Lamkin Grips

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Back in March of this year we had the opportunity to review the Cleveland Niblick and whether or not the club worked. What we found was a club that was both versatile and performance driven and worked better than advertised. Something we rarely see in the world of golf equipment, however one thing that kept coming up was “Would you use it?” and the answers were across the board. It seems that ego plays a big part in the game of golf and many people just refused to give it a try. Those that did jump into the Niblick pool have found a club that is unanimously liked and something that in most cases has changed their game for the better.

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Versatility is something that comes up a lot in both answers and questions when it comes to the Niblick and our review. Players that use one love how the club can be used for so many shots from around the green, full shots from the short grass, and of course saving our bacon when the ball is in trouble. Players that do not use the club, or are against the club, argue that it is no more versatile than a wedge and the face cannot be opened up. Our THP forum has friendly debates on this all the time and here is just an example of one that has both sides of the fence discussing it. One question that constantly came up after our last review was whether or not the Niblick we tested could help people that struggled out of the sand. The short answer was no, but Cleveland Golf did not leave golfers out in the cold for too long as they have come out with 2 more Niblick models to fit into player’s bags, one of which could be a sand saver.

The growing Cleveland Niblick line now has 4 different options available and seems to have something for just about everybody that is looking to jump on board with some trouble shot assistance. In our last review of the Niblick, we covered the questions “What is a Niblick?”, “Who needs a Niblick?”, and “What a Niblick is used for?”, we will focus this review on the new models and how they can help our game and who might need them. Cleveland Golf has added both the 49* and the 56* Niblick to the line and we got a chance to put each one through range testing and on the course testing to see how they performed. For those still craving the technical specs or where they should use them should revert back to our older review listed above or check out the Cleveland Golf Website at the bottom of this page. Both links will have all of the technical background as well as the specs of each club.
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49* Niblick Testing
The 49* Niblick was one item that we felt as though was a necessity in this golf line. I loved the 42* and still do, but some of the courses and shots that I play regularly have smaller greens and when missing them or when missing a green short sided, the extra loft of the 49* was a pleasant thing to have. The club plays very similar to that of the 42*, in that both pitching and approach shots were absolutely a joy to work with. Chipping works quite well also, but the extra loft made it a little harder to chip with than that of the lower lofted models. The 49* shined over and over again in two areas for our testers. The pitch shot around the green and the full shot. The pitch shot came out nice and high and landed softly. We think amateurs that struggle around the greens could really pick one of these up and shave strokes off their game immediately. What this model of the Niblick does, is help golfers around the green get the ball up in the air and land more softly than that of the 42* we tested previously. The other part of the game that this model excelled at was with playing full shots. Once our testers got used to the shorter (35″) shaft of the 49* Niblick, they were hitting full shots that were perfect. Extremely high trajectory and the ball lands very soft and has a huge amount of spin. Something our testers very much liked. Out of the 9 people that tried this model out, 7 of them reported back that they could easily replace their GW with this model and have far more versatility for troubleshooting.
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56* Testing
This is the club that we got more questions on when we showed these off in the forum than any of the other Niblicks. The big question that everybody wants to know is “does it work out of the sand, and how?”. The answer is “Yes” and “Any number of ways” which was a huge and pleasant surprise that we were thrilled to death with. The 56* can also be used for trouble shots around the green when a little more loft is needed. Going over a sand trap or small hazard and still having a soft landing in the past was only reserved for flop shots, but with the 56* Niblick, all of the testers had little trouble with this shot and the results were phenomenal. We took 9 golfers and set up 6 balls each near a green going over a sand trap. They were to hit 6 balls with the Niblick 56* and then the same 6 balls with their wedge of choice, with the end result being ease of use and getting the ball closer to the hole. 8 out of 9 golfers found the Niblick easier to use for this shot than their wedge and 8 out of 9 were closer to the hole on average with the Niblick compared to that of their wedge. The reason was quite simple, there was no opening up and because of that catching the ball thin or “blading it’ never took place. 6 out of the 9 golfers involved in this drill bladed at least 1 ball in this drill with their wedge and it did not happen with the Niblick once. Once they got the hang of simply letting the weight of the club do the work, the rest was similar to autopilot.

