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Adams CMB Forged Iron Review
GolfWRX Editor Review by: LeftRev, and Jim Cardo
Pros: Solid feel at impact, very versatile sole grind that will help for swings that produce a good divot, perfect overall size and minimal offset.
Cons: Very blunt leading edge for shallow swingers. for higher handicaps they might like some offset to help get the ball up.
Bottom Line: Solid feel at impact, awesome looks if you like a players type irons. Little offset and thinnish toplines.
WRX is going to review these irons a little differently. We are going to have 3 different veteran equipment reviewers combined in an official WRX editor review. Why? Subjectivity is the weakness in club reviews. Art is in the eye of the beholder. There are so many small details that can be missed and also amplified for the good and the bad we want to try to offer the best review possible.
LeftRev: I’m not much of a technical writer but here is my review:
I have been playing a set of Adams Idea Pro Black MBs [1/2 inch over and standard lie-DGSL S-300] since there were introduced several years ago and have been satisfied that no other iron could compare with the MB’s overall playability. I had my first range session on Monday with the CMB irons [standard length 2 degrees upright C-Tapers X]. Honestly, I had reservations about whether the cavity back CMBs would compare favorably to my revered Black MBs. I also had never hit the KBS C-taper shafts so the afternoon was devoted to experimentation.
It took me 4 or 5 balls to get the feel of the 130 gram shafts [as compared to DGSL S-300s] and then I pured my first shot. Honestly, I can’t remember that exact feeling in an iron/shaft combination before in my four decades of golf. 100 balls later I had gone through the bag and to my amazement duplicated that same solid, flushed type feeling on a high percentage of those swings. It was one of those rare times of ball hitting at a range that was addictive. I got 100 more balls and kept hitting the irons.
I’m not sure how Adams did it with this set of irons [maybe the 1025 carbon steel, the tungsten, the technology] but the feel is solid and soft yet powerful. Misses didn’t punish distance or direction much at all. The grind on the CMBs is better than the Black MBs. I’m more of a picker but I was producing nice small divots and loving every piece of sod that flew out in front of me. I thought the C-Tapers would produce a low, piercing type trajectory and that shot could be hit but the normal shot for me was a high ball that stayed in the air for a longer time than I expected.
The C-Tapers totally surprised me. I am not a fan of the Project X shafts. I expected the C-Taper to feel and perform similarly. Everything I have read on WRX suggested that they are extremely stiff but with a better feel than PXs. Instead, I was hitting high shots that turned over a little. It felt like I was compressing the shaft adequately. The ball jumps off the face of the irons and straighter, target-oriented shots are the norm. The profile of the shaft is like no other I have hit. The X flex C-Taper shafts were in the set I was lucky enough to purchase. I expected them to be too stiff but the shaft actually feels less stiff to me than DG X-100s and that’s a borderline fit for me.
I asked the Pro if he wanted to hit the CMBs. He is on staff with another OEM. On his second shot he hit that pured ball that gets up and is gone with an 8 iron. He turned around, raised his eyebrows, and then kept hitting. After hitting about 10 balls with the 8 iron, he came back to the bag, picked up the 6 iron and hit some more. At the end of the session he mentioned that he thought he had found his next set of irons.
After two additional range sessions my results continue to confirm what I experienced in that first range session. I know members want to know about distance. I am carrying the ball longer with the CMBs…I would say 5 yards through the set on average…sometimes more. Since the CMBs are 1 degree stronger in loft, that’s about right. The CBM’s greatest attributes are how solid they are though the hit and accuracy.
I hope that Adams will be allowed to continue to use their great technology to produce innovative equipment without interference from TM. In the evolution of their player’s cavity back irons the CMBs have changed the paradigm and upped the ante.
Idea CMB Irons Technology Features:
- Performance Advantage Through Multi-Material Design
- Forged 1025 carbon steel body provides exceptional feel
- Unique tungsten weight inserts strategically placed low in the toe to position the center of gravity in the exact center of the scorelines. This creates enhanced feel and minimal twisting at impact
- Two-piece, laser plasma-welded forged construction
- Nickel-chrome satin finish gives these irons a unique and better player look
- 3-way cambered sole improves turf interaction
- Triple-milled (face, grooves & cavity) improves the scoreline design
- Progressive performance provides consistent forgiveness and ball flight control from long irons to scoring clubs.
Hifade: Not a full review as promised, yet, but some info below non the less, follow by sickness and heartbreak.
Actually, I only got a chance to get out and hit about 60 balls last night, after my new CMB’s arrived earlier in the day. I took the W, 8, 7 and 4 irons with me. Mine are in the “S” flex C-taper and feel great as expected. I had messed with the C-tapers the end of last year in a set of JPX-800 Pros so I was aware of what to expect (“feel-wise”). With the CMB’s being 1025 carbon steel and my trusty TaylorMade JDM r7 Forged being a similar (S25C) grade steel, I figured the “softness” to be about the same.
Two things stand out with little time to experiment thus far: (1) awesome at address as expected (2) very high ball flight with C-tapers. More so than I expected and experienced prior.
