Lamkin Grips

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Nike Golf’s latest equipment, a combination of three sets of irons – the Victory Red (VR) series – has just been released to consumers over the last month or so. Designed for golfers who demand Tour-proven craftsmanship, performance and forgiveness. Symbolic of Nike’s continuing technological innovation, the VR irons come in three distinct sets – Victory Red Forged TW Blades, Forged Split Cavity and the Full Cavity.

In our previous review of the Nike Split Cavity, The Hackers Paradise was blown away with just how far Nike has come in recent years with their irons. As many of our readers know, we were not a huge fan of their offerings in 2007, but this VR series has really won us over. So much so, that after the first review, this equipment tester went out and purchased a set of Nike Split Cavity irons to play full time. We were eagerly awaiting the arrival of this set to test out as Nike’s latest offering of a game improvement iron.

When the set arrived at our offices, our first take was pretty much the same as before. The Victory Red Series is as nice looking as anything out on the market right now. They have really done a great job with their entire line this time from an aesthetics point of view. We will go a step further and say that in our mind, this is the nicest looking overall line out on the market right now in THP’s opinion.

The Nike Victory Red full cavity irons are crafted with a deep full cavity design and a moderate top line and sole width to provide an optimal blend of confidence and forgiveness. Mass is distributed to the perimeter of the club head to increase MOI, leading to enhanced distance and forgiveness on off-center hits. The face thickness increases from the topline to the sole to lower the Center of Gravity (CG) in order to optimize trajectory.

Look: As previously discussed, we really like the overall look of the Victory Red series. These have nice sole to them, not a chunky block with a poor grind like we see on other cast cavity backs. Also the head size is nice, a tad smaller than many of the other game improvement irons we have tested. Fair warning though, if you’re a forged purist you aren’t going to like these.

Feel: Being a cast club, many people believe that these would lack feel. They are wrong. During our first range session with the VR Full Cavity Set, both myself and THP’s resident teaching pro, immediately commented on the feel we received when hitting these. When you miss a shot on the toe or heel, you get the feedback and know that you missed it and where. The difference is, the ball still flies straight.

Playability: For game improvement irons, we had no trouble shaping shots at all. Neither one of us expected that we were going to be able to do any shaping with this set, but we were happily proved wrong. Obviously, you will not be able to work the ball as easily as a blade, but that is not what Nike is trying to do with this set.

Forgiveness: This is where the Nike Full Cavity’s really shine. Those thick and thin shots seem to all fly straight. Hit them off the toe or heel? No problem, they fly straight. But due to the weighting in these clubs, most people will be doing that far less often than with many of the other clubs we have tested. In fact we had quite a few people hit these clubs and they all said the same thing. “I seem to hit it in the center more than other clubs”. But when you miss, these Nike’s have you covered.

THP took them to the course with myself and three others all playing out of the same bag of irons. With the exception of me (I play the Nike Split Cavity) all three of them play game improvement clubs from other manufacturers. After the round each person marveled at how Nike had taken the task of making a game improvement club with feel seriously and may have done what so many other companies have been unable to do just yet. I have since played 5 rounds with these irons and each time find something else that I like about them.

Overall, I think that Nike has done it again with the Victory Red Series. We have now tested two of the three and think that they hit a home run with both. Anybody in the market for new irons has to keep the Victory Red line from Nike on their short list. These are available in golf shops everywhere. For more information on these clubs check out Nike Golf.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Equipment, 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. Dre F says:

    These are for sure on my list. I am getting new set with money from Christmas and it is either these or the AP1s. I have hit both and am leaning towards these though.

  2. david schmidt says:

    Great review, I love the pictures. I just got the VR Splits after reading your review and hitting them last month. I hit these too when I got mine and you hit the nail on the head. For cast GI irons, these are about the best out there.

  3. Mike Bizzle says:

    I bought these a few weeks back and agree 100% with the review you wrote. They feel different than most GI clubs that I have tried out.

  4. Tre J says:

    Best pictures I ahve seen with a review. So far it looks like Nike is putting up some great irons with this release

  5. sara o says:

    Do you know if Nike plans of coming out with any nice womens sets this year.

  6. Smallville says:

    It’s a shame that I won’t be upgrading my irons for a couple of years. These look great to use.

