By: GolfWRX Review Panel: Kevin “tpariff”
Thanks to WRX and Nike Golf for providing the opportunity to test these new wedges. Before we get into the review here’s a little background. I’m a 6 handicap and have a decent short game. My current wedge setup is Nike VR Pro 54* and 58* with KBS Tour S shafts, both wedges 2* flat of standard. So I requested the same specs, except I opted for the 56* and 60* wedges in the new Nike VR Pro Dual Sole.
I received the wedges in early December and have 5 rounds and two range sessions with them, enough to provide a review. So here we go…..
Like many here, if the club doesn’t look right at address it’s most likely not going to make my bag even if performs well. That’s not an issue with these Nike wedges. Having obviously played the VR Pro wedges I figured these new Dual Sole wedges would look great…and they do! They have a classic teardrop shape which is my preferred look in wedges.
My only concern out of the gate with these wedges was the potential for glare from the chrome / platinum finish. I prefer a dull look (current wedges are black oxide), but these wedges don’t have much glare. The groove area has a duller finish than the other part of the face and back, so I didn’t notice any significant glare playing in the Florida sun. After some time the face finish becomes more dull looking, which is even better.
These wedges felt great right out of the box. Nike lists the SW at D4 – D6 and both were right at D5 on my Golfsmith scale (not digital, so there could a slight variance). I chipped around the house a bit and really liked the feel and sound. There’s a muted click at impact and nice feedback, not mushy or soft, but not hard….just solid. This feel carried out onto the course for chips / pitches, short shots and full shots.
Feedback across all shots is great. I could tell when I hit it a bit high or low on the face from the rough. It wasn’t a punishing feel, but it wasn’t the same great feeling I got when hitting one on the sweet spot.
I don’t want to do a full blown comparison of these wedges with my other Nike wedges, but will say that the Dual Sole design in a significant improvement over the current VR Pro line. These Dual Sole wedges really shine around the greens when I need to open or close the face for a specific shot. The sole design also helps a bunch from the rough and sand, and from soft lies, because the design of the sole allows the wedge to slide through the sand / turf with ease.
The sole grind also allowed me to open the face on firmer lies without bouncing the club into the ball. The DS grind puts the leading edge of the wedge lower at address when opened, so it’s easier to play these shots when needed.
All shots – full, half, pitches / chips, etc – were a breeze with these wedges.
Since wedges are scoring clubs, I typically don’t focus on distance. But I was surprised to see that I hit these wedges the same distance as my 54* and 58* setup. I didn’t measure the lofts, but assuming they are accurate, it looks like I am able to pick up 2* of loft without sacrificing distance (roughly 5 or 6 yards otherwise). And I picked up some spin, which is always a great thing around the greens.
My only issue with these wedges (if I can even call it one) is that they spun a TON on short shots. This isn’t a bad thing, but was somewhat unexpected because I have been playing Nike wedges with X3X grooves. Only thing I can conclude is that the sole design creates cleaner contact on those shots. It took me a couple of rounds to make the adjustment to carrying those shots a bit further to the target and expecting less roll.
While the grooves provide plenty of spin they do not chew up the cover of a golf ball. In fact I didn’t see any ‘groove rash’ from the full shots I hit with either the 56* or 60*.
These are in the bag and aren’t coming out any time soon. I stopped playing a 60* wedge a few years ago because it got me in more trouble than it helped, but I’m glad to say that I can play this one as well or better than I can play a 58*. It’s not a huge difference, but it gives me a bit more spin and versatility around the green.
Again, a big THANKS to WRX and Nike Golf!!!! Feel free to ask questions.
New (the VR Pro and VR Pro DS are basically the same size, but the perspective of some of the pics makes it look otherwise)
Here is the Nike Press release for more information-
Nike Golf announces crafted Nike VR Pro Forged Dual-Sole wedge
Nike Golf is capitalizing on the success of its VR Pro forged wedges with the introduction of the highly crafted Nike VR Pro Forged Dual-Sole (DS) wedge.
