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My favorite irons of all time: Titleist 962B

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They were, and still are, my favorite irons of all time. I played the best golf of my life with them, and every “best iron shot” I ever hit was with these irons.

It was a multi-faceted love affair: look, feel, turf interaction, ball flight, curb appeal, David Duval played them, and on and on.

It was the only set that I had two of, for a gear junkie like me, that is huge. And BTW, this set has the best looking 7-iron ever.

Once again, I went to my Titleist R&D resource, Larry Bobka, to find out the backstory of what I think is the greatest cast players iron ever made.

JW:  What was the goal of developing this iron? Was it to please a certain player and find a “tour” 962 iron?

LB: Well it was fairly simple actually. We had just signed David to be the face of the DCI line if irons and had to make him an iron that he would put into play. Marching orders came in and we went off and made it. So essentially it is the David Duval iron.

JW: The was a previous DCI B black that was produced, but there really wasn’t a market for it. Why do you think the 962B did so well?
LB: There are two main reasons for the success of the 962B 1) Was David Duval 2) was the design of the satisfied a broad range of good players. Whether you were a blade, cavity back, cast, or forged player, this iron seemed to satisfy all of them. It was very special that way.
JW: What design features stood out to you?
LB: It’s a “forged iron” in a 431 stainless casting. So essentially we took the design and playability characteristics of a forged players iron and were able to incorporate that into a cast club. The sole, top line, etc all look and perform like a true forging. I’ve seen anything quite like it.
JW: What is it about the sole of that iron that was so unique?
LB: Based on his swing characteristics and ball flight preferences..he needed a sole with a very little heel. David liked to play closed to open hitting a drop fade, he wanted/needed minimal heel to turn the ball left at impact.
JW: What former Titleist irons influenced the 962B?
LB: Really none. We needed to make the best “players” cast iron! Typically they are forged, we had to start from a new place to get this done.
JW: How many different iterations did it take on before the final?
LB: Peter Gilbert was head of Iron Design at Titleist back then. We sat down, laid out the specs, and did it on the first iteration.
JW: Was a forged set ever made?
LB: Never but that would be an awesome setup.
JW: Would that design still hold water today?
LB: Absolutely. Great iron designs have been cast or forged. I’m sure some modern tweaks could be made but as a stand-alone club, it could still perform quite well today.
JW: What other Titleist staffers besides DD used it?
LB: To be honest, not a ton of our staff used it with the exception of Faxon and Curtis Strange on occasion. It was very much a DD iron that wasn’t really intended to satisfy a huge bucket of players…but regardless everyone loved it.
If I had the dough and could have Don White or Mike Taylor grind me up a set of irons, I’d replicate the 962B…all day, no question. Titleist has always made great irons, but this one was a unicorn.
Specs:
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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Rich Douglas

    May 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    If your favorite irons are some old set, play them. If you don’t have them, find them. But my question is, if they were so great, why aren’t you still playing them?

    While I’ve made a couple of mistakes along the way, for the most part by best irons are the ones in the bag. The rest is just waxing nostalgic and convenient forgetfulness.

  2. Benny

    May 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Great article and while I always thought DCI’s were the ugliest kid on the block. Fun read JW!

    • George Stevenson

      May 10, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      Probably the ugliest iron ever made!

  3. BRADLEY

    May 9, 2020 at 8:03 am

    I am playing my favorit iron of all time right now the DCI 990 3-pw. I have kicked around getting a set of the 762 or even the 762b. Now after reading this I might have to buy a set.

  4. Sam

    May 9, 2020 at 5:39 am

    Do you guys even edit these articles before you post them?

  5. stanley

    May 8, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    we need titleist to make a forged version of this iron.. o man!!!!

    • Shallowface

      May 9, 2020 at 11:19 am

      Why? The cast version is as soft as forged and more durable. If the molds still exist, I would think they could produce these immediately, as long as people would accept the old school lofts (a big if I’ll grant you).

