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.

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Previous articleCharl Schwartzel WITB 2013
Next articleThe bent left arm and drills to fix it
Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.


Not seeing your comment? Read our rules and regulations. Click "Report comment" to alert GolfWRX moderators to offensive or inappropriate comments.
  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.

  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. 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 are needed there is a flaw in the swing which backs up above theory of lessons more important than adjustability.

        I personally have never adjusted anything, I do think shaft has more factor in end result of your potential with each driver. If anything, you should be fit for proper shaft IMO.

        (When I say I’ve never adjusted, last drivers I played were purchased at a desired loft. ex. R11s, 913d3) In a perfect world, my perfect driver would be a properly fitted glued shaft. If my ball is spraying it’s me, nothing I can fix confidently with adjustability. I would rather know what I’m doing to cause the flaw than put a band-aid on problem. Just my opinion.

        • I’ve used the adjustability on my xhot driver to set the face open, which helps stop me missing left if I rip through it and helps lower my ball flight/spin by reducing the loft as well. Can’t get the head in lofts lower than 9.5* so it’s good that I can reduce the loft lower than that. Got properly fitted into a shaft as well, although I was a bit limited with which shafts I could get in x flex without having to pay a massive upcharge.

  8. I love all the new technology. Love to try new stuff, but still think the money is better invested in lessons than in a new driver every year. I will say though that I did hit the SLDR using trackman and was consistently 15-17 yards longer than my RBZ. I need to try it on the course but it did cause me to raise an eyebrow!

  9. They look like cheap Golfsmith OEM clubs and have had zero thought put into them. Like the Chevy Malibu of Callaway. Damn they are ugly!! Me thinks Callaway is just trying to make a fast buck.

    • Yo T…….these clubs look ugly or cheap? Couldn’t disagree more. I suppose looks are subjective and everyone’s entitled to their opinion but I would be interested to know what in your opinion “looks good” in comparison.

  10. I have circled back to a Driver from 4 generations back, with a shaft fitted to my golf swing. I hit my drive in middle of the fairway and thanks to the ProV1 I am happy with my distance based upon my swing speed and age. My wallet is happy and I am happy.

    Every day a new driver is on the market. Can it really make that much difference?

  11. I kept the SLDR for three weeks before returning it, like so many others. I found it too light. As a senior who can’t “pound it” anymore, I’m searching for distance and a club head I can actually feel. The search goes on and I may have to resort to buying some lead tape. I still have the first Big Bertha from the early 90s which did change my game. I took it to the range a few weeks back and learned how much current technology really has changed the game. I will be interested to hit the new Big Bertha in February.

  12. I got the Cleveland Classic XL Custom when the price dropped. Got fitted and have the right shaft, a launch angle of 14* and spin rate of 2800. I can adjust from my 10.5* to 11.5* or 9.5* and open or close the face and that’s enough for me. I think they all may be going too far and will start confusing golfers especially ones who try to adjust the driver without a proper fitting. Just a quick response to the gentleman who couldn’t square up the club, when he did start doing it, wouldn’t any of the new drivers have added yardage to his drives?

  13. It blows my mind every time new equipment comes out and the vast majority of comments are hating on whatever company released it. If you’re not interested in new stuff, why are you all reading the article? If you’re driver from 4 years ago is clearly just as good, if not superior to what is coming out, why not spend that out enjoying your current clubs instead of trolling. You’re fighting a losing battle. A lot of us enjoy getting new stuff to try. It’s part of the fun of the game. I’m interested in new technology and finding out if it works for me or not. As long as people are buying, companies will be producing. Some of it is gimmicky and some of it is legitimate new tech that COULD help some players. I guess what I’m saying is just calm down and have some fun.
    p.s. we just got our first real snowfall of the season here in utah today so i’m jealous of all of you in warmer climates right now. hope you get to go enjoy the weather still.

