Teacher’s Comments: Simply the best driver I’ve played.
A measure of just how much I like the Nike MachSpeed Black lies in the fact that it has replaced the trusty TaylorMade R7 in my bag. For me, the MachSpeed Black is yards longer and much straighter.
I haven’t come to this decision lightly. I actually received the Black from Nike in February (they had to know that it’s snowing in Michigan until late March, but there it was), and carried both drivers in my bag for several rounds, hitting two off each tee.
There’s a wealth of technology in the MachSpeed Black, of which the most prominent is the STr8-Fit adjustment system. It consists of a special shaft tip that screws into an adjustable hosel. Alignment of the shaft into different positions allows you to make eight different adjustments to the lie and face angles.
Mechanically, the change is very easy to accomplish: just insert the shaft and screw it down with the special wrench. However, I had some difficulty figuring out from the diagram which way the shaft actually was supposed to align. It’s based on the symbols on the top of the grip, but even with the guide, it was dicey. I’m a bit thick, I guess. But this difficulty is the only reason why I didn’t grade the club an A+.
I’m also a little concerned about what happens when the time comes for a grip change.
A nice touch with the wrench. It has audible and visual indicators to tell you when you’ve tightened it properly. Or at least, I assume that it has a beep. I can’t hear it.
The adjustability is great, but I think that, like my R7, I’m going to find a position that works and just leave it there. Right now I have it one degree closed, and upright. That works pretty well.
A less obvious technology is the aerodynamic design of the clubhead. I have the MachSpeed Round, and it has a very traditional look at setup. But on the sole, you can see a swept-back molding – Nike calls it the Power Bow and Sole Diffuser – that’s supposed to reduce drag, and thus increase clubhead speed. Faster clubhead speed equals more distance. It’s an equation that works for me. I am absolutely getting more distance out of this driver than with any I’ve played or owned.
Ball flight for me is lower than I am used to, but that’s a good thing, because I’m getting quite a bit of roll.
The shaft on my model is a stock Fubuki, which comes in all the usual stiffness flavors. But if that shaft doesn’t thrill you, don’t despair. Nike has dozens of shafts available, and even more available through special order. There’s got to be one you like in the selection.
Visually, the club is quite nice. I like the black finish – I’ve always liked black clubheads; to me they mean business. The round version that I have also has a more traditional look. It’s large, but doesn’t look obnoxiously so. I think traditionalists will like the looks; I do.
As usual, I can’t tell you anything about the sound of the club, but it has a nice solid feel at impact. I can tell with relative certainty the point of impact on the clubface, which interestingly, I can nearly always verify. There’s something about the texture and composition of the clubface that always seems to leave a ball mark.
I predict it’ll be a long time before the Nike MachSpeed Black is supplanted in my bag.