Iron Review

By Anthony Barkley
NZPGA Professional

I thought for this article I would outline and compare some of the latest irons on the market as well as talk about some of the changes we see these days with irons sets.
Firstly, I have to mention what has been referred to as the vanishing loft disease. Without going into too much detail almost all clubs have less loft than years gone by. It seemed to start when companies were competing to have the longest iron on the market so they just strengthened the lofts. Now it’s justified by companies as if they don’t decrease loft a player will just balloon each iron. Technology has allowed this to happen without compromising accuracy.
We also see that there are high launch shafts now used to help flight the lower launch irons, confused? You may well be, but that’s where we the NZPGA professional will come in and guide you through this process.
Not until you get tested with each iron will you see benefits against your current ones and then you can make an educated decision.
With less lofted irons creates a big loft difference between the PW and SW so there is a need for a gap wedge, plus almost all brands don’t carry a 3 iron any more unless you look at the players models (a hybrid is advised instead).
Putting aside the debate on the lofts of irons, there is one aspect that I see as an advantage with the stronger lofts. If you are a player that has lost distance through injury, lack of golf or hate to say it, old age, the stronger lofts allow you to get better distance with each iron that may be similar to your old clubs. Add in advances in design and shaft you may be on a winner.
Really, each person is different so when we fit on a case by case basis, there are no one size fits all solutions in regard to golf clubs making it interesting for us as fitters.
There is no one size fits all solution.
Here are my top pics for irons on the NZ market:
MIZUNO
Always a pure iron company traditionally famous for the forged MP models but nowadays their Non forged models such as the JPX EZ 2 and JPX850 irons compete nicely against competitors. I’m a MP25 iron player and love them so I can personally vouch for their quality.
They have a great fitting cart with many iron model and shaft options so can cater for anyone of any ability. Prices range between $205 and $235 per iron for the JPX irons and $259 per iron for the MP models. These can increase with upgrades significantly if certain shafts and grips are requested.
This company always will produce pure looking irons.
BRIDGESTONE
Gaining its place back on the NZ market is Bridgestone Golf. They carry forged irons and custom builds are possible. They are only available at a few outlets around NZ (Including ours) but they can’t be ignored as an option if you are after an iron that is forged, perform great and are a little exclusive.
Prices are now on par with many other brands at around the $229 per iron mark.
PING
PING have a great loyal following around the world and produce quality product. The G30 model was awesome and now they have the new G series irons plus the i series which are going well. The G series irons cater for those looking for forgiveness and the I series irons are for those wanting more playability. They also carry the GMax and ladies Rhapsody models which are all about forgiveness. With this company its not all about being the longest but rather quality and they have a comprehensive fitting system.
Irons are expensive and can range between $225 and $339 per iron depending which model and make up. PING are a great seller for us with plenty of positive feedback.
Callaway and Taylormade
Both companies are producing excellent irons. Callaways Big Bertha Irons are strong in distance and very easy to hit but do come at a high price. Taylormades M2 irons are newer and are ideal for a wide range of players. Both have been great for males and females.
The Big Bertha irons range in price between $225 and $245 and the M2 irons between $189 to $209 each which are very affordable. Again, both come with upgrade options they have both gained in popularity in the last few months.
If you are on a budget look at the Wilson Staff D200 range as they are affordable quality and I think if you are after a forged cavity the Titleist AP2 model should not be ignored.
These are just my opinions based on client feedback and my own research. Best idea you can have is to go to a fitting with an open mind and try a range of clubs. One or two irons will stick out from the bunch through performance, feel and aesthetics. Try and keep price to the side initially and get the iron that suits you best. The great thing is that there are so many good options available these days.
So I hope that helps you out if you are looking at some new clubs. Please contact me if you have any questions on any products or shop online at www.100percentgolf.com. Quote this article and you can get a SPECIAL deal!!