Jeff Summitt gives us an update on the “Design Our Next Driver” campaign
If you have been following on our Blog, or better yet participating, you probably have wondered what the status of the “Hireko Wants You to Help Design Our Next Driver from the Ground Up!” campaign is. In our last segment, we showed you the CAD images and the picture of the rapid prototype sample, which is all fine and dandy. But bring on the real deal! Last week the first playable samples finally arrived.
The project’s official name is the Acer XDS Insider and once the catalog is ready, we will explain more in-depth the principals of the design and why the name Insider was selected. The driver will be available in two different versions. There will be a normal weight 10.5º and 12º driver for those comfortable with standard length drivers. We also mentioned a specially weighted version that can be assembled slightly shorter for more control off of the tee. We asked for your input and we listened. The “Thriver” version was produced with 14º of loft.
As a matter of fact, we were so pleased with the progress of the drivers we have already tooled up the 3 wood, which came in the sample shipment amongst other goodies. The concept of the matching fairway is the same as the drivers were.
Just like a little kid at Christmas sitting in front tree filled with unwrapped packages, I had to wait to perform all the laborious specification checks to make sure that everything was correct before every getting a fresh batch of epoxy ready to build the samples. Stock Acer Velocity shafts were used to test performance of the drivers rather than using exotic shafts like Aldila Voodoo’s or the new Project X, which could had unduly influenced those selected to test the new heads.
I spent two days at the range with some customers to try out the new Acer XDS Insider samples to make sure it was what was envisioned, plus receive any feedback they we had not thought about. For those that didn’t want the racing stripe and anything outrageous, you will be pleased that this is a very simple and straight forward look at address. Cosmetics were a non-issue with any of those had the opportunity to hit the clubs.
But cosmetics, at least to me are second fiddle compared to performance. I can deal with anything I hit really well and the looks can grow on me. But if I have a club that doesn’t perform as it should, it doesn’t matter how good it looks, it would never set foot in my bag. After the two days attentively noticing the ball flight and dispersion as well as listening to the comments of those who participated in our evaluation, the foundry got the email to start production and the tooling on left handed versions of the club heads. Plus, two of the test clubs might have just officially replaced two of the clubs in my bag.
So thank all of you who participated help design one of Hireko’s new 2010 drivers, not to mention the fairway too. Hopefully you have a better appreciation of how a product goes from drawing board to warehouse and the time table it takes for this to happen. New club head designs just don’t magically appear – at least not original designs that perform better than what they replace and have been put through their paces.