Picking wedges seems like it is the most difficult choice in all of golf. It is a golf decision that seems monumental and since most players are carrying multiple wedges nowadays it is a decision that you want to make right the first time. How you make that decision can shape your golf game for years to come. When I made my decision a few years ago it seemed like the logical choice. I read reviews for weeks and hit clubs and chose the wedges for me.
I never really thought much into my decision until recently. You see I went with the reviews and purchased wedges that everybody spoke highly of. I took out the “major wedge brands” for a test drive and never really paid attention to some of the others that are out there. Most of the internet it seems, speak only of three major wedges. I refer to them as The Big Three. People speak of Titleist Vokey, Callaway, and Cleveland for wedge play. And they all make great wedges. The problem I later found out is that so do many other companies that I never even bothered trying out before my research was complete. People looking to buy clubs seem to follow the hype. I do almost everytime I am making a purchase, and the best marketing is word of mouth. But clubs are different for every player and sometimes thinking outside the box would benefit so many of us amateurs.
My wedges have never really let me down. Wth the hype behind them however, I expected miracles. I always wondered if there was something that I was missing. If there was something else out there that was better suited for my game, so I too could experience the miracle wedge play that so many spoke about. Then I found out the answer. The Nickent Arc Wedge!
When THP got the privilege to speak with John Hoeflich last week we spoke about wedges and about the design he created.
A true blade design that incorporates Nickent’s patented Acceleration Rebound Core (ARC) technology, which creates an internal cavity that gives the club the effect of perimeter weighting. It works like a corked bat. This results in a wedge with the look and feel of a true blade with the playability and ease of use of a modern cavity back.
After we finished speaking with him we were pretty excited to try these things out. A few days later the package arrived from Nickent and they were kind enough to send us wedges in each finish that they offer. From appearance alone, I liked what I saw. They come in Chrome, Gunmetal, or Forged Satin and carry an MSRP of $89.99-$99.99. I can tell you that every person that tried them out fell in love with the appearance of the Forged Satin. It is a gorgeous club.
After unpackaging the well wrapped box it was off to the range with a few others to try these things out for a test drive. We had a diverse group the first day of testing with handicaps ranging from scratch to 20. The consensus on appearance was that these were some of the better looking clubs that we had come across. But the real test did not come from looks alone. The range we play at is a water range and it has islands setup to aim at and it is great for wedge play. I went to work first alternating shots between my Titleist Vokey and the Nickent. Then it was everybody elses turn. We decided not to give feedback until the end of demo session. All but one of us actually preferred the Nickent wedges to the wedges we normally play. And that individual really enjoyed the Arc wedges but preferred to continue with his wedges he has played for 9 years now. Everyone else really felt as though the distinguishing trait that sent Nickent over the top was the “feel”. To steal the words of one of our reviewers. “It felt as though the wedge was an extension of my arm”.
The internal cavity allows weight to be distributed around the perimeter to create more stability and forgiveness than is typically found in a blade design.
But as most of the readers of THP know, we try not to get too technical around here and base most of our reviews off of real response not press releases. So with that being said, we wanted to get additional feedback so I asked the group teeing off behind us to play them as well as our group. The response was once again fabulous. Including one player from the group behind us that said “I was hoping we did not see you, because I wanted to take it with me”. The overall thoughts were that everybody really enjoyed trying the new clubs and the feel was outstanding.
In the sand this club was a thing of beauty. At my local course there are bunkers surrounding almost every green. Good bunker play is a must at this course and I was not let down. What I found is that because of the weighting the club glides effortlessly through the sand and the ball goes where you want it to. And because of the forgiveness (assuming from the ARC technology) when I did miss hit a couple of sand shots, the club helped out and rebounded nicely. The feel in the sand was like nothing I have had before.
So going back to my original question. If I could have done it all over again would I try more clubs? The answer is YES. These clubs were not on my list based solely on the fact that NO REVIEWS could be found on them. I am glad that I have found them, and more importantly, I am glad that THP will help others find them. I think back at the whole thing and wonder this.
If you take arguably the best club maker of the past 20 years and put a good company and strong technology behind him. Will he create a winning club? The answer to that question is an absolute YES! But the proof is in the wedge. If you have not had a chance to try one of these beauties out yet, do yourself a favor and hit them. They have found an answer to the common question of “what wedge should I carry?”. The Arc Wedges have a permanent place in my bag and I am sure you will not be let down. You can read much more on these Here.