New Irons

    While driving and putting get the lion’s share of the attention, let’s face facts – solid iron play, from both the rough and the fairway, are critical to lowering scores and enjoying your four hours on the course.

    The good news is the latest technology makes it easier than ever to hit high, soft iron shots closer to the green and, when well-struck, closer to the pin. 2016 has brought a host of new and updated irons from the top golf equipment makers.

    Titleist is getting rave reviews for its new T-MB irons. The T-MB’s are are hollow-cavity blade style irons and designed for top players. Testers have been impressed by the club’s high launch angle and distance. At a recommended $1,599 a set, they don’t come cheap but Titleist has definitely done their homework with this club design.

    TaylorMade has updated their PSi and PSi Tour irons. This reboot is more focused on improving the club’s visual appeal and feel. Testers noted less-offset than earlier TaylorMade models and a softer feel at impact. Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia put the PSi Tour irons in their bags in late 2015.

    The man innovation in these clubs is TaylorMade’s Distance Feel System (DFS). TaylorMade developed a material called hybar which has been inserted between the face and cavity of the club. Hybar is designed to reduce vibration at impact. These clubs retail for $1,099 and up.

    Callaway has updated their XR irons for 2016 with the XR OS line. A wider sole is designed to improve ball-strike at impact and provide added forgiveness. An improved face cup increases flex increases ball speed and distance. A lower and deeper center of gravity encourages higher ball flight. These clubs are available in both steel and graphite shafts and retail for $799 and $899 respectively.

    Cobra Max irons take a different approach to the mid and short irons in the set. The 4 through 8-iron encourage maximum launch and greater distance through their half hollow design. The shorter irons in the set are more classic cavity back in design, increasing spin and control. The set also includes a gap wedge for sand play and thick lies in greenside rough. The Cobra Max came out this past December and price out around $649 for steel shafts and $699 for graphite.

    Cobra also has updated their F6 irons. Their approach is similar to the Max series but includes aluminum inserts in their long and mid irons. The inserts allow players to produce higher launch angles with better forgiveness on off-center strikes. These clubs came out in mid-January 2016 and retail for $799 (steel shaft) and $899 (graphite).
    Cobra’s Forged MB irons are designed for the game’s top players. Tungsten plugs in the toe increase moment of inertia. The clubs have a gorgeous “diamonized” black finish. Rickie Fowler is beginning the 2016 campaign with these irons in his bag.

    The Ping I series continues with Ping i25 irons. This year Ping made their irons in 431 steel, a softer material than past models, to provide players with better feel. Ping I irons have been consistently rated among the most forgiving irons available and the i25 edition continues that tradition. These clubs retail between $799 and $999.

    Mizuno is updating their impressive line of irons for 2016. Mizuno JPX EZ irons combine Mizuno’s Hot Face technology with their Power Frame Dual Pocket Construction to produce the longest and most forgiving iron they have ever made. Testers were impressed by both of these benefits but also reported that the club provides plenty of feel and feedback for golfers. Mizuno also made Mizuno JPX EZ Forged irons that incorporate Boron, a material that makes the club face 30% stronger allowing them to design a thinner clubface for more skilled players. These irons should retail between $799 and $999 depending on the shaft and specific model.