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First Hit: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 and Double Black Diamond Drivers



Some golfers need a driver with a low center of gravity, while others need a driver with a higher center of gravity. Callaway’s two new Big Bertha Alpha drivers are designed to help both types of players.

The Big Bertha Alpha 815 ($449) and Big Bertha 815 Double Black Diamond ($499) use two distinct shapes and three forms of adjustability to help golfers dial in the launch, spin and shot shape that will give them maximum distance. They’ll be in stores November 13.

The hallmark of the two new drivers is the inclusion of Callaway’s Gravity Core technology, which allows golfers to adjust each driver’s center of gravity (CG) lower or higher in the clubhead.


It works like this: Insert the Gravity Core with its heavy side down (closer to the sole) and the driver will produce less spin. Position the Gravity Core with its heavy side up and the driver will produce more spin.

More spin? “Who needs that,” you might be saying.

According to Evan Gibbs, Callaway’s manager of performance analysis, plenty of golfers.

Callaway debuted the Gravity Core in its 2014 Big Bertha Alpha driver. While it wasn’t as popular as the company’s 2014 Big Bertha driver, it was an important fitting tool for many golfers on the PGA and European tours.

[quote_box_center]“If 90 percent of the players were in the low-CG position, we’d say, ‘we don’t need this mid-CG position,’” Gibbs said. “But the split was about even. That validated that there was value in having this Gravity Core.”[/quote_box_center]

It’s not just better players, however, who can benefit from a higher CG.

[quote_box_center]“Some people need a little big higher CG in order to generate enough spin,” he said. “And if a player tends to contact the ball high on the face, they tend to lose ball speed with a low-CG club.”[/quote_box_center]

Big Bertha Alpha 815


The new Big Bertha Alpha 815 brings the Gravity Core to a driver that is much more forgiving than the 2014 Big Bertha Alpha. It’s built on a 460-cubic-centimeter chassis that’s similar to the 2014’s Big Bertha driver, with a large profile at address that boosts its moment of inertia (MOI) to make it more forgiving.

The Big Bertha Alpha 815 also has a Forged Composite crown that makes it surprisingly low spinning for its level of forgiveness — unless the Gravity Core is in the “up” position, that is.

Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond


The Double Black Diamond has all the technology the Alpha 815 has, but as its name indicates it was designed for experts. The low, forward CG position that allows it to be so low spinning also makes it the company’s least forgiving driver for 2015. In other words, golfers should steer clear of the Double Black Diamond if their main goal is to improve performance on mishits.

According to Gibbs, the Double Black Diamond is about 100 rpm lower spinning than its predecessor, the 2014 Big Bertha Alpha, and it adds more forgiveness to shots hit high on its face. That’s partly thanks to the company’s new RMOTO technology (also used in the Alpha 815), which is a new geometry on the inside of the club head that allowed engineers to remove about 3 grams of weight from the face and place it lower and deeper in the head to improve MOI.


Visually, the Double Black Diamond has a rounder, more opened appearance than the 2014 Big Bertha Alpha at address that should resonate with better players.

Enough talk, where are the numbers?

I had a chance to test the Big Bertha Alpha 815, the Double Black Diamond and Big Bertha V-Series drivers at Callaway’s Ely Callaway Performance Center in Carlsbad, Calif., on a Doppler Radar launch monitor to see just how different the three drivers would perform.

Each of the drivers was hit with the same shaft and had nearly identical measured lofts. Each driver was also tested with the same shaft, a Mitsubishi Rayon Second-Generation Diamana D+ 70TX at 45 inches.

Testing process: I hit about six shots with each club in the following order: V-Series, Double Black Diamond and Alpha 815. I then hit about five more shots with each club and they were hit in the same order. The outliers – those one or two shots that were radically different from the eight or nine other shots – were then deleted to create these averages below.

The Numbers


The numbers explained


Don’t walk away from this story thinking that the Double Black Diamond is Callaway’s best driver for 2015 because of my experience. What’s important is to notice the distinct performance of each head.



V-Series is Callaway’s most forgiving 2015 driver, with a CG that is higher and more rearward than the other drivers in the line. For most golfers, this will translate to more consistent ball speeds across the face, but it will also contribute to the lower launch and higher spin that I saw in my testing.

Alpha 815


This will likely be Callaway’s most popular driver, both at retail and on the professional tours, because of its balanced design. My numbers show its ability to launch the high with a fairly low amount of spin and still retain a high level of ball speed on mishits.

Double Black Diamond


Most golfers won’t be a fit for a Double Black Diamond, but when they are the results will be fantastic. With nearly identical builds, the Double Black Diamond was an average of 9 yards longer than the V-Series thanks to its higher launch and lower spin.

How did they perform on mishits?

I saw a ball speed variance of 4.4 mph with the Double Black Diamond. That doesn’t sound like much, but it was by far the worst of the three models. The Alpha 815’s ball speed variance was a mere 3.3 mph, while the V-Series was just 1.7 mph.

Shafts and Specs


The Alpha 815 driver will be available in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees and comes stock with Fujikura’s Motore Speeder 565. The Double Black Diamond will come in lofts of 9 and 10.5 degrees with Aldila’s Rogue Silver 60 shaft.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the new drivers in our forum.

Don’t like those offerings? Callaway is offering the following 13 shaft options at no upcharge:

  • Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara 42
  • Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara 52
  • Matrix Ozik White Tie 50
  • Aldila Rogue Silver 60
  • Matrix Ozik Black Tie 70
  • Fujikura Motore Speeder 565
  • Fujikura Motore Speeder 665
  • Fujikura Motore Speeder 765
  • Second-Generation Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 62
  • Matrix Ozik Red Tie 60
  • Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki ZT 60
  • Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Z 50
  • Aldila Tour Green

The Alpha 815 comes stock with 7-gram and 1-gram interchangeable heel-and-toe weights, while the Double Black Diamond comes stock with 5-gram and 1-gram weights. Moving the heavier weight to the toe of the club will create more fade bias, while moving it to the heel of the club will create more draw bias.