  6. Stump

    May 8, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Does anyone know if the 962B came in lefty? I had a set of lefty 962 2-SW and gave them away. I really wish I had them back. I’ve been trying to find another set without much luck.
    My buddy gave me a 962 1 iron for my birthday so I’ve got the start of a new set!

    • Chris G

      May 8, 2020 at 11:44 pm

      Nope sorry bud, the 962 (and 990 which came later) were only available in the regular version. Little thicker top line, and a little more cavity. We got them Righties back two years later when Phil gave us the 731PM. Yes!!

  7. Peter

    May 8, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    I had the normal 962 irons but I remember looking at the B version each time I went in the pro shop and wanting those instead. I would probably give up my mizuno blades for a new set of these.

  8. EJ

    May 8, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Not the B, but just picked up a set of unstamped 962, 2-pw, x100 for the princely sum of $103… I’ll get a set of “B” eventually and blend them in. Went into those from a set of Titleist 660 and I’ve played all the usual, mp14, mp29, 681, 690, etc. These are up there with the best of them…

  9. brian

    May 8, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I mean, some find the Ping Eye aesthetically pleasing, too…

    Personally, I find that 962 7 iron to be ugly as sin.

    • Duder

      May 8, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      My favorite irons of all time are the Mizuno MP 37 hands down! Wish I was young again, lol.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the easiest to hit hybrids

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the easiest to hit hybrids currently on the market. WRXer ‘Used2PlayAlot’ struggles to launch the ball with anything less than a five iron and reaches out to fellow members for suggestions on an easy to hit hybrid. Our members discuss.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • kcsf: “Ping G410. Consider going with a softer flex than you’re currently using too.”
  • mgoblue83: “Sounds like you are playing clubs that are way too heavy and stiff for you. Try something with a light R flex or Senior flex shaft in the 21-25 degree range. Choke up on it if needed, but if you can’t get that in the air it’s your swing, and no club will help.”
  • Tax77: “Adams 2014-2015 model hybrids, New Idea or Idea tech. The heads are massive, super-duper game improvement hybrids. You can find them for 20-30 bucks.”
  • Argonne69: “The Ping G30 and G hybrids can be found used for less than $100. Heck, I just sold a G30 4h for $60. Both models are available in 26 (5h) and 30 (6h) degrees. If you can’t get them airborne, it’s definitely a swing issue.”
  • txgolfer45: “Callaway Big Bertha hybrids.”

Entire Thread: “Easiest to hit hybrids?”

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Golf club history: woods and irons

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If you’re going to play golf, you’re going to need some clubs. The game dates back to the 1400s in Scotland, so naturally, golf club history does too. We’ve come a long way from wooden clubs and feather-filled balls. For the sake of this piece were going to stick with the modern evolution of the game’s equipment starting off with the invention of the steel shaft in the early 1900s.

Some of the first steel shafts came from a fishing rod producer in Britain by the name of Apollo and we’re developed in the early 1920s. The shafts were much more consistent than the wooden shafts they were attempting to replace but they were still considered inconsistent by many players. Steel shaft also didn’t catch on until a number of years after their conception because until 1924 the USGA considered them nonconforming equipment. It took 5 more years for the R&A to make them legal in 1929.

It was that same year in 1929 when True Temper advanced the steel shaft and developed the process to taper shafts down or create “steps”—something we are all familiar with now. These steps could be moved around the shaft and change the flex which created more options for golfers to find the right equipment and be fit.

Since that time, the biggest steps (no pun intended) we have seen taken in steel shafts have come from stronger, lighter materials to create more flex and bend profile options for golfers.

If you are curious about graphite shafts, check out my piece “The real firsts of the golf industry” for the history behind their development as well as some other technological firsts.

Here’s a broad survey of recent golf club history.

