Category Archives: golf club shaft length

By Paul Myers

Big Bertha is one of the most-recognizable names in the golf equipment world. One of the first metal woods to make a big mark in the game, this Callaway line has been used by countless golfers over the past couple of decades. While the Big Bertha name has somewhat faded into history in recent years, it is back in a big way with the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver. Of course, this new version of the Big Bertha doesn’t look much like the previous iterations, and includes the modern features that you would expect from a high-end driver.

Adjustability is a big thing in drivers these days, and the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha offers it in about as many ways as just about any other driver on the market today. Even if you just pick up one of these drivers off the shelf at your local pro shop, you will still be able to  customize it quite a bit to your swing and game. No longer is it good enough to just get the right shaft flex head to the first tee – now you can narrow down so many more variables and fine-tune your ball flight until it is exactly what you are looking for.

The Basics

Not surprisingly, the head of the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver is a 460cc head that is offered in both right and left handed models. There are regular, stiff, and x-stiff shafts offered, and a 45.5’’ length is standard for this club. You can find everything you may expect from a Callaway driver, such as a hot face that seems to launch the ball down the fairway, and a great looking design that inspires confidence as you stand over the ball.

Start Adjusting

When you start looking at all of the adjustable features on the Alpha is when you can start to really see what it is capable of. There are three different elements of the club which can all be quickly adjusted –

  • Gravity core. This might be the most exciting and unique feature of the driver. You are able to change the vertical center of gravity through this feature, meaning you can dial in your ball flight for the optimum combination of launch angle and spin rate. This isn’t a feature you will want to mess with on an ongoing basis – you should be able to get it dialed in after you purchase the club, and will probably want to leave it in place for most of your rounds after that.
  • Adjustable weights. Like so many other clubs on the market, the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha offers adjustable weights which can be moved to promote either a draw or fade bias. By spending some time on the driving range experimenting with the different settings, you can discover what ball flights are possible for you off the tee and choose the setting that is just right for your game.
  • Adjustable hosel. Additionally, you will have the option of rotating the shaft of the club thanks to the adjustable hosel technology to both add or subtract loft, and change the bias toward a draw or a fade.

If you are a fan of the Callaway line of drivers over the years, you should take the chance to try out this latest model. Even if you have never owned a Callaway club, the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha offers enough modern technology and customization options that it is worth your consideration.

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By Paul Myers

In general, the distance that you are going to be able to get out of your tee shots is up to you. You are the one swinging the club, and you are the one giving the power to the shot. If you are able to unload with a fast golf swing speed and make good contact with the ball, you should be able to get a nice, long drive as a result. If you don’t have much golf swing speed, or you make poor contact, you can expect less than stellar results.

However, there is a little bit more to it than that. In order to maximize the return you get from your golf swing speed, you need to have the right golf club shaft length in your driver. Think about it like the engine of a car. If you had a beautiful new sports car ready for a spin around the race track, but swapped out the engine for one from a little economy hatchback, you won’t go very fast at all around the track. Even though you are driving a sports car, all of the power has been stripped away.

The Heart of Your Driver

In much the same way, the golf club shaft in your driver could be considered the engine that drives you down the fairway. You might have a great club head that is used by some of the best golfers in the world, but if you don’t have the right golf club shaft length, it will all be wasted and your drives will fall short of their potential.

It is important to understand that the ‘right golf club shaft length’ doesn’t have to be expensive, or even customized at all. It could be the stock shaft that come with the club right off the rack. The important thing is that it works for your game, and for your swing. One shaft might be perfectly suited to hit long drives for another golfer, but could perform poorly with your swing. Only when the right combination of swing and golf club shaft is found can maximum distance be achieved.

It’s All about Flex

One difference from one golf shaft to another is the flex of the steel or graphite itself. Sure, there are other factors like weight, kick point, and more, but flex is one that has a big impact on the results of the shot. When you have the right flex in the shaft in your driver for your specific swing, impressive results quickly become possible.

With the wrong flex in your club, all sorts of bad results can creep into play. Consider the two possible problems below –

  • Shaft too stiff. If you are swinging a club that is too stiff for you to bend as you come down into the ball, you are likely to lose distance. In order to maximize distance, the shaft needs to ‘load’ and ‘unload’ into the ball. When the shaft is too stiff for you to really load it up on the downswing, there won’t be much energy stored up to release, and your shots will fly shorter than they should. Also, you might find that you push the ball frequently as well, since the club isn’t releasing aggressively through the ball.
  • Shaft too soft. Conversely, a shaft that is too soft may be difficult for you to control, and could lead to shots that fly all over the course. Additionally, swings made with a shaft that is too weak for your swing will frequently fly very high – higher than you want from a driver. What you are left with are drives that are hard to control and don’t go very far – not a good combination.

Getting it Just Right

To make sure you are swinging the right shaft for your personal swing and ability level, work with a professional club fitter who can analyze your swing and make recommendations as to which shafts would be right for you. While you will likely have to pay for a session with a club fitter, many will reimburse the fee if you wind up purchasing a new club from their shop. A club fitting may only take around an hour to complete, but can lead to some of the best drives of your life.


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