Golf News for Tuesday, January 10, 2006 | Daily Golf Blogs

Kiel Christianson: Nike SasQuatch driver is the real deal

Moveable weights are all the rage in club designs these days, from drivers down to putters.

As I have said in the past, I am of two minds about this design innovation.

One mind says, “Yeah, so what? Lead tape has been around forever, and it’s a lot cheaper.”

My other mind says, “Cool. Now I can tinker to my heart’s content, and know that when I finally settle on a weighting scheme, bad results will be my fault, not the club’s.”

As I have also said in the past, the problem with Mind Two’s view is that the average golfer delivers the club to the ball so inconsistently that the weighting scheme will only work as intended a small number of swings.

Take for example my much-lamented hook of the last few years and the fade-biased weighting of the Adams Redline RPM 460 driver I reviewed a while back. I liked the club as much as any moveable weighted club I’ve hit. The fade-bias I engineered helped ease my hooks. But oh boy, when my normal hook was replaced by the odd slice, look out! One round, that weird slice came out of nowhere on all but one hole. You can just imagine the embarrassment suffered while walking across the adjoining fairway (sometimes two fairways!) to hit my second shots.

The worst thing was not knowing if it was me or the club (or both), and not being able to change the weighting within the rules, and not knowing how to change whatever was going on with my swing that day (the next day, my hook was back).

Enter Nike’s new SasQuatch driver. This club has received a lot of hype, which always makes me suspicious. For example, Nike let us know that the SQ (for short) was used by Paul Casey to win the Volvo China Open in Shenzhen, China. Carl Pettersson claimed the first PGA Tour victory of his career using the Tour version of the SasQuatch Driver at the Chrysler Championship, and K.J. Choi and Keiichiro (Kay) Fukabori used it to win the Chrysler Classic Greensboro Open and the Japan PGA Tour’s (JGT) Ana Open, respectively—all in the same week. The SQ was also recently given the “Editor’s Choice Award” by that subscription-scrounging rag Golf Digest.

Surprisingly, though, I am of one mind about this club: The weird-looking squashed clubhead and neon-yellow sole are extremely easy to square up. I’ll be writing a full review soon, but based on testing so far, the SasQuatch is the real deal, despite the lack of the trendy moveable weights. In fact, my first mind is extremely pleased with the idea that it doesn’t have to obsessively rotate and swap weights to move the ball around. Instead, I can just swing for the fences and let this odd-looking but well-designed club do all the work. And my second mind can go have a drink and stop worrying.

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