The SQ Sumo has left the tee box…
Today we’ll have a look at a new iron design from Nike Golf. The Nike Sumo irons take some of the technology and design ideas from the SQ Sumo drivers and apply it to the iron game. Nike PowerBow design and an ultra-light Cryo Steel face combine to deliver an expanded COR and high MOI. Now your entire game can experience the power of geometry.
SQ Sumo Iron Geometry: Long blade length, wide sole and Nike PowerBow design deliver an extreme perimeter-weighted club and our heighest MOI iron set yet.
Nike PowerBow Weighting: Weight is to move the CG low and deep, increasing the MOI and creating a more stable iron at impact.
TPU Insert: A soft vibration dampening TPU material that dampens unwanted vibration at impact.
The Nike Sumo Irons are setup with relatively conservative lofts and lengths. Sure, 46* PW is stronger than what you would have seen 10 years ago, but at least they have not yet jumped to the 44* PW realm yet.
Look and Feel
Reading various golf forums, I have heard a lot of mixed reactions to the look of the Nike Sumo Irons. Personally, I love the way they look. At first glance, yes, they are a little strange looking, but I like different. Your initial thought may be, wow, that’s a huge sole…or be put off by the seemingly thick top-line. However, at address, these characteristics are less worrisome. The bright yellow insert in the bottom channel on the back of the club is pretty neat looking as well, if nothing else, it gives the irons a distinctive appearance.
Aside from looking neat, the rubbery yellow insert helps dampen the effect of mis-hits. It has been pretty cold here the past few days, and trust me, the little yellow insert (along with the graphite shafts) completely takes the sting out of a thinned 4 iron.
At address, it’s hard not to feel like you’re going to get a good piece of the ball with any sort of swing. Think back to the first time you hit a 460cc driver. No doubt, you thought, how the heck am I going to swing this thing. But you did, and you found how ridiculously forgiving it could be. Now apply that thinking to your irons.
While the top-line looks pretty thick when you first glance at the club, at address, it really didn’t bother me much. It actually looked pretty similar to that of the Callaway X-20 irons, which aren’t too much thicker than the Callaway X-Tour irons.
The Nike Sumo irons are relatively offset, and for someone who plays with player irons, this may be visually bothersome and result in the occasional hook. That being said, I do not think Nike is trying to market these irons to those who play blades anyway. I have been playing irons with little to no offset lately, and the offset of these irons was difficult to deal with at first, but a few balls at the range, and it really wasn’t much of a problem.
My first swing with one of these clubs was the pitching wedge in the fields behind our place. I took a very easy swing at it, and the ball rocketed off the face, launched high, plateaued and seemed to hang in the air forever. I thought, wow, I MUST get to the range immediately and give these clubs a complete workout.
In general, I found the Sumo Irons to be at least 10 yards longer than the other irons I have been playing recently. This is probably due to a combination of the lighter graphite shafts and the slightly stronger lofts (PW 46* instead of 47* or 48*). To Nike’s credit, the lofts on the Sumo irons are not completely jacked up. I have seen plenty of sets of super game improvement irons where the PW loft is set to 44*. In my book, that’s a 9 iron.
The image below is of (from left to right) a Callaway X-Tour, Callaway X-20 and Nike Sumo 7 iron. As you can see, the Nike Sumo irons have a lot of length in the blade. According to Nike, this increases the perimeter weighting, thus increasing this effective MOI of the club. I certainly noticed the extra length at first glance, but it wasn’t distracting once I put the clubs in play. The extra width behind the ball actually may have helped a bit with aligning the club face to the target.
Again, in the image below we have (from left to right) a Callaway X-Tour, Callaway X-20 and Nike Sumo 7 iron. This image clearly shows how wide the sole is on the Nike Sumo. I wish I had a set of Callaway Wide Sole Fusion irons to compare. If you have a problem with digging or catching on mis-hits, the wide sole may help you out with that. It may also offer some more confidence, especially to those who love the look/feel of hybrids/fairway woods. The wide, deep sole also lowers the center of gravity, making it easier to get the ball up in the air as well as increasing the club’s MOI. It really does work too, I tried to hit some fat shots, that normally would have resulted in some very deep divots with my thin sole irons, and couldn’t do it to save my life. The club generally just glides over the ground, and you still manage a decent shot.
The clubs I tested were fitted with the iDiamana graphite iron shafts. These are very lightweight yet seem to be quite stable. You will definitely see some increased club head speed with these shafts on your clubs. You will also, most likely, launch the ball higher. Ball flight, with this shaft seemed to get pretty flat pretty quickly, which should help in windy conditions. I hit the irons under rather windy conditions on a couple occasions, and the ball seemed to get through the wind pretty easy.
I have been impressed with the Nike Sumo Irons. At first, the look may be a little bit of a shock, but it really has grown on me. The little notch design on the sole really looks neat. The contrasting yellow/black color scheme on the back of the iron stands out. All in all, I think they are a great looking set of irons.
If you are a mid to high handicapper, and are looking for a new set of irons, you MUST add the Nike Sumo Irons to your list of clubs to check out. Hit the ball just about anywhere on the face and the ball will launch pretty high and straight. Looking to add about 10 yards to your game? A lot of clubs make that bold statement, and deliver perhaps 1-2 yards…but these irons really did hit the ball about a club longer than what I have been playing.