Gear: Callaway Big Bertha 2019 irons
Price: $1,200 with KBS Max 90 steel shafts and Lamkin Z5 grips; $1,300 with UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts.
Specs: Cast stainless steel heads with a cup-face design, internal tungsten weight and urethane microspheres.
Available: Jan. 18, 2019
The newest Big Bertha irons were designed to be the easiest-to-hit distance irons in the Callaway lineup, making them ideally suited for higher-handicap golfers who struggle with distance and getting shots into the air.
From the beginning, Callaway’s Big Bertha family was designed to help recreational golfers get more distance and decrease the severity of mis-hit shots. With the 2019 irons, the company combines a cup-face design with a new internal, multi-material weight system to boost performance.
The thin, cup-face design helps spread the sweet spot across a larger portion of the hitting area. Slower-swinging players not only will gain distance on solidly struck shots, they will maintain ball speed more effectively on mis-hits because the face flexes more efficiently at impact.
To create a higher launch and further increase forgiveness, Callaway designed each Big Bertha iron with what the company calls a Suspended Energy Core. It is comprised of a uniquely shaped, metal-injection-molded (MIM) internal tungsten weight that pulls the center of gravity lower and away from the face. That promotes higher-flying shots.
Tungsten cannot be welded to steel, so each weight is overmolded in thermal plastic urethane, which encases it. At that point Callaway injects urethane microspheres – soft urethane material filled with microscopically small glass bubbles – inside the hollow lower chamber of the head. After the urethane microspheres solidify, they help hold the tungsten weight in place and absorb vibrations created at impact.
The result, Callaway said, is enhanced ball speed and higher launching shots with better sound and feel.
The lofts of these super game-improvement irons are strong: The 5-iron has 23 degrees of loft, and the 9-iron has 38. Callaway said that higher-handicap players will still get the ball high in the air because the center of gravity is so low and pulled so far back, away from the face.