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Category: Irons

August 18, 2014

Callaway Apex Muscleback Irons: First Look

Posted at 9:08 AM by Michael Chwasky


Built with significant input from Callaway's Tour Staff, the new Apex Muscleback ($1099) features the traditional look and feel that the best players in the world often prefer with a bit of playability mixed in. Considered to be Callaway's premium forged iron, the Apex Muscleback is "quad forged," from Carbon steel for the ultimate feedback at impact and also features an optimized sole camber that provides greater versatility than a standard muscleback design. Apex-mb-iron-address-2014

The same wide spaced grooves used in the Apex Pro irons provide more consistent spin rates from varying turf conditions, making them easier to control for players who can handle a true blade. 

The Apex Muscleback will be available through custom order on September 12. 

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April 11, 2014

Exotics CB PROh hybrid irons

Posted at 5:01 PM by Michael Chwasky


The new CB PROh hybrid irons ($599/graphite) are designed to provide a blend of hybrid distance performance and cavity blade scoring capabilities. The long and mid irons (2-7) are built with hollow clubheads and forged face inserts for a high COR and increased ballspeed and distance as well as a larger effective hitting area for greater forgiveness. The short irons (8-PW) feature a cavity-blade design for enhanced control and a multi-material vibration dampening plaque for improved feel at impact. The CB PROh irons come with a lifetime warranty and Tour Edge's 30-day play guarantee.

They are avaialble with True Temper X-Lite 90 steel shafts, KBS Tour steel shafts, Project X Flighted steel shafts or Fujikura Fuel graphite shafts.

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January 06, 2014

First Look: TaylorMade Tour Preferred irons

Posted at 3:54 PM by Michael Chwasky


Photo: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC iron (Credit: Michael Chini)

TaylorMade extended the company's iron line Monday with the introduction of three new models aimed at highly skilled players -- Tour Preferred MB ($1099), Tour Preferred MC ($999) and Tour Preferred CB ($899).

“We don’t believe you can call yourself a great iron company unless you create irons that great players want to play. Irons that meet a Tour pro’s requirements for look, feel, sound and workability,” said Sean Toulon, Executive Vice President. “That’s why these clubs bear the name Tour Preferred. The head has to look right from every angle. The leading edge and sole have to react a certain way with the turf. We’ve taken each of these things into careful account to make these irons especially appealing to better players.”

The Tour Preferred MB (muscleback), which was played by Dustin Johnson at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, is a traditional forged iron with a compact shape, thin topline and very little offset. Minimal sole camber allows better players to hit a variety of shots from all types of lies. 

The Tour Preferred MC (muscle cavity) also features a traditional shape but incorporates a small cavity into the design to add a bit more forgiveness. In addition the 3- through 7-iron feature TaylorMade's Speed Pocket technology that creates higher ball speed on shots struck low on the face and more consistent distances across the entire clubface. The MC has a slightly longer blade length, thicker topline, and a bit wider sole than the MB. 

The Tour Preferred CB (cavity back) features a full cavity back design but still maintains a traditional shape and look. Unlike the MB and MC, the CB is built with Speed Pocket technology in the 3- through 7-irons that includes micro-slots to promote faster ball speed across the face for higher launching shots and more distance. The short irons in the set are more compact and have less offset while the rest of the set features slighly larger heads and progressive offset. 

All Tour Preferred models are available in 3-PW and come standard with KBS Tour steel shafts. 

CLICK HERE for Equipment news, photos, ClubTest reviews, custom clubs, more

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November 06, 2013

First Look: Callaway Apex Pro Irons

Posted at 10:28 AM by Robert Sauerhaft


Callaway Apex Pro Iron
Credit: Schecter Lee


A better-player extension of the new Apex line, the Pro model is aimed at players who want the workability and control associated with blades while also enjoying the benefits of some forgiveness. Forged from carbon steel for enhanced feel, the Apex Pro features 7-gram tungsten weights in the sole of the 2- to 5-irons for higher launch. New, wider-spaced grooves allow for more control and consistent spin from a variety of lies. Lastly, the KBS Tour-V steel shaft (mid launch, low torque) is based on feedback from Phil Mickelson. The clubs will be at retail on January 17, 2014. Set of eight: $1,099, steel; $1,299, graphite.

