Review: Nike VR X3X Dual Wide and Toe Sweep Wedges

Review: Nike VR X3X Dual Wide and Toe Sweep Wedges

8

Pros: Beautiful satin finish, 8620 carbon steel, and a two cool, new grinds that are serious contenders on the wedge front for pros and amateur alike.

Cons: Toe sweep version can cause issues for steeper swings.

Bottom Line: The performance of the VR X3X wedges are on par with last year’s model, and the new grinds are great for golfers looking for more versatility around the greens.

Overview

No matter what the course has to offer you, Nike designed the VR X3X Toe Sweep wedges to offer you an escape plan. Thick rough, deep bunkers, delicate chip shots… whatever it is, Nike has created a grind that will undoubtedly offer golfers the correct tool for the job.

“We built the VR X3X Toe Sweep wedges from the ground up,” said Mike Taylor, Nike Golf master modelmaker. “Our Tour athletes have told us that the toe side of the sole is most critical in bunker performance. In a bunker shot, these new wedges are carefully crafted to provide bounce relative to the path of the club head. Around the green, our athletes ask for material to be ground away from the heel to aid open-face versatility – and we’ve done that with this new design.”

Both wedges wedges also have the company’s new X3X grooves, which the company says are deeper and have sharper edges to deliver more distance consistency from bad lies and improve stopping power around the greens. They come stock with Nike Tour Velvet grips, Dynamic Gold S400 shafts and sell for about $110 each.

Loft/Grind

Hand

Length

Lie

Head Weight

Swingweight

Bounce

56 Toe Sweep

RH/LH

35.25”

64*

306 grams

D4-D6

10

58 Toe Sweep

RH

35”

64*

309 grams

D4-D6

10

60 Toe Sweep

RH/LH

35”

64*

308 grams

D4-D6

10

52 DS Wide

RH

35.50”

64*

300 grams

D2-D4

8

56 DS Wide

RH

35.25”

64*

307 grams

D4-D6

8

58 DS Wide

RH

35”

64*

310 grams

D4-D6

8

60 DS Wide

RH

35”

64*

310 grams

D4-D6

 8

Performance

Most C-grind wedges on the market are designed with relief on the heel and toe, which enables golfers to lay the face open while effectively reducing the bounce angle. Generally, these designs have narrow soles. While it’s functional, wedges with narrow soles tend to dig in softer conditions for golfers who have more upright, or steeper swings.

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By giving the Dual Wide wedge a beefier sole, Nike allows golfers to take full advantage of the VR X3X Dual Wide’s C grind with less fear of hitting their shots fat. That’s why chipping with the Dual Wide wedge is a breeze. The width of the sole allows golfers to be more aggressive through the hitting area without fear of digging.

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The Dual Wide is also very good out of the sand since its wide sole keeps golfers from taking too much sand and leaving the ball in the bunker. For very firm conditions, the Dual Wide might be a little bulky, but that’s what Nike’s Toe Sweep (more on that wedge later) and other models are for.

I consider myself a fairly decent wedge player. As a 4-handicap that is constantly looking to get better, I practice my short game at least 2-to-3 times a week. I feel my best short game asset is my sand game followed closely by my ability to hit half and three-quarter wedge shots. This wedge design allows me to hit these shots with the utmost confidence. With the Dual Wide, full shots did what I  expected them do. They fly high, land soft, and have more than adequate spin to keep the ball on the firmest of greens. I found the distances to be very consistent with no worries about potential hot spots on the face.

The Nike VR X3X Toe Sweep model, while being a beautiful design, feels a little like the prom queen in high school. Pretty girl, but for me it lacked that inner substance that would truly set it apart from the rest. For golfers with steeper swings, the heavily pronounced toe seems to prohibit face rotation through the shot. While this came in very handy on open-faced and greenside bunker shots where golfers want the toe to stay open, it seemed to make the wedge fly a bit shorter than usual on full shots.

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I also found myself finding the right side of the target area more often than not. I am sure this is all due to the fact that I have a steeper angle of attack with my wedge swing. Someone that has a more shallow angle of attack likely won’t have the problem of the toe digging in and resisting the release. This type of player should have great success with this design.

For shots around the green, however, the performance of the Toe Sweep wedge was very impressive. If a high lob shot is needed, the Toe Sweep design was very helpful. There is more weight on the toe area of the club, which helped keep the face open on those shots. On chip shots, the toe had less impact on the shot since there is less face rotation. This allows golfers to open the face and play the hop-and-stop shot, or shut the face down and hit the low skip and run.

Where these wedges shine is their ability to handle both soft and firm conditions. With that huge bulge out on the toe, these wedges really resisted digging. On the other hand, firm conditions simply require the user to open the face slightly to expose the leading edge a bit more and hit crisp shots.

The other advantage of having all that mass out the toe is if the user was to miss the shot in the toe region of the face. There was enough weight out there to keep the shot online and flying the intended yardage. Other than on full swing shots, this wedge performed admirably. For me, it was not quite as good as the Dual Wide version, but it will be a great option for many golfers.

Looks and Feel

These wedges look and feel incredible. If you are a fan of low offset wedges, look no further. These fit that bill to a tee.

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Nike’s Toe Sweep Wedge (left) has a special grind that moves its center of gravity further toward the toe than any of the company’s previous wedges. The Dual Wide wedge has a wider sole to increase the club’s effective bounce. Click the photos to enlarge them. 

The sizes of the heads are smallish, but still very confident inspiring designs. The toplines are thick enough to feel powerful, but not to the point of being overwhelming to look at. I was actually surprised that these wedges are not forged, because the 8620 carbon steel felt fantastic on full shots and partial shots alike. The tour satin chrome finishes on these are truly beautiful. They offer the perfect balance of glowing good looks and the ability to mask the sun’s glare.

Being that they are 8620, these wedges should provide years of fantastic performance without the wear associated with 1025 forged designs. I have had these in the bag over the course of 10 rounds and many practice sessions. I have found the finish to hold up very well. I do not see any sweet spot wear or any excessive chatter, even though they have been bouncing around in the bag and I have hit many bunker shots. These wedges will definitely add a very classic, yet modern feel in any player’s bag.

The Takeaway

IMG_0766

These wedges can be a great asset for any caliber of player. Even though the Toe Sweep wedges had their limitations with full shots for a steeper-plane player like myself, the ability to handle every condition the course can throw at you makes up for that. Golfers with more shallow angle of attacks should find these a joy to play.

The Nike VR X3X Dual Wide is one of best choices for players looking for a forgiving, wide-soled wedge in its category for 2014.

Nike has come to the table trying to offer up something a little different to help separate them from the pack. I feel these wedges do just that. They both offer something in their designs that other companies just don’t. If you are looking for a versatile wedge design that performs as well as it looks, then you owe yourself the experience of testing these models. You won’t be disappointed.

Click here to see exclusive photos that show the development of Nike’s VR X3X Toe Sweep and Dual Wide wedges.

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Kevin owns a home improvement business, and is currently studying for his degree in business management. He loves golf, as much as much as his lovely wife and one beautiful 6-year-old daughter.

His wife introduced him to the game 12 years ago. Her father owned a small 18-hole par 3 course in Pennsylvania that she was lucky enough to play whenever she wanted at a young age. They got him into the game, but since then he has become a full-blown serious golfer. He enjoy playing as many as 12-to-15 tournaments a year, and loves the feeling of coming down the stretch with money on the line.

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