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The Big Review – Nike Victory Red Forged TW Blade

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When you think of Nike irons, you tend to think of one man in particular and the blades that have taken him to so many victories. In fact, many have commented that it is Tiger’s use of blades that has caused a renaissance in their use, both among Tour players and better amateurs as everyone looks to capture just a shard of the great man’s ball striking ability. The Victory Red appellation is obviously a combination of Nike’s recent domination of iron win count (22 victories on all major Tours this year and 27 on the same tours last year) along with Tiger’s favored final day colour.

Tiger has had direct input to the design of all the Victory Red irons. Prior to his absence from competition with his knee injury he worked alongside Nike’s team of designers and engineers with the aim to create Nike Golf’s best irons ever. It goes without saying that out of the 3 Victory Red irons his efforts are most evident in these, the new premium irons – the Nike Victory Red Forged TW Blades.

Nike tell us that the VR Blades have the same centre of gravity (COG) as Tiger’s irons and have already been picked up by Nike Staffers such as Paul Casey, KJ Choi, Stewart Cink, Charl Schwartzel – who recently won at the Madrid Masters on the European Tour after only 3 weeks with the new irons – and many others. For so many of their Tour players to have adopted them so early clearly shows that Nike have come out with something that offers a little more than the previous generation. While Tiger did not have these irons in the bag at his victory at the US Open in Torrey Pines, he thought enough of the marque to find space for a 60-degree Victory Red Wedge.

Three-quarter view showing high muscleback and long hosel

Technical Specs

Iron 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 PW
Loft 18 21 24 27 31 35 39 43 47
Lie 59.0 60.0 60.5 61.0 62.0 62.5 63.0 63.5 64.0
Bounce 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Length 39.5″ 39.0″ 38.5″ 38.0″ 37.5″ 37.0″ 36.5″ 36.0″ 35.75″

Material: 1025 forged carbon steel
Forging House: Undisclosed (China)
Finish: Chrome
Standard grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
Standard shafts: Dynamic Gold
Custom shafts: Available from Aldila, Royal Precision, True Temper, UST

Face-on view highlighting box toe, straight leading edge and hosel-toe lines

Appearance

A traditional muscleback that differs from Nike’s original Blades by have a larger muscleback and a fractionally thicker toe-line. The clubhead is also a fractionally longer heel-to-toe than the original Blades but you’re looking at no more than a 1/16 of an inch, if that. The club is finished in sparkling chrome that is so shiny that it’s practically a mirror and the face and muscleback is a blasted matte to reduce glare.

For the traditionalists, the colour scheme of the Victory Red line is always going to be a little gaudy but these clubs have 2 things going for them: firstly, the colour scheme is far more muted in real life than it appears in photos, and secondly at address all that can be seen are the clean chrome lines of the head with the only hint of colour coming from the small red circle near the top of the ferrule.

It’s at address that you can really appreciate what a beautiful piece of forging they are. When the club is sat next to the ball, the thin top line, elegant hosel and straight edges flow together to make the ball look even bigger giving you real confidence. It’s only when you get down to the longer irons that the realization that these are butter knives kicks in and that they are going to demand the best swing you have.

3,5 and 7 irons at address

Performance

Exceptionally good, these are players irons and make no apologies for it. While mid-trajectory shots are the easiest to produce, both high soaring shots and three-quarter punches are well within your grasp and a full swing generates serious distance. Deceptively for a club with such a high COG (from both the high muscleback and the long hosel) there’s still enough spin that you are able to work the ball with ease and even hold greens with long irons. The sole is narrow with a rolled leading edge and a ground-off trailing edge which favors precise ball-striking and the ability to pick the ball off the turf with medium to small divots.

In the short and medium irons, flag are targets and the ball can be fired at them with real venom as distance control is very simple. Moving towards the longer irons requires a little more circumspection as you become aware that these clubs have been designed for performance first and forgiveness second. That’s not to say that they are difficult clubs to get airborne but missing the sweetspot in any direction results in a noticeable loss of distance – but then that is a fact of life with pretty much any blade – and tingling fingers as your mistake is made known.

VR Blade sole grind

Feel

One of the rewards of playing blades is that wonderful sensation you get when you flush one out of the middle. The satisfaction of hitting the ball dead on comes from the choral symphony of feedback as the club sings in your hands in a way that no cavity back ever will. Nike have only been in the business of producing blades for a few years now and while it’s a little unfair to judge them against the acknowledged masters of forged irons like Mizuno and Titleist, in a like-for-like comparison it would be hard to say that these irons have quite the feel of the MP-67 or the Z-M. That’s not to say that the VR Blades do not give you a fantastic level of feel, it’s just that they are a fraction of a percent off the top spot.

Conclusion

While the VR Blades are very similar in concept to the previous generation of Nike’s blades, they contain a series of small but definite improvements that mean that the performance is so good that they should be considered by anyone looking for new blades.

Tiger had this to say about these irons – “I like the new VR Blades because of the consistent feel throughout the bag, how good it looks in a playing position and my workability. I can shape the ball both ways, change my trajectory, do whatever I need to do to hit the ball closest to the hole and be as efficient as I can throughout the round. That’s ultimately what you want to have happen. I hope to have these new irons in my bag upon my return to competition.” – And let’s be honest, you don’t get much more of an endorsement than that.

For more information visit www.nike.com

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. john

    Mar 13, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Thats because you are a 34 handicap, youre not even close to being able to hit a blade hahahahaha. try top flite or dunlop for beginners.