For people that really struggle out of the bunkers on the course, the 56* Niblick will work at getting the ball out without having to do much work. You can treat it like a putter, or like you are chipping and the ball comes out, over any lip and lands softly. The Zip Grooves that Cleveland Golf uses in their Niblick provide great spin and stopping power and it can and will save strokes for those that struggle out of the sand traps. However there is more than one way to skin a cat and the next bunker segment is something that caught us by surprise and left us quite thrilled.

The second part that delighted us so much about the bunker shots was that we found that you can play the shot with a full swing rather than just “Niblick Style” as we like to call it. The extra weight of the club head drives through the sand and what we found is that the weighting is absolutely perfectly proportioned for this shot. Once you remember that you do not need to open the club face for it, the ball jumps out perfectly and lands as soft as anything we have used before. It was nice to see that both techniques worked well and we found it to be slightly training in that aspect. Someone can use it on the course in the putter form, while training themselves to hit it with the full swing, if they decide to go that route in the future.
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Overall
We felt strongly about the first round of Niblicks that Cleveland Golf put out, and we feel even better about the entire line now. There really is something in this line to help every golfer better their scores with short game help. Both the 49* and the 56* will help golfers struggling around the green with different shots. You can read about the entire Cleveland Niblick line and all of the other products that they offer at their website at www.clevelandgolf.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Equipment, Wedges

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (44)

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  1. TheDue says:

    Very, very cool! I already check one shop last week and they only had the 42*. I don’t currently play a GW so the 49* should fit nicely. I’m not real sure about getting the 56*. My 56* CG14 is my favorite club in the bag. I’m very consistant from 85 yards and in, even flop shots with it have been great. I’m leaning towards a 60* CG15.

    Out of curriosity, did you hit the 56* Niblick as a full shot from the fairway? If the 49* was similar to a GW, how did the 56* fair, or did I miss that?

    Thanks,
    Due

  2. Admin says:

    TD,
    We did hit the 56* out of the fairway and the rough and it performed quite well. We got about 5 yards less than we got from our regular 56* so I would place the distance somewhere around a 58* or so for my swinging.

  3. TheDue says:

    Great to hear, Thanks!

    Great job on the review and I must say that Cleveland Golf just continues to impress the heck out of me. From the CG14 to the CG15, the CG7 line, all of the Niblicks and their customer interaction. Maybe I need to try their driver after all.

  4. Keith From Delaware says:

    Since your last review I have added the 42* to my lineup and have loved it. I chip in what seems like every round and my short game has never been better. When my local store got these in, I jumped on the 49* and am thrilled with it. Took the place of my Callaway 52* wedge.

  5. Smallville says:

    Sign me up! Looks like my 50° wedge will be going back to my wife until they come out with the ladies version!

  6. kevinw says:

    With the shorter shaft, would you say the 49 is a replacement for a 52 degree wedge? 50? 54? I have a 46 degree pitching wedge and would love this to replace my 50 degree CG14, but don’t want to leave too big of a gap between the pw and the niblick. Should I bend the pw and 50 degree to 44 and 48 degrees (which I was considering anyway for other reasons) and slot in the 49 niblick, or just replace the 50 with the niblick?

  7. Admin says:

    Kevin,
    The distance is going to be different for each person and I recommend hitting it if you can. The 49* for me would replace a 52* for distance.

  8. kevinw says:

    I’ve ordered the 49. I usually play my wedges 3 degrees upright and an inch longer than standard (I’m 6’4″). Cleveland says they can’t bend the niblick. I’m hoping it’s not too flat for me. Should I be concerned?
    Couple more questions…
    How far do you typically hit your PW? How far was the 49 going on a full swing?
    Did you ever try the 56 out of the bunker for a fried egg or semi-buried lie? I’m worried whether or not it can go down and get the ball out as well as a traditional wedge there?
    I love the review and love the site. Thanks, and nice work!

  9. Admin says:

    Kevin,
    As for the upright or flat, I can only recommend trying them first.

    I hit my PW 130 yards. It is 46*. I hit my GW 115 yards. I hit the 49* Niblick 110 yards. I can get it further if needed or less if needed.

    We tried the 56* out of every lie imaginable in a trap with no issues.

