Nike SasQuatch Tour Driver Review

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.

Nike Slingshot Hybrid Review

Nike entered the golf market only a few short years ago. Originally just another means for Tiger Woods to collected obscene amounts of money Nike has begun to offer products that perform. Nike’s Slingshot Hybrid is one such item.

Nike Slingshot Hybrid HeroYou can all thank your lucky stars that you were born in the age of super-forgiving drivers, game-improvement irons, high-MOI putters, and easy-to-hit hybrids. If hitting a 2-iron off the fairway sounds less pleasurable than a visit to the dentist, take heart. There is an answer for you and it may just come in the form of the space-age Nike Slingshot Hybrid.

A fantastic long-, mid-iron or 5-wood replacement, the Slingshot Hybrid provides loads of technology, forgiveness, and accuracy.

I have officially become a hybrid groupie. There are enough options in today’s hybrid market to satisfy the most discriminating golfers with almost every conceivable look, feel, weight configuration, and loft available. How does Nike’s Slingshot Hybrid stack up to other manufacturer’s hybrids? Read on to find out…

Nickent 3DX Pro Irons Review

Nickent, long known for their hybrids, has leapt into the iron-making game with one of the biggest names in iron design. Does John Hoeflich’s first effort live up to the “Pro” title?

Nickent 3Dx Pro Irons HeroNickent, long renowned for their hybrids, took a big step forward when it hired John B. Hoeflich as senior vice president of product development. Hoeflich’s design credits include the Tommy Armour 845 irons, the original Titleist DCIs, and recently the TaylorMade RAC irons and wedges. A while ago, Donald MacKenzie wrote “Look for new Hoeflich-designed clubs to debut by year’s end under the Nickent name.”

Those clubs are here, and they’re the Nickent 3DX Pro irons. Though one may wonder why any iron labeled “pro” features such a game improvement look to them, with cavity backs and low weights, one only needs to consider that the TaylorMade LT2, the Titleist 755, and the Callaway Fusions and X-Tours all see a lot of play on the PGA Tour and all are far from muscleback irons.

I currently play the Titleist 735.CM or the TaylorMade RAC MB TP. Do these Nickent 3DX Pros kick them out of my bag? Read on to find out…

Callaway X-Tour Forged Wedge Review

Callaway’s X-Tour wedges are a mixture of old and new, especially the models with the PM grind and MD grooves.

Callaway X-Tour WedgeCallaway Golf built its position in the golf business on the strength of its Big Bertha woods. The company later became a force in the irons market, its Odyssey brand of putters is a top-seller, and its golf balls are gaining traction at retail.

Wedges, however, probably aren’t what you think of in conjunction with Callaway. But the company’s lead golf club designer is a fellow named Roger Cleveland – the founder of Cleveland Golf and designer of many classic wedges, like the enduring 588 line. The X-Tour wedges are the third line of forged wedges he has designed for Callaway. Is the third time the charm?

Roger Cleveland left his namesake company and joined Callaway Golf in 1996. He combined with Big Bertha inventor Richard C. Helmstetter on several designs, including the X-12 irons. The duo collaborated on the Big Bertha Tour Series wedges in 1997, which were cast from stainless steel and aluminum bronze, and the cult favorite X-14 Pro Series wedges in 2000.

Titleist Forged 695MB Irons Review

Titleist’s Forged 695MB is not for the weekend duffer, but for the golfer who takes tremendous pleasure in hitting a forged, muscleback iron on the button.

Titleist 695MB HeroLet’s cut to the chase: you’re either interested in Titleist’s 695MB irons or you’re not. If you’re looking for a forgiving iron with no feel, these aren’t the irons for you. But if you’re a single-digit handicapper with a penchant for the buttery sweet feel of a modern muscleback, read on.

Titleist’s Forged 695MB Irons are the successor to the previous model, the 690.MB (preceded themselves by the dotless 690MB). Sister set to the Forged 695CB, the 695MB offers an evolutionary, not revolutionary, step forward in the line.