  7. break-90 says:

    It is almost definite that I will be purchasing these clubs… because these CCI’s I have are almost impossible to hit… I tested these out earlier today after chatting on the forum and they feel excellent and at least in the store the contact was better on the ball… just wish I could get something for these CCI’s…

  8. andy johnstone says:

    I paid to be professionally suited to a set of clubs as ive now became a 9 handicapper. The two sets in my price range 350 – 450 GBP were the TM burner plus and this club (steel, stiff shaft). I hit the TM 3 yards further and straighter but like my old clubs they felt like they were a lead weight on a light stick, I didnt feel in control and felt I couldnt be delicate with them if I tried, the chunky feel of the head didnt do it for me. This club looks and feels to me more like a blade, I can control the club head ( I have the touch of a blacksmith) and hit it at any velocity i feel fit to. There was less backspin than the TM and this is what i wanted as I hit it high anyway. The higher clubs feel delicate as if you could cut the ball in 2 with surgical ease. The grips dont seem tacky enough as a downpoint as i can only grip with 2 fingers due to injury but thats me. Pay your money and get them fitted I dont think youll ever go back.

  9. TheGasman says:

    Ill have to find a demo and hit these. I havent picked up a Nike in a few years.

  10. Jason says:

    I am on the High School golf team and work at a US Open Qualifier Course, I am going to buy this set of irons, along with the new 2009 nike golf shoes. I am very lucky because I am able to order my clubs through the course, and I only pay what the course does!!

  11. Dan says:

    I got these as soon as they came out with the graphite shaft. I hade them checked for lie and lofts to specs and only 2 irons (6-PW) where off on the loft by 1*. Excellent quality here.

    They feel awsome indeed, long, high and straight with plenty of forgivness and workability. Give them a try and you will not be disapointed.

    salut!

  12. andy johnstone says:

    A few months on and ive came to the conclusion that the clubs are brilliant but the Nike Grips on them are truly pathetic, i little bit of moisture and theres no grip at all plus theyfeel too hard. Hit slightly fat and you can feel them rotate, theres no confidence and the lack of grippiness causes you to hold the club too hard

    club 10/10
    grip -5/10 come on Nike – Get a Grip – who exactly trialled them!

  13. Big Dave says:

    I Agree with Andy Johnstone. I currently am playing the NIke SQ Sumo Iron set( yah, thats right, a SQ Sumo IRON set),and i just bomb the club and love the crisp sound it makes but the grips are just………horriffyingly ungrippy. they are pretty much just low-quality rubber with tread-like patterns on them. Then again, the clubs themselves are just fantastic, but I highly recomend you get some Golf Pride’s or some Winn grips to replace the Measely Nike stock grips.

  14. robo monos says:

    I can’t take it! I tried these out (cavity backs) and they are truelly great. I need to save more $$ to get them…I want them now, and ya’ll aren’t helping 🙂

  15. Roger says:

    Just got my set yesterday after I had them fitted. Played my first round today and I have to say your review is right on, I will be replacing the grips as soon as I get a chance though.

    I am saying bye to my G10’s.

  16. Chuck says:

    Love these clubs. Not just for the mid handicaps either. Not as young as i used to be and the higher trajectory of these irons combined with the high launch shafts is a great combo for me. I really appreciate that they made a nice forgiving iron with a playable (not clunky) sole.

    The grips are okay, but I’m going to change to my favorite golf prides.

  17. ColinMB says:

    I think you nailed the review. I’d have to agree with the overall appearance and physical playing assessment. I’ve tested these on and off for a while and decided to hang up blades for a while.

    I did 27 holes with these and was able to draw the ball, or play a high fade without any real issue, or over concern of losing the ball outright. My ‘miss’ is usually a tad thin, these have my back on that shot.

    I was left with no option but to buy them. I can’t stand most clubs labeled as “game improvement”… these are different than most.

    Two words of caution. 1: Although a cast club, these aren’t a high handicapper club. They are not…. ultimately forgiving, but quite workable (surprise). And 2: the grips. These clubs are stellar, except the grips just don’t cut it. I went with the VR (black/red) golf prides.

    Excellent review.

  18. Nate C says:

    I bought these clubs and have played with them and i think they are great. The ball flies of the face on miss hits and when you really hit it the ball flies higher and farther then ever. A++

  19. sandra742 says:

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  20. billymayer says:

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  21. Andrew Johnstone says:

    1 year on from my review listed above.

    I immediately changed the grips to golf pride dual density and the club improved immensly. These clubs have taken me back down to single figures and as a game improver I think theyre very good, very forgiving and very straight, its time for me to take my golf to a new level though as my appreciation of the technicalities of the game has vastly improved.

    Pros and cons 1 year on.

    Pros.
    Thinner profile than most game improvers.
    Middle range clubs not really that difficult to shape a shot despite what some people say.
    Good weighting.
    Highly forgiving.
    Good launch 9-5 iron.

    Cons.

    PW offset is far too much and the club is very blunt, Very good on long pitches but not so on delicate 25-50 yards

    SW much the same, it feels just a bit chunky and not so precise but it travels through sand well, good for a high handicapper just wanting “out” of the sand .

