every new driver fits every player. That doesn't make sense. If you're happy with your current gamer, you probably should stick with it. But if you're struggling in the fairways hit category vs. average players of your handicap (there are many wonderful stats apps and tools like Arccos to help you figure it out) then you should give BB Fusion a try.

The BB Fusion also has a slight draw bias -- could be just the medicine if you're finding the right side of the course more often than you would like.


The Big Bertha Fusion fairways implement the same features described above, such as the lightweight combination of EXO-CAGE and triaxial carbon fiber, but to slightly different effect.

Here, Callaway's "stretching" of the body of the fairway from front to back provides a center-of-gravity that moves deep towards the back of the club. That makes BB Fusion really easy to launch, while being forgiving at the same time. I like matching fairway woods with drivers for most players, so if you like the driver you should definitely pick up a couple of "woods" as well.

At AmateurGolf.com we will continue to refer to them as fairway woods, because "triaxial carbon fiber integrated with a titanium EXO- CAGE" woods is a mouthful!

Both products are available at retail on September 30, 2016. Learn more at www.callaway golf.com.

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