2015 Ultimate Product Reviews: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver

matthew-cohen
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Each year I get pumped up learning about all the new products out there. It gets me excited to get back on the golf course! This year I thought it would be fun to do my own product reviews. I did several video reviews and it quickly occurred to me that I am only one guy, while there are people out there that have been perfecting the art of club testing for years. So I’ve started a new series where I compile all the best product reviews out there and put them into one place to make it easy for everyone to find. I hope these ultimate product reviews are helpful to you! – Matt

Club Name: Big Bertha Alpha 815
Brand: Callaway
Price Point: $499.00
Specs: Lofts are 9, 10.5, 12 for Big Bertha Alpha 815; 9, 10.5 for Double Black Diamond version. Available right or left handed.

Premium Shaft Offerings:
Fujikura Motore Speeder 565
Fujikura Motore Speeder 665
Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 60

Additional Custom Shaft Offerings:
Fujikura Motore Speeder 765
Mitsubishi Bassara 42
Mitsubishi Bassara 52
Matrix Ozik White Tie 50
Matrix Ozik Red Tie 60
Matrix 75M4 Black Tie
Project X LZ 6.0
Fubuki ZT 60
Fubuki Z 50
Aldila Tour Green
Aldila Rogue 60

Summary

Callaway launched their Big Bertha series in 1991, and it remains one of the most popular line of drivers on the market to this day.

From Callaway – “The Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver establishes a new driver category. It’s a pioneer that gives you the benefit of maximum distance from low spin and forgiveness. We lowered the spin in the Alpha 815 to help you maximize distance. How’d we do it? Start with a forged composite crown to save weight. Add in our patented Gravity Core for an adjustable Center of Gravity. The result: a low spinning bomber with forgiveness. Remember this name – R•MOTO Technology. It’s new. It’s groundbreaking. It provides the structure to save weight for an ultra thin face that maintains stability while elevating smash factor. Every driver should have this. 7 gram and 1 gram weight ports allow you to set the driver to neutral, draw or fade bias. And our OptiFit hosel provides 8 different loft (-1, S, +1, +2) and lie angle (Draw or Neutral) configurations.

Special Notes

You can buy the clubs directly by visiting the Callaway Golf website.

Use #AlphaLong or #Alpha815 on Twitter or Instagram to join the conversation, and make sure to follow @CallawayGolf.

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THE REVIEWS

1. Golf Digest: Gold Rating. Want adjustability? It’s everywhere you look on this 460-cubic-centimeter head. You can move weights in the heel and toe to correct slices and hooks, tweak the loft to one of eight settings and flip a central weight to optimize your spin — all independent of one another. That means if the loft is correct but the spin isn’t, flipping the central weight could solve your problems. But that kind of freedom also requires saving weight. Callaway neatly does this by using eight materials, including a lighter, more flexible face and a composite crown. So it’s not only more adjustable than last year’s model, it’s lighter, too.

2. Golf Magazine: Love it. One of the top models in the game-improvement category. 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. 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. 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.

3. Golf WRX: Like It. The new Big Bertha Alpha 815 brings the Gravity Core to a driver that is much more forgiving than the 2014 Big Bertha Alpha. It’s built on a 460-cubic-centimeter chassis that’s similar to the 2014’s Big Bertha driver, with a large profile at address that boosts its moment of inertia (MOI) to make it more forgiving.The Big Bertha Alpha 815 also has a Forged Composite crown that makes it surprisingly low spinning for its level of forgiveness — unless the Gravity Core is in the “up” position, that is.

4. Hacker’s Paradise: Like it. Though not necessarily the combination of forgiveness with super low spin some of the advertising may make it out to be, the 815 Alpha has certainly brought a level of forgiveness to a lower spinning head that has not been seen within their lineup to this point. The 815 serves as a well-rounded driver that now makes that “Alpha” moniker into a playable head for a much broader margin of golfers. Callaway has designed a solid release here, and while it will always come down to personal needs and fitting, it is no wonder they are as all-in on the 815 Alpha as they are.

5. Plugged In Golf: Love it. I’m not sure there’s anything you can want from a driver that the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver doesn’t deliver. Forgiveness? Check. Low spin and distance? Big check. Adjustability? Like nothing else on the market. If you need a new driver for 2015, this club is a must try.

6. The Sand Trap: Like It. I like the Big Bertha Alpha 815. It looks, sounds, and feels good. It delivers on Callaway’s promise of being low-spin and forgiving. It’s not going to be the industry leader in either category, but it balances the two well. The club is $449, so it’s not cheap, but you are getting a premium shaft and a clubhead that’s highly customizable and loaded with technology. It is one of the few clubs in the market that allows you to adjust spin independent of loft. You’re getting your money’s worth.

7. Golfalot.com: Like It. It is a premium piece of equipment with a choice of 3 adjustable variables in sole weight, hosel and gravity core that will enable moderate to high swing speed players to fine tune it to suit their needs. The big benefit over the previous Alpha is that it is more forgiving, so it will suit more amateurs. However it is pricey and, similar to a luxury sports car, you should be the type of person who either needs the performance or appreciates that for a premium piece of equipment, it will need a little more effort to fine tune it in order to get the maximum benefit. You either see the value in opening your wallet further or you don’t, but you won’t be disappointed if you do.