Pros: Callaway’s most adjustable drivers to date. Big Bertha Alpha’s Gravity Core offers the ability to adjust vertical center of gravity up or down to adjust spin independent of launch angle. Big Bertha’s Adjustable Perimeter Weighting maintains MOI and allows golfers to fine-tune their ball flight.

Cons: Both drivers are more expensive than the recently launched X2 Hot drivers. At $499, the Big Bertha Alpha might be out of reach for some golfers.

Bottom line: Both drivers are making their ancestors proud and living up to the Big Bertha name by delivering higher ball speeds and distance while advancing driver technology. They’re packed with innovative features and are more adjustable than any other driver Callaway has released, offering golfers of all skill levels the ability to fine-tune their launch conditions and maximize ball speed and distance.

Overview

In the last few months, Callaway has been bringing back some of the most iconic names in golf equipment history. The company started with the Apex irons, and now, Callaway is bringing back the name of the driver that is responsible for ushering in the modern era of metal woods: Big Bertha. I’m sure a lot of us remember when the original Big Bertha came out, and many GolfWRX readers probably owned (and still own) one. We could reminisce, but I don’t believe a trip down memory lane was Callaway’s goal. It is difficult to successfully bring back such a popular name, and we’re glad Callaway waited until they had a truly innovative product worthy of being called “Big Bertha.”

The Big Bertha Alpha, Callaway’s lowest-spinning driver, is designed for the better player looking for several adjustable features to fine-tune launch conditions by adjusting vertical center of gravity, loft, lie and directional bias.

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The Big Bertha driver on the other hand, has more forgiveness, a larger sweet spot, and the ability to fine-tune the CG bias with Adjustable Perimeter Weighting. While golf clubs themselves don’t win tournaments, they certainly help, and the Big Bertha Alpha has already been in a winning bag on both the PGA and European tours.

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Unlike the original Big Bertha, which was comprised of only stainless steel (and later titanium), the new Big Bertha drivers are made up of eight different materials including carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum, tungsten and yes, steel. Callaway engineers managed to make all the materials work together to remove weight where you don’t need it, such as in the crown, and use it in places where it can be useful such as the Adjustable Perimeter Weighting or Gravity Core.

Gravity Core

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One of the issues with adjustable drivers is that when you adjust the loft of the club, the spin rate also adjusts in a fixed relationship. For the first time, Callaway has created a way to adjust the vertical center of gravity through a movable weight system called Gravity Core.

One end of the Gravity Core is a heavy 12 gram Tungsten weight, while the other end weighs only 1.5 grams. The Gravity Core can be inserted into a carbon fiber tube that connects the sole to the crown and sits in the middle of the club head. Inserting the core with the heavy end down will push the center of gravity lower in the head and create a lower-spinning driver. Inserting the Gravity Core with the heavy side up will raise the driver’s center of gravity and offer additional forgiveness for shots high on the face and create a driver with intermediate spin.

Adjustable Perimeter Weighting

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Callaway has been working for a long time on a sliding perimeter weight track and they decided to finally launch a production driver with the technology. The Big Bertha driver uses an 8-gram weight on a 5-inch sliding track positioned around the perimeter of the head allowing golfers to fine-tune their CG bias while also increasing the club’s MOI making it more forgiving.

Similar to the Optiforce and X2 Hot drivers, both drivers have the Advanced OptiFit hosel which allows golfers to optimize their launch conditions by adjusting the loft and lie independently. The loft of each driver can be adjusted up 2 degrees or down 1 degree. You can also set the drivers to neutral or draw, which makes the lie angle more upright and encourages a more leftward starting trajectory (for right-handed golfers). Changing the driver’s loft will change the face angle slightly, but most golfers will not notice a difference at address.

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The Big Bertha driver is available in three different lofts: 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees, and comes stock with a 45.5-inch Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Z shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. The head will weigh about 199 grams and the stock swing weight is D2.

The Big Bertha Alpha driver is available in one loft, 9 degrees. However, a 10.5-degree Big Bertha Alpha has been spotted on the professional tours and at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, making the release of the higher-lofted head a near certainty. The driver comes stock with a 45.5-inch 60-gram version of Mitsubishi Rayon’s Fubuki ZT shaft in light, regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes. The Big Bertha Alpha also has two pre-installed removable weights of 7 grams and 1 gram, which can be positioned in either the heel or toe of the driver to add draw or fade bias. Additional 3- and 5-grams weights are also provided to give golfers the ability to further fine tune swing weight and trajectory bias. The stock swing weight is D3.