For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

October 14, 2013

First Look: Adams XTD Forged irons

Posted at 12:05 PM by Robert Sauerhaft

The XTD Forged, a hybrid-iron set for low handicappers, has a flexible, lively face in the 5-iron through PW thanks to a “Cut-Thru” slot in the sole. Its thin, forged maraging steel face increases ball speed and generates higher launch.

Adams claims it’s the fastest face of any forged players’ model because of the slot and full cavity behind the face. Additionally, foam between the face and cavity softens feel.

At the “long” end of the set, two Super DHy driving irons (21° and 24°) replace standard 3- and 4-irons. Set of eight: $1,099, steel. Available on December 1.

(Photo: Schecter Lee)

CLICK HERE for Equipment news, photos, ClubTest reviews, custom clubs, more

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September 24, 2013

First Look: Callaway brings back famed Apex irons

Posted at 11:53 AM by Michael Chwasky

Callaway-apex-irons_300The famed Apex (Callaway retained the name when it sold the Ben Hogan Co.) returns with this forged, multi-piece model. Designed as a "distance" iron, the Apex has a carbon steel body to soften feel while a thin, Carpenter 455 steel face insert (most recently in Diablo Forged irons) should increase ball speed and distance.

The 3-5 irons have tungsten sole weights, which shift the effective hitting area lower on the face and make it easier to hit high-launching shots. New, wider grooves are designed to help average Joes produce more spin on shots from the rough for more consistent ball flight and carry distance.

Apex irons will be in stores starting December 6. Set of eight: $1,099, steel.

CLICK HERE for Equipment news, photos, ClubTest reviews, custom clubs, more

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(Photo: Manfred Koh)

September 23, 2013

First Look: New Adams Idea hybrid irons

Posted at 3:48 PM by Michael Chwasky
(Photo: Snap36)

What's the big "idea"? Here, it's to help mid- to high-handicappers consistently produce shots with higher launch and more overall distance. Part of that has to do with its set construction -- a trio of hybrids (4-6) with Carpenter 455 steel faces, a pair of transitional hybrids (7 and 8) that blend hybrids and irons, and cavity-back short irons (9-SW).

Adams also utilizes "Velocity Slots" for more trampoline effect at impact -- Idea irons are the industry's first set to have "slots" in each club. Each hybrid sports a channel in the crown and sole, which Adams says allows 67 percent more face flex than in hybrids without the technology. The Idea short irons have slots in the toe and sole to help ball speeds on toe hits so misses lose less distance.

The new Adams Idea irons are available at retail on October 15.
$699, steel; $799, graphite

(UPDATE: According to Adams, the standard set for the new Idea irons is 3-5 hybrids, 6-7 transitional hybrids, 8-PW short irons.)

CLICK HERE for Equipment news, photos, ClubTest reviews, custom clubs, more

For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

September 24, 2012

Cobra Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo Set

Posted at 3:31 PM by David Dusek

Cobra Golf used a 40-year-old concept to create a new set of irons for golfers who have trouble getting the ball airborne, don’t hit it very far and rarely make solid contact.

Because long irons are challenging to hit -- even for the game’s best players -- the Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo set doesn’t have any. Instead, the stock set comes with hybrids in place of the 4-, 5- and 6-irons. These Baffler hybrids have shallow faces to make it easier to get the ball up and two rails in the sole that are reminiscent of those found in the first Baffler utility woods built in the 1970s. If you hit the ground behind the ball, the rails help the clubs skim across the turf instead of digging, which should result in a better shot.

Cobra’s new Baffler irons compliment the hybrids have a unique face that’s slightly angular, but Cobra's vice president of research and design Tom Preece said the company eliminated unnecessary material in the toe. That meant the company could lower the center of gravity in the Baffler irons and move it farther back to help golfers get the ball in the air more easily.

