The New Square Drivers - Is It Hip To Be Square?

by Rick Hart - Date: 2007-01-20 - Word Count: 530 Share This!

You've probably heard about the new square drivers. As one golfer commented..."Looks like a tank on a stick." Another said they look like upside down brownie pans. Anyway, what's up with these clubs and are they good enough to get us to play with these ungodly looking clubs?

The idea behind the technology is that when you move the weight in the club head away from the club face you create a more stable golf club that won't twist on mishits. This is called greater Moment of Inertia (MOI). Greater MOI should lead to more center-of-the-face contact and theoretically make the ball go further and straighter. I guess you could say manufacturers have gone to extremes with the theory and this new square design.

Both Callaway and Nike have already come out with clubs using this concept. Nike has the SQ Sumo and Callaway has the FT-i. They won't be available until February but there is already quite a buzz about them. Golf Digest has given each club a "Gold" rating in it's club test for 2007.

The Sumo, or SUper MOment of inertia, has already been seen on tour with K.G. Choi winning with it at the Chrysler Championship in November. It manages a very high MOI because of it's massive size (almost 5 inches square) and it's carbon-composite crown insert. We haven't heard if Tiger, a Nike endorsee, will be using one yet. Should be interesting to see. One Golf Digest tester said "It has a nice high ball flight...Better players would rate it a 6 out of 10, but high-handicappers might like it." What that says to me is it's forgiving and long but might have too high of a ball flight for a good golfer.

The Callaway FT-i is a little smaller than the Sumo but still moves the weight into the back corners to achieve it's high MOI. It also uses a titanium face with a carbon-composite body to get the weight out to the extreme edges. At a street price of around $500 this baby better deliver. We'll have to wait to see it hit the streets before we can get some feedback.

The Sumo has been reviewed on some golf forums though. On Bob Warters and his buddies took the Sumo and a clone version out for a test ride. They said all the clubs were long and straight and might actually live up to the hype. In particular he mentioned..."It's not perhaps what a leading manufacturer like Nike Golf would want to hear, but first impressions comparing the company's latest SasQuatch Sumo (traditional shaped) and Sumo 2 (square-headed) drivers and a cheaper copy - the Turbo Power XQ MUTO 460Ti - detected little difference in performance." With the new brand drivers selling for between $400 and $500 dollars and the clone selling for under $100 it makes you wonder if all those endorsement dollars are getting a little out of hand. I guess that's a discussion for another time.

Well get ready golfers. The square headed drivers are coming and we'll get to see if they are worth the money. Watch your local golf dealer or favorite online retailer to see how it all shakes out. Hit 'em straight.

Related Tags: golf drivers, square headed drivers, nike sumo, callaway ft-1, moment of inertia, moi

Rick Hart is a long time golfer and owner of Golf Club Revue where he puts the spotlight on golf clubs.

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