The Big Bertha ($399) and Big Bertha Alpha ($499) will be available at retail on Feb. 14. The drivers can also be customized through Callaway’s uDesign program, which allows golfers to create a Big Bertha or Big Bertha Alpha driver with a primary color and accent color of their choosing (there are eight different color options) , as well as add a custom grip, shaft and laser etching.

Performance

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I tested the clubs outside at a driving range during calm conditions. My playing swing speed is around 105 mph and I can max out a little above 110 mph, but for testing I was swinging with my normal playing speed. I tested both drivers stamped 9 degrees with the stock Fubuki stiff shaft. I also hit my current gamer during the same session to use as a baseline. My goal was to simply see if the ball flight matched Callaway’s claims.

I started with the Big Bertha in the stock loft and neutral perimeter weighting position. My first few shots with the driver had a really nice, effortless launch, with good carry and a straight to slight cut ball flight. Looking at the trajectory, I wouldn’t call it penetrating, but it also wasn’t spinning up too much.

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Above: The face of the Big Bertha Alpha (bottom) is taller than the Big Bertha’s face. 

I don’t want to take anything away from the work Callaway did on the Big Bertha, but I’ve been gaming the 440 Optiforce and more recently, the X2 Hot Pro, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Alpha. I started in the standard loft and neutral lie with the Gravity Core in the low position. The first shot rocketed off the face. It felt more like the X2 Hot than the Optiforce and had a similar sound profile. The ball easily launched in the air, but had a more penetrating flight than the Big Bertha and a slight cut ball flight.

The next step in testing was to get on a FlightScope launch monitor and run a series of tests with multiple different settings so I once again headed out to Bentwater Golf Course in Acworth, Ga. I tested numerous configurations of both clubs including low and high Gravity Core in the Alpha and neutral and draw positions in the Adjustable Perimeter Weighting of the Big Bertha. I threw out true mishits and also looked at ball speed on shots off the toe and heel as well as high and low.

Performance: Big Bertha

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On average, when compared to the Big Bertha Alpha, the Big Bertha generated statistically similar ball speeds, 2 more yards of carry but 2 yards less total distance. The launch angle was very similar but the Big Bertha generated 400 more rpm of spin on average. Almost every shot on the range was straight to a slight cut, but I could also hit draws and even a hook or two.

Even though the Big Bertha was spinning more than the Big Bertha Alpha in the high Gravity Core position, it was still producing 100 rpm less spin than the 440 FT Optiforce.

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I also wanted to test the Adjustable Perimeter Weighting to see how it affects directional bias as well as stability. Since my shots all day had a slight cut to them, I slid the 8 gram weight toward the heel and into the draw position. The draw bias straightened the shots out immediately and I was back to hitting draws. Instead of only being able to swap weights in fixed positions, I was able to tell how effective it is to be able to slide the weight up and down on the track to add a little — or a lot — of draw or fade bias. Similar to the X2 Hot driver, which also has the Hyper Speed Face, shots off the heel only dropped on average 2 mph of ball speed. Shots off the toe resulted in a loss of 3 mph of ball speed during testing.

Performance: Big Bertha Alpha

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There are four different adjustability options on this club including loft, lie, perimeter weights and Gravity Core. In the right hands, the Big Bertha Alpha can be optimized to fit virtually any swing and not just the swings of better players. I could’ve spent all day on the monitor testing out a variety of different configurations, but I focused on the neutral and draw-bias positions using the perimeter weights and also tested both the high and low Gravity Core positions.

Callaway’s biggest claim in the Alpha is that the Gravity Core, when the 12 gram Tungsten weight is placed in the low position, can decrease backspin up to 600 rpm in certain situations compared to having the weight positioned near the top of the club. Without adjusting anything else, positioning the Gravity Core weight low in the head actually dropped my spin by an average of 205 rpms compared to having the Gravity Core weight high in the face. The low core position also lowered the launch angle by 1 degree, the peak height by 3 yards, and generated an extra 3 yards of carry. Ball speed on mishits low on the face only lost about 1.5 mph of ball speed. Similarly, when the weight was placed in the up position, shots hit higher on the face lost less ball speed than when compared to shots hit high on the face with the Gravity Core in the low position.

