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Game Changers in Golf: The Evolution of the Oversized Driver

A couple months ago, we talked about the introduction of the metalwood in 1979. Today, we’re going to talk about the next evolution of the driver with the introduction of the oversized head.

In 1991, Callaway launched world’s first stainless steel driver known as Big Bertha. With a volume of 190 cc, the Big Bertha clubhead was the biggest driver the game had ever seen. The larger head size was welcomed by golfers who were able to get unprecedented distance off the tee. It was a game changer and it changed the way drivers were designed.

Around the same time as Callaway launched the Big Bertha, companies such as Mizuno and MacGregor introduced clubs designed with titanium. The Mizuno Ti-110 titanium driver was introduced in 1990 and was marketed almost exclusively in Japan. MacGregor introduced the first American-designed T-920 titanium driver in 1992. The Big Bertha was still popular, so the titanium driver didn’t gain much traction. 

That changed in 1995 when Callaway introduced its first 250cc titanium driver, the Great Big Bertha. By this time, the U.S. market was ready and golfers purchased over 250,000 drivers in just 12 months. Major equipment companies soon joined the party and launched titanium drivers. With a larger sweet spot and a faster swing speed due to its light-weight material, titanium heads have completely replaced other materials in drivers.

Heads kept getting bigger and bigger. In 2000, Taylormade introduced the 300 Series Drivers, which were offered in three variations; the 300Ti, the 320Ti and the 360Ti. The 360Ti was marketed as providing the most distance and having the lightest shaft and head combination at that time. In 2002 Taylormade launched its 500 Series drivers which were well received by golfers worldwide. Once again, they offered three versions, the R510, R540 and R580 that ranged from 330cc to 400cc. 

In 2002, Bullet released its B52 Bomber driver weighing in at a massive 500cc. This large driver was legal when it was introduced, but in 2004, the USGA and R&A imposed a legal limit of 460cc’s to driver heads.

That limit still stands and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

As with all the game changers in golf, oversized drivers allowed golfers to improve their score, have more fun and enjoy the game more. 

At Bloodline Golf, our goal is to help you make more putts, lower your score, have more fun, and enjoy the game more. Game changer.

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