The Nike VR Pro Forged DS wedge is developed with a precise forging process, resulting in a wedge that offers accurate shot-shaping performance and a greater propensity for low scoring. Built for Nike Golf Tour athletes, the VR Pro Forged DS wedge features a Dual-Sole grind, ensuring ideal set-up from sand, fringe, fairway or deep rough. The Dual-Sole provides two distinct benefits:
· For normal square addressed shots, the sole has added leading edge bounce, but the trailing edge is relieved. This allows for utilization of the bounce, which helps to eliminate digging but reduces the contact area so the club glides through the turf. The Dual-Sole also prevents bladed shots.
· For open faced shots, a unique relieved heel design comes into play when the face is in an open position. This allows the leading edge to sit low to the ball, especially on short flop shots.
The VR Pro Forged DS wedge features Nike’s high-frequency X3X grooves with a precision laser crosshatch pattern that is applied to the land area between the grooves. This pattern adds three times the surface texture versus conventionally finished faces, creating more spin in all conditions. With Nike’s X3X grooves, there are more grooves (20) that are closer together and deeper on the clubface, which provides more control and consistency in all conditions off of the clubface, while conforming to the USGA and R&A rules.
Finish Options: Satin Chrome; Oxide (NEW); Platinum (NEW)
Loft/Bounce Options: 56/16 dual; 54/24 dual; 60/13 dual (Available in RH)
TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max driver review
New for 2020, TaylorMade has launched the new SIM driver family. First the lower spinning SIM then a more forgiving higher spinning SIM Max and a SIM Max D head to help draw the ball for those that need it.
We have seen the tour players using all three of the SIM drivers.
- Keegan Bradley WITB using the SIM Max D
- Tiger Woods WITB using the SIM
- Dustin Johnson WITB using the SIM Max
The SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers from TaylorMade feature an asymmetric sole shape as well as a redesigned Inertia Generator. The asymmetric sole shape of the drivers is designed to reduce drag while providing faster clubhead speed, with the redesigned Inertia Generator redistributing weight at the very low-and-back portion of the club in a bid to provide improved forgiveness.
The SIM Max D clubhead contains a heel-bias internal weight with a topline masking to make the clubhead look more open at address to help golfers who struggle with a right-miss.
Other features of the SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers includes a speed injected twist face, inverted cone technology, a thru-slot speed pocket, multi-material construction and an adjustable loft sleeve.
Exclusive to the SIM driver is sliding weight technology which allows face angle and flight bias preferences of up to +/-2° loft change and up to +/-20 yards of draw-fade bias.
Here are the individual reviews from GolfWRXers’ trip to The Kingdom.
Tester: Rob “osubuckeyes691“
I’ll start by saying this. SIM is very good. It’s not a magical 30 yards like everyone is talking about here. That comes from being properly fit. But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have.
My current set up is a Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond with a Fuji Ventus Black 6x. LOW LOW LOW combo…and I still hit it high haha. I live in the low to mid 170s ball speed with spin sometimes getting up to 2700 2800. Drives I hit well, spin around 2100. My miss is a big push slice.
But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have. -Rob
I ended up being fit in to a SIM 9* with the new KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5. This shaft is super interesting. It’s really hard for me to describe but it has feel, and a lot of it. Spin dropped to about 2400 on my miss right and really, that’s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted something that when I missed, wouldn’t lose me 30 yards. We put the weight in the heel and it really did help straighten out the miss. Huge advantage for me. I knew as someone who swings 120ish I wasn’t going to pick up 20 yards. I wanted to reduce my miss and that’s exactly what SIM was able to do for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Will “fillwelix“
For my driver fitting, I was with Perry, who was a blast to get to work with. I started by hitting my gamer on Trackman, talking with Perry about what my misses usually are, and what I wanted to get out of the fitting.
I usually don’t have a problem with distance so I told him the biggest thing I was looking for was a tighter dispersion. I don’t have the trackman numbers yet but with my gamer, I was averaging about 110 club head speed, 160-something ball speed, 270-275 carry, 285-290 total. Launching a bit too high but spin was okay.