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Switching the perimeter weights worked as expected. This isn’t new technology, but it is yet another form of adjustability and I wanted to test it out. I was able to put the 7 gram weight in the heel position and the 1 gram weight in the toe position and immediately move the ball from being 4 yards right on average to 2 yards left.

Callaway has released some pretty impressive drivers over the last six to eight months. By comparison, my peak ball speeds with the Big Bertha Alpha ended up only about 1 mph over the X2 Hot and the 440 Optiforce. The peak ball speed with the Big Bertha was about even with the X2 Hot driver. That said, the adjustability of these clubs, especially the Alpha, makes the extra cost well worth it in my opinion. The Big Bertha Alpha is going in my bag and when I get back on a launch monitor and really fine-tune my launch conditions and I’m confident I’ll pick up even more speed, distance and even accuracy. The power of both of these drivers — but especially the Big Bertha Alpha — is in the fine-tuning adjustability. For those golfers willing and interested in taking advantage of the options, they will be happy they spent the extra money.

Learn more from CallawayBuy Now on Amazon

Looks and Feel

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Above: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha (left) and Big Bertha.

Looks are subjective, and the initial comments in the GolfWRX forum range from loving to hating the look. Personally, I think these clubs are stunning in person.

At address, the crown of both clubs is completely clean with the exception of a chevron alignment mark on the Big Bertha. The pearlescent paint on the crown looks almost black in low light, but in direct sunlight gives off a metallic shimmer and you can really tell it is a rich dark blue color. The shimmer is very subtle and doesn’t detract from the clean, traditional crown. The midnight blue on the crown starts to lighten as you move around to the sole, and that gradient creates a pretty cool depth effect. There is a nice balance of pure metal and pearlized paint on the sole and you can’t help but feel very American looking at the red, white and blue paint job.

The Big Bertha at address

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At address, the Big Bertha appears noticeably larger than the Big Bertha Alpha, but it doesn’t feel like an oversized driver. The lighter colored shaft and the New Decade Whiteout grip complete the look. I’m happy Callaway brought back the New Decade Whiteout as the standard grip, just like they had on the FT Optiforce.

The Big Bertha Alpha at address

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The Alpha has a slightly smaller footprint and more traditional shape at address that better players will likely find appealing. Both clubs are confidence-inspiring, but I prefer the slightly smaller footprint of the Big Bertha Alpha at address. The Gravity Core gives off a futuristic look and let’s be honest, did we expect anything else? “Gravity” is in the name. The font and design of the core’s screw look like something SpaceX might design and I love it. The whole sole of the Alpha really gives off a very modern, even futuristic look, with all design lines directing the eyes back to the Gravity Core.

The face of both drivers feel really solid at impact and very similar to the X2 Hot Drivers. The face feels springy off the sweet spot and offers good feedback on mishits. Both clubs also feel very easy to hit. I still prefer the sound of the FT Optiforce to the sound of the Big Bertha drivers. Both Big Bertha drivers have a louder, more firm sound at impact and I prefer slightly less initial pop and more reverberation. That said, feel and sound are extremely subjective so give them a hit and see what you think.

Bottom Line

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Bertha is back. Yes, Callaway’s marketing team is blanketing the globe with that phrase, but it is true. I give Callaway a lot of credit for having the restraint to hold out bringing back this iconic name until a time when they could stamp it on a truly innovative new product. The Big Bertha Alpha, with the Gravity Core, is that product. Both drivers offer advanced adjustability, maximum forgiveness, and in the case of the Big Bertha Alpha, the ability to adjust spin rate independent of launch angle.

The Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha really are total performance drivers. High and low handicap golfers will be able to find something to like in both options.

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When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range.

On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at kanecochran.com and contributes golf technology-focused articles on GolfWRX.com.

57 COMMENTS

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  1. I bought the alpha driver new but one year after first coming out. boy, am I glad I didn’t pay $400. for it,very disappointed. in my opinion the gravity core aspect was nothing but a gimic to sell clubs. I believe the other big bertha would have been a better choice.HEY CALLAWAY WANNA TRADE?? iv’e bought callaway for years and now you want to deceive me.i remember when cobra first came out with the FIRST 9 point face–that was the last cobra I ever bought.

