Background

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.

Nike Sumo Irons - 5

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.

Nike Sumo Iron Specifications

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.

Nike Sumo Irons - 1

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.

Nike Sumo Irons - 2

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.

Nike Sumo Irons - 3 Nike Sumo Irons - 5

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.

Performance

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.

Nike Sumo Irons - 4

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.

Callaway X-Tour, X-20 and Nike Sumo Irons

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.

Callaway X-Tour, X-20 and Nike Sumo Irons

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.

Nike Sumo iDiamana Shaft

Conclusion

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.

Nike Sumo Irons - 6 Nike Sumo Irons - 7

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.

Comments
Harvey Specter
Posted at 2:30 pm November 6, 2007
Golfer
Author

Great review and pics.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 6:34 pm November 6, 2007
Mike Pedersen Golf
Author

Sean,

Do you take these pics when you do equipment reviews? If so, wow!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 7:46 pm November 6, 2007
DeepRough
Author

Mike,

Thanks! Yeah, I take the pictures myself. Canon 400d, some of these were taken with a macro lens, some with a 50mm lens.

And thanks, Golfer, glad you liked the review. Nice to see some comments from international readers! My sister actually lives in Sweden at the moment!

-Sean

Harvey Specter
Posted at 9:16 pm November 7, 2007
The Armchair Golfer
Author

Sean, I agree with Mike — great pics!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:27 am November 16, 2007
Matt
Author

Wow excellent review and pics! Good work.

Matt from england.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:40 pm November 23, 2007
Tyron Caswell
Author

I went to a local club fitting professional a couple of days ago and hit at least 8 different sets of irons. These included the new Taylor Made R7 Irons, Callaway X-20, Ping G-10, Nike Sling Shot 4D, Mizuno MX-19, & Nike Sumo Irons.

I must say that I was aiming to get the Taylor Made R7 Irons, but I hit two clubs extremely well….The Ping Irons, and the New Nike Sumo’s. It was a toss up. I hit the Ping Irons well and it was easy to get the ball in the air. The nike Irons were equally easy to hit and they went a full 10 yards longer. The nike yellow insert made a huge difference at impact (less vibration).

I chose to take home the Sumo Irons and am very happy with the decision.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 6:31 am December 5, 2007
jarrod gibson
Author

we thought we were crazy for golfing in 12 degree weather.It was even more crazy that a nike rep had his tent set up on a day like this.After trying the new sumo irons,i could not help but pull out my checkbook.These irons are freekin awesome.I just got a new set of R7s for my bithday in september.save some money and try these irons first.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 6:34 pm March 16, 2008
Dave
Author

Do you have a preference between the Callaway X-20s and the Nike Sumo? I’m personally torn between the two and would love an expert’s opinion.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 7:00 pm March 16, 2008
Sean
Author

I preferred the feel of the x-20 to the sumos. Though the sumos were very…very easy to hit straight. So if you’re looking for something super game improvement and little feel, go with the Sumos. If you want something with a little better feel, go with the x-20.

One other thing to think about is resale value. The Callaway irons generally hold their value very well. Where as nike irons seem to drop rather quickly.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:38 pm March 25, 2008
Paul
Author

hey great review. I’ve been eyeing these clubs and wasn’t sure how they played. I’ve hit them at Golfsmith and they felt pretty good but seeing as how it is still wintery here in Chicago I couldn’t really gauge the “on course factor”. But from your review I definitely will put them on my too buy list!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:39 pm March 25, 2008
Sean
Author

Thanks Paul, if you do end up picking them up, good luck with them. Be sure to let us know how you make out with the sumo irons!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:13 pm March 26, 2008
Tom
Author

Great review. How would you compare the Sumo irons to the 2008 Calloway Big Bertha set that includes their “I-brids”?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:28 am March 27, 2008
Sean
Author

Tom, I haven’t hit the 2008 big berthas or i-brids…based on seeing them though, they seem pretty similar. Very wide soles, ‘square’ hybrids.

I played a set of 2006 big berthas on a vacation once, very easy to hit.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 3:28 pm September 22, 2008
Chris
Author

Just bought a set of Nike Sumo Irons. They have increased the consistency of my game and have increased my iron distance between 6-10 yards per club. The loft of the clubs throw you until you realise you can probably drop a club for most shots.

All in all a great set of Irons

Harvey Specter
Posted at 7:36 pm November 10, 2008
Alan Bonnici
Author

I agree this is a fantastic review.
I am ready to buy a new set and I must adnmit i am very confused at what is right for me.
I’m 26 and My handicap is 15. I am really looking for something to assit in loosing a few more strokes.
the new Callaway x22 have been released and look good.
Some people say these are good for my range handicap, whilst others say titleist ap1 or the nike sumos.
Would love to know what you think.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:52 pm February 21, 2009
captain hook
Author

These irons are the best thing to happen go my game. I never expected to hit so strait and far

Harvey Specter
Posted at 12:47 am April 25, 2009
Adam
Author

I’m in process of buying a set golf clubs. my options are callaway big bertha 2008 or Adam’s A3 or nike sumo. which one would you guys recommend?

