Best New Players-Distance Irons 2018
Golf Digest editors E. Michael Johnson and Ashley Mayo clarify what players irons actually are and what players would benefit from putting them into rotation.
Released on 1/30/2018
Ok, players distance irons.
Brand new category.
What does that mean?
Over the last few years,
what we've found is there irons in the players category
trending kind of toward game improvement
and there irons in the game improvement category
that kind of trend
more towards players. Right.
[Mike] And now there's kind of
a critical mass in these clubs.
So we said,
we can really separate these into three categories.
And then we have our fourth, super game improvement.
What they are essentially is,
they're clubs for me.
Right They're for the guy
whose a decent player,
but maybe has lost half a club of yardage,
or maybe even a full club of yardage.
They've been able to design these irons
with a players shape,
that appeals to my eye,
but with a little extra zip in 'em.
So they look like players irons,
but they have a little more forgiveness?
Well, a little more forgiveness,
but more importantly, more distance.
We're tryin' to pick up that half club,
and how they do that
is their able to either fit out the face
or they're able to use a special material
and use a face insert
that's a little bit stronger. Right.
Maybe they even use something like an L face,
which is where the face wraps around gently
into the sole of the club.
Provides a little more trampoline.
[Ashley] And so in terms of designing these things,
is there give and take when you add
in these elements of speed?
Do you have to
give something up? Yep.
Golf club design is always a compromise.
You're always giving up something to get something else.
In this instance, the biggest challenge for them
is when you make the face better,
the sound can become an issue.
So what some companies have done
is they will use a urethane,
or they'll use some foam,
or they'll use some sort of badge in the back
to help dampen that sound,
give it that pleasing sound to the ear,
but still give you all the distance that you need.
[Ashley] It almost sounds like driver technology's
trickling down into these irons.
It is, I mean we've seen it,
you know, starting in Fairway Ones
trickling down to that. Yeah.
Then into hybrids and now it has absolutely
gotten down into the iron category.
You see it all the time.
It's only exciting for us.
The golfer. Well especially for me,
because I need that half club back.
We all do.