By Ed Travis
Having the proper irons can make all the difference in your scoring and the best way to ensure the set you are carrying meets your needs is to be fitted by a PGA Professional. Iron makers are using many of the features found in drivers such as more flexible faces and multi-material construction to improve performance, forgiveness and distance. So if you are playing with a set a few years old now is the time to look at what club manufacturers are offering. For the coming season here are some of the new models we think are worth consideration.
TaylorMade Golf researched how amateur golfers contact the ball and found 76% of all iron shots are not struck in the center of the face where the greatest ball speeds are produced. This fact lead them two years ago to introducing a slot in the sole which improved off center impacts especially those low on the club face and made the RocketBladez, SpeedBlades and SLDR irons very popular.
For 2015 TMaG is introducing the RSi line ($799 steel and $899 graphite) that takes the improved impact idea a step further. In a first and what may be game changing design the RSi models have not only a sole slot but in the 3 through 8 irons two slots in the face—one towards the toe and one towards the heel. The company says this it provides all golfers with the “technology to have their mis-hits perform more like pure strikes.”
Adams Golf known for their golfer-friendly hybrids has the new Idea Tech Hybrid Iron set–designed specifically for golfers with slower swing speeds to hit the ball higher and with more distance than traditional irons. They added a 24-gram weight in the back of the hybrids (3-5) making the center of gravity lower and further back than any previous Adams hybrid for better trajectory. They also have in the 6-iron through pitching wedge a redesigned wrap-around slot that stretches from the toe across the sole of the club and into the crown. A set of 3-5 Hybrid, 6-7 Driving Hybrid and 8-PW Hybrid Irons is $800 in steel and $900 in graphite.
Hollow irons aren’t new but when made by Mizuno Golf, known for its history of excellence in irons, they are worth a look. The new MP-H5 model ($1,000 3-PW) is meant for those using traditional-design irons but who want the benefit of more distance and technology. Through the 6-iron there is a full hollow construction and for the 7-pitching wedge a half-hollow head with all having a thin line top line and good forgiveness characteristics.
The new G30 irons from Ping Golf have progressive offset with a new thinner face to help launch the ball high yet, the company says, significantly farther. Ball speed has been improved with Ping’s Custom Tuning Port that sits very low to strengthen the face plus the center of gravity has been moved lower and further back to help improve the launch trajectory and give a solid feel. The clubheads of the G30s are slightly longer to increase the modulus of inertia to reduce twisting should the impact be off center. Also the sole has been given a softer lead-edge radius with slightly more bounce to give a smoother path through turf. Retail price for 4-pitching wedge with steel shafts is $700 and with graphite shafts $790.