When it comes to buying a set of irons these days, you have a lot of options. It’s similar to car shopping in that there’s a lot of amazing stuff beneath the hood, and much of it operates wonderfully. The variables that determine what to buy are usually a matter of personal preference.
Let’s take a look at some of the many iron styles available at your local golf shop, as well as some of the qualities to look for to guarantee you get the best set.
Modified cavity backs
These aren’t your grandfather’s cavity backs with a big crater in the back. A modified cavity-back is usually a multi-part iron constructed of a variety of materials. A face implant is frequently contained in a frame and back-weighted in various degrees using heavy weights. The ZX5 from Srixon is an excellent example of this category. The ZX5 is made up of many pieces for greater stability and forgiveness while maintaining the thin profile that better players are demanding.
Hollow-body irons are exactly what they sound like: irons with a hollow center, usually made out of an iron body, a face insert, and some strategic interior weighting to lower the center of gravity for a higher and longer launch. These irons can fool the eye because they resemble a blade at first glance, but upon closer study, you’ll notice that they’re puffier and lighter than a blade.
Some hollow-body irons have polymers infused into them for improved feel and sound, while others do not, resulting in a more popping sound at impact. The ZX4 from Srixon is a hollow-body iron that looks like a players iron but is actually designed to help you improve your game. In reality, many game-improvement clubs nowadays are hollow-body designs.
New-school cavity backs
A cavity behind the face on a new-school cavity back is formed of one piece of metal (sometimes cast, often forged) to improve perimeter weighting and add forgiveness and distance. Cavity backs were the de facto game-improvement style iron before the advent of modern-day equipment technology, but nowadays they tend to contain shallower cavities with refined features that better players appreciate.
Yes, blades are still available for purchase. And they’re still used by some of the top players on the planet. A blade is a single piece of steel (typically forged) with no cavity, a thin sole, and no offset. They’re designed for shot makers who aren’t looking for extra distance or forgiveness. Instead, they’d prefer to be able to mold their shots. When it comes to shorter clubs, some players like blades and include a few blade-style irons in their sets. That brings us to…
Who said you have to choose only one? Most manufacturers provide mixed sets of irons that include hollow bodies, cavity backs, blades, and even hybrids. What matters most is that you select a set that corresponds to your swing characteristics and is tailored to produce the shot patterns that you want. Some 10-handicappers can get away with using clubs built for greater shotmaking control, while others may need more forgiveness and distance. It all boils down to what you desire and require.
Last but not least, pay close attention to the details. Once you’ve decided what sort of irons are ideal for you, pay a little more and schedule a club fitting session to guarantee you have irons with the proper amount of sole width, offset, length, and lie angle for your swing.
Don’t forget about the shaft and grip, which come in a variety of steel and composite materials, as well as different grips and grip diameters, all of which can affect how a club feels and performs.
Original article posted on GOLF.