It’s been quite a while since I last played golf with anything like regularity. In my last post I wrote about the new Nike Slingshot irons I was given as a gift, and the Taylor Made Burner driver that went with them.
For the last week or so I’ve been going to the driving range (the rather excellent Elsenham sports and leisure centre in Hertfordshire) and spending an hour at a time smacking golf balls up the range. So what’s the verdict?
The Nike irons are a joy to hit. Simple.
In the time since I last played regularly and now, I have lost some flexibility and probably picked up some bad habits. However, I was delighted to see the ball generally flying straight and largely to the place I intended it to go! As a guide, the seven iron was landing at roughly 150 yards and rolling on well past that. I don’t consider myself a long hitter by any means, so seeing a seven iron go past 150 was quite pleasing. I’m sure that in more experienced hands it would go even further, but I’ll settle for all I can get.
The five iron shot to about 170 and rolled on from there, and the hybrid irons were simply awesome. A hybrid 4 was reaching nearly 200, and the hybrid 3 was just a touch longer as far as I could see. It is actually quite difficult to assess the actual distance that far away – and I am only talking about where the ball landed first, not where it subsequently rolled to.
The Tour Burner Driver was frequently breaking 220, and at times I could have sworn it landed nearer 260 (but was probably 230).
My biggest issue was that I enjoyed hitting the balls so much I got through them at a rate of knots. The other slightly annoying niggle is that I normally have a very slight draw, but was pushing a lot of shots wide to the right (as a right handed player). The driver was prone to slice. I adjusted my grip, slowed down the swing (lost some yardage) and got some very straight and true shots. I don’t know about you but I’d rather use a 3/4 swing and lose 20 yards than be forever digging a ball out of the right hand side of a fairway.
I then took the pitching wedge out onto a pitch and put area, and was very glad I did. This wedge is superbly forgiving and I found I was more accurate with it than any other I had used before! Working from ranges of just a few yards to approximately 70 or 80 yards I was dropping the ball right on the apron of the green with apparent ease. If I knew how to apply back spin I’d be very happy to drop the ball right near the pin. I can say that boldly because I believe this pitching wedge allows me to be far more accurate. I can’t imagine I have somehow managed to get more accuracy through not playing the game for ten years…
All in all these irons seem to suit me very well indeed. They hit longer than I expected and they seem to be very forgiving. Having worked on my grip a little and stopped pushing everything wide, I am confident these irons will help me take quite a few shots off my game. A very, very minor issue is that the grip on the irons doesn’t have those very useful lines that help you form your grip consistently. This means I have to stop and think about the grip every single time, which itself is no bad thing. I still have much to learn about golf, and am in no way a ‘good’ player with a low handicap, but I would say if you are looking for some new irons, and think you’d benefit from some forgiveness, go and try out the Nike Slingshots. American Golf have them in stock, and should allow you to test them in store, too. I am very pleased I got them.