  2. I would like to see a comprehensive comparison of current drivers conducted by/on an “Iron Byron” type device. Performance data would be empirical. Personal feedback would essentially be limited to features such as feel, appearance/setup alignment, contact sound, etc. A mechanical type of test would be meaningful to golfers of every age and swing speed and would be far more instructive than a test conducted by an individual, regardless of skill level. It’s likely such a test would be beneficial to the industry, as well, because performance “dispersion” would promote confidence and accuracy in making a purchasing choice. BTW, if such a single test already exists, please let me know where I can see it.

  3. Hi,

    I have a Alpha 10.5* driver with stock Fubuki ZT 60 Regular shaft and 1gm and 7gm weights that was ordered by the dealer with stock ZT shaft and build and some of my mates swung the club and said it’s really heavy.

    I’m a club maker so decided to weigh the Alpha head compared to Big Bertha.

    Alpha – 197gm, SW D6
    BB – 192gm , SW D3

    Can others weight the Alpha head to see if they vary, I believe Callaway tolerances would be +/- 2gm, meaning could vary from 190 to 194gms, or D2 to D4?

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Cheerz ;^)

  4. I have just received my driver last week with standard stiff shaft. I raced out of work at 1pm on Friday after receiving an email from Fed Ex saying it had arrived (7 days to Australia is bloody amazing)

    Normally I would take a new toy to the range but I felt like playing nine holes so into the bag it went and to the first tee. I played two balls with everything set the neutral 10.5 loft but sliding weight set to near the heal (2 on the dial)

    Now I’m traditionally a straight hitter with a hint of fade, first two went straight with a hint of draw …hmm luvin this.

    Then to the second tee I quickly adjusted it to a fade setting and yup a nice fade was happening …down 1 degrees in loft and fade on the weight on the back.

    Flight was same though and the fade didn’t baloon, this is defenitely a low spin bomber, I swing at 100 -104 when warmed up and was getting 230 meter carry (250 yards) easily.

    The feel off the face is beautiful and hardness or no feedback at all. Unlike my nike covert which felt hard.

    I found this driver really easy to draw and could hit the low hook if I needed to as I play on a links course. The shaft I don’t mind and does t feel too whippy like many stock shafts and ball flight told me it’s fine.

    The thing I found most pleasing is that every time I adjusted something it actually had an effect on ball flight – which when I trailed the 913 d from titleist was t the same, no matter what adjustment I made on the titleist it came out pretty much the same.

    The face is hot on the driver. I’m an 8 handicap with no real desire to get lower to be honest, just enjoy the game. If your looking for a driver that goes straight this is for you. If your a low marker who draws the ball I would consider the alpha model as I reckon the big bertha standard could turn into a hooking machine for you low cap guys.

    I have since had a range session with yesterday and it’s dialled in nicely at 10.5 loft standard and weight set to 3 for perfect straight shot and I can draw or fade it of I need to by the swing and aim point as opposed to the club which I want.

    Look it’s no longer than any other driver – let’s ignore the hype from manafacturers like taylormade and cobra – hey I have an idea from driver media campaign “Damn Straight and damn forgiving” ….so you find the short grass not the trees or thick rough

    With today’s closely mown fairways most people aren’t struggling with distance – they want accuracy.

  5. It sounds to me like we can’t trust what we purchase off the rack because no two drivers are made exactly the same. I also agree with what someone said that “we adjust to the driver instead of vice versa so when we try a new one seldom is is better than our old one until we have played with it a while and made that adjustment.

  6. I am using a Callaway Diablo Octane for about four years. I tried the new Big Bertha and the Alpha but they do not feel like they have any meat in them. They are so light that I feel like I can swing them as hard as I want, but in the end, the Octane feels more solid and goes on average 7 to 8 yards further than the Bertha and the Alpha. It seems to me any tme I try an ajustable club, I do not like the way they feel (the feedback is terrible). Is it the shaft or the club head that feels so bad. I have the project x stiff in the octane.

  7. Wondering if the BB is a high or low flight club. I usually use a 9.5. I am in Hawaii and it does get windy here so I usually avoid the 10.5. Is the club normal flighted club. I know the slider is a low flighted club.

  8. Any thoughts on the stock fubuki z 50 shafts? picked up the big bertha with the 50 z stiff in an effort to increase club head speed. I have gained some distance but the shaft feels very weak and inconsistent. Any recommendations for a stiffer/heavier shaft to possibly lower and straighten flight?

