Alpha  830.2 Titanium DriverAlpha equals Big Dog
when it comes to drivers

By Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer

AMHERST, Mass. (April 26, 2004) - Have you ever watched those animals - I mean, those fine, upstanding golfers in the long drive tournaments? Do you ever look down at your own pale, withered arms and thought, "If I had one of those drivers, I could hit the ball almost as far"? (Or is that just me?)

Well, if you want to try to run with the big dogs, you not only need an alpha-male personality, but an Alpha Golf driver might be helpful, too.

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Alpha Golf, a division of Kent Sports, introduced the C830.2 titanium driver to the competitive long-drive world in 2003, and has brought it to the public in 2004. The C830.2 (MSRP $325) was used by the winners of the men's and women's divisions of the 2003 Pinnacle/LDA Pro Long Drive Championship, as well as the junior and senior division winners of the Re/Max Long Drive championships. The 460cc head has the highest COR allowed by the USGA. Any stick that'll allow a senior to crush a 381-yard drive is worth a look in our book.

How it plays

Let us reiterate a point that has been made repeatedly on these pages: Big-headed drivers won't help you stop slicing. The bigger the head, the more you'll have to work to square up the clubface at impact. However, these big drivers put so much mass behind the ball that you can swing slower with them, allowing yourself time to get those hands in the correct position. The technology and the big head create the distance, even with a slower swing.

Of course, those long-drive freaks -- I mean folks -- don't swing easy. But they've got the hand-eye coordination of Vegas dealers who moonlight as chainsaw jugglers.

We took the 830.2 (10.5-degree loft, stiff shaft) out to the range and the course, and found it to be a solid performer. The key was teeing the ball high enough for the extremely deep face. When the ball was teed too low, we got low, piercing drives with a lot of roll. No one plays a club like this in order to get roll.

We passed it around to average golfers and a couple of teaching pros on the range. Everyone found it to be extremely forgiving, but those who tried to swing too hard witnessed some of the most spectacular slices known to mankind.

The pros liked the balance and set-up. They noticed that the grip seemed a bit thicker than standard, which would have promoted the aforementioned slices. Personally, if I were to purchase one for my own bag, I would want to try it with a few different custom shafts. The stock shaft seemed to lack feedback. Nevertheless, it seemed that no matter where I hit it on the clubface, the ball ended up moving toward the fairway, and consistently past my playing partners, as well.

All in all, the Alpha Golf 830.2 is a big stick for big dogs -- and it just might turn a few puppies into beasts as well.

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Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.