Saturday, October 29, 2005

Nike Slingshots: A Personal Review

I'm ending the season by treating myself to new Nike Slingshot irons (in steel shafts). I've just finished my second round with them, and the jury is still out.

You probably know the technology: investment-cast with a deep cavity back that is bridged from heel to toe by a "swoosh-shape" plate. The premise is that the plate positions the CG low, rearward and in the heel of long irons to facilitate squaring the club head at impact and to create a higher ball flight for long, soft-landing shots. Throughout the set, the flow weighting of the Slingback design shifts the CG incrementally higher, closer to the face, and towards the toe as it moves toward the short irons. This progression reduces the launch angle and increases the spin rate for the short irons, which helps prevent shots from ballooning while maintaining the ability to hold greens.

Although I had no good reason not to like my 4-5 year old Nike Pro-Combos, I decided to make the switch for three reasons:

1. My short irons were de-chromed and rusting.
2. Our pro is leaving and so the year-end clean-out deal was hard to turn down.
3. GolfReview.com had 77 reviews, and an average rating of 4.57 out of a possible 5.

The good news: the club seems to have more head-weighting, hence more feel of the clubhead; the upper edge is quite thick (like Callaways) which gives you the impression you're swinging a substantial weapon; as advertised, the short irons don't sail on me as my Pro-Combos tended to do.

The bad news: even though they look like they would be easy to line up or aim, my directional control has been very shaky. And, I'm very conflicted about giving up a forged "shot-maker" style of club for a "game-improvement" design.

The Zen question: did I make a prudent investment, given the age of my old clubs, or did I make an ego-driven decision to chase after the next new gimmick that will do the job of enhancing my game for me?

Time will tell.

2 Comments:

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Power Fade said...

I actually was given a set of slingshots as an early Xmas present, and i found the following (I am a 4.2 handicap).
First, I found the forgiveness to be factor. With my Mizuno blades, I hit a slight fade (5-10 yards with a wedge...slight increase as the irons are longer).
Secondly, it was harder for me to control the direction of my fade and draw when working the ball.
Lastly, my distance was shorter, forcing me to reguage my distances.
I would definitely recommend the clubs for a high handicap player, and not recommend them for a low handicap player.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger CallMeBobby said...

I play with slingshots. They are simple to hit and they go straight. I hit the ball and then putt it in the hole simple.

 

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