  10. Duke of Earl says:

    Love my 37* Niblick.

  11. Thorpeto says:

    Great Review Josh,

    I love my Niblick I picked up last year. Can’t wait to get the 56*.

  12. Pedarius says:

    Kevin,

    I am 6’6″ and play my CG14 wedges +1″ and 3* upright, just like you. I have the 42* Niblick, which I had extended. The flatter lie has not caused me any problems, because it’s such an upright club to begin with. Cleveland clearly has set these up to play right off your toes. Once you get used to that on full shots, it should be fine.

    (I would note, however, that I don’t actually game my Niblick anymore–just too much release and difficulty in controlling distance. After a lot of wedge practice, I’m more precise with an ordinary wedge. That would likely be less of an issue with the 49* than the 42*, though.)

  13. kevinw says:

    Thanks, Pedarius.
    This site rocks.

  14. Keith says:

    Outstanding. I believe the 49 and 56 may just be the ticket this time around. I was looking at the CG15′s tonight and after reading this review I am going to pick up the 56 Niblick first beecause this seems more versatile for my game. I really liked the results over bunkers and hazzards to a soft landing closer to the hole. Currnetly I have been using my 56 wedge and I have been erractic. I will probably get the 49 after taking the 56 through its paces. So, I still want one of the CG15′s so it may just be the lob wedge that I go with there.

    Great review as I was certainly one person waiting on the results. Thanks to the testers and the THP team for always giving the best reviews on these products.

  15. Cary says:

    First, your reviews are great. I’m thinking of giving the Niblick a try and would like to replace my 50 gap wedge which I use for a full shot of 95 to 100 yards. I’m trying to figure out if a 42 or 49 would be the better choice. Any thought?

  16. Mark Bell says:

    Could you help me with a couple of questions please?

    1. Would you feel comfortable having the 56* Niblick as the highest loft club in the bag? (And do you normally play a LW?)

    2. If comfortable PW = 130, 49 Niblick = 110, what distance was the 56 Niblick playing from the fairway?

    I play a 42 Niblick and love it, but it is the same distance as my PW. I’m therefore thinking of removing the 42 and replacing my existing gap and lob (which I also use for sand) with a 49 / 56 Niblick combo.

    Thanks for your help.

  17. Administrator says:

    mark.

    1. Not sure if I would feel comfortable with it as the highest loft, just because of the extreme flop shot and not being able to open the club face.

    2. the 56* Niblick was going about 75-80 yards for me.

  18. Mark Bell says:

    Thanks – appreciate it.

  19. Steve says:

    After the glowing reviews here and my own test I have just ordered all 4. I plan on making these the clubs I use from inside 150 yards.

  20. biggsy says:

    My buddy just bought one of these and loves it.

    I gave it a try on the range and I must say it’s an easy club to hit. I am going to play around with it a little more, but I am not opposed to putting it in my bag based on the shots I hit with it.

    Great club. Thanks for the review.

  21. cmh1015 says:

    I had intended to check this club out in 2010 if I found a used one. But then I discovered a left hand used 42* at a local pro shop. After a few swings on a practice range I was convinced. The #1 thing you must remember is this club is 3*upright & must be played that way. Once you’ve mastered this any shot is available-chips, pitches & recovery shots…even from bunkers! Only wish Cleveland would expand the entire line for we lefties.

  22. Rick Yorke says:

    Great review! You wrote that chipping with the 49* Niblick is good, but a bit tougher than with the lower lofted models. I love chipping with the 42*, but it runs out too much. I thought the 49* would be perfect for chipping a bit higher and for a softer landing. Am I right in thinking that you would recommend the 42* for those that will use the niblick primarily for chipping?

  23. Administrator says:

    Ryan,
    you will see less runout based on height. You could also look at the 56* as we found it more versatile than that of the 49

  24. Cessna says:

    Has anyone measured the swingweight of the 49 and 56? The 37 and 42 were said to be E2 using the stock shaft at standard length.

  25. Cessna says:

    I contacted Cleveland Golf directly, and they said all NIBLICKs are manufactured with an E0 swingweight (and a +/- tolerance of 1 swingweight point). Thx.

