Callaway Big Bertha Alpha Review

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  • RRP £399.00

What we say...

Technology: The world’s first driver with an adjustable centre of gravity via a “Gravity Core”. Adjustable in three other ways: two sole weights and loft and lie via the OptiFit hosel.

Looks: This driver boasts the tallest face Callaway has ever produced. With that, the head is much shorter from front to back with no alignment aid on the crown, better suited to better players who want to shape the ball.

Feel/sound: Off the face, the sensation wasn’t overly different to the Big Bertha due to the similarities in construction. Fast and satisfying on a variety of strike points.

Forgiveness: The shape of the face means there’s more leeway above and below the sweetspot rather than to the side of it. This allowed me to tee the ball a fraction higher and swing more freely, not worrying about catching the roof of the driver, and hit more up on the ball and strike it above the CG, both factors helping to reduce spin.

Performance: Placing the heavier end of the Gravity Core low in the head, the position most better players will choose, did reduce my spin by around 200rpm on average and increase my carry slightly. It can be a touch fiddly – I found myself scrounging around in the grass looking for the cap a few times – and remember not to wait for the same click you get when tightening the hosel. But this really is the total package for better players who want distance and versatility, with the ability to fine-tune their flight with ease. 

>> Click here to find out how the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha scored in The Drivers Test 2014.

Meet the world’s first driver with an adjustable centre of gravity. It’s the most adjustable driver ever, with four ways to tweak it – via weights to promote a draw or a fade; loft and lie via the OptiFit hosel; the vertical centre of gravity via the Gravity Core, the heart of the club. This lightweight, glass-fibre rod is just over two inches long. It has a 10.5 gram tungsten weight on one end, which lets you alter the vertical centre of gravity. How? When the tungsten weight is placed closest to the sole (giving a low CG), it should create a flatter, more penetrating trajectory with less spin and more roll.  Turn it round, and it creates a mid-CG with more spin and, Callaway says, a “more controlled” ball flight. According to Callaway, changing the core results in an average of 300rpm less spin, though some tests have shown twice that.

The Key Features:

Gravity Control Adjustability

For the first time ever, the Big Bertha Alpha’s Gravity Core lets golfers adjust spin independently of launch angle, a natural (and dramatic) extension to loft adjustability in a driver head. This adjustability breaks the fixed relationship between launch angle and backspin for the first time, providing a major asset in the fitting process to find optimal distance for a wide range of players’ abilities. The Gravity Core sits within the club head in a carbon tube that connects the crown and sole. It has a tungsten end, weighing 10.5g, and a glass fibre reinforced body, weighing just 1.5g. The gravity core can be inserted into the club head two different ways, which allows golfers to change the vertical centre of gravity and alter the spin rates based on how it is positioned. When the tungsten end is closest to the sole, it will create a lower centre of gravity and lower backspin. When the tungsten end is inserted first and therefore closer to the crown, it creates more of a mid-CG position. Generally, players with above average head speeds or those who are trying to prevent excessive spin will benefit from the lower centre of gravity, which a creates a flatter, more penetrating trajectory accompanied by more roll out. For those looking for a more controlled and workable ball flight and less roll out, the mid CG position is recommended. Player testing has shown as much as a 600rpm spin differential between the two Gravity Core settings without a change in loft.

Hyper Speed Face

Hyper Speed Face technology is predicated on a deep understanding of the probability of where players’ impact locations will be across a driver face, and uses an optimisation code based on huge amounts of impact data to help determine the thickness profile of the face. The result is an extremely lightweight and robust face that helps deliver more ball speed where players need it most.

Advanced Adjustable Hosel

Big Bertha enables golfers to independently adjust loft and lie angle to help translate the added ball speed into more distance. Golfers can chose from four different lofts (from -1 to +2) to optimise launch angle and backspin and two different lies, denoted by 'D' for Draw and 'N' for Neutral, to optimise the directional bias. Together, these provide eight unique combinations that help golfers optimise their distance and dispersion. Callaway’s proprietary hosel technology is also the only adjustable hosel to achieve changes in loft and/or lie without having to rotate the shaft (and graphics) on its axis between settings. CG Bias Big Bertha Alpha also enables golfers to make adjustments to CG bias, which helps influence the shot shape. Big Bertha Alpha has a screw port in the heel and toe of the body and comes with 4 interchangeable weights: 1g, 3g, 5g, and 7g. This gives golfers a ton of flexibility in controlling both the shot shape and overall head weight. See, we weren’t kidding when we told you this was the most comprehensive fitting platform ever.

The 7g and 1g screws are installed as standard.

Swing Weight Adjustment

Big Bertha Alpha’s swing weight can be adjusted from D0 to D5 with the standard installed screws achieving a D3 swingweight.

Forged Composite

Big Bertha Alpha’s crown is made of this high strength, lightweight material, which allows Callaway to offer three forms of adjustability while maintaining a very playable D3 swing weight.

Who is this driver for?

The Big Bertha Alpha Driver spans a multiple segments of the player population due to its incredible flexibility and adjustability for individual golfers. With the Gravity Core in the Low CG position of Big Bertha Alpha, the driver has a Low Spin Focus. This is best suited for Tour players and highly skilled amateurs with above average clubhead speeds who consistently hit the ball on the centre of the driver face. These players often prefer low spinning drivers to produce flatter drives that typically result in more roll, depending on course conditions. This driver is also a great choice for better players who hit down on the ball, producing extra, unwanted backspin that robs them of ball speed and distance. With the Gravity Core in the Higher CG position in Big Bertha Alpha, the driver delivers more distance through a balance of the CG placement, low-to-mid spin and higher MOI. This configuration is best for players who want a total balance of distance, forgiveness and consistent control, even on off-centre hits.

Product Information

Left Handed availableYes
Custom-Fit availableYes
AdjustabilityYes
Grip TypeGolf Pride
Head Size460cc
Lofts8.0-11.0°, 9.5-12.5°
ShaftsMitsubishi Rayon Fubuki ZT

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