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Complete Reviews of Nike's SasQuatch

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Friday, May 5, 2006; 8:12 AM

Following are complete review notes from three golfers who tried out Nike's new SasQuatch driver. All models had 10.5 degree loft and stock shafts of standard length.

DAVE LUCAS, 80s shooter

The look, how it sets up I like the lower, wider face, but am not in love with the deeper front-to-back look or the concentric circle motif. It sets up nicely -- square and powerful.

Sound, quality of impact The sound is not nearly as tinny as in Nike One metals. I'm not all that impressed with the feel at impact. Without looking at the ball flight, I couldn't tell the difference between one on the sweet spot and a shot somewhere else on the face.

Ball flight With range balls and a 10.5 degree face and a stock stiff shaft, my ball flight was acceptable, but not as high as a premium ball would likely fly. Launch angle is the holy grail in golf, and on a launch monitor I'll bet a club fitter would want me in a more lofted one of these.

Distance With range rocks, figuring real course distance is always a crap shoot. The Swoosh is probably about as long as my current driver.

Control I had no trouble working the ball right to left, but I can hook the boxes they come in.

Overall assessment Any club good enough for Tiger is good enough for me. But I was prepared to be blown away by the Sasquatch -- but was only sort of impressed. Damning with faint praise, I know.

Is this club likely to lead you to upgrade from your current driver? No.

If you were poised to buy a new driver anyway, would you consider this club among your finalists, or drop it from the list? I'd try one for which I'd been fitted on a launch monitor. But these days, no one should buy a driver without having that procedure.

Additional notes Tom Stites, who designed this club, is among the most innovative club builders in the game today. He told me he's more pleased with this club than just about any other he's ever done. Now that's an endorsement. ·

KENNETH WASZKIEWICZ, 90s shooter (lefty)

The look, how it sets up The setup was much better than I expected. Even though the SasQuatch is larger than my current Cobra driver, it appears smaller to the eye because of the two-tone black-and-gray top.

Sound, quality of impact I didn't like the sound at impact with the SasQuatch because it makes a dull metallic sound. My current Cobra driver makes a crisp "ping" sound.

Ball flight Generally, the ball flight with the SasQuatch was lower than with my current Cobra driver even though both drivers have a 10.5 degree loft. The ball flight didn't seem to change very much whether the ball impacted high or low on the face.

Distance My driving distance with the SasQuatch was comparable to the driving distance with my Cobra. However, it seemed that I got more roll with the SasQuatch.

Control I was impressed with the SasQuatch's forgiveness when off-center hits (toward the heel or toe) occurred. None of my off-center hits were unplayable.

Overall assessment

I liked the SasQuatch because it has a very forgiving face. I didn't like the sound at impact, but could get used to the sound in exchange for the forgiving nature of the face and more playable drives. The ball flight and distance were hard to get used to but will probably improve over time.

Is this club likely to lead you to upgrade from your current driver?

No, because I don't believe the SasQuatch will significantly improve my ability to drive a ball longer or straighter.

If you were poised to buy a new driver anyway, would you consider this club among your finalists, or drop it from the list?

I would consider it as a finalist. The price is the only reason that I would probably drop it from the list. ·

CRAIG STOLTZ, 100 shooter

The look, how it sets up Given the aggressive styling of the sole, I expected it to look exotic at setup. Not so. It looked like any premium driver, and in fact didn't look longer and deeper than others, though it is.

Sound, quality of impact Thunky sound that doesn't provide audible feedback about whether you've struck the ball solidly.

Ball flight A bit lower than my other 10.5 degree driver, but no draw or fade bias that I could detect.

Distance The same or even slightly shorter than my current driver, though this may be a function of a stiff stock shaft. I usually play with a medium graphite shaft.

Control The club face forgives mishits better than the incumbent. Probably the club's best feature.

Overall assessment Very forgiving premium driver.

Is this club likely to lead you to upgrade from your current driver? No.

If you were poised to buy a new driver anyway, would you consider this club among your finalists, or drop it from the list? I'd get one with a whippier shaft and compare it to others in the price range.

Comments The SasQuatch custom head cover is so small it's ridiculous. You have to wrestle to get it off each time. This is not mere peevishness: It's the worst misfit I've seen, and nearly ruins the playing experience. Can someone explain why Nike would spend millions designing a premium club and then make such a dumb error on the head cover?

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