5 Great New Irons That Are Turning Golfers' Heads
Oct 2, 2015
Even those who aren't golf equipment nuts will admit that it is an incredibly vibrant industry-within-an-industry. Every week, there seems to be hot new woods, wedges, putters or irons coming out of Carlsbad, Phoenix and anywhere else steel, titanium and tungsten are forged and cast.
At Golf Academy of America, we stay on top of all cutting-edge equipment; the spring and summer of 2015 were particularly interesting if you found yourself in the market for new irons. When choosing your next set of irons, you might consider one of the following:
PING recently unveiled two new sets of irons that, given PING's nearly-impeccable track record of quality control, will find their way into thousands of bags through this upcoming fall.
There's the new iE1 iron series, which will serve as a replacement for the i25 line of irons that have found popularity among recreational players and touring pros alike. Adherents to that line will find the new breed has a thinner topline, a wider sole and less offset than its predecessor. This promotes workability for mid- and lower-handicap players. MSRP: $135 per club steel; $150 graphite
For those looking for more forgiveness and straighter, more reliable ball flight, PING's new G Max irons may just be the ticket. With particularly springy faces and stronger lofts in line with those offered by most other major manufacturers, these irons should bring at least a half club more distance to their new owners. Take note that the G Max line's head shapes will be in between those of PING's previous G series and Karsten super-game-improvement line. MSRP: $121.25 steel; $136.25 graphite
Whereas PING has largely eschewed forged irons (except for its high-end Anser line), Mizuno is beloved by a wide range of players for its forged irons, including its traditional muscle-back blades. Starting Sept. 18, two new offerings from the Japanese company will be receiving a lot of play, both on Tour and at the nearest course. Both irons are geared toward avid middle- and low-handicap golfers, but to different degrees.
The MP-25 irons model is a cavity back made with Mizuno's prized "grain-flow-forging" process. Boron is introduced into the material, which Mizuno claims makes the metal both thinner and stronger. The longer MP-25 irons also have a "Micro Slot" feature that purports to increase ball speed across the face of the club. MSRP: 3-PW, $999 steel, $1,099 graphite
For the purist and the competitive player, the MP-5 is Mizuno's latest iteration of a muscle-back blade. With minimal offset, a thin topline and a compact shape, the MP-5 should provide the feel and shot-shaping ability Mizuno lovers have come to expect, with some added forgiveness owed to the "channel back" construction of the club. MSRP: 3-PW, $999 steel, $1,099 graphite
Parsons Xtreme Golf
Perhaps the most exciting new irons in golf come from outside the realm of the big equipment manufacturers. If you haven't heard of Parsons Xtreme Golf — PXG, for short — it's understandable. The outfit, helmed by GoDaddy.com founder and avowed golf nut Bob Parsons, is pretty much brand-new. Despite this status, they have already assembled a stable of pros that includes the PGA Tour's Ryan Moore and Rocco Mediate from the Champions Tour.
So far, PXG has only released one set of irons — the 0311s. However, their resemblance to muscle-back blades might turn off potential higher-handicap buyers. But the company's design team believes that the technology that goes into the 0311 line, and the custom-fitting capabilities inherent to their design, means that any player can play — and play better — with them. The PXG difference has to do with the fact that the hollow interior of each iron head is filled with a thermoplastic elastomer, which yields a quieter sound and softer feel. This also enables the faces of the 0311 irons to be thinner, which leads to more distance, even on off-center contact. Be advised that these high-tech irons are pricy when compared to their more mass-produced competitors. MSRP: from $300 per club