Nike SQ Machspeed Black Driver - Click for more/larger images
I’m not sure how many times I’ve said this and I’m sure this won’t be the last. Being a golf blogger doesn’t suck. Case in point, I have the tough job of playing golf and reviewing the Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black (round) driver. Boy this is a tough gig. Where’s the complaint department?
SQ MACHSPEED Black Round Driver Overview
The term MACHSPEED comes from the optimal aerodynamics and light weight of this driver. Those qualities allow the driver to achieve higher swing speeds with equal or less effort from the player.
Machspeed Black is easily adjusted with included tool - click for larger version
Along with the speed of this driver comes the adjustability. An eight position hosel allows adjustments for draw and fade, as well as flattening or steepening the lie. Those eight positions are adjusted through Nike’s STR8-FIT design and allow the club to be set perfectly for any type of swing or shot preference. Personally, I’ll try every setting and find one which fits my swing the best and leave it. But sometimes it is fun to change it around.
Machspeed Black face - Click for larger image
White drivers are pretty popular right now. Many players are matching their white belts with their drivers. That is fine. But I’m a rock & roll musician, and we rock and rollers always like to wear black. As the name implies, this baby is black and it does rock.
Not only is this driver all black and very attractive looking, it has more of a classic shape and aesthetic to it. The previous Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT driver I reviewed, though a great driver, didn’t quite look as nice standing over it as this one does. The Machspeed Black is very pretty. It is so pretty in fact, that I’m not letting anyone I don’t completely trust try it. If someone were to put a sky mark in this baby I’d have to kill them, then take them to Detroit to be tortured.
Feedback & Feel
Some drivers, especially older Nikes, are very loud and obnoxious. I’m not a fan of the loud, Chinese gong sound in drivers. I prefer a more controlled and warmer sound. Once again, Nike has achieved this with the MSB. The audio feedback tells you exactly how you hit the shot and combined with the feel translated to the hands it tells you where on the club face the ball struck, without letting the group seven holes in front of you know the same data.
The SQ Machspeed Black Round driver comes in five lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11,5 and HL or 13 degrees.
The standard length of all models is 45.75 inches.
The head weight is 203.5 grams and swing weight of the club is D3-D5.
The stock shaft for the Nike SQ Machspeed Black driver is the Nike Fubuki (pictured below). Flexes for this shaft are available in X, S, R, A.
Stock Fubuki shaft for Machspeed Black Driver
There are over 60 custom shafts which are also available for the Machspeed, and more additional custom shafts can be special ordered. If you can’t find the right shaft for this thing, you might want to consider taking up bowling or basket weaving.
Adjustment chart for SQ Machspeed Black Driver - Click for larger version
The Nike Str8-Fit system for the Machspeed Black has eight settings. Lie and face angle can be simultaneously adjusted. Lie adjustments range from neutral to two degrees flat or upright. Club face adjustments vary from neutral to two degrees closed, to two degrees open.
For instance, you could do it like my settings, which are usually 1-2 degrees closed with 1-2 degrees flat because I’m not terribly tall. That setting for me promotes a right to left ball flight and gets the bottom of the head and club face parallel to the ground.
Machspeed head cover - Click to enlarge
The included head cover from Nike is a definite improvement on the model which came with the original STR8-Fit driver. I do like the fact that it isn’t bulky and that it doesn’t take up too much room. Still, after using this head cover for a while, I ended up putting it in the garage and replacing it with my favorite Sumi-G driver cover.
On The Course
I’ve been very happy with the performance of my Machspeed Black. For all of the dozens of drivers I’ve reviewed and received from golf companies, this is the first one to dethrone my trusty Ping G2 which has been the king of my bag for over half a decade. Dethroning my old trusty driver is no easy feat, and that says a lot about the Machspeed.
The first adjustment I had to make with the Machspeed was to relax a bit. Thanks to my good and wise golf pal Arnie pointing it out, I don’t need to swing as hard to achieve the same club head speed with this club because it is so much lighter and more aerodynamic than my old driver.
Though I have my current setup in a closed position to promote my favorite ball flight, a draw, I can still consciously think about hitting a fade and it will happen. I have full control over shot shapes and trajectories. I’d like to get my swing grooved down to where I can set the face at neutral so I can really work it both ways. But until then, the draw setting will be taking all of the trouble on the right side of the course out of play.
Maybe it is the Fubuki shaft or that I have it set up right, but a huge percentage of my ball contact is right on or near the center of the club face. The porousness of the face promotes tell tale marks from the ball. After every swing I can see exactly where the contact on the club face was, and make adjustments on the fly.
Machspeed Black Round - Top Line
The biggest buzzword from this year’s PGA Merchandise Show in the club world was “ultralight.” All of the golf companies are having to find new ways of increasing distance, but they can’t make the heads any bigger or the club faces any more thin. The way they’re all increasing club head speed, and thus distance, is by making the clubs lighter. My Machspeed is about 50 grams lighter than my old driver, and that is a huge difference. Each MPH of club head speed increased translates into more yards.
The Machspeed Black is a visually pleasing driver to stand over, unlike some odd contraptions you see these days. The feedback, both sound and feel, is very pleasurable and gives me a good indicator as to where on the club face the contact is occurring. I’ve increased distance with less effort in my swing, and have the ability to control trajectory and shot shape.
Like I mentioned before, no club has dethroned my previous driver in over six years. The SQ Machspeed Black Driver has earned a starting position in the 2nd most important club in my bag to my putter.
2011 Fantasy Golf - Week #1 Results