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|The Nicklaus Dual Point driver delivers hot, buttery-soft drives thanks to its unique engineering. (Courtesy Nicklaus Golf)|
Nicklaus Golf's Dual Point driver aligns the clubface's sweetspot with the clubhead's center of gravity, producing the best feel from a 460cc driver in recent memory. Despite a sloppy paint job, this golf club delivers on the company's claim of distance and feel.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In the race to make drivers that are bigger and longer, feel has all too often been left behind. Even some PGA Tour players have eschewed feel off the tee, succumbing to the siren song of pure distance.
There are still a few equipment companies out there that continue to strive toward both goals, though, including Nicklaus Golf. But what would you expect from the Golden Bear?
This year, Nicklaus Golf unveiled the 460cc Dual Point driver, which, according to the company, employed a unique engineering technique to combine power and feel.
"It's one of those examples of great attention to detail and trying to get all elements lined up just perfectly so that we get the most out of our club that we can get," says Clay Long, chief designer for Nicklaus Premium Golf Equipment, "the highest ball velocity that we can get, the most solid shot, the best feeling club. The way to do that is to get [the point of maximum flexibility on the clubface] to line up with the center of gravity of the club to give ball contact a trampoline effect."
Simply put, Clay and his engineers have lined up the clubhead's center of gravity with the exact sweetspot of the titanium clubface. By so doing, the company claims, they have maximized energy transfer to the ball and feel in one fell swoop.
We tested the Dual Point (10.5-degrees, stock R-flex Fujikura shaft) on the range and on the course, and for the most part, found that Clay was not just spouting the company line: This driver is plenty long, and even more noticeable, it is the softest-feeling driver we've tested in a very long time.
Bob McCurdy, a 12-handicap from southern Illinois who tested the Dual Point for us on the range, commented that the big stick was certainly powerful. However, the club made its biggest impression with respect to feel.
"When you hit the ball on the sweetspot," said McCurdy, "you know it. It's so smooth that it feels like the ball isn't even there."
My own experience with the club was the same: The feeling of the ball coming off the sweetspot was buttery soft - in fact, I cannot personally recall feeling another driver quite like it.
To paraphrase Homer Simpson: Mmmm...hot, buttery driver....
Distance was certainly acceptable, comparable to many other 460cc drivers. And control was similar to other drivers we've recently tested.
The biggest knock against the Dual Point is the curiously imprecise paint job on the sole of the clubhead. Various patches of copper and black paint wobble irregularly here and there, almost as if they were hand-painted. One would think that for the $300 MSRP, even this admittedly minor detail would look a bit more professional.
Granted, the paint job has nothing to do with performance, and we know plenty of golfers who would play with a splotchy pink clubhead if it offered the decent distance and control along with the exceptional feel of the Dual Point.
For more information, visit www.nicklausgolf.com.
August 28, 2007
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.
One writer who travels more than nearly anyone I know said his Sun Mountain's Club Glider Meridian Golf Travel Bag was a "game changer." He said he'd never travel again without it. After this jaunt to Northern Ireland, I have to agree.
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