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2011 - 2012 CALLAWAY GOLF IRONS SHOOTOUT REVIEW

RAZR X MB RAZR X Tour RAZR X Callaway Irons TheGreekGrind

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#1 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:04 PM

2011 - 2012 CALLAWAY GOLF IRONS SHOOTOUT
RAZR X Forged v. RAZR X Tour v. Diablo Forged Irons Review

By Pete Pappas (TheGreekGrind)
On twitter
@TheGreekGrind
And on blogspot at http://www.thegreekgrind.blogspot.com


INTRODUCTION


***UPDATE: Comparison pictures of the RAZR X Muscleback and RAZR X Forged Irons are on page 8***

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With Callaway's new 2011 RAZR X line of irons out in full force and going strong, it's time to put them all to challenge: a long term, full season, comparative review, testing the RAZR X Forged, RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons (the Diablo Forged were introduced in the 2010 line).

And so I bring you the 2011 - 2012 CALLAWAY GOLF IRONS SHOOTOUT: RAZR X FORGED v. RAZR X TOUR v. DIABLO FORGED IRONS!

NOTE: There are 5 threads in this SHOOTOUT review.

Thread 1 is the INTRODUCTION Section
Thread 2 is the APPEARANCE Section
Thread 3 is the FEEL Section
Thread 4 is the PERFORMANCE Section
Thread 5 is the SUMMARIES & ULTIMATE CONCLUSIONS Section

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Before I begin, I need to mention that this INTRODUCTION is an important read.  In particular, it gives the reader a general roadmap to the whole review, and maybe most importantly, helps them understand what went into the methodology that underlies the comparative conclusions.

As just alluded to, focus throughout this review will be on relative comparisons emphasizing similarities and differences among and between these irons.  Objective details and aspects are weighed the heaviest, and used to support these relative comparisons as much as possible.  (However subjective opinions are unavoidable, and are also given when appropriate).

So for example, when I discuss offset and top lines, I'll mention that the RAZR X Forged irons have less offset than both the RAZR X Tour and Diablo Forged irons.  And that the Diablo Forged irons have a thinner top line than the RAZR X Tour irons, but not as thin as the RAZR X Forged irons.

I won't say a particular set of irons has a lot or a little offset.  Or that another set of irons has thin top lines or wide top lines.  Reasonable people will disagree what constitutes more or less offset, thin or wide top lines.

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Similarly, when I discuss performance (initially) I won't talk about something such as which irons are the longest, since different swing speeds and angles of attack will result in varying differences in distance for different people.

Instead I'll discuss things such as relative comparative launch angles and trajectories (based on some underlying objective standard or aspect).  For example I'll talk about how the RAZR X Forged short irons launch higher than the RAZR X Tour irons, but lower than the Diablo Forged irons (with club design as the underlying objective aspect supporting these results).  

In addition, the RAZR X Forged, RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons (as well as the FT irons, which will receive brief mention), all have the same identical shafts, the Nippon N.S PRO 990GH.  Using identical shafts in all the irons is beneficial in distinguishing performance differences and similarities between these clubs, as they relate primarily to the iron head designs themselves.  And when comparisons are based predominantly on the iron heads and designs themselves (with the shaft held constant), the relative results are more likely to be applicable to all varieties of swing types (diggers and sweepers), swing planes (steeper and flatter), and even swing speeds (faster and slower).

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It should also be pointed out, that certain assumptions will be made at times in different categories.  For example in the performance section, I make the assumption when discussing turf interaction in the playability category, that narrower soles are better out of the rough than wider soles.  Some might believe that wider soles are better because they glide through the rough easier, while others might believe thinner soles are better because cut through the rough better.

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However it shouldn't matter if you believe thinner soles are more playable or wider soles are more playable, because the various irons will be described, and then ranked for playability, relative to one another, based on objective details and aspects of club design like sole width, face profile, and other elements.  So even if you believe wider soles are better out of the rough, you'll be able to form your own conclusions and relative rankings regarding playability out of the rough, based on those same objective factors.

The results and comparisons will come from four main sources.  Some information comes from Callaway.  For example, being told the location of the CG on the RAZR X Forged irons is higher up on the face than it is on either of the other irons (but also verifying this through performance testing).

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Some information comes from off course observations.  For example, in the APPEARANCE category, relative comparisons are given for profile, face height, top line, sole width, sole radius, camber, bounce, and offset measurements.   (These comparative results should assist people deciding which irons might be best for them, based on their own preferences for more or less of any of these club design aspects.  In this review, you won't find me saying something like, the greater camber and wider sole of the RAZR X Tour irons make them better than the RAZR X Forged irons.  I won't say this because while that might be true for one person, it might not be true for a different person, who might prefer a narrower sole and less camber.

