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Callaway Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. 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.

114 Comments

114 Comments

  1. bellsy13

    Jan 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    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.

    • R

      Jan 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      I think the Alpha is the coolest looking driver, ever!

  2. Love2golf

    Jan 9, 2014 at 12:34 am

    La grosse Bertha!!!

  3. Hertz

    Dec 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    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?

    • Nocklaus

      Oct 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      I don’t know about the lie angle, but the clubface is open in standard position (alpha)

  4. Deaus

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    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!!!

    • clynt elsworthy

      Dec 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      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.

  5. Eric

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Wow, wish it looked like the original with new technology. Black, grey, and red! Not hard!

  6. JEFF SMITH

    Dec 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Can you add just a little more crap to these ugly looking things….. oh please?

  7. Drew

    Dec 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    goodness, these are some ugly clubs

    • Bob

      Dec 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

      Not in person as they are extremely good looking.

    • Steven

      Feb 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Are you blind mr!!!!

    • Steven

      Feb 18, 2014 at 10:59 am

      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!!!

  8. Scott

    Dec 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I liked the prototype better

  9. David F

    Dec 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    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.

    • Brandon

      Dec 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      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.

  10. RT

    Dec 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Callaway looking good for 2014!!!

  11. dave

    Dec 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    whatever happened to lead weight tape?, a bastard to get off

  12. ajc

    Dec 4, 2013 at 10:53 am

    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.

  13. Mike

    Dec 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    How did they tune the sound though? Wonder about this screw in the Alpha. I will give it a rip.

  14. Mike

    Dec 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I am impresed by the Alpha. Some new technology at least and its also up there with the looks

  15. Ryan

    Dec 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    How does lowering CG lower spin rate ? I thought higher CG meant lower spin all things being equal.

    • CK

      Dec 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      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.

  16. eaw

    Dec 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    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?

  17. Rod T.

    Dec 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    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.

    • Sean

      Dec 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Both are 460 however the Alpha has a slightly smaller footprint due to a deeper face

  18. Steve C

    Dec 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    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!

    • Matt

      Dec 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Well Said Steve!!

      • KCCO

        Dec 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        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.

        • Scotty

          Feb 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm

          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.

    • Gamby

      Mar 6, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Amen to that.

  19. wcavanau

    Dec 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    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!

  20. Matt

    Dec 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I hope Mizuno is making royalties off the SLDR and the “New” Big Bertha.

    • Oldplayer

      Dec 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Callaway had a patent on a sliding weight system before Mizuno or Taylormade.

      • NG

        Dec 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm

        …and TM had it before Mizuno, polar opposite I think

      • Jason

        Dec 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

        When?

        • RobN

          Jan 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

          At a recent Callaway demo, the rep told us that Callaway patented their sliding weight in 2004.

          This also goes to show that most of this technology isn’t “new” at all. Look back at the majority of gadgets and whizmos that TaylorMade has put out on their latest clubs; many of the patents on ‘newly released’ clubs are many, many years old!

  21. Scott

    Dec 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    If i were to replace the stock gravity core with an enriched uranium core would it help me bomb my drives ?

    • Matt

      Dec 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      No, but Iran would probably buy it from you for a hefty premium.

    • wcavanau

      Dec 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      You need the flux capacitor to produce the 1.1mil jigawatts!!

      • RG

        Dec 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        Or you have to replace it with a Mr. Fusion. Then you could power up with an apple core…

    • Joe Saraceno

      Dec 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you, I needed that

  22. Tommy Truth

    Dec 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    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.

    • Sean

      Dec 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      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.

  23. Nick

    Dec 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I have never much cared for the adjustability craze. I’d rather just tinker with my swing. If I change the swing and the variable on the club – mind blown. KISS

  24. B Jones

    Dec 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    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?

    • Nick

      Dec 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      And you just know that if this core takes off the next one will be able to move anywhere from top, to 3/4, to middle, etc.

  25. Jim

    Dec 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    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.

    • Nick

      Dec 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Have you tried the Razr Fit? Its a few seasons old (price!) and weighty.

      • pablo

        Dec 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        Agreed Nick, I upgraded my Callaway Diablo Octane to the RAZR Fit driver earlier this year and I love it. Good deals can be found on them also!

  26. dcorun

    Dec 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

    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?

  27. Mike

    Dec 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

    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.

    • Nick

      Dec 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Pretty sure you just trolled the haters by being the stereotypical fan boy they all rag on.

      – Nick from Miami.

  28. scott

    Dec 3, 2013 at 11:26 am

    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!!!

    • Bob R

      Dec 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      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.

      • NG

        Dec 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

        MOI is so 1999…bulge and roll has more effect on miss hits than MOI ever had

        • Mike

          Dec 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm

          MOI has a breaking point…once a certain level is reached the impact is very minimal at best. Ask any R&D guy from any of the manufacturer’s. That’s why the whole MOI craze has cooled off. They hit the ceiling on it and no more benefit.

  29. Bryan

    Dec 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

    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.

    • Jim

      Dec 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      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.

    • Joe Saraceno

      Dec 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      That would be an eye opener, somebody should do that.

    • Matt

      Dec 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

      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.

  30. Rob

    Dec 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

    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?

  31. Scott

    Dec 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    A lot of exciting new drivers on the market, everyone can find something they like. Just wait 6 months after release and save $100

  32. Martin

    Dec 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    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!

  33. Nick

    Dec 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    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.

  34. Deck

    Dec 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    What’s the weight weigh in the sliding track of the Bertha? Anyone know?