    • Tom

      Dec 27, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Not necessary…we’re trying to have an intelligent conversation and you have come unarmed.

  2. Joe G

    Dec 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I recently picked up a set of these irons. I had been gaming the original pro combos and decided I was ready for a blade. I pulled the shafts and put my PX Flighted Rifle 6.0 on them with Pure Pro grips and I am in love. Played them in a SIM a few times and was able to get out once last week. The cold weather crushed my distances as I could barely fly a PW 110 but the feel is amazing. If you are looking for a true players iron this is it. I only play the 5-PW as I use 3 and 4 Adams A7 hybrids.

  3. Gilbert

    May 24, 2013 at 2:09 am

    my handycap is a 34 and i moved to these clubs from the ping i3+ i thought i would play like tiger if i bought them, i can’t even make contact with the ball using a putter let alone one of these 8 irons

  4. joe

    Dec 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

    wow what can i say a 15 y/o hitting his 7 iron 185 to 225 yds i must be doing something seriously wrong , i use these blades , have been for over a year , im playing off scratch with s/s 115 -125, they are very nice clubs ,mind you it did take a little getting used to, need to get your ball striking consistent , and some good mechanics in it , better for a sweeper type than a digger . my average drive is around 280=290 in play with a few just over 300 per round of 18, now best i can do out of my 4 iron is 220, maybe i need to go back to the drawing board with my swing , but im playing some good golf and loving every minute of it with these clubs , but i am also able to smile when i duff one now and then, i do agree with some of the above comments re-blades or bladed irons , i believe in reverse curve learning , these and other bladed irons will improve your swing and mechanics if your dedicated enough or continue punishing you until you do, simply put these irons give back exactly what you put in , if you put in rubbish , you will be given less distance and ball flight soaring at a rate of knots left or right , very low and a nice numbness in your hands for about 5 minutes, but the feeling when you hit them sweet is pretty damn good , im not changing mine anytime soon .

  5. ???

    Feb 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

    By a long shot, one of the best article l have come across on this valuable subject. I quite go along with with your assumptions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates.

  6. Lou

    Sep 30, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I am an original Nike Forged Blade player. Over the past winter, I purchased the VR with my winnings from the local men’s club. I really liked the feel of the VR and the spin I got from all the irons and the wedges. However, I just wasn’t scoring well with the new VRs. After 30+ rounds of giving the VRs a try and plenty of range work, I switched back to my original Nike Forged Blades…WOW!!! The scoring went back to where it should be (mid 70s, with an occasional low 80s). Overall, sorry to say, especially as good as the VRs feel and look, I am set on the original Nike Forged Blades!!!

  7. Greg

    Sep 2, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Just wanted to add a touch to my previous comments…

    My TW Blades have the Dynamic Golf SL’s (Super-Light) as opposed to the regular DG’s or any other shaft which may be coming on these sets. Supposedly they’re 20% lighter than the stand DG’s. Although I haven’t played a set with any shaft other than my own DG SL’s, I’m pleased to say that these clubs up and down are some of the most balanced I’ve felt to date. My previous set was certainly heavier but the long irons in particular felt nowhere near as smooth as these do through my swing. For what it’s worth, I’m much more confident in swinging my new long irons than I was with my old set.

    Thought it was worth mentioning.

  8. Greg

    Sep 1, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Wow, what can I say? Having played these TW Blades for a short period now, both at the range and course, they are absolutely the coolest set of clubs I’ve owned or shot to date. Ultimately, it’s my opinion that if you’re serious enough about practicing and getting better at the game of golf, these Forged VR’s–Blades or Splits–are not too much club for someone of any (reasonable) handicap.

    I’m a mid-high handicapper (mostly thanks to inaccurate distance control on chips and pitches) who’s set to continue with what I can only describe as a relatively serious practice routine (at the range pretty much daily) so I wanted something I knew would push me as I went along as well as tell me when I was doing something right or wrong. I wouldn’t say my ball-striking is great all day everyday, but it’s far from bad especially with mid and short irons. Today, for example, it was simply money. In fact, I hit some of the most beautiful approach shots I’ve ever hit–some of my best–with the 7,8 and 9 irons.

    I’d say I hit these mid and short irons better than any I’ve previously owned. The feel of these clubs and they’re ability to get the ball nice and high and hold greens in exhilarating. Wow, do they hold fast on greens, btw! My balls were consistently coming down and spinning back towards me instead of rolling out a few yards. As a guy who’s usually happy to get a reasonable put for par, I had a few birdie opportunities today, thanks in part to the distance gap between these clubs and others. As John V so aptly stated above, your actual handicap shouldn’t always dictate what iron sets you play. If you struggle on the tee with the Driver and on greens putting but not in the fairway and tee with your irons, don’t give up on getting a nicer set based on reputation.

    The natural trajectory off these irons is fantastic, as well. Solid shots get up in the air very nicely and the distance these clubs are capable of really make good shots into something spectacular. There is definitely a significant difference between the way I was used to having the ball come off my club’s face and how its been jumping off with these new clubs. Off-center shots won’t be golden but they’re much better than I had anticipated. Today, for example, my 4 iron was up and down. I had some well struck balls and some which were struck either a bit fat or more towards the toe. Although, there’s no better recipe for killing power than hitting it fat, shots off the toe were not at all as ‘dead’ as one might have thought.

