Iron Golf Clubs – Irons – Iron Sets – Golf Equipment

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This Season's Irons If you are in the market for a new set of irons, this complete list of clubs rated, reviewed and featured in GOLF Magazine in 2008 is a great place to start your search. The star ratings (from one to five) are drawn from ClubTest features. Adams: Idea Pro Gold Hybrid | Idea a3 | Idea a3 OS Bridgestone: J36 Cavity Back | J36 Blades Back Callaway: Tour Authentic X-Prototype |FT | FTi-brid | X-22 Tour | X-20 Tour | Big Bertha Cleveland: HiBore XLi | CG Gold | CG Red | CG Tour Cobra: Pro MB | Pro CB | UFi | FP | S9 MacGregor: MT Pro-C Maruman: 2007 Majesty Prestigio Mizuno: MP-52 | MP-57 | MX-100 | MX-950 Nicklaus: Polarity MTR Nike: Victory Red Forged Split Cavity | Slingshot 4D | Sasquatch Sumo Ping: Rapture V2 | i10 | G10 | S57 TaylorMade: Tour Preferred | Burner XD | Burner Plus | r7 TP | r7 CGB Max Titleist: AP1 | AP2 | ZB Forged Tour Edge: GeoMax Wilson: Ci7
2 of 15 Schecter Lee
TaylorMade r7 TP $799, steel We tested: 4-PW in True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shaft. Shaft length/loft (6-iron): 37.25"/31° Company line: "Minimal offset and a flatter lie angle give those with tour-caliber hand action total control over direction and flight. The shallow cavity creates a higher CG, making it easier to work shots left, right, high and low." Voted Best for Distance in 2007 ClubTest Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Those who struggle with distance will love these; repeatable trajectory patterns; nice balance between correction and playability; larger, muscular heads provide a good deal of help in rough; center shots feel flush, off-center shots have no real sting; fun irons, you can forget about everything except the target; head mass is easy to feel; can hit it high or low with ease. CONS: Not pure finesse clubs, chips seem to come off too hot; satisfying performers but they don't "wow" you; crystal-clear feedback is sacrificed for pleasant feel. "These will add distance to your iron game." — Jon Dobberstein (7) Rate and Review this club
3 of 15 Schecter Lee
TaylorMade Tour Preferred $899, steel; $1,099, graphite Construction: Cast stainless steel • Inverted cone behind the hitting area contributes to consistent distance on mis-hits. • Thinner topline, shorter blade and less offset (for more workability) than r7 TP. • Undercut cavity spreads more weight to the heel and toe than r7 TP. • Sole's beveled trailing edge limits turf interaction.
4 of 15 Schecter Lee
Ping G10 $699, steel; $899, graphite We tested: 4-9, PW, UW, SW in Ping AWT steel shaft. Shaft length/loft (6-iron): 37.25"/30.5° Company line: "The thickness and shape of the 'custom tuning port' stabilizes the face and provides discretionary weight, which is repositioned to the low toe and perimeter for maximum forgiveness. An elastomer insert helps to produce a solid feel and sound." Voted Best for Forgiveness in 2008 ClubTest Our Test Panel Says: PROS: It pardons your mistakes; plays quite silky; high, soaring straight ball flight makes it impressive off a tee; chips are under control with this midsize head; better-than-average distance; great combination of accuracy and forgiveness, keeps mis-hits in play; easy-swinging long irons; very soft, shock-absorbent feel; laser-guided accuracy. CONS: Offset can lead you too far left if you're not careful; smooth feel all over the face means less feedback on mis-hits; easy to draw but much more difficult to fade. "Big sweet spot reduces sidespin, really keeps shots on line." — Dave Daumit (15) Rate and Review this club
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Maruman 2007 Majesty Prestigio Irons $6,4000 This Japanese company claims to have developed the first metal wood (TaylorMade would disagree), but they can certainly claim the priciest set of irons you've never heard of. Their flagship range is the Majestic Series, which features the Prestigio men's iron set, made from a combination of stainless and maraging steel that has been strengthened from the previous model to minimize energy loss at impact. And since you're spending so much, you might as well get the 2007 Majesty Prestigio Driver ($2,499) and a Fairway Wood ($1,750).
