Named after the most famous artillery piece used during World War I – a cannon., the Original Big Bertha was called the "World’s Friendliest Driver" and was the first widebody driver made of stainless steel. Introduced in 1991, the Big Bertha utilized Callaway's breakthrough design S2H2, Callaway Golf designers were able to shorten the traditional hosel length, which allowed weight to be moved lower and to the more useful perimeter area of the clubhead.
Plus, they used Tru-Bore Technology which allowed the shaft tip to extend through the clubhead to the sole, which improves feel and control. All this great technology was packed in a 190cc clubhead, which for the time, was unheard of.
Lets fast forward 23 years and welcome back one of the most iconic names that revolutionized the golf equipment market. The Big Bertha.
PROS: The Alpha looks sleek, comes stock with a great shaft and has several adjustable features to fine-tune launch conditions by adjusting vertical center of gravity, loft, lie and directional bias. The 460cc head looks smaller thanks to the pear shaped design.
CONS: Price. At $499 it is steep for most golfers. For the Alpha, I would have liked a shorter shaft. Feel and sound off the face don't match the performance of the club. Meaning it feels a little soft and the sound is subtle, but the ball does fly! Wait, maybe thats a good thing?
OVERALL: Everything but the kitchen sink. The Alpha has everything the better player needs to improve their game. I noticed increased ball speed without increasing my club head speed which meant more distance and higher smash numbers.
- Gravity Control technology which allows a player to adjust backspin independently of launch angle by changing the Gravity Core resulting in optimal launch characteristics, stronger ball flights and lower spin rates
- Adjustable Perimeter Weighting system allows a player to interchange weights in the heel and toe of the driver head to improve MOI and maximize draw or fade bias.
- New Hyper Speed Face™ Cup technology is the fastest, thinnest face ever produced by Callaway and it delivers faster ball speeds, a larger sweet spot and more forgiveness.
- Advanced Adjustable Hosel technology which lets a player to adjust the loft down 1° and up 2° from the original loft setting and also allows directional control from Draw to Neutral bias for pinpoint accuracy.
During testing for ClubWars14, I try my best to keep all adjustable settings pretty standard across the board. When it came to the Big Bertha Alpha, I did the same but put the weight of the gravity core down to keep my ball flight low (I add loft to my swing). The result of this was a more piercing trajectory, more draw and more roll. The Alpha has the same Hyper Speed Face Cup technology as the X2Hot Pro but the sound and feel are much different. Performance on the 2 drivers are pretty equal but the Alpha felt a little more soft and didn't have the sound off the face you would expect from a 300 yard drive. Listen, I have to nitpick a little here. As the flagship model from Callaway I want it to be perfect for my likings from every angle. From a performance standpoint, the driver did everything I needed it to do. It's long, forgiving and easy to work. From a looks standpoint, it's clubhead shape is appealing, the color scheme is cool and all the weight elements on the bottom have a purpose. But for me, it lacks in that "got a hold of it" sound and feel.
Like most things, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself is this driver worth the $499 price tag? In my opinion, if you can afford it, YES! If you can't justify paying the Alpha price tag, grab the X2Hot Pro. For more info on the Alpha and other Callaway clubs, visit www.callawaygolf.com