Both drivers also use Callaway’s new Opti-Force hosel, which is slimmer than previous versions yet still compatible with 2014 driver models. It’s 3-degree range of adjustability (2 degrees up, 1 degree down in 1-degree increments) also includes two independent lie angle settings: neutral and upright (more draw bias).

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the new drivers in our forum.

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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.



  1. A.West

    Aug 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Two years later – I just bought this driver on Amazon from Calloway. Alpha 815, Speeder 565 regular flex shaft, 10.5 loft. Great deal, under $150, replacing my Calloway Costco “X hot” set driver, which apparently isn’t really an X hot driver after all. Tried out the Alpha 815 on my SkyTrak LM I’ve got a swing speed of maybe 91-92 mph, getting a carry distance of 210 to 230. Accuracy no worse than my prior driver, possibly more stable and more supportive of confidence. Feels and sounds a bit better. The adjustability will be fun to experiment with.

  2. richard

    Aug 6, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I just put a dbd in play yesterday. I have been using my trusty r11s tp for a few years now and just hadn’t found anything I liked better, including last year’s alpha which I tried but quickly sold. However, the new (now old!) 815 dbd was great, a very noticeable performance improvement, at least for me. I can’t tell if the club is longer, although my drives were at least as long as they normally are, but what I really noticed was the good trajectory, and most of all, the lack of sidespin…All my drives were pretty much where I wanted them with little sidespin. The one bad drive I hit (last driver of the day) didn’t go very far, but even that one was straight although it felt like it wanted to hook like crazy…but it stayed just barely off the fairway in good shape. So while the new 816 might be even a little better, for now I think callaway has put out a great product in the 815 dbd…

  3. Marc Dodd

    Nov 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Rumour has it that the 815 stands for august 2015, when this driver will go and be replaced by another driver

  4. Pingback: Golf Clubs – Our Selection | Romney Warren Golf Club

  5. alex

    Oct 21, 2014 at 12:44 am

    cant wait for the callaway 616 irons to come out and the new PRO U2 ball from callawy too

    • jim

      Oct 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      ya I use to like callaway not any more probably going to buy the 915

  6. Desmond

    Oct 19, 2014 at 10:24 am

    The V Series is NOT a lower launching club, not in lofts over 10.5. The 9 degree is a different animal with slightly different characteristics for stronger players. That will launch/spin lower.

    I use the 10.5 V Series head, and in the stock shaft, it launches high with a positive angle of attack. With the Fuji 565 Shaft, I need to add +1 of loft to receive similar results.

  7. Swingblade

    Oct 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Perhaps I am missing something. I could find no test data regarding dispersion. With the G30 tests dispersion was one of the main factors to evaluate. It seems only distance matters here. Since the PGA recently released the numbers relative to how few pros actually birdie from the rough, it seems it is time for us normal golfers to figure out that the fairway is what matters. Period. 10 or 15 yards longer is not a big plus if the ball is in the rough.

  8. Mr Poopoo

    Oct 3, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Black is the new white, blue, orange, red…


      Oct 8, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      I AM CURIOUS AS TO THE RESULTS WITH A NORMAL PLAYER THAT HAS A 90 MPH SWING SPEED. ALSO HOW SOON WILL CALLAWHAT DROP THESE AND BRING OUT IT;S NEWEST GREATEST MOST FANTASTIC REMARKABLE NEXT THING DRIVER—I would guess–next month and these will go on sale at half price. Its all just so much horse manure for the average golfer who will not, cannot, and would not buy a new driver every other month.

      • Sammy Moon

        Oct 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

        If you feel that way, why even waste making the comment?

      • Desmond

        Oct 19, 2014 at 10:26 am

        Buy the V Series in the 10.5, cut the stock shaft to 45 inches, and have fun. Too many people worry about price. Find your driver.

        • David

          Nov 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm

          Ahhhhh Desmond. That is the most sensible advice I have seen on a golf website for a number of years. You are absolutely correct.

  9. Mr Poopoo

    Oct 3, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Looks like the Alpha I’ve been eyeing is due for another price cut soon.

  10. Boat

    Oct 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    The most important factors for ALL drivers are ballspeed and launch angle. I’ve seen all types of testing on different launch monitors and real life testing where the difference between 2000rpm and 3000rpm on well struck shots is 3 yards, but in most cases is around 1.9 yards. If you are hesitant to believe me, simply check out Justin Rose’s Driver video by Rick Shiels on YouTube and have a close look at his numbers. Simply adjusting your spin loft in your own swing is the easiest and cheapest way of lowering spin if it really bothers the golfer that much.

    • marcel

      Oct 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      i would trust Justin Rose as he hits near identical shots.

  11. Chris C

    Oct 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you for your test results. That said, I am disappointed that you did not add the BB and Alpha to your test. The results might have shed some light regarding whether newer=better.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Oct 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      The only way to know is to do your own testing. Everyone is different.

      • Martin de Porres

        Oct 5, 2014 at 3:14 am

        Zak, any chance you know the head weight for the 815 aplha and the titleist 915 drivers.

        • Zak Kozuchowski

          Oct 7, 2014 at 9:23 am


          The DBD has a total weight of about 330 grams, while the Alpha 815 has a total weight of about 320 grams. That should put the head weights in the 200-to-205 gram range, with the DBD being a few grams heavier.

