Nicklaus Golf introduced the Dual Point Driver in 2007 and many including myself thought it was the piece of equipment that was going to put this company on the fast track to driver stardom. The Hackers Paradise was very much looking forward to trying the 2008 version of this driver and finally we got the chance to put it through our testing over the last few weeks. Clay Long, chief of R&D with Nicklaus, introduced the first version of this driver it was based on the center of gravity lined up directly behind the face. With the 2nd model, the one we are testing here, the engineering stayed the same and we were stoked to try it out.
Engineering was something that really blew us away with the 2007 model in that we felt as though this driver was built for just about anybody. It had a hot face, great ball flight, and just flat out worked. The 2008 Nicklaus Fastback arrived at our offices and the first thing we noticed is that they drastically changed the shape of the driver. I have to admit my first thought when seeing it was that we were holding up “The Hammer” from the infomercial you see all the time on The Golf Channel. After careful inspection we learned that this was indeed the correct club. “The head is designed around the CG at the perfect position from the shaft axis,” says Long. “Then we put the center of the face on that position and designed the clubhead around it.” The result is a sort of asymmetrical triangle clubhead. Some traditionalists might find the appearance off-putting. According to Long, “Jack’s a bit like that, but he doesn’t need a limit-dimension 460cc driver.”
Regardless of the size, shape, or anything else, we were definitely looking forward to taking this one out for a spin. On the day of arrival we packed up the driver and a couple of other drivers to compare it with and headed to the range. On today’s testing session there were 4 golfers. Two of them were teaching professionals and the other two of us amateurs. We each were armed with 40 golf balls and after warming up hit the Nicklaus Dual Point Fastback driver. After 10 balls we came back and went over the initial thoughts. All of us kind of had the same feeling. “The driver felt odd”. For me personally, I felt as though I liked the traditional muted sound of the driver, and I actually liked the look quite a bit. The driver looks “mean”. But it feels heavier which of course can be changed via shaft, and the overall feeling from everyone after the rest of the balls were hit was that we lost considerable distance with the Nicklaus Club. In fact one of the testers was showing 20 yards of distance lost compared to the Nike Dymo, Cleveland Monster, Nickent 4DX D-Spec, and 10 yards lost compared to the Ping G10 and Titleist 909D2. That was a little troubling.
Crowded ranges are where we can get great feedback and we were able to get another 16 golfers to try out the Nicklaus Dual Point Fastback Driver. 13 of the 16 players preferred their current driver (many mixed models) to the newer offering from Nicklaus. They all pointed out that the club felt “head heavy” and that it was a “hook machine”. The 3 that did really enjoy the club really liked that visually it sets up for an “inside-out swing” and that kept them on path. Most of the testers thought we were joking in some way when we said that this was the newest model from Nicklaus. In fact we had more than five of the players say “it is one of the worst drivers they have tried in recent years”.
Overall this driver is a bit of a puzzle. With how much we liked the 2007 model we really had high hopes for this one. But it just did not live up to our expectations. With the MSRP at around $300 we just cannot recommend this driver, though everybody has different tastes. We expect Clay Long to be back on his game for the 2009 version and will look forward to reviewing that one.
Till Next Time