I must confess the name Sonartec wasn’t overly familiar to me before I agreed to test-drive their (apparently) very successful fairway wood. Australian distributor Quality Golf set up a 3 wood with a stiff shaft, 14 degree loft and said have a rip – tell us what you think.
Most manufacturers base success on how many clubs they have in play on the major professional Tours and how victories “they” have. With Nick Price as their main Staff Professional and company advisor, apparently another 180 professionals put over 1,250 Sonartec clubs into play on various Tours at the end of 2002, which included 5 PGA Tour victories. That sounds good, but I’d use their clubs if they paid me too! However they say they paid only 3 players to use the clubs, the others choose Sonartec as a club of choice – yet they still sit high on the charts for clubs in play on the world’s most important tours. That sounds more impressive.
The first thing that struck me about the 3 wood I was to test drive was the small size of the club head. It’s like a five wood from ten years ago in relative size (if you follow me). Big club heads give you confidence to make contact as you stand over the ball – I felt as if I would need to be a little bit more careful when I gave this club a swing.
I instantly loved the aesthetics – a black club head, silver face and sole, matching black shaft with very minimal branding. Plain but classical – just the way I like it!
But enough about their results in the hands of professionals, or the good looks – how did it go?
In short - really, really well! It felt great in the hands, well balanced with the distinct feeling their was a club head at the end of the shaft. These days, with titanium and alike, clubs are so light you often have to have another look just to see if there is something in your hand!
It swung beautifully, and with the weight in the head I didn’t feel the urge to hit the cover off the ball. Early on I caught a few balls in the “heal” and saw my ball bobble along the ground to the left, but when I made contact – BANG!
You definitely get a lower ball flight; many of my really good shots appeared to get no higher than 10 metres off the ground. A couple even lower, but boy did the ball run – I was easily hitting it as far as my current driver
The secret behind the club head is the Driving Cavity Technology that pushes the centre of gravity back in the club head with the result (in layman’s terms) raising and deepening the Centre of Gravity, for a larger sweet spot, and more “punch” at impact.
If you are into jargon, have a look at their impressive website – www.sonartec.com - it all makes sense, without too much waffle.
Overall I love the look of the club, the feel and the results were fantastic. This particular model would probably suit the lower handicap player, but the SS-01 and SS-02 models offer more forgiveness for the more modest ball striker.
Price: RRP $495 (incl gst)
For: Classical, great looking club with black club head, matching black shaft and stainless steel face and sole. Lovely balance and feel in the hand. Easy to use and it goes a long way!
Against: After being bombarded with bigger and bigger club heads, it takes getting used to the smaller, more compact head. Although in general terms it isn’t expensive for a club these days, for the average player to cough up $500 for a fairway wood is a big ask.
Pieces: One (and a cover)
How it rates: ****12
5 El Supremo 4 Pretty damn good
3 On the ball 2 Okay 1 Crap
All the Details
Engine Stiff Flex Penley shaft
Transmission Stainless Steel 160cc Deep Face Head
Steering Driving Cavity Sole design
Suspension Lamkins Crossline rubber grip
How big? 43 Inch shaft
Rivals All major manufacturer fairway woods (Ping, Titleist, Adams etc)
Notes Sonartec Driving Cavity Technology
Available in right hand – 3, 4, 5 and 7W, different lofts available, some left hand models available