When it comes to almost any product, the first version is rarely the best attempt at it. That includes golf clubs, something Alan Hocknell, Callaway’s senior vice president of R&D, talked about when discussing the company’s new Big Bertha OS irons.
“We’re into our third year of making high COR irons, and we’re getting better at it,” said Hocknell.
The new irons employ a clubhead construction Callaway calls “Exo-Cage” that alters the stiffness of the club’s body in certain areas while allowing weight to be positioned where it would be most effective. It also lets the revamped cupface (where the face wraps around part of the topline and sole to increase face flex) function more efficiently. The combination provides more speed across more of the face. Tungsten in the sole, meanwhile, lowers the center of gravity to foster a higher launch in the long irons.
The short irons, however, don’t need the launch help, which is why the Big Bertha OS irons feature a progressive center of gravity, moving it lower from the highest-lofted clubs to those with the lowest loft. Given the intricate nature of the club’s design, Callaway actually has 25 people in China at two locations strictly for quality control.
“There are reasons you don’t want the CG as low in the short irons as in the long irons,” Hocknell said. “Most higher handicappers can still handle the short irons quite well. Super game-improvement irons are not a definition of the entire bag anymore.”
The irons cost $1,099 (set of eight, steel) or $1,299 for graphite with True Temper Speed Step 80 as the stock steel offering and UST’s Recoil ES 460 for graphite. The irons are available in lofts ranging from 4-iron through sand wedge.
Those wanting more help than long irons provide also have the option of the company’s new Big Bertha OS hybrids, available in 3- through 7-hybrid ($249).
A deeper body (for a higher moment of inertia to help with performance on mis-hits), larger and faster face, and updated cupface are just part of the hybrids' story. A “dual runner” sole design enhances turf interaction, and the OptiFit hosel provides eight loft/lie settings to help players dial in their ball flight preferences. The hybrids are available individually or as part of a combo set with the Big Bertha OS irons.