Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver

We test the best golf drivers for beginners and better players

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 2 Apr 2014

Brand: Callaway
Driver: Big Bertha Alpha
RRP: £399 Best price: £379
Lie: 59-degree Length: 45.5” Swing Weight: D3
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki ZT 62 Grip: Golf Pride New Decade

Summary: The new Big Bertha Alpha model contains an innovative Gravity Core that fits in a carbon tube in the head that connects the crown and sole. It has a glass fibre-reinforced body that weighs in at just 1.5g connected to a tungsten end weighing 10.5g. Either end of the core can be inserted into the clubhead, allowing golfers to raise or lower the centre of gravity and thereby alter their spin rate. When the heavy tungsten end is closest to the sole, it lowers the centre of gravity and reduces backspin, and when the tungsten end is closest to the crown, it raises the centre of gravity and increases spin. Loft and lie adjustable via the OptiFit hosel.

Looks: Tom (pro) and Andy (8), particularly, were taken by how Alpha has a slightly smaller footprint and more traditional shape at address that better players find appealing. It's also more than likely a reason why many Callaway Tour staffers have favoured the new Alpha stick. With the Gravity Core in the middle of the sole, it gives off a very modern, futuristic look. Not the biggest fans of the crown, however. A little disappointing not to see anything on the Alpha especially given the standard Big Bertha has the traditional chevron. 4 (out of 5)

Feel: One of the best feeling drivers on the market today. Balls come off the Hyper Speed face very fast but still retain a soft feel. It's incredibly light but not so light that it gets uncontrollable. All testers enjoyed the standard Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki ZT 62 shaft and really felt like they had great control when going after the ball. The clubhead only weighs 205g, so it's not exactly the heaviest out there. The face feels really solid at impact but three testers found it a bit too loud. Then again, who cares when it flies straight and long down the fairway. It also aids good feedback on those off-centre hits. 9.25 (out of 10)

Performance: One of the longest drivers in the test and also one of the straightest. Longest driver in the test for Charlie (14). From my own recent testing, the Alpha shades the Big Bertha by around five yards total distance. Alpha is a total performance driver. Very hard to fault. 9.25 (out of 10)

Verdict: Very expensive at just shy of 400 smackers and that's the only real flaw if we're honest. You very much get what you pay for, though. If you take the plunge, we don't believe you'll need to change drivers for the foreseeable future, so think of it as a long-term purchase. One of the best new drivers out on the market and slightly more impressive than the standard Big Bertha. Alpha's Gravity Core adjustability isn't too complicated either, offering you the ability to adjust vertical CG up or down to adjust spin independent of launch angle. 22.5 (out of 25)

Click here for our full Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver review and click this link for our full Callaway Big Bertha driver review. Click here for our PGA Show interview with Callaway's global senior director of woods and irons Luke Williams.

Next driver, Cleveland 588 Custom