5 new iron models that will help high-handicappers
October 05, 2011
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Take a look at five new sets of irons designed to help high-handicap golfers hit shots higher, farther and straighter.
Cleveland HiBore XLi
$599, steel; $699, graphite
HiBore XLi incorporates some current HiBore features (hollow heads throughout the set) with a few new wrinkles of its own. For starters, each iron is better equipped to handle its specific role. Hybrid-like long irons (3 and 4) are more forgiving (higher MOI) than HiBore due to a bigger chassis and squarish shape. Plus, the short irons are more nimble (though they won't be confused with blades) because of a more compact head, shorter blade length and thinner topline.
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This upgraded model should provide maximum help for players with moderate ball speeds. Low-profile utility clubs (3 to 5) have weight low and rearward, with draw bias, to get shots up. The center of gravity in hybrids (6 and 7) is more heel side than in the previous Transition-S, for greater draw bias. Wide-soled short irons (8 to PW) have a two-piece silicone insert to control vibration and sweeten feel. A harder silicone layer rests against the face while a softer piece is visible in the cavity.
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$599, steel; $699, graphite
Company testing shows that average golfers, in general, mis-hit iron shots toward the toe. That explains why the MX-100 has a new cavity design, called "Y-Tune," that expands the sweet spot toward the toe. In addition, hybrids (which replace the 4- and 5-irons) have a "drop down" crown that lowers the club's center of gravity and raises the probability of an easy takeoff; mid irons (6- and 7-iron) have a deep undercut cavity; short irons (8-iron to gap wedge) have a thick solid bar behind the sweet spot to maintain crisp feel.
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Ping Rapture V2
$1,199, steel; $1,399, graphite
The major change between the original Rapture and the Rapture V2 is the weightand location of a dense tungsten plug. In Rapture V2, the 45- to 70-gram plug (lightest in long irons, heaviest in short) is positioned in the sole. By contrast, Rapture has a 25-gram plug in the toe area of the cavity. Performance-wise, V2 launches shots higher and provides more head stability (4 percent higher MOI) than Rapture. The higher launch, in fact, allows Ping to strengthen lofts (by 1.5°) and bolster carry distance.
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TaylorMade Burner Plus
$599, steel; $799, graphite
The large, thin face with an inverted cone in the rear increases ball speed and normalizes distance on misses. The wide sole moves the CG rearward, making it more suitable for sweepers than diggers. The sole's beveled rear section helps the Burner Plus handle turf like an iron with a narrower sole. The Burner Plus Combo ($100 more) includes two hybrids (replacing the 3- and 4-irons) plus 5-iron to PW. The two hybrids have an identical loft and shaft length as Burner Plus long irons. This is to generate the same ball speed and carry distance. Of course, hybrids produce a higher spin rate and launch angle, for higher ball flight.
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