Like many golfers today, I was eager to see the new generation of Big Bertha and specifically the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver. The Big Bertha name, the adjustability, the marketing, the Gravity Core, the low-spin concept, even Sir Isaac Newton's posthumous involvement had me curious.
In terms of looks, performance, appeal and features, the 2014 Callaway Big Bertha driver is completely different to what golfers were used to with the original models of Big Bertha. The look of modern drivers, especially at address, has advanced and varied vastly in recent seasons. Whilst the 'Captain America'-like sole design may be busy and full of technology and features, the Alpha's look at address was clean and simple with a traditional, slight pear-shape. The colour is a subtle, dark blue,
Beyond feel and looks, the Alpha's performance is dictated by four dimensions of adjustability. It is certainly designed for those players who like to tinker, whether that is in a fitting session before they buy or throughout the season as their swing and conditions change. Along with loft, you can use the adjustable hosel to alter the face angle to either a draw or neutral bias. Like many players, I like the face of my driver to sit square, so I didn't fiddle with this setting. If you find that you are consistently striking the ball with an open face, you may want to try the draw setting.
The big story in the X Hot range was the Hyper Steel Face: a thin, strong, titanium face that increased ball speeds. Well that story continues in the X2 Hot driver, which features the fastest, thinnest, lightest titanium face Callaway has ever produced. It is longer, faster and more forgiving. The performance of the face has also increase the size of the sweet spot by 10%, offering faster ball speeds and more forgiveness across a wider span of the clubface.
In fact, Callaway say the X2 Hot is 9 yards longer than the original Callaway X Hot driver, thanks to a thinner face, larger sweet spot and improved head shape. Where the original X Hot just offered the ability to adjust the face angle, the X2 Hot goes further, offering the same adjustability as the Callaway FT Optiforce driver. Three heads of 9.5, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees are available and golfers can use the Advanced Adjustable Hosel to increase the loft by 1 or 2 degrees or decrease the loft by 1 degree.
In an effort to get the ball launching higher and with less spin, the X2 Hot driver is offered with a Aldila Tour Blue shaft as stock. Optimised for longer distance, the mid torque shaft is said to offer great feel and control whilst launching the ball higher with less spin.