Powerbilt Air Force One N7 Irons Review
By Kickntrue on 4/14/10
Reviewed by Andrew Brown, oobgolf contributor
10.0 - 9.5 Would Help Tiger
9.4 - 8.5 Awesome
8.4 - 7.5 Very good
7.4 - 6.5 Above Average
6.4 - 4.5 Solid
4.4 - 3.5 Below Average
3.4 - 2.5 Save Your Money
2.4 - 0.0 Pay NOT to own
Powerbilt is not necessarily a name that jumps to the forefront of your mind when thinking about major golf manufacturers, but they've actually been building golf equipment longer than almost everybody (since 1916). Their equipment used to be much more prominent and their making strides to regain market share and respect in the golf industry by utilizing innovative technology and the willingness to be different. Last year they introduced a new Driver- The Air Force One, where the head of the club was actually filled with pressurized Nitrogen to increase the trampoline effect, C.O.R., and Smash Factor of their big stick. The results were longer shots, perfect for anyone looking for more distance and perfect for their core audience, players with slightly slower swing speeds.
What I'll be reviewing here today is a new item to the Powerbilt line- the Air Force One N7 Irons. They've taken the same technology that worked in their driver and have added it to their set of irons. Specifically, I'll be reviewing a combo set- so the 3-7 irons feature a nitrogen filled chamber and the 8,9 and PW have a more traditional cavity back design.
When a golfer strikes a golf ball, the goal is to compress the face of the club. The problem most golfers experience, and they don't know this, is, most golfers can not compress the face of the club because golf clubs are built to be tested at 110 MPH, per U.S.G.A. protocol. If a golfer does not swing his driver at 110 MPH, he can not compress the face of the club and does not experience the Trampoline Effect.To learn more about Powerbilt's Air Force One technology - visit Powerbilt.com.
A lot of game improvement clubs have to sacrifice a traditional golf club appearance to achieve their technological goals. The Powerbilt Air Force One N7 Irons handle this tricky balance pretty well. The top line isn't as thin as a lot of golfers would like it to be and when you're standing over the ball with a 5 iron you're going to see the back of the club, but overall they do a good job of looking like you'd want a club to setup. As you move down the set- they start to look better and better. The top line is still a little thick at the PW but no more so than most sets available on the market including including a TaylorMade R9 or Burner iron. The soles match those of other game improvement type clubs; they're definitely NOT shovels, which is a killer to me. Overall- I have positive feelings towards the look of these N7 Irons. You just need to be aware of the fact that the technology of the nitrogen-filled chambers make it so you will see the back of the club at setup. It's much more like an iron than a hybrid, but it could turn some people off.
I had 5 different people hit the Powerbilt Air Force One N7 irons and we all agreed on one fact- they absolutely LAUNCHED the ball. That really shouldn't be a surprise- since that's exactly what they're made to do. The intended audience for the N7 irons is someone who's game could utilize additional technology to increase their distance. I think it's fair to say I hit the 6 iron I was testing with as far as I've ever hit any six iron- maybe 200-210 yards (usually a 4 hybrid distance for me).
In exchange for the massive distance you do give up feel. These wouldn't be a great set for someone who really needs to manipulate the ball on a regular basis. You can hit a cut shot or draw a ball in but you're not going to get the same feedback a set of muscle-backs or blades is going to provide making it a little harder to consistently pull off the shots. If you're in that category of player- these probably aren't for you. Since that's about 10%-15% of golfers- the rest of us can deal with hitting long straight shots, right?
The retail price on a set of Powerbilt Air Force One N7 Irons is $599 though you can get your hands on them for about $100 less. Sounds like about what you'd expect to pay for new irons, right?
Overall - 7.1
I've been in the golf industry (or on the fringes of it) long enough to hear people talk, and it's funny what people say about Powerbilt. I've heard representatives from major golf manufacturers laugh off Powerbilt as a gimmicky company. Whether you see Powerbilt in that way is a matter of personal opinion- but here's what I see: 1) Powerbilt has been around longer, and 2) At least Powerbilt is really to try something new that actually advances the technology of the club in a new and radical way. What does it tell you that players on the PGA Tour were willing to play 20 year old wedges earlier this season? Sure- it says grooves matter, but it also tells me there hasn't actually been that much innovation in the last 20 years. Powerbilt is shooting for innovation.
The Air Force One N7 Irons aren't for everyone- but if your biggest issue is distance- I believe these clubs will legitimately help you in that pursuit. If you're pretty satisfied with your irons- but have trouble hitting a 3 or 4 iron or hybrid- you may want to try to track down an individual club from this set. It hits like an iron with the distance of the hybrid.
Learn More at Powerbilt.com
[ comments ]
Nice review, Andrew.
I am holding out for the helium-filled irons
Torleif Sorenson says:
My slower swing speed seemingly fits into Powerbilt's target audience, so I really appreciate your points about the ability to draw or face, but that you didn't receive the feedback -- something I crave. As far as Powerbilt's explanation of the Trampoline Effect, I'm assuming that these thin-faced clubs are still USGA-compliant and within the rules. I'm also used to seeing Powerbilt clubs in the "used" section; your review really gives me something to think about in comparing sets of clubs.
@bplewis24 is right -- well done, Andrew.
power what?! cough who cares cough
this 'technology' sounds specious, at best.
Patrick McKay says:
Lots of new stuff has come out this season....maybe we can review those things as well?
I got the N7 irons, but mine are nitrogen filled 4 thru PW.
They have a great feel to them and are very accurate. They set up similar to the Callaway Fusion and are longer than my previous fusions set by 5 to 10 yards.
I like them!
I have played a half dozen rounds with my N7 irons and love them. Easily a club longer than my Adams Idea A7OS irons. I love the lower more penetrating ball flight these irons give, plus I can work the ball no problem. The morons who replied negatively shouldn't comment unless they tried them. Typical close minded people.
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