REVIEW: 815 DOUBLE BLACK DIAMOND DRIVER

Experts Only????

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If you have been snowboarding or downhill-skiing you know that Double Black Diamonds routes are for experts only.  They are the steepest, most difficult and dangerous trails on the mountain.  They have signs of warning that are meant to keep amateurs out and those with lesser skill away.  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.  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 push was all about the Big Bertha rebirth and a market push to cement their place as market leaders again, the 815s models campaign is about high end quality and these are soooo much better.  Both types of 2015 drivers are considerably better than those of 2014, I really like the “regular” Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver 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.

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The R – MOTO face tech + Gravity Core weighting creates a low-forward CG that is hot and with low spin.  If you hit near the centre of the face the ball just goes and 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 especially considering the test were in the early months of the year in damp conditions.

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, the Sans alignment aid as well as a very deep face on a compact body for a full 460 driver is impressive.

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So is it for Experts Only??  Yes, I think that most golfers are not going to hit the centre of the face enough to maximise its 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 students and they thought they had crushed their drives only to find it just a hair shorter than their average because they missed the sweet spot, however, when they hit one on-centre it was huge.

 

The 815 DBD has the potential to absolutely bomb the ball, but the forgiveness isn’t much.   So if you hit the centre 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.

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