Friday, May 2, 2008
2008 Iron Buyer's Guide
When it comes to buying a new set of irons, be sure to pick a set that?s made for your game and swing. The right set of irons will always perform better than a set that?s not properly fitted to your needs.
Aside from the use of multiple materials, there really hasn’t been many major technical enhancements to irons in years. Thus, manufacturers have been taking a fresh approach to the lineup you select for your bag, which is why mix-and-match sets are starting to blossom. Many companies are getting rid of the long irons and offering hybrids as adequate iron replacements. Other companies, such as Bridgestone, aren’t abandoning the eight-iron configuration, but are presenting more choices within that arrangement. The company’s new J36 irons are offered in three clubhead types—cavity-back, pocket cavity and blade—that can be mixed in any way you can dream up. The clubs not only all look alike from the address view, but they share common subtleties, as well, such as cosmetics, and progressive top line and sole thickness. “It’s a very smooth transition from one club to the next,” says Danny Le, Bridgestone Golf’s marketing manager. “We designed them to be three sets blended together. The concept here is forgiving long irons, stable mid-irons and controlling short irons. We built the set around that concept. When you transition from the pocket to the cavity to the blade, it’s all the same graphics. So in your bag or at address, the head shapes all look like one another.” Performance and feel also blend seamlessly together—no matter how you divide these types of iron sets. You’ll also find the clubhead size progression to be gentle and
the offset to typically get less as you get more toward the blades. Several other companies like Titleist, PING and Mizuno also manufacture iron sets that are designed to be mixed, making it that much easier to find the ideal blend. —Scott Kramer
Cleveland HiBOREKey Feature: Every club in the HiBORE set features an Inverted Crown Design and Full Hollow Construction, resulting in an iron with a deep and low CG. They’re mega-forgiving.
What We Like: The progressive sole width and bulge and roll design on the longer clubs make this set surprisingly versatile.
Who It’s For: Mid- to high-handicappers looking for some extreme forgiveness.
Clubhead: Stainless Steel • Clubface: Same Design: Hollow-body • Custom Options: Yes Clubs: 3-PW • Shafts: HiBORE steel (S, R, A); HiBORE Silver by Graphite Design graphite (S, R, A); Custom shafts available
clevelandgolf.com | $599
Cobra S9Key Feature: Multi-material design featuring three-piece polymer topline and urethane sole insert. Optimized weighting provides low CG and high MOI for extreme forgiveness.
What We Like: Cobra designers pushing the envelope with innovative urethane insert, polymer topline and low profile/wide sole design.
Who It’s For: Players who want a high-tech iron that looks good and is easy to hit.
Clubhead: Stainless steel, Polymer, Urethane Clubface: Stainless steel • Design: Multi-material cavity-back • Custom Options: Yes Â• Clubs: 3-LW • Shafts: Nippon Pro 900 XH steel (90g), Cobra/Graphite Design YS graphite (55g)
cobragolf.com | $960 graphite
F2 F2 Series Plus IronsKey Feature: The company’s Face-Forward design, which eliminates shanked shots by putting the face in front of the hosel.
What We Like: These irons are creative, and at address they don’t look all that different than a standard set of irons (especially as they get longer). They’re also effective at preventing twisting and turning in the rough.
Who It’s For: Those who want to never hear the s-word (shank) again.
Clubhead: Stainless steel • Clubface: Same Design: Cast cavity-back • Custom Options: N/A • Clubs: 4-PW • Shafts: F2 proprietary graphite (S, R)
f2golf.com | $599
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