Square drivers: Now Cink proves their worth

'Stewart really stands out for the feedback that he gives us'

Golfmagic correspondent
Wed, 22 Jul 2009

Square drivers: Now Cink proves their worth

  It must be more than pure coincidence that the last two major winners - Lucas Glover (US Open) and Stewart Cink (Open Championship) used square-headed drivers - the Nike SasQuatch Sumo2 Tour.

When the angular-looking driver was first introduced many believed that the forgiveness and talk it delivered was at the expenses of the distance more traditional-shaped drivers would produce as well as it being less capable to shape shots for the pros.

The Nike SQ Sumo 2 Tour driver used by Stewart Cink

Indeed several manufacturers, including TaylorMade, Titleist and Cobra, shied away from the innovative design to concentrate on their own developments, including moveable weighting, different head shapes and shafts and adjustable lies and lofts.

However Cink has been a key player in Nike club development, according to its director of product creation Tom Stites.

"He really helps us a lot from a research and development standpoint," Stites told the press association this week. "He spends a lot of time hitting prototypes and understands the technology. We have great staff guys across the board but Stewart really stands out for the feedback that he gives us and which allows us to not only make his clubs better but other people's clubs better too."

After claiming the Open Championship at windswept Turnberry, Cink revealed: "I'm one of the longer players, but not a bomber, not the longest. I don't hit many fairways. I just play golf. And I play it how I find it."

"I don't have the kind of golf game where I have to be dead-on mechanically to play well," says Cink. "I play a lot of feel-type shots, a lot of just, you know, it's kind of gut-instinct type golf that I play."

Cink first used the Sumo 2 in 2008

The 9.5 degree Sumo2 driver, with a UST ProForce AsivCore Tour Red 79 shaft, has been in Cink's bag since the 2008 Bob Hope Classic and he also uses the identically-shafted square-headed Nike SQ2 3-wood (15 degrees).

"Stewart has such a smooth and fluid swing - he's so tall and he gets so much leverage out of it - he's able to play that club and it's very consistent in terms of its ball flight for him," says Stites. "It doesn't move much left and right but he's obviously adjusted to that well.

"It's very forgiving, very high moment of inertia, very consistent crown to sole, which means trajectories come off more similarly, depending on whether you hit it thin or fat. These guys don't necessarily do that much, but they can hit it consistently higher or lower if they want to."

While Tiger Woods has said that the square-head is more difficult to shape shots with the ball, as he prefers, the accuracy and consistent trajectory of the Sumo2 Tour range more than justifies it in other pro bags. And that's a key ingredient in modern major championships where courses are set to penalise errant shots.

Being able to dial in a trajectory in the windy conditions at Turnberry will have helped Cink enormously, according to Stites.

"Whatever attack angle or wherever they position the ball as they tee it off, that's the trajectory that the club will yield. If they want to hit it higher and on the upswing to reduce spin; if they hit it a little thin, it will still come off flying pretty high. If they're trying to hit it low and hit it a little bit fat, it won't balloon up on them."

What's in Cink's bag

Driver: Nike SQ Sumo2 Tour (9.5 degrees; UST ProForce AsivCore Tour Red 79 shaft)

Fairway wood: Nike SQ2 3-wood (15 degrees; UST ProForce AsivCore Tour Red 79 shaft)

Irons (2-, 4- iron): Nike Pro Combo OS; (5-PW): Nike CCi Forged

Wedges: Nike Victory Red forged (52, 56 and 60 degrees)

Putter: Nike prototype

Ball: Nike One Tour D

Footwear: Nike Air Zoom Tour (Champ Scorpion Stinger spikes)

Apparel: Nike Golf



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