Lamkin Grips

King of the Hybrids Review

| December 11, 2008 | 36 Comments

Every few years something comes along that changes the way golf clubs are made and what is purchased. Hybrids did just that! The name “hybrid” comes from genetics to denote a mixture of two different species with desirable characteristics of both, and the term here has been generalized; a hybrid club combines the advantages of an iron and a wood. Almost every golf company out there is making them at this point but some are making them better than others. One company calls themselves “King of the Hybrids” and by the time you finish reading this review, you will know why.

Nickent Golf made their name as a hybrid leader on the world’s professional tours and the results have been outstanding. They have been a trend setter in hybrids for over seven years, accumulating awards and professional tour wins from everywhere on the planet, including wins at the 2007 US Open and 2008 Ryder Cup. Nickent will be releasing the 5DX Ironwood shortly, so THP decided it was time to give the readers a review of their amazing hybrid line and a preview of what is coming with the 5DX.

Nickent’s 3DX Ironwood is their most forgiving hybrid. The tungsten polymer insert moves weight to the extreme heel and toe for optimal forgiveness. The inserts help dampen vibration while weight in each port helps create a more stable clubhead with optimal weight distribution to eliminate the “pull hook” associated with other leading hybrids. It is available from 14 degrees in their 1 iron version to 29 degrees in their 6 iron model. We took them out to the range with three golfers that have been playing the game less than 2 years each. All three of the testers had zero problems getting the ball up in the air with great distance and control. Myself, I found the club to be a bit “too forgiving” for my game and not really what I was used to. With a new MSRP of $99 this club should be at the top of the list for any mid to high handicapper that is looking for something to take them to the next level.

The 4DX Ironwood was one of the most popular hybrids on tour the last year. The 4DX has balanced weighting and has a more penetrating ball flight in comparisons with the 3DX. We considered this much more of a “players’ hybrid” and when we went to the course to test it out, a funny thing happened. We grabbed six people before a local tournament was about to start and asked them each if they would test out the 4DX Ironwood for us. Five out of the six of them said “look in my bag”. Most of the people were already playing the club. So it was myself and one other gentleman and we quickly realized exactly why the others had it in their bags. The club was long and straight and felt fantastic. It is also available from 14 degrees to 29 degrees and has a new MSRP of $149.

We really do not want to get into comparing the three hybrids by Nickent in this review though. Each one of these clubs is a separate entity and depending on the level of your game should be looked at carefully. While our mid to high handicappers loved the 3DX most of them the following weekend considered the 4DX not the right fit for their game at all. They much preferred the added forgiveness that the back weighting of the 3DX offered them. While the more experienced players that tested this club and that we spoke with all had trouble with the ball flight of the 3DX and unanimously preferred the 4DX and its specifications. I definitely preferred the 4DX Ironwoon. To find a players’ club that has great feel and forgiveness is rare, but with this club I feel that it was the finest hybrid I had ever hit. Until Today!

Here is a recipe for everyone out there.
Take 1 part 4DX Ironwood – One of, if not the best hybrids on the market today.
Take 1 part John Hoeflich – Legendary club maker with a resume that speaks for itself.
Mix the two of them together for a while and see what comes out!

What comes out is the latest Nickent offering. The 5DX Ironwood.
Here is what the company has to say about the new product:

Nickent Golf, a longtime industry leader in hybrid technology, introduces their latest breakthrough in hybrid shaping and performance with their new 5DX Ironwood.Nickent has been a trend setter in hybrids for over seven years, accumulating awards and professional tour wins from everywhere on the planet, including wins at the 2007 US Open and 2008 Ryder Cup. With their 5th generation design, the King of Hybrids has produced an all stainless steel hybrid with a new geometrical shape that places discretionary weight to the extreme perimeters of the clubhead.

New “wings” on the back of the clubhead were designed by Nickent master designer John Hoeflich to optimize the center of gravity (CG) and increase the Moment of Inertia (MOI) for superior forgiveness. The increased MOI, which surpasses that of most fairway woods on the market, plus stronger lofts means a significant increase in distance.

“This is without a doubt the longest and straightest hybrid we have ever made,” said Hoeflich. “Our first four different ironwood designs all followed the same basic classic profile. We knew we had an opportunity to increase the MOI by adding wings to the back of the clubhead. But one of my main principles in club design is that the club must look good to the player’s eye in the address position. So while the wings add significantly to the playability and performance of the hybrid, we made sure that it would be accepted by the top players in the world from an appearance standpoint.”