    • I tried the BB with the stock shaft and it is way too light. I also tried it with the Diamana 72 white board, feels great. The Diamana shaft is a low spinning shaft. It is best to get fit…finding the right shaft is key.

  9. I just bought the big Bertha, It is amazing. I can get the ball 30 to 50 yards more, But I don’t know how to control where the ball goes, but that just a personal problem for me. I was using a HT 12.5 degree taylormade burner, The farthest I’ve hit that driver was about 190-200 yards. With the big Bertha I am able to hit the ball with a good swing and get it about 230-250 trust me I am in love with this club. And even if Don’t hit the sweet spot of the club it still sends the ball 200 yards out it is vary forgiving. When you do hit the sweet spot it feels like butter.

  10. My dad just got his bertha and from the looks of things on the range it does as advertised as far as the adjustibility changed the shot. He has 13.5 senior flex appears to definetly be hitting maybe 7-10 yards farther in air. Hard to judge rollout due to soaked range and wind in face . Worth a look he says it is easier to swing than razr x black he had due to lighter swing weight.

    • Just to follow up after on course play it is about 7 yards more carry 10-15 longer total he went from 215 average to 225 and got one out to 243 by confirmation of gps but was down wind he is very pleased next time we will max out the loft and see what happens thanks

  11. I got my Alpha (9 degree, x stiff) two weeks ago and took it with me to Tucson for a spring break golf vacation – i hit tons of fairways and it feels solid, however i was leaving pitch marks out there like i was hitting a 5 iron. I was curious, so i took my magnetic protractor to it to measure its loft – something not right here: in its neutral setting, my “9 degree” was more like 12 or 13….and holding the club up next to others in my stable, sure enough, the thing looks like a strong three wood. In nobody’s universe is this club anywhere close to 9 degrees in loft. I’m somewhat chafed – i test, deliberate and finally pull the trigger and order a $500 driver, and the thing is really a huge headed spoon. I’m going to take this up with Callaway and see how they respond. Surely they’ve got some true 9 degree heads laying around, and I want them to swap mine out. Disappointed.

    • JP I just got home from a fitting hitting a TrackMan and my results were vastly different. With 30 hits on each club, my spin rate averaged 223 lower and 7 yds longer with the alpha. I went there to test the SLDR since I’m a TM guy and my R11 put up similar #’s. I passed on it. They asked me to try the new Callaway and from the first swing at impact I new it was awesome and felt better and amazingly hot off the face. It was also easier to shape the shots. Hopefully both our TrackMan’s worked properly and each found the right club.

      • I agree. The Alpha is in another world compared to sldr. The sldr has a terrible feel and really does not live up to the hype. The Alpha on the other hand is an extraordinary driver. A shockingly pleasing feel and the ball just rockets off the face in a penetrating flight. Truly a great product.

  12. Hey guys, I heard that the 5g weight on the Big Bertha is not interchangeable. Is that true? If not can I use the old weight screws from the razr fit driver to make the driver heavier and increase the swingweight a bit. It probably would lead to a club with more draw, without touching the sliding weight. Thanks guys!!

    • The 5 gram weight on the back of the BB head is definitely a stationary weight.I suspect that it’s there to counter the perimeter sliding weight because the head is so light.I’m trying to find out for certain, but I can’t get any information on it.

    • The 5g weight is DEFINITELY interchangeable. I shortened my BB 1″, so I swapped out the 5g weight with an 11g weight from Bily Bob’s Golf to keep the swing weight the same. With that, I moved the sliding weight closer to neutral and the ball flight hasn’t changed.

  13. When these first appeared on this site I slated them, said they were a gimmick and destined to be a failure. Having seen and hit them in the flesh I must apologise to Callaway – they are FANTASTIC

    I have a Titleist 913 with a Speeder VC 6.2 shaft,but the Alpha with the stock Fubuki blew it away. It was longer (not by much), but it was so much smoother and much more forgiving.

    I have played Titleist drivers and irons for the past 10 years, but a new BB Alpha is on the way and I am now looking at the Apex Pro irons……..

    Callaway have really got their act together for 2014

  14. Oh I would love to pick up the Alpha, but at $499 I would never be able to justify that purchase. Heck even $399 is out of my price range, maybe in 6 months to a year I might be able to get one under $200.

