Lamkin Grips

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During our January visit to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando this year we got to listen to Justin Leonard and Tom Stites talk about the new Nike MachSpeed irons and the technology that was put into them to assist amateur golfers get more out of their clubs. We had previously seen pictures of the irons and must admit that we thought they looked more like transformers than any golf club we were ready to play with. Requests came in after our show coverage to review the set, so THP reached out to Nike Golf and they were kind enough to send us a set of men’s irons and a set of ladies irons to take a look at. For that, we are calling this review “Happy Belated Valentine’s Day”.

Click On Each Picture for Large Hi-Res Image

Tech Specs
“With MACHSPEED, we’ve developed a very fast iron through new and dynamic construction that works,” said Tom Stites, Director of Club Creation for Nike Golf. “This iron is all about helping golfers increase their ball speed in order to generate distance. Our patented PowerBow technology allows golfers to launch the ball high and increase distance – a perfect combination to improving your game.”

Speed and Distance

To achieve speed and distance, the two-piece SQ MACHSPEED irons have a higher CT (Characteristic Time) in the wider areas on the face resulting in faster ball speeds and longer distance. The new game-improvement Nike irons feature a combination of AM 355 alloy and an off-the-face weld construction that creates a thinner, hotter face and a wider sweet zone. The new SQ MACHSPEED construction offers an extremely hot center area that expands lower on the face where the ball is more likely to be in contact to prevent a decrease in distance.

Stability and Forgiveness

The SQ MACHSPEED irons provide stability and forgiveness because of Nike’s PowerBow technology. Nike’s innovative PowerBow technology was first introduced in its earliest SQ product, the groundbreaking Nike SasQuatch driver in 2006. The Nike PowerBow creates an extremely deep center of gravity and provides a wider sweet spot.

Launch and Functionality

Completing the three key functions of the Nike SQ MACHSPEED irons is the launch capability. The SQ MACHSPEED features a deep undercut behind the face, which repositions 50 grams of weight out and back to the PowerBow for high launching shots that travel far and land softly.

Men’s: 4-PW, AW; Steel: S,R,A; RH/LH; MSRP: $839.99 MAP: $699.99
Men’s: 4-PW, AW; Graphite: S,R,A; RH/LH; MSRP: $959.99 MAP: $799.99

Women’s: 5H, 6H, 7-PW, SW; Graphite: W (RH); MSRP: $959.99 MAP: $799.99

Looks
As mentioned above, the pictures made us think more of a transformer than that of a golf club, but once you have them in your hand, the looks grow on you rather quickly. The graphics in the cavity may look “different” but up close in person they have a modern, edgy appearance. Sharp lines with quite a few color contrasts (black, gray, and gold) that look busy, but very sleek. The topline is not too thick like many game improvement irons and the sole has a good balance. The face has the grooves outlined in white and it is something that we grew to really like, not sure why really, but all of us really liked it. The ladies could not stop talking about how much they loved the white shaft they said it really made the entire club stand out and gave them confidence when setting up to the ball. There was one complaint about the looks of these clubs and it was minimal but still a minor issue. Nike has moved the number from the bottom of the sole to the area where the toe meets the sole and while it looks sharp, it adds frustration. For years we have looked at the bottom of the iron to pick the club, now I found myself bending down next to my cart to be at eye level of the bag to see what iron I was choosing or pulling out 3-4 clubs to guess which one was right. But it is a minor issue and one that you learn to live with pretty quickly.

Range Testing
THP brought a set for the ladies and a set for the men up to a local range for testing and we were able to get a large amount of golfers to try each set out.

Men – The golfers were really excited to try this out after we explained the technical features and when talking about the looks, the same word was thrown around quite a bit. It was “futuristic” and that kind of nails it. One by one players of all skill levels took turns hitting irons and comparing them to their current set. Not a single golfer had any complaints about the performance of the clubs. The launch is very high, so if you struggle getting the ball up in the air, this could be a perfect set for you. But the real “superstar” in the range testing was the forgiveness and what the golfers were calling the “miracle toe”. Hitting the ball off the toe was showing the same straight ball flight and the kicker was that virtually no distance was lost. It had most of the amateur golfers pretty excited and I had not hit them yet, but was eager to get out there and try them.

