by Frank J. Peter
GigaGolf has kindly sent us some samples of their latest club series, the Cloud 9 series, for review. In this review we discuss the C9 c455 Metal Woods, while the C9 VFT Composite Driver and the corresponding C9 Ti Face Insert Irons are described elsewhere on this site.
The C9 c455 Metal Woods are part of GigaGolfs premium Cloud 9 series of clubs. What sets them apart from other stainless steel woods is that they are built using legendary Carpenter Technology Corporations proprietary c455 stainless steel alloy.
Here is how it works
I'm no engineer, so I had to look this up: Carpenter Technology, a NYSE listed company, is well regarded for producing a range of specialty alloys, including different varieties of stainless steel. The c455 grade steel is one of their premium grade alloys, consisting mainly of iron, chrome and titanium. The main characteristic of c455 steel is high strength and hardness as well as high resistance to corrosion. So there you have it, the steel used in this premium club head is stronger than the one used in most other heads.
The c455 steel face represents a technological break thru not only because of the alloy used, but also because of the way it's been built. The face is thicker in the center and gets gradually thinner towards the edges; this is called 'variable face thickness' or 'VFT'. The results are a bigger sweet spot (= more forgiveness during mishits) and extra distance.
What we think
Our test model was a C9 c455 Metal #3 Wood and came with the standard UST 360 Graphite shaft and the standard GigaGolf VX grip.
When unwrapping the new club I first thought they sent another driver by mistake, but not so. This 3 wood is massive, quite possibly the biggest 3 wood I have seen so far. It must be the use of the c455 steel that allows making the clubhead so big. If made of normal stainless steel it would not survive a serious hit at a high compression golf ball.
The club is very nice to look at: shiny mirror black finish on the top, nicely accented with a green trim.
We tried it first on the range and later on the course. There is no doubt that this big club with extra hardened c455 steel face packs more 'ump' than a regular 3 wood, no matter if swung by a beginner or by a low handicapper. The club is well balanced despite its size, and it works well with the standard shaft. On the course one of the more striking features of the C9 c455 Metal Wood was that, again due to its size, it glides over the short fairway grass rather than digging in like some smaller fairway woods do. This is of great benefit to beginners who tend to bounce the club head off the ground before actually striking the ball (fat shot), and those sometimes topping the ball due to this. Intermediate players will appreciate the added distance they get for their approach shot.
The C9 c455 Metal #3 Wood is an excellent choice for beginner and average players mainly for two reasons:
The standard configuration is only $49, and we think that the quality and benefits of this club surpasses its price.