ClubTest 2015: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver
Category: Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9° (adjusts 8° to 11°), 10.5° (adjusts 9.5° to 12.5°), 12° (adjusts 11° to 14°) with Fujikura Motore Speeder 565 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Flipping the “Gravity Core” rod raises or lowers the club’s CG to change launch and spin.
DISTANCE: A bomber that eats up huge chunks of yardage; once dialed in, expect massive carry and roll; beats what most testers have in their bags.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: One of the best—easy accuracy, just groove and go; keeps the ball in the park; mis-hits hold their line with generous distance; hit it all over the face and get usable results.
FEEL: Head of its class—lightweight and lively, with an explosive punch at impact and a sweet spot the size of a tennis racket’s; excellent balance and stability smooth out swing flaws and give you the confidence to take a big cut.
PLAYABILITY: Top-shelf, a TrackMan darling—the interchangeable weights and adjustable CG alter trajectory, spin and curvature; more maneuverable than many of its peers—expect high draws, but order up any shot you want.
LOOK: Sleek and stylish, with a classic, high-dollar vibe over the ball; totally hides all the gadgetry; most testers like Callaway’s classic chevron alignment aid and the way the scoring lines on the face frame the ball.
The Big Bertha Alpha 815 takes a minute to tune, and in the wrong hands all the adjustments might do more harm than good; not everyone could shape the ball as much as they’d like.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the top models in the game-improvement category. This elegant, all-around option improves upon last year’s test-topping Big Bertha. With the right tweaks, it could work for almost anybody.
HOT STIX'S TAKE: It’s the most adjustable head geared to all abilities. Plenty of forgiveness in a mid-launch, low-spin head. Two removable weights in the sole offer fade or draw bias. Launch - Mid; Spin - Low
BUY THE CLUB: Get your own Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815
NEXT REVIEW: Cobra Fly-Z Driver
MORE INFO ON THE CALLAWAY BIG BERTHA ALPHA 815 DRIVER
From the November 2015 Issue of Golf Magazine
Callaway's reborn Big Bertha topped its class in our ClubTest earlier this year. Its replacement, the Big Bertha Alpha 815, takes the signature feature of the equally acclaimed Big Bertha Alpha driver and puts it to work in a model that average Joes can enjoy. The industry-first "gravity core" rod has 10.5 grams of tungsten at one end and 1.5 grams of nylon at the other. You place the rod into the head to move the club's CG higher or lower to optimize launch, spin and ball speed. The high-CG position [nylon end is closer to the sole] plays like a "mid-spin" driver, while the low-CG position generates 300 rpm less spin. Compared to the current Big Bertha, the Alpha 815 delivers similar mid-spin drives when the rod is in the high-CG position, and 300 rpm less spin in the low-CG position.
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 setting. Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°.-- Rob Sauerhaft
NEXT REVIEW: Cobra Fly-Z Driver