Some information comes from indoor simulator sessions.  For example, results for launch and spin numbers, sweet spot information, and distance loss comparisons, comes from many hours in multiple sessions at the indoor simulators.  Using impact tape for all shots, and hitting both long irons and short irons, on the toe, heel, high, and low, I recorded all the information collected, and then reported it here in the form of relative comparisons.

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And finally, some information comes from my own on the course observations.  I've taken all of these irons out on the course a few times so far this season.  And so for example, was able to test turf interaction from different lies.  I also observed launch and descent of shots, and compared my visual observations of these aspects, with numbers I got on the indoor simulators.

Initially, I'll also include some pictures and brief comments on the FT irons as well, since they remain one of my favorite Callaway game improvement irons of all time, and have some similarities in certain aspects to a few of these newer irons.

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Starting off with a few pictures and comments on similarities and differences between these irons, 5 general sections INTRODUCTION, APPEARANCE, FEEL, PERFORMANCE, and SUMMARIES & ULTIMATE CONCLUSIONS will be used in this review.  Each section will include basic categories, where the irons will be relatively compared based on underlying objective factors related to those categories.

For reference, my average iron head speed is about 86 mph, my swing has a smooth tempo and transition, and my release is a middle release.  The lengths and lie angles for all my irons are Callaway factory stock (which also happens to be identical between the sets).  As mentioned, the iron shaft that gives me my best results is the Nippon NSPRO 990GH (uniflex, 99 grams), and so I have that same shaft in all these irons.  And distinguishing relative comparisons among and between the clubs, as they relate primarily to the iron head designs, is an additional benefit made possible by using identical shafts (held constant) in the different irons.

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For the moment, this review also won't include specific or precise technical details like actual spin rate numbers, or left-right dispersion ranges unless people specifically ask for them (but will talk about them in general terms).

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I'll try to keep this beginning part as short as possible, but unfortunately it's going to be tough to do, and more likely somewhat long, because of all the comparisons and accompanying pictures.  If it's too much to read or hold your interest, go right to the SUMMARIES & ULTIMATE CONCLUSIONS section, where I'll summarize the relative comparisons between and among these different irons, ranking them in category lists.

As the season here in northeast Ohio progresses, and I rotate through these irons a few times on the same courses, I'll continue to update this review with more specific performance and detail driven results (sometimes in narrative form deconstructing my actual rounds of golf, and other times just giving you just the actual numbers, carry and roll distances, spin rates, launch angles, etc).  

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I'd also like to mention that no one asked me to write the review, I'm not a sales rep, and wasn't seeded to review these irons.  I don't have any interest in writing this outside of just liking Callaway irons, and wanting to share what I've learned about these irons with others who also like Callaway irons, as well as anyone who's just interested in how these irons perform, differ, and compare.

I've certainly become a fan of Callaway irons over the years (actually quite a big fan).  And I'd be lying if I said I don't get probably a little too excited when they release new clubs.  But that doesn't mean they get an automatic or free pass into my bag each year.

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Quite the contrary, it's only after I've taken the time to discover and weigh their particular strengths and weaknesses, that I decide if the new clubs are keepers or throw backs.  You can expect me to compliment and criticize these irons when and where it's warranted, and give honest assessments of what they do well, and what they don't do well.  

So with all that said, on to an initial relative comparison of the RAZR X Forged irons, RAZR X Tour irons, Diablo Forged irons, and in much smaller discussion, the FT irons.

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NOTE: At the time of this initial review, I have played Manakiki and Bunker Hill golf courses here in Northeast Ohio.  Those of you who live here know that means undulating fairways and uneven lies, elevation changes, and in April, also wet conditions.

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I'll play a more varied course schedule this year so I can test these irons on different types of courses, with different conditions.  If you'd like to read more on the courses I'll be playing for this long term review, check out http://www.golfcleve.../G2003-main.htm (in particular, click the Top 20 tab).






Edited by The GreekGrind, 15 August 2012 - 12:28 PM.


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#2 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:05 PM

2011 - 2012 CALLAWAY GOLF IRONS SHOOTOUT
RAZR X Forged v. RAZR X Tour v. Diablo Forged Irons Review

By Pete Pappas (TheGreekGrind)
On twitter
@TheGreekGrind
And on blogspot at http://www.thegreekgrind.blogspot.com


APPEARANCE


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  And pleasure or displeasure in iron appearance is a very subjective thing.  Asking someone which iron looks better is like asking someone which color is better, red or blue?

Appearance is a lot about preference.  Some people feel more confident with wider top lines.  Others won't even look at an iron unless it has a thin top line.  Large faces are preferred by some, but smaller faces are preferred by others.

So instead of writing about which irons look good, or best, I'm going to avoid giving my opinion about appearance, and instead comment on factual, verifiable differences between various appearance aspects of these irons.



RAZR X FORGED

IRON SIZE
The RAZR X Forged irons are probably the most traditional looking of the bunch with their thin top line and square toe.  

