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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.
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.
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
There are a couple of really good options, and because these irons have been out for a couple years, you can get some pretty amazing discounts (under $400).
If you’re looking to buy a used set, I highly recommend checking out this page on Callaway Golf Pre-Owned.
They have a fairly large selection with a 12-month warranty, 90-day buy-back policy, and condition guarantee.
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 4.8/5 on the CGPO website (96% recommended), five stars on the Dick Sporting Goods website, and five stars on Rock Bottom Golf.
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 Pre-Owned website. Click to enlarge.
How do these irons perform?
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 myself 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.
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 too.
You can’t ask for anything better when you’re looking for a pure game-improvement iron.
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 will 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 & feel?
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.
The Sound & 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?
Back in the day, it was difficult to find prices lower than the manufacturer-set price for these irons. Now though, you can realize some serious savings.
Summary & 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, these are a must-try, especially now that the prices are lower.
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.
Have you tried the Big Bertha OS irons? Feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!
Callaway Big Bertha OS Iron
Sound and Feel8.5/10
- 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