  12. Golfraven

    Oct 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I find the head cover and the crazy release cycle most interesting. Otherwise I am stocking with the new 915 – bring it on.

    • mhendon

      Oct 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Yeah I like the retro head cover but I doubt its real leather like an Iliac.

  13. RAT

    Oct 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    when will they have the Saturn model ready?

  14. Dave S

    Oct 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Robocop’s driver?

  15. MHendon

    Oct 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Here’s the thing my fellow WRXer’s. The USGA and R&A agreed to a COR limitation of .830 all the way back in 2002 that went into effect in 2006. No driver legal for tournament play shall exceed that. This lead to a theoretical smash factor of 1.5 however not truly achievable under real life conditions sense you would need launch conditions of 0 degrees and 0 RPM of spin to achieve it. Every ball speed has an optimal launch angle and spin rate to achieve maximum distance. Knowing this once one maxes out they’re launch conditions there is no more room for improvement through equipment. Also maxing out your launch conditions is next to impossible unless you have a very consistent tour like swing. In other words you can buy every new driver that comes out and you’re still going to suck unless you practice.

    • Thomas Beckett

      Oct 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Wrong again MHendon. The maximum theoretical smash factor is 2.0. All things being constant increasing the mass of a driver head 10% will increase smash factor approximately 1.7%. Assuming a perfect strike, if enough mass could be added to a driver to offset the efficiency lost by dynamic loft a smash factor higher than 1.5 is possible without violating .83 COR limit.

      • MHendon

        Oct 4, 2014 at 9:18 pm

        Ok thomas you are suggesting using a club much heavier or stronger lofted than anything on the market. I couldn’t find the article I got my original information from or I would post the link but I couldn’t find anything suggesting a theoretical smash factor of 2.0. I did find this that suggest the posibility of a smash factor slightly over 1.5 but it’s not practical.

        • Thomas Beckett

          Oct 5, 2014 at 12:03 am

          Wrong again MHendon. I was responding to your incorrect statement you have once again passed off as a fact. You wrote the USGA and R&A imposed a .83 COR limitation which is sort of true, it’s actuall.822 with a tolerance to .83 but I let you slide on that one. Followed by,”this lead to a theoretical smash factor of 1.5 however not truly achievable in real life.” That is also incorrect on both statements. I never claimed my argument to be practical, just possible. Pings G30 is 20 grams heavier than my driver and in testing I’ve found it to have about 3 to 4% higher smash factor so I would say my argument is practical and you are wrong as usual. A change in any varaible of club mass, ball mass, COR, or contact point changes smash factor. People like you MHendon once protested that the earth was flat. A practical driver beating 1.5 smash factor may not happen in your lifetime but it is possible. It’s mathematically possible so open your mind to the possibilities or be bound by your limitations.

          • MHendon

            Oct 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

            What are you a lawyer Thomas looking for every possible angle to prove your case. Clearly my initial statement was made based off tournament legal equipment not what is theoretically possible and impractical. Once again I don’t know where you’re getting your information but I’ve posted a link to some of mine along with getting some of my information from Frank Thomas the former USGA technical director. So Thomas if you’re going to try and discredit me how about providing some proof other than your own words.

          • Thomas Beckett

            Oct 6, 2014 at 1:26 am

            Sorry MHendon, I’m not a lawyer, im an engineer in the aerospace industry, but that really has no bearing on the matter. Before we go any further I suggest you read your source more carefully as it disproves every point you have made. Arguing with you reminds me of an old saying,” you can lead an ass to water but you can’t make him drink it.”

          • mhendon

            Oct 6, 2014 at 7:04 pm

            So Thomas you’re making a point that you can theoretically achieve a smash factor of 2.0 with a metal ball bounced of a perfectly flat metal surface fixed to the ground. So what does that have to do with golf. Seams to me you’re making an irrelevant point just for the sake of argument. Thanks anyway but I’ll take a beer!

          • Dan

            Oct 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm

            I liked the bickering between you two, and just wanted to chime in and say that, I have seen a smash factor of 1.52 on a launch monitor, and the player was using a 909 D3, with an upgraded shaft. I can’t comment on any of the variables that go into this formula such as ball or head weight, club head or ball speed. I just remember very clearly that I was told 1.5 was perfect and what I saw was better than perfect.

        • Ian

          Jan 6, 2015 at 11:57 pm

          I’m a scratch sr am player. I’m using a ping g30 with swing speed around 104mph. I can rev it to 110mph but that’s not game speed. I frequently see smash factors of 1.52 on TrackMan. In fact, I did it today!

    • Adam

      Oct 10, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      My goal for a smash factor is 1.5 – 1.52 If you’re getting up there, figure out the best shaft for your release/swing bc you should be smoking it.

      Currently swing the Alpha (2014) and it’s a beat stick. Went with the X-flex Fubuki and will likely change to something better for me. (Lower kick point, etc…) Compared to my old gamer, dropped about 500-600 RPM in spin which took my distance an extra 20+ yards.

      Not gonna shell out for these by any means, but for my first Callaway driver I cant think they’re hitting anything but home runs here. Very much enjoy the BB Alpha and the Gravity Core is a game-changer for sure.

    • marcel

      Oct 17, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Smash factor is Club head speed translated into ball speed right after the impact. the ball speed will be affected by elements but that has not been taken into consideration. Only the speed after leaving club where launch conditions and spin has little impact. As the ball is not constantly propelled, spin and the drag will result for ball to drop and continue its travel on the ground until stopped.

      Jack Nicklaus said that to hit ball further you need either swing faster or swing better… so you can hit ball farther if you slow down and control swing and impact better. so in theory the driver that reduces spin will allow hit the ball farther without increasing smash factor.
      also the ball has to be relevant to the club speed to not deform excessively ball which in turn wont travel farther due to imperfect flight properties.

