New Level NLU-01 Utility Iron Review

50 Words or Less

The New Level NLU-01 utility iron is even better than the 4995 HB.  Easily one of the best utility irons on the market, very possibly the best.

Introduction

From the moment I got it in hand, the New Level 4995 HB utility iron [review HERE] has been in my bag.  It’s been everything that I wanted in a 4 iron replacement – easy to elevate, versatile, consistent – and it’s fended off a wide array of challengers.  Is it possible that New Level Golf could produce something even better?  I tested the NLU-01 to find out.

Looks

There’s no question that the look at address is most important, but the NLU-01’s look in the bag is stunning, so I’m going to start there.  This is a perfect example of a club that’s eye-catching without veering too far from tradition.  The ridges at the bottom of the blade provide a distinctive feature, but the rest of the back is clean.  The mill marks beneath the “NL” logo make it pop better than neon paint fill ever could.

At address, the NLU-01 has less offset than its predecessor, which better players are going to love.  The top line is fractionally thicker, but it’s still slim enough to fit into the players/GI gap.  There is a little bit of sole that sticks out behind the top line.  Overall, this is a beautiful club that you’re going to love having in your bag.

Sound & Feel

If you want a utility iron that feels like your traditional irons, you will love the New Level NLU-01.  This is one of the softest feeling utility irons I’ve ever hit.  There’s a little bit of springy, trampoline feel when you catch one perfectly, but the overwhelming sensation is the ball melting into the face.

For those that have gamed the 4995, the NLU-01 lacks the “snap” of its predecessor.  The impact sound is negligible where the 4995 had a crisp, slightly explosive sound.

Performance

What most players need from a utility iron is help getting the ball airborne.  Unless you have elite speed, you need a good deal of launch to get proper distance gaps between your long irons.  The New Level NLU-01 excels at elevating the ball to a consistent trajectory regardless of the quality of contact.  Thin shots get lifted up, but pure strikes and even high-face strikes remain on a strong trajectory.

Regular readers know that I hit a low ball, which is why I typically don’t carry anything lower lofted than my 24 degree 4995.  The 21 degree NLU-01 has earned a spot in my bag because it launches the ball at the same angle as my 24 degree 4995 but with more ball speed and less spin for longer carry distances.

In addition to being forgiving in terms of launch angle, the NLU-01 is also brilliant at retaining ball speed.  We all know the feeling of swinging all out at a long approach and missing the center of the face by a wide margin.  The NLU-01 pardons these misses and creates a far better result than you deserve.

For the low handicap players out there, the NLU-01 provides plenty of opportunity for shotmaking.  This is a club that you can flight up or down and bend in either direction, provided you have the skills.

Finally, I need to highlight the value that New Level is offering.  The base price of the NLU-01 is $150, substantially less than most other utility irons.  At that price, you get it custom built to your specs with a variety of shaft options.  There are additional shafts available at an upcharge, but the highest priced build comes in at $230.  Good luck finding any other utility iron that comes close to this level of customization in that price range.

Conclusion

I never thought I’d see myself adding a 3 iron replacement to my bag, but the New Level Golf NLU-01 has earned the spot.  Thanks to a unique combination of ball speed, forgiveness, and perfect launch conditions, it creates a meaningful gap off my 4 iron and allows me more eagle opportunities.  The stellar looks and feel are a much appreciated bonus.  This club needs to be on your short list if you’re looking to replace some of your long irons.

New Level NLU-01 Utility Iron Price & Specs

The following two tabs change content below.

Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

16 Comments

  1. really love this feedback!! ive had the 18* 4995 for over a year. Its not the hottest face in the world but thats not what I was looking for. The 4995 gives me a beautiful flight and so much consistency!

    Im excited to hear about the reduced offset. That was my only complaint in the 18* 4995…. and price wise thats a steal. You can get a premium graphite shaft for the same price or cheaper than most stock utility irons out. Gonna go with a new 18* and probably 4i replacement this year to complete my NL 623m irons!

  2. Good looking club and nice review, as always, Matt. Eh…..somewhere, the folks at TE EXOTICS just groaned…… :-)

  3. Hey Matt,

    I’d reckon we have very similar characteristics… I too have been fit with the c-taper lites and have always struggled getting on with a 24* iron. How would you compare this club to the Pxg gen 2 xf iron when both are playing at 24* and all shafts being equal? What head will launch higher and offer more forgiveness? I know the gen 2 xf has more offset but forgiveness and playability wise what is easier to hit from your experience? I am planning to order a combo set of gen 2 irons xf in 5 and 6, p in 7 through pitch. I’m curious to hear how you compare this iron in 24* to the gen 2 xf.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  4. Kyle Peebles

    I love my 4995 HB 24 degree as well! I don’t think it is capable of hitting a terrible shot, a bad shot sure but I never seem to be too far off from my intended target line regardless of strike. New Level should be on everyone’s list of clubs to try. they just make high quality products a lower price point.

  5. How does it compare to the Tour Edge Exotics Ti-Utility? You gave that one an excellent review as well.

  6. Ordered :)

  7. Which club launches the highest the Titleist U510 or the NLU-01? Looking for the highest launching long iron out there with good dispersion and forgiveness.

    • Matt Saternus

      I haven’t tested them head to head but the Titleist might be slightly higher launching because it has more offset.

      -Matt

  8. How do these play compared the PXG 0211 long irons?

    I hit my 0211 4i pretty well, better than I expected, MMT80 stiff shaft – but just a smidgeon on the low side. Looking at the 0311xp gen 3, but NLU-01 cheaper. Thanks.

  9. Which shaft did you have in the iron tested?
    Do you see this more as a driving iron or is this an iron that can be played from a tight fairway lie?

  10. John O'Rorey

    How would this do in the “Rescue” category or compared to something like a GAPR Mid. I use a stiff shaft, and I’m looking to get rid of my 3 hybrid for a 3 utility iron.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*