Golf club history: woods

best driver 2020

Now to the “big stick.” The term “driver” comes from the idea that the longest club was meant to be driven as far as possible from the teeing area and hence the name stuck. The club heads were made of persimmon, because of the strong dense nature of the wood. To get these wooden heads to where they needed to be for weight, they would be fitted internally with lead weights.

The video below profiles one of the last persimmon wood manufacturers in the world.

With persimmon becoming more expensive and golf growing in popularity, many manufactures shifted from using solid persimmon to laminate—that change also made the clubs more durable, and also a change in golf club history. Those companies included Wilson, Spalding, MacGregor, even Ping with the introduction of the Karsten driver and woods.

As technology continued to move forward, other companies used various materials like graphite composites to make woods, and as much as they worked well for increasing durability they never quite caught on.

The next jump came in 1979 when Gary Adams had an idea to make wood a thing of the past. He took out a $24,000 loan against his house to found TaylorMade Golf. The first product to market was a 12-degree metal driver; the very first of it’s kind in golf club history.

Since then, metal wood technology has continued to move forward leaps and bounds; shifting from steel to titanium, and titanium to multi-material heads featuring aerodynamic designs built for speed. The rules of golf have limited size and spring-like effect of drivers but manufacturers continue to innovate and make drivers faster and more forgiving.

golf club history: Irons

Until Karsten Solheim and Ping arrived on the scene (see Greatest Ping irons of all time), iron design remained mostly the same—thin, forged blades that weren’t very forgiving. It’s not to say that everything was exactly the same, quite the contrary, but from an evolution standpoint, these were just baby steps.

To see the blade evolution here are a couple of great reads:

Then, just like with putters, Karsten Solheim designed an iron that would help reduce the severity of shots hit away from the sweet spot and the modern cavity back was born: the Ping 69. It was then only a few years later in 1982 that the most popular iron of all time, the Ping Eye 2, was set free into the world and this is where iron technology went from baby steps to full-blown Olympic sprinting.

Cavity back irons make the game more enjoyable and easier because their design reduces the severity of mishit shots and get the ball in the air easier, something that benefits all level of golfers, even professionals. Just like drivers, over the last decade, we have seen the introduction of faster, longer more forgiving multi-material designs enter the market. As CAD design and manufacturing techniques go well beyond was would have been imaginable only a decade ago.

Golf club history: beyond cavity backs

New 2020 PXG Gen 3 Irons

The next leap forward was thin-faced irons so fast they needed to be reinforced with polymer materials to prevent them from caving in. The idea wasn’t new, with the introduction of clubs like the PXG 0311 or Taylormade P790, but they perfected the ability to build ultra-thin faced irons that not only performed but felt good too. The title of the first thin or slot-soled irons belongs to Wilson golf and their Reflex irons.

Conclusion

Technology will continue to push the boundaries of design, and golfers will benefit from these breakthroughs. The question of “how much further can we really go?” is up to engineers and advancements in materials and manufacturing, but however far it is, we should be excited about what they will think of next!

 

 

 

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The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now (Summer 2020 edition)

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The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now (Summer 2020 edition)

What are the most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are the best-selling golf clubs on Amazon as of July 2020.

1. Callaway Golf Men’s Strata Complete


The best-selling golf club on Amazon is actually a collection of clubs: a starter set from Callaway’s Strata line. 

From the listing: “The Strata 12 piece set is designed for maximum performance right out of the box; The set includes: driver, 3 Wood, 5 Hybrid, 6 to 9 Iron, PW, Putter, stand bag and 2 head covers.

Price: $249.99.

Buy here.

2. Pinemeadow Wedge

The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now pinemeadow wedge.jpg

A decent-looking wedge for under 30 bucks…plus, it comes in 68 degrees!  

From the listing: “Built standard with high quality Pinemeadow steel from Apollo(R), a 125 gram shaft with a low to mid kick point for the same $19.95 value, perfect for the beginning to average golfer.”

Price: $29.19

Buy here.