6 of 15 Schecter Lee
Cobra S9 $699, steel; $799, graphite We tested: 4-GW in Graphite Design YS graphite shaft. Shaft length/loft (6-iron): 37.5"/28.5° Company line: "A three-piece polymer topline allows 13 grams to be redistributed lower in the heel and toe, for a lower CG, higher MOI, higher launch and more accuracy. The wide sole has a chamfer relief in the center section to limit turf contact." Voted Best for Accuracy in 2008 ClubTest Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Tops for accuracy in the test; wonderful balance of help on mis-hits while still hitting it where you want it, not where it's programmed; feel is a strong suit, impact is pure, crisp and smooth; offset head is not so obtrusive; nice, balanced feel on chips; S9 has a very clean look for a max game-improvement club; consistent, repeatable distances on solid strikes; oval aid on the face helps to line up. CONS: Generous, but not as forgiving as some pre-programmed competitors; mis-hits are less kind to distance than direction. "Perfect clubs for high handicappers." — Bud Adler Rate and Review this club
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Cobra Pro CB $849, steel We tested: 2-GW in Royal Precision Rifle Project X steel shaft. Shaft length/loft (6-iron): 37.5"/30° Company line: "A forged cavity-back iron with short hosel and lower center of gravity, to produce a high ball flight. Its thin topline, minimal offset and narrow sole provide workability with some forgiveness. A rounded sole camber improves turf interaction." Voted Best for Playability in 2008 ClubTest Voted Best for Feel in 2008 ClubTest Our Test Panel Says: PROS: How an iron should look; smooth impact feel; good forgiveness for a compact blade; very rewarding feedback; user friendly on downhill lies because the clubs get the ball up quickly; gap wedge fits perfectly in the set; exquisite playability; superb shotmaking versatility; if you think hitting shots on target time after time is boring then avoid these; lovely, soft feel on chips. CONS: Miss severely and these bite you; slight mis-hits can be a crapshoot from rough; for some, too much of a ballstriker's club past the 6-iron. "Very playable, predictable, accurate, with a touch of forgiveness." — Lee Neisler (3)
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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.
9 of 15 Schecter Lee
Callaway FTi-brid $1,299, steel; $1,499, graphite Set makeup: 3 (19°), 4 (22°), 5 (25°) in i-Brid, and FT i-brid 6-iron to PW • Hybrids: The "i-Brid" looks and feels like an iron but plays more like a wood-based hybrid. The clubface has bulge and roll, while shaft lengths vary by 3/4-inch (rather than the typical 1/2-inch) increments to ensure that you hit clubs different distances. • Irons: Heavy tunite (tungsten and nickel) plugs in the heel and toe improve head stability. The titanium body has a wide sole and a low, deep center of gravity to get shots airborne. A solid chunk of thermoplastic pressed against the face leads to crisp impact sound. Rate and Review this club
10 of 15 Schecter Lee
Bridgestone J36 Blade $799, steel Construction: Forged from 1020 carbon steel Finish: Satin chrome • Project X Flighted shafts have progressive weight and kickpoint; long irons are lightest and have the lowest kickpoint, short irons are heaviest with the highest kickpoint. • The club's tapered sole shifts the center of gravity (CG) nearer to the middle of the face, while the cutaway along the back edge helps to handle assorted lies. • More weight distributed higher in the head leads to a penetrating ball flight. Rate and Review This Club
11 of 15 Schecter Lee
Bridgestone J36 Cavity Back $799, steel We tested: 3-PW in Rifle Project X Flighted steel shaft. Shaft length/loft (6-iron): 37.25"/31° Company line: "Forged from 1020 mild carbon steel, for the ultimate in soft feel. The U-grooves provide spin and distance control. Progressive "muscle cavity" height— thinnest in 3-iron, thickest in PW— creates a descending weight concentration so the greatest amount of feel and control are in the short irons." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Instantaneous feedback— shots struck on the sweet spot stimulate the senses; a beautiful iron for the precise player; capable performers from a variety of conditions; wonderful balance; better players will be magical with these; par savers for sure on chip shots; incredibly responsive clubs; good contact feels like the ball sinks into the club and stays on the face. CONS: Least-forgiving iron tested; severely punishes wobbly swings; shortest carry distance on center hits. "An exacting, accurate set geared for the pure ballstriker." — Barry Fasenmyer (4) Rate and Review this club
