The Big Review – Nike Dymo Driver and Fairway Woods

by   |   January 19, 2009

While not having the renown of their other clubs, Nike have nevertheless managed to create a big noise with their woods in recent years.  While their irons are almost universally acclaimed their woods especially seem to have a ‘love it or hate it’ quality. People either say that they are amongst the best of their type or say that they will never stack up against the woods from the likes of TaylorMade and Titleist.

The attentions of their lead designer, Tom Stites, is always going to mean that these new clubs will lack little if anything in the technology stakes and their new Dymo (Dynamic Moment of Inertia) woods are no exception. Re-designed from the ground up to optimise launch and spin, Bag Chatter got to try the new non STR8-FIT Dymo Drivers and Fairways.

Technical Specs

Specs are as yet unconfirmed but Nike are thought to offer the Driver in 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 13 and the fairway in 3+, 3, 4 and 5 woods.

The Dymo drivers are fairly unusual in that different lofts also have differing lie angle, head size, face depth, COG, and even MOI so the difference between one with a 9.5 and one with a 10.5 is more than just the face angle.

Appearance

Much better looking and a huge improvement on the previous versions, Nike have dropped the lurid yellow for the Dymo range and instead opted for a semi-matt black that covers the crown and most of the sole and red wording graphics that gives a nod to the newly released Victory Red range of irons. The face is better shaped and less blocky. The PowerBow is much smaller, more attractively shaped  and slightly darker but does its usual sterling job of making the 460cc heads look more manageable and on the fairways actually makes the clubs look fairly handsome at address. It’s unlikely that these clubs are ever going to win any beauty pageants but they have come a long way from the fist Nike woods and are a definite improvement on the previous iterations.

Dymo Driver

Dymo2 Driver

One of the most noticeable features of the fairway woods is the ‘Quad Keel Sole’. What this means is that the sole of the club is shaped into four distinct quadrants, the idea being that this shaping of the sole allows a more positive interaction with the turf. Better interaction with the turf means that the club can be used with more varied lies than normal and should also increase control in impact.

Dymo Fairway

Dymo2 Fairway

This sort of shaped sole is reminiscent of the Callaway War Bird and Big Bertha fairway woods but given that both these clubs are two classic fairway woods of recent times, that’s not exactly a bad thing.

Performance

The Dymo2 driver was one of the straightest drivers I’ve ever tested, it was almost impossible to work to ball either by accident or design. It’s not to say that a duck-hook swing would produce anything but a duck-hook but a slight mis-swing would produce a mild fade or draw at worst. Ball flight was high and the amount of spin produced with the stock shaft meant that this was never going to be the longest driver and better players may be a little put off by how toed-in the driver is. Those who fight a slice will love it however. The normal Dymo appeared to have a much better balance than the squared version and feels far more natural at address. That it’s dead square at address helps but the club seems to retain it’s poise throughout the swing, the better aerodynamics having an obvious effect. Although slightly lower than the square version the flight from the standard Dymo is still high but is much more penetrating. Noise levels are a huge improvement over the previous verisions with the square Dymo a million miles away from the tin-can-on-a-stick noise that plagued the SQ Sumo 5900.

Dymo Drivers: Round version on top, Square version on bottom

Both clubs have hot and fairly shallow faces and while we all know that COR restrictions mean that all drivers are pretty much the same, the sound and feedback from flushing one out of the middle is very good on the square version and dangerously good on the standard one.

At 45.75″ the shaft is on the long side for control and the stock versions provided were the 55g versions of Nike’s proprietry Wide Body Shaft with Axiv Core made by UST. This light shaft is obviously aimed at the mid-high handicapper and performs well at the swingspeeds of this handicap range and even a little higher but stronger players will find them easy to over-power. The stiff tip nature of this shaft does offer a lot more stability than you might expect in a super-light stock shaft that will suit the vast majority of players but when all said and done, it is still an 55g shaft that will have a tendency to balloon for those with an aggressive transition. The spin from this combination is mid-range which should be perfect for most mid-high ‘cappers and as you would expect the square version spinning a small but noticeable amount more.

Dymo2Driver left and Dymo right

Both versions of the Dymo fairways are both top quality clubs. The sweetspot is spread wide across the face on both types of clubs and the ball comes off hot. The square version is straighter and the standard version more workable but both offer great versatility in being able to play from both the tee, the fairway and light rough. You can feel the Quad Keel technology making a difference even off the fairway. The cunning design gives you a bit more leeway in hitting the ball off the deck as you can sweep the ball or take a divot with equal ease and the low COG and relatively shallow face of the clubs easily get the ball up in the air. If anything the square version makes more sense as the higher MOI straightens those errant shots so you can be confident of navigating those holes that demand a long, but more importantly accurate, tee shot. Of course if you want to work the ball, the rounded version does the business.

