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PowerBilt's Air Force One DFX Tour: The only gas-powered tour-quality driver

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
PowerBilt Air Force One DFX Tour golf club
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According to PowerBilt, the Air Force One DFX has the largest sweetspot of any driver on the market. (Courtesy of PowerBilt)

Titanium is strong and light, and when it's rolled ultra-thin and fit into a driver face, it provides incredible power. But in order to keep a titanium driver face from cracking at impact, or providing too much spring in some places and not enough in others, the clubface needs to be precisely braced and reinforced.

Most golf club manufacturers use internal bracing consisting of metal or composite ridges or bars.

The iconic PowerBilt, however, figured out a way to consistently reinforce titanium driver faces without adding weighty internal structure: they injected the heads of their Air Force One drivers with up to 80 psi of nitrogen gas.

Why nitrogen? It's an inert gas, so it doesn't contract or expand with temperature changes.

This year, PowerBilt has introduced a Tour version of its Air Force One DFX driver. The DFX Tour combines all the groundbreaking features of the original DFX model -- aerodynamic sole, nitrogen-filled head, wafer-tin titanium clubface -- with Tour-quality specs. Namely, the 9-gram sole weight is moved 20cm forward to reduce spin and increase distance.

The result is, according to PowerBilt, the largest sweetspot of any driver on the market.

How the PowerBilt Air Force One DFX Tour plays

I tested the Air Force One DFX Tour during three rounds on my home course so I could compare distance off the tee and directional penalties from mis-hits to a long list of previously tested drivers. Overall, it performed admirably.

As for power, the Air Force One DFX Tour has plenty. On the 408-yard 1st hole of my home course, there are woods left and a pond right. It's a tricky first shot of the day. Any drive that ends up 150 yards or less from the green, and in the fairway, is a good one. My first swing with the DFX Tour contacted the ball a little low on the clubface, resulting in a low and very gently fading shot, which rolled out about 20 yards inside the 150-yard stake.

I happily accepted compliments from my playing partners, and said, "That's the first time I've ever swung this driver." And, as usual, they told me to shut up.

Throughout the round, the DFX Tour performed admirably -- consistent power, relatively muted sidespin on my relatively frequent mis-hits. The difference in feel between contact in the center of the clubface and the periphery of the face was noticeable, as it should be. In contrast, the difference in sound between various points of contact was minimal -- all strikes generated a somewhat "tinky" sound.

PowerBilt Air Force One DFX driver: The verdict

PowerBilt's Air Force One DFX Tour ($300) is a legitimate tour-quality driver, and the only gas-powered one on the market. The stock Fujikura Pro shaft is excellent, and the matte black crown and scalloped heel and toe portions of the sole provide a distinctive aeronautical look.

The nitrogen-injected clubhead is lighter than most other comparable drivers, which might appeal more to players with slower swing speeds. Players who prefer a little heavier head, so that they don't lose track of it throughout the swing, might find the DFX Tour a touch "whippy." I asked my playing partners to try it out during the course of the round, and some really liked the weight, while others said the lightness would take some getting used to.

The verdict, then, is to do yourself a favor and demo the Air Force One DFX Tour -- especially if you're feeling a little, ahem, gassy.

For more information, visit powerbilt.com.

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PowerBilt Air Force One DFX Tour - driverPowerBilt Air Force One DFX Tour Driver

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, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.

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