  14. Callaway owns the patent to the word ‘Slider’ people. Not a TM or Mizuno invention!!!This track technology was patented 15yrs ago by Callaway so who is copying who….SLDR does nothing to enhance the spring effect as its to far from the face. mp600 as well as SLDR’s MOI is terrible as they couldnt use the perimiter….oh thats right coz Callaway owns the patent as they know it works!
    These clubs are the real deal, you will see! Gravity core will revolutionize the wood industry just like the origional Bertha. Rock on 2014!!!

    • No, actually the SLDR has a track in front because a low, forward CG promotes a decrease in backspin at a nominal launch. Yes, you do lose MOI, but as being described as a player’s club you would expect as much.

  15. Not trying to be the, “Back in my day,” guy here. (I’m 36) Could you imagine what Nicklaus, Palmer, Norman and so on would’ve done with todays equipment and balls? I know it’s an old discussion, but good lord the equipment is out of control. I’d like to see a 1975 and older equipment/balls tourney and see the scores.

    • I still have my MacGregor M 65 W Eye-O-Matic persimmon driver from the 70s with its head smaller than most hybrids of today. It’s True Temper Dynamic Stiff shaft would be a bit too firm for me today (half way into my 60s). Back in the day, Jack, Arnie, Lee and Johnny were incredibly gifted athletes with outstanding eye-hand coordination. I have no doubt in my mind that, as much as I loved the spin from my balatta balls, today’s technology has made the game much more enjoyable for everyone. I still play Mizuno blades (regular flex) and hybrids have replaced my 1, 2 and 3 irons while vision problems have forced me to hit optic yellow balls, the game is still as much fun for me as it was in the 60s and 70s. That’s all thanks to technology.

    • They weren’t playing 7500-7800 yard courses back then. I would like to see that tournament but it would have to be played on a 6800 yard course to be a real comparison. I doubt you would see much of a difference. The way those guys strike the ball, it wont much matter whats in their hands.

  16. I’ve heard from a number of people the alpha is a ground breaking piece of kit, and insanely good. I will stick with the sldr, it works for me, maybe not all, but that’s why we get custom fit…right?

  17. Nice to see that Callaway returns to Fubuki shafts as stock. Have of course not tried these shafts yet, but I really like the Fubuki shafts. I think both of the clubs look nice at adress, the big bertha looks a little like the FT9 tour and the alpha more like the FT Tour. Maybe I remember wrong, just my first impression. BTW why not re-release a FT9 Tour with a real Fubuki Tour shaft as stock? Maybe add five-six other shafts to chose from at no upcharge and sell it for 200 dollars (no research costs needed which would lower the cost). Just paint the head in gold, pink, baby blue, sunburst or maybe a red with “christmas special” stamped on it!

  18. This is what Phil wanted Callaway to produce after using Taylormade’s SLDR. This is the second time he used a Taylormade product and wanted something similar so he can use a Callaway made product. He was using an RBZ 3 wood with the really deep face and then Callaway came out with the X Hot 3 Deep.

  19. Ok, I am reading along and thinking WoW!!! Maybe this is somewhat interesting. Similar to the Mizzy 600 but with that core thingy maybe they have got something. Was a little more than interested in maybe trying it.

    Then I got to the part of the article that talked about the head being composite……..lost ALL interest. Maybe it’s just me but I truly do not like composte. Better for distance I guess but I am not after distance (believe it
    or not). Especially in the Alpha? Really?

    Also fail to understand the $100 up charge for the Alpha. Are the shafts really that different?

    Not a Cally hater. Just don’t understand. They do make really great products. Just missed the mark for me.

  20. Question: Is Mizuno getting any money from all of these ripoffs of their “track” design? Or are these coincidentally being released when the patent ran out or something?

  21. but if you hit the ball straight or close to it, just buy a Ping G25 and then wait for the others to hit their second shot from the fairway before you.

    I only have one adjustment I can make, 1/2 loft change and that is enough.

    If you need all the weights and tubes and sliders, you probably should go get a lesson on how to grip a club and how to set up.