The Hackers Paradise is proud to say that we are the first media outlet that is publishing a review of this club. After reviewing both the 3DX and the 4DX, we really did not know what to expect with the 5DX. The 4DX is a club that is loved by so many people. Both on the tours and at the golf courses around the world, people have nothing but good things to say about the Nickent hybrid line. We were excited to review the new club but at the same time apprehensive on how they could improve upon what they have already done with their hybrid line in 2008. With the 3DX and the 4DX they have, what seems like every golfer covered in their needs with hybrid clubs.

When the box arrived at the THP offices I felt like the child that wakes up too early for Christmas morning and is sitting, staring at the presents before being allowed to open them. Once everybody was accounted for, the box got ripped open. At first glance we were in golf club heaven. The headcover is by far the best one that Nickent has done to date. (pictured at the top of review) The white with the green looks perfect and the yellow piping adds a punch. It is little things like this that bring joy to a reviewer’s heart.

Once you slip the headcover off, you notice that things are VERY DIFFERENT than they were before with the Nickent line. As mentioned earlier, in the italic portion, Nickent has added “wings” to the 5DX Ironwood.

Two things came to mind when we first started with this club in our hands. One, it is heavier than either of the other two hybrids. We liked the extra weight because it seemed to be in all of the right places. The club felt as though it would naturally stay on course throughout your swing. Two, we were not sure how we felt about the look of the “wings” that they added. But we leave the club making to Nickent and decided to head off to the course.

We had 8 players lined up to test this new hybrid out. Four of them were local pros that ironically all played the Nickent 4DX. (we had no idea of this ahead of time) The other four were myself and three people that ranged in handicap from 2 to 18. After warming up, we all took turns hitting 12 balls a piece with the 5DX. Most liked it, some really struggled initially at the setup. But we will get to that in a second. But all eight people said the exact same thing at address. “Why didn’t they paint the wings the same color as the head?”. After each of us hit the balls we all gathered around and spoke about the club.

Here are some of the major points brought out in that discussion:

1. At setup this club is very different. When first hitting the club, the wings, being a different color, cause you to focus on them rather than the ball. We would have preferred them in the same color as the head.
2. The weighting of the club, albeit different, was very much liked by all eight of the testers. You get the feeling that because of the weighting the club propels itself through the ball rather than at the ball. Great feeling.
3. There is no doubt in any of the eight that hit the club that this was the LONGEST HYBRID they have ever hit.
4. The Fujikura Level 5 shaft was a great addition to this club and had a perfect ball trajectory.
5. The better players felt as though this club was very much a players’ club. They could “work” the ball anyway they wanted. While the mid to high handicappers felt as though it was incredibly forgiving and straight. We do not know how Nickent did that, but it sure did work.

After the testing THP went back to Nickent to find out the story of exactly why the wings are a different color. Here is a summary of their response.

All Nickent products have a classic and traditional shape at the address position, largely because everything is tour driven. When you add wings to a club like we did with the 5DX, that classic look is not easy to achieve.

In fact John Hoeflich asked THP try some things on this club head. Put black tape on the wings and see what we thought of the look at that point. As usual the club maker was correct. The black wings are even more distracting than the silver. It takes a traditional shaped hybrid and makes it “boxier”. Nickent went on to say that the prototype was all back and was quickly shot down.

Overall I found this club to be the best hybrid that I have played to date. Those are bold but honest words. I would like to see the wings have been a little less distracting at setup, but in the end I will take the playability of this hybrid over that minor complaint all day. The distance and control gained are simply that much better than the competition out there. The 5DX will be available in stores very soon with an MSRP of $199.

If you are in the market for hybrids, Nickent must be near or at the top of your list. They are truly the KING OF HYBRIDS. They offer three models and have something for every golfer in every price range. From the regular player looking for distance and forgiveness to the low handicapper looking for that one thing to take their game to the next level. We urge everyone of our readers to check them out when purchasing their next utility clubs. To read more about all three of these fantastic clubs head on over to Nickent Golf.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Equipment, Hybrids

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.

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  1. ClairefromClare says:

    Worth the lengthy review! I really appreciate the compare and contrast aspect.

