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Nike SasQuatch Tour Driver Review

Aug. 5, 2006     By     Comments (31)

The Nike SasQuatch has found its way into the bags of Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie. Will it find its way into yours, too?

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver HeroWhen we first scheduled our Nike SasQuatch (SQ) review back in May for August 4, we did not know Tiger Woods would have won the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool less than two weeks prior after pulling his SQ only once in competitive play.

Only a few years after being dissed by Phil Mickelson as "inferior equipment," Nike has built some incredibly well performing golf balls and clubs as well as a large stable of PGA Tour pros to use them.

During the SasQuatch's development, many believed "SasQuatch was merely a code name and that "SQ" or some other product name would be used upon release. Of course, the average person knows only that Michelle Wie and Tiger Woods play the SasQuatch, and "Woods" and "Wie" carry a lot more weight than any individual product.

I'm no Tiger Woods (or Michelle Wie), but I've given the SQ a thorough test. Read on to see what I thought of the driver that wasn't used to win the 2006 Open Championship.

Design and Technology
Building upon the rather successful Nike Ignite, the SasQuatch has a lot in common with Tiger's previous driver. That starts with the face: like the Ignite, the SQ is built with what Nike calls "NexTi" titanium. NexTi is a "layered yet tightly compressed titanium that is thinner, lighter, and stronger than the current standard of Beta-Titanium." Gone is the "pull-face" technology touted in the Ignite - we hardly knew ye!

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver Soles
The finish on the bottom of the SasQuatch makes a perfect mirror so that the girly men you're playing with can check their makeup and hair when you blow a drive past them.

The SQ - like the Slingshot OSS irons and the Slingshot hybrid - pushes the weight back in a swooping grey piece of metal. On the irons and the hybrid, that piece of metal is called the "Slingback." On the SQ, it's called the "PowerBow." The "PowerBow" - the appearance of which I'll discuss later - does several things.

First, it creates what Nike calls "Max Dimension." According to Nike, the "trailing volume of mass apply more power and control to the ball without overstepping the 460cc limit." In addition to the 460cc limit, the rules of golf state that a clubhead can't be any longer (front to back) than it is wide (heel to toe). The SasQuatch's "PowerBow" and "Max Dimension" come close: the SQ is 4.7116 inches wide and a whopping 4.664 inches deep. The Tour version is a bit shorter front to back (with a deeper face).

Finally, the PowerBow creates what Nike has called "Max Back CG." This - as is popular these days - moves the center of gravity (CG) down and back in the clubhead to increase leverage, expand the sweet spot, and resist twisting. Nearly every driver (and fairway wood, and hybrid, and game-improvement iron) employs methods to lower and deepen the center of gravity, and the SQ is no different.

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver Faces
The relatively clean faces of the SQ - note the deeper face on the Tour version (back) and the non-Tour's alignment aid.

Appearance
The SasQuatch is one of many 460cc drivers, but it may be one of the most unique when it comes to looks. At address, the large grey "PowerBow" band - which is much smaller on the "Tour" model - adds a visual distraction that requires an adjustment period. After adjusting, many will tell you they don't even notice the PowerBow and that the metallic black portions of the driver's crown are all they see, but I always noticed the PowerBow, and I have the Tour version with the smaller PowerBow.

The PowerBow is smaller on the Tour version because the Tour version has, in Nike's words, "a taller face height with less breadth than the 460." Nike claims that this "unique profile delivers a more boring trajectory and the increased workability desired by better players." I was simply happy to have a driver that looked a bit more traditional at address.

One final difference between the Tour and the non-Tour models: the non-Tour model features a pair of arrows on the top of the crown to indicate the center of the clubface. The Tour version is free of this alignment aid. The center of each clubface is void of grooves, with white punch dots around the area and black grooves on the heel and toe.

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver Crowns
The PowerBow on the Tour version (left) is much smaller than on the non-Tour (right). Thank goodness!