  16. Grant

    Oct 3, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I’ve been thinking about the complaint that many (including myself) have about the cost of new drivers, and the major OEM constant releases of new equipment. At first glance, it’s crazy for us to play upwards of $450 every 6 months to have the latest and greatest from our favorite companies only to have them release something “better”. But then I thought about the other sport that I play: ice hockey. Just like drivers from Callaway, TaylorMade, etc., companies like Reebok, Easton, Bauer, and CCM come out with new flagship hockey sticks twice yearly, and the prices for them are in the $279-$320 range. The only difference is that these sticks break after some use, so players go through 5+ sticks a season. Those that aren’t willing to hand over the big $$$ for the top end stuff buy older models at discount, or less expensive sticks. And that’s just one piece of equipment that gets updated pretty frequently from those companies.

    My point: I was mad at the golf industry, but then I realized that this happens in all sports, and marginal gain can only be achieved with frequent launches and a lot of reps (repetitions) on new products by pros and joes. Just me coming to peace with where my money goes.

    I’ve been playing the Callaway RFX for the last two-ish seasons, but I’ll go through a testing process at a club fitter to see what new club/shaft technologies work best for me next season.

    • steve

      Oct 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      You make a point. But doe’s it apply to basketball? Baseball a good quality glove can last years or the worlds most popular sport soccer. I think it is based on case by case or sport by sport

    • Brandon

      Oct 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      I’m a Hockey player also and have asked myself would a new $300 stick help me get more goals in a game compared with my 1 year old stick, absolutely not. I had a similar awakening with Golf. A new $450 driver will not help me shoot lower scores which at the end of the day is why I play Golf. It sure is fun to buy new Golf equipment but:)

      • marcel

        Oct 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm

        its so easy to jump on the equipment band wagon and keep on spending… or get a golf coach and improve with stick you playing. BTW good on your ice hokey game. big fan here!!!

  17. Mike

    Oct 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

    So do the people bickering about life cycles really want Callaway and TM to come out with a driver every two years like other companies? The funny thing is that those people would hate it if it happened. Everybody wants more choices, it is fun and brings buzz to the golf industry and this website. Get over it.

  18. Dave

    Oct 2, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I agree with you Steve. Every year it’s longer and straighter moved this or that around. Basically reinventing the wheel with a new paint job. Most good golfers can hit anything. It’s the Indian not the arrow. If people want to waste their money on stupid marketing go ahead their money. I don’t care personally buying something and then it being outdated 6 months later. However, if one is wise enough like stated above one can get a decent deal on an outdated driver. The technology may change but its going to be very marginal at best. Until the powers that be let the club manufactures do something outside the rules nothing new will happen of any magnitude. Thus the longer and straighter marketing bull some fall for. To each their own.

  19. benseattle

    Oct 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I think we should all thank Callaway for having the courage to blow right by that ancient old $400 milestone and jack up the prices…. because they can. $449 and $499 for more of the same old “12 yards longer” crap is going to appeal to a handful of 60-year-old grandpas with money to burn who just happen to be gullible enough that They’ll Believe Anything.

    I suggest you do what I did earlier this spring. Take your current gamer into a launch monitor and compare it with the four or five hottest, latest, most technically-advanced of the new models and then compare the numbers. If you really do pick up 5, 10 or 15 yards with a 2014 model… well, congratulations. But more likely you’ll discover what I did: that none of the new stuff is significantly superior in either distance or dispersion when compared to my current gamer. In fact, the 2014 products should be embarrassed: my current driver is a relic from 2006, the MacGregor MacTec!

    (Still, I can’t help but be tempted the renowned Ping G20 that’s now on sale everywhere for all of $179!)

  20. Desmond

    Oct 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I find the results with the V Series as a bit odd … in stock setup, at 10.5, I find that club launches high with a tad too much spin, but piercing.

    With the 10.5 and the Speeder 565, I find the club launches lower (that’s expected with the shaft), and I must loft up to 11.5. With that combo, I get screamers.

    I question the results with the V Series because I think that club takes a little bit of work to get accustomed to it. It is a different look and setup than the 815 drivers. A different feel, look, etc.

    I’m not surprised that the BBV spins more, just the low launch … surprising, and not in line with what I’ve found in the 565 Shaft. That makes me think familiarity will breed better launch numbers.

  21. ImRight

    Oct 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    When people stop buying the new clubs that come out every few months maybe clubs companies will stop with that marketing plan. It’s really getting out of hand though. I remember when I played in HS in the late 90’s and there was one wood and iron line release a year.

  22. Russell

    Oct 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    How about the dispersion between the drivers? Which one was more accurate? Which one was the most spread out? How different were they? They don’t normally put these numbers in reviews and I’m not sure why. It’s not all about swing speed and distance. It’s about control. Tell me which one performed better by hitting it closer to the line or target out of the 10 or so swings. How close to that line did it deviate?

    This would be the helpful data needed to make an informed purchase in addition to the data already presented here.

  23. Marco

    Oct 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Aldila Rogue…no upcharge?? I liiiike !!!!

  24. Evan

    Oct 2, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Keep drinking the Kool Aid! Transformer era of golf club design, not sure I was too far off when I said that months ago. There are no performance gains, just releasing clubs every 3 months to generate more revenue. BTW, premium shafts do not mean premium results. Wake up and stop wasting your money!

    • Robeli

      Oct 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Agree. Go buy almost any 2012 driver at dirt cheap specials and you will get very close the same results as these drivers. The year 2012 was very good year for drivers. I still play mine from 2012 and keep hitting these new ones every time I get the chance, and none of the 2013 or 2014 made that big a difference to justify a change.