  35. Micrys

    Dec 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    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.

    • Phil

      Dec 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      I haven’t like cally composite since FT5. The rest feel clunky.

  36. DC

    Dec 2, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    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?

    • RobN

      Jan 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Callaway has held the patent for their track system looong before Mizuno and TMaG built their licensed versions.

  37. lloyd duffield

    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    WOW CATAIN AMERICA’S DRIVER. IF THERE WAS A DRIVER THAT THE CAPT WOULD USE ITS THIS BAD BOY USA ALL THE WAY

  38. RAT

    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    copying Mizuno MP 600 ,had one any didn’t work that much.Didn’t like it

  39. RAT

    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Looks like the MP600 from Mizuno with the sliding weight.
    Had one and did not like it that much.

  40. jc

    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    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.

    • Taylor

      Dec 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Well said. I have my R1 at 10 degrees and haven’t changed a single thing on it.

  41. Martin

    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    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.

  42. Bob R

    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    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.

  43. JB

    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Address view is OK. Other that it looks terrible.

  44. R. U. Kidding

    Dec 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Callaway = Always late to the party.
    Why does Callaway suck ?
    Because they can’t come up with anything original ….. always copying TMAG

    • GG

      Dec 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      If Cally is copying TMAG with the sliding weight, then wouldn’t TMAG have copied Mizuno? Pot, meet kettle.

  45. Coadini

    Dec 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    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.

    • Jimmy

      Dec 3, 2013 at 11:12 am

      So, he changed his swing and added 32 yards. “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.” No technology involved.

    • Andrew

      Dec 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      This Coadini is clearly a paid shill….

  46. Manny Rodriguez

    Dec 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    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

    • johnleg

      Dec 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Please, tell me how a perimeter weight slider makes more sense? I want to hear a physics explanation.

      • Birdman

        Dec 3, 2013 at 4:05 am

        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.

      • Sean

        Dec 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        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……..now 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.

        • johnleg

          Dec 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

          If you slide a weight closer to the center of gravity (i.e. closer to the face), by definition you are losing MOI. Learn physics.

  47. Steff

    Dec 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    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?

  48. johnloft

    Dec 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    If this were TM, everyone would think it’s a gimmick or rag about the Mizuno slider. I mean, c’mon. It actually looks like the Mizuno slider this time.

  49. markb

    Dec 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    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”.

    • Coadini

      Dec 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      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.

      • markb

        Dec 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm

        Aaah, more “most amazing tech” ever hyperbole! I thought we were done.

        O! Bertha doth teach the torches to burn bright
        It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
        Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear;
        Technology too rich for use, for earth too dear!

      • Andrew

        Dec 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        Right…are you paid per post or do you work for the company?

      • Steve

        Dec 3, 2013 at 2:13 am

        lol that doesn’t sound like marketing at all

      • johnleg

        Dec 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        Coadini, you sound like you work for Callaway.

  50. Floyderick

    Dec 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Nice! I’ll pick up the Big Bertha Alpha in Feb, then pick up the Big Bertha Beta in June, and finally the Big Bertha Gamma in November

  51. Patrick

    Dec 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Alpha looks awesome and I will definitely be trying it out this spring. Between that and the new Apex line I could be a Callaway man in 2014!

  52. AJ Jensen

    Dec 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    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.

  53. TheLegend

    Dec 2, 2013 at 11:59 am

    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.

  54. Zachary yaz

    Dec 2, 2013 at 11:45 am

    classic look at address…. me like!

  55. ND Hickman

    Dec 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Big Bertha is back on Valentines day? That’s the test of true love for me!

  56. LorenRobertsFan

    Dec 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Best looking driver from address of the last 2 years

    • Nattysurf

      Dec 6, 2013 at 3:39 am

      Yes, it looks great at address if you want to see your reflection and whatever else is behind you!!

  57. Kyle

    Dec 2, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I know a lot of people are going to rag on this, but I can’t wait to try it out!

  58. N

    Dec 2, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Alpha looks great!

    • notachop

      Dec 2, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Alpha is the real deal. Wait until you hit it. if this isn’t the best driver on the planet for 10 hdcp’s and under i don’t know what is.

      • Abigchop

        Dec 2, 2013 at 11:26 am

        SLDR.

        • jb

          Dec 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm

          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

          • Mitch Oakes

            Dec 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

            Agreed, Not a fan of the head cover!

          • markb

            Dec 3, 2013 at 1:09 am

            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.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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Sergio Garcia WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/20/2018).

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage Dual Core 70TX

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue 3+ (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

5 Wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 16 (3, 4), Callaway Apex MB 18 (5-9 iron)
Shafts: Nippon Modus Tour 130x

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48-10S, 54-10S, 58-08C)
Shafts: Nippon Modus Tour 130x

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Azalea
Grip: Super Stroke 1.0 SGP

Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Garcia’s clubs.

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Gary Woodland WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/19/2018).

Driver: TaylorMade M3 440 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Acra Tour-Z RPG

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M2 2017 (15 degrees)
Shafts: Accra Tour-Zx 4100

Driving Iron: Titleist 716 T-MB (2)
Shaft: KBS Tour C-Taper 130 X

Irons: Titleist 716 MB (4-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper Limited Edition Black PVD 130 X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (48-10F, 52-08F, 56-10S), Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind (60-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper Limited X (48), KBS Hi-Rev Black PVD S-Flex (52, 56, 60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 009
Grip: Scotty Cameron Pistol

Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Woodland’s clubs. 

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