Callaway Golf: Bertha’s back… and X2 is Hot!June, 2014
Three NCG readers went for a driver fitting at Callaway HQ to see how many yards they could gain
With four models in Callaway’s 2014 range – Big Bertha Alpha, Big Bertha, X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro – and adjustable variables such as loft, shaft, grip and even, in the case of the Alpha, centre of gravity, it’s never been more important to get custom fitted. We went to Chessington, Callaway’s European HQ, to tap into the expertise of fitter Jason Skea. His mission was to optimise our performance and deliver some extra yards.
Club: Hankley Common
Current driver spec: 12.5, regular
How’s your driving? “I’m quite accurate – but if I miss, I miss right”
Best drive: 216 yards, 15 yards further than with his existing driver
Jason says: “Richard’s spin rate was quite high as he hits down on the ball a little. His launch was high too so we gave him a shorter shaft and got the spin from 3,300 to just under 2,500 by reducing the loft from 12.5 to 11.5˚. The technology in the X2 Hot head helped too.
“The light head of the X2 Hot gave him control and speed and, just as importantly, he liked the look and feel.”
Richard says: “Amazing! My exact spec is dialled in. Trackman showed I need to shallow my angle of attack. I like how the X2 Hot sits. Bertha was a touch heavy for me.”
Result: Callaway spec: X2 Hot, 10.5˚ (adjusted +1˚), D setting, reg flex, -1 inch in length
Yardage gain: 15 yards
Current driver spec: 10.5, stiff
How’s your driving? “It’s the best part of my game. I’m quite steady.”
Best drive: 260 yards, 26 yards further than with his existing driver
Jason says: “This was amazing! Alan is very straight and hits on the way up, which is great. His spin is high and we managed to get that down to 2,300 from 3,600rpm with his old driver. He couldn’t miss with the X2 Hot. The weight and the way he was loading it was perfect. The club was doing it all for him.”
Alan says: “If this translates on the course, I’ve only got a 9 iron in on a 400-yard par 4! It was so easy to hit the X2 Hot. Custom fitting was all I thought it would be – it’s value for money because otherwise you could buy four drivers and still not get the right one.”
Result:Callaway spec: X2 Hot standard, 9˚, Tour Blue stiff, 45 1/2” (½ short). Standard loft & Draw setting.
Yardage gain: 26 yards
Current driver spec: 10.5, stiff
How’s your driving? “I hit a running hook that can turn into a block on a bad day!”
Best drive: 278 yards, 11 yards further than with his existing driver
Jason the fitter says: “Henry’s driver worked nicely so this was a challenge. He liked the Alpha’s looks best and we got his ball speed up from 151 to 156mph. The Alpha got his spin down by around 500rpm. The result was drives carrying the same distance but running out 11 yards further.”
The reader says: “I was surprised that my current driver was so well suited to me. I loved the look and feel of the Alpha – very classic. We tried lots of shafts and I was amazed that they made so much difference to the feel, timing and flight.”
Result: Callaway spec: Big Bertha Alpha 10.5˚, Gravity Core up, Neutral bias, Fubuki Zeta Tour, stiff
Yardage gain: 11 yards
52 more yards!
Conclusions from a successful day at Callaway HQ
All three of our readers gained length. That wasn’t too much of a surprise, for two reasons: firstly, the quality and choice Callaway offer; and secondly the expertise of our custom fitter, Jason.
Nevertheless, for Alan to be landing his drives past where his old ones were finishing is a real game-changer.
He’s now 10 per cent longer than he was before the fitting – and this from a golfer who before the fitting already rated his driving as the best part of his game! We’re expecting great things from him this summer in the Harlow majors…
With so much technology and adjustability in the heads these days, you are simply costing yourself yards and performance if you don’t take advantage of custom fit facilities like Callaway’s before buying a new driver.