    Stock grip terrible, investment in new grips essential.. bargain with dealer at point of purchase.

    Distance for me was an issue, although very accurate I found myself having to overpower shots especially in the mid iron range. Im a big hitter but 150 yards for a 6 iron well hmm …. but very straight and forgiving though.

    Overall i cant fault the clubs despite the review. I wouldnt of gotten where I am now without them, they are a very good game improver the ball releases well and travels very straight and i would recommend to any mid to high handicapper without a doubt. Time to move on though Mizuno MX 300 for me next

  22. Iain says:

    6 iron, 150 yards, simply not true.

    I have used these clubs for 3 rounds (got them for £291 online). I change the grips to golfers pride multicoump in red, match the club heads very well!

    I hit a lot of balls on the range and know who far they go. These clubs perform the same as any other club distance wise (compared to Wilson, Ping, Burner etc). My 8 iron easily hits 150y with a clean strike. Andrew, you either have a slow club head speed or play the ball in the middle to left of your stance, therefor, loosing a lot of distance.

    These clubs are very forgiving, shots of the heel and toe tend to fly true and you do not loose much distance, especially with the shorter irons. I hut a nice wedge of a short par 3, to within 15ft. When I looked at my club I could see a blue mark from the tee I used, I caught it nearly on the shaft, nearly shanked it, but it felt like a clean hit and it flew like one. The other benefit for these clubs is the playabilitiy. I can shape the ball and polay nice nice fades and hooks at will.

    Overall, these clubs are everything I want.

  23. Andrew Johnstone says:

    May I point out that I play off 6 and thats a combined average handicap from a number of courses. Range markers and range balls give no clear indication of distance, fire a real ball down and range and youll probably go home thinking youve hit a 360 yard drive. I was handicap 10 when I bought the clubs and a 6 iron consistently hits between 150-160 yards measured accurately by gps on a typical uk day ground medium to hard, struck well not choked down, face not closed, no forward press, struck from fairway, not mat and also struck from tee. I dont shank or slice and play with a nice natural draw. Spin rate almost half that of a taylormade burner as measured by computer from grass and my swing speed is high ninetys. Im also renowned for being a big straight hitter which is why i liked the club in the first place (i was able to judge distance more accurately and the trajectory was nicer due to the lesser spin rate) Readers please do not compare balls struck down a range to real play. I quite believe the 150 yard 8 iron without a doubt, thats mainly because as stated the offset is far too much on the higher clubs which causes you to overly forward press and promotes the club face shutting. The distance gapping between 7 – 4 iron is disappointing and i kick myself for not insisting I tried the full range beforehand.

  24. Michael says:

    JB – great review, this is the best Golf website ever. I have my choice narrowed down between the Nike VR full cavity and the Cleveland CG7 BP. In your course testing, which did you find more forgiving? I have been hitting both clubs for the last month indoors and I keep coming back to the Nike….it just feels better. I hope this will translate to real play outdoors. I look forward to your comments.

  25. Eric says:

    Any thoughts on VR Full Cavity vs. X-20?

  26. Chris says:

    After reading these reviews and simply liking the way the Nike VR Split Cavity Irons look and feel in my hands —- combined with an incredible price I found, I decided to give these a try. Against the wishes of my teaching professional, I got these in the graphite shafts with the stiff flex. I have a high swing speed, so my teacher said that graphite was not for me. Well, I also have hand problems and needed something that absorbs the shock better than a steel shaft (and I also use soft grips). I can honestly say that this is absolutely the best hitting club I have ever swung. The ball absolutely explodes off my club face. I can swing an even-tempo’ed, easy swing and the ball carries like I have only imagined. I hit them at least 5-10 yards further per club than my Titleist AP1’s, but it is more of the solid contact I make that I am enjoying. Even the mis-hits seem to end well and that means a lot to a guy like me that carries a 15 index. The reviews here convinced me to give these a try and I have to say that I couldn’t be happier. And, if you have been avoiding graphite shafts for the same reason I was (long hitter, high clubhead speed), I have found these stiff graphite shafts an absolute joy to hit. I may be a convert to graphite shafts and truly never expected that.

    Nike did these right. I firmly believe they have joined the ranks of Titleist, Taylormade, and Mizuno as a maker of premier irons. Get ’em.

  27. jim says:

    Going to purchase new set of irons the three sets i have shortlisted are Nike full cavity, Mizuno ms 100 or callaway x 22’s anyone offer advice , i have hit all three in store and the only difference is i get slightly longer hit with x 22

  28. Administrator says:

    Jim,
    I would recommend posing that question in the forum. Far more people will give advice. You are on a very good fence and wherever you fall you will be happy.

