Irons Buyer's Guide 2006

If you've been delaying your purchase of new irons, we have but five words: "What are you waiting for?"


 

Understanding Our Charts
Features: The primary design elements that make the iron noteworthy.
Advantages: How the primary design elements are meant to elevate the performance of the club.
Benefits: Which skill level or player type would best benefit from the design.
What We Like: We have our preferences, too. Basically, what impressed us in our review.
Lineup: The other models available from the manufacturer, listed from least forgiving to most.
Clubhead: The primary material from which the club is forged or cast.
Clubface: Indicates the material used for the strike area.
Design: Indicates the club’s general shape and whether it’s forged or cast. Generally, irons fall into two shape categories—blades or cavity-backs.
Size: Three sizes listed—standard, midsize and oversize.
Clubs: Lists the clubs available in the line, wedge options and left-hand availability.
Shaft(s): The stock graphite and steel shaft offerings from the manufacturer.

 
Tech Talk
Offset Is Good—Discuss
By Don Wood
For Golfers Only!
GT Equipment Panel
Illustration By Phil Franké


Tech Talk 1 The offset feature of an iron refers to
the blade position in relation to the shaft axis. When viewed from the player’s perspective, increased offset means that the leading edge of the blade is shifted back from the forward side of the neck of the iron. If the leading edge protrudes in front of the hosel, the iron is called “face progressed.”

Average golfers and those who struggle with slicing benefit from offset irons in two ways: 1) it helps them to get the ball airborne easily; and 2) it reduces the tendency to slice the ball, especially with long irons.

Offset affects the rotational behavior of the clubhead because the shaft and CG of the head are naturally balanced to be in line with one another. When the clubhead is moved away from the shaft axis, the effect is that of more face closure as the head approaches the ball just prior to impact. This is why it’s easier to draw the ball with an offset iron.

Offset also has a direct effect on CG. By shifting the clubhead back relative to the shaft axis, the CG is moved as well. Offset irons impart less spin and often produce higher launch angles, which is why offset is a prominent feature in game-improvement designs.

 

Adams IDEA a2
www.adamsgolf.com
(800) 709-6142 | $499 ($599 graphite)

Adams IDEA a2 Tour-inspired short irons, hollow-back mid-irons and 3 and 4 hybrid iWoods.
Features: A progressive set with Tour-inspired hybrid woods to replace the long irons. The iWoods are state-of-the-art, while the hollow-body mid-irons make for a smooth transition between the cavity-back short irons and the hybrids.
Advantages: Excellent game-improvement benefits in each section of the set with a shape and profile even better players will find pleasing.
Benefits: It’s certainly a game-improvement set, but one that isn’t limited to higher-handicap golfers.
What We Like: The shape—a great example of “classic modern.”
Lineup: GT 2, IDEA A1 Pro, IDEA, IDEA A1,
IDEA a2, IDEA a2 OS, IDEA a2 OS Senior
Clubhead: Stainless steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast cavity-back irons, cast hybrid iWoods
Size: Midsize
Clubs: 5-PW, GW, SW, LW; 1-4 iWood (no LH)
Shaft(s): True Temper Dynalite steel (S, R); Aldila NV-85 graphite (S, R)

Bridgestone J33 Forged Cavity Back
www.bridgestonegolf.com
(800) 356-6319 | $899 ($999 graphite)

i-bridgestone-j33-cavity.jpg We loved last year’s J33 Forged Blades, but are thankful for
the new extra dose
of forgiveness.
Features: A medium-sized cavity and traditional lines with rolled leading edges for superb playability. Inside, a horizontal shift of the CG in each iron makes the short clubs extra-stable and the longer irons much easier to hit.
Advantages: What’s not to like about a near-perfect marriage between classic construction,
feel, design and game-improvement technology?
Benefits: If you need forgiveness but want an iron that screams “player,” this is your club.
What We Like: Performance aside, we love the look and Bridgestone’s dedication to quality during every step of the manufacturing process.
Lineup: J33 Forged Blade, J33 Forged Combo, J33 Forged Cavity Back
Clubhead: Carbon steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Forged cavity-back
Size: Midsize
Clubs: 1-PW (no LH)
Shaft(s): True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (X, S, R); Aldila NV Pro 105 graphite (X, S, R)

Callaway Big Bertha
www.callawaygolf.com
(800) 588-9836 | $760 ($1,000 steel)

Callaway Big Bertha Callaway has been a game-improvement iron leader for years, but nothing in its past can match the level of forgiveness achieved with the new BB.
Features: Callaway’s core game-improvement technologies (S2H2, VFT and True Bore shaft) with extreme perimeter weighting via an undercut channel and notch weighting.
Advantages: The notch weighting and undercut channel take perimeter weighting and club stabilization to all-new levels.
Benefits: Offers everything a golfer looking for game-improvement performance could want.
What We Like: Never having to worry about
mis-hits ever again and the constant-width sole.
Lineup: Big Bertha Fusion, X-Tour, X-18 Pro Series, X-18, Big Bertha
Clubhead: Stainless steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast cavity-back
Size: Oversize 
Clubs: 2-PW, GW, SW, LW (available LH) 
Shaft(s): Royal Precision Micro Taper steel (uniflex); Callaway Golf graphite (S, R, A)
Cleveland CG4
www.clevelandgolf.com
(800) 999-6263 | $864 ($1,000 graphite)

Cleveland CG4Cleveland’s softer-feeling, vibration-absorbing Carbon Metal Matrix (CMM) material takes shape as a cavity-back iron.
Features: CMM, a revolutionary material that’s said to be less dense and 15% softer than carbon steel.
Advantages: The CMM allows for a redistribution of weight to key areas for extra perimeter weighting, a high MOI and an extra-large strike area.
Benefits: The CG4 is an iron with which all skill levels will find favor. Better players might prefer the newly introduced CG4 Tour.
What We Like: The extra-low CG and wider sole—these clubs are a blast to hit!
Lineup: CG1, CG2, CG4 Tour, CG4, Launcher Launcher LP, TA6
Clubhead: Carbon Metal Matrix
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast cavity-back
Size: Midsize
Clubs: 1-PW, GW, SW (available LH)
Shaft(s): True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (S, R, A); Cleveland Tour Action graphite (S, R, A)

 




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