If Titleist’s irons were placed on a scale with the more forgiving Forged 775.CB irons and the rare Forged 660 at the other, the 695MB would occupy just beside the 660 and a good bit away from the combo 735.CM.

But again, we already knew that. What’s new in these models and how well they work, why, that’s what the rest of the review will tell you. Read on, but bring your proof-of-handicap…

MacGregor MACTEC NVG2 Tour Driver Review

MacGregor’s new MACTEC NVG2 Tour driver is aimed at skilled golfers, but packs plenty of forgiveness.

MacGregor MACTEC NVG2 Tour HeroOne of the most impressive drivers I hit all of last year was the MacGregor MACTEC NVG. I played it for several weeks before writing a positive review of the driver. In short, I found it long, loud, and very straight.

A year later, you can add another adjective to my description of the MACTEC NVG: “discontinued.” That’s right. Thanks to the ever-decreasing length of the product cycle in the golf business, MacGregor launched two new versions of the driver this January. I’ve had the chance to play several rounds with the new MACTEC NVG2 Tour driver, giving me the chance to decide whether to add “improved” to the MACTEC adjective collection.

Grey Hawk Golf Club (LaGrange, OH) Review

Grey Hawk will drop the jaws of the higher handicapper, but it fails to appeal to better players and fans of architecture.

Grey Hawk LogoGrey Hawk Golf Club in LaGrange, OH is a residential golf course built in 2004. 45 minutes from Cleveland, the course is a bit out of the way, but worth the trip if only to see what warranted its inclusion in Golf Digest’s “Best New Affordable Public Courses” list. A friend and I visited the course in late June, 2006 to give the course a look. Measuring anywhere between 7079 and 5091 yards, Grey Hawk offers a linksy Florida blend at reasonable prices.

Before we begin, we’d like to thank forum member Mark (aka “ezmoney5150“) for the invitation. If I’ve ever played with a more gregarious fellow, I can’t remember it. Mark’s company made what could have been a very dull round much more interesting.

Callaway X460 Driver Review

Will a new sole and an extra six cubic centimeters make the X460 that much better than the Big Bertha 454?

Callaway X460 HeroStarting with the original Big Bertha, Callaway has always been associated with quality, high-performance drivers. Nearly every company has rushed to the 460cc limit, although Titleist took their time getting the 905R out. Callaway quickly released the Big Bertha Titanium 454 and came close to the limit but the Fusion
was actually the first Callaway driver to reach 460cc. So what could Callaway possibly do to improve on the already popular 454 and, more importantly, does the X460 pass the grade?

Golfers all seemed to like and praise the 454, including David Mobley who used a 454 to blast a 377-yard drive to win the 2004 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. Callaway wanted a driver to not only replace the 454 but to also improve performance and provide an alternative to the FT-3. The FT-3 remains Callaway’s flagship driver, but not everyone can get used to the corked sound of the titanium-composite driver. So the engineers sought out to make not just a replacement to the 454 but a quality, tour-performing driver.

Callaway HX Tour Golf Balls

Callaway’s HX Tour ball has been slightly redesigned for 2006, with changes to the cover and the production process.

Callaway HX Tour BallCallaway Golf’s HX Tour golf balls are among the best-selling balls at retail and also enjoy strong usage numbers on tour. While the HX Tour and HX Tour 56 still look longingly up at Titleist’s Pro V1x and Pro V1, Callaway’s flagship balls have actually outpaced Titleist in major championship wins on the PGA and LPGA tours over the last two years (thanks to Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson, Michael Campbell, and even Nike-using Tiger Woods).

This year sees the introduction of a revamped HX Tour ball, known as the “Improved” HX Tour. Callaway claims the balls are more durable and more consistent than the original model. We put them to the test to see how they compare to last year’s model.