CATEGORY: Max Game Improvement Irons
PRICE: $700, steel; $750, graphite
WE TESTED: 5–AW with Nippon N.S. Pro Zelos 8 steel shafts and 5–AW with UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The wide sole flange pulls weight away from the face to help shots get airborne.
PLAYABILITY: If you want to hit soaring shots, these are for you; hefty sole makes quick work of all kinds of trouble lies; prefers straight shots but capable of moving it side to side.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: One of the best -- crazy forgiving, thanks to the hefty sole; produces little sidespin -- shots go straight all day long; misses don't lose a ton of distance or fly far off line.
DISTANCE CONTROL: A real strength; repeatable through the set, especially the short irons; low spin delivers ample carry -- for some, as long as anything they hit all week.
FEEL: Incredibly stable through impact, regardless of the lie; crisp, clean sensation lets you know how you hit it without feeling harsh; weighty through the swing.
LOOK: Massive sole makes you think you can smash through just about anything; surprisingly simple to set up -- the big flange helps with alignment.
The unique look isn't a tester favorite; a few guys find that impact feels a bit hard, particularly on misses; spin rates are on the low side, so sometimes shots don't hold greens as well as testers would like.
BOTTOM LINE: Don't let the quirky look fool you: The Bridgestone JGR is one of the top-performing Max Game Improvement irons in our test. It provides outstanding length, forgiveness and all-terrain control. Higherhandicappers need to give this one a try.
MORE INFO ON THE BRIDGESTONE JGR IRONS
From GOLF.com, January 25, 2016:
JGR Hybrid Forged Irons ($699 steel, $749 graphite) feature a two-piece forged design with a carbon steel body and alloy face that the company says features the lowest and deepest CG of any forged club available today.
The unsupported face, which wraps around the sole of the club, is extremely thin, creating enhanced rebound and ballspeed at impact. The large, fin-like sole is designed to make the JGR irons playable from just about any lie in all types of turf conditions.
The JGR family will be available at retail on March 4th.-- Michael Chwasky