Nike Golf MachSpeed Black Round Driver Review

June 3, 2011

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NIKE SQ MachSpeed Black Round Driver

Grade: A
Teacher’s Comments: Simply the best driver I’ve played.

imageA measure of just how much I like the Nike MachSpeed Black lies in the fact that it has replaced the trusty TaylorMade R7 in my bag. For me, the MachSpeed Black is yards longer and much straighter.

I haven’t come to this decision lightly. I actually received the Black from Nike in February (they had to know that it’s snowing in Michigan until late March, but there it was), and carried both drivers in my bag for several rounds, hitting two off each tee.

There’s a wealth of technology in the MachSpeed Black, of which the most prominent is the STr8-Fit adjustment system. It consists of a special shaft tip that screws into an adjustable hosel. Alignment of the shaft into different positions allows you to make eight different adjustments to the lie and face angles.

imageMechanically, the change is very easy to accomplish: just insert the shaft and screw it down with the special wrench. However, I had some difficulty figuring out from the diagram which way the shaft actually was supposed to align. It’s based on the symbols on the top of the grip, but even with the guide, it was dicey. I’m a bit thick, I guess. But this difficulty is the only reason why I didn’t grade the club an A+.

I’m also a little concerned about what happens when the time comes for a grip change.

A nice touch with the wrench. It has audible and visual indicators to tell you when you’ve tightened it properly. Or at least, I assume that it has a beep. I can’t hear it.

The adjustability is great, but I think that, like my R7, I’m going to find a position that works and just leave it there. Right now I have it one degree closed, and upright. That works pretty well.

A less obvious technology is the aerodynamic design of the clubhead. I have the MachSpeed Round, and it has a very traditional look at setup. But on the sole, you can see a swept-back molding – Nike calls it the Power Bow and Sole Diffuser – that’s supposed to reduce drag, and thus increase clubhead speed. Faster clubhead speed equals more distance. It’s an equation that works for me. I am absolutely getting more distance out of this driver than with any I’ve played or owned.

Ball flight for me is lower than I am used to, but that’s a good thing, because I’m getting quite a bit of roll.

imageThe shaft on my model is a stock Fubuki, which comes in all the usual stiffness flavors. But if that shaft doesn’t thrill you, don’t despair. Nike has dozens of shafts available, and even more available through special order. There’s got to be one you like in the selection.

Visually, the club is quite nice. I like the black finish – I’ve always liked black clubheads; to me they mean business. The round version that I have also has a more traditional look. It’s large, but doesn’t look obnoxiously so. I think traditionalists will like the looks; I do.

As usual, I can’t tell you anything about the sound of the club, but it has a nice solid feel at impact. I can tell with relative certainty the point of impact on the clubface, which interestingly, I can nearly always verify. There’s something about the texture and composition of the clubface that always seems to leave a ball mark.

I predict it’ll be a long time before the Nike MachSpeed Black is supplanted in my bag.

 

 

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Comments

  • The adjustability is key on these clubs.  The Titleist 910D2 that I got last month is spectacular - but before this club if my swing was changing slightly on me, or if I just didn’t feel good about the driver, I pulled an old one out of the closet - now I just make an adjustment to the club setup. 

    The Nike looks great.  I have to say that the MachSpeed was very tempting when I was looking but because of my experience when I tried an SQ driver a while back, I am a little hesistant to go with a Nike (the sound was so disconcerting to me that regardless of feel or result, I always was thinking I was mishitting - I just could not overcome the sense of sound overwheming the other senses).

    But I do have a new Nike friend in my bag as of yesterday.  The new Nike PD Long Yellow ball. 

    since Feb or so, I have been playing Bridgestone E6 Yellow mostly, a little of the Snake Eyes PT2, and occasionally the HX Hot Plus and ProV1.  I have got to where I really like the yellow, and prefer the E6 over the Srixon ZStar.  Mostly I didn’t see enough performance difference to justify another buck-fifty or so per ball to go with the ZStar - but the ZStar does spin better.

    But then Bridgestone came out with their 2011 “upgrade”.  What is the upgrade?  Dimple in Dimple technology.  That’s right - they added Top Flite technology (why mess with Callaway because they love to sue everyone!).  But immediately I wasn’t happy.  The ball to me feels harder, and doesn’t seem to go as far.  Part of that could be my head like it is with everything else - but I have played the 2010 against the 2011 side by side and the 2010 plays better for me.  So I have been buying up the 2010s where I can find them, but the yellows are now all gone, and I got a couple boxes of oranges - and I was ready to start buying 2010 e6 whites, when I saw the Nike PD Long Yellow the other day.

    $15.99 a box.  I rarely play a ball costing that little except in the winter, but I wanted to give it a try.  It has the same sparkly high visibility yellow like the Srixon and Bridgestones instead of the flat yellow like the Pinnacles.

    Had some very long drives yesterday - first drive of the day was 240-250 in the air.  (landed side hill in front of the green and went splash).  Had more drives (including roll) at 280, 270 - and saw a little more length across all clubs as well.  Granted it was 97 degrees, so temp was affecting ball, and the temperature had my back looser and feeling better than it normally does - but I would have to say I will at least buy another box or two - this may very well be the ball for this summer for me.  I will probably have to go to ProV1s for spin in tournaments, because it doesn’t seem like much of a spinner (and my Adams V3 are new groove compliant, so I lose enough spin there already) - But after my 40 on the back nine yesterday playing a single PD Long (which looked brand new after 16 holes of play - the previous being lost on hole 2) - I have to say that I like it, and if I have found a $16 yellow ball that works, that makes me thrilled.

    Posted by martin on 06/03

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