As the set transitions from the mid-irons to the short-irons and wedges, the faces transition into a more-traditional shape.

In addition, all the irons have a wide-sole and rails like the hybrids to help offset the effect of hitting the ground before you hit the ball. Cobra has also positioned a thermoplastic vibration dampening system behind the face, that enhances feel and improves the sound at impact, Preece said.

Below is a video produced Cobra Golf that explains more about the clubs.

The Baffler Hybrid Iron Combo set (4-6h, 7-PW, GW) will cost about $599 with graphite hybrids and steel-shafted irons and $699 for an all graphite-shafted set.

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September 10, 2012

Adams releasing Idea Tech V4 Hybrid irons

Posted at 10:26 AM by David Dusek

Adams has been rolling out top-selling hybrid-iron sets for years. In new Idea Tech V4 Hybrid Irons, the stainless steel hybrids unquestionably steal the show. For starters, these sticks have re-engineered “velocity slots” in the crown and sole to boost face deflection at impact. The slots extend through the head, from crown to sole, while TPU badges hide the openings. In addition, a new heat treatment process strengthens high stress areas in the head and allows for a thinner clubface.

These updates combine to generate significantly faster ball speeds than standard hybrids—3% faster than the Idea Tech V3 Hybrid equates to 13 yards more carry distance—while tungsten weights in the heel and toe contribute to higher launch and more forgiveness.

According to Adams, the Idea Tech V4 hybrid produces similar “Characteristic Time” (CT) numbers to a driver. (CT is the USGA’s measurement to determine the springiness of a clubface.) That’s no easy feat considering driver heads and clubfaces are so much larger than hybrids.

Positioned as “game-improvement” sticks, the Idea Tech V4 Hybrid Irons consist of three hybrids (3-5) plus forged mid- and short irons (6-PW) made from 8620-carbon steel. A more forgiving, all-hybrid set features three hybrids (4-6) and hollow-headed stainless steel irons (7-GW).

Both set makeups will sell for $799 with True Temper’s Performance Step steel shaft, or $899 with Mitsubishi Rayon’s Bassara graphite shaft. Clubs will be at retail beginning September 26. -- Rob Sauerhaft

July 11, 2012

Adams Idea CMB Irons hide two little secrets

Posted at 9:28 AM by David Dusek

Adams’ latest irons for better players, the Idea CMB, are now hitting pro shop shelves. Forged from 1025 carbon steel and featuring a Nickel chrome finish, the CMBs are designed to provide the feel and feedback that pros and low-handicap amateurs want, while still offering a touch of forgiveness on mis-hits.

In the playing position, the toplines of the CMBs are thin and there is minimal offset, which should allow accomplished golfers to shape shots in either direction with ease.  

But it's what you can't see -- a pair of tungsten weights positioned low in the toe area of each club -- that makes the CMB more forgiving. The weights, which are hidden under a piece of steel that is plasma-welded to the head, help to pull the sweet spot toward the center of the hitting area. Combined with a subtle cavity back design, this should make the CMB irons less punishing on off-center hits.

In another nod to the preferences of better players, Adams has also added multiple bevels to the sole of the CMB irons to help them enter and exit the turf more easily. 

The standard eight-club set of Idea CMB irons (4-GW) will retail for about $1099 with KBS C-Taper steel shafts and $1,199 with Matrix Ozik Program 8.1 graphite shafts. Several custom shaft options are available, but sorry lefties, the CMBs are currently being made for right-handed players only.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adamsclubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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November 09, 2011

Palmer gets 20th ace using new Callaway RAZR XF irons for the first time

Posted at 4:30 PM by David Dusek

Callaway-RAZR-XF-Iron-Set_640Arnold Palmer recorded his 20th career hole-in-one on Tuesday on the seventh hole of the Charger Course at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla.

