When I think of Powerbilt, I think back to my very first set of golf clubs in the late 1960s. I was eight years old and the set consisted of a Powerbilt Citation 3-wood, a 5-iron and a putter. Back then, Powerbilt was a well-respected name in the golf community; not so these days.
Most sports minded people are familiar with Powerbilt’s sister company – Louisville Slugger, a giant within baseball and softball. Golfers may be familiar with another sister company: Bionic, makers of some of the best golf gloves I have ever tested. But bring up Powerbilt in a golf conversation with your friends will look at you like you have no idea what you’re talking about.
Powerbilt’s newest product line is out to change that. In an industry where uniqueness is everything and creating a product that produces extra yards off the tee equates to millions of dollars in revenue, Powerbilt may just be on to something with their patented Nitrogen Charged Technology. Powerbilt came out with this technology a few years ago and this year introduced their newly designed: the Air Force One (AFO) N7 Deep Face Extreme (DFX).
Nitrogen Charged Technology (NCT) is a method of reinforcing the clubface without adding any weight. Compressed nitrogen is used to provide tremendous support to the club face, allowing golfers of all abilities the maximum trampoline effect and smash factor, resulting in greater distances.
There are a couple of things that set the AFO N7 DFX apart from other drivers. Obviously, the biggest difference is the nitrogen pressurized club head which leads to explosive distance. Secondly is the deep face and rounded profile which has been a trademark of Powerbilt for almost 100 years. This rounded profile helps to make this new Powerbilt driver more aerodynamic. The club is finished in matte black with a contrasting white alignment aid on the crown. The sole has a couple of orange graphics and white lettering; all in all, it’s a good looking club.
When I took the club out for a test drive, I found that the ball leaves the club face extra hot with a penetrating ball flight and mid-trajectory. According to the president of Powerbilt, Ross Kvinge, the nitrogen pressure has been reduced to 80 pounds which not only maximizes the trampoline effect for increased ball speed. It has also created the tightest shot dispersion in any of their drivers.
It took a few swings to develop the right trajectory, at first, everything was going low. A few quick tweaks to the swing and I had the trajectory I was looking for.
A lot of feedback to golfers – especially off the tee – is generated by the sound of the driver; manufacturers pour a lot of money into research to produce what they consider to be the right sound. As a player, it’s not hard to distinguish between a “good sound” and a “bad sound.” The good sound generated by the AFO N7 DFX can best be described as a ping (not to be confused with PING). Although I didn’t always get the sound I wanted (AKA miss hit), I didn’t seem to be sacrificing much in the way of distance and accuracy.
The list price on the new AFO N7 DFX is $299, making it quite a value. One feature missing from this driver is that is not adjustable, like so many newer clubs on the market. You may have to deal with a few funny looks and some wisecracks from your playing partners for using such a club, but I’m sure they will change their tune when they see your drives blow by.
For more information on the Powerbilt Air Force One N7 Deep Extreme Face driver, visit their website at www.powerbilt.com. Here you can see the other clubs the company offers as well as customize your driver and order it. If you’re looking to add some distance to your game, this driver would be a great start.