The Nickent 4DX Ironwoods are both easy to hit out of the rough and a dream to hit off the short grass.
Introduced in 2005, the Nickent 3DX Ironwoods began their career by dominating the Nationwide tour. Soon after, the hybrids began to find their way into the bags of numerous PGA, LPGA, European Tour and Champions Tour players. How does one improve upon such a well received club? A lot of hard work and research, that’s how.
Nickent Golf spent over a year of development and research time to architect the next generation of hybrid. Here is some information from Nickent regarding the technological advances in this club:
- From the deeper face to the increased COR , every design change was made to make the 4DX the best hybrids on the marketing terms of distance, playability, feel, trajectory and forgiveness. These are the ultimate hybrids!
- Replacing the steel crown with titanium saved approximately 50% of the weight in the crown. The .4mm crown is also half as thick as on the 3DX DC hybrids, so when you combine both attributes, the new crown configuration weighs almost 4 times less than the crown of the 3DX DC hybrids.
- The face height of the 4DX is 2mm taller than the 3DX models, giving the 4DX less spin and a more penetrating ball flight. This design change creates a perfect trajectory that fights the wind and lands softly from long distances, while catering to every swing speed.
- XW Inserts, which have become the driving technology behind nearly every Nickent product in the 2007 line, are made of Tungsten Polymer to reduce vibration and to be used for swing weight adjustment. It’s like having movable weights without the hassle and without relying on bulky screws that add a harsh feel at impact.
Offered in 16 different lofts and two stock shafts in a variety of flexes, there is a 4DX out there for the most discriminating of golfers. With so many options, you are certain to find a club that will match your desired distance/trajectory needs.
Look and Feel
I got my hands on 17 (2 Iron replacement) and 20 (3 Iron replacement) degree models of the 4DX Ironwood with the UST V2 shafts (slightly lower trajectory). When I first took these out of the box, wow. First, what an awesome looking shaft. The V2s have a slightly rough feel to them, not glossy like most graphite shafts. Sounds strange, but actually looks really cool, and is quite functional, as you do not have to worry about any reflections off the golf shaft.
The club heads themselves setup quite well, are nice and compact, and have a very iron like hybrid feel to them. Nickent offers a Utility version of the 4DX if you are looking for something closer to a fairway wood size. Personally, I feel more comfortable with this compact shape. Set next to my Sonartec MD or Taylor Made Rescue Dual, the 4DX appears to be slightly smaller.
The combination of the V2 shaft and the 4DX Ironwood provides a great feel off the club face. Especially when well struck from the fairway. Hit the sweet spot on this baby and the ball seems to explode off the face with a nice buttery feel. This is something I never did like about the Rescue Dual, it always felt so harsh or gave little positive or negative feedback.
The sole of the 4DX is quite nice to look at as well. The little green crevices toward the back are interesting, and the tungsten plugs are not distracting. Not that you look at the sole of the club often, but they are quite pretty.
I’ve used these clubs in two rounds now (79 @ Quail Brook, 87 @ Warrenbrook) as well as a lengthy session at the driving range. So I’ve had a chance to hit the club out of the rough, off soft fairway lies, tight fairway lies, off a tee, and even once out of a fairway bunker.
First of all, off the tee and from the soft fairway lies this is probably the best hybrid I have ever hit. With this 2 iron replacement, I really can forget about carrying a fairway wood. I was belting this club about 230-240 carry. Plenty good for me. Beyond that distance, I should really lay up anyway! As I said earlier, the ball really does feel like it explodes off the club face, and takes a nice low, rising trajectory, that eventually drops from the sky quite nicely. When hit into a green or soft fairway it seemed to stop quickly. Off a hard fairway, it seemed to get a fair amount of roll as well.
The club is very straight if you are lined up for that. Even slightly off center strikes were pretty much online. Open or close your stance a little, and I was able to get the ball to work left-right or right-left with ease.
Out of less than ideal conditions the club seemed to perform as well. I had far fewer experiences out of tough conditions than off the tee/fairway, but for the most part out of the rough or a tight lie, when I put a good swing on the club, I was rewarded with a nice shot. The club head cut through the rough pretty easy even with a smooth swing. I only really ran into trouble the first couple times when I hit it and felt like I really had to try and go after it when the ball was buried in some deep grass….alas, I was wrong, nice smooth tempo, and the ball jumped right out.
I really only tried the club out of a fairway bunker once. The result was decent, I caught a little sand before the ball, so it was less than an ideal hit, but the ball still got up and out, just lost some distance. Little more practice on that shot, and I’m sure the 4DX would be fine.
Lastly, I did try some chips around the green with the 20 degree club. The feel off the face was great. Obviously not as soft as my MP-33 PW, but for those cases where you just want to bump the ball up and have it roll out, the 4DX was a nice option, I felt like I had a good feel for the distance rather quickly.
While I am not sure that this 20 degree 4DX would permanently kick my 3 iron out of my bag, I do believe they could co-exist quite peacefully. The 20 degree seemed to be a great option out of the rough or tricky lies…I certainly do not feel comfortable trying to hit a 3 iron out of some thick rough. The 17 degree will most definitely have a place in my bag as a great driving option on tight holes and layup situations. It was also awesome off the fairway, so bye bye fairway wood! The way my bag is setup at the moment there is no reason why I cannot carry both and still carry my 3 iron.
So this ends my brief love affair with the Sonartec MD and will certainly make my long game a heck of a lot simpler!
Thanks to Nickent for supplying the clubs for this review, you have a wonderful product on your hands!