By Tim McDonald,
The new "Q" driver from KZG doesn't live up to the hype, while the company's new "Q" fairway wood is as good as it gets.
The best things about KZG's "Q" driver are the sound and color. Black with a bright red tail, the company's attractive, new driver is obviously aimed at the younger set who likes the bold look. Not like us older folks, who are partial to the meek and sickly.
Now, when you take a whack at it and hit it flush, you'll turn some heads on the driving range. It sounds like Humphrey Bogart sneaked on the range and unloaded a .38 snub nose.
Unfortunately, for me anyway, that's about it.
The company's new driver has gotten good reviews in many quarters, some saying it adds 20, 30 and even 40 yards off the tee.
With me, it was just the opposite. I lost 20, 30 and even 40 yards off the tee, much of it sideways.
Now for the technical part: "Q" stands for quintessential. The driver was designed by Clay Long, the club designer who is well known for being Jack Nicklaus' man, designing for both Nicklaus Golf and Nicklaus himself. Long designed KZG's flagship driver, the Gemini series.
The Q is designed from a one-piece, vacuum-cast titanium head. It has a shallow face to help promote a higher launch and more spin with a "penetrating ball flight," according to KZG. It has a very high Moment of Inertia, which usually translates into more forgiveness.
KZG claims the club is the "perfect embodiment of both a high MOI and a sleek, aerodynamically designed head.
"Warning, this is for the player who wants to hit the ball straight."
Switching drivers often takes adjustments, so I gave myself and the club plenty of quality time together. Over several rounds and additional hours on the range, I rarely hit the ball straight, nor - just as importantly - did I did hit long.
I'm taking into account my own limitations as a golfer, but even those times when I know beyond a reasonable doubt my swing was Tiger-like, and I hit it flush, the ball failed to achieve anywhere near the distance or accuracy my regular driver does on a regular basis.
Frustrated, I handed the Q to several playing partners. They all handed it back to me after several tries. They didn't like it either. You might say they Quit it.
This is not to say it isn't a good club. There are people out there who swear by it.
Which is what I will do for another new, KZG product, the achingly similar Q fairway wood.
For some reason, I loved this club, even though the design specifications are nearly identical to the driver. I'm not a big fairway wood guy, preferring the hybrids, but the Q fairway wood - I used the 4-wood with a 17-degree loft - performed brilliantly, after a rather awkward getting-to-know-you period.
KZG says demand is so high for this club, it can't keep them in stock. That may be just a company line, but if it performs for most people the way it has for me, I might actually believe it. It also has a high Moment of Inertia, and it is very forgiving.
I was even satisfied with my off-center hits, which still traveled well in excess of 200 yards. The Q 4-wood is seriously threatening a coup in my bag, dangerously close to ousting my Nike Golf hybrids.
The MSRP for the Q driver is $389, while the same for the fairway wood, in graphite, is $259.
The fairway wood comes in degrees of 15, 17, 19 and 21. The driver comes in a variety of lofts.
KZG isn't one of the big-name, original equipment manufacturers. The company sells custom golf equipment through top club fitters, usually much cheaper than the big-name clubs. I have loved some previous KZG offerings while finding others, like the Q driver, less than adequate.
For more information, see www.kzgolf.com.
July 23, 2008
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.