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New on the Tee: Irons 2016
http://www.publinksgolfer.net/articles/1279/1/New-on-the-Tee:-Irons-2016/Page1.html
Tom Landers
 
By Tom Landers
Published on 05/3/2016
 

Today’s Irons Meet the Needs of Players of All Skill Levels

Irons
Today's Irons Meet the Needs of Players of All Skill Levels

Hey buddy, do we have an iron for you!
That's what equipment makers are saying to golfers of all abilities. From someone who has trouble breaking 110 to the Tour pro, the irons of 2016 can help every player get the ball into the air on the proper trajectory and headed toward the intended target with greater ease. And, when you hit more greens, or at least get close to them, you know what that means. Yep, lower scores, and isn't that what we all want, whether we're Jordan Spieth or Jack Divotdigger?
Irons designed for the best players, most of which continued to be forged for that pristine, solid feel accomplished golfers desire, have nonetheless been tweaked to aid in getting the ball into the proper launch trajectory on a more consistent basis. Through the use of various metals, notably tungsten, these sticks offer a lower center of gravity to get the ball into flight and onto the putting surface. While once believed to be relegated to irons for players who need more help with their games, almost three quarters of today's "players" irons have some sort of cavity back for additional forgiveness on even slightly miss hit shots.
Players who need considerably more help with their iron play than the scratch golfers at their clubs can take advantage of the newest releases that enhance ball speed, make it easier to get the ball off the ground, and also feel good in their hands, the later thanks to sleeker toplines. These "game improvement" irons feature strong, thin clubfaces that produce faster ball speeds, and a center of gravity that has been placed lower in the clubhead to promote optimal ball flight.
This second category has stretched out to meet the needs of higher-handicap players, with sets often involving at least a couple of hybrids that take the place of long-irons that higher shooters might just as well not even bother to try and hit. The irons in these sets are thicker than those created for better and even mid-handicap players, and are equipped with lightweight graphite shafts that allow the user to generate faster swing speeds for the distance that everyone craves even when the ball is not teed up.
OK, let's take a gander at these wonder irons that allow you to make better contact with the golf ball, no matter what you are writing down on your scorecard.

Players Irons


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 5 stars

Air Force One AFX Pro
www.AFOGOLF.com • $600

Unique Features: The AFX Pro Series features Nitrogen Charged technology in the 3- and 4-iron, and an undercut cavity in the 5-iron thru PW. In addition, the AFX Pro Series has matching muscleback 52-, 56- and 60-degree wedges. The irons are soft cast, which produces a soft impact feel and workability. Nitrogen Charged technology uses nitrogen gas inside a hollow-back iron supported by 50 pounds of pressure. This allows for a super-thin face with no internal bracing, creating an enormous sweet spot with no hot or dead spots for consistent ball flight and distance from club to club.

Tester Comments: Very forgiving on mishits, and like darts when not a mishit … provide outstanding length and forgiveness … they go high and straight … an effortless iron with lots of foregiveness across the entire face.


Appearance 4.5 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4 stars

Bridgestone JGR Forged
www.BridgestoneGolf.com • $749

Unique Features: As part of the new JGR line this model features a more compact shape and appearance with minimal offset. This is a 1 piece head design which helps in producing a soft forged feel and knowing when you miss hit the ball thru feedback & vibrations in the hands. It's a semi-compact head made of Forged S25C. It's cavity while not deep does help with forgiveness as does it's perimeter weighting.

Tester Comments: Easy to hit, High penetrating Ball Flight … A very solid golf club. Forgiveness factor is perfect with these.


Appearance 5 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 5 star
Distance 4.5 stars

Callaway Apex Pro 16
www.CallawayGolf.com • $899

Unique Features:The Apex Pro 16 irons were created with Tour-influenced shaping and design for a classic look that better players demand. The irons feature a classic, authentic look and soft feel from quadruple net forging. Progressive flow weighting offers precision, playability and the moment of inertia you need for each club. The longer irons (3-5) have more offset and a tungsten insert to lower the center of brevity, while the shorter irons (6-PW) have a progressively higher CG for more control. The premium forged iron is engineered for world class players and skilled players alike.