    I can’t recommend everybody carry these clubs but if you’re the type of player that is capable of hitting some solid iron shots and wants a club that will fade and draw the ball more “on-command” than some more forgiving irons, don’t be so quick to discount these clubs because of the reputation of blades. Ultimately, these were definitely more forgiving than I expected (or maybe I’m just that good!). ūüôā

    Seriously though, from the long irons to the wedges, these clubs, with their distance and shot control, simply add to the game what Tiger always talks about–the indescribable fun it is to execute well-shaped shots.

  9. Matthew

    Aug 31, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I’m fifteen years old and play off a scratch handicap.
    I thought these irons were incredibly easy to hit and working the ball was extraordinarily easy. Even the 3 iron(Blade) was easy to hit

  10. Luke

    Aug 15, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    yes I was referring to the GVSU course. I actually was there on tuesday which I think was the 11th. I have been on fire ever since I got these stix. I have played teh Meadows twice and both times have been under 77, tuesday I was 3 under on the front only to go bogey, bogey, double, on the back but still managed a 73 so I was happy. You are so right these are the purest irons I have ever hit, on #13 or #14 (the par 5 back toward the football stadium) I hit a 3 iron for my second shot from 240 to the back pin and stuck it 5 ft for eagle, it was the best feeling shot I have hit in my life.

  11. Brad

    Aug 11, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Luke,

    Are you talking about the Grand Valley State course? I played there earlier this summer.

    I am a 7 handicap and I just picked up the VR blades this weekend. I have never used blades before but the look of these clubs made me have to have them. So I went out the day after I got the clubs and I was hoping to just break 85 and by the end of the day I had shot a 75. These clubs are pure! I was able to spin my PW 15ft when I was hitting it. The lower irons are hard to hit but the feel of these clubs are just ridiculous. So glad I bought them. Gonna stay in my bad for a loooong time!

  12. Luke

    Jul 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Just a follow up to my above comments. My buddy and I went out last week, he is a 15 hdcp. He liked the looks of my VRs so much he wanted to try them so He grabbed a demo set from the local pro shop and we headed out to what I consider is a fairly difficut course, The Meadows (this is the course they hold the div 2 national championship). He proceeded to shoot the best round of his life carding a 83 and striking the ball awesome for him. He was so excited when he took the demos back he left with his own set of VR. So any high handicapers that are thinking of getting these irons all I can say is take the plunge you will never regret it, you will hit shot you never thought you could, and your game will thank you. Besides with all the money you will make off your buddies your wife won’t care you just bought new clubs:)

  13. Luke

    Jul 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I just switched from MP-32 to the TW VR’s and they are sssswwwweeeeeeettttt!!!!! I am a 4 hdcp and these blow away my old 32s. The control is amazing and bad shots aren’t near as bad as my 32s were. I am looking at getting new wedges and wondered how the VR wedges perform. I think nike made a huge jump in the “players” club market with these, I tested the ZB, ZM, X tour, Taylormade MB (which are in my opinion total junk, I wouldn’t want a set if they were giving them away) and every other new pllayers club out there and these are by far the BEST.

  14. David

    Jul 10, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Hi, I have been looking into getting the Nike blades even though I have never broken 100 on the golf course. I currently play ping G2 iron and can’t hit them, however, I reciently switched to my dads titelist model 90 blades and hit them much better. Would this be a wise blade for me to upgrade to?

  15. C Ols

    Jun 14, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I am looking into these blades and wanted to get an opinion on if they are much of an improvement over what I have. I am 6’5″ and play 1992 Hogan Apex Blades, 2.5″ extended, 1deg upright. I like my irons ok, but was wondering if this is that much improved technology?

    thanks

  16. Greg

    Jun 13, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I am a mid handicapper looking for new irons and thinking about switching from a full cavity to a blade. I have trouble with pulling the ball on long to mid iron shots and thought maybe it was from the cavities being offset. I also hit the ball way to high. I mean i hit a 5 iron and it goes just as high as a wedge. I don’t have a problem hitting it square on the club face, just controlling trajectory and that is why i thought it might be time for me to switch to blades. If anybody has an opinion on this please let me know. Thanks.

  17. Sandy

    May 27, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I am 15 and a scratch golfer. And i must say that these clubs are killers. They are great for shot making but the moment where your day is off, you better stay away from them. Its very ahrd to cotnrol them when you are not playing your best. I have had them for over 4 motnsh now and I have learned how to play with them in ever circumstance. It takes a lot of time to get used to these clubs. I went from a 5 handicapper (old clubs) to a 15 handicapper (new clubs) then to a scratch golfer (newclubs) after 5 months. Once you get the hang of it, they are really grreat . My 7-iron has increased from 175yards to (185-225). They are really great for distance and trajectory and shot making.

  18. peto6

    May 10, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Hey, I have a handicap 8 and my best score is 79 on par 72. I usually shoot 82 on par 72. Right now I have Ping G5 irons, but Nike is my favourite brand and Tiger is the man. I really want the blades and I am willing to work on my swing every day. Do you think I should get the blades or the full cavity ones? Thanks for answer:)

  19. Martin Anderson

    Apr 24, 2009 at 4:10 am

    If you are going from a full cavity these might be too much unless you are prepared to really work on your long irons. I’d suggest a split set – VR blades from 7-PW and VR Splits from 3-6. That or something like the Mizuno MP-62 where you have the control of a blade but the forgiveness from the small cavity.

  20. Sam

    Apr 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I play of a handicap of 7 and the irons i use at the moment are full cavity. I know that if i want to get down to around 3 this season then i will need to have more control over my shots. Do u think that these are the irons for me??

