Iron Roundup



By adding carbon to the back of an iron, manufacturers are able to redistribute weight to key areas without compromising structural strength.

And that’s a prime example of how materials and construction have helped catapult cavity-back and game-improvement irons. Proper redistribution of weight can significantly increase the moment of inertia, which greatly enhances clubhead stability at impact and thus forgiveness. It also helps the ball fly high and straight. Moving weight can also exponentially improve the iron’s feel—even bad mis-hits won’t sting. And the sole can be designed to glide through turf, no matter how thick the grass. Game-improvement irons—typically categorized as oversized cavity-backs with some kind of weighting technology that provides accuracy enhancement—are played by 70 percent of golfers, while standard cavity-backs are found in 20 percent of golf bags.

And it’s that collective 90 percent of golfers who stand to see better iron games in the near future. In fact, these are the golfers mostly using the very hybrids that, interestingly enough, will largely impact irons.

“Over the next two years, the most prominent change in irons will be the set configuration and loft spacing,” predicts Nickent’s Hoeflich, who, like his competitors, claims that more golfers are now starting to buy sets of irons that are configured as 5-PW and then complement that with two hybrids that replace the 3- and 4-irons. “That trend hasn’t worked its way to better players yet, but it will drive what happens to performance and technology in irons. It will force us to rethink center of gravity and open up more opportunities for new materials. As a result of the reconfiguration, a lot of things will happen. But USGA standards will somewhat limit what we can do with thin-face technology.”

Also expect to see more complete sets of hybrid-irons, in which all included clubs will look somewhat like hybrids. Whichever irons you ultimately decide on in years to come, you’ll almost surely find them easier to hit than the ones currently residing in your bag. And remember, make sure you get them fitted for your swing. That way, you can make sure you’ll fully take advantage of all these new iron technologies.


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