Pulled the trigger on a Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver

Did you see this golf club review?

54 posts / 0 new
Last post
DON
Thanks for the info of Golf

Thanks for the info of Golf Galzxy buying up Golfsmith. I knew Golfsmith was up for sale but I hadn't heard who picked them up. And Golf Galaxy was sold a few years ago. so not goth ot them have been purchased by one company with bigger pockets. Kind of a sad thing to see these days, more and more stores are having a hard time competing against the online sellers that can under sell the stores just about every time. I'll have to see if my local Golfsmith store has closed down. We have a Golf Galaxy less then half a mile from the Golfsmith store, so a doubt they converted it to a Golf Galaxy store. 

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Aimee
Aimee's picture
Golf Galaxy

probably not as bad in your area, Scott...but in the winter the GG by me would have people hitting clubs all day in those simulators, it probably does get abused (free "range time"). I wouldn't be surprised if they try to control access.

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
I think that the biggest

I think that the biggest problem is that people go to the bricks and mortar stores to demo clubs and then buy them on-line from the cheapest retailer.  That's great as long as you can pull this off, but what happens when this option is no longer available due to the failure of so many brick and mortar stores?

The golf industry is probably their own worst enemy with their instant obsolescence and pricing policies.  Is the average recreational player really going to pay $650 for a new Ping driver -- yes that's the advertised price up here -- knowing full well that they can buy it brand new for $400 in 18 months time or even less if you're willing to go used?  My nephew was going to buy a Titleist 917 driver with upgraded shaft for $800, but couldn't bring himself to spending that money when he found a 915 speced to his liking for $250 on-line.  And that was with store credit to cover the cost of the new driver! 

Maybe they should start leasing golf clubs.  It seems to have worked wonders for car sales...

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I like the leasing idea Sco..

I like the leasing idea Sco...I think one company did that...to a  point...Taylormade maybe...or maybe it was Golf Galaxy...buy the current driver..then trade up each year to the new one for some flat fee.  Sort of like Verizon did with the iPhone..

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

scomac
scomac's picture
I like the leasing idea Sco..

I like the leasing idea Sco...I think one company did that...to a  point...Taylormade maybe...or maybe it was Golf Galaxy...buy the current driver..then trade up each year to the new one for some flat fee.  Sort of like Verizon did with the iPhone..

One of the guys in my men's league has all new TM woods and hybrids.  He had new ones last year and then traded in this spring for the second generation of M2's.  He got some sort of special deal from Taylormade where he got a $100 premium per club on his trades.  I didn't ask any further questions cause the guy is loaded so price really isn't a stumbling block for him. 

Aimee
Aimee's picture
pulled the trigger

I ordered a Callaway XR16 from CallawayPreowned, should have it Wed/Thur. When I went online early Monday a.m., they were having a 20% off sale on all of the XR models. Forgot about my trade in(s), so I have to hit the basement graveyard to see what I want to send in for credit. I think I still have an old Callaway hybrid which is worth $15. I don't know if I want to send my TM driver back. I might hang on to it for future trade in on some (newer) hybrids.

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
Looks like we're all into new

Looks like we're all into new big sticks.  I won an eBay auction for a 12° Titleist 913 D-2 with Aldila RIP Phenom 50R shaft.  This is a flyer for me as I've never even had one of these in my hands.  On paper the set-up should be suitable and the 913 is known for its forgiveness.  I like the fact that stock length is 45" and standard lie is 58.5° so it is shorter and less upright than most.  I have a friend that went from a G25 to a Titleist 910 and he raves about how much more controllable it is, so I'm hopeful.

Aimee
Aimee's picture
Drivers

Just goes to show, unless you are an equipment junkie, or have a bit of extra cash, waiting 2 years to buy a used driver is a cost effective strategy. I wasn't really planning to buy, was sort of thinking about getting a different driver next season. Since I was able to hit Michael's club on the course, it gave me a true read, so it wasn't so much of a guess on the performance. Next year may be new hybrids, or should I say...slightly newer.

It's not how...it's how many

Aimee
Aimee's picture
hit it

club arrived Friday late afternoon, I hit it at the range today (playing tomorrow). Appears to be a brand new shaft (grip left that "new rubber" smell on my hands), head is almost perfect, was probably a demo club, I'd rate it 9/10. It came with the adjustment tool which I wasn't expecing, and a generic Callaway driver headcover for $160, free shipping. At the range, with the crappy balls that the closest range has (not the one I prefer to go to) it appears to be 10 yards further than the old driver. Will be able to judge better after playing tomorrow, since I know where I would usually be hitting to.

