When I reviewed the SQ MachSpeed driver and fairway wood, I was impressed by the game improvement qualities of both clubs. The extra distance I got with the driver, combined with how straight I hit it made me a believer in how this club can help the average golfer. The fairway wood did not disappoint either, as it was easy to get the ball airborne and keep it on line to the target.
When Nike Golf sent me the SQ MachSpeed irons to test and review, I wondered if these game improvement irons would live up to the hype. Tom Stites, Nike Golf’s Director of Club Creation has described the MachSpeed irons as the fastest and longest irons Nike has ever made. They are designed to help golfers hit the ball higher and farther with more forgiveness, utilizing new technology that delivers benefits three key areas: speed, stability and launch. You can read more about the MachSpeed irons in Nike Golf’s press release here.
I took the MachSpeed irons to the range to see if they would perform as promised, and I share the results of my test here.
FIRST IMPRESSION: DESIGN/APPEARANCE
The MachSpeed irons have the distinctive look you’d expect from a Nike iron — a progressive design and a mix of materials that say technology and game improvement right out of the box. The irons feature Nike’s Powerbow technology (made famous in the original Sasquatch driver), which consists of an undercut cavity behind the face and the Powerbow itself that takes the weight removed from the cavity and distributes it further back and to the perimeter of the iron. This design and construction increases forgiveness and creates a hot zone on the face of the iron, especially low on the face, which increases distance and promotes a high launch angle.
The visual design is geometric and angular, especially on the plate on the rear of the face, in the construction of the Powerbow and on the sole of the iron, creating a progressive look that complements that of the SQ Machspeed driver and fairway wood.
FIRST IMPRESSION: PERFORMANCE
My first swings on the range left me with the feeling that I’d easily be able to get the ball in the air with this club. The weighting of the club head feels good and creates momentum through the hitting zone, and the club has a wide sole (which you would expect in a game improvement iron) that helps to get the clubhead through the turf.
As I hit balls I was impressed by how easily I was able to get the ball in the air. My ball flight was higher than I am normally used to, and my distance was as good or slightly better than the set of irons I am currently playing (Pro Combo OS). I was able to work the ball, but my shots went primarily straight. I feel that these irons will help the average golfer (mid to high handicapper) hit the ball high, far and relatively straight.
APPEARANCE AT ADDRESS
Like the MachSpeed driver and fairway wood, the MachSpeed irons easily set up square to the ball (due the wide sole), which will help the average golfer right out of the gate. Like most game improvement irons, the topline is on the thick side (being a bit of a traditionalist I prefer a thinner topline). The Powerbow is not at all visible behind the topline of any of the irons (even the 4 and 5 irons) eliminating that potential visual distraction (that was not the case with my original Slingshot irons — you could see the “sling” behind the face on the long irons, which was a bit distracting visually). The irons have a slight offset that will help the average golfer square the club through the hitting zone.
I was able to work the ball right and left with some effort, but the strength of the MachSpeed irons is in hitting the ball straight. The extra weight at the back of the heel and toe help to keep the club straight through the hitting zone, which will definitely help the average golfer.
I hit the MachSpeed irons as far or farther than my current irons, and I did notice that I got very good distance on mishit shots, especially misses out toward the toe of the club. I also took notice of the hot zone at the bottom of the face — I got very good distance on shots I hit thin.
These irons definitely promote a high launch — my ball flight was noticeably higher than my current irons. If you are a golfer who struggles to get the ball to fly high and land softly, the MachSpeed irons are worth taking a look at.
I was able to control the ball well with the MachSpeed irons, and when I put a good swing on the ball these irons sent the ball straight towards my target.
These irons are very stable and forgiving — mishits, whether high or low on the face, in toward the heel or out toward the toe, flew almost as far as a shot hit near the center of the face. I didn’t need to hit the ball dead center to get the ball to fly straight, high and far.
As with any game improvement iron, the main tradeoff for distance and forgiveness is feel. I’d say this is true for the MachSpeed iron, as I didn’t get the same feedback I get from my current irons, because any mishit resulted in a pretty good shot. But I’d think that any mid to high handicapper would be more than willing to sacrifice feedback for increased distance, forgiveness and the ability to hit the ball higher and land it more softly.
I was pleased with the sound of the MachSpeed irons — they have a solid sound, nothing like the distinctive “plink” of my original Slingshot irons. I was happy to accept the unique sound of those irons because of the game improving benefits I received, but players who choose the MachSpeed irons will not have to accept that tradeoff. They’ll get a game improvement iron with a traditionally solid sound.
Players who are considering a game improvement iron should take a serious look at the SQ MachSpeed irons. These irons are very easy to hit straight, high and far. Traditionalists may not immediately like the cutting edge design, wide sole and thick topline, but the game improvement benefits are too good to ignore. If you struggle with getting the ball in the air, are looking for more distance in your iron game or are looking for a stable, forgiving iron that will help you hit more fairways and greens — and subsequently make the game of golf more fun — I recommend trying out the SQ MachSpeed irons for yourself.
Editor’s note: The product reviewed above was supplied by the manufacturer to the reviewer/author free of charge for reviewing purposes only. The reviewer/author was not paid for this review, and the opinions expressed in the review are strictly those of the reviewer/author.