Tester Comments: Ball jumps off the face … I was surprised at how easy they were to hit for as small as they appear … found it easier than expected to get good results with these irons, especially the scoring irons.


Appearance 4.5 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 5 stars

Cobra King Forged CB
www.CobraGolf.com • $899

Unique Features: The cavity back design in the mid- and long-irons in the Forged CB/MB set provide great forgiveness, and a muscle back design in the short irons enables precision, workability and accuracy for attacking the pin. Strategically placed tungsten inserts in the toe help move the center of gravity to the center of the club for great precision and shot making. A 10-25 carbon steel head is forged five times to deliver a more refined grain structure and precision shaping that provides soft yet solid feel on every shot. CNC milled faces and wedge-style grooves deliver maximum spin and more consistent launch trajectories in every iron.

Tester Comments: Exceptional look, feel and ball flight control … As solid a feeling as any players iron … The consistency from shot to shot is impressive … Nice forgiveness on off-center hits and you still get decent distance


Appearance 5 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Mizuno MP-25
www.MizunoUSA.com • $999

Unique Features: The Tour-inspired design of the MP-25 utilizes innovative Grain Flow Forged 1025 Boron to strike the perfect balance between giving the player added distance without sacrificing feel and ball control. To help activate the 1025 Boron material, Mizuno's team of designers created the Micro-slot which helps the face flex for added distance. Milling the head from the sole up creates the "Micro" slot that activates the strength of the 1025 Boron material for added distance and increased forgiveness. Also, with standard lofts, the MP-25 iron maintains proper gaps between irons, so that the player has ideal distance control.

Tester Comments:Very user friendly with plenty of forgiveness … A great Mizuno look, great feel and nice solid sound … Easy to work high, low and right or left.


Appearance 4.5 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 5 stars

Ping I
www.Ping.com • $899

Unique Features: The Ping I irons feature a 431 stainless steel head that provides a softer feel, and its higher strength-to-weight ratio allows for more perimeter weighting to increase forgiveness and accuracy. A Custom Tuning Port (CTP) is positioned deeper in the back cavity and lower on the face to align with the impact area for a more solid sound and feel. A tungsten toe weight in the 3-7 irons increases forgiveness.

Tester Comments: Nice compact look … Solid feel and perfect ball flight …. I was very surprised on how "soft" this felt … Most shots were dead straight, those that wandered were about 3-4 yards off center (I have a natural fade). Softest feel I've ever experienced, it feels smooth like butter.


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.5 star

TaylorMade PSI
www.TaylorMadeGolf.com • $1099

Unique Features: In designing TaylorMade's most advanced players irons to date, engineers integrated the company's new proprietary Dynamic Feel System (DFS). Comprised of a HYBRAR blend compression damper and a multi-material cavity badge, the system works to reduce vibration across the face without sacrificing ball speed. Combined with redesigned head geometries, tungsten weighting in the long irons (3-5), and forged short irons (8-SW) result in a dynamic approach to feel management in an iron that delivers superior sound and feel throughout the set.

Tester Comments: Consistently hit better and longer with the PSI's … The 8-AW are forged and have a great feel when striking the ball. the lower irons have an appealing sound and hit a mile


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.star

TaylorMade PSI Tour
www.TaylorMadeGolf.com • $1299

Unique Features: Classic lines and carefully-considered shaping give PSi Tour irons a clean and precise look preferred by better players, while also employing a progressive specification package that ensures each iron performs optimally for its specific role. Blade length, topline thickness, and offset increase gradually from the wedges to the long irons, inspiring confidence at address no matter the shot. A new cut-thru sole slot and thin, sub-2 millimeter face add impressive ball speed to an iron with a compact shape, while protecting ball speed on shots struck low on the face.

