The Need For Speed

With hard limits now virtually set on all aspects of golf clubs, and in particular drivers, just where do designers go next?

Golfers still want to hit the ball further so Speed seems to be the answer.

The study of aerodynamics and the driver is nothing new, but there is a greater emphasis on the subject now that just about every other variable has been taken away.  It’s a simple equation – make the clubhead go faster = make the ball go faster = make the ball go further.

You can see it in an number of recent manufacturer designs.  Adams, Callaway, Cleveland, TaylorMade, Nike Golf…they all have clubs available where how fast the clubhead moves throughout the siwng has been addressed.

Does it work?  As an authentic club junkie I always a skeptic but I will tell you from personal testing that yes it does.

A couple examples –

I had a chance to test the TaylorMade SuperFast just yesterday.  Head to head with another “standard” design I made more than a few swings on a launch monitor.  As a scratch golfer for nearly 25 years I am fairly consistent with my swing and launch data but found the SuperFast gained me 3-6 miles per hour in clubhead speed, and nearly 10 mph in ballspeed.  Scary stuff.

An even better testament comes from my experience at Nike Golf’s R&D facility – The Oven, in Texas last month.  I watched fellow scribe and equipment junkie Rick Young (ScoreGolf, among other pubs) get fit for a driver, asking that it simply be based on the best numbers.  As a traditionalist he admits bias to classic shaped equipment but wanted to leave that behind in favour of performance.

So what happened?  Before he knew it he was fit into the new Nike MachSpeed driver.  He was hitting it further and more consistent that any other Nike option.  To his surprise and delight of course.

So is Fast technology for everyone?  No, but it is not just for high-handicap golfers either.  Justin Leonard loves his and I dare you to argue with his PGA Tour record.

So this year (on top of a lesson or two) If you are looking for more distance, be sure to check out some of these “speedy” new designs.

On a related note, have a look at this Nike Golf video about their new MachSpeed driver.

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