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.
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