Published on February 14th, 2014 | by Thomas Elsberry
2014 Callaway Big Bertha Alpha Driver Review
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha: $499.99
The reintroduced 2014 Callaway Big Bertha Alpha Driver is going in my bag for sure this spring; but the only way to buy this club is to have it fitted specifically for your swing due to its intricate design features. For instance, I am a pretty erratic driver, but I repeatedly kept hitting the ball with the Big Bertha Alpha on the same line.
I was impressed.
The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha can be a tricky driver. If you don’t have it fine-tuned to your tendencies, you might not make it past the first three swings with it. But if you get this baby dialed in, you will be amazed by the difference.
Look (4.7 of 5 stars)
The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha Driver is understated from address, which is a great thing. The tendency of the industry is to put everything and anything on the crown of the club, and it was nice to see a driver with a blank slate.
The Big Bertha Alpha’s classic head shape sort of reminds me of my old Big Bertha II. It gives me the confidence that if I have to work the ball either direction, I could.
Feel (3-4.8 of 5 stars, depending on settings)
It’s a mixed bag for me on the feel. The Big Bertha Alpha has two completely different feels depending on which way the gravity core is placed. I started hitting the Big Bertha Alpha with the core down in the lower position; and for me the feeling was a little hollow and the results were not the best. When we flipped the core up, it was amazing the change in feel for me. Instead of the hollow feel, now it felt solid and felt powerful.
Even the sounds off the face seemed hotter. I hit about 100 shots with each setting, and it felt the same each time. And the feedback that I received from other golfers was similar, with each person preferring the gravity core at a personalized setting.
Performance (4.9 of 5 stars)
At the end of the day, performance is all that matters: and the Big Bertha Alpha Driver performed drastically different depending on where you have the settings.
If I took a 1 off the rack set at the lower-core setting and kept it standard on all the other settings, I would not have been impressed. I was launching at 12.2 degrees with 1,500 rpm and left all day, not to mention the feel. But after we started some fine tuning, the Big Bertha Alpha started to shine.
With the core up, loft at 10 degrees and heavy weight in the toe, I started to see some great numbers. My launch was on average was 14.1 degrees with a spin rate of about 2,100 rpm. My ball speed went up, too. Needless to say I was starting to enjoy what I was seeing.
I was fortunate enough to be able to hit the 10.5-degree head even though that loft won’t be available till March 1. I also put my gamer shaft in at the 10.5-degree setting (Speeder 661 Stiff Shaft 44.5 inches long). The only words I could say now are “wow.”
All the numbers turned out great, but the dispersion was what I really liked out of my first 10 shots, or left to right by 11 yards. Those are numbers that I have never seen before.
The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha could be a tricky driver. If you don’t have it fine-tuned to your tendencies, you might not make it pass the first three swings with it. But if you get this baby dialed in, you will be amazed by the difference. The new Big Bertha Alpha has a lot of moving parts that can change the performance and feel, so make sure you hit with your local club fitter to get the best experience possible.