Forged irons: Something for everyone

A selection of forged irons on the market right now.

A selection of forged irons on the market right now.

Forged irons have made a dramatic comeback.

Only a few years ago, most irons were made of investment-cast stainless steel. Now we see forged irons, made of soft carbon steel, in the club lineup of every major club manufacturer.

In general, these irons appeal to low-handicap players, although companies such as Cobra and Adams are making a pitch to golfers of average ability who probably are planning on improvement.

Here are several forged irons available for 2012. Titleist and TaylorMade had the most forged irons on the 2011 PGA Tour – and are leading again so far in 2012.

• • •

Nike VR_S Forged

The skinny: The VR_S Forged has the highest COR (coefficient of restitution) of any Nike iron ever made, which means one thing: the ball goes farther. Combine that with relatively strong lofts (a 28-degree 6-iron, for example) and these irons are distance machines. Despite their contemporary design, these irons look very traditional. Stock shaft is the Nippon N.S. Pro 950GH HT.

Cost: $999.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Cobra AMP Forged

The skinny: Vibration dampening is a huge theme with the AMP Forged irons. In the cavity behind the hitting area, the irons contain a shock-absorbing aluminum medallion and a separate insert, both made of thermoplastic rubber. They also have tungsten inserts in the sole to promote an optimal trajectory. Stock shaft is the KBS Tour.

Cost: $899.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: May 1

• • •

Adams Idea Black CB3

The skinny: The CB3 irons have a deep cavity along with heel and toe weighting. Adams says these irons are all about feel and forgiveness. Stock shaft is the KBS 90, which is about 30 grams lighter than the regular KBS Tour.

Cost: $799.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Forged CB

The skinny: These have a straight leading edge, with almost no offset. Most of the weight has been moved to the sole, heel and toe, so achieving the proper trajectory is no problem for most skilled golfers.

Cost: $799.99 (eight irons, Dynamic Gold shafts), $899.99 (eight irons, Project X or KBS Tour shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Callaway Razr X Forged

The skinny: This iron contains all the earmarks of a classic forged iron, including thin top line, narrow sole and short blade length. In addition, it has a high, squared-off toe and sharp leading edge. Add to this a cavity-back design for playability. Created by Callaway chief designer Roger Cleveland. Stock shaft is Project X Flighted Rifle.

Cost: $899.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC

The skinny: The MC has a shallow cavity designed to increase forgiveness and feel. To achieve consistent swingweight and optimal center of gravity, TaylorMade has placed a Precision Weighting Port in the back of the iron. Stock shaft is True Temper Dynamic Gold.

Cost: $899.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Titleist CB Forged

The skinny: Plain and simple, the CB Forged is a player’s club that benefits from modern weighting technology. It is a pure forging, reflecting the heritage of Titleist irons, yet the weighting is enhanced with a contemporary cavity-back design. The back of the CB features a shallow cavity with an inner cavity muscle behind the impact area. These irons have a slightly wider sole for players who like to be aggressive while hitting through the turf. Stock shaft is True Temper Dynamic Gold.

Cost: $999.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Ping Anser

The skinny: Ping classifies the Anser as a forged iron, although it has a tungsten sole and could be labeled a contemporary updating of the forging process. It is an extremely soft-feeling iron. Stock shaft is Project X Rifle.

Cost: $1,349.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Mizuno MP-59

The skinny: The MP-59 is a direct relative of the MP-58, which has been a popular forged iron. The MP-59 has titanium forged into the muscleback area of the blade, producing a sweet area that Mizuno says is 5 percent larger than that of the MP-58. The iron also reflects Mizuno’s efforts to optimize sound and feel with Harmonic Impact Technology. Stock shaft is True Temper Dynamic Gold.

Cost: $999.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Wilson FG Tour V2

The skinny: Wilson has a long history of forged irons, and the FG Tour V2 is the latest forged addition. Includes minimal offset, thin top line and a back cavity that promotes increased MOI (resistance to twisting). Stock shaft is KBS Tour.

Cost: $799.99 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Bridgestone J40 Dual Pocket Cavity

The skinny: The Dual Pocket Cavity moves discretionary weight to the perimeter for added forgiveness, while positioning more mass directly behind the hitting area. Bridgestone offers sets of eight irons (commonly 3-PW) but also sells irons in sets of six. This provides more flexibility for consumers, who might want to substitute hybrids for long irons. Stock shaft is Project X Flighted Rifle.

Cost: $699.99 (six irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

• • •

Miura CB-501

The skinny: Over the past 55 years, Miura irons, made in Japan, have been used by some of the game’s top golfers. They are now available from many custom fitters in the United States. The CB-501 cavity-back model is aimed at a wide audience, and the hallmark of this iron may be its ability to get the ball up in the air without any unwanted ballooning effect. All Miura irons are custom fit to the individual golfer, and, as a result, there is no stock shaft.

Cost: $2,000 (eight irons, steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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