50 Words or Less
The most anticipated driver of 2014 delivers. Callaway’s Gravity Core is the most significant advancement in adjustability in years.
Even if you do live under a rock, by this point you know that #BerthasBack. Callaway rolled a tank into the PGA Show! Subtle is not exactly what they’re going for. But then again, when you’re looking to re-launch one of best names in golf, why hide it?
With the Big Bertha Alpha, Callaway has a driver that is not only a monster performer, it also has the most exciting piece of technology of 2014: Gravity Core. This club establishes beyond a doubt that Big Bertha is golf’s alpha female.
With the exception of its silver face, the Big Bertha Alpha is a dead ringer for last year’s RAZR Fit Extreme. If you ask me, that’s a good thing: there’s no reason to mess with a really good look.
The gloss black crown is devoid of alignment aids or graphics, a nod to the better players that this driver is targeted towards. It’s relatively compact from front to back and from heel to toe. To my eye, the silver face makes it look deeper than the RFE at address. When you put them next to each other at eye level, however, the difference appears slight to nonexistent.
Sound & Feel
The sound and feel of the Big Bertha Alpha are most similar to one of my favorite drivers of 2013, Callaway’s FT Optiforce. The Alpha gives a feeling more akin to a forged iron than a hard titanium-faced metal wood: very solid, soft, and satisfying. The sound is slightly louder and more explosive than the Optiforce, but, compared to most drivers, it’s very understated.
Callaway’s new Gravity Core is such a big deal that it merits its own section. What it allows the golfer to do is move the Center of Gravity (sweet spot) up or down. Practically speaking, this means you can change the spin rates independent of loft, something that was never possible before. This is an absolute game changer for club fitting, and it will give high-spin players options that they never had before.
If you’re skeptical that a little piece of metal can yield big differences in ball flight and launch monitor numbers, just check out the graphic below.
As you can see, the Gravity Core makes a BIG difference. For me, flipping the Gravity Core down dropped over 300 RPM of spin, improved my accuracy, and added over 10 yards of total distance. When Bill tested the Alpha, he found that with the Gravity Core altered his spin over 400 RPM and put him 10 yards closer to the centerline.
Let’s also not forget that Big Bertha Alpha has the same type of exchangeable weights in the heel and toe that the RAZR Fit Extreme did. The bonus for 2014 is the Callaway includes additional weights with the driver so you can modify the head weight and horizontal CG to suit your preference without any additional purchases. Additionally, the adjustable hosel allows for changes to the loft and lie independent of each other.
With regard to its general performance, Big Bertha Alpha is a great driver. It has a fantastic stock shaft that both Bill and I found to be very stable with excellent feel. The spin was low, the distance was long, and it was very accurate. In fact, given that this is billed as Callaway’s driver for better players, I was very surprised at how well mishits stayed in play. I probably wouldn’t recommend Big Bertha Alpha to a high handicap player, but I found nothing in my testing that said it wouldn’t be a great driver for anyone from a mid-handicap to a scratch player.
The addition of the Gravity Core elevates Big Bertha Alpha from “great driver” to “revolutionary golf club.” As I’ve already said, it’s the most significant advancement in adjustability in years, and its impact on ball flight is undeniable. Big Bertha Alpha places Callaway in the center of the discussion of most innovative companies in golf.
Price and Specs
Callaway’s Big Bertha Alpha is available in 9° with a 10.5° model coming later this season.
The stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki ZT.
Retail price is $499.