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
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
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
SHAFT OPTIONS, AND SOME NEW
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.
FAIRWAYS AND HYBRIDS
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
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