Club Test: Nickent 4DX Special Edition driver

Nickent's sexy 4DX SE driverClub Test: Nickent 4DX Special Edition driver
Demo Specs: Nine degrees of loft, proprietary Fujikura SR3 shaft, 65 grams, S flex
Options: Nine, 10.5 or 12 degrees of loft. Swingweight D2, length 45.5 inches (available in 44.5 inches for women). No left-hand models (original 4DX offers a much wider array of options).
Shafts: UST V2, SR3. Nickent also offers a wide selection of custom shaft options.
What they say:
0.4 mm laser-welded thin titanium crown makes 4DX head weigh just 180 grams, allowing for more distribution of weight in the heel and toe to raise the MOI significantly and make it one of the straightest drivers on the market. The thin Titanium face is as hot as legally allowed by the USGA, with one of the widest sweet spots of any driver available!
What we say:
Call it the sex factor.
Sometimes, all the technology in the world isnt going to help you shape a high draw off the tee on a long par 4, or infuse you with the courage to swing freely on a narrow, reachable par 5.
There are times when it all boils down to sex appeal _ something the most recent offerings from Nickent Golf, a longtime Nationwide Tour stalwart and recent PGA Tour upstart, have in spades.
Case in point is the gorgeous Special Edition model of Nickents 4DX driver, identical in every way to the original, classically shaped, 460cc cannon _ except with a delicious glossy-black finish.
Long gone are the brown and maroon colours of Nickent of old, replaced with a sharp-looking combo of black and metallic racing green that looks even better with the stock shaft, a proprietary Fujikura SR3 job. Even the head cover, decked out in chrome-coloured piping, looks fast.
The only slip-up on the aesthetics is the cheesy Special Edition script on the toe, which stands in for the cool winged N logo that graces all other models.
There is nothing to suggest in any of the specs that the SE comes in a draw-bias model, but for some reason this tester felt a little left-leaning. Nickent doesnt do a lot in terms of fiddling with the setup beyond offering two configurations of the 4DX “ the T-Spec and D-Spec _ and theres nothing to indicate the SE comes in anything but a neutral, standard setup.
As with all of Nickents recent driver offerings, the clean lines and traditional shape help to disguise the massive 460cc head, although with nine degrees of loft, a lot of the face is visible at address. That takes a little getting used to.
Underneath, the jet-pack weight ports so unique to the 4DX line are right where they ought to be, together sporting 16 grams of tungsten weight thats used to move weight to the heel and toe, increasing the MOI and making the whole affair more forgiving and stable at the moment of truth.
That said, the 4DX SE took a little getting used to _ likely a consequence of the Fujikura shaft, a product which in my experience can be a bit less user-friendly than most. It would be interesting to try out the SE with a Proforce V2, which is another standard option for Nickent gear and the sort of choice a weekend player is most likely to be satisfied with.
Heres the thing with the 4DX: in terms of feel, its difficult to tell the difference between a mis-hit and flush contact. Thats great if you mis-hit it more often than you flush it. But before you fall in love with this driver, ask yourself whether youre willing to sacrifice the feel of occasional solid contact for the opportunity not to feel contact near the heel or the toe.
The 4DX can compete with the big boys in terms of distance, to be sure, but I never felt as though it was generating anything exceptional. You wont lose yards with the 4DX, but dont expect to be blown away.
Personally, I found myself getting frustrated with the 4DX before too long, mainly because I genuinely couldnt tell when Id made solid contact. The tradeoff, of course, was that the mis-hits generally found the fairway and lost little in terms of distance. But heres the thing about drivers such as this: if you cant distinguish between the good shots and the bad shots, how are you supposed to ever get any better?
Contact anywhere on the face felt muted “ not the explosive crack of a Titleist or the high-pitched whing of a Nike, but something more akin to a dull thud. Once again, the lack of feedback makes the SE a club thats difficult to work in either direction.
Bottom line: if you struggle to find the centre of the clubface off the tee, the 4DX is going to help mitigate the damage, but at the expense of feel. If youre a strong driver of the golf ball, or if you like to move the ball either left or right, you may want to look for something that allows you to know where on the face youre making contact, and adjust accordingly.

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James McCarten

When James McCarten isn't at the Ottawa offices of The Canadian Press, where he works as parliamentary news editor, he's either on the golf course or putting off his latest freelance golf-writing gig to spend time with wife Lisa and school-age kids Claire and Lucas. With 20 years of experience in Canadian journalism, James also suffers from a financially crippling addiction to all things Scotty Cameron.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • I found this driver to be outstanding. Now I will say the standard shaft is much too tip soft for me, but after replacing the factory shaft with a 85 gram x stiff V2. This driver is as long and straight as anything out there. Another thing I would say is the square set-up and address makes it very easy to aim and hit down a sidewalk. Too many drivers like Taylormade have closed faces that make it very difficult for better players. I had a Nickent Cross and it was a great driver, just a little short compared to others. This 4DX is not short at all, very straight for high low spin shots. Performs a bit like the Hibore XL and you also get more ball roll after it hits. All in all a very nice driver at a fantastic price. I was so impressed I have 3 wood and utility 5 wood. All are equally accurate. Great clubs Nickent!!!!

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