Ladies – If you think the men were impressed, the ladies were even more so with the performance of the clubs. The graphite shafts seemed to be in perfect harmony with the club heads and the players were remarking on seeing a straighter ball flight because of it. Once again, forgiveness was the star, as the female golfers were talking more about the shots they missed than the shots they hit dead center. Another point that was brought up by almost every tester was the amount of distance they were gaining in the irons because of the higher ball flight. A lot of the female testers struggle with slower swing speed and the ball was still getting up and staying up to produce longer shots that landed softly. While the men did not test the hybrids, the ladies had them as part of their set. While the love for the irons was apparent, the hybrids shined even more if that was possible. Every single player that hit the hybrids said that they would put them in their bag that day if given the opportunity and that the forgiveness and distance was again the deciding factor. There was a small complaint from a few of the ladies though and that was the grip. Almost all felt the grip was a little hard and rough on their hands and it was unanimous that they would replace it if purchasing this set.

Course Testing
Both Golfer Gal and myself put these irons in play for close to 10 rounds and TONS of range sessions and came away with something unique and a first time for THP in all the reviews we have done. By the time we finished reviewing these clubs, both of us put them in our bag as our gaming irons. That has never happened before and we were not paid by Nike (never have been) to do so. A few weeks back on THP Radio, we discussed this very thing in a short segment and if you have not heard it, it is worth a quick listen. The Nike MachSpeed irons have an “it factor” that few irons have had for us in the past. Describing something like this is extremely difficult, but what we mean is that these irons seem to have everything that a game improvement iron should have. Good feel, incredible forgiveness, and a nice high ball flight and these irons have all of that and a little more. More you ask? What we mean by more is that they offer an easy transition for golfers. Most players looking at this kind of iron will be able to pick it up and seamlessly transition to them. Part of that is the design and the Powerbow that we spoke about earlier. Most amateur golfers are not going to hit the sweet spot with each swing, and the technology in these heads makes it so that the misses are far less noticeable in both feel and performance. The other factor for us is that the shafts for both the men and ladies seem absolutely perfect for these irons and will play a major role in feel and ball flight. In fact Golfer Gal could not get over how much higher her ball flight was. She thought she was doing something wrong because she had never seen a ball flight like that before. She also really liked that the club was incredibly forgiving but at the same time gave her enough feedback to know where her miss hits were. For an amateur that is very important to understand why you are miss hitting something and the Nike MachSpeed Irons provided that feedback.

As mentioned before and also in our THP Radio segment, the Nike MachSpeed irons have an “it factor” that we have yet to put our finger on. If your goal is moving the ball with fades and draws, this set will not be the ideal set to look for, Nike has sets such as the Nike VR Split Cavity that we reviewed last year that are better suited for that game. With that being said, the “it factor” has brought these two reviewers to really enjoy these irons and the game improvement performance that they bring to the table.

Overall
Happy Belated Valentine’s Day seems to be the perfect name for this his and hers set from Nike Golf. The MachSpeed has everything someone would want in an iron geared towards amateurs that want a little assistance. The ball flight is nice and high on both sets and for our female testers, this was their favorite part of the set. The looks were futuristic and loved in person despite us not caring for them that much in pictures. The feel is solid and at the same time still offered us feedback when we do miss the sweet spot and the forgiveness is something special. Despite getting that feedback, the forgiveness says it all as in testing, the performance on misses is almost equal to that of the hitting them dead on. THP has been critical of Nike Golf equipment in the past (2008 line), but they have been rock solid recently and this set continues with that trend. Both the mens and ladies MachSpeed irons are available now and should be on your radar if you are in the market for a set that will help take your game to the next level. For more information on these irons or any other Nike products, check out their website at www.nikegolf.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Equipment, Headlines & News, Irons

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. thanks1974 says:

    Excellent review JB! The ‘miracle toe’ factor alone has me interested in these as most of my misses are closer to the toe more than anything.

  2. Puttin4Bird says:

    Wow, I am thoroughly surprised that a lower handicap player such as you liked these so much. I can’t help but think of the Nike Slingshot line when looking at these. I will admit, they look cool, but unlike some irons that I know I have to hit just based on looks these would have to grow on me some. I have noticed your forum signature saying you were gaming these so I was anxiously waiting to see what you had to say about them. We have a demo day coming up at my club, now I can’t wait to hit these!

    Thanks for the review.

  3. AHacker'sHacker says:

    Great review JB. I will definitely be hitting these at my club’s demo day May 1.

  4. curtis strange fan says:

    Awesome read and those pictures are cool. I was not a fan of the looks or clunkiness until I got to hit these recently. Very strong offering that I hope to have soon.

  5. james Fisher says:

    I am really intesrested in these. Played the Sling Shots and really liked the look of them and these have a similar look to them. Looking forward to trying them out up here in Canada.

  6. Adam L says:

    Can anyone comment on a comparison between these and the Diablo Edges? or X22’s? I have all three of these sets on my short list.