    • I was amazed and delighted to learn that Calloway will not discount Big Bertha drivers. This insures that loyal Calloway Big Bertha customers will not get screwed 6 months after product launch by retail price drops. The price will remain the same until model inventory is exhausted. Shame on Nike, Taylor Made and others that use this tactic. This was a major factor in my decision to purchase a Big Bertha Alpha.

    • That stock shaft in the Alpha is the real deal. It will retail over 300 when Mitsubishi releases them to the public. I wanted the BB but the club was light, tried the Alpha worrying about spin but I bought the 10.5 with ZT (s) and I have hit some drives where no man has gone before (me of course ~275) not bad for some 57 y/o with back pain. It’s easily 10 yards past my Stage 2 tour, stock shaft but I still like my TM driver and will hold on to it just in case because it’s straight. I think at 399 and a gift card the Alpha is worth a look for anyone who can generate 95+ and may want to gain a little distance and accuracy. The shaft is rock solid.

      • It’s now $299 at Golfsmith! Pretty quick drop. Same price for the BB and BB alpha.

        Wonder if the Beta and Beta Double Black is all that much of a step up from the BB and BB Alpha.

  15. Thank you for the excellent review, Kane. As an observation and somewhat as an addendum to Loz’s post above, I would affirm his desire to see a review and results by one who has a slower swing speed. Many of us who play are, unfortunately, north of fifty. As the dew from our collective lilies dries a bit, our swing speed suffers a downward turn. While we recall with great pride our long drives of yore (and for some of us, our medium drives of days past), I am afraid time and circumstances may have robbed us of our ability to swing the big stick with as much authority as we once had. Nonetheless, the desire remains. Each year, we yearn for a another yard or two from the latest crop of technological marvels from the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade, etc. And, while I realize that reviews such as yours are but starting points, they are helpful, if only to whet our appetites. Please pass on to the wizards of GolfWRX, a superb forum run brilliantly, that there are many of us, well… shall I say delicately, more mature golfers who would be grateful for reviews of any clubs but, especially drivers, by ones with slower swing speeds. Again, great review. Here’s hoping for warmer weather for us all!

  16. Though I don’t particularly rate, or would be led by the results of, the review system being used on another golf forum, I am slightly concerned as to how this forum bases it’s review, of what is one of the biggest club releases of the year, on the opinion of one person.

    I think in this instance a more detailed comparison against the key competitors, such as the SLDR, Covert 2.0, Ping etc might have been justified.

    I think more importantly I’d like to see this type of club (the Alpha in particular) being tested by a broader range of handicaps, and would be interested to know if those who went to the fitting have really found it to be a game changer, or have they reverted back to their old club, or since switched to something else.

    Anyway thanks to Kane for the review and the Alpha (and standard BB) will definitely be one I’ll try when it comes to the UK.

    Following on from an earlier comment I recently had a Mizuno iron fitting at their national fitting centre and went with the recommended KBS tour X flex (93 mph 6 iron). I typically swing the driver at about 105 mph which I don’t think is particularly fast, but would like to know if in the ZT this is a definite S or possible X flex.

    Thanks

    • at 105, it is really hard to determine IMO, i thing it depend a lot on the spin you usually generate from your swing. I know that some fitter would use X-flex shaft to bring down the spin a little bit.

      Personnaly, i would also add based on my experience of shaft manufacturer that i would probably use a X-stiff with mitsubishi rayon and stay with stiff for Aldila.

      • Thanks for your feedback David. I currently have a 9.5 i20 with the stock stiff shaft and have never really got on with it. It often goes high and right, which I know is a swing fault, but it’s not a shape I’m used to. It doesn’t happen with other clubs. Best club I’ve used in recent years was a 905R with a stiff 76g Pro Force V2. Could you recommend a similar shaft in the current offerings? Thanks

      • TheGolfSpy did a great shootout for high and low swing speeds and against tons of other clubs the BBA included. I tried the BB-A and was disappointed.Put a tip on my shaft and of I ran to try it out. Not for me I found out, just didn’t do as well as my current driver. I wasn’t disappointed as others don’t suite me either but you don’t know till you try right! Callaway did a great PR job though I was really keen to try it.

  17. I have had mostly Callaway in my bag for the past 15+ years, and in quality, in technology, and their customer service, in my opinion is top notch. I currently game RazR X Forged irons, XHot fairway and hybrid, and RF Xtreme driver.

