When I agreed to review the Nike SQ Dymo STR8-Fit Driver I made it clear I am not one to make flowering statements about a product just because they give me something free. What I liked about the offer to review the New Nike driver was they wanted me to compare the SQ Dymo STR-8-Fit against the TaylorMade R9 460. It is all part of the Nike 8 > 9 comparison campaign. So, I will be reviewing these two titans of the teebox and let you know what Mr Business Golf take is on these two drivers.
Nike and TaylorMade both came out with adjustable clubhead designs. This means you can unscrew the head with a wrench and set the lie and loft to play the golf shot you prefer.
I had a choice of drivers to compare..the SQ DYMO STR8-Fit or a SQ DYMO² STR8-FIT I chose the SQ DYMO STR8-Fit. SPECS: Right Handed 10.5 degree, Regular Flex SO, let the Reviewing begin.
What’s in a Name?
OK, the first gig I have towards the NIKE SQ DYMO STR8-FIT driver is..the friggin name.
Come on NIKE, this driver needs a nickname. No golfer is going to answer the question they are going to get asked out on the driving range or teebox after they powders a drive out beyond the 250 yd marker…
Hey, what Driver are you hitting?
OH, I am using a Nike SQ Dymo Str8-Fit!
The reply everyone is going to get will be the same response my wife gave me when I told her I was going to review the NIKE SQ DYMO STR8-FIT Driver..
What makes this comparison between the NIKE and Taylormade more difficult is that TaylorMade just cut to the chase in naming their driver and called their New Driver R9..(To be more exact, R9TP or R9TP 460).
So, I would like to think that as good as Nike’s marketing has been over the years it would come out with a tag name for branding this product. I know they want to be different and youthful but the Full Name for this driver needs to be cut down to something that can be quickly verbalized. Maybe I will have a name for it once I get to the meat of this comparison. But until then, I am calling the Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT
The long awaited day of arrival for the a box containing the New Nike SQ Dymo STR8-Fit (DYMO-8) driver finally came. Nothing unusual here, just a plain brown box..no fan fair, no guy carrying balloons with Video camera, just a regular old delivery.
The unwrapping went well and as a good golf geek always does, the first thing is to read the manual…but not being a golf geek I did like you and the millions other golf addicts who get a new golf club. I ripped off the wrappers, take all of the protective crap off the club head, cut the plastic off the grip and went outside to swing that puppy…the heck with the manual. Yaw, the ‘Old Test Drive’.
Why I Chose Tradition
I chose the DYMO-8 regular head over the square head version because of the square head. I know about physics and that both version of the driver have the same set-up. What it all comes down to is ‘looks’ and I can’t stomach the Square look.
Anything symmetrical or square in golf equipment tends to make the eye want to place the angles in perpendicular alignments and that takes away from the more important aspect of hitting a golf ball and that is FEEL. I have seen a lot of changes in golf equipment design over the years and know that more than 90% of the designs are driven by marketing in an effort to be different to sell a product, so I stay with a more traditional proven design in golf clubs…especially when comparing one golf club to another one, which in this case TaylorMade smartly does not make a square head.
So to compare a square head to a rounded head would cause me to think it was the design of the head that made the club hit better or worse. But bottomline..the square head looks too gimmicky. I know the PRO’s hit these odd shaped drivers on tour and say they love it, but believe me, they could hit a golf ball 300 yds with coffee cup tied to a stick. So, square to them doesn’t bother them as much as it does us mortals who are still attempting to embed swing thoughts into their DNA.
After getting a feel of the new DYMO-8 with a few dozen practice swings it was time to go back to see what all the other stuff that fell out of the box was about.
Of course there was this gargantuan size headcover in a sealed bag and the Manual in another package. The Headcover has this great little pocket for the wrench that adjusts the configuration of the clubhead. I’ll get into the wrench in a little bit. The headcover has an interesting design, but it is not the headcover or the wrench that caused me the most concern.
It was the Manual that came with the club that produced my second GIG towards Nike’s product line. This 63 page instruction manual first makes one think..
WOW, this is really going to be a golf geek’s dream club if all of this manual is to show you how to use the golf club.
However, the instructions are only two full pages..the other 61 pages are the same instruction written in 29 different languages. I assume NIKE is wanting this instruction page to be the Rosetta Stone for how to adjust the clubhead of their driver.
Now, being an operations manager for over 30 years I know that streamlining manufacturing of several redundant processes is a form of efficiency, but in this case…29 languages?
NIKE could have cut this down to a few languages in a number of printed versions of the manual and target shipped the different manuals to the different global markets. I am sure that it would save on print costs since some of the markets (probably the English Market) you would have to print more manuals than some of the other markets they printed in their language.
Nike is not the only manufacturer who does this and I know that someone was thinking that it would save time in packaging if there was just one manual to place in the packaging. However, does anyone think of negative impression it gives to wasting the printing of two pages of instruction on how to use the adjuster wrench and replace its battery in 29 other languages? I guess Not or they would have not printed the instructions as part of a linguist catalog.
As Clubhead Covers go, the DYMO-8 cover is adequate. Yes, it is the size of a Mini Copper, but it does fit and it does have that pocket for the adjuster wrench. Plus, it has this adjustment indicator that Velcro to the flap. There was no instruction on what you where to do with the indicator so I will assume it was to remind you what setting you currently have the driver set up for.
It is good that wrench for adjusting the head is close by instead of the wrench the TaylorMade had for it’s previous lug nut adjustments that you had to keep in your bag. However, I would hate to think I was behind a group of golfers all using DYMO-8’s and they all decided to field dress their drivers on the every teebox to hit the shot they want to make.
I am sure, over time the flap for the wrench compartment will wear out and the wrench will fall out and get lost. I can see then the compartment used to hold a cigar or script marker…or something.
Anyway, the headcover is adequate, functional and what more do you need.
OK, now that I have this puppy unwrapped and read the instruction on the adjustments I am ready to get busy. I have to say, I am rather excited to compare these two drivers. I have hears good stuff about both of them. Being a Titleist man for over 15 years, I am really wanting to see what these clubs have to offer. This will be a true test of which of these drivers perform better.
Next stop is the driving range to compare the different set-ups of the DYMO-8 vs the R9 with the PGA Staff at my club and then test drive the clubs around a few of the golf courses at my club. So, stay tuned, I will be back to enlighten you on the REAL comparison of these ‘Big Dogs’ of the fairways.