AirSlot golf clubs,
numbers 1, 3, 5, and 7
- An expert’s review
By John Andrisani: Former golf instructor, former longtime senior instruction editor at GOLF Magazine, and renowned author of golf instruction books, including The Tiger Woods Way.
As a golf expert, having written about all aspects of the game, namely instruction, golf course reviews, feature stories, and equipment pieces, mostly when a magazine editor, I recently was contacted by the CEO of a company, who asked me to review and reevaluate brand new, circa 2003 clubs, found in a warehouse and, frankly, forgotten about, to determine if they could still perform well enough to sell to golfers and, ideally, stand up to the competition of today.
Actually, what was found were around 1500 Air Slot clubs, all in mint-condition sets comprised of numbers 1, 3, 5, and 7, all in rarely seen forged Titanium, all featuring the highest-quality graphite shafts in flexes suitable to any golfer, including Regular, Stiff, and a uniquely designed extra-flexible A-Flex shaft ideal for senior men and women golfers.
In my life I had seen thousands and thousands of sets of clubs, due mainly to working as an assistant golf professional at three different golf courses, working as assistant-editor of Golf Illustrated magazine in England, and working, too, as the longtime head of instruction for GOLF Magazine. That said I had never seen clubs like the Air Slot clubs.
I loved the look of the sets of Air Slot clubs, each featuring a club-head in bright black, contrasted by a silver-colored club-face, an arrow in red on the top of the club-head that designates the club-face’s “sweet spot” and also serves as an on-target directional arrow, and a black and grey Golf Pride grip that not only enhances the club’s look but also gives the golfer a more secure hold on the club due to being less susceptible to sweaty palms; a good reason why Ben Hogan, golf’s all-time most powerfully-accurate hitter of a golf ball, chose to play with clubs featuring this type grip.
As a serious golfer and golf-traditionalist, with a love for golf history, I was also bowled over by the nice touch of each club’s name reflecting days gone by, when Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen hit wonderful shots and set records. For example, the Air Slot 5-metal was named the Baffy and the Air Slot driver the Play Club.
As much as I loved the sets, I have had a love relationship with the driver since a young boy, when I received the gift of a custom- driver designed for me by the Hand-Craft company on Long Island, New York. Since then, I am always on the hunt for something new in a driver, even when hitting drives exceptionally-well with one of the many drivers I own.
The Air Slot driver really got my attention. Featuring a 360 cubic centimeter forged Titanium club-head, and aerodynamic cut away “slot” designed and engineered to act, principally, like a Formula 1 race car, with respect to the design reducing air resistance and promoting air flow that when filtered through the slot increases speed, I was excited to put it to the test, particularly since I had chosen the 8.5 loft over the 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5 degrees of loft available to golfers.
I was especially interested in comparing the circa 2003 Air Slot driver to all the latest super-expensive, scientifically-designed, giant size drivers made by such companies as TaylorMade, Callaway, Wilson, and Nike, and endorsed, in order, by Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Gary Woodland, and Brooks Koepka.
From the time I hit the first ball, I awarded the stiff-shaft an A + rating, namely because rather than feel as stiff as Rebar, with absolutely no “play” and requiring me to swing as fast as possible to have a chance of returning its face squarely and solidly into the ball at impact, the club I tested performed to an incredibly high standard.
Specifically, the combination of the Air Slot’s slot that worked even better than the Speed Slot in a Ben Hogan AMF driver I once carried in my bag, and a stiff shaft that allowed me to keep the club on-plane and on-path, from the start of the swing to its finish, I found advantageous. More importantly, the shaft possessed an internal “kick” near the club’s neck that allowed me to better time the high-speed powerful snap of the club squarely into the ball at impact, and, in turn, hit the ball farther and straighter.
Even more impressive, to generate such high acceleration of the club and, too, such impressive ball-striking and shot-making results, I did not have to swing harder and risk losing control of the driver as, surprisingly, was the case when often hitting drives with clubs made by long established companies. In short, by swinging at my normal tempo, I was able to hit drives an average distance of 280 yards versus 260 yards, with ten of the fifty balls hit 300 yards. I credit this added distance to “carry,” but to the additional roll I was allowed to pick up via the 8.5 degrees of loft in the driver.
Previously, I could not hit good drives with such a low-lofted driver, choosing to play with a 9.5, or even 10.5, club. Now, due to the Air Slot’s aerodynamic design, I can hit the 8.5 driver on a slightly lower trajectory and enjoy the added distance in “ground-time” this club yields on the golf course.
The added bonus: I also picked up extra yards, via added carry and roll, with fairway metal clubs, 3, 5, and 7.
Hearing this story, I bet you can guess what clubs are now in my bag and will stay there until some better clubs come along – if that’s possible!
What I wonder now is this:
Did the clubs get better over time by sitting in a warehouse, with the grips, shafts, and club-heads nicely wrapped in plastic, just like Kentucky bourbon is protected in a wooden cask and allowed to age, and once tried, after hibernation, provides a delightful experience for the person indulging?
I don’t know and I don’t really care. All I know is that purchasing a set of Air Slot clubs at a price far cheaper than the original suggested retail price, each with a nice-looking head-cover – for Free – made me feel that Santa Claus had come early. And that’s never a bad thing.
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