Sometimes in life things come to those who wait. Most of the THP regular readers know that I have the patience of a 2 year old. When something new comes out and it fits me, I just want to have it. This is most certainly true with drivers. You see, I have never found something that truly fit my game. When I started this slippery slope twenty years ago, I have always been able to find irons that worked. That has never been the case for the driver.
I have always played irons for years but something about the driver causes me to change them out much more frequently. In the last two years I have played numerous drivers and all have had one thing in common. They worked, but just not quite well enough. Either they had the “hot face” I wanted but lacked forgiveness. Or were the complete opposite and had the forgiveness but just lacked that distance I needed to play the game the way I am used to.
Within the last 16 months, here is a rundown of what I have played. Not just tried mind you, but played for months.
1. Cobra F Speed – Liked the hot face, but lacked control and the sound was not for me.
2. Nike Sasquatch Sumo 2 – Liked the control but got no distance compared to previous driver
3. Ping G10 – Got good distance and control but not great in either category.
I was of the mindset that the Ping worked just fine and I would be okay until the next thing caught my eye over the next twelve months. Then I had a chance to speak with John Hoeflich about the Nickent 4DX Driver and I was curious. Not really dying to try it, but curious nonetheless. When one of the greatest club makers of my generation (or any generation for that matter) suggests that you give something a try, it is worth it. I will get into the actual club review in a second, but first I want to cover my preconceived thoughts on this club and the technology.
Interchangeable shaft technology was always a little “out there” to me. When a club works why would I want to tinker with it was my thought, and apparently the other equipment companies thought the same thing. But in reality, that is not really the idea behind this philosophy. Once it was explained to me by Nickent, it made much more sense. Different courses and conditions require different ball flights but let’s be honest, how many of us will actually change it out? Not many. But when you get fitted and just change shafts in two seconds and can try many configurations without worrying how many the fitter can carry, that is something entirely different. Hence the reason you see almost every company out there “copying” this technology for their 09 clubs. Nickent’s idea is that you will be properly fitted for this driver with the correct shaft and then if you decide later to change it out, it can be done easily without having to pay a professional to do it. Pure genius if you ask me.
Now that the “talked about” part of this driver is out of the way, let me tell you a little bit about the head design. I spoke with Nickent and here are the bullet points on the driver:
Ultra-Thin Titanium Crown: Brazing an ultra-thin 0.4mm titanium crown reduces the weight in the crown by 20 grams, freeing up weight to be placed where you need it most, in the heel and toe to maximize performance.
A-Frame Face: The patented A-Frame face Technology raises the sweet-spot high on the face so solid contact is made more consistently.
XW Inserts: Nickent’s XW inserts are the most sophisticated weight technology in the game. The polymer insert helps dampen vibration while the weights in each port help achieve a high MOI (moment of inertia) for maximum clubhead stability and forgiveness.
As most of our readers know, we leave the tech stuff to other places and get down to the real thing here…How it performs on the course. So after speaking with Nickent they sent me one of the drivers and two shafts. I must admit I was skeptical still about this whole thing even though speaking with them made it make sense. I want to add one thing that never seems to come up when reviewing clubs. The Headcover. The head cover is a gorgeous green and black cover with yellow piping. It really pops when in a bag.
So once the driver was unpackaged and ready to go, we went out to my local range to test it out. There were four of us to test this one and as usual we had handicaps ranging from scratch to 20. The first thing I noticed is that I definitely preferred the Proforce V2 shaft compared to the Fujikura. The difference to me was like night and day. But I was alone in that thought as the other three players preferred the Fuji.
First up to try out the club was a scratch player that normally plays a TaylorMade R7 TP model. On first reaction he said the same thing we kept hearing more of throughout the day. “The face of this thing is HOT”. He compared it to his normal driver and said it was 5-10 yards longer. In all fairness to his TaylorMade, the rest of us could not see any difference. Next up was a 4 handicap that hits the ball so far it should be illegal. He normally plays a Callaway FT-5 with an X shaft. He loved the look and feel of the club but said it would not be fair to review it based on the shaft not being stiff enough for his swing. To the rest at the range, they looked great. Long with a slight draw. The third person to tee it up is about an 18 handicap. He really enjoyed the feel of this club and said it was on the top of his list to look at for new purchases. I must say watching all of them hit the club had me foaming at the mouth.
So last but not least I decide to give it a try. As mentioned earlier in the review I have been playing a Ping G10 and have had no real problems with it. As soon as I put this driver in my hand, there was a different feeling. The impact felt more solid. And the results were longer tee shots. I was really hitting the ball well and it was flying out there. So we wrapped it up for the day and I could not wait to take this thing to the course the next day. The others were clamoring for more.
So the next morning I am excited to tee it up with this new club. At the first tee the others are looking at me like “okay, lets see it”. I hit the first two balls right into the water with a big slice. Of course like any golfer I blame the club and go on to finish the hole and move past it. So everyone is waiting to see what I do next since I still have the Ping G10 in my bag. What did I do? I went on to hit 14 of the final 15 fairways and my average drive distance was 8-10 yards or so farther than my Ping. When I did miss, which was only once, it was not by much.
So after the round I figured it had to be something in my swing and not the club. And maybe it was. But the next round with the Evolver had very similar results. That morning with this same driver I hit 14 out of 16 fairways. I also realized that when I was used to hitting 6 or 7 iron into the green I was now hitting 7, 8, and even 9 iron into the same greens. The results were in the score. Both days I shot great rounds and I give the credit to Nickent for this one.
So as of right now I am convinced that this is the driver for me. That I have finally found the “hole” in my bag that can stay with me for a few years. That is of course till the next thing comes out. But right now, Nickent has won me over with this wonderful piece of equipment that actually does live up to claims. That is a rare thing in golf equipment these days, so it must be something special.
The driver is available in 8, 9, 10.5, & 12 degrees.
The head size is 454 cc
It is available both RH & LH
And it can be fitted with some of the most amazing shafts you could imagine.
For more information on this Nickent 4DX Evolver click Here.
Till Next Time