Don’t Beg for Forgiveness

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Don't Beg for Forgiveness Instead let these smooth sticks do it for you March 2007 Cobra S9 The low-profile, multi-material heads are chock-full of cool technologies. A urethane sole insert is used to displace mass (10 grams in short irons, 20 grams in long irons) from the center of the head to the heel and toe, so you get serious help on off-center hits. A polymer top line enhances feel and forgiveness. Using this lightweight material means 8 additional grams can be positioned low and to the club's perimeter. Lastly, these babies have strong lofts (for example, the PW is 44 degrees) for the distance-challenged. $720 (steel), $960 (graphite); cobragolf.com Photo: Greg Lord
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TaylorMade r7 An updated "inverted cone" in the cavity -- it's larger and oval in shape -- means more of the face produces faster ball speeds on mis-hits. That is, your misses carry nearly as far as center strikes. You'll appreciate the easy and high launch, and skilled players can embrace a fair amount of workability. By comparison, this model has a thicker top line, wider sole and a bit more offset than r7 TP. $840 (steel), $1,080 (graphite); taylormadegolf.com Photo: Greg Lord
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Nike Ignite Expect these oversize sticks to heat up your game. The thin face, deep undercut cavity and wide sole contribute to a stable hitting platform and high takeoffs. Adding to the player-friendliness is a large face profile and plenty of offset. A 3-hybrid replaces the standard 3-iron to help you deliver higher-arcing and softer-landing shots. $499 (steel), $599 (graphite); nikegolf.com Photo: Greg Lord
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Ping Rapture This club is more than simply the "next-generation G5." It's engineered with a higher inertia (twist resistance) for noticeably more forgiveness. The key update is a titanium face insert in place of stainless steel. The exchange saves 25 grams, which get molded around the head to help your misses. Previous titanium-face irons had been guilty of spotty feel. But Rapture shouldn't feel hard, harsh or tinny due to the soft polyurethane "custom tuning port" in the cavity. $1,120 (steel), $1,300 (graphite); pinggolf.com Photo: Greg Lord
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Cleveland HiBore If you love hybrids but thrash about with irons, the HiBores could be right for you. This set (3-PW) is more like a collection of hybrids than a conventional iron set. Ever hit a hybrid with a 9-iron loft? It's a pleasure. In fact, the inverted crown design—more weight low and rear—makes liftoff with any iron as smooth and forgiving as a 757. HiBores prove to be adequate for chips, too. The 3-and 4-irons feature bulge and roll -- characteristics normally found in woods -- to boost control. $799 (steel), $949 (graphite); clevelandgolf.com Photo: Greg Lord