SasQuatch: Myth or Reality?

Friday, May 5, 2006

It has a memorable name. It's got snarky yellow stripes on its belly. It has the full fury of the Nike hype machine behind it. Tiger Woods and several lesser tour pros are winning with it.

Nike's SasQuatch driver ($300-$350) is the loudest equipment introduction of the season. So we asked three players to give it a try: Dave Lucas, host of "Capital Golf Weekly" on NewsChannel 8, who shoots in the 80s; Kenneth Waszkiewicz, a left-handed Washington lawyer who shoots in the 90s; and Craig Stoltz, the editor of Swing, who when the wind is with him and the gods are cheering, breaks 100. Complete reviews are posted here . A summary:

The Look The club has a very long head, a design that permits weight to be located low and away from the face. Testers were unbothered by this, due partly to a sly gray half-moon on the rear of the head, which diminishes the length visually.

The Impact The big face is extremely forgiving of mishits. Lucas said the club permitted him to work the ball right or left easily. All testers found the contact sound dull, even on dead-square contact. Waszkiewicz found his ball flight lower.

The Distance None of the testers saw a major gain (or loss) compared with their current drivers.

The Verdict All three testers said that if they were in the market for a premium driver in the $300 price range, they'd likely have the SasQuatch in the finals to compare head-to-head with others. But none was instantly sold.

Said Lucas: "Any club good enough for Tiger is good enough for me. I was prepared to be blown away by the SasQuatch -- but was only sort of impressed."

Some test clubs provided by Golfdom at Tysons Corner.

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