By The Modern Golfer
July 29, 2009

Nike Golf introduced square-headed golf clubs, including drivers, several years ago into a market firmly committed to the familiar round edge clubs. The notion that square clubs were great for amateurs and nobody else was crushed when Lucas Glover won the U.S. Open in June using a square driver and Stewart Cink won the British Open in July using a square driver. Nike Golf players have won seven other tournaments worldwide using Nike square drivers. Based on recent sales figures and rapid adoption among PGA Tour Pros, it seems that ‘new geometry’ clubs are set to be the new golf club paradigm. Keep reading to find out which square clubs the Pros use, and why the clubs’ high MOI (moment of inertia) matters so much for great performance.

Nike Golf Talks Shop 

Nike Golf director of production Tom Stites reported that “golf products don’t become popular until the best players in the world embrace them.” Stites also notes that graphite shafts were initially resisted, but have become wildly popular and standard on many clubs. When asked about the new geometry of the club, Stites said, “there are other ways to make a stable golf club, but square is the easiest. A ball coming off a square head doesn’t hook or slice as dramatically.” This is good news for most players since they don’t want their golf balls wandering off center, but poses a challenge to some pros: it’s more difficult to work the ball left or right or up and down — which means a more consistent trajectory. So if you want to pull a Tiger Woods and curve your ball you’ll have to a work a little harder, but for the other dozen holes you won’t have to worry about flubbing your shot.

Moment of Inertia

What is moment of inertia, and what difference does it make for golfers? Put simply, a higher M.O.I. produces greater stability. Since we’re discussing square golf clubs, think of a box: if a box occupies a small footprint but is very tall it will not be stable, whereas a box with a larger footprint and shorter height will be very steady. If these boxes, or in our case square clubs, are in motion, the higher MOI object offers greater resistance to changes in angular momentum (ie: greater effort is required to change its course).

A golfer’s swing is subject to many forces that can disrupt a fluid swing and torque the clubhead out of alignment. A square club with a high MOI has its weight low, back and spread out, which stabilizes the club during the swing and produces a flatter contact angle with the golf ball. Of course this same stability offers the golfer more control: since there are fewer errant contacts, golfers can precisely and consistently introduce spins they want instead of what happens by chance.

Will You Go Square?

For many people investing in a new driver is a no-brainer. The challenge is deciding which one to buy. The choice will become easier as more manufacturers transition to new-geometry clubheads, specifically squared drivers and woods. The new designs offer greater head volumes, more opportunity to introduce custom weighting and aerodynamic features. And since manufacturers are working hard to reduce costs, the latest and greatest technology will be reserved for their best products, which happen to be the R&D-heavy square clubs and new-geometry clubs. Being square has never been so fun — or helpful to your golf game!

Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover Clubs

Stewart Cink’s Driver:

SasQuatch SUMO 2 5900 Square Driver

Lucas Glover’s Driver:

SasQuatch SUMO 2 5900 TOUR Square Driver

For a complete list of clubs and apparel check out the Pros page, and the player sites for Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover. There you’ll find player bios, the equipment they use, what they’ve worn and will wear in tournaments.

Posted in Equipment, Industry News

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