  21. jonny rocket

    Apr 11, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    i WANT those!

  22. dal

    Apr 11, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    v 4 victory

  23. clubpro

    Apr 11, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Anyone over a 5 handicap needs to stay far away from these clubs. They will not improve your game…but you can’t resist can you…Nike is banking on it.

  24. Tony

    Mar 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I currently play the Tiger Woods limited Tour blades tru temp x-100 shafts. I demoed the VR blades with the x-100, I really did not see that much difference. I could hit that real high soft fade with both irons. I’m a 3 handicap, so i’m no pro but I think good enough to see a difference. if anything my tiger blades might be a half a club longer. I was real confused about this, i must have hit 40 balls with my 6 iron and 40-50 with the new VR 6 iron. I consistanntly hit mine past the flag. But I do like the lower profile to the new blades. I am sure these clubs will be in my bag pretty soon.Like i tell my wife, If Tiger uses them so am I.

  25. Derrick

    Feb 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I am strongly considering these blades. I am a 8.6 capper and I am a fairly good ball striker. I have been playing Golfsmith 675B forged and really like the feel of a blade than a cavity. I also game a set TM R7 Tps. I just love the look of the VRs.

    Whats the difference in feel and flight between the PX and the DG. I have been DGS300 player for a long time now. I was thinking about a switch to PX but get nervous on making a switch.

  26. Kenneth Wong

    Feb 8, 2009 at 7:22 am

    How do these blades compare with the Mizuno MP32 blades?

  27. Kevin

    Feb 5, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I’m currently looking for a new set of irons. I have been playing (old, I know) the Ben Hogan Apex Edge Pro irons for about 9 years now and haven’t really had any problems with them. I’m about a 6 handicapper who tries to get out 2/3 times during the week in the summer. I’m interested in purchasing some blades (and/or a combo set) to get my game to its highest capabilities. I’ve looked at the following clubs and am at a crossroads as to which one’s would be the best for me…Nike VR TW blades, Callaway’s X-forged irons, Titleist ZMs or ZBs, or Mizunos?? Anyone have any advice or input on my current decision.

  28. Dustin

    Jan 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I recently bought a set of VR blades and must say i am impressed. The look of the club at address is absolutely money! I agree with most about the aesthetics being too gaudy. you don’t even notice when your playing though. as for any blade, i wouldn’t recommend them to a player with a handicap of 10 or higher. But for you players out there, this club provides a healthy balance of both workability and feel, comparable to the zm.

  29. Cy

    Dec 15, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    John V has nailed it. I think the primary concern people have when looking at buying blades is forgiveness. There are very few coaches, even the world’s best, that would recommend blades to anyone over cavities (the new AP2s are a prime example), that includes tour pros. However, like John V said, I too am interested in blades because they force you to hit good shots.

    These VRs are downright amazing. Much improved over the last Nike Blades if you ask me. I’ve been on the AP2 bandwagon for the last few months, but I demoed the VRs for 3 days and played them head to head against the AP2s, and the VRs simply have more feel. I also compared them with Titleist ZMs and ZBs, Cleveland CGTour and CG Red, and the split cavity VRs. I didn’t feel that the VR Blades were any less forgiving than any of these, more forgiving than some of them (ZMs/CGtour, and the feedback on them is better than all of them in my opinion.

    I think the whole VR lineup is good, and is worth hitting at your local shop if they have a pair. Only thing I might change is I have liked the Project X shafts better than the DGS300s in the past, so I’ll look into seeing if that holds true for these.

    Last point, often times mid-high handicappers ask about these clubs. I’d say unless you are super committed to improving (making it to a range 2+ times a week, and/or working with an instructor) you’ll want to go with cavity backs (The VR CBs are great too). I am a 14 handicap but a dedicated student of the game and have a fundamentally sound swing that allows me to work the ball in all directions, so I’ve chosen to go with blades and risk a few lousy shots rather than lose some of that feel and workability by taking the more forgiving CBs.

  30. John V.

    Dec 11, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I bought the Nike VR TW blades as soon as I could get my hands on them. I have been a loyal Titleist fan for quite sometime but I was drawn to these irons because I wanted to switch to a blade and Tiger helped design them (I don’t know anyone better qualified to design a high performance club other than the arguably best golfer ever). My last set of irons were Titleist 755’s, which I love for their solid feel. I have always felt that Nike had been a little gimicky but the Victory Red lineup has changed my mind. I think they have stepped into the arena with Titleist and Mizuno.

    I was a little nervous about the 3 and 4 iron but I went with them anyway. After hitting these blades a few times now I have fallen in love with them. They are surely not as forgiving as a split cavity or partial cavity club, but they are not impossible either. I would say the sweet spot is in the center of the face and about the size of a quarter. Flush shots came off likes lasers with great solid feel and feedback. Toe hits and heels hits will lose distance but that is expected. The bad shot is a thinned shot. I do caution those that hit the ball low on the club face or tend to thin it. The outcome with these blades can be punishing in the outcome of the shot and in the hands. I attribute this to the muscleback which forces you to properly land a descending blow on the ball to get the center of gravity below the center of gravity of the ball. This is the reason I switched to a blade; I am a pretty good ballstriker and I did not want the club to cover up bad swings. I rather have great good-shots than have acceptable poor-shots.

