What we say...
The Callaway Big Bertha B21 has a wider sole, thicker topline, lots of offset and a larger face to give golfers the ultimate game-improvement iron.
The B21 iron has been specifically designed to target golfers who need the most help playing the game, say Callaway. And it's very often these golfers who have 'moderate' swing speeds.
It's no secret as golfers get older, they start to lose speed and distance. It’s an issue most equipment brands have identified as an opportunity for a few years now, and the thinking has led to a new trend of brands targeting ‘moderate’ swing speed players with their own specific ranges. But the thinking behind how to cater for this group of golfers is changing fast.
A few years ago moderate swing speed players were handed super-light, low-tech product families (because technology often has less impact at slower swing speeds) at very competitive prices. But brands are chnaging their thinking towards 'moderate' swing speed category and are now loading up ‘moderate’ speed models with the very latest tech – which is the real story behind the Callaway Big Bertha B21 iron.
The tagline for the B21 is ‘Distance any way you swing it’, and the Big Bertha family is rammed to the rafters with Callaway’s latest technologies to help golfers with average swing speeds hit shots both further and straighter.
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What you need to know about the Callaway Big Bertha B21 iron
Learn from experience
A common mistake when golfers lose speed and distance is immediatley switching to strong lofted irons. But strong lofed irons at ‘moderate’ swing speeds can often be a recipe for disaster, as golfers can’t launch shots high enough to maximise carry. It’s no surprise the B21 7-iron is a couple of degrees weaker than the brands strongest (the Mavrik and Epic Forged) irons. It means golfers get extra help launching towering iron shots from the tee and turf.
Callaway say the B21’s shape has been influenced by previous iconic Big Bertha models, so expect enormous levels of forgiveness. Each iron’s cup face is designed with input from artificial intelligence so there's more emphasis on protecting ball speed for shots hit lower in the face of the long irons, and extra focus on spin and launch consistency in the shorter irons. It all means greater spin retention between shots to improve distance consistency.
Weight a minute
Each B21 head has up to 40g of tungsten weighting split between two areas. A toe weight (which isn't visible) helps middle the centre of gravity on the face. Where a bigger low and deep weight in the sole drags the centre of gravity away from the face and down, adding dynamic loft at impact so you hit shots higher without Callaway adding loft.
Manage the vibration
Oversized irons, that have active faces, create a lot of vibration after impact. Left unchecked vibration means you get some nasty sound and feel sensations. So just like Callaway's other premium irons the B21 have a urethane microsphere pad behind the face to dampen and manage vibration, ensuring great feel and sound from what is essentially a super game improving iron.
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How to choose between the Callaway Big Bertha B21 iron and Mavrik Max
It’s easy to see both irons as targeting the same audience but Callaway say the pair are actually quite different. The B21 has noticeably more offset (especially in the long irons) which is particularly helpful for golfers who get steep and hit the turf before ball.
There’s 50% more sole width on some of the B21 irons compared to the Mavrik Max, and extra blade length which nudges up MOI and forgiveness. The AI faces also have a more aggressive pattern of ripples and bumps on the inside (like the Mavrik there’s also a unique pattern for each iron in the set) as Callaway say their research has shown the B21's target golfer sprays shots all over the face.
We reckon if you see the B21 as Callaway’s full on super game improvement iron you really won’t go too far wrong.
Callaway Big Bertha B21 iron specs
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Review written by: Simon Daddow
Job title: Today's Golfer - Equipment Editor