Head-to-Head Photo Comparison of the Divnick and Universal Adjustable Golf Club
DIVNICK vs. UNIVERSAL
This photo shows the relative lengths of the collapsed clubs. The Univeral (top) measures 23.38 inches (59.3725 cm) closed compared to 18.75 inches (47.625 cm) for the Divnick (bottom). So the Universal does not fit into most carrying cases. This photo also shows that the heads are basically the same size. The Universal is a little taller at the toe, but they measure the same length and height at the center of the face.
These photos show the relative shape elements of the club as it passes through the ball and/or grass. Notice the contrast in the flatness of the bottom edge of the Universal and the curved sole of the Divnick. This is critical for those thick grass shots. The reason the Universal is square and flat is because they use the sole for putting, as you will see farther down this page.
The above photos also show the differences in our levers. The Universal uses a stainless steel lever that is significantly heavier than our glass-filled nylon molded molded lever. The mechanism only needs to be tightened enough to be secure for one shot, then the loft is readjusted and the lever is re-tightened for the next shot. So we chose a light-weight material. This allows us to keep the heel as light as possible and to place more weight in the toe. That is critical in any innovation...that it MUST be playable and feel just like normal clubs.
We have noticed that their website says our lever gets in the way or easily come off. That is not the case. The lever is made from glass-filled nylon which is the same material used to make military weapons. If fact, the company that makes our lever also makes military knives that can be thrust through 3/4" plywood. They do not break or come off...even when abused. But if that were to ever happen, we would replace it immediately since we offer a lifetime guarantee.
Shaft/Transmission and Offset Alignment
These photos show the relative shaft and transmission alignment of the Divnick (left) and the Universal (right). We have drawn a vertical line through the center of the shaft-connection hub to illustrate its relationship to the face of the club. Modern golf design aligns the shaft in front of the face like the Divnick to reduce twisting or "gear-effect" of off-center hits. It allows your hands to pass the ball before contact is made. This is referred to as the "offset" angle. Our club has what we call a "progressive offset" which means the shaft alignment is MORE forward with the lower lofts. That is when it is most beneficial. Because the Universal transmission is behind the head, it achieves the offset by incorporating an angle in the hosel. This helps, but does not completely overcome the physics of gear-effect.
You will also notice the horizontal lines drawn just below the hub. Notice how much of the Universal's sole is below that line. This means the center of gravity is much higher on their club than on the Divnick. This is illustrated further in the Back View section below.
We are asked from time to time about the relative durability of the tightening levers. Ours is made out of glass-filled nylon while the Universal lever is metal. However, our lever is pressed over a conventional grade-8 nut, so the lever is only tightening the nut. The durability comes from the nut. We believe there are two big advantages to our lever. First, plastic is lighter weight than metal, and adding weight to the heel is not desirable. Second, if the threads ever wear, the nut can be replaced...either free from us or a few cents from a hardware store.
These photos show the critical weight distribution of the perimeter design. Even more importantly, the Universal transmission is located half way up the back of the club which significantly raises the center of gravity. It is aligned with the horizontal mid-line of the head (illustrated by the white lines) to accommodate their "adjustable lie angle". But we believe the trade-off of a higher center of gravity is too great a performance price to pay for adjustable lie angle, which does not yield a significant ball-striking benefit.
The above two pictures also illustrate a problem with the "automatic" lie angle adjustment of the Universal. With traditional clubs, the lower the loft, the flatter the lie angle. This is because the club is longer and therefore farther away from you. To keep the face level with the ground, the lie angle needs to flatten.
On the Universal website, they promote the fact that as you progress through the different lofts, their lie angle changes to match the lie angle intervals of normal irons. This is achieved by an intentional angle in their mechanism. But there are two reasons why this is a disadvantage rather than an advantage for an adjustable club.
1) The same mechanism angle that achieves the changing lie angle "raises" the transmission higher off the ground as the lofts are lowered. That makes the center of gravity higher. Unfortunately, lower lofts are always the most difficult to hit whether with a normal club or an adjustable because they are deflecting the ball the most directly which effectively shrinks the sweet spot. The lower the number, the more precise the contact needs to be. That's why a 1 and 2-iron are the most difficult clubs to hit and most people don't use them. Lower lofts are the most critical time to have a low center of gravity, and the automatic lie adjustment of the Universal RAISES the transmission as it flattens the lie.
2) In reality, the only reason that a club needs a different lie angle is because each traditional club is a different length. Since the adjustable clubs are a fixed length, there is no need for the lie angle to change.
These photos demonstrate the significant difference in the design and function of the transmission. The Universal ring gear has numbers all the way around. There is a black dot on the head to the lower left of the ring gear (barely visible in this photo, beside the "1"). There is a white dot on the top right of the gear next to the 4. There is a "W" (for Wedge) to the right of the 2 and 3. There is an "I" (for Iron) to the right of the 1 and 2. So you need to align at least 3 index marks: The black dot - with the number - opposite the "I". The Divnick hides the ring gear inside the mechanism, so all you have to do is line the main index mark on the head with the corresponding line or space on the hosel. The Universal patent suggests that this element of the Divnick design traps sand. But our transmission is not sealed and sand falls out of it as easily as with the Universal.