    The ability to work the ball is amazing. Basically, by thinking about holding you hands off at impact you will hit a fade. By thinking about releasing you hands at impact you will hit a draw. With cavity backs, it is necssary to exaggerate a closed or open stance and also cut across the ball to work it; not so with these. These clubs are so workable, that you can easily over cook the fade or draw so be careful. 3/4 punch shots come of low and boring. Put the ball a little forward in your stance and you can hit the high, soft shot.

    The clubs feel hefty, which I prefer. I have not had them swingweighted, but I think Tiger plays with D4 swing weighting so I would suspect they may be D4. They feel a little heavier than my previous D2 swingweighted Titleist 755’s. I also really enjoy having TT DG S300 shafts. My driver club head speed is about 107-110mph so the S300 are perfect. The stock full cord Golf Pride grips are a great addition so you don’t have to spend another $80 just to get the grips you want.

    Last, the clubs look great. I could have done without the matte finishing but overall they look great. I know it is dorky, but I am using head covers so they look great for years to come. I will most likely get new irons in the future, but I plan to hold on to these.

    I am a low teens handicap with the touch of a blacksmith on the greens. So I don’t fully believe that handicaps are indicative of what irons you should hit. Go with what gives you confidence and looks good in the playing position. Also, I am serious about golf improvement and blades tend to be the ultimate game-improvement club. They force you to hit good shots rather than cover up bad strikes.

    The hardest thing about these clubs was talking my wife into letting me buy them after I had revamped all of my equipment last year to Titleist (from putter to driver)! After hitting these, I am a believer in Nike irons and blades in general.

  31. Martin Anderson

    Dec 10, 2008 at 4:51 am

    “Are these difficult for a mid-high handicapper”

    I couldn’t recommend them. While you will love the short irons you’ll be left dead in the water with the mid and long irons. You should try the Split Cavity VR irons.

  32. Auten

    Dec 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Are these difficult for a mid-high handicapper

  33. Dow Jones

    Nov 3, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Have any original Nike blade players have the chance to demo the new Victory blades? If so can you post a comparison? I’d like to know how the two compare with respect to forgiveness.

    The graphics on the back of the iron is gaudy. I very much prefer the look of the original Nike blades much like the Mizzys.

  34. Nikelover33

    Nov 2, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I absolutely love My New Nike VR Blades. I went with the Project X’s
    and also added the VR wedges to my set and I could not be more happy. I am able to do everything Tiger mentioned in the above article. Trajectory is what I want and to shape the ball is easier than ever before. I can turn the ball around a corner as if it was a remote controlled ball. The feeing and feedback from these irons is superb!! Even though alot of reviews and even the designer Tom sites said the sweet spot is smaller on these ,I do not see it. I have not hit a shot that does not feel great. If you are looking to take your game to the next level and be way ahead of all the other manufacturers blades then the TW VR Blades are for you.
    I have not ever held a better set of irons. By the way Nike has introduced a new groove technology with the VR irons and wedges that meets the new groove rules coming in the next years and they provide more spin than any other club I have hit so if you were worried about getting out of the rough and on to the green with enough backspin and want a new rule compliant iron and wedge then look no further. VR is here to stay!!!

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Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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Equipment

GolfWRX Member Reviews: TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 Irons

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. For Giveaways — we give away everything from golf clubs to golf balls to GPS units — all it takes is a forum name. Enter any Giveaway, and we select winners randomly. You’re then free to enjoy your prize as you wish.

For Testing Threads, the process a bit more involved. GolfWRX Forum Members sign up to test the latest and greatest products in golf, and then they provide in-depth reviews on the equipment. Being the intelligent golf-equipment users they are, GoflWRX Members are able to provide the most-informed and unbiased reviews on the Internet.

df5745825623a9697f92315cd9d8f1d7

In this Testing Thread, we selected 75 members to test a TaylorMade M1 2017 7-iron and TaylorMade M2 7-iron. Each of the clubs were built with the stock lofts and shafts — M2 2017 (28.5 degrees) with a TaylorMade Reax shaft, and M1 2017 (30.5 degrees) with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft — and the testers were instructed to post their review of the clubs here.

Below, we’ve selected what we’ve deemed the most in-depth and educated reviews out of the 75 testers. We have edited each of the posts for brevity, clarity and grammar.

Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

Brock9007

To be honest, looking down on the TaylorMade M1 and M2 irons at address, there is really not much difference. I would have to pick one up to see which is which.

The first 10 balls I hit were with M1 and 6/10 felt great, while the other 4 were toe hits, which I felt and the distance reflected that. Kinda what I expected with a club design for lower-handicap players. Distance was about 1/2 longer than my Srixon iron and dispersion was close, as well. I will say they did not feel as good as the Srixon on center hits.

Next 10 (ok, 15) balls were with the M2. Wow, can you say “up, up and away? The ball really popped of the club face, but wasn’t a ballon flight. Waited for the ball to come down and WTH, with the roll out it was 5-8 yards longer than balls hit with M1, and that is with a few toe shots. I did some smooth swings and then very aggressive swings and was a little amazed at this iron. Just like the M1, it does not have the forged feeling and does have a clicky sound (which I hate).

Bottom line: M2 is the longest iron I have ever hit. I love my 545s, but I could see myself playing M2 very easily. Matter of fact, I will be taking this M2 7 iron in my bag and play it more head-to-head against my Srixon 545 on the course.

deathbymuffin

These are both beautiful clubs. What surprised me the most is how much alike the two clubs look at address. I was expecting a chunky topline and significant offset in the M2, but it’s footprint looked almost exactly the same as the M1, outside of the chrome finish on the M2 versus the frosted finish of the M1. The M2 could almost pass as a player’s iron to my eye at address. These clubs both get A’s from me in the looks department.

