This is my review of the Callaway Big Bertha OS irons. Callaway says that the Big Bertha OS iron, whose structure is key to unlocking its performance, is possibly the most complex iron they have ever made. These irons won a gold medal on the 2017 Golf Digest Hot List.
It’s claimed that the Big Bertha OS irons promote more distance in an entirely new way; more specifically, a light and strong Exo-Cage allows weight to be strategically positioned in a way that increases forgiveness and augments the 360 Face Cup to produce even more ball speed and distance. How do these irons perform in reality? Do I recommend them? Read on to find out everything you need to know in order to make an informed purchase.
In a hurry? Here’s the quick overview and verdict for you…
Rating: 9.4/10 (Excellent)
Pros and Cons: See review box at bottom of review
Classification: Super Game-Improvement
Best suited for: Beginners, high-handicappers or anyone looking for maximum forgiveness in a top-quality iron
Best places to buy online (open all links in new tabs to compare prices quickly): For new Big Bertha OS irons, see this eBay page, Amazon or the Callaway website. When it comes to both new and used sets, checking out eBay is a must as the prices there are often unbeatable.
Want a high-resolution look at the Big Bertha OS irons? Click on the composite image at the top of the page and navigate the photos.
What are the reviews like?
The Big Bertha OS iron has been received very well overall, with average scores of nearly 4 stars on Amazon (disregarding the delivery mixups), 4.7/5 on the Callaway website (86% recommended), five stars on the DSG website and five stars on RBG.
What people like: Very long and very straight (forgiving) as advertised; beautiful feel at impact; high launch makes long irons easy to control; an awesome look characteristic of Callaway clubs
What people don’t like: The wedges in particular are not very workable or ideal for finesse shots; a bit on the expensive side; some would like a little more hit feedback
What are the features?
New Exo-Cage Technology: The Exo-Cage has a uniquely light and strong design, and this allows more weight to be positioned in strategic locations to increase forgiveness while also helping Callaway’s 360 Face Cup Technology to function more efficiently.
Next Generation 360 Face Cup: Next-generation 360 Face Cup technology elevates clubface COR (coefficient of restitution) closer to the USGA limit. This directly produces faster ball speeds and hence more distance.
Tungsten-Loaded Standing Wave: The Internal Standing Wave in the sole is inserted with a tungsten piece; this lowers the center of gravity (CG), promoting a higher launch angle, longer carry and more ball speed on hits low on the face.
Progressive Center of Gravity: The location of the CG moves lower as you move from the short irons to the long irons; this results in higher launch and more carry in the long irons, and a lower, more controllable launch in the short irons.
Ladies and senior models of the Big Bertha OS irons are available; these are lighter and have more loft which encourage more clubhead speed and a higher launch. The stock shafts available are the TT Speed Step 80 in steel and the UST Mamiya Recoil ES 460 in graphite.
Below are the specs of the men’s irons. Women’ specs and shaft specs can be found on the Callaway website. Click to enlarge.
How do these irons perform?
Distance/Distance Control: I praise the distance of a lot of irons that I review, but I really mean it when I say that the Big Bertha OS irons are crazy long. They may just be the longest irons that I’ve ever tested, period. I personally was hitting the 6-iron about 210 and the 3-iron about 250, which is pretty insane. It’s not just me, either — plenty of other guys have reported a similar experience. You might think it’s just because of really strong lofts, but they’re actually not that strong; you tend to retain a nice high launch when you achieve these numbers. The Big Bertha OS irons also, predictably, do a good job of retaining ball speed across much of the face. To sum up, you certainly won’t be disappointed in the distance department.
Forgiveness: The Big Bertha OS irons also don’t disappoint in the forgiveness department. With shot after shot that went straight as an arrow, they are quite possibly the straightest irons I’ve ever tested. Even swings that were less-than-perfect produced an impressively straight ball flight, and as I alluded to above, mis-hits see only a minimal loss of distance. The sweet spot is large. You can’t ask for anything better when you’re looking for a pure game-improvement iron.
Playability: These are very playable irons. It’s easy to get the ball up in the air, the powerful head gets through the rough nicely, and at the same time it’s easy to hit out of fairway bunkers and tighter lies. Any hack golfer could look half their handicap playing these. I should also say that Callaway deserves credit for designing separate versions of the Big Bertha OS irons that women and seniors can get the most playability out of.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The Big Bertha OS, with its slate-grey finish that doesn’t scuff and show every little mark easily (unlike many other irons), has a fairly chunky appearance at address that inspires plenty of confidence in high handicappers. The sole is wide, the top line is thick, and there’s plenty of offset. The badge design on the back of the face is simple and effective, with only the necessary branding. It looks great in the bag to boot.
Sound and Feel: The sound at impact can be described as a solid, powerful, quiet “snap” — perhaps not a sound you’d expect from a super game-improvement iron. Overall feel is weighty and solid, and the iron does provide some feedback at impact, which is nice. When you take into account the classification of this iron, I’d say that the sound and feel are both something to praise.
Where should I buy these irons online?
Right now it’s difficult to find prices lower than the manufacturer-set price for the Big Bertha OS irons. Currently, Big Bertha OS iron sets can be purchased from eBay (which I recommend if you’re not looking to get fit), Amazon and the official Callaway website among other places. Looking on eBay is a must when you’re going the online route, as they usually have deals for both new and used sets that are just unbeatable! The links on this review will take you to all the relevant listings.
Summary and Conclusion
The Callaway Big Bertha OS irons are definitely one of the best super game-improvement irons out on the market today; they deliver outstanding distance and forgiveness in a mean and powerful package. Whether you’re a beginner, high-handicapper, or anything else, if you’re looking for distance and forgiveness to the max and don’t mind dropping a decent amount of money, these are a must-try. Those looking for a slimmer iron profile that affords more control should look elsewhere. To ladies and seniors: remember to give the alternate Big Bertha OS models a try.
==> Interested in trying out the Big Bertha OS irons or getting fit for them? Check this out first! <==
If you have any thoughts or opinions about Callaway’s Big Bertha OS irons, be sure to leave a comment below!
Callaway Big Bertha OS Iron
- The best distance you can get
- Amazing forgiveness results in shots that go straight as an arrow
- Cool aesthetic design
- Very easy to hit out of a variety of lies
- Super chunky look won't appeal to everyone
- A bit on the pricey side
- Not great for those who demand touch around the greens