Looking Back at the Original Ignite Driver from Nike Golf

The original Nike Ignite driver
The original Nike Ignite driver, this one the 460cc model. Nike Golf

The original Ignite driver was introduced by Nike Golf in early 2004, after having been put in play on the PGA Tour by Tiger Woods and other Nike tour staff late in 2003. As Tiger's new driver, it got a lot of attention. And it was one of the first Nike Golf clubs to gain lots of attention in the retail marketplace from average golfers. Here is our review of the original Nike Ignite driver from that time the club was introduced to the market:

Pros of the Nike Ignite

  • Combines workability with forgiveness.
  • Good performance on off-center hits.
  • Attractive clubhead, confidence-inspiring profile at setup.

Cons of the Nike Ignite

  • Color scheme is a tad dull.
  • On the upper end of the price range for major-manufacturer drivers.

Key Points about the Nike Ignite Driver

  • Ignite was introduced late in 2003 when it was put into play by Tiger Woods and other Nike players.
  • Available at retail beginning April 1, 2004.
  • Ignite comes in two clubhead sizes, 410cc and 460cc.
  • NexTi, a proprietary titanium developed for Nike Golf, is used in the clubface.
  • Clubhead utilizes "Around the Crown" design for more stability and strength in clubhead.
  • 460cc model comes in 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 13-degree lofts for right-handers.
  • 410cc model comes in 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5-degree models for right-handers.
  • Lefties have a choice between 9.5 and 10.5-degree lofts in the 460cc model only, at the time of writing.
  • MSRP at release is $469.

Review: Nike Ignite Driver

The Nike Ignite driver lives up to the hype. This is a great driver that is a step up from the Nike Forged drivers and will surely win some converts for Nike Golf.

Nike Golf's aim was to create both workability and forgiveness in a larger-headed driver. They largely succeeded. Nike Golf, you might say, is livin' large.

NexTi, what Nike Golf calls "the next-generation titanium," is the material that is used in the clubface. NexTi is a proprietary material developed specifically for Nike; it is, the company says, thinner, lighter and stronger than beta-titanium.

The combination of that material's properties with Around the Crown design (wrapping the clubface over the top of the clubhead) creates greater stability in the clubhead and a larger sweet spot.

That's the theory. And it seems to work. The Nike Ignite drew raves from nearly all the golfers who tried it during several weeks of testing. High-handicappers and low-handicappers, slow swingers and fast swingers, all found something to like in the Ignite.

The Ignite is attractive at setup, although its color scheme is a little dull (especially for a club called "Ignite"). But when the primary complaint is "the color scheme is dull," you know the club is a winner.

The club feels great at impact, and our testers felt their off-center hits weren't so bad with the Ignite. That feeling, regardless of the actuality, is sure to inspire confidence in those who use the Ignite.

The Bottom Line: Does the Ignite live up to the hype? We've been hearing about it for months. Now, we can give our answer: Yes. The Ignite is a great effort from Nike Golf, sure to win converts.