 

Conclusion

Like the previous iterations of drivers and fairways, the square and non-square versions of the drivers are aimed at two different sets of players. Mid to high handicappers will adore the Dymo2 for it’s ability to generate straight drives that travel further than they ought to and mid handicappers who are looking for a well balanced mix of forgiveness, power and workability would do well with the normal Dymo. The looks and sound of the Dymo is a great improvement on the SQ Sumo in all areas but it will be up to the individual to decide that the performance is enough. It seems that Nike have historically found it difficult to convince the better player that their standard Driver has the right balance of feel, control and forgiveness.  This is reinforced by the number of Pro’s the use the SQ Tour rather than the SQ 5000. The use of the Dymo by the likes of Antony Kim may reassure better players that it is a real option but rumors that what is in use on Tour is a smaller, Tour-only prototype will not.

The fairways may prove to be a sleeper hit as they are very very good. The role of a fairway has changed somewhat with the increase in forgiveness in Drivers and the rise of lower lofted hybrids but these two great clubs should be considered by pretty much everybody looking to buy a new fairway wood.

As with all things Nike golf, it remains for a certain T. Woods to put one into play before the world will judge them an uncritical success.

9 Comments

  1. jnmrbuetivzm

    March 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    gbgaeiiyundd

  2. Rickster93

    August 5, 2009 at 2:23 am

    …so the spin rate with the stock shaft will not allow drives to be as long as if the driver was reshafted with…???… what for example? I hit the Dymo2 plenty far but agree it isn’t as long as other driver/shaft combos I’ve experienced. It is, however, as straight as anything I have ever demo’d or played. I’ll take 250 fairway and a mid-short iron in anytime versus the 270 or once a round 280+ into the rough, woods,water,…etc.etc.. BTW…excellent review.

  3. rgames

    April 15, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Follow-up to previous comment: the problem has been confirmed by Nike.

  4. rgames

    April 13, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Check the alignment mark on the top before you buy – I ordered one from an online retailer and the alignment mark was WAY off, so addressing the ball presented an odd visual image. So I went to two local golf stores and checked their stock and there were several way off there as well. Some are ok – some are really bad. Nike has a bit of a QC problem with this one. There’s also a lot of variation on the distance the mark is set back from the face.

    It seemed like it was mostly the 9.5 deg Dymo. The Dymo2 seemed OK and the STR8 fit seemed OK. All had minor problems but the 9.5 deg Dymo seemed the worst.

  5. Steve

    April 8, 2009 at 1:58 am

    I was testing out the new Titelist 909-D2 driver and liked it a lot. I also tested out a few others to compare the D2 against & everything I tried just made me think the D2 was the one for me. Then the proshop guy grabbed a 9.5 degree Std. Dymo driver head and installed a Proforce V2 shaft. The first 5 shots on the launch monitor came out almost exactly the same on each shot. 112 to 113 mph club head speed (was getting about 107 with the D2), backspin numbers in the low 3000 rpm range compared to 3400 or so with the D2, side spin numbers less than 300 rpms compared to 600+ with the D2, and carry distances over 270 yards. After hitting about 10 more shots, I dumped the idea of buying the Titelist and ordered the Dymo instead.

    I’ve now taken my new drive out a few times and gotta say I’ll probably never take my old Titelist 905T out ever again. The 905T is a long driver, but not nearly as straight as the Nike and not quite as long as it either. In three rounds of golf, I’m now averaging about 280 yards off the tee & have had 5 drives over 325. Ball flight is very consistant and straight as straight can be. I had no idea I could hit any driver this straight so consitantly. The old 905 was good, but I’m hitting twice as many fairways now.

    Golf is a totally different game when you have confidence in your driver and you’re hitting from the the middle of the fairway on 10+ holes per round.

  6. Mac

    March 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I’m constantly perplexed by the average duffer implying that if the tour players don’t use certain equipment, then it’s not good enough for the masses. Tour players don’t even play off-the-shelf equipment. If K-Mart made a golf club that dropped your handicap to par, would you be looking to the pros for validation? I have seen friends on tour fly into town that have worn tennis shoes and rented clubs shoot sub-par rounds. It’s the player not the gear. Buy gear that helps your game, not the game of the guy that just won $1,000,000.

  7. Sam

    February 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I was wondering if the pros on the PGA Tour will use the dymo drivers and fairway woods ?? Will Anthony Kim or Tiger have the dymo fairway woods or the dymo drivers

  8. Tony Lyons

    February 11, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve spent an hour this afternoon hitting with the Range Pro, coupled to a gizmo which tells me things I ought not to know about my driving ability. Result? Dispersion down by 50%, air distance up by 30 yds [soggy ground], flight [11.5] copybook. Fitting took no time and I’ve had to accept that I’m into Senior shafts [at a mere 57]. If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it and the system worked for me as 20 wannabe 10 handicapper.
    Would I use it in preference to a faithful Titleist 975J [8.5]? I’m ‘sampling’ it on the course tomorrow and Friday then hitting a bucket on Saturday but I’m looking to get drastic with the plastic.

  9. cal.prest

    February 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    They look great and im sure perform equally as impressive. But until AK or TW can put up a “W” with one, they will just be as shinny as the clubs their next to on store shelves.

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