Callaway’s new Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha are the company’s most adjustable drivers to date. They use multi-material constructions and two distinct moveable weight systems to offer golfers an unrivaled amount of control over their launch conditions.

The Big Bertha driver uses a 5-inch sliding weight track that is positioned around the perimeter of the head to boost its moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of a club’s forgiveness.


“The focus is more on the performance of the head when you don’t hit the center of the face,” said Dr. Alan Hocknell, vice president of innovation and design for Callaway. “The stability of the head is high no matter where the sliding weight is positioned.”

The Big Bertha Alpha driver has a moveable weight system positioned in the center of the head called a “Gravity Core.” One end of the gravity core is extremely heavy (12 grams), while the rest of the core weighs a mere 1.5 grams. It sits inside a carbon fiber tube that connects the crown to the sole of the driver and allows the Gravity Core to be inserted into the head with its heavy side either up or down.


Putting the Gravity Core heavy side up in the head will raise the driver’s center of gravity. That’s good for golfers who tend to contact their drives high on the face, or for those who want to add extra spin to their drives.


Above: The Big Bertha (right) uses Callaway’s Chevron logo as an alignment aid on the crown. 

That will likely be a minority of golfers interested in the Big Bertha Alpha, however, as inserting the Gravity Core with its heavy side down will create the super low CG position many golfers crave, and allow high-spin players to drop their spin rate approximately 300 rpm. That’s significant, Hocknell said, because it decouples the troublesome relationship between launch and spin that golfers have fought in other adjustable drivers.

gravity core diagram

Above: The carbon fiber tube that connects the sole and crown of the Big Bertha Alpha weighs a mere 2.3 grams. The Gravity Core is secured inside the carbon fiber tube with a 1.7-gram aluminum screw cap.

“Once you offer adjustable loft, you’re giving people the opportunity to change launch angle and spin in some kind of fixed relationship,” Hocknell said. “But offering an adjustable CG height breaks that relationship, and gives a far greater amount of options of launch and spin and will help people achieve greater distance.”

The Big Bertha Alpha also has two other removable weights. They weight 7 grams and 1 gram, and can be positioned in either the heel or toe of the driver to add draw or fade bias. Additional 3- and 5-grams weights can also be purchased to give golfers the ability to fine tune swing weight.


Above: The Big Bertha Alpha (bottom) has the tallest face of Callaway’s 2014 driver lineup. 

Both the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers have Callaway’s Forged Composite crown and Hyper Speed Face, which saves precious weight from their designs. That allows the Big Bertha to have a lightweight 198-gram head, and the uber-adjustable Big Bertha Alpha to have a head weight of 205 grams.

The Big Bertha is available in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 13HT, and comes stock with Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Fubuki Z 50-gram shaft in L, R, S and X flexes. The Big Bertha Alpha comes in lofts of 9 and 10.5 degrees with a 60-gram version of Mitsubishi’s Fubuki ZT shaft.


Above: Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha (left) headcover

Both drivers use Callaway’s OptiFit hosel, a dual-cog system that allows golfers to decrease loft by 1 degree or increase loft by 2 degrees in 1-degree increments. The adjustable hosel also gives golfers the ability to make the driver more upright by selecting “D” on one of the adjustable cogs, creating eight independent loft/lie combinations.

The Big Bertha ($399) and Big Bertha Alpha ($499) will be available at retail on Feb. 14.

Click here to see more photos and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers in the forums.

Click here to see more photos and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers in the forums.

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He's been a part of the company since 2012, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Since that time, GolfWRX has become the go-to destination on the web for golf equipment news, tour news, instruction and opinion.

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He played college golf at the University of Richmond, and competes in tournaments as a professional.

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  1. What were the designers of this club thinking? I understand the Bertha was a great driver but this is the worst looking club I’ve seen in years. But it is great to hit, not terribly forgiving, but long.

  2. I feel the part of the Alpha model that is overlooked in regards to what it offers is the actual tube that the gravity core goes in. It’s very similar to what Zevo did in the early 2000’s with the Compressor driver. Having the crown and sole connected like it is truly helps the head not bulge or expand (not really sure how to best word it) boosting energy transfer back into the ball.

    Something I am curious to know is WHY NOT OFFER THE OPTION TO GO FLATTER??? not just upright with the cog… I understand that the majority of golfers need more draw bias but me personally, I need one that sits open and flatter. What is the lie angle in the standard position?

