Pros: Tungsten weights placed low and deep in the head encourage a high launch.
Cons: Only one shaft option. Golfers with faster swing speeds could create too much spin with these, and their turf interaction, particularly from the rough, leaves something to be desired.
Who’s it for: Low-spin golfers seeking a favorable distance-to-dollar ratio.
This year’s Nickent offering includes the F30 Ti fairways and hybrids, which are replete with multi-material compositions that are designed to provide high launch, sturdy forgiveness and booming distance.
An ultra-thin stainless steel crown allows unnecessary weight to be positioned low and back in the clubhead. In addition, the sole is tungsten-cast and the result of these two is a center of gravity (CG), which sits low and deep in the clubhead. The face of the club is a brazed titanium rather than steel. This effectively allows you to get driver-esque distances with fairways and hybrids.
The F30 Ti fairway comes in lofts of 13, 14.5 and 17 degrees. The 13 and 14.5-degree woods have stock length of 43.5 inches whereas the 17-degree is 43 inches.
The F30 Ti hybrid is available in No.’s 2-5 with corresponding lofts of 15, 18, 21 and 24 degrees. The stock and only shaft offering is the Grafalloy Boost Graphite, which is available in regular and stiff flex (50-to-60 grams depending on shaft flex). The skinnier profile of the Boost is stated to reduce drag by up to 15 percent and this, in theory, increases swing speed. The Micro-Mesh Tip Technology is engineered to provide additional tip stability so shots stay true and straight. Neither club offers adjustability with loft or face angle and is only available in right-hand.
MSRP for each club is $229, although the fairway woods are listed for $89.99 and the hybrids are listed for $79.99 on Dick’s website.
You want workability? The F30 Ti can move the ball. Up. Down. Left. Right. Far. The stock shaft was certainly light and whippy, however, I could hit a variety of shots on multiple trajectories. That said, the biggest win for this club is the distance it offers. It’s not longer than competitors, but for the right swing it isn’t much shorter either. In fact, it’s plausible that a non-brand specific customer will look at the list of included technologies and bag it with few, if any, regrets.
The 3 wood as tested (14.5 degrees) produced a carry right at 245-to-250 yards. The trajectory was noticeably higher than other models (see comparison chart below) and mishits were penalized, but distance loss was minimal, if not insignificant. This is significantly shorter than my gamer, but that’s due in large part to the stock shaft and excessive spin/launch I created as a result.
TaylorMade SLDR 3 Wood (16 degrees) with Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 8.3 TP (stiff)
- Average Launch Angle: 14 degrees
- Average Spin Rate: 2700 rpm
- Average Ball Speed: 152 mph
- Average Carry Distance: 258 yards
- Average Total Distance: 271 yards
Cobra Bio Cell+ 3 Wood (15 degrees) w/ Matrix Red Tie 6Q3 (stiff)
- Average Launch Angle: 13 degrees
- Average Spin Rate: 3000 rpm
- Average Ball Speed: 154 mph
- Average Carry Distance: 261 yards
- Average Total Distance: 277 yards
Nickent F30 Ti 3 Wood (14.5 degrees) w/ Grafalloy Boost (stiff)
- Average Launch Angle: 17 degrees
- Average Spin Rate: 3800 rpm
- Average Ball Speed: 148 mph
- Average Carry Distance: 253 yards
- Average Total Distance: 256 yards
For each club, I hit 15-to-20 balls both off the tee and off the deck. All distances were measured using a Flightscope X2 launch monitor and standard Callaway range balls.
Both the Nickent fairway wood and hybrid did well off the tee and from clean lies, but struggled in varied conditions. Turf interaction out of the rough was a bit awkward (think 7th grade dance awkward) where every swing seemed an onerous task and given the inconsistent results, this was a bit of a letdown. Like the fairway wood, the 3 hybrid (18 degrees) demonstrated decent distance even though it spun like a top inside a washing machine on spin cycle.
My hunch is the lack of an adjustable hosel is a cost-saving measure and single lofts/shaft offerings reduces the number of SKU’s for big box stores. Given that it’s 2014 and more and more companies are pushing limits of adjustability and shaft offerings, it’s clear this club isn’t designed to compete against the big boys.
It’s kind of like your mom bought you an authentic jersey, but what you hoped would be embroidered and tackle-twill… is just silk-screened. The aesthetic properties of the F30 leave a lot to be desired and come off as imbalanced and cheap, but the matte black crown and black face look great. This coupled with the classic rounded profile gives the F30 a simple and understated silhouette.
People like fish, but don’t want it to taste fishy. Generally, golfers like metal woods, but don’t want them to feel too metallic. It isn’t “hail on an aluminum roof” bad, but it’s not significantly better.
This gets Triple P status. Price Point Product. For the right golfer with average to below average swing speed, there is enough performance to give reason for excitement… and purchase. The use of varied metals and current technologies is impressive in its own right and if the [high-launch + faster swing = longer distance] equation is one you’re after, the F30 Ti is one to try.