Nike Slingshot HL Mixed Set Hybrid Irons Reviews

Nike Slingshot HL Mixed Set Hybrid Irons

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On An Even Keel

Feb 17, 2009 (Updated Feb 17, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Everything that the Slingshot 4D set was supposed to be and then some.

Cons:Stan Thompson deserves some sort of recognition for his influence on these hybrids.

The Bottom Line: Stan Thompson meets Ben Hogan , and they both get a dose of 455 Carpenter Steel. Best new mixed set of the year.


If You Wanted To Like The 4D's But Couldn't....

Okay, so I really bashed the last iteration of the Nike Slingshot Irons, and now I'm singing the praises of these. Is Nike's quality control that inconsistent. Is Bernie going completely Bi-Polar? Is it the end of Western Civilization as we know it?--For the answers to these and other serious concerns please read on.

These new Slingshot HL's are great, and w/a quick nod to last year's Slingshot 4 D's these HL's are acutally what the 4D could and should have been. Basically these are the Slingshot 4D's, except they finally added the hybrids I was griping about. Afterall, the original series Slingshot Irons were practically legendary. They gave us hot 455 Carpenter Steel face inserts, and optimal Centers of Gravity via "Slings" on the back of the cavity of each iron. The next generation Slingshot OSS (Super over-sized game improvement version) and Slinshot Tour (watered down Slingshot w/thinner top line) were O.K., but made it obvious that this line was no longer the great innovator in the Nike Stable.

By the time the 4D's rolled around looking like nothing more than an updated Hogan Apex Edge w/out the workability or feel factor, the Slingshot Series of irons looked to be on its last legs. The fact that they still weren't offering hybrids showed that not only were they no longer the longest game improvement iron, but that the only thing really long about The Slingshots was how "long in the tooth" this ad campaign was getting to be." But this new series is so much better, and for the simple reason that they took what was good about the 4 D's, (455 Carpenter steel face inserts, balance almost as good as the old Ben Hogan line, super distance in the mid and short irons,) and finally threw in some hybrids to boot. These aren't just any hybrids either. In fact you may have to be an old fart like me just to appreciate how a retro move can actually be an innovation.

Ginty Anyone?

These hybrids take their cue from a name familiar to anyone who was big on golf during the 70's----especally Canadian golfers. Stan Thompson was a very innovative Canadian Club Maker (Golf Club Maker--not Canadian Club Whiskey Maker), who came up with what many consider to be the first modern rescue club. It was basically a 7 wood head on a 4 wood shaft. What really made this thing work was the fact that not only was the 7 wood head the perfect size for any lie (note most modern "hybrids" sport heads very similar to this size), but that he put a keel on the bottom. The keel actually prevented a miss hit from turf drag due to a crumby lie. This familiar Chevron Shaped Sole could be found in the bags of Canadians everywhere, and soon spread itself into a World Wide Phenomenon. Thompson dubbed his club--"The Ginty."  When asked what a Ginty was, Thompson replied--"The son of a Scottish Brood who always finds himself in trouble, yet somehow always manages to get out of it." Thus was born the first modern day rescue club.

Nike's new Slingshot hybrids boast this keel as well. Combine that with their tendency to play roughly 1* weaker than most hybrids, and the higher launch shaft, and you've got a modern day Ginty. The UST shaft fits this thing well. The tip is slightly soft, and the shaft has ever so slightest of the whip in her. This is a rescue club to be reckoned with. Combine that with an easy high launch and you've got some rather versatile distance monsters replacing the long irons in your bag.

Be A Player

Gary Player, may work for Callaway, but his ideas of clubs and clubsets for Seniors, Beginners, and Ladies actually describe this set.
Gary Player--the very man who wrote about how to escape ,"From Any Lie", has long been a proponent of carrying no iron stronger than a 6. That's right--Gary Player himself has dumped not only the 3 and 4 irons from his set, but the standard issue 5 iron as well. Long considered the Jack Lalane of golf, don't think he says this because he's lacking in strength. I'm certain he could open up a Costco size can of Whoop A$$ on both myself and anyone else reading this review.

This set comes w/3,4, and 5 hybrids, so, as Player prescribes, your 6 iron becomes your transition club. When one considers the added lengths to the shaft, and the stronger lofts to the club faces over the last 10 years, your 6 iron today plays more like the 4 iron of not so long ago. That makes this advice even more relevant for today's beginners, seniors, and lady's. These hybrids also feature fairly generous offset thus making it easy as can be to square the face and make good contact. As stated, the shaft is well mated to this club.

Still Hot

The 6,7,8, 9 irons and pitching wedge are still basically the 4 D line. They still sport the super hot 455 Carpenter Steel face insert. The shafts on these are true temper 90 gram models with softer tips for higher launches. This helps even things out considering the stronger lofts. Hey--the Pitching Wedge is 45* so that pretty much insures your going to need to buy a Gap Wedge to fill in the 10* difference between the Pitch and Sand Wedges. The shafts are such a great match for these heads that I wouldn't go graphite unless you absolutely have to. For big clunky game improvemnt irons they are fairly well balanced. They won't steer worth a darn, but oh are they long and straight. Considering that's what super game improvement clubs are all about that's okay.

Techs and Specs

3H= 19*
4H= 23*
5H= 26*
6I= 30*
7I= 33*
8I= 37*
9I= 41*
PW= 45*
GW= 50*
SW= 55*

Overall

I'd have to say this is the first Nike Product I've been this excited about since the old Power Distance Super Soft Golfball won the "Consumer Reports Best Buy Award" several years back. Yes, for the first time since then I will stand squarely behind a Nike Product and say---this one really is worth the money. I love the old Slingshot Irons, and really admired Nikes Innovation. Up until now, her later iterations have been fairly mediocre. They were either lacking in innovation, or just plain unimaginative. These new Slingshots are a very different story.

Anyone that can mix one of the best Ben Hogan Designs (The old Apex Edge) , with the once ubiquitous Ginty Rescue Club, and throw in a hefty dose of 455 Carpenter Steel with a dash of balance has certainly got my attention. These deserve a serious look for those needing a mixed set of Game Improvement, or Super Game Improvemnt clubs. They are a good enough set to grow with.

I'd like to thank my CL Abraham for getting me the link to make this review possible.


 


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