Nike Golf’s new Ignite driver has achieved another massive coup to support its claim as the ultimate driver on the market. But this win was not achieved on the fairways of the professional tour circuit, nor at the hands of a Nike Golf tour staffer. In fact, it was the world’s most consistent golfer gripping the shafts of the market’s leading drivers to determine which had the greatest distance and which was the most forgiving – in other words, a robot.
This month’s edition of ‘Golf World’ supports what Nike Golf has been telling us all along: the Ignite really is the ultimate driver currently available on the market. Just like last year, ‘Golf World’ selected a total of 21 of the industry’s best selling drivers and put them head to head in an independent test. The test was held at T&K Golf Research, an entirely unbiased company and the first of its kind in Europe. The state-of-the-art robot can be programmed to ensure that all the results are entirely accurate.
In a similar test last year, the Ignite was voted the longest driver when compared to its competitors. This year, up against a number of new models released after the Ignite claimed the previous title, ‘Golf World’ programmed the robot to test for distance along with forgiveness and also created a human test in a bid to discern the ultimate driver on the market. The Ignite came in first place.
To measure the distance, the robot was programmed to imitate the swing of an average player, using a swing speed of 90mph, with all the clubs bearing the same specs to ensure absolute accuracy across the board. A total of ten swings were tested with the ball teed at exactly the same height for every hit with each of the clubs. A second test examined the forgiveness of the club by hitting ten shots from three different impact areas of the club. The balls were hit from two points outside of the club’s sweetspot, one within and imitated three different types of swing – straight, slice and hook.
Finally, the clubs were put in the hands of ten human testers in a bid to ascertain the ultimate driver in every capacity. The testers ranged in ability with handicaps from scratch to 28 and took ten test shots with each driver using the same ball as their robot counterpart. They then rated each club on a scale of 1-5 for looks, performance, forgiveness, sound & feel and price & desirability. The test was undertaken at Woburn Golf Club on a bright, sunny day with little or no wind.
Once all the results were amassed and totted up, the Ignite took first place and beat all of the competition to be voted “Golf World’s Ultimate Driver of 2005”.
“The Ignite won by claiming two second place finishes at the hands of the robot in the longest driver test (averaging 229.76 yards) and straightest driver test,” said Golf World’s Carly Cummins. “All that was left was for the Ignite to shine in the hands of real golfers, and they loved it.”
Jan-Joris Keijzer, Nike Golf’s European marketing director commented, “We’re delighted that the Ignite driver came first in ‘Golf World’s’ independent robot test for a second year running. If the fact that the Ignite has so far helped our tour staff gain 22 wins on tour is not proof of its quality enough, then this unbiased test certainly should be. It proves that the Ignite not only remains one of the longest and most forgiving drivers on the market but also that golfers of every ability can appreciate and identify with the club. It is clearly the ultimate driver that money can buy.”
‘Golf World’ editor Adam Duckworth said, “Choosing the right clubs is vital for all golfers and Golf World aims to provide the best, most authoritative testing of clubs anywhere with our combination of high-tech robot and panel of testers. The new-look ‘Golf World’ magazine continues to set the highest standards of quality journalism, great photography and fresh design in a magazine that’s perfect for today’s discerning golfer.”
The club in the hands of the testers – mechanical and human – was an R&A/USGA conforming 460cc Ignite Driver and is available at golf specialty stores across Europe with a suggested retail price of £279, €399, SEK 3495. The Ultimate Driver test article can be seen in the August issue of ‘Golf World’
Nike Golf www.nikegolfeurope.com