Irons for All Handicaps

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 24, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 PGA Merchandise ShowORLANDO, Fla. -- Drivers come and go. Putters vary round-to-round. But irons are in it for the long haul.
While most players change most everything in relation to their golf equipment on a routine basis, the one constant in their bag is their irons.
It might take a while for a player to find the right set for him or her. But when he or she does, youd have a better chance at getting them to change their name than getting them to switch their irons.
Plus, when you take into consideration cost, irons are an investment. Even if youre not overly comfortable with the ones you have, youre less likely to get rid of them because A) you paid too much to get them in the first place or B) you dont want to pay too much to get another set.
Having the wrong set of irons can be like having a bust for a first-round draft pick. Youre paying for him; youre stuck with him, so use him ' even if he does stink.
But, if you are unhappy with the clubs that comprise the majority of your bag, then maybe its time to step up and make a change.
Here are a few new items in the iron/wedge department for 2007:
Callaway Golf
Callaway X-20 Irons
Callaway's new X-20 irons.
Callaway is updating its popular X brand with the new X-20, X-20 Tour and X-Forged irons. The X-20 ($700 street value with steel shafts; $900 for graphite) has a lower center of gravity ' by six percent over the X-18 irons, according to the company ' which is to help get long irons airborne a little easier. The X-20 Tour ($800/$1,000) is designed more for the better player. It has a beveled top line and a squarer toe, a look the company feels the better player will like. It also features a new tour heel grind which relieves the heel area, effectively shortening the blade length for improved performance out of the rough. The X-20 also comes in a womens version ($700/$900). The X-Forged ($1,000/$1,200) is for the elite golfer ' the tour player and accomplished amateur. It has a thin top-line, narrow sole and delivers a medium trajectory with maximum workability.
'We cover every range of golfer,' said Jeff Colton, Senior VP of Research and Development Callaway Golf.
Mizuno came out with not one, not two, not three, but four new sets of irons for this golfing season. One is the MP-67, which is a sleek blade-like iron that uses the Slender Cut Muscle Design. According to the company, this design allows the player complete ball control by pin-pointing the COG inside the muscle back design. This iron is for the advanced player who likes forged, muscle-back irons. On the opposite end, they offer the MP-FLI-HI irons, which are hybrid irons designed to help players hit longer clubs better. Mizuno also has out two new MX (MX mean game improvement while MP means game enhancement) versions, the MX-19 and the MX-25. The MX-19 is for the mid-to-high handicapper. It features an oversized head, extremely low and deep center of gravity and an extra-wide sole. The MX-25 is for the low-to-mid handicapper. It has a HEMI pocket cavity that is wide, deeper and longer than ever before in order to move weight further down and away from the face. The four clubs have a street price range from $650-850 with steel shafts.
Nike Golf
The new Nike CCi irons combine classic clean lines with cutting edge technology. They are forged and cast irons that have individually tuned tungsten weight inserts to give the longer irons added forgiveness. The shorter irons have more shot-directing feel with an added polymer. They retail for $799 with steel shafts and $899 with graphite.
Adams Golf
Adams is making a name for themselves with their Idea hybrid irons. Now they have the GT3 ($299), which features a wide, friendly sole design that makes them easy to hit from any lie or playing condition. The undercut channel repositions the weight low and back for the optimal launch angle and the oversize heads allow for a large, confidence-inspiring sweet spot. They come in a 10-iron mens set and an 8-iron womens set.
Bridgestone Golf
Bridgestone Gravity Chamber Midsize Irons
Bridgestone's new Gravity Chamber Midsize irons.
Bridgestone has two versions of one new iron out for 2007: the Gravity Chamber Midsize and Gravity Chamber Oversize (both $700). The GC Midsize is for the mid-handicap amateur. It features a Gravity Chamber in the back cavity of the clubhead from which significant weight is removed. The weight is repositioned by using Gravity Disks that increase moment of inertia and as a result produces a reduction in clubhead twisting on off-center hits, generating a straighter ball flight. The GC Oversize, meanwhile, is for the higher handicap player. Its weight system helps players avoid mis-hits and makes it easier for them to hit their longer irons.
Cleveland, who is not exhibiting at the Show this year, has their new HiBORE irons, which are hybrid irons for the mid-to-high handicap player. The Full Hollow construction allows for a 28% larger effective hitting area to provide extremely forgiving and easy-to-hit irons. HiBORE irons feature an oversized cup-face structure, and because the clubface and the hosel are cast as one piece the sweet spot is expanded, according to the company.
Cobra, who is also not exhibiting this year, is offering up a mens and womens version of their new FP irons. The FP has a mid-width sole, under-cut cavity design; heel-to-toe perimeter weighting; and a urethane sole insert, back cavity plate. Its all designed to help the mid-to-high handicapper hit the ball higher and easier. The mens FP has a street value of $500.
In addition to some of the notable new irons out this year, here are a couple of the new wedges designed to help you attack pins and escape trouble.
Mizuno has the MP R Series wedge. It comes in a chrome and black nickel finish, and has a classic round head shape. The CNC Max-Milled square grooves give it optimum spin, and it has a minimal offset. Its specs are: 52/7, 54/10, 56/10, 56/13, 58/10, 60/5 and 60/9. It has a street value of $100.
Known for their wedges, Cleveland is touting its new 588 DSG (Dynamic Sole Grind). It comes in a mirror chrome and is made of soft 8620 carbon steel. A double nickel-plating is applied for an exceptionally soft feel at impact and improves durability. It comes in 54, 56, 58 and 60 degree lofts and has a street value of $110. There is also a 588 DSG RTG+ version which has a rust-like finish.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - PGA Merchandise Show and Convention
  • Reviewing Putters and Golf Balls
  • Getty Images

    Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

    Getty Images

    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

    Getty Images

    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x