I once bought a pair of pants from K-Mart. Jeans, to be exact. I figured, why get Levis or J-Crew when K-Mart had a pair at 1/3 the price of the name brands, right? Well, to make a long story short, I now have quite a few denim dust rags around the house, and my computer monitor has never been cleaner.
So when I got this Sonartec 3-wood, I was a bit worried. I was unfamiliar with the brand, and I figured sooner or later, I would be using this club as support for the tomato plants in my garden. I have hit lesser-known brand-name clubs before, and more often than not, I was unimpressed. What you save in price, you sacrifice in accuracy, distance, and consistency. And on the golf course, this can have embarrassing, cross-fairway effects and might even lead to expulsion from some of the fancier courses.
So Sonartec had to sell me, and for the most part, they did.
Here are some of the things Sonartec says about the SS-01 Fairway Woods:
There is a deeper Center of Gravity (CG) that creates a penetrating ball flight with no balloon effect; hence, the ball is less apt to be affected by wind and also will get more roll.
The CG is aligned with the ball at impact every time, meaning cleaner hits and better energy transfer from club to ball.
I think the importance of this technology can be explained in the following way (warning–it will be a few moments until the actual explanation part comes around). For the most part, I’m not a big fan of shallow-faced clubs. I’ve found that I need a pretty thin lie to make decent contact, and this is true with the Sonartec. However, when I get that thin lie, I’m able to sweep down, get to the ball, get it up into the air, and I’m often able to work a draw or fade into the shot, if needed. Thin-lied shots, especially long ones, are often feared by most golfers, but this club helps take that fear away. Also, when I have a perfect lie or hit it off the tee, I’m able to make some nice shots. But if the lie is too fluffy or thick, I hit a Texas Leaguer that sure looks pretty going up, but besides the aesthetic effect and the potential of killing low flying birds, it doesn’t really fit into my golf game (joke–please no angry notes from bird lovers).
All in all, I find that the uses of shallow-faced clubs are limited. Okay, so here’s the explanation promised in the previous paragraph to help explain why Sonartec’s technology might give this club an edge. With the Center of Gravity weighting and alignment, the pop-up effect is greatly eliminated, even on slightly fluffy lies. With shallow-faced clubs, the tendency is to pop up the ball, but with the unique weighting of this club, instead of getting horseshoe-like trajectories on slight mishits, you get a more boring trajectory that cuts through the wind and produces some nice roll.
While I was able to make some nice shots, including a 245-yard draw around a bend of trees, for the most part I still tended to hit it higher than I wanted. But there was a nice consistency with the Sonartec SS-01. I could count on the distance, and I was able to shape shots–especially fades–and the SS-01 had a nice weight and feel to it.
The only two drawbacks were that I did not feel that this club was as long as other 3-woods I’ve hit, and I’m not sure it was any better than other shallow-faced clubs. But, unlike those jeans from K-Mart, it wasn’t any worse.
Quick Club Review
Distance: A little short but consistent
Control: Above average
From Tee: Pretty good
Fairway: Made for thin lies
From Rough: Only if it’s a good lie…
Look: Nice-looking club
Intangibles: Confidence through consistency…