Golfers want to hit drivers and fairway woods that go long and straight, and pretty much every new release promises an improvement over the previous generation. However, when a new material enters the construction process, that's usually when the biggest advances are made.
Callaway Golf is billing its new Big Bertha Fusion driver as such a product, implementing a new material in the crown and sole called triaxial carbon. The company has used carbon fiber materials for years now, and they've not advanced the material to be lighter while retaining its remarkable strength. The triaxial carbon crown and sole sections are then fused to the titanium body (or exoskeleton). The triaxial carbon is 65 percent lighter in density than titanium and 35 percent thinner than previously used forged composite. The crown and sole components come in at just 15.1 grams, saving more than 35 grams that were repositioned back and low in the head to boost moment of inertia forgiveness, reduce backspin and improve draw bias. The crown has the company's Speed Step feature on it, which improves aerodynamic performance and increases clubhead speed. The stainless steel Hyper Speed Face Cup returns with Big Bertha Fusion and increases the size of the sweet spot while protecting ball speeds on off-center hits.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Fusion driver is the shaft choices, available in a more common these days 45.5-inch shaft, while there's an optional 44.5-inch shaft. Turns out, a good chunk of amateurs actually hit a shorter driver farther since they're swinging a shorter club more efficiently.
The Opti-Fit adjustable hosel lets the player adjust from from minus 1 degree loft to plus 2 degrees of loft. There are also draw and neutral lie angle settings.
The Callaway Big Bertha Fusion fairway wood utilizes the same triaxial carbon crown found in the driver. In the fairway wood, that crown is about 6 grams, saving some 20 grams compared to the XR16 fairway woods' stainless steel crown. That weight, like in the driver, is repositioned low and back in the head for higher launch and a one-fifth improvement in MOI over the XR16 model. The head has also been slightly reshaped to improve performance and sound/feel at impact.
Improving clubhead speed is a speed step design on the crown that reduces drag on the downswing. The sole shape was also refined by reducing the contact areas on the bottom of the club for better turf interaction out of various playing conditions.
The Callaway Golf Big Bertha Fusion driver is available Sept. 30 for $400 in three lofts (9, 10.5 and 13.5HT degrees) with the first-ever UST Recoil driver shaft (44 and 55 grams) or the Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Red (63 grams). The Big Bertha Fusion fairway wood comes in three options (3-, 5- and 7-wood) and will cost $250 each.