Su­per game im­prove­ment irons

When you need as much help as you can get to launch the ball higher, fur­ther and con­sis­tently

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Contents -

We re­veal the long­est, most for­giv­ing irons on the mar­ket this year.

MIZUNO JPX900 HOT METAL £105 PER CLUB Golf.mizu­noeu­rope.com

Avail­abil­ity: 4-LW Stock shaft: Modus Tour 105 (s) Project X LZ (g) 7i loft/length: 31° / 36.75”

TECH: Mizuno have used 4140M Chro­moly steel and a 360 Cup Face to bring spe­cific prop­er­ties to the cast JPX Hot Metal. They reckon it’s al­lowed them to cre­ate their thinnest club face ever for ex­tra pop and ball speed no mat­ter where you hit shots on the face.

WE SAY: There aren’t many iron de­signs that boast ul­ti­mate for­give­ness yet man­age to marry it to an ap­peal­ing head shape that masses of golfers want to play with. This is one of the very few that man­age to pull off the trick. Its head re­ally doesn’t look like a SGI model be­hind the ball; its satin fin­ish and gen­er­ous head size are just what lots of club golfers love. They aren’t all show and no blow, either, as there’s plenty of game im­prov­ing tech squeezed into that chas­sis. From a 7-iron loft 2.5° weaker than our long­est iron it posted ball speed and carry dis­tances right on our test av­er­age across all three play­ers.

VER­DICT: A real plea­sure to use. We love how just like with every other Mizuno iron you buy them in­di­vid­u­ally and you get a huge se­lec­tion of shafts.

TITLEIST AP1 £93 (S) £107 (G) PER CLUB www.titleist.co.uk

Avail­abil­ity: 3-GW Stock shaft: True Tem­per XP90 (s), MRC Kurok­age (g) 7i loft/length: 31° / 37”

TECH: Titleist’s high­est MOI iron has a thin, fast club­face to max­imise ball speeds, a 360° un­der­cut cav­ity to max­imise playa­bil­ity and a 42g tung­sten toe weight to ramp up the MOI.

WE SAY: Titleist is keen not to pi­geon­hole their irons into cat­e­gories; they pre­fer to fit the iron to the player rather than vice versa. So while we la­bel the AP1S as SGI irons, you’re just as likely to find the long irons at the top end of a bet­ter player’s bag. For us, they have one of the nicest look­ing heads you’ll find in this cat­e­gory. Com­pared to many the soles are a bit nar­rower, there’s less off­set and they cer­tainly aren’t any­where near as bulky. The lofts are 2-3° weaker than the long­est on test, so it’s un­fair to com­pare them for dis­tance, but across the board they per­formed very solidly.

VER­DICT: A very strong op­tion if how a club looks is im­por­tant to you. We love how such a game im­prove­ment de­sign doesn’t have the usual “junk in the trunk” traits associated with the SGI cat­e­gory.

CALL­AWAY BIG BERTHA OS £849 (S) £1,099 (G) www.call­away­golf.com

Avail­abil­ity: 4-PW, AW, SW (stock set 4-PW or 5-SW) Stock shaft: True Tem­per Speed Step 80 (s), UST Re­coil ES 460 (g) 7i loft/length: 30° / 37.25”

TECH: A light­weight, strong Exo-cage frame in­side the head elim­i­nates in­ef­fi­cient weight, mean­ing Call­away’s en­gi­neers had more weight to po­si­tion to in­flu­ence for­give­ness.

WE SAY: The con­struc­tion method of this lat­est model is noth­ing like the very suc­cess­ful orig­i­nals. The OS’S new cage head has parts welded onto a very light­weight frame to cre­ate a se­ri­ously for­giv­ing iron, un­like others. Si­mon was a big fan of the very tidy shape and chunky top edge, and from a loft 1.5° weaker than our long­est iron the OS posted a ball speed 3mph faster and car­ried shots 7 yards fur­ther than our test av­er­age. Im­pres­sive.

VER­DICT: If your game needs full-on for­give­ness, this is a great op­tion. How all that for­give­ness is rolled to­gether into a de­sign that’s much more ap­peal­ing than the orig­i­nal is very im­pres­sive.

CO­BRA KING OVER­SIZE £699 (S) £799 (G) www.co­bragolf.co.uk

Avail­abil­ity: 4-PW, GW, SW (stock set 4-PW/5-SW) Stock shaft: True Tem­per XP 85 (s) UST Re­coil 460 (g) 7i loft/length: 30° / 37.50”

TECH: 12% big­ger than last year’s F6. A Pwr­shell face has springi­ness very close to the driver limit. WE SAY: Hol­low bod­ies are proven for for­give­ness, as they of­fer new op­por­tu­ni­ties to pre­serve ball speed no mat­ter where you im­pact shots on the face. If we gave out awards for the largest head, this would be our win­ner; it’s huge. The King felt re­ally good and flighted shots re­ally eas­ily. But be­cause of the head size and the dis­tract­ing ball-shaped pat­tern in the grooves (which some golfers will feel gives a good im­pres­sion of where they should be im­pact­ing shots), along with the just above av­er­age num­bers, it didn’t quite beat the best.

VER­DICT: They feel very easy to launch, which is partly down to the ex­cel­lent True Tem­per XP shaft (which you’ll also find in Call­away’s Apex CF 16 and Taylormade’s M1). Thanks to the size there’s ex­cel­lent off-cen­tre for­give­ness.

WIL­SON STAFF D300 £579 (S) £659 (G) www.wil­son.com

Avail­abil­ity: 4-SW Stock shaft: KBS Tour 80 (s) Ma­trix Speed Rulz A-type (g) 7i loft/length: 29.5° / 37.5”

TECH: Wil­son’s FLX Face tech means just 26% of the face touches the head which Wil­son say im­proves face de­flec­tion by 16% over the pre­vi­ous D200 model. More face flex equals more ball speed.

WE SAY: Not many golfers will pick the D300s from a rack and fall for its head shape. But the beauty lies in its per­for­mance, not its looks. It’s cer­tainly not a crit­i­cism when we say the head’s a typ­i­cal SGI de­sign, which fo­cuses on for­give­ness rather than looks. It turned in a very strong per­for­mance for all three testers. With an av­er­age ball speed 3mph faster and 6 yards fur­ther than the av­er­age, the D300’s abil­ity to pro­duce speed (which is en­hanced by an ex­cel­lent light­weight KBS Tour 80 shaft) and dis­tance, as well as pre­serve ball speed on off-cen­tre hits, speaks for it­self.

VER­DICT: If you want for­give­ness, dis­tance and de­cent value, these should be on your list. Trust us, get over the big long, shiny heads and the FLX Face tech and tons of toe and heel weight­ing will come into their own.

‘THE OS POSTED A BALL SPEED 3MPH FASTER AND CAR­RIED SHOTS 7 YARDS FUR­THER THAN AV­ER­AGE’

MIZUNO JPX900 HOT METAL CALL­AWAY BIG BERTHA OS TITLEIST 716 AP1 CO­BRA KING OVER­SIZE WIL­SON STAFF D300

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