My handicap is 30+

thanks

Adam

Harvey Specter
Posted at 12:07 pm June 11, 2009
trey
Author

hey im not a very well golfer i have a very hig handicap i am looking at the nike sumo irons or the callaway big berth irons what do u suggest

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:11 am August 1, 2009
Robert
Author

hello

i am just wondering what would be more suited to me as i am upgrading my irons. these will be either nike sumo or the r7 taylormade.
my handicap is 25 would much appriciate any suggestions ??

rob

Harvey Specter
Posted at 1:41 pm August 2, 2009
replay10
Author

Just bought a full set of nike golf clubs – the sumo irons, 23 deg sumo2 hybrid, 15 deg dymo2 3-wood, 11.5 deg dymo2 driver.

and what a good decision I made!!!

I am so pleased I bought these clubs and I highly recommend them to anyone in the mid-high handicap range.

I went to a fitting/demo day and tried out the callaway big berthas, taylormade burners, king cobra SZs and ping g10s

The sumos for me felt the most forgiving – and definitely provided the most distance and loft. They are truly outstanding – especially for them to be better than the more established co’s such as callaway, ping and taylormade.

The driver, 11.5 dymo2, refuses to fade/draw – it’s such a great driver for those that struggle to get some good loft and frequently hit fairways – I thoroughly recommend this driver too.

Try out all the clubs – and you’ll see what I mean!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:52 am August 4, 2009
Sean
Author

Robert,

My father is around your handicap and is playing these sumo irons, he absolutely loves them. If you are comfortable at the 25 handicap, do not have a ton of time to practice, they are very forgiving and shot be a very ‘straight’ club. Pair it with some Top-Flite D2 golf balls, and you should be golden!

Replay10, thanks for the mini review, great stuff!

-Sean

Harvey Specter
Posted at 11:37 pm February 12, 2010
PJ
Author

I like the way it works. But within few month, it’s get bored. Straight and fly high.. but no excitement.. feel to choppy.

Great for high handycapper, but if you are boggie player, go Mizuno MX

Harvey Specter
Posted at 12:36 am March 22, 2010
Cole Sayles
Author

I went and cheked out the sumo’s and to me they seemed alittle light, i havent got the chance to hit them yet but everyone i have talked to has said that the wideness on it is actualy a bad thing, im not sure where they are comming from, can you explain alittle more on the aspects of the wideness please?

Harvey Specter
Posted at 2:45 pm May 26, 2010
taylor
Author

Great review! But, I need some advice. Currently I’m a 5.6 handicap (i usually play nine holes and average around 38) and I play Mizuno MP 67 irons. They’re pure blades, and they’re very difficult to hit without a near perfect swing. I tend to be quite consistent with them, but on my off days, golf is not very fun. I’m currently selling them on ebay and am looking around for a new set, one that’s MUCH more forgiving. Considering I hit my blades pretty well, do you think I would have trajectory issues (excessively high trajectory or ballooning are my worries) with the Nike SQ Sumos. I really like their looks, their focus on feel (at least for a game improvement irons set), and their forgiveness, but I’m afraid that their easy to hit design might hurt my iron game. Thanks!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 7:36 am May 27, 2010
Sean
Author

taylor,

While the Sumo’s may have relatively good feel for a super game improvement iron, coming from the 67s, you will probably find too much of a drop off in that department. I could be wrong though. You could find these pretty cheap on ebay these days, so might be worth picking up a set to try out for a couple of weeks. At this point, the price probably does not fluctuate much, so if you find you don’t like them and need to sell them again, probably won’t take much of a loss.

Interesting that you would say that you feel it may hurt your iron game. I find that practicing with an iron with little to no feel (relatively speaking) does nothing to help my game. If I cannot ‘feel’ where I hit the ball on the face, how am I ever going to get better? I used to play with MP-33 irons, and made the switch to game improvement irons like yourself. While my scores went up in the short term, I certainly noticed my swing getting a little ‘lazy’ and felt like my ‘good’ shots, were not as great. So, I started hitting the range every now and then with the 7 iron from the MP-33 set. Hit 50 balls with that, and I usually tightened things up.

I would check out some of these clubs at a local golf store, you may find these somewhat closer to the feel and trajectory of the 67s, but far more forgiving: Mizuno MX-300, Mizuno MP-52, Mizuno MP-57 or PING i15.

We reviewed the MP-52s and the Ping i15s a while back. The shaft in the iron is certainly going to have some impact on the feel and trajectory as well, so keep that in mind. Here are the reviews:

MP-52 Review

PING i15 Review

Geesh, this has turned into a blog post in itself! Thanks for the inspiration and let me know how it goes!

Sean

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