Anyone that has ever started playing with an "intro" set of irons, or even Grandpa's hand-me-downs, has explored game improvement to some extent. This area of golf technology has increased in popularity over the last several years, with some major leaps forward. With the advantages of increased forgiveness on mis-hits, greater control, distance, and consistency, it is hard not to be sucked in. While game improvement is a major area of focus for mid- to high-handicappers (like me), we are still not a pushover for these promises. To quote Luke Donald, "No matter how rich or powerful you are, you can't buy yourself a good golf game." While Luke Donald does not typify the golfing public, this notion still holds true for us regular folks as well.
Nike is continuing the tradition of game improvement, and bringing the technology and geometry found in their yellow, bricklike SQ Sumo line of drivers and fairway woods to the forefront of their latest release of SQ Sumo irons and hybrids.
I have a mixed opinion of the SQ Sumo2. First, I think it's uglier than sin. Second, at contact, the sound emitted from the club is decidedly piercing, to be as nice as possible about it.
Opinions aside, the "power of geometry" is now available in the rest of your bag. By mixing in some of the geometry, and applying the same PowerBow technology found in their drivers and fairway woods, Nike has produced the SQ Sumo irons and hybrids. They are claiming that this new design has produced their highest MOI iron set ever.
"We have taken the premise of geometry that we started with in the original Nike SQ driver and are evolving it accross our club line," said Tom Stites, Director of Club Creation for Nike. "With this new geometry and its high MOI, we have created what we belive is the most forgiving iron Nike Golf has ever developed."
Reshaped with longer blades, wider soles, and extreme perimeter weighting, the next innovation of Sumo technology has taken shape in the form of the new irons and hybrids.
SQ Sumo and Sumo2 Hybrid
For those of you with enough skill to attempt reaching a par five in two, or if you need a pinpoint placement on the short stuff, the high MOI delivered by the SQ Sumo hybrid belongs in the arsenal of those searching for accuracy in a workable player's club. This club is being offered in both square and traditional head designs.
The square head combines a generous offset and extreme perimeter weighting to make this Nike's highest MOI hybrid ever. Designed to deliver exceptional stability at impact and produce high launching soft landing shots, this club should allow for more control and precision around those hazard-laced greens. The square hybrid is complemented by a lightweight Diamana High Launch graphite shaft, custom designed for this club by Mitsubishi. The shaft promotes an increase in clubhead speed and high ball flight. This shaft is available in X, S, R, A. Also, an identical sub 50-gram shaft is available for women.
The other, more "normal looking" hybrid, designed with feedback from Nike's Tour Staff, utilizes a more compact, traditional hybrid head design with minimal offset to offer the benefits of a high MOI hybrid, and still retain the ability to shape shots. In addition, this unit features a Variable Cryo Steel face that is thicker in the middle, and progressively thinner at the edges, resulting in a more consistent ball speed, maximum distance and increased forgiveness off the clubface.
This club is offered with the user's choice of Dynalite Gold Steel by True Temper, or a middleweight (81 grams) version of the aforementioned hDiamana shaft. This shaft has a stiffer tip to deliver greater control, and maximum stability with a more penetrating ball flight. This shaft is available in X, S, R.
Availability: Nov. 1, 2007. MSRP: $179 in graphite (both models) and $159 in steel (both models)
SQ Sumo Irons
Designed using the same ground-breaking (and ear-shattering) technology behind the SUper MOment (Sumo) of Inertia that has helped propel the company into becoming a significant leader in the club market, these irons will be the other extension to Nike's successful SQ Sumo family of drivers.
Nike PowerBow design and an ultra-light Cryo-Steel face combine to deliver an expanded COR and high MOI. With a longer blade length, wide sole, and extreme perimeter-weighting, this promises to be the highest MOI iron set that Nike has ever offered. The PowerBow technology moves the CG low and deep, giving more stability at impact and increasing the MOI even more. A responsive ultra-thin Cryo Steel face plate (Irons 4-7) is welded around the perimeter of the clubhead to increase the COR across the face for greater distance, further amplifying the forgiveness across the hitting surface.
By nature, a thin-faced, extreme perimeter weighted club head has the potential to create a harsh feel. To offset this unwanted feedback, the SQ Sumo irons include a TPU polymer insert to dampen the harsher vibrations at impact for an improved feel. Sound familiar? (Hint: Cleveland's Gelback Technology).
These irons are available in Speed Step SL shafts, and a custom designed iDiamana Graphite shaft. Women's shaft choice is the same sub 50-gram shaft mentioned before. Custom shafts are also available from Mitsubishi Rayon, Royal Precision, and True Temper.
Availability: Nov 1, 2007 MSRP: Steel $799.99 Graphite $999.99
These additions to the Nike family of clubs will put "the power of geometry" into your whole game.
This article was written by guest author Ryan Sullivan If you'd like to contribute, send us an email.