The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. -Will
We tried the 10.5 SIM in a Ventus Black 6x, and he gave me a couple tips in my setup, because my AOA was something like 4 or 5 degrees up. The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. Carrying 295-300, total of 315-320. One shot carried the fence of the driving range at The Kingdom.
Spent some time going through different shafts to see if there was an improvement, played with weights, etc. but the best numbers were with the 10.5 SIM with Ventus Black 6x and the weight all the way in the toe, because my miss is usually left. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Nick “n_rones“
I started off with my fittings working with Joe. After some warmup we started with the drivers. Coming in I was playing a Srixon Z785 with a Hzrdus black 6.5 70 gram shaft at 45 inches.
I’m a really tough fit because I have an unusual swing and hit down on the ball heavily with every club. My AOA with the driver was between 5 and 7 down which is pretty nuts I always knew I hit down on it but not that much. I’m still waiting on the trackman date to be emailed to me but with my own driver I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 109 swing speed with a launch angle of 4 degrees and 4000 spin (Ridiculous I know right).
I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. -Nick
His main goal for me was to get launch up and spin down. The first club he handed me was the Sim 10.5 turned up to 11.25 with a Graphite design IZ 7x. Instantly my launch angle increased and spin dropped. We then went through a few other shafts like graphite design ad di 7x. We came back to the IZ and with a quick change in tee height we ended up where we wanted. We knew with my angle of attack we were never going to get me to super low spin and high launch we just wanted to get it to a manageable number.
By the end of the fit I was hitting the sim with the iz under 3k spin with a couple down at 2500 and 9 degree launch increasing my carry from the 244 range up to the 260-265 range on good swings and we neutralized my cut massively. I was fortunate enough to finish my fit while other guys were still busy so we went right into the build shop and he built me my driver on the spot and gave me a super cool kingdom exclusive headcover. I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. Most of that is me never being through a proper fitting before but a big factor was I was able to get into the sim head with high loft but it was a great spin killing head for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
I am one that gained a good bit of ball speed from getting fit for the SIM driver. My gamer is a Titleist 915D3 9.5* with a Rogue Silver 70X. I wasn’t fit for the driver as I just bought the parts off of the BST. I always felt that I lost yardage due to high spin. The Trackman didn’t lie as I was getting 166mph ball speed and 3000 rpm of spin on well-struck shots. Where this posed a problem was when I was off-center, the ball would be a high right spinner that would lose a lot of distance.
Where I saw great gains was in dispersion. TwistFace just flat out works. Toe shots came back to closer to center, and heal shots faded right back towards center. I also didn’t lose as much yardage. I did pick up about five mph in ball speed. There are a plethora of reasons for this gain and the resulting 20 yard gain in ball flight.
Some could attribute the gain to almost 30 feet of height in ball flight. It could also be because there was 300 less RPM, or over a degree increase in launch angle. Either way, it has proven to me that getting fit by a knowledgeable fitter is crucial. This is the first time that I have been fit for a driver. All the expectations of mine going into this fitting have been met.
The SIM is forgiving. The SIM is aerodynamically superior to what I have been playing. The SIM just flat out performs for me because it doesn’t balloon, it is forgiving on mishits with good direction and ball speed, and it reduced my spin rate. –
The sounds of the SIM line is amazing. The solid “thwack” sound it makes at contact is extremely welcoming. Gone are the days of high pitched aluminum baseball bat sounds. Now, some sounds just sound perfect to me. Johnny Wunder posted a video on Instagram of me hitting a driver, and you can hear the sound. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of
One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.
So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.
These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.
Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims
The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things
- Design that delivers more power and stability
- Custom comfort that lasts all day
These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.
Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.
On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.
After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.
I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.
GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII
Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.
Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII ( slope adjusted version ), you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.
Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII
First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.
In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.
Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.
Slope-Adjusting ID Technology: With the 20i GII you have the option to get the slope-adjusted distance for any shot thanks to Nikon’s ID Technology. The mode can be turned on and off by the user to comply with USGA rules to make it legal for tournament rounds. Having tested it out on hilly terrain it’s easy to see why so many golfers mis-club going into greens when elevation changes become a lot more dramatic.
The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.
The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.
Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.
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