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Interesting Club Swapping

David Hillman

Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2008
836
0
Played Saturday night with my father-in-law and two brothers-in-law. I shared a cart with the one who never has time to play, because he has two young kids. The other three of us played well to start, making a lot of pars, but he struggled terribly, especially with the driver. He was hitting squibs off the toe for 30 yards, and then every third try was a nasty duck hook 100y down the left. We all tried to help him out, with little success.

I've never liked his address, and I think it causes a lot of his problems. He's a big guy, 6'1" 230, but he stands with hands just above knee level, with the shaft less than 45* to the ground, and the clubhead sitting on its heel. From there, I don't know how he expects to hit consistently. I've been trying to get him to raise his hands, without success. On the 3rd tee, I asked him if he was willing to try and experiment, and hit my driver once. He plays a huge 460cc square Nickent with a 46" shaft that sounds like a softball bat, while my driver is a comparatively-tiny 425cc R7 with a standard shaft. I hoped that'd force him to keep his hands up, and it did. The shot wasn't much better, though, to my surprise. Fast forward to #10, and he asks if he can try it again, having had no improvement with his, either. I said "Sure", and he hit a pretty decent draw with it. He hit it again on #11, so I joked that since his driver was getting lonely, I better try it.

Now I'm not one for switching clubs; I've played for over 20 years, and owned 2, count 'em 2, drivers. In fact, apart from ones I've lost, I still own every club I have ever owned. That said, I have tried a couple 460s and never liked them; they've all felt and looked too large, to me. I also don't need an extra-long shaft, so in all, I wasn't too optimistic about his Nickent.

I wound up hitting it off every longer hole on the back nine, and apart from one big pull, I hit it awesome. But the part that really shocked me was that I was hitting them with zero side spin. For years, I have struggled with moderate to excessive clockwise spin on everything I hit with my driver ( and my previous driver, and occasionally my 3 ). Every single ball I hit went dead straight ( and, as an added bonus, probably 30 yards farther than I was hitting mine on the front ).

So, what's the difference? Obviously the head is totally different, but the lofts are the same ( 10.5* ). I was using the Bridgestone E6 all day. My driver has the stock TM "MAS^2" 65g regular flex shaft, while his has a stiff Proforce V2. While I have sufficient speed to play a stiff shaft, everything I've read and heard is that you should err on the side of softer, when selecting a shaft. I've spent a lot of time trying to get the spin off my driver, so I'm not sure if I should be annoyed at the prospect of a simple fix, or happy to have finally found something.

The punchline is that after getting pretty good with my driver on the back nine, he took his back on the last hole, and probably without realizing it, used the same setup he'd used with the smaller club... and roped a beautiful drive right down the middle. I guess that means I won't be able to talk him into a straight trade ;)
 

BrandonM7

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2007
1,156
2
You can't help but hit that club straight, man - check the equipment reviews section and you'll see a thread where several people have learned that. I don't know exactly why, but it's damn near magic. The face is about 2.5° closed, so that's a good start. Beyond that I just try not to question a good thing.

Do a little googling - you can pick up a brand new one for about $100 right now. Rockbottomgolf has it for $110 shipped, but I think some guys were finding them in the sub-$100 range.
 
OP
David Hillman

David Hillman

Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2008
836
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Interesting. So do people think it's the "magic" in the head, or the shaft? I was assuming the latter, but I knew nothing about Nickent until Saturday.
 

BrandonM7

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2007
1,156
2
Interesting. So do people think it's the "magic" in the head, or the shaft? I was assuming the latter, but I knew nothing about Nickent until Saturday.


The head. I've seen a couple of people swap the shaft because they don't like the feel of it, and they still bomb it straight. I happen to like the shaft, so it's a win-win buying a club that feels right all around. Here are some reviews.
 

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