The satin grey PowerBow finish wraps around to the toe and just under the club, but the sole of the SasQuatch is bright and shiny: a bright yellow paint towards the back of the club provides the recognition factor companies seek, and the shiny polished titanium serves as a temporary mirror.

The sole configuration between the Tour and non-Tour versions vary slightly, with the non-Tour version clearly pushing a little more weight towards the heel than the Tour version, but that change is most obvious from above - the PowerBow bulges in the non-Tour version on the heel side of center.

Performance
The SasQuatch, I've heard, has one of the highest moment of inertia (MOI) ratings in the game. MOI can be thought of as "resistance to twisting" on off-center impact. The benefit of a high MOI is a "forgiving" club.

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver Toes
The Tour version features a deeper face with a shallower depth that allows for increased workability.

MOI is one of the recent buzzwords, and with the "Slingback" design in the Slingshot OSS irons and the Slingshot hybrid and the PowerBow in the SasQuatch, Nike club designer Tom Stites has seemingly attempted to maximize the benefits of MOI. "Screw tradititon, let's put a big grey blob on the back of the driver if it makes it more forgiving" he seems to have said.

And so Nike did, and it's tough to question Tom's passion for MOI after hitting the driver a few times: it's awfully forgiving. In one round, I hit a ball on the heel that I would have expected to start well left of the fairway and "heel cut" back into play. Instead, it started just left of center and cut slightly just into the right rough. It was almost as if the club was too forgiving. High, low, toe- or heel-ward, the SasQuatch does what it can to keep the ball in the fairway.

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver Vs R7
Next to an r7 TP 425, the 460cc SQ Tour (right), the SQ Tour only looks a little bit bigger. The standard version, on the other hand, looks a bit unusual.

Though nobody plans to hit the ball off-center, it's nice to believe that missing the sweet spot by a half inch won't result in a missed fairway and a long approach shot. But for those who do find the sweet spot, they'll find a long driver that produces a solid low, boring trajectory. The center of the clubface is rather hot, and even the easiest swings that find the sweet spot shoot the ball with incredible speed. Launch monitor testing confirms that the SasQuatch produces a fairly low amount of spin (the non-Tour model, with a lower, deeper CG may produce more but was not test).

I was a bit hesitant to begin working the ball with the SasQuatch, given all the talk I'd heard about how straight the driver is, but my fears were unfounded. The SQ Tour is as workable a driver as exists today, with the possible exception of perhaps Titleist's 905S, and can shape the ball in both directions with surprising ease.

It's that ease of shot shaping and one other factor that has made the SQ Tour my "confidence driver." The large clubhead has the odd effect of making the shaft seem shorter than it really is, inspiring confidence that allows me to pull driver and hit shots full of confidence.

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver Shaft
Nike would like you to believe that the Diamana 83 that comes standard on the Nike SasQuatch Tour was the shaft Tiger played for awhile, but we know better…

My only nit? It is more a personal preference than one based in fact, and it's this: I prefer a deeper face than even the SQ Tour offers - more like those on the Titleist 905S, the TaylorMade r7 425 TP, or even the Callaway FT-3 Tour. Several times I hit the ball excessively high on the SQ's relatively shallow face, losing 50+ yards in pop-up fashion. Teeing the ball down lower than normal helped, but I find that teeing the ball down makes it tougher for me to hit a high draw some of the tees at my home course demand.

Specifications
As I've discussed, the Nike SasQuatch is available in two versions: standard and "Tour." The regular version comes with a Nike-branded Diamana for SasQuatch by Mitsubishi Rayon, while the Tour version comes with the shaft Nike likes to tell you Tiger Woods used for awhile before switching to the Grafalloy BiMatrix - the Diamana 83. In reality, his shaft costs about $200 more. Still, it's a nice shaft.

The Tour model is available in lofts of 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10.5° all measuring 45". The non-Tour model adds "Lucky 13" and "Sweet 16" models measuring 44.5". All but the 8.5° and the Sweet 16 are available for lefties. Shaft flexes for the Tour model are X, S, and R, while the non-Tour adds an A (senior) flex.

