by Frank J. Peter
GigaGolfs' newest driver, the Z4 Ti Driver, arrived at our office for review equipped with the optional Grafalloy Pro Launch Red shaft (more on that below) and the standard Sensatec VX grip. First impression when taking it out of the box was 'Wow, Darth Vader has arrived - on a stick'. As you can see from the pictures, the head is big, square and all shiny black (hence the analogy to Darth Vaders' helmet). With its 460cc volume the driver oozes badness and power.
The club face is manufactured in a cup shape rather than just a flat piece of titanium as it's done for many 'branded' drivers costing a lot more than this one. This design is more expensive to make, but it gives the face a lot more stability. The face height of just 53.5mm is shallower than older driver models. This is in line with current developments in driver technology to reduce resistance to airflow of the club head, which results in less drag and greater club head speed, and ultimately greater distance. The square geometry makes the head much more stable at impact with the ball. The technical term is called 'MOI' or 'Moment of Inertia', and basically describes the resistance to twisting of the head when it contacts the golf ball. The higher the MOI the more stable the club head is. While we don't have the means to actually measure the MOI I would expect it to be very high.
The square geometry is particularly helpful at off-center hits that most of us produce ever so often. It effectively increases the hitting area, which results in straighter shots as compared to traditional 'round headed' drivers and keeps your ball in the fairway and out of trouble. This extreme forgiveness makes the GigaGolf Z4 Ti Driver a great choice for mid to high handicappers, and better players will enjoy it as well. A drawback for all square drivers is that they tend to be loud on impact, and the Z4 Ti Driver is no exception. However, I think this is a small price to pay for the increase in playability.
The Grafalloy Pro Launch Red shaft as well as the Pro Launch Blue shaft are, at the time of this writing, free upgrades that GigaGolf offers for this driver. The Pro Launch Red is aimed at golfers seeking a lower ball trajectory with more roll, while the Blue produces a higher trajectory and more carry. Both shafts incorporate Grafalloy's proprietary Micro-MeshTM tip technology aimed to give "perfect balance of tip stiffness, stability and spin control while preserving critical feel for valuable feedback" (source: Grafalloy website). For high handicappers it is recommended to go with the Pro Launch Blue shaft as it makes it a lot easier to get the ball airborne. Mid and low handicappers should make the choice depending on their current playing characteristics. Having said that, in our field test the 10.5° head and the Pro Launch Red shaft worked very well together.
In summary, the GigaGolf Z4 Ti Driveris an ultra-forgiving club that helps you go down the fairway as straight as an arrow. It is top value for money and a great choice for all levels of players, particularly with the upgraded shaft. May the force be with you...