Tester Comments: Compared to similar irons, the forgiveness on mishits is as good if not a bit better. … impressed with the ability of the sole slot to make thin shots perform more like pure strikes both in terms of launch angle and ball speed.


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.star

Titleist 716 AP2
www.Titleist.com • $1199

Unique Features: The 716 AP2 has a traditional look with more than enough playability. The 716 AP2 Irons use extreme, high-density tungsten weighting to position the center of gravity low and perfectly aligned at impact for more speed. The weight adds stability on off-center hits.

Tester Comments: The feel is great, you know when you have hit it on the sweet spot and when you have not, but still some forgiveness … They are very consistent even on miss hits


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 star
Distance 5 stars

Wilson FG Tour V4
www.WilsonStaff.com
• $899

Unique Features: The Wilson Staff FG Tour V4 Forged irons have a clean, classic look at set up that accomplished players admired thanks to a forged 8620 carbon steel, Ni-Cr-plated head with minimal offset. Tungsten sole weighting provides ideal distance and trajectory throughout the set. And an improved bounce and sole camber allows for control and workability in all conditions and from any lie, allowing the player to reach the target with greater frequency.

Tester Comments: Extra mass behind the center of the face produces a powerful feel at impact … Ball launches high with a steep angle of descent to spot shots on approaches into greens … Feel, consistency, and enough forgivenes..



Game Improvemnet Irons


Appearance 5 stars
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4 stars

Callaway Apex CF 16
www.CallawayGolf.com • Steel $1199 Graphite/$1399

Unique Features: The Apex CF 16 irons are precision engineered with Cup 360 technology to provide exceptional, consistent ball speed across the face and playability in a forged players iron. A progressive design creates scoring performance through the set. A multi-piece construction provides a combination of distance, feel and control that suits any player. An extremely soft feel comes from quadruple net forging and the use of mild carbon steel.

Tester Comments: A soft feel for a game-improvement … A nice clean look the from long to short irons … Great feel at impact with a nice high boring trajectory


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Callaway XR
www.CallawayGolf.com • Steel /$799 Graphite/$899

Unique Features: The XR iron has taken the Cup 360 used in Callaway's fairway woods and brought it to irons. The XR's also feature a lower center of gravity and a two-piece construction that includes a dual heat treatment. The XR is the company's first high speed, cavity back, cup-faced iron. The improved Cup 360 acts like a spring on shots hit low on the face, and increases ball speeds everywhere else on the face.

Tester Comments: Great forgiveness and distance… Very consistent … A good looking Game improvement iron with lots of technology … an effortless iron with lots of forgiveness across the entire face


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Cobra King Forged TEC
www.CobraGolf.com • Steel/$899
Graphite/$1099

Unique Features: Strategically placed tungsten inserts are co-forged in the heel and toe to help the Forged TEC increase the moment of inertia for forgiveness, and also positions the center of gravity directly behind the impact zone. Combined with an engineered TPU insert positioned directly behind the impact zone that provides vibration damping, this allows golfers to enjoy a soft, yet solid feel at impact. A new forged high strength steel face insert is thinner, lighter and hotter, delivering more distance across the face.

Tester Comments: Cobra has created an iron that is easy to hit, responsive, and looks cool … easy to launch and hit consistent distances … Very versatile and easy to hit well.


Appearance 5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Cobra King F6
www.CobraGolf.com • Steel/$799
Graphite/$899

Unique Features:Optimum performance in the King F6 is achieved through advanced construction techniques. The result is an iron designed to create more feel, distance, precision and forgiveness. Multiple construction technologies flow together to create the ultimate progressive iron set. Each club is designed to perform differently, and is optimized for performance to help golfers hit more greens. An engineered channel positioned on the sole, close to the leading edge of the iron and around the perimeter of the upper back cavity, creates more flex at impact to deliver greater distance.

