Product Review: By Kiel Christianson,
Dimension Z Black
TravelGolf.com Senior Writer
In a market crammed with drivers whose clubheads are just slightly smaller than toaster ovens, it is refreshing to find a company bucking this recent bigger-is-better trend. Although it is not the only driver on the market with a smaller head and maraging steel face, the Black Widow by Dimension Z truly does separate itself from the competition in a number of respects.
Not only is the stainless steel clubhead relatively small (230cc), as is its maraging steel face. The Black Widow is also a completely custom-fit club, each club is individually built according to your own specifications after a fitting session by a Dimension Z clubfitter (click here to read more about custom-fitting), as are all Dimension Z clubs. Finally, while most club manufacturers are placing most of the clubhead weight toward the back of their drivers heads, the Black Widows perimeter-weighted clubhead actually has much of the weight up toward the face. This feature promotes a lower, more piercing ball flight, and consequently less interference from the wind and increased roll.
You can see immediately the playing conditions for which this clubs design is ideal: Windy locales with hard fairways, like, say, Scotland or west Texas.
Armed with a Black Widow built just for me (9.5-degree loft, 44.5 Apache DZ400 70-gram shaft [stiff flex, freq. 5.2]), I hit both a practice tee and a course to test-drive this stylish yet inexpensive ($300) big stick.
On the range, the Black Widow performed as well as any I have tested, in terms of both distance and direction. The boring trajectory as in penetrating, not as in dull didnt seem to diminish the carry of the ball. And when I factored in roll, the Black Widow easily hung with drivers with titanium faces and bigger heads (not to mention bigger price tags). And surprisingly, despite the markedly smaller hitting surface of the maraging steel face, accuracy even on slight mishits was extremely consistent (even given my inconsistent swing plane). Actually, this second fact shouldnt come as a surprise. It is a bit of a myth that a larger clubhead equates with a straighter shot. In fact, if your swing speed is fast, it may actually be HARDER to turn over your hands and close the clubface with a larger clubhead, no matter how light it may be.
With this in mind, it should also come as no surprise to report that players surveyed who hit the Black Widow all judged it as a solid club, even players whose swings demanded a very different driver from the one built for me. The only complaint from some higher-handicappers was that the smallish face took a while to get used to: some pop-ups, some shots off the hosel, even. Lower handicappers had no such troubles, though.
As it turns out, one hosel-shot resulted in a crack in the clubhead, and a serendipitous opportunity for me to test Dimension Zs guarantee and customer service, both of which turned out to be as top-notch as the company claims they are: They replaced the clubhead for me and returned it within two weeks. In fact, Dimension Z offers its customers a lifetime tune-up guarantee. At the end of each season, customers can ship their clubs back to the Colorado-based manufacturer, where they will check the specs to make sure nothing is out of whack and adjust anything that is. (Listen up, you folks who bang your clubs on the ground after poor shots.)
On the course, the Black Widow performed as it did on the range; however, on soft fairways, I had to settle for 270-yard carries and no roll, despite the lower trajectory. Darn.
Simply put, bigger isnt necessarily better, and neither is more expensive. The Black Widow dispels the myth that clubhead and price tag size correlate with the quality of your tee shots. For $300 you wont find a driver that performs AND fits your individual swing as well.
Black Widow Specifications Manufacturer:
Dimension Z Golf
Dimension Z Golf, Inc.
14700 W. 66th Place
Arvada, Colorado 80004
(888) 271-1889 toll-free
(303) 403-8440 fax
Suggested retail price: $300
Clubhead: Stainless steel Clubface: maraging steel
Clubhead size and weight: 230cc
Lofts: 9.0, 10.5 degrees
Lie Angle: 56 degrees
Shafts available: steel and graphite (Apache, UST, Rifle)