New from Callaway: Big Bertha Alpha 816 Driver and Fairways
04 Aug 2015
by Rusty Cage

see also: Equipment Reviews

Impressive distance and total control<br> with Callaway's new driver and fairway woods
Impressive distance and total control
with Callaway's new driver and fairway woods

When it comes to designing drivers for accomplished players with high swing speeds, Callaway has been knocking it out of the park ever since they first revealed their innovative Gravity Core technology almost two years ago. But if you think you’ve seen everything the Gravity Core is able to do in a driver, you better think again.

Available this September, Callaway’s new Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond driver is set to deliver even more crazy distance than the current model which is already recognized as one of the longest big sticks in the game. The new Dual Distance Chambers will allow the Gravity Core to be positioned in multiple ways to achieve the exact ball flight you’re looking for. Along with the new driver, Callaway is releasing a Big Bertha Alpha 816 fairway wood. Adjustable weights and a Tour-preferred center of gravity location make it the one of the most advanced woods ever offered by Callaway.

Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond Driver

Up until now, all pre-existing Big Bertha Alpha drivers were built with a single Gravity Core port in the center of the club’s sole. Flipping the weight up or down controlled the amount of total spin the driver produced while also influencing the level of forgiveness (MOI).

Callaway did away with the single center port in the new Alpha 816 model. Instead, the Double Black Diamond driver features Dual Distance Chambers located at opposite ends of each other - one near the toe, the other near the heel. Inserting the Gravity Core into one port over the other will have an affect on your shot shape. If you prefer a neutral ball flight or even a slight fade, use the port on the toe side of the club. Players who prefer to draw the ball use the chamber in the heel. According to Evan Gibbs, Callaway’s Senior R&D Woods Manager, the difference in dispersion between the draw and neutral settings is about 14 yards.

“In previous Alpha models, we had interchangeable heel and toe weights and one chamber in the middle of the club head,” said Gibbs. “In this model, we’ve eliminated the weight screws and added a second chamber so that the gravity core can be used to move the center of gravity both up and down and side to side. This was a much more weight efficient way to design the driver and really helped us push the performance to new levels.”

Need for Speed: the 
new Big Bertha Alpha 816 driver
Need for Speed:
The new Big Bertha Alpha 816 driver

Just to be clear, the actual orientation of the Gravity Core (heavy end up or down) still effects the center of gravity location and influences spin. Most players opt to play with the core down for maximum backspin reduction which is one of the unmistakable reasons why this driver is filthy long. Interestingly enough, what Callaway has discovered in developing the Gravity Core and working with some of the world’s best players is that substantial performance gains can be made when a driver’s CG location compliments a player’s primary impact location.

“We’ve seen through our fitting of tour players that a significant gain in ball speed can be made by better aligning the center of gravity with your impact location,” said Gibbs. “For example, if you tend to hit high on the face, then a higher CG will give you more ball speed, a higher smash factor, and potentially more distance.”

Needless to say, the Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond driver is configured to benefit the most highly-skilled golfers among us. As Gibbs points out, “it’s for players who tend to have fairly consistent and efficient swings but are looking to fine-tune their trajectory, ball speed and shot shape to optimize distance and control.”

Key Features:

  • Dual Distance Chambers help fine tune shot-shape while maximizing your ball speed and total distance.
  • R*MOTO Technology allows Callaway to save discretionary weight and provide a structure for a thinner face, leading to high ball speeds across the face.
  • A Deeper Face and Traditional Shape are exactly what better players covet. The driver is designed with an open face angle, a matte black finish free of distractions, and a low CG location encourages workability and extreme distance off the tee.
  • OptiFit Adjustability lets you dial in your loft and face angle to better fit your swing.

The Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond driver (MSRP $499.99) will be available for retail on September 18th. The Aldila Rogue I/O 60 and Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70 shafts come standard. Multiple aftermarket shafts will be available at no upcharge.

Big Bertha Alpha 816 Fairway Wood

If you’re a good golfer who wants a long distance fairway wood with advanced shot- shaping control, look no further. The Big Bertha Alpha 816 fairway wood features an ultra-thin Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup to help retain ball speeds all across the face, even on off- center strikes.

Callaway's new 
fairway wood features advanced shot-shaping 
Callaway's new fairway wood
features advanced shot-shaping capability

Callaway’s new fairway wood also comes with a pair of adjustable weights (3 grams and 16 grams) that can be configured to your playing style. This way, you can either use this fairway wood as a driver-replacement off the tee or adjust it to be more playable and forgiving from the fairway.

Key Features:

  • Cup Face Technology delivers impressive ball speeds all across the face.
  • Tour Preferred CG Positions allows you to reposition the adjustable weights to suit your playing style. Adjustable CG allows you to manipulate the club’s total spin, launch angle and level of forgiveness.
  • Modern Shape and Sole Design provides control from a variety of lies while the matte black finish provides an uncluttered look at address.
  • OptiFit Adjustability lets you add or take off loft, or adjust the lie angle to fit your swing.

Like the new driver, the Big Bertha Alpha 816 fairway wood will be available for purchase on September 18th. It will come in three standard lofts (14, 16 and 18 degrees) and will retail for $299.99. The Aldila Rogue I/O 70 shaft (four flexes) comes standard.

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