  26. Seth G says:

    I already had the 42 and went out and bought a 56 based on your review. Favorite club I have ever bought. It really is amazing from the sand and just off the green. JB – which Niblick do you keep in your bag?

  27. Lenny says:

    I got the 42 for Father’s Day…I use it more than any other club in the bag (besides putter.) My friends give me a hard time about it, but I end up giving them a ribbing when I spank their rear ends! Awesome club…look forward to getting the 56. PS. Make sure you spend some time at the range with the Niblick before heading to the course…takes a little bit of mastering!

  28. J. Koh says:

    I got both. I love them. About 56, it works great on sand. Now I have four Niblicks in my bag. My only concern is… which one should I take out of the bag….or should I keep all of them.

  29. Patrick N. says:

    I just bought the 56 deg. and got to take it on a test drive on a par 3 practice course. This club is definitely money in the bag. Nice soft landing, one little bounce and that’s all she wrote. It is soooo easy to hit and dead straight. On a full swing I can get up to 75 yards (which is further than my old 56 wedge) Cleveland has a real winner with the Niblicks.

  30. Rob O. says:

    Any updates on the new 49* and 56* models. Now that you have had time to test all (4), how would you rank them in order of preference. (Can’t imagine anyone playing all (4) models, but perhaps (2) Niblicks in the bag is a possibility. Which (2) and why those lofts????

    Thanks

  31. Administrator says:

    There is a long conversation in our forum where people that have all 4 of them are discussing which is their favorite. Check it out if you get a chance.

  32. 2left says:

    JB — One of my favorite bunker shots is to drastically toe in the club for buried lies, especially up against the slope. The wedge just rips the ball right out. Is this possible with the 56 Niblick?

  33. 2left says:

    I should add to the post above that the sand at my local muni is very powdery and just grabs onto your club when yóu try to dig one out. I’ve seen many decent golfers pick up their balls and toss them onto the green in frustration. Toeing in seems like the only thing that works for me — I’ll even do that on perfect lies in these bunkers on days the sand is especially fluffy.

  34. johnno says:

    I started with a 49 and added a 52.

    Where does the 37 fit in? Replace an 8I?

    Is the 56 really good out of fluffy greenside bunkers?

    My 49 is magic from faiway bunkers up to 80 metres.

  35. johnno says:

    Josh – are you suggesting that anyone can get out of a bunker with the 56 more or less by just bludgeoning the ball – do you need to take much sand?

  36. Administrator says:

    Of course not. Practice is still needed for every shot in golf.

  37. johnno says:

    Thanks Mr Admin – I know was being a bit oversimplistic in my question.

    Really just wondered if anyone had actually used the 56 from a bunker – did they take the normal amount of sand, or more or less, and did they align open etc? Full swing or less? How about from say a 30 metre bunker?

  38. randini says:

    Josh or anyone else- what is the ” Niblick Style” swing you refer to in the above review?

  39. Administrator says:

    randini,
    We are describing the chip style of swing. using a putting type of stroke.

  40. jaiz says:

    hi, is the niblick lie angle adjustable? just wanted to confirm that so please let me know asap if lie angle is adjustable? thanks

  41. 2left says:

    When I asked Cleveland, they told me the lie angle is not adjustable on the Niblick — at least by Cleveland. Maybe a shop will bend it for you.

  42. jaiz says:

    thanks =)

  43. JL says:

    Josh,

    You mention that you can use the 56 degree niblick for “any lip” out of the bunker. Is that true? I’ve been in some pretty nasty bunkers with some steep lips and it just seems like it would be hard to get out with the niblick. I have a 49 degree niblick and I’m debating replacing my SW with the 56 niblick.

  44. Lorraine says:

    Hi There!

    A fellow golfer had a 42* Niblick which I borrowed one day and then fell in love with. My husband ordered it and surprised me with it one day by putting it in my bag. Awe! He is so sweet! I use it to bump and run my shot up to the green, I use it to get out of trouble spots and as a 70 yard full shot. It took a bit of practise, but now I have confidence and use it all the time. I tend to blade/skull/hit heavy my bunkers shots, so I am thinking about getting the 56*. From the above comments, it sounds like the 56* should work nicely out of the bunker and the flop shots around the green. We put a bid in on Ebay. Can’t wait to try it out!

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