Square was all the rage in 2007, with the original Sumo Squared, Callaway FT-i and various other models reaching the market. The initial buzz factor was huge as everyone seemed to love to talk about super high MOI and the ultra-forgiving nature of the square driver head. Sure there were some complaints of a loss of distance and deafening sound, quieting the square head buzz a little…However, it has been over a year now, and as far as I can tell, club designers do not sleep these days. The Nike engineers have obviously been hard at work, recently unveiling their new square driver: The Sumo Squared 5900.
With the SQ SUMO2 5900, Nike engineers have pushed MOI, volume and impact efficiency to the USGA limits, all in one club. The result is the straightest, most accurate driver Nike has ever made.
- High MOI: Greater forgiveness on off-center hits with a tighter shot dispersion.
- SQ SUMO2 Geometry: Updated body shaping for increased ball speed and accuracy
- Nike Powerbow Weighting: Manages weight in club head to further optimize precision and performance
- Titanium Cup Face:Multi-thickness cup face design improves ball speed over a large area
- All standard SUMO2 5900 drivers are 45.75″ long
The Nike Sumo Squared 5900 driver comes with a stock Diamana graphite shaft custom designed for this driver. However, this year they also offer a couple stock options at no additional cost: UST Proforce V2 and Aldila VS65 Proto. Both of these shafts are highly regarded and see a lot of play on the PGA Tour. With three stock options, most people will probably be able to find a shaft that fits their swing without having to custom order an expensive after market shaft.
Look and Feel
The first thing I noticed with the new Sumo 5900 is the sleek look at address. Last year’s model had a ridge down the middle, which was a little distracting. The 2008 model, as you can see to the right, looks very smooth, bearing a traditional tear drop shape if you ignore the light gray square framing area (the Power Bow). This may be a pleasant surprise to the fan of the traditional driver shape. Using last year’s model or some other square drivers (especially the FT-i) there is no getting away from the square head shape…it is right there, smack dad in your face, no hiding. The 5900, sure it is square, but the subtle shading and shape really hide it well.
The alignment aid on the Sumo 5900 is also quite subdued. It is comprised of a couple light gray lines, that sort of resemble a golf tee. I did not find it distracting in the least bit.
As for the feel, as with most modern drivers, the club will feel very light in your hands. This is a combination of the light driver head itself, and the 55 gram stock Diamana shaft. The VS65 Proto shaft will add a little weight, but obviously not much. Even with the light shaft and head weight, I still had no problem feeling the club head in my swing. The Diamana shaft is surprisingly smooth and the stiff flex actually felt right for my swing. Generally, I have found that the OEM stiff flex shafts are often on the weak side, if not regular flex.
One thing I noticed is how shallow the driver head seems to be. Looking back at previous year Sasquatch and Sumo drivers, this seems to be a common trend in the Nike driver line. While the Sumo 5900 may not be as shallow as the original Sasquatch driver, it is still on the shallow end of the spectrum. This may not bother most people, but coming from playing a very deep faced drivers (HiBORE XL and Nickent 4DX) it was a little bit of a visual adjustment.
Feel was nice and solid off the face. Hits a little off the heel or toe still felt quite hot and solid at impact. Previous versions of the club felt a little more dead in off center hits. The variable thickness face of this particular driver seems to have solved that problem.
Now, I know what question a lot of you most want answered…how does it sound? Sound was a HUGE sticking point with the 2007 Sumo driver. Most people I spoke with likened it to hitting the ball with a garbage can. The 2008 Sumo Squared 5900 has made enormous strides in this department. The sound is a nice solid thud, without all of the ear ringing of the previous year’s model. I really hope a lot of 2007 sumo owners trade in their loud driver for this particular model so my ears can relax a little at the driving range!
Well, we all know look and feel can influence a decision but everyone is looking for performance from a driver. While last year’s model may have been very forgiving, it lacked in distance and produced far too much spin. The Nike engineers must have went right after these two specific areas, because both are vastly improved.
My first few ‘rusty winter’ swings with this club were pretty awful…however, I was shocked to see the ball still launch high and hang up in the air with a nice penetrating flight, slight fades. If I put that sort of swing on the 4DX driver, who knows where the ball would have ended up. After warming up a little, gaining a little confidence with this club, I started hitting the ball on the screws and was pleasantly surprised with the distance. It is still a little chilly up here in the North East, and range balls are a little cold and flat, but I was still pounding the ball. Distance was at least similar to my HiBORE XL, where as last year’s model seemed to be at least 10-20 yards shorter.
What I really enjoyed was watching the ball flight. My previous attempts with square head drivers often resulted in spin rates in the 4000+ range. Sure, this is great for hitting a straight ball, but ballooning in the wind becomes a major problem and you are obviously losing a lot of distance. The Sumo 5900 still seemed to want to go straight, but flattened out a lot quicker and had considerably more roll….no more spinning my drives back 2 yards.
Off center hits still lose some distance, but far less than they may have lost last year and certainly far less than I lose with the HiBORE XL. The effect of the cup face also seemed to want to pull off center hits back toward the fairway as well. This is something I have grown accustomed to with modern drivers, but seemed to have been lacking in previous years versions of the Sasquatch/Sumo.
As with other square drivers, you really do feel like you can get away with a murderous swing…and often times you can. Sure, it is still possible to slice the ball 30 yards if you really try, but, anything close to a square club face at impact, and I am sure you can keep it relatively close to the fairway.
If you are looking to work the ball, it is possible with this driver, but it really does want to go straight. You may want to check out the Sumo 5000 version of the club which is geared more toward the player that wants to move the ball. Personally, I think I’ll just stick to trying to hit the ball straight and in the fairway from now on. With the high launch and distance, I’ll just be looking to go over the dog legs.
A combination of ultimate forgiveness while still providing top tier distance. What else could you want in a driver? Sure the shallower face may have put me off a little at first, but after a few swings this club felt like money in my hands. If you are looking for a very easy to hit driver that still pokes the ball out there a ways, go get your hands on one of these clubs. It’s really amazing how far this technology has come along. With all the talk of the USGA changing rules about wedge grooves and the golf ball, they may have to start looking at driver technology as well, it almost seems like cheating! At $399 the Sumo 5900 is no bargain, however it is still $100 less than the FT-i.