New Looks

Golf Digest Middle East - - Contents - BY MIKE STACHURA

Iron de­signs that push the limts.

In the­ory, iron de­sign is pretty sim­ple: To achieve dis­tance, you need a face with a fair amount of spring-like ef­fect that pre­cisely matches the cor­rect cen­ter-of-grav­ity po­si­tion, all while main­tain­ing the feel of a one-piece club. So says Scott Man­war­ing, Call­away’s di­rec­tor of iron de­sign. But then Man­war­ing ex­plains how com­pli­cated this ac­tu­ally is—a sci­ence pro­ject that seems equal parts erec­tor set and com­puter-gen­er­ated im­agery. Mod­ern iron de­sign in­creas­ingly re­quires the use of mul­ti­ple ma­te­ri­als that mix heavy and light el­e­ments, high-en­ergy poly­mers and pre­vi­ously unimag­in­able in­ter­nal struc­tures to get the weight­ing low and the face thin—yet main­tain the clas­sic feel that Bobby Jones would recog­nise. Com­pa­nies are sourc­ing new met­als made for air­line brakes and roll cages to al­low the face to flex at rates once re­served for drivers. Of­ten there’s a heavy metal thrown in, too, like tung­sten, a dense ma­te­rial the mil­i­tary uses on the tips of its bul­lets and mis­siles. So as you look at these six new iron sets that deftly com­bine tra­di­tional shap­ing with high-tech en­gi­neer­ing, you might won­der, What else can be done? Man­war­ing just shakes his head. “The the­o­ret­i­cal limit of a playable iron de­sign? I don’t know if we know the an­swer,” he says. “We’re go­ing to keep try­ing to find out.”

srixon Pho­to­graph by Ivory Serra

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