The M1 felt a tad thicker than most player’s irons I’m used to, but it seemed to come with a bit of added forgiveness too. Well-struck shots felt good, with a nice mid-trajectory and with the workability that I’ve come to expect from a player’s iron. But true to TaylorMade’s claims, the M1 seemed more forgiving than a traditional player’s iron. Had a nice soft feel at impact, mishits didn’t sting and left you with a more playable result. A really nice combination of the better attributes of both player’s and game improvement irons. I’ve been playing with an old set of Tommy Armour blades, but I’ve been recently wanting more forgiveness for when I’m stuck with my B or C swing. Based on the early returns, I could definitely see myself bagging these.

I’m not sure if it’s the shaft, the design of the clubhead, or a combination of both, but the M2 is definitely a different animal than the M1 at impact. This club launches the ball high, arguably ridiculously so. I was hitting Jason Day moonbombs with this bad boy. Didn’t seem to matter what kind of swing I put on it, the ball launched high, flat and dead straight. The club was super forgiving and if not for the insanely high ball flight, I would love to have a set of these for when my swing is out of sorts. I didn’t really try to flight it at all, so I’m not sure what it’s capable of at this point. One other note was that the M2 had a clicky feel at impact. It didn’t bother me since it still felt so sweet… so strange as it sounds, clicky, but smooth and sweet at the same time. I think these clubs will be big winners with the mid-to-high handicap set.

The M1 is a fine iron, but doesn’t really stand out in any way from other irons of its class.

The M2, on the other hand, is an iron on steroids. I’m really starting to love this thing. It’s super forgiving and just goes and goes. According to my laser, flush shots were going 195 yards (my usual blade 5 iron distance) and very high. I can’t help but think golf would be a whole lot easier, particularly longer courses with long par 3s, with a full set of these in my bag.

poppyhillsguy

M1 feels softer than the M2 and I felt the ball flight was more consistent and what I want in an iron. The M1 did have a harsher feeling in my hands than I typically like, but I’m going to credit a lot of that to the range balls.

M2 flies very high. It was a windy afternoon and about 100 degrees. I love the high ball flight on the range, but I have a concern what that ball flight would be like on the course. I like to hit the ball different heights for different shots and I don’t think I could do that confidently with the M2, but I could with the M1. I don’t like the sound of the M2. It sounded “clicky” to me.

Fourpar18

Initially on the range I was scared because the M1 had a regular flex in it, so I took it easy for my initial 10-15 swings with it. Ball SHOT off the face, loud crack (didn’t care for it, but not too bad) and ball just kept rising and rising but didn’t balloon. I thought, “whoa,” that’s not what I expected…did it again…another CRACK and the ball just flew. I set another down and I paid attention to how it looked behind the ball, not much offset for a game improvement and I thought…”I could actually play this club!”¬†¬†The 5-7 were EASY swings, aimed at a target of 170 yards away (my normal 7 iron distance) and with a EASY swing I was flying it by 20 yards or so. The next 5-10 I really went after it, same CRACK and ball just flew but to my surprise it was a nice draw, harder draw than the first but it was a nice 10-yard draw. This time the balls were landing just short of the 200 yard marker. Damn, 200 yards with a 7 iron! I know they are jacked lofts but it feels good to say “my 7 irons just few 190-200 yards!”

P.S. LOVE the Lamkin UTX grip!

Now, this was interesting, the M2 was quieter then the M1… weird!¬†¬†Now, there is more carbon fiber added to this one and there is a “Geocoustic” label on the back. I am sure that it has something to do with all that carbon fiber but it does have a better sound. Other than the sound, it played exactly like the M1: long and straight. The REAX shaft felt a little weaker than the True Temper shaft and it flew a little higher but nothing else I could pick up.

noahdavis_7

Finally got out to the range after getting these bad boys in on Friday. My first impression of them is that they look really sharp. The graphics and design really stand out and really give these clubs a cool, modern look.

They were both a little to big IMO, as I am currently bagging Mizuno MP-68s. The M2 isa definite “game improvement iron”, while the M1 was similar in size and shape to my previous irons, Titleist AP1s.

They both really launch it, high and far. Ridiculous for 7 irons. I don’t have access to a launch monitor, but it was about a 20-yard difference between my gamer 7 iron and these (stronger lofts, as well).

The M1 definitely was more suited for my eye, and produced more consistent ball flights. It felt much more smooth and solid as the M2 had a clicky, cheap feel.

The M2 just isn’t for me. I felt like it was launching too high and ballooning, which could be due to the shaft (the M1 had the S300, while the M2 just had a stock “Reax” shaft).¬†The feel off the face of the M2 just turned me off, to be honest.

While I don’t think I’ll be putting either model in play, I can definitely see the appeal for mid-to-high handicaps. Both irons were super forgiving, and they should be a dream to the average weekend golfer who has trouble with ball striking consistently.

golfnut5438

Looks: As expected, I preferred the M1 with less offset, slightly smaller sole and a smoother finish. Less glare looking down on the iron. I must say the M2 did not look as bulky, or have as much offset as I thought it might have.

Feel: This was a close race, probably due to the shafts as much as the heads. The M1 was just a slight bit smoother feeling on solid shots. But the M2 was not bad at all, just not quite as smooth.