Custom shaft options include the Aldila NV 65 or 75 and the Grafalloy ProLaunch 65 in a variety of flexes. Though normal pricing for both the Tour and non-Tour version is $299, custom shafts will often run $349.

Nike Sasquatch Tour Driver Headcover
Tiger hides his SasQuatch under his talking Tiger headcover; you may want to do something similar rather than carry the stock (and very garish) headcover.

Conclusion
The Nike SasQuatch Tour is one of the most stable, forgiving drivers on the market today. Once I adjusted to the PowerBow (and, admittedly, it was easier on the Tour version with the smaller PowerBow), my confidence grew and this driver is now the one you'll find in my bag when my driving needs a little self-esteem boost. Despite its forgiving nature on mis-hits, the SQ Tour should satisfy the shotmaking needs of better players, and the SQ version will likely help the mid-handicapper looking for a lot of forgiveness.

At $299 for both versions, customers can focus instead on choosing the model that suits them best, not the one they can afford like some other companies' "pro" drivers.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (31)

Discussion

  1. golfslo says:

    I'm a believer... been using my Tour version for several months now... shot even par on the front nine for the first time on my home course thanks to a lot of long straight drives! it did, however, take me a while to get consistent with it. I have a tendency to swing for the fences with it.

  2. Nathan says:

    I demo'd the Nike SQ (non-tour) 9.5° this weekend at my local course. It is the first time I played a 460cc driver and it was much easier to hit than I expected. I currently use a King Cobra Ti and have a hard time with the bigger drivers. Not the case with the SQ. I think I'll try the tour model before I purchase though. Thanks for the advice.

  3. Mallard T. Drake says:

    I am sold on my SQ, non-tour. The gray powerbow is no big deal. It tends to fade away when I am standing over the ball. The forgiveness of the club is remarkable. I will hit a toe-shot and feel pretty disgusted with the ball strike and find that it is still 230 yards out in the fairway. And when I catch one, it just goes. Before getting the SQ, I probably averaged 220-230 with an R7. Now I am more like 250 with occasional blasts into the 270-280 range.

    My only gripe is the headcover. Not how it looks but how hard it is to replace on the club. I had to brace the grip on the ground and use two hands to force the cover over the head. A couple of rounds of that and the cover was history.

  4. Mark Summers says:

    I purchased the non-tour SQ a couple of months ago. I'm a boggie golfer who has always shyed away from hitting the driver, simply because I've always been inconsistent with it. Since I bought the SQ I've been able to hit straighter and farther than with any other driver I've hit. I consistently hit the fairway now and drives of 300 yards aren't out of the ordinary. My biggest problem now is knowing when not to hit the driver so I don't hit through the fairway.

  5. supah says:

    I just got a Nike SQ 10.5° non-tour driver and I love it. I dont even notice the powerbow! Easily hit long and straight drives, even when I misshit it goes straight.

    Getting the headcover back on the club just takes some practise and a special technique. After using it 2-3 times the headcover goes on and off with ease.

  6. Ashley Harron says:

    The SQ design is one of the best if not the best ive seen and felt yet. I used to have a Callaway Big Bertha 454 and was hiting a high fade with that and then i switched over to the SQ tour and have being hitting a high draw ever since. OK it took me about 2 weeks and a couple of lessons to get used to but now im hammering the ball slightly over 300yrds and I play off 19!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Jared Toops says:

    I got the Nike Sasquatch Tour not too long ago, and I love it. I upgraded from a Cobra F-Speed, and noticed the difference within minutes of having the driver. I averaged about a 260 yard drive with my cobra, and jumped up to about 290-300 yards average driving distance with the SasQuatch tour. You are right about the head making the shaft look shorter- It seems at least an inch shorter at setup. And even being larger than most 460cc drivers, it is lighter and easier to hit. I would reccommend this driver to anyone reading this review.

