Above, please witness what I’d purchase if I were the type of person who’d spend $500 on a single golf club (I’m not). The PowerBilt Air Force One – by the same people who bring you Louisville Slugger baseball bats – has nitrogen inside of it. Nitrogen!
The gas creates a better trampoline effect when teeing off, mimicking the force of a 110 MPH swing speed, which is optimal for maximum distance. You’d think you might be at risk for some more out-of-control shots, but the club actually features a larger-than-normal sweet spot and a thinner face. Oh, and it’s USGA-legal. Unbelievable.
“PowerBilt is the only golf manufacturer to infuse a clubhead with nitrogen gas, which is safe and resistant to leakage. The air pressure, which can be as high 150 psi, supports the face with no mechanical bracing. This allows PowerBilt to create the thinnest face in golf and the largest sweetspot.”
I can’t help but wonder if the nitrogen effect decreases and/or runs out over time and, if so, how long it’d take before you’re left with a deflated club. Powerbilt will be selling the driver for $500 along with $350 fairway woods and $250 hybrid irons. There’s no exact date on when they’ll start selling, but I’d guess we’ll be seeing these by the time spring rolls around. The clubs will be sold in golf shops and via infomercials.
Here’s the complete press release…
PowerBilt Golf announces introducing new Air Force One golf clubs
NEW YORK — One of golf’s richest heritage brands, PowerBilt, is introducing cutting-edge technology with the new Air Force One drivers, fairway woods and hybrid clubs. What makes Air Force One completely different from anything on the market is Nitrogen-Charged Technology, which is patented and has multiple patents pending.
PowerBilt is the only golf manufacturer to infuse a clubhead with nitrogen gas, which is safe and resistant to leakage. The air pressure, which can be as high 150 psi, supports the face with no mechanical bracing. This allows PowerBilt to create the thinnest face in golf and the largest sweetspot.
"PowerBilt is at the forefront of ‘what’s next’ in golf club technology," says Ross Kvinge, president of PowerBilt. "This provides real benefits to all golfers – no matter how fast they swing – so they can maximize their ‘smash factor.’" (Smash factor is a term referring to the amount of energy transfer from a golfer’s swing to the ball.)
With Nitrogen-Charged Technology, PowerBilt’s Air Force One clubs are the only clubs on the market offered in multiple face thicknesses (not to be confused with variable face thickness, which other companies tout). "Giving a golfer the opportunity to match his or her swing speed with the appropriate face thickness means all golfers will be able to flex the face like a tour pro," says Kvinge.
A typical high-end driver, regardless of brand, has a face thickness of 3 mm or more. The Air Force One driver is offered in two face thicknesses – 2.8 mm and 2.6 mm. Fairway woods and hybrids also have thinner faces than comparable clubs and are offered in multiple thicknesses.
Each Air Force One clubhead is coated on the inside with a leak-proof resin and then charged with nitrogen gas to pressures as high as 150 psi. The air pressure provides the appropriate face support so that each driver performs within USGA regulations. The USGA tests a driver’s performance by using a swing speed of 110 mph. The vast majority of golfers swing much slower than 110 mph, meaning they are not compressing the face of the club, and therefore not getting maximum distance.
The Air Force One driver’s thinnest face – 2.6 mm – benefits golfers with moderate and controlled swing speeds. Combining the ultra-thin face with the appropriate air pressure helps optimize "trampoline" effect as well as ball spin rate so that the ball stays airborne longer to maximize distance.
The Air Force One driver with a 2.8 mm face promotes a lower spin rate to prevent the ball from ballooning, which can hurt distance for golfers with fast swing speeds.
Fujikura – one of the most popular shafts on the PGA Tour – is the stock shaft on the Air Force One. The flex point of the shaft will also help optimize spin rate. Air Force One drivers designed for most swing speeds will have a low kick point, which will promote a higher ball flight, while the driver designed for golfers with fast swing speeds will have a medium kick point to promote a lower ball flight.
Another key benefit of Nitrogen-Charged Technology is a heel-to-toe sweet spot. The absence of mechanical bracing means more of the face is able to flex at impact. "Our testing shows all golfers enjoy straighter shots than with a conventional driver. But there’s even an added benefit," says Kvinge. "Heel shots, which can be problematic for long hitters and better players, go long and straight."
The Air Force One driver will also be offered in two shapes – a geometric shape that maximizes Moment of Inertia (MOI) for straighter shots and a tour shape that allows better players to work the ball.
"The Air Force One does it all," concludes Kvinge. "It caters to golfers with different swings and talent levels. Most golfers will see 10 to 20 yards more in driving distance."
The suggested retail price for an Air Force One driver is $499.99; fairway woods are $349.99 each; and hybrids are $249.99 each. Infomercial programming will help promote and sell the Air Force One, and it will also be available at many golf retail stores and pro shops.
PowerBilt Golf is a division of Hillerich & Bradsby (H&B), which has been making golf clubs since 1916. PowerBilt clubs have been used to win more than 100 professional tour events, including eight Majors. Fuzzy Zoeller, who won the Masters and U.S. Open playing with PowerBilt, currently plays PowerBilt on tour. H&B is also the maker of Louisville Slugger bats and equipment.