With design parameters for drivers being so strict these days per USGA regulations, equipment makers have had to find other ways to improve performance in that category. One of those has been through enhanced aerodynamics, and the latest addition to Nike’s SQ driver line, the MachSpeed Black, is a good example of that.
Released to retailers late last year, the MachSpeed Black employs a tapered heel geometry as well as a toe-side aerodynamic PowerBow design to promote smooth air flow around the driver head for quicker acceleration. To be sure, increases in speed can also increase drag force. But the PowerBow combines with the club’s sole diffuser to keep airflow smooth and close to the driver surface. That actually reduces drag and encourages faster acceleration. And drag reduction throughout the downswing allows the club to reach its true maximum speed, enabling the golfer to deliver maximum energy to the ball.
The basic theory behind the SQ MachSpeed Black, which comes in both round and square head shapes, is simple: Faster Goes Farther. And while increased club head speed is mostly a result of improved club head aerodynamics, the lightweight, 50-gram Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki shafts that are standard with each driver also enhance that attribute.
The MachSpeed Black is designed to be more forgiving than previous SQ drivers, thanks largely to the shape of its 460 cc head, which is tall and tapers quickly. Nike engineers also looked for this club to produce a lower ball flight, and lower spin rates, in another effort to improve distance. At the same time, they outfitted the driver with the company’s STR8-Fit technology, giving golfers the ability to utilize eight different clubface angle options – and to find the one that is ideal for their games.
According to Nike officials, the round-head model is for golfers who want more workability and shot shaping, while the square version is for those looking for stability and forgiveness. Men’s models are available in five lofts – 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and HL (for High Loft) – and only the 9.5 and 10.5 are made for both right- and left-handed players. The rest are for righties only. Women’s versions come in 11.5 and HL, right-handed only.