When I think back to the first club that really improved my game, the Big Bertha War Bird comes to mind. Talk to a lot of industry people and they will tell you that the War Bird was the best metal driver ever made.
Let's stop and think about what makes today's drivers so good… they are forgiving, they are big, they hit the ball high, and they hit the ball far. How do these drivers today compare to the War Bird? The War Bird was forgiving thanks to extreme perimeter weighting. Callaway used internal weighting to move the majority of the weight to the outside. This also made the War Bird very stable on miss hits. The War Bird was considered big when it was first released… "big" being all of 195CC. Remember that most of the woods at that time were no bigger than half the size of your fist. It was hard to miss hit the War Bird! One of the big selling points of this club was the patented War Bird soleplate. Callaway was able to lower the center of gravity in the War Bird thus creating a high ball flight… something that was totally new to golfers at the time. I remember hitting the club and being just amazed at how high it hit the ball. Once the ball was in the air, it went really far too! I think this was a result of a few different technologies. The first being the aforementioned War Bird sole. I think we were all just starting to realize that a long ball had to be a high ball. The other technology helping with distance was the thin face. This technology was still quite new back then but the War Bird did have a pretty "hot" face. The shafts available in the Big Bertha War Bird were more than adequate for the average player and are actually similar to those used by Callaway today.
The Callaway Big Bertha War Bird was a great golf club. It combined unheard of forgiveness with long distance and customers loved it. Sure we may laugh at the technology used back then (and "back then" is really not that long ago) and wonder how we ever used it, but remember that most of the "technology" we rave of now is really just recycled ideas from clubs like the War Bird.
Overall Rating – 92%
Target Handicap – Anyone (the faces were either square or 1 degree open depending on the loft of the club)
Ball Flight – High for the time, probably consider mid-high now
Offset – None.
Head Size(s) – 195CC
Shafts – Memphis 10 Uniflex steel, RCH 90 and RCH 96 graphite