  7. Administrator says:

    Adam,
    They are more forgiving than the X-22s and are a full club longer for me. They are not quite as workable, but for forgiveness they are hard to beat. Both the Edges and these should be on your short list. Similar and distance and forgivness. However I think these feel slightly better.

  8. Adam L says:

    Good to hear. Thanks for the input 🙂 I will try hitting them this afternoon.

  9. NFender says:

    Adam L:

    I just ordered a set of these last night after trying dozens of sets over the past two months. My final comparison came down to the Nike MachSpeed and Callaway Diablo Edge.

    Testing on a launch monitor showed that both performed similarly for me. It almost came down to a coin flip. But in the end I choose the MachSpeeds because they felt a tiny bit smoother and they seem to have a little less offset, so it was easier for me to shape the ball right to left a little bit. Distance, launch angle, ball speed and forgiveness/accuracy were all very similar between these two clubs. Both are very easy to hit.

    Compared to my old Ping i3 Blades, the MachSpeed and Diablo Edge clubs were about 5 yards longer with a 7-iron, and average dispersion was reduced by about 50% (7 yards for the Pings vs. 4 to 5 yards for the new clubs. The only surprise was that launch angles were about the same for all three clubs (20-21 degrees); I expected the new clubs to launch a bit higher.

    The Nike set costs $100 more than the Diablo Edge, but Nike is running a promo that gives you a $200 store credit.

  10. royalwulff says:

    Great review on these! It was really interesting to hear that you and GG both put them in your bag as your game irons. That says alot for this new offering from Nike.

  11. Adam L says:

    NFender:
    Thanks very much for that reply, very helpful. It seems we are in a very similar position. I actually just got fitted this afternoon and the pro I was dealing with quickly put a Nike SQ Machspeed in my hand. Felt amazing, my accuracy was super improved, and the miss-hits stayed well under control.

    One crappy thing is the pro basically refused to let me hit the Diablo Edges after seeing the performance I had with these. He classified the Diablo Edges as super game improvement and thought that they were below my skill level. I guess maybe the Nikes provide more workability?
    I hit acouple other clubs but I never did pressure him to bring out the Edges, I guess when you find a club with the results you gotta go with it ;).

    Anyways, thanks for your reply – helps put my mind at ease between these and the Edges. I am going to hit up a golf town and hog a test pad for alittle while to just directly compair the best I can… got to do my due diligence here :).

    Thanks,
    Adam

  12. LCayman says:

    Hey JB, any chance THP will do an iron test like you did with drivers?

  13. Jack says:

    im seriously considering these after playing “players irons” for years now. now that im not playing as much as i used to i find myself needing more forgiveness. my club had a demo day yesterday (Callaway, Titleist, Cobra) and i was really impressed with the Callaway Diablos. my club also offers these Machspeeds in DEMO clubs, so Im going to test these next. So Im pretty sure I will pick either the Diablos or the Machspeeds for my next irons. I was just blown away how mishits still flew long and straight with the SGI irons…

  14. Adam L says:

    Just bought the SQ Machspeeds with the 3-4 hybrids. Very excited to get them. I couldn’t believe how nice even the hybrids felt. I was very skeptical to trade out my 3/4 for hybrids so I will have to re-post with my course impressions… but in the simulators at GolfTown the Hybrids flew amazing. I still feel like I’m cheating abit with the hybrids though … we will see if that feeling fades over time 🙂

  15. ivan says:

    First of all, great review!

    I just wanted throw something out there for those of you thinking about getting these irons. One of our local courses had a demo day a couple of days ago and I hit irons from every manufacturer out there (nike, taylormade, titlelist, and callaway). For me it came down to the callaway x22’s (which I had demoed in the past and really liked) and the nike machspeeds. Those two were by far the easiest to hit for me. The deciding factor for me was the forgiveness, which went to the nike machspeeds. Ball flight and distance were about the same with both the x22’s and the machspeeds but I was hitting straighter with the machspeeds.

    Another factor was the price. The golf shop had some great deals during demo day and the nike machspeeds were probably the best deal there. As you all know nike is offering a $200 credit that you can use towards more nike stuff when you buy the clubs for $699 (with steel shafts). Well at our demo day they were just taking the $200 off the price and took off an additional 10%! Needless to say I ended up buying a set and ended up paying $487 with tax! I couldn’t pass up that deal! Not sure if they’re offering that deal at all demo’s but if you’re looking to buy these clubs, it would be worth while to go to a demo day and find out.

