With my current focus on the short game I'm always excited when a manufacturer pushes the boundaries with regards to wedge design. Nike launched the toe sweep last season which was an excellent concept and this year they are improving and expanding on it.
For me it's all all about sole design and weight distribution, how the club interacts with the ground is your safety net on imperfect strikes and crucial to those not so perfect lies. I can't wait to get these in hand for some thorough testing!
Rory McIlroy debuts the new Nike Golf Engage wedges
-Three Tour-inspired sole grinds in a raw finish-
With three sole grinds made from the hands of Master Craftsman Mike Taylor, the new Nike Golf Engage wedges are the newest solution to help athletes such as Rory McIlroy both score and escape adverse conditions on the course.
The name Engage comes from three important interactions between the golf club and the turf, the club face and the golf ball and the connection between the athlete and his or her equipment.
“To me, they perform really well from the rough around the greens,” McIlroy said. “The ball seems to consistently get up easier and land softer.”
McIlroy debuted the wedges today at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, putting a Nike Engage 59-degree wedge into play.
To better engage the club, ball and athlete, Nike engineers followed a similar design that is utilized in the Nike Vapor family of clubs, Modern Muscle. Modern Muscle shifts the centre of gravity to promote stability and consistent turf interaction in even the worst of playing conditions.
McIlroy was one of the Nike athletes who tested the new wedge design and provided valuable feedback to Taylor and the Nike club team during the product development process.
The Nike Engage wedges are available in three distinct sole grinds: Toe Dual Sole, Square Sole and Toe Sweep.
"Our aim in offering three sole grinds allows athletes to be more purposeful when selecting their wedges," said Matt Plumb, Product Line Manager for Woods and Short Game. "Each of these three sole grinds, which are driven by our experience working with our athletes around the world, provide a distinct advantage in the types of shots you can play with them. We work with athletes to maximize their performance by selecting a combination of lofts and grinds that suits the needs of their golf DNA."
The Square Sole was designed to be played with a squared-up club face while the Dual Sole offers two distinctive surfaces for a wide range of shots. The Dual Sole is inspired by grinds used by Tiger Woods and McIlroy.
The second-generation Toe Sweep grind maintains its superior performance as the best wedge from the worst lie on the course while improving versatility on tight lies. The wide toe and narrow heel width allow the club to be laid open at address and stay open through impact in even the deepest of grass.
The Nike Engage wedges are precision milled with X3X grooves to deliver maximum spin on full shots. The grooves have more volume and sharper edges to deliver a more consistent shot in any condition as well as a more consistent ball flight. The precision milling process that makes the X3X grooves is offered for the first time with the Engage Wedges.
Based on athlete feedback and testing, the Engage wedges will all utilize an athlete-authentic raw finish instead of chrome plating. The finish will reduce glare as well as increase surface roughness to improve spin and control.
The Nike Engage Wedges will be available in April.
Pricing: £99.99 €124.95 SEK 1,195.00 DKK 999.00 NOK 1,095.00 SFr 159.95
Nike Engage Wedge Specifications
Square Sole (RH): 50°/11°, 52°/11°, 54°/9°, 56°/9°, 58°/9°, 60°/9°
Square Sole (LH): 52°/11°, 56°/9°
Toe Sweep (RH): 54°/9°, 56°/9°, 58°/9°, 60°/9°
Dual Sole (RH): 58°/13°, 60°/13°
Dual Sole (LH): 60°/13°
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet, Black