DUFF TEST: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha Driver
The new Callaway Big Bertha driver series has been my most highly anticipated golf club in years. I learned how to play golf by swinging a Big Bertha driver over 20 years ago, so I had very high expectations heading in to this week's Duff Test. Let's take a closer look at the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver.
First, the boring specification stuff
The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver is the "better player" club in the series reboot, offering players more adjustability options in comparison to the Big Bertha stock model. The Alpha allows you to adjust your loft, lie, and shot shape by moving around weighted screws on the club's sole (each club ships with four screws of different weights) in addition to a fully-tweakable hosel.
What is truly unique about this club is its adjustable Gravity Core, which is basically a big metal spike that runs through the middle of the clubhead. You can unscrew this Gravity Core and flip it upside-down to tweak the club's center of gravity, which will help you hit the ball higher or lower. Ball spin rates will also be affected by this nifty little gadget, which is innovative by itself.
As always, Callaway offers a wide range of different shaft options from which to choose for your Big Bertha Alpha.
Appearance and Feel
If you've read my club reviews in the past, you know that I prefer a soft, muted feel in every club. To that end, the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver might be the best driver I have ever hit in terms of feel.
Those of you who have hit a forged iron on the sweet spot know what I mean when I say this driver completely swallows the golf ball. There is nothing "tinny" or metallic about the Big Bertha Alpha at impact; instead, it emits a sound and feel that makes you want to hit golf balls forever. You know that gunshot sound you might hear when a professional golfer hits his driver? That's the sound this club makes. It is absolutely beautiful.
In terms of appearance, I have to admit that I'm 50/50 on the bright blue, red, and chrome finish. The Big Bertha Alpha looks modern, but almost too modern, much like the TaylorMade SLDR driver. The club sits nicely at address, however the lack of an alignment graphic on its crown is unfortunate. I absolutely love the white shaft that comes stock in the driver.
The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver performed exactly as I hoped it would: exceptionally.
While not the most forgiving driver I've ever hit, the Big Bertha Alpha was much longer than my current driver (approx. 10-15 yards on average). While it did take me awhile to find the best spec combination for my game, I was consistently hitting longer drives once dialed in. With the exception of the SLDR, I haven't hit a driver this far in years. Bravo, Callaway.
Why you should buy this driver
If you are a mid- to low-handicap player, the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha is one of the top two best driver options this season. A slight sacrifice in forgiveness is definitely worth the distance you will gain from this driver. I have no doubt that you will hit your longest drives ever, and simply enjoy the game more. Plus, golf tech nerds like me will appreciate the club's adjustable features.
why you should not buy this driver
High-handicap golfers should probably shy away from the Big Bertha Alpha due to its smaller head size and lower forgiveness in comparison to the regular Big Bertha option.