Tester Comments:Great looking club that sits squarely behind the ball at address … Easy to align … Very easy to hit and consistent distance.


Appearance 5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 5 stars

Mizuno JPX EZ Forged
www.MizunoUSA.com • $999

Unique Features: With the 30% stronger 1025 Boron material, the JPX EZ Forged Irons deliver a thinner face for amazing distance, while allowing the weight savings to be distributed out to the four corners to amplify the Power Frame design, resulting in maximum forgiveness. The wide sole design helps to lower the sweet spot and the Triple Cut sole helps the player cleanly strike the ball from all types of lies.

Tester Comments: Feel is what you would expect from Mizuno irons but with great forgiveness … Excellent distance control … Nice solid feel and a solid soft sound at impact.


Appearance 4 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Ping G
www.Ping.com • Steel-$760 Graphite-$860

Unique Features: COR-Eye technology provides four times the amount of face flexing for consistently faster ball speeds across a hotter face. A gain in ball speed and shot height generates more carry distance and a steeper landing angle. A specialized heat treatment of Hyper 17-4 stainless steel allows a thinner, faster face to gain distance. At address, the iron's refined look is created by a thin top rail, satin-blast finish and appropriate offset. An enlarged multi-material damping badge joined to the cavity works with COR-Eye Technology to optimize sound and feel.

Tester Comments:vent the long irons were easy to get in the air … Highly recommend for golfers of almost all skill levels … Consistent in feel from 4-iron through 9-iron


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 5 star

TaylorMade M2
www.TaylorMadeGolf.com • Steel-$799 Graphite$899

Unique Features:The M2 irons feature a Thick-Thin Fluted Hosel that removes three grams of extra mass trapped in the hosel. That weight has been distributed as low as possible throughout the head to lower the center of gravity and promote a higher launch angle and more ball speed. A thin face with Inverted Cone Technology works in conjunction with the company's Speed Pocket to enable fast, consistent ball speeds across the face that push the limits of distance performance in an iron.

Tester Comments: These are the longest irons I tried by a significant amount … Center hits felt smooth … high Launching with awesome distance … If you need help getting the ball in the air, you need to try these irons.


Appearance 4 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 star
Distance 5 stars

Wilson C200
www.WilsonStaff.com
• Steel-$799 Graphite-$899

Unique Features: The C200 employs Wilson's FLX Face Technology to generate increased bal speeds for greater distance. The face technology minimizes face contact with the golf ball to only 24 percent of the perimeter of the iron, freeing up 76 percent of the clubhead for maximum face flex and ball speed upon impact. Power holes in the C200 also allow the face to flex upon impact for enhance distance on every shot. TEO31 urethane fills the power holes for improved sound and feel.

Tester Comments: Even mis-strikes are powerful and have good distance … Feel great with great distance … Everything you want in a game improvement set including price


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 5 star
Distance 4.5 stars

Wilson FG Tour F5
www.WilsonStaff.com
• $899

Unique Features: The Wilson Staff FG Tour F5 irons are forged from 8620 carbon steel for the ultimate in feel, feedback and response. The FG Tour F5 features Speed Sole Technology, which is a thin face to sole transition that expands the sweet spot of the clubface lower for faster ball speeds in the long- and mid-irons (3-7). A 35-gram stabilizing bar provides support behind a thin, responsive face for added forgiveness, especially on slightly off-center hits, while still maintaining workability for improved accuracy on approach shots.

Tester Comments: A lot of built in forgiveness for a Player's Iron … Very quiet but solid when striking the ball … One of the easiest clubs to hit well … Really strong, piercing ball flight with good distance and tight dispersion


Super Game Improvemnet Irons


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 5 stars

Air Force One TPS Blackout
www.AFOGOLF.com • $600

Unique Features: The TPS Blackout iron set features an advanced undercut cavity that redistributes weight low and back for superior forgiveness and proper ball trajectory from all lies. The irons are made with a stainless steel construction and are available in both steel and graphite shafts. The company also offers its custom velvet grips as a standard feature. The TPS Blackout set includes the five-iron through sand wedge, and is designed to help higher handicap players strike the ball purer and hit more greens from the fairway and off it.