    Dont forget to check out the contest section of the forum.

  29. weten2 says:

    Chris;
    On the graphite shafts what i the weight and torque? Nike doesn’t have this on their website.

  30. Lionel says:

    In total agreeance. I bought these a week ago and have already improved my game considerably. Great, clean feeling and well balanced. Forgiveness with the bulkiness of a Callaway. Best clubs I have owned in 18 years and I have used Ping, Callaway, and Titleist.

  31. Daymon says:

    So, about 2 months ago, I purchased the Callaway Diablo Edge cavity back irons with hybrids, and I liked them and they were really long, but, I was continually topping and fatting shots with them. I also noticed that the offset was maybe too much for me, because I was hitting everything left.

    Well, 2 weeks ago, I was at my local Golfsmith just browsing, actually looking at a driver, and I walking by the used Irons rack, I saw a set of these that was lightly used, and looked brand new and they had oversized grips, which I need, and I thought: “Hmm, I wonder how these hit?”

    Well, I grabbed the 6 and took it back to the nets and gave it a go. I hit probably 40 balls, and all of them but a handful (3-5 maybe) were cleanly struck and felt unbelievable. I was shocked, and pleasantly surprised.

    So, I put it back and went home. I thought about and thought about what I was going to do, and decided I needed to hit them again. So, the next day after work, I went back and hit 20 balls with each club….again, everything was perfect. They felt like butter….smooth and soft.

    After that I knew they were the ones, and I pulled the trigger and exercised my 90 Day Playability Guarantee, and traded my Diablo’s back and grabbed that set of Nike’s, with a hybrid 3 and 4 included, a lightly used Odyssey putter and the new VR STR8-Fit 9.5 driver, that was also lightly used. Turns out, these clubs, including the driver belonged to Denver Nugget J.R. Smith.

    Bottom line, that was the best move I have ever made regarding golf equipment. These clubs are phenomenal!!

    They set up nicely, and they really have a much slimmer and more “players club” or blade type of a look, which I really like. The ball flight is superior, usually sending off really hot shots. This club may be the hottest Iron I have ever hit. Also, the sweetspot is seemingly the entire club and is easy to connect with. The launch is good and the feel is unbeatable!

    These clubs are great! Mishits are more manageable and usually, these clubs take care of that.I would recommend these to anyone in the market for new clubs.

    The only negatives that I have found so far is that at times, if you come off the toe, you will get some feedback, but, no so much that it hurts.

    All in all, I am a Nike guy now, and am so very impressed with these clubs that I will keep them for at least the next 3 seasons, and my next set, will probably be Nike’s again. I’ve played them all, Callaway, Ping and Wilson (which I really like too) and honestly, these are the best set of clubs that I believe that I’ve played.

  32. Evan Moffis says:

    I have purchased these clubs only a week ago and have played only 1 full round of golf with them and dang it if I didn’t play my best round of golf with them. I have been playing golf for a full year now (no instructor or teacher of any sort) and I usally shoot anywhere from 3-10 over par. My first time using the Nike Victory Red Cavity Back Irons, I scored a -1 under par through 18 holes.

    All I can say is I can’t wait until I am used to the clubs and who knows what I can do on the golf course.

    Evan Moffis

  33. gordon c says:

    bought these clubs around 3 weeks ago , play of 7, found they could slightly stray 2 the right if not completing your swing, also i find they give me a lower ball flight than my last set of mizuno,s, which i prefer, changed the grips thats a must for anyone , would highly recomend getting the 56deg vr blade wedge , can get the ball to dance with spin and get that ball 2 stop as quick as brakes on it , when chipping round about the greens anywhere from 50 yards in u can attack that pain with no fear it not stopping, so over all 8/10 for the 4 to pw irons, and 10/10 for the blade 56deg wedge,

  34. Davide says:

    I’m playing golf since last year and I’m really getting into it. I’ve started with a combo set SQ SumoHybrid Irons and I now want buy a new set as I feel I need to learn the low irons game. I’ve been looking at the more recent Callaway Diablo Edge but as I am a Nike guy I’ve been also looking at the Victory Red Full Cavity as alternative. Any advise? Thanks!

  35. Rob says:

    I am awaiting on a used set from global golf. I will try them out in the spring and give a feed back on them then. I think they look great.

  36. Vin says:

    I am looking to purchase a used set of the VR Full cavity. Not sure what shaft type to get. I am between regular and stiff. The “stiff” one has a chrome look to it. The “regular” has a black look. Does this mean it is also a different material to the shaft? I am high 90’s, low 100’s. I hear these are forgiving irons, which is what I need! vmbellantoni@gmail.com.

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