The name “Callaway Golf” has always been synonymous with forgiveness. The company has made some of the finest game improvement clubs in recent history… many featuring the “Big Bertha” name. There have been seven versions of the Big Bertha iron… each offering a bit more forgiveness than the last. Callaway calls the 2008 Big Bertha irons “the most forgiving all-stainless steel set of golf clubs we’ve ever made”. What do our readers and Advisory Team think of the newest Big Bertha iron? Let’s find out…
What Our Advisory Team Says…
Our Advisory Team was torn. Those looking for forgiveness gave the irons great marks… while those that valued looks wanted nothing to do with them…
The ugliest iron I've ever seen. Performed as designed with all sorts of forgiveness, but I couldn’t get past the “shovel” look.
I think any style of iron like this looks ugly… it's far from your classic style of iron, but it's not meant to be. It's a set designed for forgiveness and to make it easier to hit the ball in the air, and the 2008 Big Berthas do that very well.
The “i-brids” are ugly.
The previous model was the perfect mix of forgiveness and looks. These have gone too far. They’re just too ugly.
Awesome value. A great deal for a high handicapper.
Typical feel for a game improvement iron. Everything feels the same.
Overall Advisory Team Rating – 77%
What Our Readers Say…
It appears our readers value looks over forgiveness. Callaway took a big leap with their radical long irons and it doesn’t look like our readers are buying into the idea…
Overall Reader Rating – 58%
What Our Customers Say…
You knew that this day would come. The Big Bertha irons have gradually improved over the years and the ’06 is arguably one of the finest game improvement irons ever made. How do you top them? Callaway kind of painted themselves into a corner and turned to hybrid-like long irons… which received negative reviews from most of our customers.
Performance – There’s no argument in this category. The 2008 Big Bertha irons flat-out perform. They’re long, they’re straight and they’re extremely forgiving. The extreme notch weighting really helps with heel and toe shots while the ultra-low center of gravity helps get the ball in the air from any lie. These are great from the rough as well.
Feel – No one is expecting a “buttery” feel from a game improvement iron. A good game improvement iron will make good shots feel great and bad shots feel good. These irons do just that.
Value – The Big Bertha irons have always been strong in this category. These offer golfers the chance to own a big brand name without the big brand name price. These do well with beginner golfers looking for something beyond the typical starter set.
Looks – People really don’t like the look of these irons. The long irons are huge and the scoring irons are bulky. Some complain that they find the thick soles difficult to work with… especially in the 7,8,9 and PW… while others get turned off by the oversized top line.
Innovation – Callaway was on the right track with these irons… our customers love combo sets but they would have preferred a couple of actual hybrids instead of the bulky i-brids. Why not tweak the ’06 irons and match them up with a couple of redesigned Heavenwood hybrids? We applaud Callaway for thinking outside the box but this is one time that following the lead of other companies might have been the better way to go. The stock shafts are average but are sufficient enough for the mid to high handicapper.
Overall… Callaway is still a leader in the game improvement category but many feel like they might have gone a bit overboard with these. No one will question the 2008 Big Bertha irons when it comes to forgiveness but many shy away from them because of their extreme looks. The Big Bertha irons offer a great bag for the buck but many golfers turn to a more traditional hybrid/iron combo set when making their buying decision.
Overall Customer Rating – 61%
Overall Combined Rating – 65%