2011 Buyer's Guide Irons

If you want to score your best, start with the right set of irons

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Idea Tech V3
When is an iron not really an iron anymore? The new Idea Tech V3s from Adams push the envelope in terms of hybrid sets, but what we specifically like is how they manage to make hybrid-irons look sleek, not heavy and clunky. Look for these clubs among 2011 Tech Award top contenders.
The CG16s follow suit with Cleveland’s new woods, which are lighter for more distance, but you wouldn’t know it, since they’re balanced so perfectly with standard swing weights. We also dig the color options, from Black Pearl (shown) to Satin Chrome. They too are another 2011 Tech Award contender.

Fitting School

Once you decide what model iron you’re going to buy, the right thing to do is to get them custom-fit for your swing. Luckily, just about every equipment manufacturer has some sort of clubfitting process that you can take advantage of.

Equipment Companies:

You can find Adams “Hybrid Fitting Carts” and “Distance Fitting Systems” (drivers) at various retailer locations around the country, or you can head to Texas and get the full Adams fitting experience at the Adams Golf Fitting Center located at the Practice Tee in Richardson, Texas. adamsgolf.com


The company hosts 4,000 demo days a year, but the 14 Performance Centers are where you can take advantage of Callaway’s “Callaway Performance Analysis System” and its “OptiFit Fitting System.” Or better yet, plop down some extra cash and visit the Callaway Performance Center just down the street from Callaway HQ in Carlsbad. It’ll blow your mind. (It did ours.) callawaygolf.com

You can find Cleveland’s wedge fitting carts at retailers all over, but the real stuff is at the Santa Ana-based Cleveland Golf Srixon Fitting Center. That’s where you’ll get a Tour-level fitting for every club in the bag. clevelandgolf.com

Hop online at cobragolf.com and look for a Demo Day in your neck of the woods. It’s the best way to not only learn more about Cobra’s products, but also get custom-fit on the spot for a new hybrid, wood or driver using Cobra’s Adjustable Flight Technology. cobragolf.com

Also at retailers across the U.S., Mizuno’s “Performance Fitting Systems” enable you to mix and match different woods with different shafts on the fly, making it faster and easier to find a perfect match. Also, Mizuno uses a cool device that monitors how the shaft is working during your swing. Cool stuff. mizunomatch.com

Look for a demo day online at nikegolf.com, and look for the multitiered approach Nike uses for fitting. Or better yet, hop online and check out the company’s “The Grind” website where you can share workout tips, what’s in your bag or even upload your swing for some peer-based feedback. nikegolf.com

Arguably, Ping knows fitting better than anyone. With five mobile fitting vans, 2,000 fitting centers in the U.S. and the company’s own “nFlight Fitting,” Ping will custom-fit every club in your bag. Or, take a try at using Ping’s web interface, Web-Fit for an online, static-fitting assessment. That’s a great place to start. ping.com

Fitting carts can be found at various retailers, and there are 30 Performance Labs located across the country. But the real stuff is at TaylorMade’s “The Kingdom,” located at TaylorMade HQ. There, you’ll get the Tour-player, five-star treatment in terms of a complete fitting and golf-game assessment. taylormadegolf.com

Independents: :
Cool Clubs
Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Cool Clubs provides its customers with a complete equipment assessment via private hitting bays, a putting studio and a full-service production workshop in its 10,000-square-foot facility. coolclubs.com

With numerous locations throughout the U.S., GolfTEC isn’t just an indoor learning facility, it’s also a great place to get fitted for a set of custom golf clubs. golftec.com

Hot Stix Golf
With locations in California, Florida, Arizona and New York, Hot Stix Golf provides its customers with an exhaustive clubfitting experience, from ball to driver. Better yet, they combine indoor fittings with outdoor experiences. hotstixgolf.com

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