What made this ace even more unique was Palmer's choice of clubs: He used a set of Callaway RAZR XF irons for the first time, and he hit a 5-iron on the fateful 163-yard par-3.

“It was into a cross-wind from the left," Palmer said in a release provide by Callaway, the equipment company Palmer has endorsed since 2000. "The ball landed 10 feet short and politely rolled up into the hole.”

Golf Magazine wrote about the Callaway RAZR XF in its November issue:  

Supercharged RAZR XF irons are engineered for higher-handicappers who seek more distance and need help getting the ball in the air. The multi-material, 2-piece forged construction consists of a 1020 carbon steel body with a high strength Carpenter 455 steel face that’s designed to generate extra ball speed. 

Click here to watch an exclusive video on the Callaway RAZR XF .

Yup, it's good to be the King.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Photo by Schecter Lee)

Tiger Woods using Nike VR-S Forged iron in Australia

Posted at 2:22 PM by David Dusek

During practice rounds before the start of the Emirates Australian Open in Sydney this week, Tiger Woods was spotted using a yet-to-be released Nike VR-S Forged long iron. For several seasons, Woods has been using Nike Victory Red Blades (3-PW), occasionally adding a 2-iron and removing his Nike VR Pro 5-wood.

As you can see in the photo below, the VR-S Forged is a perimeter-weighted cavity back iron that has an undercut behind the face. It should help Woods hit the ball higher and land it on a more vertical trajectory, which should help Tiger stop the ball faster on the quick Australian greens.


Woods also appears to have switched to a new Nike VR Pro Limited 3-wood. On the greens in Sydney, Woods putted with a Nike Method 001 putter

Interestingly, when I was at Nike Golf's club-testing facility in Ft. Worth, Texas, last week, one of the club-builders told me that Tiger's specs (lofts, lie angles, shaft lengths, etc.) have not changed since the company started building clubs for him. Whether he was working with Hank Haney to flatten his swing plane, or Sean Foley to make it more vertical, he never adjusted his equipment.


You'll be able to learn much more about the Nike VR-S Forged irons soon in Golf Magazine's annual ClubTest Irons issue.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Nike clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook | Google+

(Top Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images; Lower Photo: Torsten Blackwood/Getty Images)

August 22, 2011

Mizuno releases the MP-59 irons

Posted at 9:23 PM by David Dusek

Golf club makers fell in love with titanium because it's stronger and lighter than steel. That means designers can make thinner driver faces, which creates discretionary weight that can be repositioned in other areas to improve performance.

But with the release of the new MP-59 irons, Mizuno uses titanium for a completely different purpose—forgiveness.


While the MP-59 is made from steel, 12 grams of titanium are forged into a pocket behind the face of each club. (It's the slightly darker material in the photo above.) Mizuno says the titanium allows the clubs to maintain the ideal amount of thickness behind the impact area for solid feel while automatically redistributing the weight to the heel, toe and sole of the club.

"The more you push the weight out to the perimeter and the thinner you make it in the middle, there's a trade-off with feel," says David Llewellyn, research and development manager for Mizuno USA. "But by using a lower density material we can maintain thickness here and build in a little bit of forgiveness."

Llewellyn says that like all the other MP irons, the MP-59 has very little offset and a thin topline because that's what better players demand.

In fact, the heads of the MP-59 irons are slightly smaller than last season's MP-58, the first irons released with this feature that Mizuno calls Ti Muscle. Yet Mizuno claims the clubs have a sweet spot that is 5 percent larger.

"The MP-58 has a titanium piece that is fairly uniform along the back," says Llewellyn. "On the MP-59 we focused the titanium right in the middle." That should make them perform better on mis-hits than their predecessors, he said.

The MP-59 irons will come standard with True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts for $999 and start arriving in pro shops Sept. 6.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Mizuno clubs, and schedule your fitting with  GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

July 31, 2011

TaylorMade unveils the R11 Irons

Posted at 9:49 PM by David Dusek

By Rob Sauerhaft
Managing Editor (Equipment), Golf Magazine

TaylorMade's new R11 irons (available in September) are disciples of both the Burner 2.0 and Tour Preferred irons.

