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Nike SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT driver: Nike Golf's best adjustable-face driver ever

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
Nike Golf SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT driver
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The SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT is Nike Golf's best adjustable-head driver yet, Kiel Christianson writes. (Courtesy of Nike Golf)

When Nike Golf first introduced the SasQuatch, a.k.a. SQ, line of drivers, they changed the playing field for all driver manufacturers. Suddenly, there were square clubheads, and low(er)-profile 460cc clubheads, and adjustable face angles.

Along with these tremendously successful innovations, there were a few drawbacks, like the ear-ringing clang on contact of the first SQ drivers.

But perhaps more than any other company, Nike Golf is extremely sensitive to feedback from customers, pros, and even journalists. (I was actually asked personally about my impressions of one of Nike's new golf shoes a couple of years ago.)

And all of this sensitivity, this openness to criticism and compliments alike, combined with some of the best engineers in the business, produce improvements that are far beyond incremental. Improvements -- and results -- seem to follow year after year by orders of magnitude.

The new SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT driver ($360) is yet another example of Nike Golf's continual improvement. It's not only the best feeling adjustable clubhead driver I've ever hit, it's the longest Nike driver I've ever hit.

And that's saying something.

How Nike Golf's SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT plays

Early SQ models were easy to identify on the golf course, because they were distinctly loud. The SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT still has more of a "clank" than a "tink" sound, but it is no longer offensive to the ear.

Most importantly, though, the adjustable clubhead allows players to fit the set-up to suit their eye. The adjustment system follows the scheme from the original adjustable Nike driver, the SQ Dymo Str8-FIT, including the patented wrench that looks like something off Batman's utility belt. The system isn't completely intuitive, but it's very quick and easy once you get the hang of it.

The clubface can be set to eight different angles, from 2-degrees open to 2-degrees closed. Personally, I prefer to leave the clubface square -- a set-up that is hard to find in stock non-adjustable drivers -- because I can go from hook to slice in the same round, and the adjustable face really works: opening the face alleviates hooks and closing the face counteracts slices. But if you start hitting a hook and have the face closed because the day before you were hitting a slice, very bad things can happen.

With the face set to neutral, I found the SQ Machspeed extremely easy to control. The square clubhead creates a more shallow face than traditionally shaped 460cc drivers, allowing one to tee the ball lower and control the trajectory. And hitting a draw or fade can be accomplished by adjusting the grip slightly.

As for length, once again, Nike Golf has outdone itself. I've consistently hit Nike SQ models as long or longer than other drivers I've reviewed, and the SQ Machspeed is no exception. The standard 45.75-inch shaft provides pop via simple physics, and and the shape of the clubhead, with a sort of groove around the outside circumference, is supposed to significantly reduce drag.

Most noticeably, the clubface -- especially in the sweetspot -- turns the ball into an absolute rocket. Case in point: the day I tagged a drive on a 495-yard par 5 and had only 140 yards left into the green (that's driver-PW for those of you keeping score at home).

The verdict on Nike Golf's SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT driver

Nike Golf simply outdoes itself over and over again, and the SQ Machspeed Str8-FIT is no different. From set-up, to sound, to performance, this is the best adjustable-head driver yet. So if you buy the hype on adjustable-head clubs (and I'm not completely sure that I do), this one is worth serious consideration.

For more information, visit www.nike.com.

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.

 
Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Angle Adjustment

    greg wrote on: Feb 18, 2014

    Adjustment seems like a gimmick to me.
    Does the adjustment actually change the face angle when the club is resting on the ground at address when you are loosely holding the club? I don't see how it can since all the adjustment effectively does is rotate the shaft relative to the head. After making an adjustment the club should sit at whatever natural open or closed angle dictated by the shape of the bottom of the club correct? So if that is the case, this adjustment is just a gimmick. You can accomplish the same thing by rotating the club open or closed in your grip.

    Reply

  • drivercure

    bruce wrote on: Aug 24, 2011

    Guys! can you please go with this link. It might help your concern.DriverCure

    Reply

  • Nike SQ Machspeed Driver 9.5

    Scott Hickson wrote on: Mar 14, 2011

    My swing speed is 95 mph which isnt bad so I was always frustrated by not hitting longer drives. Bought the Nike SQ Machspeed driver on 15 Feb 2011 and finally played a full round on 13 March. The club was adjusted for my slice and what a difference. For the last 20 yrs I have always had a devestating slice off the tee but not any more. Hit one slight fade off the tee and the rest were straight or draws. I normally hit 220 off the tee and occasionaly 250 when I dont slice but yesterday consistently 240-250. What a differnce when the ball goes straight and is in the fairway. Best driver I have ever had and now my motivation to get better has skyrocketed. Give this a try and you wont be disappointed.

    Reply

  • What a DRIVER!!!

    James Baldwin wrote on: Jan 12, 2011

    I added almost 40 yards off the tee... now, I'm not a good golfer, but a weak drive has kept me from breaking 100. I have no doubt I'll be in the 90's very soon. If you want a forgiving driver and more distance.. buy this club.

    Reply

  • Warranty

    Kym wrote on: Dec 3, 2010

    Try and make a warranty claim and see how far you get. I loved the club but after the experience with warranty I will never purchase a Nike product again.

    Reply

      • RE: Warranty

        Andrew wrote on: Apr 14, 2011

        i got my warranty through a third-party retailer - Sports Authority. i haven't filed a claim but from what i've heard there's no problem whatsoever in doing so.

        Reply

  • Nike SQ Machspeed 9.5*

    Ahmon wrote on: Oct 7, 2010

    THIS DRIVER IS THE TRUTH!!! I had the Dymo2 9.5* prior to purchasing this one. I had never been a fan of the square head clubs, and the Dymo2 is fugly and has an horrendous sound, but I hit it straight so I gamed it well. I would alternate with my Cobra S9-1, but it was 10.5* so it would fly too high and I would lose distance. Traded both of them in and some other clubs I had laying around; even though the Dymo2 was performing quite well for me (avg. 270-280 yards). Paid $20.00 after the trade. Almost took the old shaft out of my Dymo2 since it was already at 44.5" long, but the salesman suggested that I take the new shaft and try it out and if it doesn't work out bring it back and trade shafts. I AM SOOO GLAD I DID!!! I choke down on the driver an inch, leave my right hand on the side of the club and give her a nice smooth swing and... BANG!!! 290-300 yard, straight as an arrow drives are all I see now! I couldn't believe it!!! I felt so confident that I drove a 290 yard green over water and it landed on the back of the green! I had people on other holes gawking at my shot over that ball eating pond! THIS WAS THE GREATEST FEELING AN AVID GOLFER CAN HAVE... POWER AND CONTROL!!! That was the first time I ever made birdie on that hole! When I first started reading the reviews I thought... B^ll$#!t! After picking this thing up on a whim I am more than satisfied. It's GOD awful ugly, horrible sounding, and will be in my bag for a long time!!! THE LAUNCH MONITORS DO THIS CLUB NO JUSTICE!!! GO TO A DEMO DAY AND HIT THIS THING IN OPEN AIR AND EXPERIENCE POWER AND CONTROL!!!

    Reply

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