Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver
Category: Better-Player Drivers
WE TESTED: 9° (adjusts 8° to 11°), 10.5° (adjusts 9.5° to 12.5°) with Aldila Rogue 60 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Moving more weight low and forward in the head reduces spin and increases ball speed.
DISTANCE: One of the highest-rated models in the category; about as long as any on solid strikes; carry distance is excellent, but it also produces better roll than most; they don’t call it Alpha for nothing—this thing is a beast!
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Accurate and consistent from shot to shot, even on slight misses; a power driver that’s easy to hit; surprisingly good at correcting shots struck on the toe; a lot more forgiving than the compact-looking head would lead you to believe.
FEEL: The highest-rated model; impact is springy and powerful; a distinct difference between solid hits and misses tells you what you’ve done wrong; substantial, a weighty feel to the head throughout the swing.
PLAYABILITY: The highest-rated model in the category; a rare combination of shotmaking ability and distance; big-time versatility lets you hit the shot you need; “Gravity Core” adjustable CG design allows for variable ball flight and spin options on demand; slightly higher trajectory bores through the wind.
LOOK: The clear favorite; the compact, pear-shaped head reminds guys of old-school clubs; impressive quality all around; every aspect of it is high class.
Though surprisingly forgiving, it’s definitely not the friendliest model around; multiple adjustable technologies can be confusing to some testers.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the highest-rated models in the test. A top performer across the board—it’s long, extremely playable, handsome, and surprisingly forgiving.
HOT STIX'S TAKE: Geared to players looking for relatively low spin and launch. The “Gravity Core” shifts the CG higher/lower for more spin options. Two weights influence fade/draw bias.Launch - Low; Spin - Low
NEXT REVIEW: Callaway XR Pro
MORE INFO ON THE ALPHA 815 DOUBLE BLACK DIAMOND DRIVER
From the November 2014 Issue of Golf Magazine
The Alpha 815 has the same light, forged composite crown as before, along with a thinner, livelier titanium face that’s made possible by stiffened ribs on the crown and sole, inside the body. Also, removable plugs in the heel and toe (7 gram and 1 gram) can be used to create fade or draw bias. Like its predecessor, the Alpha 815’s adjustable OptiFit hosel provides loft options (from 2° stronger to 1° weaker), as well as neutral or draw settings. Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°.
Its sibling, the Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond ($499), is geared at faster swingers who benefit from less spin. A taller gravity core alters spin by up to 400 rpm. Both models are available Nov. 14. -- Michael Chwasky
NEXT REVIEW: Callaway XR Pro