    I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the Optiforce, kind of looked cheap to me, especially compared to my gorgeous RF Xtreme. But I just saw both new BB in GG today, and they are GORGEOUS! Seriously beautiful. I can’t wait to hit them. They look expensive and Jewell like, unlike many of the big boys out there.

    Furthermore, I would like to give kudos to Callaway for leading the industry again. To be able to adjust loft and spin in completely separate adjustments, is ground breaking. There is a reason that pros are lining up to sign and play with Callaway.

  18. I compared both bb’s to the sldr and the sldr had 1000 rpms less in backspin and 10-15 yds further when compared to the alpha. TM is a gimmicky joke, but they outperformed callaway this year.

    • What is your swing speed and temp because I always hear how TM is the longest driver but have always hit Callaway drivers farther. I used to like the shafts they put in them, especially the project x but the new Big Bertha shafts they use with the demos are terrible.

    • Gear effect. The further off center the CG is from the line of action from the contact with the ball, the greater the backwards rotation of the head at impact. That briefly moves the face upwards (topspin direction) and that reduces the total backspin.

  19. I really appreciated the thorough review Kane from the perspective of someone who plays an Opti. I’ve now read a few raves and one definite diss on the BB’s, so it’s hard to know who to trust. When the Opti was dumped on us midseason last year, most golfers probably ignored it. I’m a TMag guy and I only tried it out of pure happenstance, but I was instantly wowed. Then, I see it slowly creeping into to other guy’s bags. That didn’t happen thanks to marketing or coincidence, that happened because golfers recognized something good. So when you tell me what you’re seeing by comparing it to the Opti and x2hot, I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the feedback on the review, I appreciate it. I’m happy the comparisons to recent Callaway drivers helped add some clarity. We can’t test every driver against every other, but like to test them against other recent drivers released by the same company. I’m a big fan of the Opti, but the BB Alpha is in the bag for now!

      • You didn’t say much about “feel” and I don’t blame you because “feel” is so subjective, but I’m looking to maintain that same general solid sound combined with the delightful springy launch that the Opti has. You know what I mean? I want no tinny bell sounds and stiff face clacks that I get from some other manufacturers.

      • I just went back and read your Opti 440 and 460 reviews again, and I have to say that your comments (both positive and negative) about those two clubs mirrored my long term testing experiences exactly. So I’m going to take what you say about the BB’s to the bank.

  20. Jc we won’t mention who did the testing, i am questioning the results of those tests and the ability of the testers. No way this driver can be beaten by mizuno…

  21. I’m a numbers guy, no brand loyalty whatsoever. The Big Bertha Alpha was basically put on my to try list roughly a month ago.

    Then the time came for me to test it. Literally every category was better with this driver then any other. Ball Speed, dispersion, launch and spin ratio, carry, roll out, and consistency. Was really blown away with the BBa. Best driver out there! Not to mention it looks a feels great!

  22. Thanks Kane for answering a question i was having on the flex you used. As like me, you have a SS in the 105-110, and we are right there on the spot between Stiff and X-stiff and i was curious to see if you used a stiff or x-stiff shaft for the test.

    Not sure if you are like me, but sometime, i got the impression that I can’t load all my speed and power in stiff shaft.

  23. This is funny because after being tested with other drivers it’s 9th overall. Getting beat by mizuno, powerbuilt, yonex, and onoff. As well as the other big names of golf. I wonder if callaway wrote this review themselves or if this site is a sellout.

      • I thought I was the only one on here that hated these things. They push them so hard like they’re the next Hammer X (which is exactly what they feel like).

        Don’t get me wrong, good idea with the changing cg in the Alpha, but everything else was just wrong.

    • Can’t answer the first part of the question, but tested out the Zeta Tour last night and was very impressed. Launch was near perfect and spin was within a good tolerance which usually doesn’t happen with a “stock” shaft.

      Coming from a Ping guy I must say this years Callaway lineup is in a league of their own, so much so my bag will see a complete makeover. Callaway is the real deal this year

    • Both shafts in my opinion are great complements to their respective heads. For my swing, the ZT fits better and the launch and spin numbers were spot on. I tested both in Stiff, but unlike the Tour Green on the X2 Hot Pro, I didn’t feel like I was working overtime. The shafts didn’t get in the way or overpower allowing the adjustments to the head to make a difference. They felt true to spec and I think these are really good stock options to start with when getting fit.

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