Today I’ll be reviewing the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion driver, the latest entry in Callaway’s Big Bertha line of drivers.
With Exo-Cage technology, a triaxial carbon crown, and a new aerodynamic shape, the Big Bertha Fusion is designed for two things: speed and forgiveness.
Just how forgiving and long is the Big Bertha Fusion? Is it a step up from the previous Great Big Bertha driver? What are its strengths and shortcomings?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
The reviews from customers and critics are excellent overall.
Consider that the Big Bertha Fusion has a rating of 4.8/5 (95% recommended) with hundreds of reviews on Callaway Golf Pre-Owned, 4.9/5 on Global Golf, 4.6/5 on Amazon, and many 5-star ratings from critics.
What People Like
- fantastic forgiveness on off-center strikes
- straight and high ball flight (can even tend towards a draw)
- buttery feel
- a noticeable improvement over previous Callaway GI drivers
What People Don’t Like
- some don’t like the “dead” feel at impact
- the head has an unusual shape that doesn’t appeal to everyone
What are the features?
The Big Bertha Fusion driver is a 2017 Golf Digest gold medal winner. Here are the features of this award-winning driver:
Exo-Cage & Triaxial Carbon
The Exo-Cage is a titanium aerospace-grade structure also found inside Callaway drivers like the GBB Epic.
When combined with the triaxial carbon crown and sole, which are extremely light, weight is able to be strategically placed in the perimeter and farther back in the face compared to previous Callaway drivers.
The end result is higher MOI and much more forgiveness.
The Exo-Cage allowed Callaway’s engineers to create a face shape that is both aerodynamic (for increased clubhead speed) and promotes high MOI.
The Exo-Cage also allows for greatly improved acoustics and hence better sound and feel.
The Speed Step was created with the help of aerospace experts and is designed to move faster through the air.
It contributes to a streamlined and more efficient head shape.
The Big Bertha Fusion driver is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 13.5° standard lofts at 460 CC. Also available is the women’s Big Bertha Fusion driver in the same lofts.
The driver comes with an Optifit hosel that allows you to adjust loft and lie up to 1° down and 2° up. The lie settings are N (neutral) and D (draw), giving a total of 8 possible configurations.
Available are two high-performance stock shaft options: the UST Recoil and the Mitsubishi Diamana graphite.
The Recoil shaft is designed to load energy on the downswing, and unload with high precision and power through impact.
The Diamana shaft promotes high ball speeds, high launch, and low spin through an active tip and firm midsection.
For full specs of the shaft options, see this page. The specs for the Big Bertha Fusion driver for men and women are below (click to enlarge):
How does the driver perform?
Your distance results are going to depend on a lot of factors including your shaft and swing.
Generally speaking though, I’m surprised at the spin of the Big Bertha Fusion driver. Despite the fact that the CG is towards the back, which tends to increase spin, I was getting lower spin rates than I expected.
And because my launch angle was good, this resulted in a lot of carry, roll, and a ton of distance.
In order to unlock this distance potential, make sure that you get a suitable shaft and adjust the hosel settings if necessary.
As I mentioned above, the Big Bertha Fusion driver has surprisingly low spin. Low spin normally comes at the expense of forgiveness, but that’s hardly the case here.
Forgiveness is excellent, and it’s also consistent across the face. My worst mis-hits lost about 5-10 yards of distance on average, which is very good.
Regardless of where you make contact with the face (save the extreme heel or toe), you’re going to get good distance and have a good chance of staying in the fairway. That’s good stuff.
Many people who have played this driver have said that their shots are straight as an arrow. I have seen the same results in my testing, and there might even be a touch of draw bias.
Now, once you see that you’re hitting it straight, it becomes a matter of getting your launch angle right to produce the optimum ball flight.
To help you do this, you can adjust the loft settings on the Optifit hosel or make sure that you’re using the right shaft. Once you do dial in your ball flight, hitting shots with the Big Bertha Fusion driver is a real blast.
What about look, sound & feel?
The most obvious thing you’ll notice about the appearance of the Big Bertha Fusion driver is the head shape. It’s triangular and unusual, not resembling the shapes of other Big Bertha drivers like the GBB and GBB Epic.
But this shape has a purpose; it’s meant to provide better aerodynamics and more clubhead speed. And I must say that, swinging the driver, it feels pretty smooth, so that’s great.
Aside from that, you have a carbon fiber crown with some coloured accents around the edges when looking down at address.
There is a dark alignment aid which is a bit difficult to see; I think lightening its colour would have been better, although the Speed Step arrows help highlight the sweet spot.
The sole has a solid design with red and white accents and clear logoing.
All in all, traditional golfers may not like the look of the Big Bertha Fusion, but those who place the most importance on performance shouldn’t have problems with it.
The Sound & Feel
One thing that stands out to me about the Big Bertha Fusion driver is that it sounds and feels quite soft and muted at impact. For some, this kind of feel is very appealing; for others, not so much.
I’ve found that other Callaway drivers that incorporate the Exo-Cage have this similarity in the feel.
For me, I find it quite satisfying when you hear a fairly quiet thud and look up to see that you killed the ball down the middle of the fairway.
Where should you buy this driver online?
The Big Bertha Fusion driver is now a few years old, and you can no longer order it custom-made directly from the official Callaway website.
CGPO has a fairly large selection with a 12-month warranty, 90-day buy-back policy, and free headcover included. You can find some really sweet deals on the Big Bertha Fusion driver on this eBay page.
The Big Bertha Fusion driver stands apart from other Callaway drivers by virtue of its triangular head shape.
But however you might think about the unusual shape, at the end of the day, the Big Bertha Fusion delivers surprisingly low spin, a straight ball flight, and exceptional forgiveness. It’s a worthy successor to the previous offerings in the Big Bertha line.
The Big Bertha Fusion driver should be a good fit for a wide range of handicaps: high, mid or low. And these days, you can get it for a very affordable price.
The best thing to do would be to give it a try and adjust the settings on the hosel if necessary.
Are you interested in the Big Bertha Fusion driver? Have you tried it yet? What have your results been? Let us know in the comments below.
Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Driver
- Excellent forgiveness on mis-hits
- Ball flight is straight or a slight draw
- Smooth, easy feel
- Very affordable
- Improves noticeably on other Callaway offerings
- Not everyone will like the feel at impact
- Not everyone will like the head shape