  2. Mike Turner says:

    I have been waiting for this review to come out on the internet for over a month. Been searching everywhere and glad I found it here. This is one of the best reads I have read on a club review. I look forward to trying this one out. As a 4DX hybrid hitter now, I am curious to see how much I will like it. Thanks for the info.

  3. Tre J says:

    Great review. I never thought of the 3DX much accept as a lesser model. But this maybe exactly what I was looking for. I really strugge with my hybrid that I have now.

  4. christian says:

    Thanks for this review. I have been wondering about these clubs for a while. Just could not find enough info. Glad I stumbled onto this site. Good info.

  5. Smallville says:

    I think this is my favorite review I have read yet on this site! And not just because I have a new 3DX in my bag! I would think that you will get used to the wings after a while and before long, wouldn’t even notice them. I had that issue the first time I hit a driver with a black head instead of silver.

    I just wish winter was already over so I could get out on a regular basis again!

  6. worst_shot_ever says:

    JB. Excellent review. I think you did a great juob assembling a large sample group for your tests, and the consistency in opinions about the clubs, the 5DX particularly, is impressive and a testiment to Nickent’s slogan. One question: I am interested in how much of a gain in distance you and your testers expeienced when hitting the 5DX against the same lofted 4DX (and 3DX for that matter). I ask for purely personal reasons — my TaylorMade Mid Rescue is getting long in the tooth and it may be time to replace it.

  7. JB says:

    Worst Shot Ever,
    I got 5 yards more distance in this club than the 4DX and 10 yards more in the 5DX than the 3DX. Most of the testers felt that they were getting even more than that, but for me, that was the experience. It is the ball flight that I like most of all.

  8. Jose Batasita says:

    Great read. I really like the pictures. Very great comparison between the three clubs.

  9. Kevin says:

    The 3dx is far from being a lesser model…I have every generation of Nickent hybrids and currently play with 2 3dx RC’s a a 4dx. I have my 5dx in the mail right now and I am excited about the added distance off the tee for safer tee shots!

  10. Admin says:

    Kevin,
    I dont think that anybody really thought that it was a lesser model. In fact the reviewer really goes to great lengths to show that it is not at all.

  11. MO_Hacker says:

    Great read, I am very excited to take my new 3dx out on the course.

    I think Kevin was referring to a statement made by Tre J, not the reviewer.

  12. PeterPan says:

    Great coverage. With the club coming out soon I was hoping to find a review of it. As usual unless it is Titleist a certain other site won’t touch it. haha. But this was exactly what I needed. Good honest feedback. Have you settled in with the wings as of yet?

  13. JB says:

    PeterPan,
    Most of the people testing the club felt that after the first couple of shots, the odd look of the wing, did not bother us at all. I have since played a round or two with the club and have no issues at all.

  14. R. Cycles says:

    Man, this club looks nice. I have been playing Adams hybrids for about a year now and are just not happy with the distance I get with them. I love the control, but always feel as though there is something better. Time to give this one a try.

  15. justin bather says:

    That is one heck of some coverage. I play the Adams Pro Gold series and have never been happy with the weighting. I have always felt the club is too light. I might have to try out the 5DX. Love heavy hybrids.

  16. Dan D says:

    another great product from Nickent… I think they have done the right thing by offering three clubs for players of different skill levels…

    I am excited to get my hands on a 5DX

  17. Kevin says:

    Admin…I was referencing Tre J’s post of him thinking that the 3dx was a “lesser” model until he read this post. The reviewer does do a good job about all models…but I was posting in response to the poster above who used to think it was lesser. It was a very comprehensive review…I am curious is the 5dx has the loft * on the club like the 4dx and 3dx. They strengthened the lofts and the new 5dx 3-hybrid is 18.5*…not 20* like the other two models tested. Was that taken into consideration when determining if it was the “longest hybrid”? I realize that it is all marketing strategy…but I do not play hybrids based on their labeled iron replacment # because of these kinds of differences. I play them based on the loft* only.

  18. Administrator says:

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the clarification. When determining length, the loft was definitely taken into account. We matched it up the best we could given what we had. Both the 4DX and the 5DX in our tests were longer than the competition. But the 5DX with the added weight seemed longer than the 4DX as well.

  19. The Brain says:

    I never really thought I would get into Nickent clubs. The crazy designs and bold colors really are not my thing. However after reading this today a bit of irony struck. I went to play and the people i got paired with both played 4DX hybrids. I got a chance to hit them and compared to what I was used to, I was taken away. Longer and straighter than my Nikes. I look forward to the 5DX coming out but the 4DX might be better suited to my game.

