Three years ago, BuffaloGolfer.Com published a review of the Air Force One DFX driver. You can read it here. We discussed the worth of the clubhead, along with the importance of proper shaft fitting. In our case, the shaft that we requested was a challenging one to hit, and it certainly impacted our experience with the driver. Despite this caveat, we had good things to say about the AF1DFX. Three years have passed and we have the opportunity once again to evaluate the value of another Air Force One product: a fairway metal.
We selected a five-metal to test, for reasons entirely personal. The three-metal might soon go the way of the long iron, from our perspective. It’s not the easiest club to hit off the deck, despite not being a driver. Most amateur golfers are better suited to hit a four- or five-metal, given the shorter shaft length and the loft increase. What happens if you use a 3-metal shaft on a 5-metal head, or a 5-metal shaft on a 3-metal head? Interesting considerations, but we digress!!
The Air Force One Air Foil series is the evolution of the DFX line of equipment. It features a louvered club head that should efficiently conduct air over and around the clubhead, and allow the mass to slide through with greater ease, affording higher contact speed and elevated ball speed. We opted for the outdoor test, as we feel that an on-course test affords a more legitimate proving ground than a wind-protected hitting bay and artificial mat. If we could combine the two, we would be in business.
Despite (or perhaps, dancing through) a supremely-wet and uncooperative spring in the northeastern USA, we were able to hit the 5-metal on a number of days, in a number situations. We played it off the tee and off the deck. We’re no longer brazen enough (as we were in our youth) to hit fairway metals from fairway bunkers, but you have our permission to do so. We had some real skunkers and some impressive results. In other words, we played like amateur golfers!
Over the last five years at BuffaloGolfer, we’ve come to respect two things about the golf club industry. The first is this: if it makes it to production and distribution, a massive amount of research and development has gone into proving a club’s legitimacy. You can’t half-arse things anymore, if anyone ever did. The second is this: golfers have to test it for their own selves. What we say should have no direct impact on your decision to purchase a club, but it should encourage/discourage you to/from test(ing) it.
Have you ever stood on a par-three tee, with a green that rises up from a canyon floor, dropping off on all sides? We did. Oh, the tee was elevated and the wind was howling into our faces. This made the 175-yard hole play about 220. We hit the Air Foil 5-metal again and again into this zephyr, and the ball held its line. This, friends, was impressive.
Perhaps we have a musical ear (and perhaps you do not.) We like to hear a bit of a ring from our metals, and we don’t hear it with the Air Force One. Some folks cannot trade sound for performance, while others are able to do just that. We like how the Air Foil sets up and presents itself at address. Despite the nouveau look of a louvered top, it is not distracting. It reminds us a bit of potato chips, and we love potato chips.
So here’s the summary: The Air Force One Air Foil series has indeed passed from hypothesis and theory into production and distribution-check mark one. The Air Force One Air Foil 5 metal (and its 3 metal counterpart) gets our thumbs-up as a club you should consider and test, if you are in the market for new fairway metals-check mark two. Now, a bit more about Air Force One and its separation from PowerBilt:
Air Force One equipment, previously under the PowerBilt brand, a licensee of Hillerich & Bradsby. has become a wholly owned entity doing business as Air Force One, based in Palm Desert, CA. The new Air Force One, a U.S. company based in Palm Desert, CA, will continue to work with Hillerich & Bradsby entering into a licensee agreement with H&B to distribute nitrogen charged technology golf equipment for international markets. The PowerBilt name will not move forward with the new company in the U.S. “Our goal is to focus on getting the word out and to improve our distribution so we can reach our customers interested in trying our patented technology. We have proven technology that all levels of golfers have shown an interest in and we just need to improve on reaching them,” said Air Force One President, Ross Kvinge.