The one-piece stainless steel cast heads boast a thin, lightweight face design like the Burner 2.0. The weight removed from the clubface has been shifted low and back to create a higher launch angle, faster ball speed, increased distance and more forgiveness. The result is comparable launch, ball flight and length to the Burner 2.0, as well as 15-yard distance gaps between clubs. (Company testing with low handicappers indicates that the R11 and Burner 2.0 4-irons produce identical carry distance; the R11 6-iron is 1 yard shorter than Burner 2.0.)


The “Precision Weight Port” system (a plug similar to those found in Tour Preferred irons) is used in the R11 irons to dial in desired head weights and swing weights, and to ensure each club’s center of gravity is in line with the sweet spot. The fixed (red) plugs — 2.5 to 17 grams — are made of aluminum, steel or tungsten and can not be adjusted by consumers. In addition, a light and lively face combines with “inverted cone technology” to deliver more consistent ball speeds and forgiveness on mis-hits.

At impact, the R11 feels and sounds more muted (quieter) than the loud-ish Burner 2.0 because the R11's clubface is slightly thicker in the impact zone and where it connects to the sole.

Lastly, the R11’s short irons have a shallow undercut channel between the face and rear to control feel and CG location (you can see it easily in the photo of the 5-iron below), the mid-irons have a moderate undercut, and the long irons have a progressively larger undercut that pulls weight farther back from the face for added forgiveness.


The new R11 irons will cost $799 with steel shafts and $999 with graphite shafts. You can learn more about them at and watch Mark King, TaylorMade's CEO, introduce them to TaylorMade employees in the video below.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

June 27, 2011

Titleist's 712 Series irons arrive on the PGA Tour

Posted at 9:57 PM by

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – You'll have to wait about four months to try Titleist's new 712 Series irons, but pros at the AT&T National are getting their first chance to hit the new AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons this week. (Photos below; Titleist uses 700 numbers for irons, and the 12 indicates the model year.)

While the heads of the new AP1 irons are the same size as their predecessors, their most significant new feature is a progressive blade length.


"The long irons are about the same size," said Chris McGinley, Titleist's vice president of golf club marketing. "But as you go through the set, we brought the blade size down. That lets us make the long irons more forgiving and the short irons more traditional."

When it comes to the AP2 irons, which are designed for low handicappers, McGinley says Titleist has significantly increased the club's moment of inertia (MOI) by re-positioning tungsten weight within the heads.


"The overall goal was to better apply the different materials we use in the design," McGinley said. "To make both [the AP1 and AP2], in essence, more forgiving. But when you are talking about the AP2 player, he's not really looking for forgiveness. For him, iron play is all about distance control. When we can make an iron more forgiving, we're really giving the AP2 player more consistent ball speed over a larger area of the face."

McGinley said that a player who owns 710 CB or MB irons won't feel much difference if he tries the new 712 CB or MBs, and that’s by design. The pros who use the clubs—like Rory McIlroy, Geoff Ogilvy and Rickie Fowler—give the company lots of good feedback on them, so Titleist doesn't want to tweak these classic forged blades too much, McGinley said.


"We've updated the cosmetics with a new satin chrome finish," McGinley said. "We've also updated the sole design of the MB, taking a little bit off the trailing edge because the guy playing that club—a small blade, pure muscleback—is looking for crisp turf contact."


Titleist decided not to release a combo set, blending CB long irons with MB short irons.

"If you do that, you're assuming what the player needs, and we don't want to do that," he said. "The fact that we can make those custom means that we don't have to make a pre-packaged set. Everyday golfers can go get fit for Titleist irons and order a mixed set if they want." will give you more information on Titleist's new 712 iron series in the weeks to come, including the exact date when the clubs will be available and prices.

Click the images below to see high-resolution close-ups of the new models.

-- By David Dusek, deputy editor,

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

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