2010 irons: Find the right configuration

Wilson D-FY
Wilson D-FY

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Irons now hit the ball much farther than before. Why? Because iron lofts have grown stronger in recent years.

This change was fostered by new materials and new designs that raised the trajectory of iron shots. Once the ball started flying higher, manufacturers were free to decrease the loft.

Perhaps the most important element surrounding the purchase of irons is overall bag configuration. Irons must fit properly with hybrids and fairway woods. Many golfers today start their irons at a 4-iron or 5-iron, replacing long irons with hybrids.

No matter how a golfer chooses to configure the bag, the distance between irons (called gapping) should be consistent from club to club.

Wilson D-FY (pictured above)

The skinny: The D-FY set includes a 19.5-degree FYbrid utility club, 4-hybrid, wide sole 5-iron and 6-iron that are hollow, and 7-iron through pitching wedge that feature perimeter weighting and cavity backs. The set comes with Half-and-Half shaft (steel tip, graphite butt).

Cost: $999.99 MSRP

Available: Immediate

TaylorMade R9

The skinny: These irons combine strong lofts and high trajectory, yet they have a more traditional look than TaylorMade’s popular long-hitting Burner irons. Also available in R9 TP version for low-handicap players.

Cost: $799 steel, $999 graphite (8 irons)

Available: Immediate

Titleist MB 2010

The skinny: Subtle changes in the MB make it even more attractive as an iron for highly skilled players. The MB is forged from 1025 carbon steel. It has a redesigned back, with the muscle behind the point of impact. It has a softened top line and, from the address position, looks a lot like Titleist’s forged, multimaterial AP2 iron that was the most-used iron on the PGA Tour in 2009.

Cost: $1,080 steel (8 irons) MSRP

Available: Immediate

Callaway Diablo Forged

The skinny: Callaway is calling the Diablo Forged its longest forged iron. It has a low, deep center of gravity, along with an undercut cavity design. The result, according to Callaway: longer shots with a penetrating trajectory, along with clubhead stability for improved forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cost: $999 steel, $1,199 graphite (8 irons)

Available: Feb. 15

Ping G15

The skinny: A thinner face, stronger lofts, a lower center of gravity – it adds up to longer and higher shots with a classic Ping profile with forgiveness built in.

Cost: $860 steel, $1,080 graphite (8 irons) MSRP

Available: Immediate

NikeSQ Mach Speed

The skinny: Nike calls these game-improvement irons the “fastest and longest irons” ever offered by the company. They feature a thin face to achieve maximum distance.

Cost: $839.99 steel, $959.99 graphite (8 irons) MSRP

Available: March 1

Bridgestone J38 Forged Cavity Back

The skinny: These new forged irons feature a magnesium composite insert. The insert does two things: It enhances the perimeter weighting for increased forgiveness, and it dampens vibration for improved feel.

Cost: $899 steel (4-PW; 3-iron also available) MSRP

Available: March 1

Tour Edge Bazooka HT Max irons

The skinny: A progressive iron set in which different irons are designed with different blade lengths, face heights, top lines, offsets and bounces. The long irons (3-5) have a longer blade length and wider top line; the mid-irons (6-7) have less offset and a thinner top line; and the short irons (8-PW) have a shorter blade length and narrower sole width. The irons come with the new smaller grooves.

Cost: $259 (steel, 4-PW), $349 (graphite, 4-PW)

Available: March 1

Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.