Price: £99 (53 and 60-degree wedges tested)
David Duval earned Nike forged wedges their first major when he put a 53-degree gap wedge in his bag at the 2001 Open at Royal Lytham. Now Nike has introduced 50, 56, 58, 60 and 62-degree versions – all with a thin top line and minimal offset.
I had the 53 and 60 degree versions on test but sadly it coincided with a lack of confidence in my short game department. However, they came into their own in dry, bouncy conditions, when you could slip the sharp leading edge under the ball to deliver maximum spin. In the softer conditions of April and May there was a tendency for fat divots the size of soup plates and ‘fat’ results as the ball leapt timidly forward.
Appreciative that golfers prefer versatile clubs, Nike introduced a drop-away design which allows us to lay the face open for more finesse shots around the green. The 53-degree model is particularly adept for a range of shots: from full belts with lots of spin from 80-90 yards out, to those little soft chips you need to squeeze from fringe grass and run out towards the hole. The heads are finished with a deep, Tri-Plex nickel and chrome plating buffed to a high satin-gloss finish to attract jealous looks from your playing companions.
The 60-degree lob wedge is more of an acquired taste. Some golfers have the nerve and confidence to use this club with great dexterity but with most of us there’s a fear and anticipation that only a precision shot will prevent the ball travelling a great speed, knee-high across the green.
As you’d expect from clubs ‘squeeze forged’ from 1030 carbon steel, the feel is everything, but at nearly £100 a throw don’t expect to get the best from them without a lot of practice.
|Golfmagic rating: 8/10|
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