I recently tested the PowerBilt Air Force One DFX N7 Nitrogen-Charged Driver, a golf club that was created with a whole lot of technology to help gain extra distance off the tee. However, if that was all that mattered, the folks at PowerBilt could have probably saved a great deal of the time, money and effort that went into the development of this club. Nearly all golfers want tremendous distance from their driver, but they also want a forgiving clubface and an appealing design for a somewhat reasonable price.
This PowerBilt driver was built using Nitrogen Charged Technology, which is a method of reinforcing the club face without adding any weight. Compressed nitrogen helps give strong support to the club face, providing the maximum trampoline effect and smash factor for greater distance.
This nitrogen charging technique also allows PowerBilt to build golf clubs with the thinnest face in golf. Why is this important? Generally speaking, the thinner the club face, the less weight. For the golfer, this can translate into increased ball speed, longer distances and better overall performance from the golf club.
Innovation like this is nothing new for a company like PowerBilt, which is a sister company of Louisville Slugger a division of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., which has been building sports equipment for over 100 years. Bionic, which is a company that makes some of my favorite cutting-edge golf gloves, is also owned by H&B.
Although the PowerBilt brand has been somewhat dormant over the recent past, the company has a rich tradition of success in the golf industry. PowerBilt Golf first started making golf clubs from persimmon in 1916. The company has designed golf clubs the world’s best have used to win such tournaments as The Masters, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.
In 1934, Olin Dutra used the PowerBilt golf clubs to capture the U.S. Open by one stroke over Gene Sarazen. Throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s PowerBilt Citation Persimmon Woods were the standard by which all drivers and fairway woods were judged. During the 1980s, professional golfers such as Fuzzy Zoeller used PowerBilt clubs to win over 20 events on the pro tours.
In order to identify whether the PowerBilt Air Force One DFX N7 Nitrogen-Charged Driver possessed all of the necessary qualities of distance, feel and looks, I started with a visit to the golf simulator at my local PGA Tour Superstore. The driver that I tested featured 10.5 degrees of loft with a regular flex Pro 63 Fujikura Golf shaft.
With the PowerBilt Air Force One DFX N7, my average club speed over about 20 swings was right around 99 MPH with a ball speed of about 137 MPH – both impressive numbers for me. The combination of the deep-faced design and the proper shaft helped me consistently produce a solid rhythm and swing tempo. This isn’t always the case as I typically find myself fighting a sway caused by a longer backswing and the subsequent chase to catch up on the downswing.
What I also liked about the PowerBilt Air Force One DFX N7 is the rounded, aerodynamic profile and black matte finish. This combination gave me a visual feeling of balance and the white alignment aid on the crown gave me a very clear focal point. This is a good looking club that feels proportionally built, avoiding the excessive, shovel-like appearance of many deep-faced drivers.
Based on the data from my tests on the simulator, the trampoline effect from this club definitely produced increased ball speed. It has resulted in an extremely tight shot dispersion, which is quite important for someone like myself who is prone to overswings and inconsistent ball flight off the tee.
The MSRP on the PowerBilt Air Force One DFX N7 is $299, which makes it a pretty solid investment. Although it’s not adjustable, the performance and feel of the club are outstanding, even while conforming completely with USGA regulations. It’s also a very good looking club that fit my eye in a lot of ways and is a club that I would definitely feel proud to have in my bag.
To learn more about the Air Force One DFX N7, check out the Powerbilt website.