Distance and performance: Our range has a slight incline up the length of the range, so specific yardage gains or losses were difficult to measure. Both irons had a higher trajectory than my gamer 7 iron. Neither sole dug onto the turf either. The lofts for both irons are a degree or two stronger than mine, so I would think they probably flew a little further than my gamers. Neither iron flew ‚Äútoo‚ÄĚ high, however. Might be a little harder to hit knock down shots, though.

Final thoughts: I had hit both the M1 and M2 irons last year during a fitting day, but did not like either. This year’s model were both better in my eyes. I asked a fellow member at our club to hit both and he felt the M1 was his preferred model, and he is a 20-index player. So coming from both a single digit, and a high double-digit, the M1 won this battle of wills. I will try and see if I can locate both a 5 iron and 9 iron to see if a full set might be a winner for me.

DblEgl

I was surprised that the M2 was the winner in this brief session. It felt better, flew higher, easier to hit and about 1/2 club longer that my gamer Apex CF16. The feel/sound was better than I thought it might be, but really not up to the CF16. I could, however, easily game the M2’s.

Bstein74

Feel: I hit the M2 first, and found it to be very solid when hit on the screws. There was almost no feel off the club face at all. When I mishit it, you knew it was, but it wasn’t harsh at all. Hit the M1 next, and same type of feel when hit solid. Much more harsh when mishit though, but I knew that was coming.

Distance and performance: This is was where I was curious to see how they would play. The M2 went out high in the air, and just kept going forever. Now granted my eyesight isn’t that great anymore, but it looked like I got about 10-15 yards more from the M2 compared to my Wilson D300. The only thing I didn’t like about the M2 was how much I was able to turn it over. Got a lot more hook compared to my D300. Don’t know if that was from the REAX shaft, but would love to find a less spinning shaft to correct that.

The M1 wasn’t a great performer for me. Same height as the M2, but much straighter off the club face. Didn’t get any great distance advantage as compared to my D300.¬†Can’t game a player’s iron anymore, and testing this one just reaffirmed that.

Final thoughts: Was very happy with the distance I gained with the M2 compared to my current gamer. Very good-performing iron for me, and something I would definitely consider changing them out if I could reduce the spin off the face. If you’re looking for more distance, you need to try these out.¬†The M1 just wasn’t for me, but as a player’s iron, I can see it as a great option.

Bobcat271

Like the other testers, I found the M2 to launch the ball much higher and is 10-to-15 yards longer than my Adams XTD forged 7 iron. Of the two 7 irons I prefer the M1. I like the design of the M1 and its visual appearance at address. I feel more confident in trying to work the ball with the M1. The M1 gave me more feedback as to where the club head was in relation to my swing plane. If I had my druthers I would put the M1 in the bag as it stands now. Will continue to test, what a treat to compare the two irons.

myurick2

Once I started making solid contact with a decent shoulder turn, the M2 really came alive in my hands. Towering flat height, for me, and very long. No more clacky hollow feel, just a very mild pleasant sensation… then zoom. Once I started making better swings, back to the M1, which was a very nice iron. Shorter than the M2 (though not short) and a little lower ball flight. Felt nice and substantial without being heavy. Very forgiving on slight mishits.

But the M2 was the star for me. High trajectory and very long. Club felt lively and fun. Frankly, unless a player wanted a lower trajectory, or likes to hit a lot of knock downs or feel shots, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t choose the M2. They are very attractive and a very fun iron. I think folks who say that the M2 feels and/or sounds clicky, clacky or hollow may be mishitting the iron toward the toe. I am not judging — I mishit a lot of shots at first. I agree on toe mishits the iron did not feel great. It almost felt like plastic. The ball still flew pretty well, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. Not painful, just felt very dead. But when hit nearer the center, the iron felt fantastic. Light, springy and very lively.¬†

hammergolf

They are both good-looking clubs. Not too long heel to toe and toplines were not that distracting. M1 is more what I like to see shape wise, but M2 was not bad at all. Personally, not a fan of seeing the face slots. But I could see how some people may like how they frame the ball. 

Ace2000

M1 

– Has a very odd sound on contact, almost sounds a tad like a fairway wood “ting. Not a fan
– Looks very good at address with the brushed finish
– Most shots I hit with it seemed to fall out of the sky (very likely a lack of spin). Ball flight was much lower than I would have expected (not super low, just not much different than my 7 iron)
– Inconsistent misses. Next to no distance gains vs RocketBladez Tour 7 iron

M2

– Doesn’t look as good at address as the M1. Chrome finish at address is¬†not¬†an issue in even direct sunlight for me
– Feels and sounds quite nice to my ears at impact. Not a classic sound but very good considering what type of club it is
– Ball flight is very strong (comes off hot). Ball stays high in the air for awhile. Very high and lands soft
– 10-12 yards longer on average vs my 7 iron, it even had the horsepower to hang with my 6 iron
– VERY forgiving on thin strikes. Couldn’t believe how a near-top still traveled to nearly the front edge in the air and still went as far as the M1 did on a good strike
– Shaft is too light

Even though I’m a 2-handicap and don’t fit the M2 “mold,” I could see myself playing this club from 4-6 iron (although gapping would be a major issue mixing these with almost anything else) if it had a heavier shaft in it (I can only imagine how far this 4 iron must go… yikes)

M1 = 2.5/5 stars
M2 = 4.5/5 stars

tpeterson

Visual first impressions:¬†The M1 7-iron is visually appealing to me as far as the finish and overall look. Even though it is classified as a player’s iron, it doesn’t seem so tiny that it would be tough to hit. I am not a huge fan of the bright-yellow badging, but I probably could get over it. The iron inspires confidence with its topline and a little bit of offset. The “rubber” piece on the hosel is a little bit funky to me.