  22. I am a super highspin driver of the ball, I will certainly try these clubs.

    They look terrific, but in all probability my downward striking issue will overpower these as well.

  23. I find it suspicious that most of the comments are praising this product… This thing looks terrible and is a straight copy from other technologies. They can’t even hide the fact that this is Mizuno technology(if we insist on complaining about the big companies copying).

    Yes, it may adjust spin by moving it up or down and I applaud them for trying something somewhat out of the box… but who really needs higher spin? With all the material on the inside and the structure that is built on top to hold the “core” in place, I seriously doubt you will be getting low spin numbers even with the “core” placed in the low setting. Please people, think about it. Just another gimmick.

  24. Watched a fitting with one of my friends. He is always a few degrees closed and plays a draw with every shot. He has been losing distance over time as his body slows down. He now holds onto his drives and still plays a draw and overturns it more often. After hitting several drivers on the trackman and seeing his numbers I put the Bertha with the weight all the way on the toe. After a few swings the tech started telling him that he had to release the club to hit it straight, he couldn’t square up the head. When he did he added 32 yards to his driver distance. The Bertha has done what all the others have not been able to do and he’s tried them ALL. Great job Callaway.

  25. Sure Callaway “re-did” the SLDR but they did it better with the perimeter weight adjustability vs sole weight adjustability. It just makes more sense

      • SLDR is not about the slider itself but getting a spring-like speed slot behind the face, just like the RBZ and SLDR fairway. Callway uses the weight more like Mizuno in that respect.

      • Easy….weight positioned around the perimeter you get maximum ball flight adjustability without losing any MOI (stability). Basically a club that offers greater flexibility and greater forgiveness…… who could possibly want that! Never heard of anyone putting the weight say in the center of a tennis raquet to make it more powerful or forgiving.

  26. What happens to the spin numbers if you take the gravity core out? I´m not sure if i believe in this. Why not just buy a driver that suits you from the beginning? Am I the only one why wants a regular performing driver without the gimmicks and marketing scams?

  27. As a Callaway Optiforce fan, I confess that I was sucked into following all 35+ pages of the company-manipulated pre-release hype published in this site’s forums. It was gripping reading, positively Shakespearian, promising untold wonders. Now I see a SLDR copy and an adjustable center weight club. Far from revolutionary.

    I suppose I was still reading Shakespearian marketing copy, too bad it turned out to be “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Love’s Labour’s Lost”.

    • I have hit both of these. The gravity weight in the alpha allowed me to be able to change my trajectory by 50 feet. I was amazed. I love being able to adjust my club based on the course I am about to play. I don’t need left or right help and I don’t need to adjust by 1 degree of loft. I want to have a driver that I can make fall out of the sky vertically on a tight firm course or fly low and run out when the course is more open. This is the most amazing tech change in all the years of adjustability. Now I don’t need to find a shaft that puts me in one flight pattern, I will be able to have it all. Callaway is making the game better for all level of players. Much thanks.

  28. Any word about the weighting on the Big Bertha without the gravity core? I would assume they’ve put the weight down and forward, like Taylor is doing with the SLDR, but it’s not specifically addressed here.

  29. Hey I like it! We will see if I like the results! I am all about accuracy so we will see if it has that. Right now the #1 driver for accuracy is the titleist D2 and D3.

        • I play to a 6 hdcp and the SLDR was the least favorite of mine. 7 of my golf buddies rushed out and bought it when it was released, one of which was a pro. Every single one of them has went back to there old RBZ or Razr-Fit. SLDR blows!

          I currently have the Optiforce 440 and love it. But my inner ho is jonesing for this Big Bertha. All but the headcover, that thing is hideous lol

          • I’m with you JB. I rushed out to get the SLDR, was underwhelmed, kept it a week, and went back to the RBZ. I eventually migrated to the Optiforce 460 and am delighted. I hate to say it, but I’m beginning to get leery of drivers with adjustable, moving doo-dads on them. There’s just something that feels hollow, tinny and “loose” about them.