Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT Driver Review

At the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show I had the opportunity to try out the new Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT (pronounced “straight fit”) driver, which is Nike Golf’s first adjustable driver, that allows you to change the golf club face, loft, and lie angle. Over the past few months I’ve been playing the Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT driver and like the results I’ve been seeing on the golf course.

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Look and Feel
At first glance the Nike SQ Dymo STR8-Fit has a nice round shape that features a shiny black finish, which has that stealth bomber look. The 460cc clubhead setups up quite nicely when you sole the club and very easy to align to the target line with alignment stripe. When you flip the club over you’ll notice the new rounded folded geometry repositions square mass into a round format.

The wide face and STR8-FIT adapter logo on the face of club, will give you all the confidence when you tee up. The stock shaft is a nice yellow Nike Golf UST Proforce AXIV Core (45.75″), which features a strengthening core material that provides an extremely stable environment at impact, making it easier to swing the club faster and remain in complete control of the club head at all times. Custom shafts are also available. The SQ 360 design grip is designed to look the same no matter what position the club head is in, just like the shaft. The butt end of the grip also features a visual reference to the clubhead position, like what is found in the head cover.

The head cover is worth mentioning because it has two well thought out features: one is the storage pouch for the torque wrench, and the other is the  head positioning reference wheel. Why is this important? It’s important, because you’ll always have easy access to the torque wrench and you also have a visual reference to what position the clubhead is in without having to look down at the hosel. I appreciate the thought process and attention to detail by Nike Golf, to make everything easily accessible.

How Does The STR8-FIT Work?
The creation of STR8-FIT technology was inspired by how Nike Golf Tour athletes set up their equipment to suit each tournament’s course. On the PGA Tour, Nike Golf athletes have the luxury of utilizing the Nike Tour Van, where a staff of Nike club experts can adjust each Nike athlete’s driver to the face and lie angle that they want to perform their best on any given week. This same concept is now being made available to consumers through the STR8-FIT’s wide range of choices in shot shaping with one shaft, one club head, one club.

Simple changes can be made before your round to dramatically correct your ball flight or subtly perfect it through the selection of eight unique head positions from open to close with one club, eliminating the use of multiple shafts and movable weights. For example, if a golfer is pushing, fading or slicing the ball too much and they wish to draw the ball or hit more to the left for a particular course set up, they can change the position of their clubface to a more closed position. If a golfer is hooking, pulling or drawing the ball more than they wish, they can manually change the clubface to a more open position. Club face angles range from a neutral position of zero degrees to both one and two degrees closed or open.

The technology in the NIke SQ Dymo STR8-FIT is quite simple. To adapt the head positions, the player will use a torque wrench (70 in/lbs), which is located in the headcover that comes with each SQ DYMO STR8-FIT driver. Select the desired head position, based on desired ball flight, trajectory, or course conditions. When the head position is “locked in,” a sound indicator (produces a loud beep) and light on the wrench goes off to ensure that the club is ready to be hit. It’s that easy!

During my tests, I found it incredibly easy and comfortable to use the 70 in/lbs torque wrench to unlock, adjust, and lock the clubhead into place. Another nice detail on the torque wrench, is that it tells you what side should be facing the clubhead and which way to tighten and loosen the clubhead. I also really liked the audible and visual feedback of the wrench, so I new when the clubhead was securely attached.

Performance
All SQ DYMO and SQ DYMO² STR8-FIT drivers are engineered from the ground up with the express purpose of optimizing the launch and spin by loft. Distance is maximized in every loft by varying multiple specifications from lie angle, to MOI and CG placement, to overall head size and face.

The first thing you’ll notice when you hit the STR8-FIT is the pleasing sound that the driver makes when you hit the ball off the tee. The ball comes flying off the face of the club producing the optimal medium-high trajectory on my drives, that produce a lot of extra carry.

The STR8-FIT is also a forgiving driver on mis-hits, thanks to the low center of gravity and MOI in the square mass that is repositioned in the rear of the the driver. Off center hits seemed to go nearly as far as those hit in the sweetspot of the driver. As you adjust the clubs position, you start to see the impact the different lie and loft angles can make on your drives as well. According to Nike Golf’s comprehensive tests you can see a 45 yard difference between maximum left and maximum right positions.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the results of my drives after using the STR8-FIT, I was blown away by how much better my driving accuracy became after fine tuning the club position that suited my swing. I have a tendency to push the ball or what I like to call a power fade, and by closing the driver face 2 degrees, it helped with promoting more of draw to my drives.

How Does The STR8-FIT Compare to the TaylorMade R9 Driver?
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to test both drivers simultaneously over the same period of time and the results are quite interesting.

Before I go into my results, I want to point out the obvious difference between both clubs and that is the R9 features movable weights in addition eight adjustable club positions (TaylorMade recently released the R9 460 (no MWT) that I did not test), and the STR8-Fit does not use movable weights. The other big difference is clubhead size, with the R9 being a 422cc  and the STR8-FIT is a 460cc.

One of the first things I noticed when hitting both the STR8-FIT and the R9, is how much more forgiving I found the STR8-FIT to be on mis-hits. My off center hits with the STR8-FIT went a lot straighter and 3-5 yards longer than with the R9.

In terms of ball flight and distance, I found the STR8-FIT outperformed the R9. The ball flight and trajectory was much more desirable with the STR8-Fit, resulting in drives that were 7-10 yards longer on average. The R9 would produce a low-medium trajectory ball flight, that didn’t carry as nearly as far.

I also found that STR8-FIT, much easier to adjust the clubhead positions using the torque wrench, that fits comfortably into your hands. As mentioned before, the audio and visual feedback are great for determining exactly when the clubhead is locked into position. What I also liked was the head positioning reference wheel found inside the torque wrench pouch and on the butt end of the grip. With the R9 you have to look at the hosel every time to determine the head position.

Overall the Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT is a phenomenal driver, that provides maximum distance and forgiveness, unprecendented amount of control to shape your shots, and eight ways to attack any golf course.

Men’s: Loft Options 8.5 (RH), 9.5 (RH/LH), 10.5 (tested)(RH/LH), 11.5 (RH/LH), HL (RH)
Women’s : Loft Options 11.5 (RH/LH), HL (RH)

Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT Driver MSRP: $540.00


Author: Rob Hayashida

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