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In this review, I’ll be putting the Callaway Big Bertha B21 hybrid to the test.
With its slogan “distance any way you swing it”, the Big Bertha B21 is claimed to be Callaway’s easiest-to-launch hybrid yet. It’s designed to be super forgiving, with a large head volume and offset that promotes a draw ball flight.
How does the Big Bertha B21 hybrid perform on the course? How does it compare to the similar MAVRIK MAX hybrid offering? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed decision.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The Big Bertha B21 hybrid gets high praise from critics and professional reviewers. Customers rate it 4.8/5 (97% recommended) on the Callaway store, 4.8/5 on PGA TOUR Superstore, and 5/5 on Global Golf.
I also know a few people who have used the B21 and have had a lot of success with it.
What People Like
- gives you reliable elevation and carry over water, sand, and other hazards
- can be used quite effectively for chipping
- superb distance and launch on mis-hits
- the offset is popular, especially with slicers
What People Don’t Like
- too many similarities to the MAVRIK MAX
- little to no adjustability
- not particularly workable
What are the features?
Big Bertha is defined by big distance, larger heads, easy launch, and solid feel. The B21 hybrid takes these benefits to a new level with Callaway’s latest technologies.
Flash Face SS21 & Jailbreak
First, we have the latest iteration of the Flash Face: SS21. This A.I. designed face is the result of a supercomputer and machine learning that combined tens of thousands of prototypes into one “super face”.
The Flash Face SS21 essentially produces faster ball speeds over a larger area of the face, leading to more distance on mis-hits.
Jailbreak consists of titanium bars that vertically connect the crown and sole. This places more impact load on the face, further increasing ball speeds.
In a similar vein, the B21 hybrid uses a much lighter carbon crown that allows weight to be distributed to increase MOI.
Dual Metal-Injection-Molded Tungsten Weighting
Metal-Injection Molding (MIM) is a process that results in a precisely shaped, precisely weighted, dense piece of tungsten.
This tungsten weighting is used to precisely position the center of gravity (CG) for optimal launch and trajectory control.
Like the other members of the Big Bertha B21 family, the B21 hybrid features increased offset.
This is designed to mitigate “the big miss” (to the right for a right-handed golfer) or a slice and promote a straighter ball flight.
The Big Bertha B21 hybrid is available in 3H-8H at lofts 19°-33°.
Also available is the Big Bertha REVA hybrid for women in 4H-8H (24°-36°). It has the same core technologies as the Big Bertha B21, but the lofts, swingweights, shafts and grip are designed for women to maximize their performance.
The stock graphite shaft is the Callaway RCH (60), and the stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360. Custom shafts are available.
If you’re interested, full information on the hybrid, shafts, grips and their specs can be found on the CGPO website.
Below are the specs of the Big Bertha B21 and Big Bertha REVA hybrids. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the hybrid perform?
Similar to the MAVRIK MAX, the Big Bertha B21 hybrid performs extremely well. Let’s delve in a little deeper:
The Big Bertha B21 has the superb distance that you would expect from Callaway’s Flash Face offerings. Results may vary, but for me, I found that it was almost identical to distance with the MAVRIK MAX.
This really isn’t surprising, because when you think about it, they’re basically the same: Flash Face, Jailbreak, a deep CG that increases MOI.
One of the only situations in which the Big Bertha B21 might beat the MAVRIK MAX hybrid in terms of distance is when the offset of the B21 causes a draw ball flight, which of course will naturally go a little farther.
After a couple hours of testing, I started to notice a trend with the Big Bertha B21 hybrid: my mis-hits really didn’t want to go right (I’m left-handed).
It’s clear that the offset of the B21 really does a great job of mitigating, or even eliminating, the “slice” side of the golf course. This can be a game-changer for many.
Aside from this, I had a hard time distinguishing the forgiveness from the MAVRIK MAX. You aren’t going to go too far off line unless you hit a horrible shot, and moderate mis-hits should still usually be able to hit the green.
Overall, forgiveness is excellent and among the best that you can find in a modern hybrid today.
For straight shooters, normal trajectories with the Big Bertha B21 hybrid are baby draws with a high launch and mid-high apex.
The spin rate is a little on the high side, but not so high that your shots will balloon and lose distance. Consequently, the B21 does well when the wind is up.
Like the MAVRIK MAX, the B21 has great consistency and results are very repeatable. Because of the large head and high launch, it’s relatively easy to get the ball out of the rough, but at times, this large head can be a bit clunky to work with.
Shaping the ball with the Big Bertha B21 hybrid is quite difficult, so adept players shouldn’t rely on it to navigate tough layouts.
What about look, sound & feel?
The Big Bertha B21 hybrid is on the large side, even for a hybrid.
Like the MAVRIK, it has a squared-off toe designed to transition easily into an iron set. I find this feature to be fairly polarizing among golfers. I personally like it because it makes me feel less like I’m hitting a wood.
Then you have the substantial offset, which at first glance, isn’t very noticeable due to the shape of the head itself. Even though I myself don’t need this kind of offset, it gives me a lot of confidence through the swing because I know that the slice most likely won’t be a factor.
All things considered, the Big Bertha B21 is very similar in shape to the MAVRIK MAX.
Although I preferred the look of the B21 irons to its MAVRIK counterpart, when it comes to the hybrids, I feel that the MAVRIK MAX has a slightly better aesthetic. However, this is completely down to personal preference.
The Sound & Feel
In what has become a common theme with the Big Bertha B21 hybrid, the sound & feel is very similar to the MAVRIK MAX.
If anything, the B21 sounds just a touch more muted at impact, but it still has a very solid feel that is quite consistent across the face. Mis-hits produce little to no vibration.
If you’re looking for precise feedback, I suggest looking elsewhere. If you don’t care about feedback, the B21 is as good as you’re going to get.
Where should you buy this hybrid online?
The Big Bertha B21 hybrid is a few seasons old, so you can no longer order it custom-made directly from the Callaway store.
Alternatively, look at what’s available on Global Golf. The great thing about Global Golf is that they carry old models at a sizable discount, and not just the models from the current and previous season.
One of my biggest takeaways with the Big Bertha B21 hybrid is that it’s just too similar to the MAVRIK MAX.
Both have large heads, deep CGs and squared-off toes. Both deliver a high launch, a lot of distance, excellent forgiveness, and have similar feels. Both have almost identical technologies and loft options.
It just feels like Callaway carried over their previous design, made a few tweaks to it like rounding some corners and adding offset, and slapping a new label on it. It would have been nice to see more uniqueness and innovation.
Having said that, the performance deserves a lot of praise. I think the Big Bertha B21 is one of the best modern hybrid options on the market right now.
If you’re looking for a long, easy-to-launch hybrid and want added offset for slice mitigation, go for the Big Bertha B21. Otherwise, try the MAVRIK MAX. Ideally, try both and see which one works better for you.
Have any thoughts or opinions about the Big Bertha B21 hybrid? Have you tried it? What’s your experience? Let us know by leaving a comment below.