3. Wilson Harmonized Wedge

Tidy-looking wedge with a sole grind that affords you some versatility for under $40. 

From the listing: “Blade shape with modified bounce angles for dead stop spin and versatility from the sand, rough, or fairway”

Price: $36.94

Buy here.

4. PreciseGolf Co. Precise X7 Junior

The top-selling junior set on Amazon, here. 

From the listing: “Right handed, designed for age 9-12, Boys, junior set includes: 15 driver, 22 Hybrid, #6/7 iron (1 piece), #9/P iron (1 piece), putter, 2 head covers and stand bag (rain Hood included)”

Price: $128.67

Buy here.

5. Callaway Women’s Strata Complete Golf Set

Just like the men’s version, Callaway’s Women Strata golf set is the most popular golf set in its category on Amazon

From the listing: “The Strata Plus Women’s Package Set is designed with distance and forgiveness technologies for women who want to easily hit accurate shots that go a long way. The complete set includes: Driver, 5 Wood, 5 hybrid, 6-9 Iron, Pitching Wedge & Sand Wedge, Stand Bag and 3 Headcovers.”

Price: $249.99 – $499.99

Buy here.

6. Pinemeadow Excel EGI Hybrids

Replace any of your irons with Pinemeadow’s Excel EGI hybrids

From the listing: “3 Hybrid/19°, 4 Hybrid/22°, 5 Hybrid/25°, 6 Hybrid/28°, 7 Hybrid/32°, 8 Hybrid/36°, 9 Hybrid/40° & PW Hybrid/45°. More and more players are trading in their traditional irons and replacing them with hybrids. The EGI hybrids allow you to do this for every iron in your bag. Join the movement and expect an improvement in your game”

Price: $43.26 – $69.63

Buy here.

7. PGX Offset Golf Driver

An affordable driver option with plenty of offset designed to help players hit more fairways

From the listing: “Offset anti-slice Technology. 460Cc clubhead. Headcover included ; The matte black finish and white and green gives the driver a clean and sleek look.  The offset of the driver helps you square the ball at impact.”

Price: $49.31 – $119.20

Buy here.

8. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Black Driver, Black

TMs RBZ black driver is a great option for those looking for greater launch off the tee and comes in a sleek satin black finish

From the listing: “A large, 460cc Titanium head with an adjustable loft sleeve allows for optimized launch and trajectory. Ultralite Titanium core strategically positions mass for higher launch and trajectory control. Premium matrix White tie 55 shaft for maximum distance and smooth feel. Legendary speed pocket performance for high launch and low spin, resulting in more distance. New satin black finish with elegant detailing to improve alignment”

Price: $199.99

Buy here.

9. Square Strike Wedge

The extra wide sole of the Square Strike Wedge aims to do away with fat shots. The wedge is fully legal for tournament play and costs under $100

From the listing: “The Square Strike Wedge pitching wedge has an extra-wide sole and beveled leading edge prevent digging; No more chunked pitch and chip shots reduces wasted strokes; Heavy, solid feel promotes greater confidence vs thin-faced wedges that dig and rotate; Less rotation with the Square Strike Wedge golf wedge for men and women makes clean contact easier and much more consistent”

Price: $99.00

Buy here.

10. Wilson Golf Profile JGI Junior Set

The perfect set for kids learning the game, with each club in the set offering lots of forgiveness

From the listing: “Engineered with Super Game Improvement technology to enhance new Junior golfer experience. Weight is positioned very low in this oversized junior driver to help launch the ball for a better ball flight off the tee”

Price: $127.88 – $325.99

Buy here.

11. Pinemeadow Golf PGX SL Putter

One of the best-reviewed putters on Amazon. A great plumbers neck option for those on a budget

From the listing: “Perfect Balance. Alignment Tool. Headcover Included”

Price: $42.49

Buy here.

