Now is the time to start thinking of new irons—irons that will take your game to the next level. You will find manufacturers’ offerings for 2015 have lots of new technology to help you hit the ball more accurately with better trajectory and added distance.
And, as you have heard many times previously, the place to start (after reading this article of course) is with a local PGA Professional who knows all the inside information you need to make an intelligent decision. Remember one of the best ways to cut strokes off your score is better iron play so let’s make 2015 the year you lower your scores with new irons…and maybe a couple of lessons from your pro.
Adams Blue Combo set uses their Easy Launch System to help getting the ball in the air easily with a sole slot and a low and back center of gravity. The combo set starts with a 3 and 4 hybrid with high launch and draw bias. The irons, 5 through pitching wedge, have a moderate offset and share SlimTech shafts with a smaller diameter tip with the hybrids. $700 with steel shafts and $800 with graphite.
Ben Hogan Golf
A mythic name…Ben Hogan, both as a player and club designer, but for the past several years the brand has not been available. That’s now changed with the introduction of the Fort Worth 15 forged perimeter iron, each set custom fit using their online HoganFit system. Retail for $150 per club with either KBS Tour V or KBS Tour 90 steel shafts and $165 per club with UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts.
The J15 series from Bridgestone consists of four forged models aimed at players of different skill levels, all with clean classic lines and their new Sure Contact Sole. The standard 4 through pitching wedge sets have a street price of $790 for J15MB (muscle back), J15CB (cavity back) and J15DPF (dual pocket forged), while a standard set of J15DF (driving forged) are $880.
The new 2-piece XR Irons (4-iron through attack wedge, steel $800, graphite $900 ) are Callaway’s first cavity back, cup-faced irons using the principles of construction originally found in fairways which along with a lower center of gravity give the iron better performance. The XR Pro (steel $900, 4-iron through attack wedge) use the same cup-face 2-piece design and Callaway’s Internal Standing Wave.
Cobra Fly-Z and Fly-Z XL irons have a Speed Channel and use a hollow construction in the 4- through 8-irons to give more face flex than the old Bio Cell line which they replace. The XL model is the higher launch design. We particularly liked the very nice combo sets. In the Fly-Z XL set of 4-, 5- and 6-H, 7-iron through gap wedge with graphite shafts for $700 or a Fly-Z set of 3- and 4- hybrids plus 6 irons with graphite shafts for $900.
This is a big year for introductions by Mizuno with the new JPX-850 ($900) for mid-range handicap players and the JPX-850 Forged ($1,000 steel shafts) for low handicappers. Both have Mizuno’s Power Frame construction. For scratch handicaps there are the MP-15s ($1,000) with a titanium muscle insert in the backs of the forged heads. Also interesting are the MP-H5s ($1,000) with hollow construction through the 6-iron and half hollow in the 7 through pitching wedge.
The Nike Vapor Pro and Vapor Speed irons have a “Modern Muscle” construction making use of plugs made of tungsten that push the center of gravity towards the center of the clubface for better results on off center impacts. A Vapor Pro set of 3 through pitching wedge retail for $1,000 with steel shafts and the Vapor Speed $800 for the 4 through attack wedge also with steel shafts. The Vapor Pro Combo models have a hollow cavity in the long irons, the Nike RZN cavity in short irons and sell for $1,100 for 4-iron through attack wedge.
The G30 irons have progressive lengths and a thin face to help give better launch conditions for faster ball speeds, the keys to more distance and accuracy. Ping’s Custom Tuning Port and undercut cavity position the center of gravity low and back for a solid feel. A set of G30s comprised of 4-iron through utility wedge is $800 with steel shafts and $900 with graphite shafts.
TMaG’s latest, the RSi family, offer a potentially ground breaking design being the first irons to not only have what is now very common, a slot in sole, but two slots added in the clubface. We found through extensive on course testing the new design makes them much more forgiving on off-center impacts not to mention added distance. There are three models starting with the RSi 1 (4-iron through attach wedge, $800 in steel and $900 graphite) which have a really thin clubface and very large sweet spot. The multi-material RSi 2s ($1,000 steel and $1,200 graphite) have forged faces in the short irons and the RSi TP ($1,200 in steel only) were specifically designed for tour players.
Tour Edge Golf
The new Exotics E8 model has a deep undercut cavity and tungsten weighting in the heel and toe to help the squaring of the clubface at impact. The increased moment of inertia not only make them very forgiving but adds distance and control especially when the ball is not hit in the center of the face. Exotics E8 carry a retail price of $600 with steel shafts or $800 with graphite, which given the quality and performance should put them on your list.
Wilson’s D200 Irons ($600 steel and $700 graphite) have their new Speed Sole Technology, a thin face-to-sole transition giving them rebound characteristics similar to drivers. The increased ball speed combined with toe and heel weight pods make them very playable. The Staff FG V4 forged irons have an 18-gram tungsten sole weight in the 3- through 7-irons to lower the center of gravity and increase launch angle without changing spin. They retail for $900 and a nickel-chrome finish is standard.
The Z-Force irons ($720) have a super deep undercut cavity with a larger cast clubhead for high launch and improved control. Stablemate model EZone Tri-G Composite irons have a large clubhead with a very thin face and what Yonez calls a 3D sole combing to give forgiveness and accuracy. Weight distribution is controlled by the use of a carbon plate matched to tungsten weights placed towards the sole.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?