  20. THE ECHO says:

    Thanks for an honest review.

  21. Connie D says:

    I am getting my husband one of their hybrids for Christmas. Great coverage.

  22. anita says:

    I almost want to get this club shortened and use it for myself. Good info here.

  23. RocketSauce says:

    i hit the Nickent 5DX hybrids today for the first time and i have never been so sold on any club as i have this one. this is truly the best hybrid ever made, period. i am now trading in my Callaway FT hybrids for 2 of these. thanks for the review. if you are even considering the 5DX, just go get one. you will be sooo glad that you did

  24. amollerud says:

    These are by far the best hybrids I have ever hit. So good that I have put 2 of them in my bag. These things are amazing!

  25. rich chesterland says:

    extremely thorough review. looking for a hybrid and will definitely try nickent. thank you for taking the time to create this informative review.

  26. Kevin says:

    Anybody know if these clubs can be bent upright to better fit a tall golfer?

  27. ED-golfer says:

    I am a big fan of Nickent and love my 4DX; but the 5DX are disappointing! Most shots open (tend to fade or slice) and I am definetely not a slicer!
    I can think of 3 possibilities:
    i) The Fuji level 5 shafts are not appropriate for the heavy heads; ii) the 5DX are somewhat more OPEN at address than the 4DX and other popular hybrids, so one should adjust the grip and stance; iii) my club (or shaft) is defective?
    I would appreciate any imputs on this issue.
    *By the way, the 5DX are somewhat longer than other hybrids because of their stronger lofts. For instance my #5 hybrid has 24.5degress; i.e. it is equivalent to a typical #4 hybrid!
    Thanks

  28. ED-golfer says:

    Problem solved!

    After some analysis I found that the 5DX are SQUARE at address
    (whereas the 4DX and other popular hybrids are closed 1 or 2 degrees), so one should adjust the grip and stance if is used to play standard hybrids.

    It is a pity that Nickent Golf did not make this very important point clear!

    Cheers
    ED-golfer (&putter designer)

  29. Administrator says:

    ED,
    Nickent is out of business! While it is a shame because they made very solid equipment, they had to close up shop. But they made that very point clear in our forums during a live chat.

  30. Patrick says:

    I know Nickent went Out of Business, so asking here if anyone has input. Since fitting is going to be hard is the strong 4 in the 5dx a good fill in for a normal 3 hybrid? I know it has a lower loft and shorter shaft (acurracy should be better for me). All the reviews of the 5DX look good and testing one of these is hard right now

    Thanks

  31. ED-golfer says:

    Yes, Patrick

    the strong 4 in the 5DX plays like a normal 3 hybrid. Cheers
    ED-golfer (&putter designer)

  32. Clay says:

    I just got back into Golf after 15 years of not playing. I’ve now had my golf swing analyzed and I’m at about 90mph. I could barely restrain myself after reading all these articles and bought a 4DX 1W hybrid with 14 degrees of loft. The problem is it has a fujikura level five shaft and I’m not so sure it’s going to work at this club speed. Any thoughts from those that have this shaft and know their club speed?

  33. Kuda Rey says:

    I have used the Adams 4/5 A30S for the last year or two and always liked them. About 6 months ago I bought a used 5DX 3 hybrid. I found that I no longer need a 3 wood in my bag. The Nickent is the straightest club in my bag, and therefore, makes up the little distance I used to lose to the right with my 3 wood. Today I bought a used 5DX 4 hybrid for $40. I will try it this weekend. My guess is my Adams 4 will be riding the bench. I will continue to use the Adams 5 as it doubles as my off the green chipper. (Works great.) BTW, what happened to Nickent? I thought they were slowly making their way up the golf equipment food chain?

  34. Doug says:

    Well two years ago got cobra hybrids to replace my 3 and 4 irons. I really liked them and they helped my game tremendously so bought on the spur of the moment two nickent 3DX … a strong 2 and a 5 .
    Playability , length , control and flight were amazing to the point that this week I bought a 3 DX 3 and 4 hybrid . Never imagined that anything could make me foresake my cobras but these clubs have done just that.

  35. Frank says:

    Can anyone advise what iron the 5dx 3, replaces equivalent?

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