Available Lofts: 9.5, 10.5. 12
MSRP: $348 US
Demo specs: 9.5 loft, 3 shafts: Alpha Pro Tour S, Luxe NT65 S and Platinum 65 S
Its a safe bet youve never heard of Alpha Golf, an eight-year-old California company that has quietly been making drivers that rank among some of the most popular and successful clubs on the professional long-drive circuit.
If its your perception that such clubs are, by definition, massive in size, rigid in nature and flex and just generally better suited to a cannon-armed gorilla in size 17 spikes, well, think again.
Alphas latest pride and joy, the C830.4 Plasma driver, is a titanium straight shooter with classic good looks and traditional lines, and only one obvious nod to modern club technology: an allen bolt in the sole that spins out easily to allow a player to swap in any one of a wide array of high-end proprietary shafts. [photopress:Alpha2.jpg,full,alignright]
Party line: We took the core elements of distance, accuracy, and forgiveness and added to it a simple and easy-to-use feature for matching the perfect shaft to your swing, Dr. Jim Yeh, president and founder of Alpha Golf, says in a release.
Perfectly fitting your entire club has never been easier with the M-fit removable shaft system.
Mainstream offerings from Callaway, TaylorMade and Nickent, to mention but three, all feature elaborate fastening systems that require specially made torque wrenches to ensure a snug and secure fit.
Alphas C830.4, however, features only an allen key, putting the onus on the player to make sure not to overtighten the bolt or allow it to come loose during play. But that becomes a very minor quibble once you hit a few with this baby.
The C830.4 is a stable, lightweight embodiment of effortless power _ every swing produced a straight, solid strike with a lovely, crisp sound at impact, including on off-centre hits, and a low, boring trajectory. [photopress:Alpha1.jpg,full,alignright]
The clubhead, which feels remarkably light, allows a player to make a freer, more fluid motion through the ball, thereby reducing the temptation to try to manipulate the face through impact.
The C830.4 Plasma features a super-thin titanium face that boasts the maximum legal coefficient of restitution, or COR (the principal factor in whats known as spring-like effect) combined with what the company describes as the clubheads wide-body construction. Alpha describes the result as easier airborne launches, low backspin, and straighter and longer shots.
Like previous Plasma drivers, the C830.4 gets its name from the plasma-weld that attaches the face to the rest of the clubhead, resulting in less weight and a more solid feeling at impact.
Billed as one of the longest clubs on the market, theres still too much snow on the ground to say for sure just how long it is “ well be able to tell you more once the courses open.
But if the explosive impact and jetliner-on-takeoff trajectory we produced at the indoor range are any indication, the C830.4 interchangeable driver wont be a disappointment. Alphas six ReMax World Long Drive championship titles dont hurt, either.