New Irons from Callaway, Ping and Mizuno

There is strength in numbers–low numbers. Big numbers are the enemy, and they must be dealt with ruthlessly. For all the shouting about bigger, badder drivers, it's your irons that still do the dirty work. They are your bayonets when the combat draws close, when the hole is in sight and you want to make that stinking flag duck for cover. Three of the game's best iron makers now present arms and offer you precision tools to fight the good fight.

Big Bertha

The fifth generation of Big Bertha irons takes tried-and-true Callaway design elements and increases their usefulness. A larger notch–more weight moved from the center of the head to the heel and toe–and a deeper undercut channel combine to spread mass to the club's perimeter. Callaway says the club resists twisting 8 percent better than the current Bertha, so you won't be penalized as much for your errors. For 2006, the club's wide constant-width sole, which limits digging, and TruBore hosel design, which aids control, remain unchanged. If you're still swinging the '02 model, you'll see plenty to make you want to upgrade. Big Bertha '04 players may not see quite enough to make the jump. $760 (steel), $999 (graphite); 800-588-9836 or{


The new G5 is the focal point of Ping's iron franchise, but the Ping i5 is a dynamite option for those seeking more leeway to maneuver the ball. The i5 has a smaller head, narrower sole, less offset and lower bounce than G5. In other words, you can cut a 6-iron to that front-right pin when the angry, hungover greens-crew guy places it behind that bunker. The club is also nearly as forgiving as the G5. (Both have a parallel cavity design to limit head twist.) Ping recommends a custom-fitting before purchase. $920 (steel), $1,160 (graphite); 800-474-6434 or


Mizuno's MP-32 won "Testers' Top Pick" in Golf Magazine's ClubTest 2005. For an encore, the company rolls out forged MP-60 irons. They're larger (by 4 percent) with a moderate cavity to give you the flexibility to shape shots in a more forgiving club. The "Cut Muscle" in the cavity moves the center of gravity deeper — farther from the face. The benefits are a similar feel to traditional blades with added help and a mid-trajectory ball flight. You'll see the biggest difference in the long irons. MP-60s make it easier to get shots airborne on a higher trajectory. $1,200 (steel); 800-966-1211 or