Being the technical director at a golf club company has some major advantages. One of which is the ability to try out new products long before they are available to the market. While our journey began 21 months ago on this project, today I am finally able to show you the fruits of our labor. Now, if you thought I would talk about the new Acer XF driver series, well… as much as I love those, I’ll leave those until next week. No, I am going to throw you a curve ball as I am going to introduce to you to the new Power Play Adrenaline driver and explain why has been my go-to driver since the fall of last year.
Our focus on this project from day one was increasing efficiency so you could obtain the greatest distance and accuracy possible. We actually went about it in two different manners. The first of which were new advancements in tooling and fabrications to successfully plasma weld a 4-piece forged titanium head. Plasma weld you ask?
There are two methods of welding titanium pieces together. In the construction of a traditional 4-piece forged titanium heads, the pieces are permanently joined together by gas tungsten arc welding which is also known as TIG or tungsten inert gas welding. The first picture you see is of a cut-away titanium head and those are beads of solder along the joints.
There is another type of welding called Plasma Arc Welding. This is an improvement over TIG welding by providing a cleaner, more efficient weld. You can clearly see in this picture that plasma welding requires less solder which ultimately prevents uneven welds that create weak spots from over-polishing. While this may not sound so fascinating to most readers today, let me explain why it should.
First off, if you say plasma welding is not new? I’ll fess up as that is true. You see plasma welding has been successfully used to join a forged titanium face to an investment cast titanium body. The investment casting process provides very consistent shapes that fit nice and neatly together where gaps are at an absolute minimum. However, this was not the case with 4-piece forged titanium clubs as the gaps between each piece are just too great to allow plasma welding to join the materials together.
Benefits of Plasma Welding Forged Titanium Clubs
One big benefit is cost. Investment cast titanium clubs are more than twice as expensive to produce as you have the exorbitant costs of tooling and a higher reject rate due to porosity that has to be passed along to the consumer. Robotic plasma welding machines can work around the clock to make precise welds leading to more consistency in finishing and ultimately in the weight. Even the most skilled laborer can’t make those claims.
The secondary benefit is what makes the performance advantage. In a 460cc titanium driver, plasma welding can help eliminate up to 7g of needless weight. That is a HUGE amount of saving that is then used elsewhere to maximize how accurately you will hit the ball. The result is the same high performance but at a fraction of the cost of the more expensive cast titanium heads on the market and only slightly more expensive than a standard TIG welded 4-piece forged titanium head.
The First Plasma Welded Driver That Never Was
The previous picture of the plasma welded cut-away was actually our first plasma welded driver called the Q3. It was a highly playable driver and one of the prototypes sits at arm reach from my desk as a reminder of just how long some designs take to get to market – if they ever do. This one never did, partially because the matching fairways and hybrids didn’t look “kick ass”. So at the last minute, we withheld this project from our 2010 catalog which is well over a year ago!
Designing a Speed Demon
The second factor we began to work diligently on was to improve the aerodynamics of the head itself. I want to throw a bone to our founding forefathers of golf as they were pretty smart. Long before the Wright Brothers took flight, they probably studied the wings of birds when the decided on the modern wood shape we see today. But like car companies obsessed on speed and fuel economy, we didn’t want to be complacent and content with the same old. No, we wanted to improve the efficiency so there are no excuses that you left anything on the tee. To prove it, we actually had a wind tunnel built just to study the aerodynamics of different shaped drivers. This top picture shows an example of an inefficient shape. Our foundry even reached out and tapped the expertise of an industry consultant to help with the project.
With our wind tunnel, we originally hoped to find were certain shapes that would result into the least amount of air resistance. That is if we followed the smoke stream it would have a good attachment to the body. But then once the smoke waves passed the rear of the club they would converge and continue along their original path. Once we found certain features that allowed air flow to pass more efficiently we began the process of piecing together our first aerodynamically design prototype (pictured here).
After a few modifications, the final product is what you see here. The body of the Power Play Adrenaline features a bold looking, unique shape that is extremely rounded reducing drag and allowing the air to flow around the clubhead with the least amount of resistance. The end result is increasing a player’s swing speed with the same amount of effort no matter how minute you may think it is. So we call this Slipstream Technology.
An About Face
One more thing I should add, the plasma welding works best with cup-face construction. So we equipped the Power Play Adrenaline drivers with a premium face construction, which is our variable face thickness, cup face technology to increase your ball speed and distance even on those off-center shots. This way you don’t have to bring you’re a-game to the tee, but no one will know you didn’t.
I can’t tell you how many times in the past 21 months since this project was born that I have been out with our marketing manager producing one of our low budget videos or a trip to the range for another fun project. But he always acknowledges just how well I seem to hit that driver regardless of what type of shaft I am using. The Power Play Adrenaline may not get the fane fare the Acer XF will because of their killer looks, but the technologies behind this driver is very special. If you are in the market for a new driver, this is one you definitely don’t want to overlook. Fuel your passion of this great game with the new Power Play Adrenaline driver.
|Power Play System Q Adrenaline Driver Custom Assembled $99.95|
|Power Play System Q Adrenaline Driver Component Clubhead $59.95|