By Kiel Christianson,
It was not perfect, however. The major complaint was the god-awful, ear-shattering racket it made on contact with the ball. Truly awful.
The 2008 incarnation, the SQ Sumo2 5900, is, according to Nike, a higher-MOI, longer-hitting version of the maiden model.
We had to give it a test run.
My first impression of the 5900 was related in a recent blog. I won't go through the story again, but suffice it to say that last year's model was immediately relegated to the basement.
An immediately noticeable difference between the 5900 and the driver we tested last year is that the shaft of the 5900 is a bit longer. This doesn't appear to have resulted in less accuracy, but it certainly seems to have lent a bit more distance to the driver.
The first thing you notice when you actually hit a ball is that the aforementioned noise at impact is considerably dampened. Despite the tremendous relief this improvement engendered in me and my ear drums, it should be pointed out that the noise is not gone all together. A pair of septuagenarians who allowed me to play though recently in Scotland commented that they could certainly tell which hole I was on.
But, as I say, the sound is considerably dampened, at least to a level commensurate with that of other big, square-headed drivers on the market.
As with the original model, the 5900 sports a relatively shallow face, compared to other 460cc drivers. This allows players to tee lower in windy conditions.
And, as with the original model, the drawbacks - aside from the sound - are the same. First and foremost among the golfers I asked to hit the club and give their opinion is the shape of that square clubhead. Because it is somewhat flattened, it appears larger than a lot of other 460cc drivers.
Aaron Benjamin, a mid-teen handicapper from Urbana, Ill., described it as a waffle iron. A few others simply said it would take some time to get used to.
The 2008 version has more MOI, more distance and less clatter. It appears to be better in every way than the 2007 model, which received many rave reviews. Although the $399 price tag is almost $100 less than the previous version, it is still high compared to a number of solid alternatives from some smaller-name companies.
Nevertheless, any club that Tiger Woods proclaims to be the longest and straightest possible for average golfers deserves consideration.
June 11, 2008
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.