  3. I wish they would go back to a style more like the ft-3 Tour, that is the best driver Callaway has made IMO. I played a Tour Issue version of that driver for 4 seasons until the face cracked. It was not the most forgiving but when nutted it was a MONSTER!!!

    • Agree with you on the ft-3, best sound when middled and not too bad when out the toe. I’m now driving R1, and it can be deafening if you get it in the wrong spot! Have kept the ft-3 8.5 Tour in the spare bag just in case.

    • I’ve been hitting both these clubs today the alpha is loads harder to hit consistently than the big bertha. Love the way the Bertha sets up, the feel and a extra distance with a different tour shaft than standard 10-20 yrds. I’ve tried all the new drivers that are out right now. Nothing will touch the Bertha and I’m a Titleist and taylormade fan. Tellin e!!!

  4. The adjustability trend in woods is getting a little bit silly. How many golfers actually know how to make the proper adjustments? I guess it could make sense to have a professional fitter make the adjustments for you, essentially creating a club head that can be custom tailored in the store without having to wait for a factory order. But I’d like to see a solution that leaves all those weights hidden afterwards, I want my club head clean and without all the bolts and tracks and stuff all over it. And the adjustable loft is just completely useless, if you are good enough that a degree back or forth makes that huge a difference you should be fitted anyway, and it’s hardly a huge ordeal for stores to carry 3 or 4 different lofts in a driver like they always have.

    • The ability to adjust the driver is mainly derived for proper fitting. The concept is that you go get everything optimized prior to purchase and leave it set that way, not to buy a driver and then play with the settings constantly.

  5. Next, Callaway combine those two drivers into one with an unholy alliance of horizontal workability and flight path tuning to create…the Son of Big Bertha!

    MSRP $599 … shut up and take my money

    I’m only half joking. I’m sure they could make that work. And if the Alpha is successful (read: sales are good), that HAS to be the next logical step.

    • When they talk about lowering CG, they are talking about the CG to the neutral axis which is the axis normal to the face. So basically, the lower the CG is with respect to the striking point and angle on the club face, the less spin. That’s why Taylormade (and now callaway) is all about low, forward CG now….it means distance.

      Butttttt (and of course there is a but), low forward CG is a terrible spot for high MOI (so is the “gravity core” in the high position). Perimeter weighting makes high MOI (think cavity back…and i dont mean the Covert). So, if all else is equal, you hit a ball on the center of the face with a club with lower CG to the neutral axis, it will go farther. If you hit it off the center of the face with that same low CG sucka, its going sideways cuz the MOI is low, meaning the clubhead wants to rotate. This is one of those whats best for the pros isnt best for everyone else sorta moments. They dont need MOI cuz they hit the face center. Same thing as the SLeDdeR, hit it in the center of the face and it goes farther on the launch monitor than a lot of clubs, but then you miss hit it a little and that honeymoon magic is gone.So there is everyone’s basic physics lesson for today :)

      Moral of the story, unless you are a plus hcap, you probably want a balance of high MOI and low CG (like ZL Encore or G25 or a lot of other things) and low forward CG is dumb. Well thats my little rant, hope it wasnt a complete waste of time for those of you who read it. Cheers.

  6. Some of these comments are crazy…..everyone realizes that Callaway is a for-profit business correct? Correct me if I am wrong but TM got to the top by marketing gadgetry in their woods. I’ve been to demo days with buddies and watched a guy bomb (straight too) an FT9 over and over and over but then buy the TM offering at the time, R1 maybe, because it had more “gadgets”, and that was the only reason. Consider this, the average male golfer handicap is a 16. I consider serious golfers, the one’s that can tell they missed the center of the club face and can feel mistakes, to be 10 and under handicaps. So that basically leaves like what 80-85% of the golf market that will be looking to buy a game? What do you expect the Callaway’s and Taylor Made’s to do?

  7. what size are the 2 different drivers the difference seems to be the same as the optiforce 460 and the 440 which i have and like. I’ll probably try the alpha.

  8. In my opinion, players have become overly obsessive about distance. All to often that extra yardage is out of the fairway. The money spent on this, or any new gadget, would likely be better spent on a few private lessons. If the lessons don’t work out, there will ALWAYS be a new club promising to make your dreams come true!

      • Agreed……I would like to know how many people actually adjust any of adjustable weighting systems or other adjustments. Understood if certain drivers don’t come in a specified loft anymore, and you are forced to choose a loft, but I truly believe if adjustments ar