View large image | More photos
|The white crown and black face of Hireko Golf's new Acer XF Leggera might help with focus and alignment. (Courtesy of Hireko Golf)|
Looking for a driver? There are several new options out there from Hireko Golf, coming in a variety of colors, shapes and price-ranges.
Here's a look at a trio of new drivers available at a pro shop near you:
All of the sudden, you can't swing a hickory-shafted niblick without hitting a white-headed driver. I'm not sure if the idea behind this sparkly new trend is to focus the eyes on the ball or to help with alignment or simply to look all Euro-chic.
Whatever the case, what is clear is that 99 percent of these new pearly sticks are so expensive that you'd think they were made of real pearls.
Once again, however, Hireko Golf comes to save the day. The value-priced component company has introduced the wildly popular, ivory-crowned Acer XF Leggera driver. Golfers wanting to brighten up their game can purchase this assembled for as low as $105.
We tested an Acer XF Leggera with 10.5 degrees loft and a 47-inch Acculite G50 stiff shaft. The length of the shaft was noticeable at once; however, it wasn't as extreme as you might imagine, as the recommended shaft length according to the Hireko website is 46 inches.
This driver was extremely long, which would be expected given the long shaft. Also, every drive I hit with it was high, so carry was remarkable. It was fairly difficult to try to hit the ball low with the Leggera, which would be troublesome on a windy day.
What about that white clubhead? Did it focus my attention or help with alignment? I cannot say for sure, but about 27 of the 30 balls I hit with it were contacted in the center of the clubface. This, for me, is pretty remarkable.
Maybe your tastes run toward the more conventional black clubhead. In that case, the Acer XF titanium driver might be for you.
The standard XF begins at $100 assembled, and in our testing, it also produced lots of long, high drives. It was also just a bit straighter than the Leggera, but that could have been due to its 45-inch shaft (Death Stick True Ace, stiff).
The newest member of the Hireko driver line-up comes from the Power Play brand.
The System Q Adrenaline features a "slipstream" design derived from extensive wind-tunnel testing. The result is a clubhead that appears triangular at address, which might take some getting used to.
Like the two Acer models above, however, the System Q Adrenaline (Acculite G60 stiff shaft) produced solid distance. On impact, however, the sound was somewhat jarring -- sort of clanky. I do not know if this was due to the unique clubhead shape or to the plasma welding used to reduce weight and redistribute it to the back of the head.
In either case, though, the happy consequence of the noticeable sound was that it was clearly louder and different in quality on off-center shots. In other words, the feedback was excellent -- I could immediately tell when I'd hit a solid shot squarely in the sweetspot, as opposed to toward the toe or the heel.
Like the Acer XF, the Adrenaline also begins at $100 assembled.
When I walked into the clubhouse at Lake of the Woods Golf Course with this trio of new Hireko drivers, Head Professional Dave Huber took the System Q Adrenaline from me immediately and said, "That's a nice looking head!"
He went on to comment how, "(Hireko Golf) makes really nice components. People don't realize what good clubs they can get for this price."
After testing another round of solid, affordable clubs, I'd agree. Bigger name, more expensive clubs might benefit a small minority of players at the very highest playing levels, but for most of the rest of us, lower-priced clubs of equally good quality will do just as well.
For more information, visit www.hirekogolf.com.
May 31, 2011
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Illinois. Read his golf blog here.
The new Mizuno JPX-850 Forged Irons have the feel of a high-end, low-handicap iron, but with unique features that provide more stability and distance for better players without sacrificing any workability. But do these irons pass the test?
... full article »