  25. SBoss

    Oct 2, 2014 at 7:52 am

    The company’s like Callaway and TMAG don’t realize how destructive they are to their own brands. The consumer confusion factor alone is not worth it. It’s hard to keep all of their offerings straight.
    Ping and Titleist deal with consumers in a planned, straightforward manner. We know that Ping has an “I” series and a G series. They have a logical number sequence and a predictable release schedule. When I buy a G30 driver, I know the G35 will be out in 2 years. They will do what they can to upgrade performance in that 2 years. Same goes for Titleist.
    Callaway is a copycat company, trying to knock off TMAG with their product release strategy. Essentially, they’ve knocked off a lousy strategy. Brilliant. The CEO should be shown the door and they need to get back to connecting with customers and a predictable release strategy that actually shows some respect for the customer. More product does not equate to BETTER product.

    • Bob

      Oct 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Too bad PING released the G25 last year and released the G30 this year. Doesn’t look like a 2 year cycle to me. Your G35 will be released next year as well. Also, the only reason why Titleist waits every 2 years is because they have that little white ball you lose every round so they don’t have to release clubs. PING doesn’t have a 2 year cycle anymore.

  26. Large chris

    Oct 2, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Not very relevant but I played with an absolutely terrible golfer a couple of months ago who was admiring my x2 hot. He was thinking about getting it as an upgrade from his xhot. He was never anywhere near a fairway and either topped or skied everything.

    • ron

      Oct 2, 2014 at 9:52 am

      You’re right.. not relevant at all!

      • Largechris

        Oct 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

        Probably not relevant to Americans that is, but to us Brits we call that sort of thing ‘ironic’

  27. ryan

    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:45 am

    they are really crazy.. almost every month I’ve heard that Callaway new clubs. I sold the callway x2hot pro driver few months ago. I surely think it was a brriant choice..
    now my ping i25 driver longer and more forgiving than x2hot pro.. bye callway..

  28. J

    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Hideous. Still not touching a 450+ dollar driver with someone else’s wallet…

    It’s exhorbant and ridiculous.

    • Gonzo

      Oct 2, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Some people want the best and will pay large sums of money for it. Others can wait 2 years and get it for 199 or less

  29. Charles

    Oct 1, 2014 at 10:38 pm


  30. Jimmy

    Oct 1, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Not impressed with the names but the shaft selection is nice ill stick w my g30 and motore speeder ts 7.2 combo

  31. LB

    Oct 1, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Well written article with the numbers to back up the tech. Nice job Zak.

    • MHendon

      Oct 2, 2014 at 12:36 am

      I’m not so sure about those numbers. Two of the three drivers have a smash factor above 1.5 which would imply there COR is above the legal limit of .830

      • Rich

        Oct 2, 2014 at 8:57 pm

        Give me break. Really? A company the size of Callaway is going to 1. Produce a driver that is non conforming and 2. The USGA and R&A are going to let them sell it? Are you smoking weed or something?

        • MHendon

          Oct 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

          Exactly… That’s why I said I wasn’t so sure about the numbers supposedly produced by these drivers at the beginning of the article.

          • Rich

            Oct 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm

            Ok then. Explain to me why a 0.830 COR limit means smash factor maxes out at 1.50?

      • Thomas Beckett

        Oct 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm

        1.5 smash factor is not a usga imposed limit nor is it a barrier. COR is just one of the variables that affects smash factor. Here is the formula
        SF = Vball / Vclubhead = 1 + e / 1 + m/M cos(loft) * (1 – 0.7*miss)
        m=ball weight
        M=club mass

        • Thomas Beckett

          Oct 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

          Hopefully that will help your argument and educating process for MHendon.

          • MHendon

            Oct 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm

            Well thank you Thomas I see you got your information from the same place I did. To be clear the theoretical 1.5 smash factor is based off what is considered tournament legal equipment. Yes you can get above the magical 1.5 but it would require a much heavier club head than anyone makes at a very strong loft say about 5 degrees. Hence the real world limit meaning what a human can achieve using tournament legal equipment is approximately 1.494. That’s why the numbers listed on these drivers seem suspect to me.

          • Thomas Beckett

            Oct 6, 2014 at 11:47 pm

            There are several places that talk about smash factor but I used your source because I was hoping you read it, I was wrong in that respect or perhaps you don’t understand. What I found interesting about your source was the chart showing approximately what driver head weights would be necessary to break 1.5 smash factor. I could only find a weight limit on the ball therefore if you you use the formula you provided from your source the theoretical smash factor is 2.0 and a 1.5 smash factor can be broken. If the goal were to simply get the highest smash factor with legal equipment to break a 1.5 smash factor it could be done easily, but to do it practically without current performance loss is another story. My only objective is to point out your incorrect assumptions passed off as facts to other people. Read your research if you actually do any and work the formulas before you comment.

          • Leslie Chow

            Oct 7, 2014 at 2:57 am

            I’ve enjoyed this thread so I decided to do some research of my own. I was curious if MHendon was full of hot air or if 1.5 was the barrier. Thomas, after looking at the formula I figured that if breaking 1.5 SF were possible it is going to take a golfer using the heaviest head on the market with the lowest loft and lightest golf ball. Since a heavier ball produces less resistance to drag it will be longer companies maxed out the legal limit of the ball so ball weight is a constant. As far as the loft and weight of the club that sounded like long drivers would have the advantage because their driver heads are reinforced to withstand massive impacts and what I found was that there are quite a few long drivers that have broken 1.5 smash factor on trackman and their data is all over the Internet. Rather than provide a list of all the sources I would like to produce the easiest and the link is The opening video with Bubba Watson hitting his tour 44.5″ Pink G30 driver with a legal COR, MHENDON focus, hits the drive with clubhead speed of 120.8 and a ball speed of 184.5 giving him a smash factor of 1.5273. So Thomas it turns out your theory on the heavier ping drivers producing higher smash factors and breaking 1.5 SF is not only mathematically but actually possible is in fact CORRECT and therefore with extreme pleasure I can once again say . . . WRONG AGAIN MHENDON.

