50 Words or Less
The Sub 70 Golf 839D driver is a solid performer at an amazing price. Clean look. Unusual but satisfying sound and feel.
After visiting Sub 70 Golf’s HQ in Sycamore, Illinois and talking to their founder on the PIG Podcast, I was all-in on their mission of bringing golfers high performance equipment at a much lower price. But I still had my doubts. Can you possibly buy a high performance driver in 2019 for $249? That’s the question I’m setting out to answer in this review.
The look of the 839D driver is as no-nonsense as any club you’re going to find. Outside of a little white and red branding on the sole, the club is entirely black. At address, there are no alignment aids, just a clean, gloss black crown. The face is a little taller than average, and the driver is slightly more compact from front to back.
Another big aesthetic plus is the headcover. It’s miles from your typical OEM cover, looking more like something from an aftermarket company like CRU Golf.
My one complaint is that the club does sit shut. Thankfully, the driver is adjustable, so I was able to get the square look that I prefer by dialing the loft down.
Sound & Feel
The Sub 70 839D produces a unique combination of sound and feel at impact. Contact feels extremely solid through your hands, but the sound is a little on the hollow side. The pitch is higher than average, but the sound is robust, not shrill. Ultimately, though the blend of sensory inputs was a little odd, I enjoyed hitting this club.
In another unusual turn, mishits sound deeper in pitch than pure strikes. This provides good audio feedback which is paired with precise feedback through the hands.
The Sub 70 839D looks good and feels good, and, if we’re being honest, that alone puts it miles ahead of many lower priced clubs. But spending any amount of money on a club that doesn’t perform is a waste. Thankfully, the 839D driver delivers on performance, too.
I gave the 839D the most stringent test I could, running it head to head with my gamer. Even without the advantage of a perfectly fit shaft, the 839D was within a few yards of my gamer on my better swings. The 839D was higher spinning, but part of that could be the shaft.
The one area where my gamer did trump the 839D is forgiveness. My driving needs all the help it can get, so I play what’s generally regarded as the most forgiving driver available, the PING G400 Max. When my contact got spotty, the 839D lost more ball speed than my gamer. In a wider context, I think the 839D offers good forgiveness, but it falls short of being elite in that regard.
Finally, the Sub 70 839D does offer significant adjustability. The hosel offers 12 positions for modifying loft and lie angle. Also, there are two weights which can be swapped to change the launch and spin characteristics.
If the Sub 70 839D came with a $400 or $500 price tag, it would be a perfectly good driver. If it came from a major OEM, it would probably get gold stars on the Hot List. Instead, this driver comes from an upstart company with a price that’s less than half what many OEMs are charging for drivers. Will you let brand status stop you from trying something new and possibly saving hundreds of dollars? I hope not.