Review: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 3-wood

Two 3-Woods in One Club
The new era of 3-woods has really created a dilemma.  Do you want a 3-wood that you hit almost as long as your driver, or do you want a 3-wood to be a high-hitting straight yardage filler?  It really depends on your ability, your game plan and the courses you play.  The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 3-wood can be either one of those clubs.  It really is like have two different 3-woods in one club.

The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 creates two clubs in one by its adjustable weights.  There is a 30 gram weight and a 3 gram weight.  Depending on where you place them changes the results dramatically.  If you place the heavier weight closer to the face, this is the longest 3-wood I’ve ever hit.  But if you place the heavier weight toward the back, it becomes a high-hitting yardage filler.  Add to the fact that the head is very compact, the drastic weighing really alters the flight, feel, sound and results.

The real question is, which one do you want?  When the Big Bertha Alpha 815 3-wood arrived, it had the heavier weight in the back.  I put it in the bag and immediately enjoyed the on course success.  I would tee-it up and had that tight-hole fairway finder.  It wasn’t wowing me with distance, but high, soft-landing shots that went where I wanted them to go was a great fit in my bag.

After 5-rounds with that setting, I decided to switch the weights up and whoa! This club is long!!!  I had 3 eagle looks on the first round I had it in the bag in this setting.  I also hit a couple of 3-wood shots off the tee measuring as long or longer than my driver. I hit multiple 3-wood shots over 275, one even 297.  (ARCCOS GPS verified)  

FlightScope X2 Launch Monitor
Callaway BBA 815 3-wood Forward

  • Spin: 2629 rpms
  • Launch Angle: 11.8*
  • Dispersion: 9.4 yds
  • Club Speed: 102.3 mph
  • Ball Speed: 151.7 mph
  • Total Distance:  264.6 yds
  • Carry Distance:  240.7 yds

FlightScope X2 Launch Monitor
Callaway BBA 815 3-wood Back

  • Spin: 3229 rpms
  • Launch Angle: 13.2*
  • Dispersion: 7.2 yds
  • Club Speed: 101.8 mph
  • Ball Speed: 150.9 mph
  • Total Distance:  242.5 yds
  • Carry Distance:  230.7 yds

The results were very different as is the sound and feel.  The weight forward has a very different feel to it, like a hollowness behind the ball; while weight back, has a more solid strike, like the weight goes all the way through the ball.  The stock Fujikura Speeder 665 shaft is super stable and has amazing feel.  I love the fact that Callaway uses high-end shafts for their “off-the-rack” 3-wood.  The leather headcover and Golf-Pride Dual Compound grips completes one of the nicest 3-woods you can buy.  Also add the adjustable hosel and you can turn this into just about type of 3-wood you want.  I played it at the neutral 14* setting and only altered the weighting.

The head though is very small, almost the size of a hybrid.  This does appeal to better golfers that aren’t afraid of missing the face.  Although that does mean it isn’t the most forgiving club out there either.  I can’t say it is unforgiving, it just is small so off-center shots are penalized more than other 3-woods.

The difference between the 2 settings really surprised me.  I’ve hit plenty of adjustable clubs and for the most part it is just tweaking things, but changing these weights dramatically altered this club.  So the options are actually pretty cool.  If you are wanting to reach par 5s in two, weight forward, if you are playing tight fairways and really want to position the ball, then weight back.  (not legal to change during round) It is like having two 3-woods in one club.

For more information:

Quick Hits:
+Very compact Head
+Changing weights, changes results
+Awesome stock shaft
+Either setting is very good just different

–Not the most forgiving 3-wood