Expert Review: Callaway Big Bertha B21 IronsPublished on 03/12/2023 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the irons, which I tested for one day in February of 2023.
All photos courtesy of David L. Brown
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the irons, which I tested for one day in February of 2023.
The Callaway Big Bertha B21 Irons are a solid option for those looking to gain more distance in their mid-range game. These irons are geared for mid-tier handicappers because of their thicker soles and the maximum forgiveness they offer.
About the club I tested
- Model: 2020 Big Bertha B21 Irons
- Loft setting: 1mm offset
- Shaft type: Steel - KBS Max CT80
- Shaft flex: Regular
- Average score: 79
- Handicap: 7
- Experience: 22 years of golf
- Right/Left-Handed: Right-Handed
- Typical ball flight: High
- Golf ball used: Callaway Chrome Soft Triple Track
- Club swing speed: 97mph
- When I tested the club: February 2023
- Days tested: 1
- Where I’ve used it: Simulator
- Weather and wind conditions: Indoor simulator
How it performs
What I was looking for
My current iron set, TaylorMade Racs, is from 2008. So, I was looking for a new set. I wanted to find a club that created more distance and feel within my mid-range game.
Why I chose to test these clubs
I didn’t buy this club, but I’m considering purchasing them because of their consistent length provided over other irons I tried, like the Mizuno JPX 921s.
What I love about it
- Distance: Due to the Big Bertha's flash cupping, the distance on these clubs is longer than a club like the Callaway Mavrik. Plus, its tungsten-engineered design allows for higher swing speeds. I average around 165 yards with the Bertha 8 iron, while I only average around 160 yards with the Mavriks and my current TaylorMade Racs.
- Forgiveness: The sole of the club is larger than other irons in its price point, so the forgiveness is massive. However, these clubs still allow off-center hits to travel a long way, and they rarely land 15 or more yards off target.
- Feel: The feel was soft on the clubface, as I knew where I contacted the ball and could tell if it was hit off the toe, heel, or center.
- Sound: The sound is a normal tinging that feels crisp to the ear. Even when the ball is struck off the toe or the heel, the sound still remains the same.
- Shaft Feel: The regular steel flex irons allow me to move through the ball and create solid, consistent contact.
- Shaft Performance: The shaft allows me to consistently strike the ball and have the same shot shape repeatedly, which is key in aiding in my consistency.
- Aesthetic Appeal: These irons have a sleek silver head and a black and blue cavity with the Callaway logo on the backside. The bigger sole is not my favorite design, as it is a bit bulky.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Workability: The bulkiness of the club offers maximum forgiveness, but shot shaping is not a strong suit. I’m unable to hit my standard five-yard fade.
- Adjustability: The irons I tested are stock irons, so they are not adjusted. But, I know there are graphite shafts that would suit someone else's game if they had a slower swing speed.
- Grip Feel: The default grips I used were Lamkin grips that felt slippery to me. I prefer Golf Pride grips on my irons.
- Launch Angle: The launch angle is higher than I like. I have a higher launch angle to begin with, so the fact these irons launch higher is a negative. If I ever were to play in windier conditions with these clubs, I know that would be a struggle to combat.
- Spin: The spin rate on these clubs is higher than I would like, as my 7 iron averages around 7200rpms. I prefer my 7 iron to be at or below 7000rpms because it keeps the distance longer and decreases the chance for wayward spin left and right.
Best shot with this club
In the first couple of shots, I averaged around 177 yards with my 7 iron, which showed me these irons were much longer than what I was used to playing. (I currently average around 168–170 yards with my 7 iron).
Value for the money vs. other options
These irons are one of the better irons on the market if someone is looking to add distance, keep forgiveness, and not break the bank. I think in comparison to the Callaway Mavriks, these are best for the budget golfer and someone who isn’t looking to work the ball as much. The Mavriks will be more suited for a golfer wanting to move the ball in both directions, but the B21s will be best for the golfer trying to hit straightforward shots into greens.
This club unlocks a lot of distance. So if someone wants to increase their distance and keep their forgiveness in their midrange so they can attack more pins, these are the clubs to take a look at.