12. Cleveland Golf Men’s RTX 4 Wedge

Cleveland’s RTX 4 Wedge remains a very popular option amongst golfers and comes in several different finishes (Black Satin, Tour Satin, Raw)

From the listing: “4th Generation Rotex Face Technology with our sharpest Tour Zip Grooves yet, the most aggressive face milling we’ve developed, and even more precise laser milling, Rotex 4 generates more spin.”

Price: $99.99

Buy here.

13. Acstar Two Way Junior Golf Putter

A junior putter designed with both right and left-handers in mind

From the listing: “Zinc alloy putter head + 100% carbon putter shaft + anti-slip rubber putter grip construction, shaft flex: regular. Two way putter–Perfect for any golfer,whether you are right-handed, left-handed,advanced or a beginner, this double way putter performs at a high level ”

Price: $28.99

Buy here.

14. C3i Wedge

Featuring a wide auto-glide sole, the high-loft C3i wedge is a popular option for golfers looking for an effective wedge under $100

From the listing: “The C3i lob wedge is extra-wide. Its auto-glide sole cuts through the sand without skipping or digging; This sand wedge is a high loft golf club for men and women that gets the ball up easily to clear the lip and stop it quickly on the green; 12 degrees of bounce make sand wedge for men and women perfect for any type of sand, fluffy to firm; Get out in one more often and reduce wasted strokes; Makes bunker play a breeze with this sand wedge golf club.”

Price: $99.00

Buy here.

15. Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter, Black

The evergreen Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter remains one of the best-selling putters on Amazon

From the listing: “Designed to meet the meticulous performance demands of the world’s best golfers. Re-engineered White hot insert generates improved sound, feel and overall performance. Laser milling insert cutting process achieves tight tolerances for consistent performance.”

Price: $109.99 – $299.99

Buy here.

16. Wilson Golf Women’s Ultra Package Set

Designed for women picking up the sport, Wilson offers a complete set for just $219.99

From the listing: “Super game improvement design focuses on generating more distance for beginner golfers. Designed for Women’s swing speeds with low center of gravity for improved launch characteristics.”

Price: $219.99

Buy here.

17. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Rescue, Black

TM’s RBZ Rescue is a massively popular club amongst golfers and it comfortably cracks the top-20 list on Amazon

From the listing: “Legendary speed pocket for high launch and increased carry distance. New satin black finish with elegant detailing to improve alignment. Shallow profile and improved sole geometry for optimized turf interaction.”

Price: $129.99

Buy here.

18. Wilson Golf Profile SGI Men’s Complete Golf Set

The super game improvement characteristics of this set from Wilson makes it one of the most popular sets on Amazon for teenage golfers

From the listing: “Designed for Teen swing characteristics to produce maximum distance and a rewarding experience for beginners. Large 460cc Driver Engineered with Super Game Improvement technology to enhance new golfer experience
Deep, perimeter weighted 431 stainless steel irons with very low center of gravity for improved accuracy and distance.”

Price: $319.95 – $349.99

Buy here.

19. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Individual Iron

Loaded with technology designed to take your iron play to the next level, Callaway’s Mavrik iron cracks the top-20 list

From the listing: “With MAVRIK, we’re using Artificial Intelligence for the first time in an iron. Ball speed is further enhanced by our 360 Face Cup that flexes and releases at impact. We’ve created a sophisticated face architecture that’s unique to every loft, so we can create a significant boost in ball speed and increased spin robustness off of every iron.”

Price: $128.58

Buy here.

20. Wilson Golf Ultra Plus Package Set

Another Wilson golf set that has proved popular amongst buyers and offers an entire set including a 360cc forged titanium driver for under $300

From the listing: “Includes 9 clubs: Driver, 3 Wood, 5 Hybrid, 6-PW, Putter. Oversize 460cc forged titanium composite driver features advanced weight distribution to create an enormous sweet spot. Unique driver head design provides stability and improved launch conditions at impact for straighter ball flight for greater distance.”

Price: $299.99

Buy here.

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