Cigar Aficionado

Big Bertha C4 Driver

For many golfers, there's no better feeling than crushing a 300-yard drive, no moment more exhilarating than watching the ball soar down the center of the fairway. Callaway's newest driver, the Big Bertha C4, is built for exactly that sort of golfer. The nine-degree model we tested was a heat-seeking missile launcher, smashing well-struck range balls into the next county. And best of all, the enormous clubface helps make even the highest of handicappers look like John Daly; its weighted perimeter helps corrects mishits and sends poorly struck balls careening into the stratosphere.

According to the manufacturer, C4 stands for Compression Cured Carbon Composite. The new high-tech material allows for a larger, more stable clubhead that permits the club to weigh just 9.9 ounces while carrying the power of a bazooka. For Callaway, it's a return to the Big Bertha line that made the company an industry leader. For the golfer, it's a driver that will amaze you with its oomph and surprisingly easy swing. Unlike several other drivers popular on the market today, you don't have to catch the ball perfectly to get a good result—just swing easy, catch the ball on the face, and start your walk up the fairway.

The club incorporates a 45 1/2-inch shaft, an inch longer than normal, which allows for greater swing speed and, thus, even more power. It's available in a full range of lofts, and in light, regular, firm, strong and ladies shafts. When hit right, the C4 will feel like an extension of Popeye-sized arms without eating all your spinach.

The new club was introduced to the public in an attention-grabbing ad during the Super Bowl, and went on sale at retailers nationwide on Valentine's Day with a suggested retail price of $540. It's already the driver of choice for PGA Tour golfer Carlos Franco, the Paraguayan sensation who is one of the world's 100 most accurate drivers, and, surprisingly, rocker Alice Cooper. While the C4 may not be enough to land you on the PGA Tour, the booming drives it launches may help you to feel like a champion.

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