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
Picked up my new (to me)

Picked up my new (to me) Titleist 913 D2 at the post office today.  I brought it home and hit a few balls out into the field to get a feel for it.

I like the way the club sets up behind the ball.  The club is lighter than what I'm used to with my R7 425 which is now about 11 years old.  That will take some getting used to, but it is probably more in keeping with the rest of my set in terms of static and swing weight progressions.  I'm thinking I'm going to add a bit of lead tape to the head to improve the feel during the swing.

The Phenom shaft is quite stout for a 50 gm shaft.  My initial impression is that the club is quite straight although there was a fair bit of variability in ballflight.  It will take some time to get it dialed in.  I may actually have to add a bit of loft to get consistent launch based on my initial results.  It's probably worth a session on a launch monitor once I'm more familiar with the club to get the settings optimized.  Sure glad I went for one with a 12° head!

Aimee
Aimee's picture
913

Scomac, I may have hit that club several years ago, it's nice. I would recommend not adding lead tape, give yourself some time to get used to the club first and see how your swing adjusts to it. I'm sure it feels strange because your old club is so much heavier, but you haven't spent much "quality time" with it!

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
I added two pieces of tape to

I added two pieces of tape to the sole in a v shape so not to disturb the weighting.  the club has interchangeable weights in the back for swing weighting purposes.  I added about 4 gm of tape so that should give me a couple of more swing weight points which was the next weight up from the one that the driver is currently equipped with.  The clubhead is more traceable in my swing now.

(FWIW I had to do the same thing with my i25 irons when I got them.  I was overswinging because the graphite shafts were so much lighter than steel.  Taping the heads got me through the first season with them.  After I noticed that the tape had come off of a couple of clubs I took it off the rest.  My tape job with the driver may end up being temporary at best)

Played yesterday and got a few swings in with the taped driver.  The results weren't particularly good as I had a push slice going on.  With that in mind I altered the hosel to give me a bit more draw bias.  At the address position the face angle of the 913 now looks closer to that of my R7.  I will try that tomorrow for my round and see what sort of results I get.

(My thinking is that i'm more inclined to tee the ball higher than to add loft at this juncture.  One adjustment at a time until I get the combo that works.)

Aimee
Aimee's picture
adjustments

Right, I forgot that the Titleist had weights also. When I first got my R7 I bought different weights to play around with it. I am also finding that with my new driver (set to 12.5 degrees, vs my old one which was 11.5 degrees) I have to tee it a bit lower to avoid moon shots. I think after one more round I should have a better feel and determine if I'm going to keep it or return it to Callaway. I have it set for neutral face position, might change to draw to see if I get a bit more roll out that way.

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
Hit some balls today after my

Hit some balls today after my shift at the course to see if I could get a bit more consistent result.  Adding draw bias didn't seem to be a positive.  I fiddled with the settings and arrived at neutral face, +.75° loft as the best combination.  I really need to concentrate on releasing the clubhead through the swing.  For some reason I was holding it off as if to hit a fade resulting in the push slice.

I'm going to try and play it as is now for a bit and then reassess.  I should be able to get my money out of the club if it proves to be unsuitable, but it's too soon to really know at this point.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Interesting Sco.  Hopefully

Interesting Sco.  Hopefully you can find a combination that keeps you in the short grass.  That's the one thing about the adjustables that's nice..trying to dial in something that feels and performs right.  But that's the nice thing about buying used...you cvan generally get your money back or close to it if you don't like it.

I was thinking about that with the Titleist 3h muscle back iron/hybrid.  Didn't hit it well the first few times..but with the swing changes I've been working on , i've stripped it at the range a few times.  So it's there.  but if I can't hit it consistently, I'll sell it and get at least 3/4ths of my money back..

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

scomac
scomac's picture
I played nine today and used

I played nine today and used the driver on four holes.  The slice was gone, so I seem to have that sorted out, but the club still isn't launching the ball like my old driver.  I'll play it a few more times and then may try cranking it up to 13.5° of loft to see if the results still aren't satisfactory.

AS it stands i'm giving up a good 20 yards to a club that is 10 years older.  Control should be better, but that seems like an unrealistic trade-off for a short-knocker.  I've done a fair bit of reading over the past few days and ran across a few comments stating that the RIP Phenom plays stiff to flex.  If that's the case, I may have the wrong shaft, both in terms of launch and flex.  The Mitsubishi Bassara W-50 is fairly common in Titty 913 woods so that might also be an option particularly if I decide to drop down to an "A" flex.

