Review: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver

Experts Only????
If you have ever snowboarded or downhill-skied, you know that Double Black Diamonds are for expert only.  They are the steepest, most difficult and dangerous trails on the mountain.  They have signs of warning that are meant to keep amateurs and those with lesser skill away from those routes.  So if Callaway named a version of their Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver, Double Black Diamond, it might be safe to say it is aimed at more skilled drivers of the golf ball.  I’d have to say I agree to a point.  If you can hit the middle of the face of this driver, it is the longest out there, but if you need forgiveness, this isn’t for you.  Experts Only??  It really depends on your consistency.

While last year’s Big Bertha rebirth was all the buzz and really made a market push, the 815s models are soooo much better.  Both 2015 drivers are considerably better in my opinion.  I really like the “regular” Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver. (review here)  But for pure distance, the DBD is the longest driver I’ve tested.  It offers very good launch and super low spin for long drives.

The R – MOTO face tech + Gravity Core weighting create a low-forward CG that is hot and low spinning.  If you hit near the center of the face the ball just goes and goes.  While everyone says COR is maxed, which is true, there are different parameters that impact ball flight, such as launch and spin.  It is simply impossible for some driver heads, no matter what shaft you use, to get low spin numbers. Sometimes if you can get low spin, you might not be able to achieve sufficient launch.  Sure I’m not talking about gaining 25 yards, but a couple yards is what it is, a couple yards.

The stock shaft has contributing factors as well.  The Aldila Rogue is one of the hottest shafts right now on tour for good reason.  It has a tight feel, low spin and yet offers a good quick yet flat launch. 

Flightscope X2 Launch Monitor

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 DBD Driver

    • Spin: 1822 rpms
    • Launch Angle: 16.8*
    • Dispersion: 11.1 yds
    • Club Head Speed: 105.1 mph
    • Ball Speed: 155.1 mph
    • Total Distance:  283.5 yds
    • Carry Distance:  270.7 yds

Flightscope X2 Launch monitor gave me data that says, it is the longest driver I’ve hit.  The launch angle and spin numbers are the biggest contributors to this.  Once I took it to the course in early MN spring as well as the warm Quivira golf course in Cabo San Lucas, MX it only confirmed what I saw indoors.  A fairly high launch with flat flight that carried and hit the ground running. 

The feel and sound are a little harsher than the regular 815, but still very good compared to others.  I would call it a muted crack.  It also really looks good at address.  Sans alignment aid as well as a very deep face with a compact body for a full 460 driver is impressive.

So is it for Experts Only??  Yes, I think that most golfers are not going to hit the center of the face enough to maximize it’s potential and end up with wayward or shorter drives on average. I found some of my longest drives with it, but also saw my fairways hit go down a little when I wasn’t swinging as consistently.  As an example I gave it to my best couple high school golfers and they thought they had crushed it only to find it just a hair shorter than their average because they missed the sweet spot, but when they hit one on-center it was huge.  It has the potential to absolutely bomb the ball, but the forgiveness isn’t much.   So if you hit the center of the face consistently, there is no longer driver on the market.  Expert drivers of the golf ball will love the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver.

For more information:

Quick Hits
+Longest drives
+Super low spin
+High Launching
+Great looks
+Excellent stock shaft

–Not very forgiving
–Longest name ever