New Nike golf clubs – good or bad idea?
New Nike golf clubs – good or bad idea?
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve got my solid ball striking back and have had a couple of great scoring rounds, won a competition, won another trophy and had my handicap cut to 15.4. In terms of the challenge, it all seems to be back on track.
Last week, I went to see James Whitaker at his Howley Hall store. They have a brilliant new trackman fitting room, complete with every brand / style of club you could wish for. It was time for me to try out some new clubs. I have been hitting my irons well, but have been poor with my driver. If you read the update from my last round, you’ll have noticed I didn’t use my driver once!
So, my current clubs are these:
Some Mizuno MX-19’s with regular shafts bought off eBay about 7 years ago. I have two drivers that I’ve been messing about with whilst trying to find a solution to my issues off the tee. My trusty old Callaway Big Bertha (regular, which I hit beautifully once upon a time) and most recently a Taylor made RBZ (stiff).
It was the driver I really wanted to fix, as it has been poor of late. Even though I have a swing speed able to cope with a stiff shaft (approx 90 mph according to Trackman!) they never feel right for me. I feel like I have much more control with a regular shaft, except the Callaway one I have which is just too soft. So, I ended up trying one of these…
A Nike VRS Covert driver with a regular shaft (the new ltd edition one with the fancy black head). It felt great, and I seemed to hit it much better than either of my other drivers. Great stuff. Whilst there, I also tried some of these bad boys…
Nike VRS forged irons. When I was hitting these, they felt great. Really great. Although they did look a bit odd at address having being so used to my old HUGE Mizuno’s. James very kindly let me take them to have a few rounds with to see how I went, and would report back a few days later once I’d had a bit of time, and before they started to do a full custom fit. So, I now have some new Nike golf clubs in my bag!
Straight away, like a giddy kipper… I went up to the driving range. I was hitting the driver great from the off. It’s one of those that you can meddle with, but for now I opted to leave it standard. The irons on the other hand were a bit hit and miss. I seemed to be struggling with how close I was getting to the ball at address, which I think was due to how much smaller the club head is. This resulted in some pretty inconsistent strikes.
The only way to really test this was out on the course.
I played a round with two chaps I know through my business, Andy and Steve. It was a nice environment to test them in, as whilst we were having a competition, it was a fairly relaxed one with little pressure, playing stableford off a 3/4 handicap. Well, relaxed other than the £1 front, £1 back and £1 game riding on it!
I started off pretty well off the tee with my new Nike Covert driver, but again not particularly consistent with the irons. A 6 to start was not ideal. On the 2nd, again off the tee was great only to be followed with another disappointing iron. The best thing about this hole was the comedy moment when Andy accidently set his electric trolley off, which shot off down the hill with him chasing! Everytime he got within a centimetre of catching it, it seemed to speed up. I just wish I’d have caught it on video, but was far too busy rolling around on the floor in hysterics. It was just missing some Benny Hill music! Thankfully, he did eventually catch it before it disappeared onto the 11th green!
For me, the first proper round with my new Nike golf clubs was pretty hit and miss. I played some really nice shots, but played some equally bad ones too. It was for the most part inconsistent. When I hit them well, the biggest difference was my distance. I was at least 2 clubs longer with the new irons. Well, I was when I hit them properly!
I ended the round with a relatively poor score, and Andy (with an alleged 24 handicap!) beat both Steve and I (14 & 15 hcp) on the front, the back and the game. He finished with 30 points and went away £6 richer!
My next game with the new clubs was Saturday, and a relatively pointless foursomes competition. It’s a pretty frustrating format, especially when your aim is to practice with your new clubs. Essentially, it’s a pairs comp where you both tee off, choose the best shot then play alternate until it’s in the hole. What this meant for the first 9 holes was that we played nearly all my tee shots, meaning I hardly got to play any irons!
On the back 9, I did get to hit the irons, but again they were inconsistent. Some long, some thin but some were really nice. I’m not sure I really learned that much. I guess the only positive was that it wasn’t a handicap qualifying round.
So, here’s my dilemma…
Is this the right time to be changing my golf clubs? We all watched Rory McIlroy battle through the change in his clubs, and he’s an amazingly good golfer. No doubt, these clubs will work much better for me long term. The evidence of this is clear to see when I strike them well. However, I only have about 7 weeks left of handicap qualifying rounds to play in, and still have 5 shots to try and lose. Is this the right time to mess with getting used to new clubs? The old ones clearly work well, as in my last proper round I finished 7 under.
Should I just work with the driver as that is a huge improvement, and save the irons until the end of the challenge when the pressure is off? Or do I risk spending a couple of weeks getting used to them with the hope that the improvement comes quickly?
The temptation is almost too much to resist. My new Nike golf clubs are so lovely and shiny that I just want to use them all the time. This could be the most important decision for the challenge so far…
I have no idea what’s for the best, and am still no clearer as to the answer…
Are the new Nike golf clubs a good or bad idea?