  8. Philip Manougian says:

    This driver is definetly not going to be improved on by too much in the years to come. I have a SasQuatch regular flex 10.5 degree. It is almost all that i have hoped for. The problem is it gives me to much thought to hitting big. Sure, you can really go big and straight. but completely overdoing it is a problem and this driver cannot fix everything. Anothing problem is the size. Not the head size, i like that part, but the lenght is too big for me and im 5ft 4. i mean com on, they really have to be CUSTOM FIT for people who are not in nike's eyes as perfect. Besides that, this club will never go out of style for im going to guess about 7 years. (you can quote me on that). even if it does, it is still going to be a great club. even when you kids start using it when they pick up the game. just make sure you have it cut down a little bit =)

  9. Ron Skinner says:

    I demo'd the Nike (non tour)Sumo 4950 8.5 degree today, I had been playing with technology 6 or 7 years old and let me tell you this is going to change my golf life. Not only can I hit this club straight the distance is unbelievable-300+ is a mere formality now, before it was an occasioanal phenomenon. Seriously, I bought the thing for just under 300 and I truly believe it was the best money I've ever spent on golf. I just can't wait to play against my buddies.

  10. bob says:

    I actually like the the look of the headcover, mine goes on the club fairly easily, my biggest problem is getting the headcover off.

  11. Dent says:

    I bought the Nike Sasquatch 460. I absolutely love it, I hit it straight almost every time. I am hitting it a bit farther also. I love the sound and the weight of the driver is just perfect.

  12. Muts says:

    I bought the Nike Sasquatch Tour 9.5 degree driver and it has helped me tremendously. This club is REALLY forgiving and if you hit it well, the ball will go a looong way. Even on mis-hits, the ball oesn`t really go astray. Great Driver!! Don`t have a problem with the headcover.

  13. Joe says:

    Purchased the 9.5 (non-tour) about a month ago. At first, I was hesistant to buy the club ... it was the "Nike" thing; but after test driving several others, this driver came out on top. Smooth feel, and mis-hits are forgiving as the club doesn't want to twist in my hand like some others. Out on the course I was impressed. With some added work on my swing, the driver has surely improved my game. When I slice it's gentle and forgiving, Actually its more of a fade now, and when its hit straight and true, It allows me to hit some unbelievable drives in the 300-320 yd range, compared to 220 if I was lucky with my old driver. I've been very happy with the results thus far! For the first time I’ve been able to shoot into the upper thirties on nine. If it wasn’t for my crappy putting skills, I may shoot par or just under in the near future due to the gains my driver has given me. Time to go practice putting. Hope this helps some reluctant sceptics.

  14. kelly says:

    I got mine for a hell of a deal because i worked at a golf course for several years, and decided to get all new clubs and i was going to hold nothing back for the driver. it is by far the longest club i have ever hit, and you can shape your shots very easily.

  15. Moeti says:

    I believe it's the best driver any mid-high handicapper can use. Goes along way without too much effort. I've had mine for a couple of months and am very happy with it.

  16. keef says:

    the best driver i have ever hit. if u have a fade then u can forget about it. i used to have a massive fade and since i got this driver, nothing but straight and sometimes a slight draw. this is a definate keeper :grin:

  17. Larry says:

    I play with a lot of traditional clubs, including my 1974 muscle back adjustable swing weight Wilson Staff forged blades and PowerBilt Persimmon head fairway woods. Over the years I have won many long drive competitions at my local clubs during tournaments with my Persimmon head driver. As I have aged - I am now 59 - I have searched and searched for a titanium driver, the feel of which I have liked, and that I could hit consistenly well. My son got a SQ 460 as a gift abnd I tried it. Only one word for it and me - awesome. Once again I am hitting the ball over 300 yards and consistently in the fairway. It has restored the distance I had lost with age using the old equipment - and the quality of my game. I cannot see replacing this driver any time soon unless I wear it out!

  18. Curtis says:

    I just purchases the sasquatch tour version 10.5* Stiff with the diamana 83 blue board. I can say that this driver looks amazing. I switched from my Titleist 905r 10.5* V2 Stiff mainly because i found the driver to be too sloppy on mis hits. I am a 5 handicapper and when i do miss hit the ball the sasquatch tour wont magnify it as much and wow does it go a long way!

