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Nike Golf Issues Recall of Sumo2 Drivers

Mar. 17, 2007     By     Comments (16)

Nonconforming spring-like faces are the result of an "unauthorized manufacturing variance." Nike will replace any driver sold to date.

Nike Sumo2-DriverPushing the edge as manufacturers are doing these days, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

Although the Sumo² (the square one) had been approved by the USGA, apparently an unnamed equipment competitor went to the USGA in late February and made a complaint. Upon subsequent testing, the USGA notified Nike that a number of clubheads were found to be non-conforming.

Conforming models will be shipped within a month. They'll come marked with a circular notch on the soleplate indicating they conform to USGA rules. Nike has a plan where consumers can trade in their drivers beginning March 26 either through their website or by calling 800-632-6453. The recall period will run until April 30. You can watch a video of Nike Golf President Bob Wood's mea culpa here.

What makes this recall so interesting to me is that it highlights a glaring hole in the USGA's equipment testing protocol. There is no provision for the USGA to routinely or even randomly re-test equipment once it's been ruled conforming.

Instead of spending a year and a half researching a groove issue resolved 20 years ago, how much more sense would it have made to set up and launch a periodic re-testing protocol?

Nike Golf President Bob Wood said it's no secret manufacturers are pushing the USGA limits. Where the Sumo² failed is in something called the "pendulum" test that measures the time the ball stays in contact with the face. You can catch a glimpse of this test in the video on their website. He says the nonconformance results in "one or two more yards."

This test is another way to measure how much the clubface deforms on impact. This "characteristic time" measurement is set at 236 microseconds. This correlates to the previous coefficient of restitution test and limit of .822.

Clearly in damage control mode, Wood said Nike Golf is going to conduct a voluntary testing and recall program to potentially serve as a model for how this situation may be handled in the future. He would not say how many Sumo² drivers are currently in the market or what this might end up costing Nike Golf in money. If the reaction in our forum is any indication, it may at least cost some goodwill.

Wood also made a rather snarky remark to the press about expecting other maker's drivers to be tested in the future, implying other manufacturers may find themselves in a similar situation. I bet he'd just love to blow the whistle on somebody else's driver.

By the way, the PGA Tour players who use the Sumo² like K.J. Choi are in the clear. All those drivers have been individually tested in advance to make sure they conform to the Rules of Golf.

Wood said the new version has been submitted for USGA approval and he expects it to be on their conforming list by Monday, March 19.

Discussion

  1. Joe Glisan says:

    I bought the Nike Sumo2 and love it. 1-2 more yards sounds good to me, so I am keeping it. I am now wondering who "blew the wistle" on Nike Golf's driver, probably Callaway since their FT-i square driver is short and sucks. It wasn't the "straightest driver on the market" as they claim as I found I hit it further left than the Nike. I also hit the FT-i about 5 yards shorter than the Nike Sumo AND the thing costs $100 more at the shop I was at. I wonder if they will have a recall as well since I have heard of many people commenting on TaylorMade and Callaway both having illegal drivers in the market.

    Good job Nike Golf on the SQ series, I loved my first SQ from last year and the new Sumo2 is awesome!

    Cheers!
    Joe

  2. Tyler says:

    This sucks for Nike, but at least they are proactive about it and trying to inform the general public about the mistake.

    And I agree about your groove comment...random inspections do need to occur on various products. I don't think that manufactures would get lazy, but it would help keep the USGA busy.

  3. kody golfinator says:

    hey
    i agree this really does suck for nike but their tradin in all drivers which is good
    if i owned one i would keep it cause it might b worth alot of money one day..
    it would really suck for nike if the new version was worse

    kody

  4. Mike says:

    Hey,

    I hit both the FT-5 and the the Nike SQ2, FT-5 sounds better and can shape shots. The SQ2 you either pull or push, cannot be worked, and sound terrible.

    I am engineer by trade, there is no way Nike did not know that some of the driver did not meet spec. When you put anything into production, you know there is going to be variations, and if you cannot control the variations during manufacturing, then you better give some wiggle room in your design.