          • mhendon

            Oct 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm

            Hey my old buddy Leslie. Read the link I posted above. It clearly states a PGA pro using tournament legal equipment can best hope for a COR around 1.47. Your are providing information from an equipment company looking to sell their equipment based off one of their tour players impact data. The INDEPENDENT article above states any smash factors above 1.5 are most likely equipment measuring errors. My information comes from very credible sources I am not a physicist nor a mathematician and don’t claim to be. So you guys are trying so hard to discredit me you’re grasping at straws. But in the end you’re trying to discredit my sources which are supposed experts.

          • Thomas Beckett

            Oct 8, 2014 at 3:54 pm

            Nobody is trying to discredited your source MHendon, only the limited and finite manner in which you are applying the information your source provides. All the information to prove 1.5 SF is not a limit is in your sources article but for some reason you still cannot comprehend its contents so here is an email response to a question I asked your source directly if exceeding a 1.5 Smash Factor is possible. Directly from your source MHendon here is Daves response.

            “Tournament legal” will require a COR of no more than 0.83. (If that
            were not the case, higher smash factors would be easier to get.)
            Let’s also factor in that the ball is 46 grams. (Lower weight gives a
            higher smash factor, BUT you’ll get less distance from the ball for a
            given launch velocity. So nobody even tries to do that.)
            When you plug that into the equations, you can get a full 1.5 smash
            factor from a head of 214g at a 5 degree loft. For 1.52, the head
            weight is close to 230 grams.
            Hope this helps.

            In conclusion to settle this once and for all with you MHendon, what Dave is saying is that for a driver head weight of 214g and 5 degrees of loft or at 10 degrees of loft and 229g of head weight, both achieve a 1.5 SF, any increase in weight or decrease in loft breaks a 1.5 SF. One thing that is pretty important distinction to make in the SF formula isn’t the actual loft of the driver, rather the dynamic loft at impact thats used in the calculation so its possible for a driver heads with 5 and 10 degrees to both be at the same dynamic loft at impact. When factoring in the golf ball weight for calculation of SF, the assumption is being made that the ball is at the max legal weight but a lighter ball will improve smash factor. Its entirely possible for a long drive club with 3 to 5 degrees of loft or a “short driver” with 9 degrees of loft to have enough head weight to exceed a 1.5 SF using equipment available today. The reason I mention the short driver is because it requires a lot more additional head weight to obtain a proper swing weight and would be very easy for someone with the right impact conditions to achieve a SF above 1.5 but the tradeoff would be less club head speed due to the shorter shaft. Since the game of golf is about distance and direction, from a practical application to distance smash factor is just one of several variables a golfer can change as each golfer is different and for some a lighter head sacrificing SF but significantly increase club head speed maybe more beneficial whereas a golfer with a lot of speed and poor direction might try to increase SF with a shorter heavier club which maintains distance through better contact to make up for the loss in club speed due to the shorter shaft. As I stated in my earlier post and confirmed by your source , the theoretical smash factor limit is 2.0 and the smash factor limit is governed only by the variables in the formula and is not 1.5 as you have claimed.

          • MHendon

            Oct 8, 2014 at 6:02 pm

            LOL Wow Thomas I got to hand it to you. I think you’re more stubborn than even I am. I never would have even considered that by reducing the weight of the ball you could achieve a smash factor of 1.5 or slightly above while staying in the legal limits of equipment so I guess I’ll have to concede this one to you. However as you said know one would do that because the ball wouldn’t go as far. So at least maybe you will concede that my initial post that got this whole debate started is in fact valid. The numbers suggested for these three Callaway drivers are suspect because for one I doubt they where using a ball lighter in weight than standard and generally Callaway has been know for making lighter weight heads to try and increase speed. Although I will concede I don’t know the weight of these three heads. It’s been fun Thomas.

      • Dan

        Oct 8, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        Those are averages, you should work on your reading comprehension.

  32. hebron1427

    Oct 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    sooo….they made a big bertha alpha with different sole graphics?

    • CT

      Oct 2, 2014 at 12:46 am

      Yes. It’s the old we moved 3 grams of weight around to increase MOI just for you trick. Won’t be beating my alpha aftermarket shaft combo.

      Callaway turning into TM. Makes me sick!

  33. Don

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Meh. Looks like Callaway is going the route of Tour Exotics esthetics. Compare this with the new Titleist 915 and you can see how much of a toy this looks.

  34. SMH

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    lmfao very sad and embarrassing, you can tell some TMAG hack is running the show over at callaway releasing all this new crap like they are

  35. Shawn

    Oct 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I wish these weren’t blue.

    • enrique

      Oct 1, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Are they blue? I thought it was the reflection of the sky but then saw some blue flake. It’s better not be blue. I never played the alpha because it was blue.

  36. billy

    Oct 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    SWEET!! Looks like most of the shaft upgrades are made for Callaway though. Sure they will be good, just hope they have all of them in fitting carts with all flexes.

    • Sean

      Oct 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      Authentic real deal shafts are what I’m told…….no “made for” junk.

      At $500 bills that’s the least they can do.

      Current Alpha working very well so I’ll be impressed if either of these models outperform it.

      Heard the Aldlia Rogue Silver shaft is the bomb but I’m not familiar with it…….yet!

      Good luck Callaway.

