Nike SQ Machspeed Irons Review – Still Good And Forgiving For High Handicappers?

“The Nike Sq Machspeed irons came out in 2010 and they are packed with technology.”

The early 2010’s was an era in which it seemed Nike could do no wrong. Were the Nike SQ Machspeed irons one of their better offerings?

With endorsements from the likes of Tiger Woods, it seemed like Nike could do no wrong in the early 2010’s. It  was a good time for them and an exciting time for golf. The Nike SQ Machspeed irons were also exciting.

They are packed with unique technology. But after reading up on these irons, I wondered how much of it was just renaming and marketing. Some of the tech specs of the Nike SQ Machspeed sounded oddly similar to technologies used in other irons – just under a different name. But only a proper test session would reveal the truth about these irons. Are the Nike SQ Machspeed irons any good? Read on to find out.

Are Nike SQ Machspeed Irons Still Good?

“Perhaps the most impactful technology to be included in these irons is the PowerBow.”

Apparently, the PowerBow mills out the face so that 50 grams of weight can be saved and then repositioned low in the head and just under the sweet spot. The face therefore, is thinner and is meant to play hotter and the CG is positioned lower for easier loft and better swing mechanics with the long irons.

During my testing, I did find it exceptionally easy to launch the ball high. But I was also able to affect a lower trajectory thanks to the strong lofts of these irons. In my opinion, Nike did a good job of tempering the low CG weighting with strong lofts so that players like me could get the lower trajectory we need to maximize distance.

But if higher flight would actually increase your carry, you can certainly get the ball high up in the air with these irons.

I’m not a fan of the aesthetics of these irons. There is a lot going on in the cavity. That PowerBow takes up a lot of real estate in the back of the head and to be blunt, looks ugly. There’s just too much going on back there. The top lines are moderate and so are the soles so at least they don’t look like behemoths at address.

The Nike SQ Machspeed irons also feature AM355 stainless alloy faces and an off-face welding technique. What this does is expands the face across the body. The face welds are further out than normal so in effect, you get more face. This means more sweet spot as well.

Indeed, the Nike SQ Machspeed sweet spot is wide and seemed especially forgiving in the low-face sector. Despite the looks, I would say the Nike SQ Machspeed are still good game improvement irons. They play hot, produce good ball speed and are very forgiving.

Are the Nike SQ Machspeed Irons Forgiving for High Handicappers?

“One thing I was very impressed with was the toe-side forgiveness of these irons.”

Almost all of the toe-side mis-hits I produced were flying as fast as perfect strikes. There was very little loss of ball speed and the flight was very similar to that of perfect strikes. The same was true of low-face shots. It seemed like the off-face welding was really doing its job.

Basically, your mis-hits are a lot less noticeable with the Nike SQ Machspeed than with most game improvement irons. The dispersion wasn’t incredibly tight (my ball usually landed within 12 yards of the target) and the workability is limited; but those aren’t the performance aspects that Nike was trying to cover with these irons.

These are game improvement irons through and through. And if you’re a high handicapper looking for a forgiving set of GI irons, you definitely need to give the Nike SQ Machspeed’s a look.

Nike SQ Machspeed Vs Nike Vapor Fly Irons

“The Nike Vapor Fly irons have a generous blade length, clean look at address and a lightweight design.”

With the Nike SQ Machspeed irons, Nike was trying to increase ball speed by making the face as hot as possible. With the Vapor Fly irons, they attempt the same feat by reducing club weight so players can increase their swing speed. Overall, I think there is more help and forgiveness in the Nike SQ Machspeed irons but you should still give the Vapor Fly irons a look if you need a lightweight set of irons.

Nike SQ Machspeed First Impressions

“The busy cavity is what first caught my eye.”

There are multiple colors, a prominent PowerBow weight and sharp lines going every which direction. Behind the ball, the Nike SQ Machspeed irons don’t look too bad. But in the bag they are definitely eye-catching…and not necessarily for the right reasons.

Nike SQ Machspeed Selling Points

  • AM355 Stainless alloy face
  • Off-face welding
  • PowerBow technology
  • Extremely deep CG
  • Thinly milled face

Nike SQ Machspeed Key Technology


The PowerBow takes 50 grams of weight saved from the face and places it low in the head.

Off-Face Welding

This creates a seamless transition from face to body and widens the sweet spot.

AM355 Alloy Face

The AM355 alloy face feels very hot. It was milled to be very thin and to help increase ball speed.

Nike SQ Machspeed Loft & Lie

Club Loft (degrees) Lie (degrees)
3-iron 20 60.5
4-iron 23 61.5
5-iron 26 62.5
6-iron 29 63.5
7-iron 33 64
8-iron 37 64.5
9-iron 41 65

Who Should Buy the Nike SQ Machspeed Irons?

“The Nike SQ Machspeed irons are definitely for high handicap players who prioritize forgiveness and distance.”

The Nike SQ Machspeed irons play as long as any game improvement irons I have tested recently. They are also incredibly forgiving. They are absolutely still a solid option for high handicappers.

Distance: 97/100

Forgiveness: 98/100

Workability: 94/100

Overall Performance: 96/100

Value: 96/100

Overall Score: 97/100

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