The Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black Driver is a nice new offering from Nike that has provided some significant improvements in the Nike driver lineup and clearly shows that Nike is quickly stepping up their dedication and innovation in golf technology.
This review is for the round version of the SQ MACHSPEED Black driver with the Fubuki shaft. In addition to the version reviewed here, the driver also comes in a square head shape and both drivers are available with a wide range of shaft and grip options. The version of the driver that is reviewed here is the standard round offering and the one that you’ll find on the shelf in most golf shops.
This is simply a great looking club. The black-on-black styling contributes to a simple and modern look while hiding the technology and adjustability features. The Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki shaft has some great black-on-black graphics that add to the overall aesthetic of the club and provides a great look-and-feel for the driver.
The face of the club has clear and subtle alignment aids that stand out while looking down on the club. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the face of the club because the top of club head lacks any dots or alignment marks.
After unboxing the club, the first noticeable differentiator is the weight. This is the lightest driver that I’ve ever put in my bag. The club weighs in at less than 300 grams and it results in a totally different feel from most standard drivers. My first few drives at the range were pretty inconsistent, but as I started to get used to the feel of the club they started flying consistently straight and a few yards longer than my normal driver (a 2009 Cleveland Launcher).
The black face of the club provides a nice feedback mechanism with the ability to clearly see where the ball is coming off of the face of the club. During my first round, I noticed that I was consistently hitting the ball a little high on the face and I was able to achieve additional distance and improve sweet spot contact consistently by teeing my ball lower than I normally do. After the experience on the range and a few minor adjustments, I felt like I had a decent feel for what I needed to do to get the driver flying well. I ended up hitting a few more fairways than normal in that first round with the driver.
I’ve noticed through my rounds that missing the sweet spot still frequently results in a respectable flight pattern and distance. Even when hitting off-center, I’ve still had many good drives that have left me with pretty easy approach shots.
The SQ MACHSPEED Black driver offers the ability to adjust the flight path of the ball and the face angle of the club. The Machspeed STR8-FIT adjustments give you eight different configurations to allow for promotion of the various flight paths and face angles. The neutral position seems to work the best for me most of the time.
I spent a few range sessions playing with various settings and had mixed results. After some trial and error with the adjustments, I was able to compensate for consistent tendencies in my swing. Although I never noticed a right-to-left flight path with the adjustments, I was able to correct a few rounds when I started off slicing my drives and felt that the adjustability contributed significantly in regaining my ability to drive the ball.
Making modifications to the STR8-FIT system is quick and easy with the wrench that is provided with the club. Making adjustments to the club can be done quickly and it typically took me about 15 seconds to modify the settings.
My initial adjustments did have me confused about how the modifications changed the lie and flight-path options. I recommend that you spend a bit of time at the range adjusting the club and understanding the settings (the included reference cards help – but it can be confusing at first). After making the adjustments a few times, I was able to quickly modify the settings when needed. The STR8-FIT system lends itself to finding a position and sticking with it as opposed to constantly modifying the settings based on the hole.
After a few rounds with the club, I feel like I’ve found the best setting for me and I feel like the club is consistent and solid. I really enjoy the look and feel of the club and the ability of the club to be forgiving when I need it most. The adjustability gives me confidence that I can adjust and correct those rounds when I just don’t seem to be making contact and my scores have shown some improvement that I can trace back to simply hitting more fairways.
If you’re searching for a good-looking, configurable, lightweight club – then the SQ MACHSPEED Black is a great contender that you should be sure to check out.
If you’d like to see some more pictures of the driver, you can check out the Nike SQ MACHSPEED Black Photo Album that we have posted on facebook.