  16. curt says:

    My wife and I have been playing about 8 years now, more in the last two,getting more serious and playing every weekend. We took a day and let her hit many clubs at many stores,and nothing came close to the ball flight,feel, and distance of the mach speeds.
    Much better than big berthas,cobras of every type,adams,and many others.
    Only one complaint, she did not like the feel of the grip,which seems to be a common one.The grip of the taylor made burners felt better,so when i take her to get fit for her new mach speeds, we will look for better grips. Hope this reply helps

  17. pat says:

    Just tried the Nike Machspeeds at a demo at the PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie, Fl. Went in thinking I wanted the Diablo Edge. Came out knowing the Nike Machspeed was the better club. Great feel, high launch and great forgiveness. Going out to get a set this weekend!

  18. steve says:

    I currently have the original hi-bore iros and was wondering if you thought the machspeed would be an improvement…I still like the hi-bores but have the itch to try something else…thanks

  19. Admin says:

    Steve,
    The MachSpeeds will offer more distance and in my opinion a better feel, but the Clevelands are solid irons. The new HB3 irons are extremely forgiving and easy to hit.

  20. Larry says:

    I’ve also read seemingly glowing reviews on the R9 irons and the Diablo edge irons on here. Are there any sets that you actually don’t like? why do you like these better than the R9s or Diablo edge?

  21. Administrator says:

    Larry,
    Actually there are quite a few sets that our testers did not care for. However most OEM’s are putting out great equipment right now. However with that being said, not all sets are geared towards all players. For instance, I love the CG1 Tours and the Nike VR Blades, but we would not recommend them for a higher handicap players. Finding the right set of golf clubs is a daunting task when the companies are putting out such great sets, but with trial and error,

  22. Wes says:

    Hi JB,

    Thanks for the review and the responses here. Can you compare the distance and forgiveness to the mizuno mx-200s? Im getting ready to pull the trigger on one of these two iron sets. I loved how the mizunos feel, but havent had a chance to swing a machspeed yet.

    Thanks!

  23. Wes says:

    Ahh well… in your forums I see you found the machspeeds to be way more forgiving.

    I also just noticed that the machspeeds are +1/2″ longer than the mizzies.

    I really need to get some machspeeds to swing. Going crazy here – raining too much here lately and really wanting to buy my b-day gift to myself.

  24. Admin says:

    Just saw the comment Wes. They are definitely more forgiving than the MX-200s. A better comparison would be the MX-1000s.

  25. JohnnyNight says:

    Hello,

    Was wondering if either of the Slingshot sets have vveen reviewed and how they compare to the Machspeeds. I was considering the previous Slingshot set that has the 3 -5 hybrids. The new Slingshot set just has a 3 hybrid.

    Thanks

  26. JohnnyNight says:

    Just checking tgw, they don’t have any hybrids in mens sets for Machspeed. Is that a special order set.

  27. Matt says:

    Would you recommend this set for a new player? Or shall i look somewhere else?
    I cant try them before buy but the internet shop i will order from offers 90 day return with 90% refund (or well other clubs)

  28. Administrator says:

    Matt,
    I think these would be great for a beginner. We always urge fitting, but if you cannot, perhaps these will work well.

  29. Matt says:

    Any real point in fitting for a new player? Since i dont hit the ball same everytime :)?
    I can change grip on the online store, but i dont think they let me send them back then.

  30. Administrator says:

    Matt,
    There is no way I would ever buy a club that was not fit for me. The benefits are there for all skill levels.

  31. Matt says:

    Thx, i did order them to day with a fit, was a +1 lie change.

  32. Bill Allen says:

    I love my new Mach Speed irons, on the first time out I was hitting longer and straighter then ever! I had a the Nike NDS iron before and the only reason that I replaced them is becasue my whole bag was stolen! While purchasing these I also bought the Mach Speed Driver and fairway woods. These clubs compliment themselves and make the game of golf a little easier. Thanks!

  33. Andre says:

    Does anybody know if Nike does a -3 or -4 lie? I’m short (5’4″) and have been fitted for 59.5 degrees for a 6 iron. Other brands seem to have a 61-62 degree 6i so i usually go -2 flat. The Mach’s are 1.5 degree higher across the set (the 6i is @ 63.5!), even compared to their own Slingshot and VR specs. I wonder what the rationale for this is.

  34. Dan says:

    I have a question hoping someone can help me. I am able to purchase the Nike Machspeed irons 4-AW, eight clubs for a certain price. I am also able to purchase the Callaway Diablo Edge irons 4-PW, seven clubs, but they will cost me $100 more. Any advice on which set I should purchase. Thanks.

  35. i,m a20 handicapper looking for new irons in the nike range would you recomend the nike machspeed or go for something better i use nike dymo sq driver and woods in stiff shafts appreciate your advice

  36. Administrator says:

    Stephen,
    I would recommend checking out the forum and seeing what other golfers are recommending.

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