Here’s the part that made me incredibly SICK…….when I got home, I took the 4 clubs I had with me at the range, to the sink to rinse them and wash them up. As I washed one after the next, I got to the 4th and last club that I used…..the 8 iron. To my shock, horror was now setting in. What I noticed as I was drying it off was that the chrome around the hosel of that 8 iron looked cracked, and even like it was starting to almost flake. I’ve only see this one time before and it was on a set of TM forgings from several years back. Now, I know that flaking chrome is very sharp so I, obviously, didn’t try to pick any of it off to see if there was any damage below to the actual metal. I don’t think there is but that’s not the point. Obviously, there was an air pocket or bubble or defect of some kind between the chrome plating and the steel below it, or just a bad spot where the chrome did not adhere (pic below). You can imagine the sick feeling I was experiencing. Needless to say, I put everything away and retired to the couch.
This morning, I was going to check every other club and see if there were any signs of problems with any of the others. It’s looks like the GW may have a smaller hairline “issue” as well (WTF???). So, I’ve already e-mailed Adams, via the website, and will call them first thing, when they open at 9AM EDT. I’m hoping they will FedEx out a replacement because I want to put these into play in a tournament I have this weekend. Oh yeah, these clubs are that good, and that similar to what I’m used to using the past 5 seasons (TM r7 Forged), so the transition to these is almost instant.
I’m going to give Adams a chance to make this right and am confident they will (great company). I just hope they will do so in time for this weekend. I’ve become a huge Adams convert and hope that a warranty or customer service issue will maintain that confidence level I now have in their products, instead of letting me down. The next hour or two will tell.
If anyone has a “special” contact, idea or advice on how to get this replaced in a day or so, I’m all ears. I really don’t want to exercise a favor, from an exec I know, for something like this. That said, they are pure and my review will reflect that with a little more time spent later tonight.
Hifade: Well, just to update: Adams has agreed to immediately send an entire set to replace these rather than one by one. Talk about incredible customer service. In addition, they are letting me keep these for my tournament this weekend and when the new ones arrive, box these up and send them back. I gotta say having had many years in this business that this is what customer service is all about.
Adams……..you have a fan for the rest of my playing days. Don’t let the big boys at TM screw anything up.
HiFade: Okay, so while I don’t have my replacement irons yet, I will add a few comments. First, these irons have an incredible feel. Mind you, I’m coming from a set of TaylorMade JDM r7 Forged which are the 2nd best feeling set of irons I’ve ever played right behind my Miura forged, tour issue, TaylorMade 300 Forged Lehmans I played before the r7′s. So, I’m coming from 10+ years of the sweetest feeling in golf. Second, the length of these is still something I’m dialing in. I had 133 yards to a back pin on a two-tiered green, that was all over water, last Friday. I pulled the wedge and after a very solid strike was shocked to see the ball land 15 yards over the green. I didn’t get a jumper, and it’s not due to hot spots (I don’t think???)….I plain flushed it. What I’m realizing is that they are a club(+) longer for me that I’m used to. Third, the ball flight is noticeably higher than I’m used to. I enjoy flighting my shots and adjusting my trajectory when the shot calls for it. While I can do so with these CMB’s, the initial, normal launch is higher. That’s not a bad thing. If the C-tapers truly reduce spin, then the added elevation is a nice counter to the 5% reduction in spin, allowing for well struck shots to still stop.
While I have some continued “dialing-in” to do with these, they are one of those sets that you instantly know….”these will work.” If I don’t have that feeling with a club, or a set, they don’t get a thorough work out. These will and look like they could be here to stay. The one thing I may try is a slightly heavier shaft (TI DGS400′s). I love the C-tapers but I’m wondering if a slightly heavier version of it may help avoid the shots I tend to hit left a bit too often and seemingly more so than before. I’ve seen those tendencies before with slightly lighter weight shafts and, at 120 grams, it may make a difference. In addition to my S400′s, I’m tempted to pick up a 125 gram (S+) or a 130 gram (X) C-taper, soft-step accordingly and see what happens with them.
LeftRev: After my earlier review following a few range sessions, I have now played the CMBs one time and had additional range sessions.
Round performance: I confirmed over the first few holes after hitting the same iron on approaches and one par three that I normally hit on a course I know well that the CMBs are one club longer than my Adams black mbs [the mbs are 1 degree weaker in loft]. The trajectory of the CMBs with X Flex C-Tapers is similar to the DGSL S-300s shafts that are in my mbs. Though the flight is similar the C-Taper shafts produce extra air time and distance at a similar height. I hit more right to left shots than usual which is a pattern that Hifade also noted in his review. Mishits were generally lower flighted straight shots which often ended up close to my desired distance. By the end of the round, I was more comfortable with the 130 gram shafts and actually prefer them to the DGSL. It was a Jekyll and Hyde round of experimentation… 5 birdies [a couple of which were attributable to good iron shots] and 5 bogies [driver jealousy over attention to irons] and 8 pars.
I can confirm Hifade’s wedge experience–not during my round but on the range. I might be hitting a series of 8 irons that are solidly struck and landing at my normal distance and then hit another that feels identical but the ball lands 10-15 yards beyond my other shots. This has happened with several of the irons. I don’t suspect a hot spot on the iron face, though,and hope that maybe I just made a more efficient swing.
This is a great iron/shaft combination and worth a demo now that they are out.
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