The above photos also illustrate the size and weight of the transmission. We believe the Universal transmission places too much weight on the heel-end of the head. The Divnick transmission is smaller and lighter, so we are able to place more weight in the toe and perimeter which is one of the reason its performance matches modern clubs.
The transmission views also show the difference in the surface finish of the clubs. The Universal is a polished mirror finish which is pretty, but it makes it very difficult to see the numbers and marks in the bright sunlight. The Divnick uses a brushed finish which absorbs reflections.
These photos show the contrast in how the design affects steeper shots. The sole on conventional clubs achieves a greater taper as you progress toward the wedges. The sole of the Universal is perfect for the 4-iron loft. But with each successive club thereafter, it interferes more and more with the ground, and it becomes progressively more difficult to get the leading edge under the ball. These photos are taken at the 60-degree wedge setting. Each photo has two illustration lines. The top line is the leading edge of the club and the bottom line is at the bottom of the sole. The Divnick has an 8-degree sole "bounce" at this loft setting which is the same as modern conventional clubs so that the head does not bury in sand. This sole-interference issue compounds sand shots with the flat squarish shape of the Universal head as well as hanging up in thick grass shots.
The Universal putter is achieved by rotating the head until the sole of the club is facing the ball. The problem with this is that the top of the head at the toe-end is closer to the ground than the putter face. The vertical line is the putter face, the top horizontal line is at the bottom of the putter face, and the lower line is at the bottom of the actual club in this position. This lower portion can easily scrape the ground on your putting strokes. You will also notice that the transmission extends below the level of the putter face where it can also hit the ground. The other problem we found with the putter face is that it is slightly rounded from one side to the other which means that if you don't connect perfectly in the middle of the surface, the putt will go astray. A customer also reported that another problem with the Universal putter system is that the sole of a club can get pretty beat up over time from taking divots in rocky ground, and that results in an uneven putting surface that push the ball off-line.
The Divnick putter uses the straight face of the club. If you line up the P with the index mark, it is a 4-degree putter which is standard. If you are on the fringe, you can lock it just above the P for a 6-degree lofted putter, or any 2-degree increment above that. You will also notice that we provide three white putting sight-lines in the wall of the back cavity. This is a visual aid in lining up your putting stroke.
The Universal head components are made of 431 stainless steel, which is traditional iron construction. While that material is less expensive to cast, it is not as durable as the 17-4 ph stainless used in the Divnick, which is the same material as metal woods to accommodate the tougher requirements of their thin walls.
Extending and Collapsing
Both clubs are extended and locked using a taper fit. As we noted on the previous page, when we had the clubs tested by an independent laboratory using a hitting robot, they had a hard time getting the Universal to lock. It kept coming loose.
Both are collapsed by striking the grip end on a hard surface. The Universal does not have any special end on its grip, so it absorbs the impact rather than transferring it into the shaft. Therefore, the grip "softens" the impact and it can be very difficult to collapse, and the shaft can "cookie-cut" through the grip. The Divnick uses a proprietary machined stainless steel cap that is pressed onto the end of the shaft. As shown in the accompanying picture, a portion of it extends up through an enlarged hole in the end of the grip. So the impact from striking it on a hard surface is transferred directly into the shaft to make collapsing very easy.
Our collapsing cap also allows our customers to install any grip of their choice. All that is required is drilling out the hole in the end of the grip to allow the collapsing cap to extend through.
As this comparison is being written, the Universal is is manufactured by a company in New Zealand where it sells for NZ$275 which, depending on the economy, is about the same as our Divnick Adjustable at US$199. Of course, shipping the Universal to the USA adds a lot of additional cost. The Universal does not include a bag and does not have a Polydome personalization or logo option.
We offer a custom bag that can be worn while playing and the entire club collapses and fits inside for storage or travel. We also offer the Polydome personalization and/or corporate logo option.
As of this writing, the Universal is guaranteed for 30 days.
The Divnick is guaranteed for two full years. But as a practice, if it ever breaks, we fix it free, even if you back over it with your car. We have fixed a couple where that has happened. Our best salesmen are our customers. We would much rather trade a little service for the referrals that come from satisfied customers.
Having shared this review, we know that the bottom line has to be experienced. All our claims, the results of the robot laboratory testing reviewed on the previous page, and these photo comparisons are only words and pictures until you are able to test it for yourself.
Steve Divnick, Inventor and Owner
Click here to read a testimony from someone who owns both a Universal and a DIVNICK.
Note: The Universal golf club is now manufactured by a company in New Zealand. At the time of this note, there is no United States distributor.