Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Product Review: Nike SQ Machspeed Driver

Speed kills. Speed also wins. If you’re looking to kill the ball and win more golf matches, you may want to consider putting the Nike SQ Machspeed Driver in your bag.

With aerodynamics in mind, Nike set out to develop a driver that would allow golfers to hit the ball farther and straighter – all due to speed.

We’ve seen and enjoyed Nike’s STR8-FIT technology, which enhances the ability to shape shots off the tee, and square design, but the sporting goods giant has now added Total Swing Aerodynamic Design to its impressive resume.

Looking to generate more speed – resulting in more distance – the engineers approached the golf swing holistically.

“The number one thing that makes the ball go farther is faster ball speed. We’ve accomplished that through looking at the orientation of aerodynamics throughout the total golf swing, not just a portion of the swing,” said Tom Stites, Director of Club Creation for Nike Golf. “Optimizing aerodynamics in the total golf swing pulls the clubhead and shaft through the air faster, which leads to more distance. I’ll use a parachute as an example. The wider the parachute is, the slower it comes down because air separates around the parachute and causes drag. The same thing applies to the golf club, but through geometry and Total Swing Aerodynamics, we have been able to minimize the air separation and drag.”

That’s all well and good for the people who wear lab coats, but what about those of us who only know what we know … Will the Nike SQ Machspeed Driver help me hit the ball longer and straighter? To answer that, I took it out for a test drive.

First, I’m a traditionalist in many ways, but had no trouble with the square head. It seems perfectly natural while resting behind a golf ball. In a way, it may be more logical to hit a straighter shot with a square head.

One tee shot after another found its way into the fairway. Not being a machine, you allow for “user error,” but that was minimized greatly. Straighter … Check!

You don’t need any comparison for accuracy. Is the ball resting in the short grass? Then it is accurate. Distance is a different animal. For that comparison, I took to the driving range with another leading driver.

A robot is clearly the best way to judge distance as you can set the swing speed and contact to be the same, time after time, but experienced golfers can certainly evaluate long from short. While I didn’t have the benefit of a measurement for each shot and the plethora of balls on the range made it difficult to gauge my final distances, the Nike SQ Machspeed driver was consistently 5-10 yards further than its competition.

An added 5-10 yards may not seem as important when talking 250 vs. 260, but those yards mean a great deal when looking at 140 vs. 150 on the approach shot.

The Nike Machspeed Driver has a suggested retail price of $359.99, which is in line with (or beats) other high-end drivers. Longer, straighter drives lead to fewer strokes, which leads to more wins against your playing partners. With any luck the driver will pay for itself with well-timed wagers.

American Golfer Recommendation: Put the Nike SQ Machspeed Driver in your bag, forget what the rough feels like and prepare to hit shorter approach shots into the greens.

Still looking for technical jargon? How about this:

Fast Start
The tapered heel geometry and toe-side aerodynamic Nike PowerBow design promote smooth air flow around the head for quicker acceleration.

As speed increases, so does drag force. But the aerodynamic Nike PowerBow and sole diffuser designs keep the airflow smooth and close to the club surface, reducing drag and encouraging a faster acceleration.

Maximum Speed
Drag reduction through-out the downswing allows the club to reach its true maximum speed, delivering maximum energy to the ball.

To shape any shot, the Nike STR8-FIT technology in the SQ MACHSPEED delivers eight face angle options – two degrees open to two degrees closed. For stability and forgiveness, the SQ MACHSPEED features Tour proven square technology that delivers more stability at impact and more forgiveness on the tee.

Men’s: Loft Options: 8.5 (RH); 9.5 (RH/LH); 10.5 (RH/LH); 11.5 (RH); HL (RH) All available in: A,R,S,X
MSRP: $359.99

Women’s: Loft Options: 11.5 (RH); HL (RH) All available in W (women’s) shaft.
MSRP: $359.99

For more information, log onto http://www.nikegolf.com/.

Contact: AmericanGolferBlog@gmail.com


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