      • WILSON

        Oct 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

        I hit it in a 915 D3, that club was absolutely the bomb. Blown away.

  37. Danny

    Oct 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Holy crap, Callaway taking over Taylormade as kings of the new driver every month

    • steve

      Oct 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      What how can you not love a new driver every 3 months? Since my 975d I have been getting a new driver every year and adding 12 yards with each driver. Do the math started at 290yds with the 975d 15 years ago. 15 new drivers 12 added yards each. 15×12=180 more yards then the 975d. Holy crap i am hitting it 470yds. Love it, keep it coming

      • Bryan

        Oct 1, 2014 at 4:09 pm

        Well said!

      • mhendon

        Oct 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm

        and the bet part is that 975d was $399.99 15 years ago and you’ll be able to get this new Callaway for $199.99 in a year if you can stand to wait.

        • Rich

          Oct 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm

          You are just a troll now. You keep saying the same stuff on every new equipment story. If you’re not interested in the new equipment (you keep saying nothing is better than your 10 year old driver), then stop reading the equipment stories and move onto something else. Your comments were valid the first couple of times but now you’re boring.

          • steve

            Oct 2, 2014 at 9:39 pm

            You are the definition of a troll. You think the points of view are boring, but you respond to them to start argument. Who keeps reading something over and over they think is boring? Do you watch a tv show and complain how boring it is week after week. If you don’t like an opinion ignore or go away, time to grow up.

          • Rich

            Oct 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

            Thanks Steve. You’re right, I should know better. Thanks for setting me straight.

          • Ty Webb

            Oct 4, 2014 at 12:07 am

            Couldn’t have said it any better Rich.

          • MHendon

            Oct 5, 2014 at 10:18 pm

            Hmmm where did I say my 10 year old driver is as good as the new stuff. I think what I was saying basically is you can get NEW golf equipment cheaper now than you could 15 years ago. Seams a little ironic to me because people keep complaining about the cost of the game. Hey but glad to know I have a fan Rich! Oh and my driver is only 3 years old.

        • Dale Doback

          Oct 4, 2014 at 9:37 am

          What’s the point of posting that MHendon? Its a no brainier that if you wait until a product is discounted or discontinued it will be cheaper. The 975d may have been 399.99 15 years ago but it’s resale value now is around $2.50. Maybe people should wait 15 years and then they could really get a bargain, good luck getting home on the short bus.

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Callaway launches Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X irons and hybrids



With its new line of Rogue irons — consisting of Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X models — Callaway continues its search to answer a conundrum that’s plagued game-improvement irons for years; how do you make an iron that produces great ball speed without sacrificing sound and feel. The dilemma is that in order to increase ball speeds, engineers must make the faces of the irons thinner. The problem is, the thinner they make the faces, the more vibration is caused at impact, creating a longer-lasting, higher-pitched sound. Very few golfers want that off-putting, clicky sound, but they do want the ball speed and distance.

So, that’s why companies are experimenting with different materials and injections between the faces of game-improvement irons and their bodies. That buffer creates a dampening effect to reduce vibration, while still allowing faces to be constructed thinner to raise COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer) and ball speed. Companies such as PXG irons use TPE injections, and TaylorMade uses SpeedFoam in its new P-790 irons; Callaway says those constructions either constrict speed, or they don’t have a profound enough effect on vibrations.

For its Rogue irons that are made from 17-4 stainless steel, Callaway is using what it calls urethane microspheres, which are essentially little balls of urethane that it combines together, in the cavities of its irons. The difference between these spheres and other foams and materials on the market, according to Callaway, is that the material is porous. Callaway says the microspheres work to dampen sound without negatively effecting ball speed.

A look at the inside of a Rogue iron, via Callaway’s photography

The inner material in the cavity works in tandem with familiar technologies from previous iron releases such as Apex, Epic and Steelhead XR. Callaway says it has improved upon its VFT (variable face thickness) and Face Cup technologies, focusing on thinning out portions of the face where golfers tend to miss shots — low on the face, on the heel and on the toe. Each of the Rogue irons also uses Internal Standing Wave by way of Tungsten-infused weights that help control the center of gravity (CG) in the club heads; that means centering the overall weight between the scoring lines, and controlling where the CG is placed vertically throughout a given set (re: higher on the short irons for more control and spin, and lower on the long irons for more height).

For the consumer, all of this means getting performance-driven irons at a lower price compared to the Epic and Epic Pro irons. Each of the irons will be available for pre-sale on January 19, and come to retail on February 9. Read on for more info on each of the specific irons, and the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids that introduce Callaway’s Jailbreak technology into hybrids for the first time.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

Rogue irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway’s Rogue irons are the standard model in this line of irons, equipped with all of the technologies described above. According to Callaway, these are essentially Steelhead XR replacements, but have more compact shapes. In the Steelhead XR irons, Callaway used a wider profile in order to center CG between the scoring lines, but due to the inclusion of the Tungsten-infused weights in the Rogue irons, it was able to shape the irons more similar to XR and X-Hot irons of the past — more preferable shapes for GI irons, according to Callaway.

Stock shafts include True Temper’s XP105 steel shaft, and Aldila’s Synergy graphite shaft.

Rogue Pro irons ($999.99)

The Rogue Pro irons, as you may expect, have a more compact shape, thinner toplines and thinner soles than their standard-model-counterparts. Therefore, the Pro design will yield more control that better players will prefer, but they are still packed with all of the performance-enhancing technologies of the Rogue irons. They also have a chrome plating that better players may be drawn to.

