At the beginning of 2014, Callaway unveiled their plans to bring back the name that has been most commonly associated with the brand over the course of two decades: Big Bertha. Bertha was back, and back in a big way. Both the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers were Callaway’s most adjustable to date. Each one has its own distinctive features and advantages over the other that will help separate the two when trying to decide which club is the best choice for your respective game. Let’s take a deeper look into the driver specifics that stand out with each model.
The Callaway Big Bertha driver will have the broadest appeal to the general golfing public, from low-to-high handicappers alike with its elongated, slightly shallower 460cc head profile that allows for easier launch. The breakthrough technology featured with this driver is the sliding track system positioned along the entire perimeter of the club head. This Adjustable Perimeter Weighting (APW) system provides you with more forgiveness on off-center hits and a fine-tuned trajectory bias by allowing you to move an 8-gram port along the 5-inch track from heel to toe. If you move the sliding weight towards the heel, this will create a center of gravity (CG) position that allows the predominant fader (or slicer) of the golfer ball to reduce the amount of left-to-right sidespin a mishit would generate, leading to a straighter ball flight. Vice versa, if the weight is moved out towards the toe, the CG location is more in the fade biased position for the consistent draw players.
Working in unison with the technology above is the new Hyper Speed Face and multi-material head construction. The Hyper Speed face is the thinnest and fastest face technology Callaway has put in a driver and it enlarges the Big Bertha’s overall sweet spot to keep ball speeds higher all across the face for greater distance gains on a mishits. The Big Bertha driver is made up of numerous materials which include the likes of Forged Composite carbon fiber, titanium, and steel so that their engineers could move weight around in the head enough to incorporate the perimeter track system. This driver also features a lightweight Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Zeta 50 shaft and Callaway’s Opti-Fit hosel adjustment system which allows the golfer to adjust loft -1, +1, or +2 from the standard loft. The adjustability also provides a “D” setting which positions the club in a more upright address position for a draw bias.
While the Big Bertha driver provides advantages to the largest majority of golfers, the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver is more geared towards the stronger, more consistent and accurate ball striker (or “heavy thumpers”). The Big Bertha Alpha driver features a gravity core system which includes a 12-gram tungsten plug that can be flipped inside the club head that will allow the player to adjust the backspin desired, independent of launch angle. The technology has been tested to affect backspin rates between 200-400 rpm’s depending on the player. Normally, you would see a smaller head size in this type of player’s club, yet the Big Bertha Alpha driver does have a lightweight, Forged Composite 460cc head for optimal shape and forgiveness. The face is a bit deeper (taller) compared to the Big Bertha driver, which will help promote a slightly lower, more penetrating ball flight that better players more often crave.
The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver still features Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face technology that enhances the sweet spot and increases ball speeds on off-center hits. In addition, this driver also has two adjustable weight ports (1 gram and 7 gram), one in the heel and one in the toe, which can be maneuvered to affect fade and draw bias (additional weights are available for a more fine-tune fit). Finally, it comes equipped with the same Opti-Fit hosel technology as the Big Bertha driver with the same adjustments that were noted above.
In summary, when looking at the Callaway Big Bertha driver or the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver, it is important to note the differences that each club has in order to fit the best fit for your game. The Big Bertha will appeal to a wider audience with its lightweight profile and increased forgiveness, while the Alpha will attract more of the bombers.
If you have any questions about the playing difference between either of these drivers or anything from the Callaway lineup, please reach out to one of our PGA Professionals. They’ll help guide you in selecting the best option for your game!
Looking for additional comparison articles? Check out our most popular ones: Callaway Big Bertha vs X2 Hot Driver, What’s the Difference? Callaway Big Bertha V-Series, Alpha 815, and Double Black Diamond Drivers, Callaway Apex Pro vs X Forged Irons, and Callaway Apex vs X2 Hot Irons.