The 2011 continuation of Nike Golf’s SQ MachSpeed series takes on a new look and raises its standard for feel and performance. Last season, Nike offered just one head style: a “square” head that appeared slightly skewed and somewhat awkward. With some simple design differences, the MachSpeed Black square driver takes on a more traditional square form while a brand new round clubhead with a compact shape is a welcome addition to this product line.
The MachSpeed Black square driver produces much better sightlines than the 2010 Machspeed driver because of its straight, linear design. At address, there is no mistaking where the club face is pointing, in part because of the all black clubhead (black crown along with a black PVD finished clubface). This helps golfers of all skill levels frame the ball properly. Nike’s Str8-Fit technology also allows the actual face angle to be altered in order to produce the most desirable ball flight for every player. With 8 different positions, this system gives players and club-fitters alike the opportunity to manipulate the driver so that the correct combination of look and performance are easily achievable, without over complicating the process.
The MachSpeed Black round driver fills a void in the product line and gives golfers who prefer a more traditional shape and look something to talk about in 2011. Also equipped with Str8-Fit technology, the round head allows golfers the ability to work their shots more easily than its square counterpart.
Aside from looks, the MachSpeed Black driver’s feel and sound has been improved from 2010. Historically, Nike drivers have been known to have some of the louder, more “hollow” sounding effects at impact leading to a less than solid feel. This driver takes a step in a positive direction toward solving that problem. With a quieter, more subdued sound at impact, this driver not only feels solid but is more fun to hit.
The standard shaft offering in both the MachSpeed Black square or round head is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki 50 designed for Nike. A take off the popular Fubuki Tour shaft, this option checks in at a lighter weight (just 51-54 grams, depending on stiffness). Also available as a stock option is the Project X graphite shaft. With a heavier weight (61-71 grams, depending on stiffness), this high performance shaft should help golfers with higher ball flights lower their trajectory and control their spin rate thanks to a higher bend point and firmer tip profile.
Available in lofts of 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and HL (13) degrees, in both the square and round clubheads, there are plenty of options available to properly fit all golfers. Standard women’s options are 11.5 and HL (13) degrees in both square or round heads and come with a lighter color finish on the crown. Standard length is 45 ¾” for men and 44 ½” for women.
While the look, feel, and versatility of this club have been improved, what about the performance? An individual launch monitor testing shows that compared to the 2010 MachSpeed driver, the new MachSpeed Black driver increased ball speed and distance while providing better feel.
|Club||Ball Speed (mph)||Launch Angle (degrees)||Spin Rate (rpm)||Total Distance (yards)|
MachSpeed Blk Square 10.5
|MachSpeed Blk Round 10.5||145.1||13.6||2687||261.1|
|MachSpeed Blk Round 10.5 w/Project X||145.0||13.2||2742||259.8|
The data suggests that every MachSpeed Black driver combination which was tested increased initial ball speed by 0.8-0.9 miles per hour on average, resulting in anywhere from 1.1 to 4.3 yards more distance. It is important to note that the Project X shaft did exactly what was expected by lowering the initial launch angle by 0.4 degrees on average (the testing data also suggests that the Project X shaft was more accurate for this player based on distance from the center target line). In most instances, the MachSpeed Black did precisely what was expected of it by delivering higher launch with lower spin, along with better ball speed, resulting in maximum distance.