I thought the M2 7-iron would look clunkier than it really is. Besides the finish being a little bit different, the difference between the M1 and M2 is actually pretty small. The M2’s topline and sole are a touch wider, but not by much. Not a huge fan of the fluted hosel since it can be seen at address. The M1’s fluting is only on the rear of the club.

I did notice that the sole’s finish did scratch pretty easily. Overall, I thought the M1 and M2 are pretty good looking, but I would definitely give the edge to the M1. I also preferred the stock Lamkin grip on the M1 vs. the ribbed M2 grip.

On course action: They both feel solid. I tried hitting both irons in all different types of on-course situations over a two week period. Both clubs launch the ball high but I would not say they balloon. For me, the M2 was about 10 yards longer and higher than the M1. Compared to my Cleveland irons, they are 1 to 1.5 clubs longer.

M1 loft = 30.5
M2 loft = 28.5
Cleveland TA7 loft = 33.5

I know this accounts for the distance gain but the ball definitely comes off hot compared to my set. I was hoping I would hit the M1 better since I like the appearance better, but that was not the case. The M2 definitely felt better for me and I felt more confident with it in my hands.

Discussion: Read all 75 reviews and the responses in our Testing Thread

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Equipment

Members Choice: The Best Irons of 2017

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To help golfers find the best irons for them in 2017, we enlisted the services of GolfWRX Members, the most knowledgeable golfers on the internet. They not only understand the technology used in the latest golf equipment, but they also test new clubs extensively. Following their detailed experiences and words of wisdom about the latest products is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in purchasing new golf clubs.

To gather their votes and feedback, we as a¬†company first needed¬†to properly sort the irons into categories. We aimed to keep the categories as simple as possible with 2017’s crop of irons, and we broke them down into three general categories:

  • Players Irons:¬†Basically, small-sized irons.¬†These irons have sleek top lines and soles. They place workability and control over distance, and for that reason they’re irons you can¬†expect to see in the bag of a professional golfer.
  • Game-Improvement Irons:¬†Basically, medium-sized irons. This category includes a wide-range of clubs that blend distance, forgiveness, good looks and workability.
  • Super Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, large-sized irons.¬†These irons are juiced with hot faces, wide soles, thick top lines, big offset and a low center of gravity, among other engineering feats, that are often unique¬†to each company.

Note: Because of the abundance of Players Irons currently available, we divided that category into two categories: Players Irons and Exotics Players Irons. The Exotic Players Irons list included players irons from companies such as Epon, Fourteen, Miura, PXG, and Honma, which are not as widely available for testing in the U.S.

Below you can access the¬†full results¬†of our Members Choice 2017: Best Irons lists, as well as feedback about each iron from the GolfWRX Community.¬†We’d like to sincerely thank all the GolfWRX Members who participated in the voting and provided feedback on the irons. We also want to thank those of you who provided feedback on the voting process itself. We assure you that we read and consider everything, and we’re going to continue to improve our process in order to provide the best and most useful information about the latest golf equipment.

Members Choice: The Best Players Irons

Mizuno_JPX_900_Tour_Feat-1021x580

Vote Leader: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour

“WOW! Great mix of buttery feel and forgiveness.”

Overall, the Mizuno JPX-900 Tour irons earned nearly 15 percent of votes on the Players iron category, giving them top billing for players irons. One GolfWRX member said he was “weak in the knees from first look at the satin finish and compact size,” and that the “feel is excellent, and there‚Äôs just enough forgiveness.” Another said the JPX-900 Tour irons are the “best irons out there right now in terms of blending feel, forgiveness, and the ability to shape shots.”

Full List: The Best Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: The Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG0311t-600x377

Vote Leader: PXG 0311T

“I can‚Äôt say I have ever hit anything that feels as good as the PXG.”

With more 21 percent of votes for the Best Exotics Players Irons of 2017, PXG’s 0311T irons were described by GolfWRX members as “a great looking club,” and that they “felt unbelievable.” When comparing the irons to Titleist’s 716 MB irons, one member said, “The fact that you can barely tell if it has or doesn‚Äôt have more offset than the MB 7 iron just shows how little it has.”

Full List: The Best Exotic Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: Best Game-Improvement Irons

CallawayApexMembersChoice

Vote Leader: Callaway Apex CF ’16¬†

“Apex CF is simply the most explosive, best feeling iron I‚Äôve ever hit in this category.”

Acquiring nearly 20 percent of votes of all models in the Best Game-Improvement Iron category, GolfWRX Members described the Callaway Apex CF ’16 irons as “simply the most explosive,” and that they “perform very well on center hits and almost as good on mishits.”

Full List: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

The Best Super Game-Improvement Irons 

PingGironsWRX

Vote Leader: Ping G

“The Ping G takes what Ping has done for years and added in increased ball speed, improved feel and much better looks.”

An¬†iron that “will appeal even to Ping haters.” GolfWRX Members described the Ping G as “stupid easy to hit,” providing a “high and straight ball flight,” and “an eye opener.” The irons also accumulated more than 22 percent of the total votes in the category.

Full List: The Best Super Game-Improvement irons of 2017

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