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Adams Idea a3 OS $599, steel; $699, graphite We tested: 3-PW in Grafalloy ProLaunch Platinum graphite shaft. Shaft length/loft (6-iron): 38.25"/28° Company line: Our hybrids (3, 4 and 5) have 'Boxer' technology, which results in high MOI for more forgiveness and a straighter and longer ball flight. Iron-like hybrids (6- to 8-iron) have more weight low and back for high-launching, easy-to-hit approach shots." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: These deliver high, straight shots with great consistency; hybrids are extra-long off the tee; stable and well balanced throughout the swing; shots hold their desired line; no harsh feedback to speak of; meaty clubhead is clearly noticeable throughout the swing; reliable distances from fairway and rough. CONS: Testers find that executing delicate chips with the big clubhead can be a challenge; little feel on chips, impact is heard rather than felt; the different colors and contours can be distracting. "Very good distance forgiveness on toe or heel hits." — Peter Kraus (20) Rate and Review this club
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Adams Idea a3 $499, steel; $599, graphite We tested: 3-5 in Grafalloy ProLaunch Red graphite shaft; 6-PW in True Temper Players Lite steel shaft. Shaft Length/loft (6-iron): 37.875"/29° Company line: "Our hybrid iron set has breakthrough shaping and category-leading MOI, as much as 70 percent higher than other leading hybrids. The set transitions to hollow-back middle irons and cavity-back short irons." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Three different head designs provide a club to get you out of any kind of trouble; hybrids are clearly longer than standard long irons; innovative concept blends three head types into one set with relatively traditional-looking lines; small, rounded heads on short irons offer reliable control. CONS: Strong feedback could be too much when you miss the sweet spot; steel-shafted irons don't always seem to match graphite hybrids; surprisingly, off-center hits with irons lose noticeable distance. "Plays well from trouble lies, scorches through rough." — Eric English (13) Rate and Review this club
14 of 15 Schecter Lee
Adams Idea Pro Gold Hybrid $899, steel; $1,099, graphite Construction: Forged 8620 carbon steel • A thin sole and topline and a squarish toe should appeal to skilled players. • Milled grooves with 14 percent more volume should boost control. • Combines forged cavity-back irons (5-PW) with Idea Pro Gold hybrids. Hybrids (which replace standard 3- and 4-irons) produce a flattish, piercing ball flight. • Constant offset throughout the set allows increased workability.
15 of 15 Schecter Lee
TaylorMade r7 CGB Max $1,099, steel; $1,299, graphite We tested: 4-PW in REAX SuperFast Black Steel 90 steel shaft. Shaft length/loft (6-iron): 37.25"/26° Company line: "The large head employs tungsten weights for greater stability. Our 'inverted cone technology' promotes higher ball velocity on off-center hits for greater distance. Hollow topline contributes to easy launch and towering, distance-enhancing flight." Voted Best for Feel in 2008 ClubTest Our Test Panel Says: PROS: A great overall performer; excellent distance from any situation; goes where you want it and forgives all but the worst sins; repeatable high flight; easy escapes from rough; sweet, pured feel on good hits plus enough feedback (but not harsh) on misses; two thumbs up for cosmetics, due to masculine profile, satin topline and shiny finish. CONS: Minor complaints only: hard to stop shots from downhill lies; less draw-bias than many others could be trouble for chronic slicers. "Forgiving and forceful at the same time." — Roger Liau (20) Rate and Review this club