    Bottom line, either Nike is trying to cheat, or their manufacturing sucks. Either case is not good.

  5. Mercury Morris says:

    Hello to all; what a bummer. I love my new Sumo2 too. I don't know if I can post my scores or if there is some type grace period allowed? Also do I take the driver back to where I bought it? If it's not USGA up to par then I think it's BUNK.... to say the least. I just returned from Palm Springs and all the folks just were so excited to see the New Club. We played the Westin Gary Player Exec. and with the light air and extra roll the club design allows good forwar and straight roll. For an old duffer as myself, I finaly get a glub that has no gizmos or counter weights and no wrenches to carry around and tune this and tune that and now I have to give it back... With the individuals I play with, for sure I need to go by the rules. I don't think NIKE GOLF did this on purpose. I will look forward to their repacement Which will still kick butt. Peace Out Just Do It.

  6. daphomvisay says:

    Wish I would have gotten the 'non-conforming' model because I bought the Sumo SQ2 to replace my Titleist 983, but the SQ2 is actually 10 yds. shorter. It is too forgiving and can not shape shots. Worst of all; it sounds terrible!!!! I would not recommend this club to anyone because it would be a big waste of money.

  7. radicalrob says:

    I Just was allerted that my SQ Sumo may have the non-conforming face from a Pro from the Pro shop @ Las POsitas GC...As it turns out I am in the Clear!!! I love the SQ Sumo!!! Who cares what it sounds like and and I am able to shape shots as well as any other club I have used. If any of you are wondering whether the Square technology is for you....Try it!!! You won't be disapointed!!!! I would encourage you to also special order the club shaft....I went with the "Adila VS Proto 65r". Much better shaft than the Nike supplied shaft. I'm hitting the ball as long or longer than my much bigger opponents!!! Somethig to be said about good mechanix and good timing!!!

  8. Roger says:

    I bought 1 of the sumo 2 5900 off ebay for 73.00.Have only played 9 holes with it.It was 45 outside & the ball traveled like mid July unbelievable!!I dont think i will be sending mine back.I was in such awe of my drives that i was not able to really focus on my 2nd shot thus not scoring as well as i should have.I really dont care if it conforms or not SEE YOU IN THE FAIRWAY!!

  9. Tyler says:

    The SQ sumo2 5900, PPffff...This thing kicks major behind. Pryor to this club, I had a Cleveland Hi-bore and the FT-9. The SQ is not only the straightest, but furthest. After a good round I lay down and go to bed and cuddle with my SQ Sumo2 for a a few hours. Love the club. IF, and only IF I had something bad to say I would say this...It has an unusal sound, but I think its growing on me

  10. goudar says:

    i had bought sumo 2 driver and have hardly used it its bottom plate has given up .The registration of the club is FAD9G549G2884 . I just read that these clubs are being replaced by your company please inform as to which is the out let that I should approach.
    I live in belgaum ,Karnataka ,India

    thanking you
    goudar

  11. Alan Woodcock says:

    Is there an easy way of determining whether your club is legal ?
    I have been told that on the face of the driver the impact point on the illegal club is a circle of dots whereas on the legal club there are no dots.
    Can anyone confirm this.
    Thanks.

  12. Samuel Tibbits Jr. says:

    I bought one of these drivers new at a Military exchange this month. I didnt know about the recall. I would assume that since the recall was in 2007 that my driver is conforming. How can I be sure.

  13. Samuel Tibbits Jr. says:

    I bought one of these drivers new at a Military exchange this month. I didnt know about the recall. I would assume that since the recall was in 2007 that my driver is conforming. How can I be sure.Samuel Tibbits Jr.

  1. [... Pushing the edge as manufacturers are doing these days, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Although the Sumo² (the square one) had been approved by ...]

  2. [... Pushing the edge as manufacturers are doing these days, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Although the Sumo² (the square one) had been approved by ...]

  3. [... Pushing the edge as manufacturers are doing these days, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Although the Sumo² (the square one) had been approved by ...]

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