Tester Comments: These fly straight every time, not a lot of unwanted curvature … Nice high ball flight with great distance and very forgiving … Vey Easy to hit.


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Bridgestone JGR Hybrid Forged
www.BridgestoneGolf.com • $699

Unique Features:Designed for professionals to high handicap players, the JGR hybrid forged irons are a revolution in distance. Featuring the lowest and deepest center of gravity of any forged iron on the market, Bridgestone was able to increase lengths and strengthen lofts, while maintaining traditional iron trajectories for ideal landing angles and maximum stopping power on the greens. Turbo rubber provides vibration dampening and superb feel.

Tester Comments: Ball gets airborne instantly and with ease ... A very forgiving club that is also very solid feeling … Lots of unforced power with these clubs, loved them.


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 5 stars

Callaway XR OS
www.CallawayGolf.com • $799

Unique Features: The XR OS Irons are easier to hit, more forgiving, and long with a 360 Face Cup technology and wider soles that produce proper a ball flight that leads to more distance. The soles of the irons are wider for more forgiveness, and more distance out of every impact location. You'll feel confident over the ball, and have the technology to hit good shots more consistently. The irons are available in both left and right hand models, in an array of both premium steel and graphite shafts

Tester Comments:These launched high, even for players with slower swing speeds … Lots of technology in these clubs make them easy to hit consistent shots .. Forgiveness, easy to hit, nice feel and they look good; what more do you need.


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Cobra King Max
www.CobraGolf.com • $599

Unique Features:The MAX irons are designed for the higher handicap golfer, an easy-to-hit set equipped with TechFlo technology that utilizes half hallow technology in the longer irons increasing forgiveness, cavity back designs in the 8, 9 and pitching wedge, and a specialty wedge design. The set features a Speed Channel face, which is an engineered trench behind the clubface that helps to minimize face thickness and increase flex at impact to deliver increased distance through faster ball speeds.

Tester Comments:The wide soles makes these easy to hit … Very forgiving and everything seemed to go straight … Even my bad swings got in the air with some accuracy.


Appearance 5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Mizuno JPX EZ
www.MizunoUSA.com • $699

Unique Features: The JPX EZ iron set combine Mizuno's Hot Metal face design and ultra-pocket cavity (4-7 irons), to allow the irons to fire higher and longer with a predictable, tight dispersion. A Harmonic Impact Technology (H.I.T.) cavity frame ensures that the JPX-EZ provides forgiveness. Additional features include Max Pocket Cavity (4-7 irons), a massive sweet spot area, tight shot dispersion and effortless launch characteristics, a deep pocket cavity (8-PW) for increased accuracy and launch control, and a feel and sound tuned cavity frame design.

Tester Comments: Great looking Super Game Improvement clubs with a really solid Mizuno feel … Accurate and forgiving … Consistent distance gapping and long. As good as it gets period!


Appearance 4 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 star
Distance 5 stars

Wilson DEFY
www.WilsonStaff.com
• Steel-$799 Graphite-$899

Unique Features: The Defy integrated hybrid/iron set features Speed Sole Technology that allows for a thinner face-to-sole transition, creating faster ball speeds and increased distance. With gapped lofts and oversized head shapes through the set, Defy is designed to deliver optimal launch and forgiveness. Progressive length and loft spacing creates optimal gapping, especially for slower swing speeds, for more accurate ball flight dispersion.

Tester Comments: Hybrids in this set were very forgiving and easy to get in the air .. The Cavity-back short irons had nice control … Hybrids and middle irons had nice wide soles that made them easy to hit from all lies.