  19. Golferdoug says:

    I must be the only one in America that tried the Sasquatch and wasn't impressed. Had a chance to check it out at a demo day, they had all the gadgets hooked up so you could check swings speed, spin, launch angle, etc. Had no trouble hitting it on the sweet spot, very easy to swing but wasn't thrilled with the lack of distance. I'm not an extremely long hitter, about 270-280 carry but I couldn't get over about 260 with the Nike. Next booth was TaylorMade, hit the, at the time, new 425 and slammed it down the middle about 290 half a dozen times. Just felt better on the swing and definitely felt smoother on contact. Doesn't mean much, though, cuz I have a couple friends who have it (the sasquatch) and they are definitely hitting longer and more consistantly. I'll stick to TaylorMade for now, my Burner is the club for my swing I guess. Hit 'em long.

  20. mikey b says:

    I purchased the sq tour about 9 months ago.At first i hit the the ball directly straight,but straight right.I found out soon it was because i had the ball to far back in my stance and was swinging way harder than i need to.As a fairly new golfer(about 2 years)when i finally came off the money to buy clubs other than from wal-mart i realized that you get what you pay for.i also have a set of slingshot irons and cant see giving up any of my clubs.THANKS NIKE YOU SAVED MY GAME.Now i destroy my friends that have been golfing all there lives!!!!

  21. Rob D says:

    I purchased the SQ 10.5 (non-tour model) last year and after replacing the regular flex shaft for a stiff flex I'm very happy with it. I also had problems with putting the headcover on but it got better after a month of use. I usually prefere the larger club face as on the tour model, but I'm able to hit very straight drives with the non-tour model and that's what I was looking for. This club isn't going to fix your swing flaws but it's a fun club to use when ur game is on.

  22. Brian Lutz says:

    I've had my first SQ tour for about a year. Its an 8.5 bent to a 7.5 because I like a bit of an open face. I had an NV 75 in it, but i switched to the new UST Irod Driver shaft. It's 45.5" and I cannot believe the results. I played about 50 rounds with it and if i missed a fairway it's because I was either in the rough or in a bunker. I can only recall 6 balls in the trees. I can easily bomb drives. Even when I do not want to, I still do. The longest drive I had was about 360 yards (it was downhill and down wind, but c'mon! I had an 8 iron into a par 5!) If you want a long accurate driver, then get a SQ.

  23. shane leizear says:

    i have recently picked up a sumo2 tour driver. my first time with this driver put my cobra to shame. just wondering when nike will start distributing to the general public.

  24. Justin says:

    I am buyin an sq tour with a aldila nv stiff is it worth it and is it better than my sq 4950 second year regular model

  25. Mike Dannenhauer says:

    I got my nike SQ non-tour version for christmas this last year and I love it!! I used to hit around 190yd. with my old taylormade r540. i now average around 235 and have hit a couple over 300!!! It is the best club i have ever bought and will only replace it with a newer version :grin: :grin:

  26. joey herold says:

    I am about to purchase a sq driver but I do not know which one to get? help? I usually hit is neutral or a slight draw...

  27. Danny says:

    :mrgreen:
    I bought this club a couple of months ago down at american golf near my home. The best club i have ever bought in my life!!! :grin:
    every drive streight and long everydrive i can hit over 300 yds and im only 16

    i would recdcomend to anyone and everyone :cool:

  28. Danny says:

    I am about to purchase a sq driver but I do not know which one to get? help? I usually hit is neutral or a slight draw...

    Hi there
    i would reccomend the tour one
    i know its the older model but i assure you its the best

  29. Black Ops Golf says:

    :grin: this club rocks it boasts a traditional look and feel with great power

  30. meonline2 says:

    i love this club so much i can hit it 150 yards and im only 13....i have so much slice into the ball i can hit it on the fairway on a short dogleg right.... (^^^)

  1. [... When we first scheduled our Nike SasQuatch (SQ) review back in May for August 4, we did not know Tiger Woods would have won the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool ...]

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