Heads-up all mid- to high-handicappers … these could be the game improvement irons to take your game to the next level.
TESTED BY: Stephen Hughes, Golf Australia reader (GA Handicap 20).
MODELS PLAYED: Big Bertha B21 irons (5-iron to AW), fitted with Callaway RCH 65 Regular graphite shafts.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Using smaller-headed irons myself, the size of the soles and overall appearance of the Big Bertha B21 irons took a little getting used to during my first couple of hits, but the forgiveness and distance capabilities were clear straight away.
I found that although not greatly significant, my carry distance increased a little due to the higher flight and forgiveness and during my first round, where I played quite well, when I did miss shots it was typically long of the green.
I was instantly impressed with the short irons and wedges from the set, while I took a little while getting comfortable with the longer irons, which was no real surprise as this is true of my own current set of recent model irons.
HOW THEY PERFORMED: As my time with the B21 irons went on, the short irons continued to be the star. Whenever I had any of the clubs from 8-iron through to the approach wedge in my hands, I felt extremely confident and was very happy to see a nice high and straight flight almost every single time.
The long irons, as they can be for most golfers in my handicap range, proved a little more difficult to get consistency with, and throughout the set I felt as though my smaller and less forgiving irons felt better when I absolutely hit one out of the middle. However, the mis-hits performed slightly better and definitely didn’t have such a noticeably different feel at impact.
Despite an adjustment period with the long irons, which could be put down to a little hesitance to confidently make a downward strike with the larger soles, I did manage one of the best shots in my recent memory with the 5-iron that helped build my confidence.
Having hacked out of the rough on a par-4 and preparing to play my fourth shot, I mentioned to a playing partner that I would need a career 5-iron to stay in the hole. The Big Bertha B21s delivered just that, with a pure strike right out of the middle that felt fantastic and produced the optimal result. A shot that helped me build a little more confidence on later outings with the set.
Another aspect of the B21s that took a little getting used to was the approach wedge, a type of club I had never used before. After working out its distance and trying it around the greens, I very much enjoyed this additional wedge in the set. As an occasional duffer of chip and pitch shots, I had a great deal of confidence that the AW would smoothly glide through the turf each time and hit some really good shots with it, and was very comfortable in an area of the game I can sometimes struggle with.
The ball flight throughout the set was certainly higher than my own set of irons. And extremely straight. The forgiveness in terms of direction was really strong and like the rest of the B21 clubs I have tried, my occasional big slice never reared its head.
Overall I was impressed with the Big Bertha B21 irons throughout the bag, but as mentioned previously it was the short irons that were the real standouts of the set for mine. A consistent ball flight and better performing mis-hits gave me great confidence to swing freely with the scoring clubs of the set and was perhaps the standout of my testing with the entire B21 range.
The ball flight and forgiveness was a great combination in the entire set and I believe that any higher handicapper would benefit from these irons, because they offer simplicity and really enhance the fun of the game even when you aren’t playing well through how playable they are.
Although quite different from my own irons, I enjoyed my time with the B21 irons, which put simply offer a high and straight ball flight with a little added distance compared to other irons I have used and are basically exactly as I had read them described before getting the chance to give the new model a try.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: Designed for forgiveness and easy launch from any lie, the Big Bertha B21 irons are suitable for mid- to high-handicap golfers.
LEFT-HANDED: Available from 4-iron through to sand wedge in left-handed, with a lob wedge option only offered in right hand.
SHAFTS: The B21 irons are offered with Callaway RCH 65 graphite and KBS Max CT80 steel shafts as standard.
CALLAWAY SAYS: Designed with Big Bertha shaping to deliver a new formula for distance and forgiveness. This is the first time that an A.I. designed ‘Flash Face Cup’ is in a Big Bertha Iron.
The unique Flash Face architecture in each iron creates high ball speeds and increased spin robustness for every club in the set.
A new ‘Visible Tungsten Energy Core’ (VTEC) deepens the centre of gravity (CG) for incredibly easy launch, and patented urethane microspheres provide pure feel. In short, you’re getting iconic shaping and incredible ball speed technologies.
Visit www.callawaygolf.com.au to find out more.