DON
Shaft flex will vary

The problem with most if not all of these adjustable drivers on the market is that you have to rotate the shaft in the clubhead to make the adjustments. And every time you rotate the shaft, you Change the way the shaft will perform. Flex will change as well as how well the shaft will kick or NOT kick down the target line with how the shaft is set in the head. Some shafts will vary as much as a Full Flex depending on how the Spine is aligned to the path of the swing. Ball flight can vary quite a bit depending on how the shaft is aligned in the head, so changing the loft up or down can change more that just how high you launch the ball off the tee. It can make to ball move left or right as well. And this is the main reason I do NOT play a driver with an adjustable head option where you have to rotate the shaft. 

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Aimee
Aimee's picture
switcheroo

Played enough rounds in varying conditions (today was soft from rain yesterday/overnight) to determine that the XR16 at 12.5 degrees just wasn't working for me. Just went too high and dropped like a rock, I got no roll. I played a couple of holes with Michael's club (different shaft, 10.5 degrees) and it felt better. He's giving me his club and I traded in mine towards his purchase of a TM M2 driver. Global Golf had a promo going on with extra 17% value on trades. So I believe including the expedited shipping it will cost him $111. He claims he wasn't in love with the driver, so...it's Mikey's revolving door of drivers again.

It's not how...it's how many

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
well good luck Aimee.  At

well good luck Aimee.  At least he's buying used drives and not full priced new ones!!!!

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

scomac
scomac's picture
Still working with the 913

Still working with the 913 driver.  I seem to be doing a better job of getting the club centered up and getting a more competitive distance out of it.  It's difficult to know without going to the range and hitting both drivers back-to-back.  I must have some sort of funk going on with my swing because i'm forced to play a pronounced cut with the Titleist.  Problem is that it doesn't take much to turn that into a slice.  But, it has been manageable for the most part.

At this point I'm thinking that I would be just as far ahead to sell the driver as it just isn't really working for me.  The plantar fascaiitis I'm dealing with has really cut into the amount of golf I'm playing with little in the way of relief in sight.  One outing a week is about it as I need a couple days to recover.  That doesn't allow much opportunity to work through the issues I'm having with this club.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
PING G Series...Well for some

PING G Series...Well for some reason I found myself pulling the trigger on a used Ping G series driver...Found one online for not too expensive...and looks like I can resale it on Ebay if I don't like it.  But the performance of the 3W I bought has been so good I was curious how the drivers might be.  I'll post some reviews after I get it and play a few rounds with it.   Toyed with the idea of the Callaway Fusion driver but it seems like it's target it high handicappers, as it's labelled by callaway as their max forgiving driver.   So if I don't like the Ping I may try that one. 

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
Ping G 400 driver

​ ​I recently saw an add for the new Ping G400 driver. According to what the tech rep said in a video I watched, the new Ping G400 driver has a shaft that is heavier near the butt end of the club than at the tip end. Idea is to make the swing weight lower with the heavier butt end. The reason they wanted to make the swing weight lower is that they made the club head heavier and that makes the swing weight higher, so the shaft being butt heaver counter acts the heavier club head. The reason they went with a heavier head is that it give the club more momentum and that translates to higher ball speeds and more distance. I can not say if this idea will work out to be true for the average golfer or not, but the idea of a ;heavier head does agree with what the long drive clubmakers have be saying and building for a few years now. According to a guy I talked to who happens to build drivers for long drive competion, the ideal head weight for a Long Drive event is right around 220 grams. That's about 20 grams over the standard head weight of 200 grams for most driver heads. If you remember your math leasons from when you were younger, you know that if the head is heaver then the momentum will be higher for the same swing speed, and that added weight will mean that more engery is transmitted to the golf ball at impact, and that means higher ball speeds and more distance. By increasing the weight of the driver head you increas the amount of energy available to be tranfered to the golf ball at impact. Simpe math at work and basic physics that can be proved by most anyone that knows math. 

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Interesting Don.  I'll have

Interesting Don.  I'll have to try that driver sometime.   The G 30 I got performed OK distance wise.  because the shaft is longer than my current Callaway, I get a little more distance.   Hard to know much about the distance...as when I played last week it was in the 50s so the ball wasn't traveling very far anyway...and it was wet ..  so both those things hurt the ditance results.   

Feel wise, a good strioke feels great but this is a noisy driver..PING is what you here when you hit it.   Surprised they do that.  the 3w wasn't that loud. Default ball flight seems to be a fade...sometimes a little too much.  I need to play around with the loft and the driver settings and work with my swing and see how I can get it to perform.  But I'm going to keep working with it.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator