EQUIP­MENT: IRONS

Help where you might need it.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents 2/ 15 -

How much can game-im­prove­ment irons help? A lot, ac­cord­ing to ro­bot tests at Golf Lab­o­ra­to­ries in San Diego. Our re­sults sug­gest an off-cen­tre shot with an iron you can hit 145 me­tres will carry 138 me­tres if you use an iron with a de­cent-size cav­ity and wide sole. The same miss with a more com­pact play­ers iron goes only 130 me­tres, some­times less. In fact, in our test­ing, the worst shots with a play­ers iron lost 22 per­cent of dis­tance com­pared with cen­tre hits. A game-im­prove­ment iron lost only 14 per­cent. Also, be­cause the faces of to­day’s GI irons flex like driver faces, cen­tre hits fly about 10 me­tres fur­ther com­pared to pure strikes with a play­ers iron. So, yeah, GI irons can help you. Check out th­ese nine.

1 MIZUNO JPX-850 FORGED

One-piece forged irons are prized for feel, but the face isn’t thin enough to pro­duce the flex that yields more dis­tance. So th­ese are forged from 1025 boron car­bon steel. This stronger metal – used to re­in­force car pan­els – can be made thin. Thin equals flex­i­ble; flex­i­ble equals dis­tance. R9 999

2 NIKE VA­POR SPEED

The most dis­tance-ori­ented of Nike’s three Va­por irons (Pro and Pro Combo are the oth­ers) is fo­cused on bring­ing the cen­tre of grav­ity in line with the cen­tre of the face. The hol­low con­struc­tion of the long and mid­dle irons adds sta­bil­ity to the high­strength steel face. R12 999

3 MIURA SE­RIES 1957 CB

The chal­lenge with a cav­ity-back is achiev­ing the solid feel of a blade. In this com­pact, forged de­sign, Miura’s so­lu­tion is a thicker weight pad in the cen­tre of the cav­ity. Its size changes with each head (low in the long irons to help with launch, high in the short irons to con­trol tra­jec­tory). R2 950 per club

4 TAY­LORMADE RSI 1

Mak­ing the face thin­ner is one thing. But how do you make it flex just as con­sis­tently on toe hits? Tay­lor-Made puts its trade­mark slot cut all the way through the sole, then adds ver­ti­cal slots on the high-strength steel face to in­crease flex­i­bil­ity. R9 999

5 WILSON STAFF D-200

The face is thin on the long and mid­dle irons, and the sole is almost as thin. This helps boost spring­like ef­fect across the face. It also saves weight that can be moved low and to­wards the heel and toe to make shots go higher and fur­ther. R4 999

6 COBRA FLY Z

Sure, the chan­nel that runs along the perime­ter of the back helps cre­ate more speed across the face. And it also saves weight. That ex­tra mass is used in the deep un­der­cut cav­ity for more sta­bil­ity – and more con­sis­tent dis­tance – on of­f­cen­tre strikes. R8 999

7 CALL­AWAY BIG BERTHA

This hol­low, two-piece iron uses the cup face tech­nol­ogy and low in­ter­nal weight­ing found in Call­away’s fair­way woods and hy­brids. The first en­larges the sweet spot, and the sec­ond in­creases for­give­ness for more dis­tance. R13 499

8 CLEVE­LAND CG BLACK

One way to make irons eas­ier to hit for slower swingers is to com­bine three kinds of irons in one set. The mix here is hy­brid long irons, two­piece mid­dle irons and one-piece cav­ity-back short irons. The long and mid­dle irons use thin, high-strength steel faces for more launch and carry. R8 999

9

TOUR EDGE EX­OTICS E8

By mix­ing heavy ma­te­ri­als into the perime­ter weight­ing, you can build more for­give­ness into an iron with­out hav­ing to stretch its shape. The E8 uses tung­sten low in the heel and toe to add more sta­bil­ity to its more tra­di­tional size. Spe­cial Or­der

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