Best New Game-Improvement Irons 2018
Golf Digest editors E. Michael Johnson and Ashley Mayo talk game-improvement irons, longevity and why more recent equipment can equal more distance.
Released on 1/30/2018
I've had my irons for three seasons.
I have no plans on changing them
or buying new ones this year, maybe even next year.
How long should I hold on to them?
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Most people hold onto their irons for five or six years.
That's the replacement cycle, and this year we did a test.
We were like, what are the improvements
on a normal replacement cycle?
So the test we did was, we took some irons
from five and six years ago,
and then took some of the game improvement irons
from this year's hot list and matched them up.
What we found were, the games can be really significant;
particularly on the miss hit.
This is where people, in this category,
you're not tetching and flush
on the center of the face all the time.
You're hitting it on the heel.
You're hitting it on the toe,
and we saw games on average of three to five yards.
And in some instances, as much as 20 yards.
So if you haven't changed out your irons,
in three years maybe your okay, but five years
you're really losing out.
And specifically to game improvement irons,
what are the technologies that help that forgiveness?
Well again, much like some of the other categories
they're using multiple materials.
It used to be that multiple materials where used
to mask flaws.
You know, you might have a bad sound,
so you'd need something to dampen that out
or work around it.
But now what they're doing
is they're able to help things like launch angle,
help balance spin rate, help balance ball flight,
put weight low, put it on the heel and the toe
to boost stability on miss hits.
That's where we're seeing the gain.
Some of my friends, and I see this on tour as well,
they use game improvement irons further than longer irons
which are harder to hit.
And then players irons for their shorter irons
for more accuracy and to get dialed in.
Is that a good idea?
Well, I think it depends
on what type of player you are, but yeah.
And I think companies are catering to that now.
They realize that the days of the eight iron
sat all one thing,
in this day of personalization everyone wants
their own thing.
And so they're making it easier than ever
that if you want to have those short irons
from a players set and longer and mid irons
from a game improvement set,
they're absolutely willing to help it out.
And it's a great idea.
You know, that you're scoring clubs are more precise with,
if you have a little bit more game maybe say
or that 10/11 handicapper that can actually hit those shots,
its a good idea.
Alright, feel free to mix it up,
change it up, customize it.
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