Rogue X irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway described the Rogue X irons to me as “bomber irons.” They have lofts that are 3-to-4 degrees stronger than the standard Rogue irons, and they have longer lengths and lighter overall weights, but according to Callaway, they will still launch in the same window iron-for-iron (re: a 7-iron will launch like a 7-iron). Despite cranking down the lofts, they have bigger profiles, wider soles and more offset; those designs work to drag CG rearward, which helps to increase launch.

Combine that design with the Rogue’s VFT, Face Cups, Internal Standing Wave and urethane microspheres, and the result is an iron that’s “all about distance,” according to Callaway.

Rogue and Rogue X hybrids ($249.99 apiece)

As noted previously, the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids include Callaway’s Jailbreak technology. Like Callaway’s Rogue fairway woods, they use stainless steel bars behind the face instead of the titanium bars that are used in the Rogue drivers. Also, like all of the other Callaway clubs that use Jailbreak, the idea of the design is that two parallel bars inside the club head connect the sole with crown help to add strength to the body at impact, allowing the faces to be constructed thinner, thus, create more ball speed across the face. The Rogue and Rogue X hybrids also have Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology.

The standard Rogue goes up to a 6-hybrid, while the oversized, Rogue X “super hybrid” goes up to an 8-hybrid. Similar to the Rogue X irons, the Rogue X hybrids have an oversized construction, a lighter overall weight, and longer lengths. The goal with these Rogue X hybrids is to create higher launching, more forgiving and longer hybrid options for golfers who need help getting the ball in the air.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

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First Look: Precision Pro NX7 Shot laser rangefinder, made for golfers and hunters



Precision Pro’s new NX7 Shot is useful whether you’re hunting birds or birdies.

In just over 3 years, Precision Pro has become a player in the laser rangefinder market, quickly developing a reputation for products with maximum features at a price that’s lower than comparable offerings from competitors. Precision Pro came out with its NX7 Pro in 2017, and is following up that offering with the new NX7 Shot, which is designed to hit the two biggest markets for laser rangefinders: golfers and hunters. That’s probably why the company put a camouflage design on the water-resistant and shockproof body of the NX7 Shot.

Inside, the rangefinder has target acquisition that is meant to stabilize even when shaky hands or windy conditions are in play. The NX7 Shot also has an effective scanning distance of 400 yards, which is more than adequate range for golfers not named Dustin Johnson. Other features of the NX7 Shot include is its Scanning Mode, which allows the user to pick up multiple targets in one motion, and its Last Priority Mode, which lets the user acquire a target through tree branches and cover.

The NX7 Shot also comes with a 2-year warranty and free battery replacement for the life of the product. Regarding the warranty, Precision Pro Co-founder Jonah Mytro says “it’s something that nobody else in the industry is doing” and it “shows that we value our customers and that we want them to keep using our products for life.”

It’s designed to be legal for competitions that allow rangefinders, and is listed at $249 with free shipping when ordered from the Precision Pro website.

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Snell adds MTB Black and MTB Red to lineup, thanks in part to GolfWRX forum feedback



Snell Golf entered the market in 2015 when Dean Snell, co-creator of the Titleist Pro V1 and TaylorMade Penta, decided to sell premium golf balls direct to consumer at a fraction of the standard premium golf ball price. With massive year-over-year growth, the company’s offerings have been well received by the golfing public.

Snell is expanding its MTB line with the release of the MTB Black and MTB Red models. The company indicates the Black and Red models leveraged customer feedback to expand an already successful line.

“Through evaluation of customer feedback, we are able to go through the design and testing process with a clear understanding of what the customer wants to see and feel in their Golf Ball. Pair our expertise and experience with customer suggestion and the result is a ‘Tour Like Experience’ with extra cash in your wallet for a round at the bar,” says Snell Golf founder, Dean Snell.

We asked Snell about the feedback process, and he had some interesting (and flattering) things to say.

“One of the biggest parts of the feedback came from the forums at GolfWRX. I check it weekly for sure, sometimes every other day. There’s one [thread] that started when we started and it’s still going…the information, with people playing and testing, I typically read that.

“And then I get a lot of emails. I read them all, and then I make a big chart, and I fill it in…”high spin,” “low spin,” etc. Then I read and mark the boxes with what people are saying, and when a box fills up, that’s a voice…So there were three big voices from consumers, and that led to these balls.”

Snell said when he worked at Titleist and TaylorMade, tour pro feedback was paramount. Now that he’s offering a direct-to-consumer product, however, the consumers are his “tour players.”

This is a different approach [working with consumers] and asking, “What do you want?” You can’t satisfy everything, but when you hear a strong voice over and over, that’s what we take into consideration.

MTB Black

  • 3-piece thermocast urethane cover golf ball with a 360 dimple pattern
  • Seven percent lower compression core than the original MTB
  • Softer core lowers spin with the driver

Snell says: “Driver spin: anytime you can lower it, it’s going to make the ball better. We keep the same performance [as MTB]…it’ll just be a touch longer.”


  • 4-piece thermocast urethane cover golf ball with a 338 dimple pattern
  • Dual Feel Technology: Provides a firmer, more responsive feel on driver and long irons shorts, while continuing a very soft feel on short irons and around the green with more spin as well
  • Available in Optic Yellow in addition to White

Snell says: “The MTB Red became a four-piece ball. We had to add an inside layer–an inner mantle–to add spin to approach shots. You control the spin rates through the set with the layers of the ball. Getting that fourth layer in there really works for the approach shot control and spin. Otherwise, to add spin, you’d have to raise the core [compression], but when you do that, you make the driver shorter. And the “yellow tour ball” market isn’t big, but the voice in our group was loud.”

Both golf balls will be offered at a retail price of $31.99 per dozen, and are also available in a Value Pack of 6 dozen for $163.99 ($27.33 per dozen).

New models are available at for pre-order. Shipments are scheduled for February.

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19th Hole