They have the tallest face (profile) of the bunch, with 17 grooves on the 4 iron, and 19 grooves on the 8 iron.

They have the shortest heel to toe sole length (footprint).


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TOP LINE
The top line is the thinnest of the group, though not quite as thin as a blade.

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SOLE (Grind & Bounce)
The sole width is the narrowest of the bunch.  It has the least camber (least sole width curve from leading edge to trailing edge).  However it has a slightly beveled leading edge to soften an otherwise sharp leading edge, and also has a slightly beveled trailing edge as well (the Diablo Forged irons have a similar sole beveling).  Finally, it has the most sole radius (most sole length curve from heel to toe).

The RAZR X Forged irons have more bounce than both the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons.

The long irons (3 and 4), have 1 degree more bounce than the RAZR X Tour irons, and 2 to 3 degrees more bounce than the Diablo Forged irons.  The mid irons and short irons (5, 6, 7, 8, and 9), have 2 degrees more bounce than the RAZR X Tour irons, and 3 degrees more bounce than the Diablo Forged irons.  And the PW has 1 degree more bounce than the RAZR X Tour PW, and 2 degrees more bounce than the Diablo Forged PW.


soles3.jpg

OFFSET
There is very little offset in these irons, and the least of all irons compared.

FINISH
The finish is a satin finish, which reduces glare nicely, and also appears to be rather durable and not easily scuffed.



RAZR X TOUR

IRON SIZE
Although they're isn't technically an X series iron anymore, the RAZR X Tour irons reminded me a bit of the X-22 Tour irons in shape (in particular, the footprint shape from from toe to heel).

They have a more rounded look than both the RAZR Forged, and Diablo Forged irons, but are closer in shape to those than they are to the FT irons.

They have a shorter (profile) face height (with 13 grooves on the 4 iron, and 13 grooves on the 8 iron) than both the RAZR Forged, and Diablo Forged irons.

And they have a longer heel to toe length (larger footprint) than both the RAZR Forged, and Diablo Forged irons.


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TOP LINE
The top line is a bit wider than the RAZR X Forged top line, but appears thin because it is beveled.  Here we have our first comparison to the FT irons.  Anyone who played those knows those irons also feature a beveled top line, giving it a narrower appearance.

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SOLE (Grind & Bounce)
The sole is narrower than the Diablo Forged iron sole, but wider than the RAZR X Forged iron sole.  It has the most camber (leading edge to trailing edge sole width curve).  It has no beveled leading edge, but has a beveled trailing edge.  Finally, it has the least sole radius (heel to toe sole length curve) of all the irons in this review.

soles1.jpg

The sole features the new RAZR X Technology fluted sole attachment (which fits partly on the sole, and partly into the lower cavity).  The purpose of this attachment is to combine the playability of a narrow sole iron, with the forgiveness and launch benefits of a wide sole iron.  And it works just as advertised (more on that later).

The RAZR X Tour irons have more bounce than the Diablo Forged irons, but less bounce than the RAZR X Forged irons.

The long irons (3 and 4), have 1 to 2 degrees more bounce than the Diablo Forged irons, and 1 degree less bounce than the RAZR X Forged irons.  The mid irons and short irons (5, 6, 7, 8, and 9), have 1 degree more bounce than the Diablo Forged irons, and 2 degrees less bounce than the RAZR X Forged irons.  And the PW has 1 degree more bounce than the Diablo Forged PW, and 1 degree less bounce than the RAZR X Forged PW.


OFFSET
These irons have slightly more offset than the RAZR X Forged irons, but less offset than the Diablo Forged irons (which has just a bit more), and even less offset than the FT irons.

FINISH
The finish is a brushed chrome finish, and does a good job of reducing glare.  However the face outside the hitting area scuffs very easily.  In that respect, it's similar to the double nickel chrome plated finish of the FT irons. Those also scuff very easily on the face outside the hitting area, as well as on the backsides, which usually happens when they move around in your bag.

Some people don't care about such scuff marks.  And a few years ago, I was told by a locally renowned golf pro here in northeast Ohio (yes you can be a renowned golf pro in Ohio) "real players" don't use iron head covers.

Well I ignored his words, my FT irons are grateful, and as far as I can tell the head covers aren't hurting my game. Posted Image  No it's not Jimmy Hanlin!



DIABLO FORGED

IRON SIZE
The Diablo Forged irons appearance falls somewhere in between that of the RAZR X Forged irons and the RAZR X Tour irons, having both squared off and rounded looking aspects.

They have a shorter (profile) face height (with 13 grooves on the 4 iron, and 14 grooves on 8 iron) than the RAZR X Forged irons, but a taller face height than the RAZR X Tour irons.

They have a longer heel to toe length (larger footprint) than the RAZR X Forged irons, but a shorter heel to toe length than the RAZR X Tour irons.


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TOPLINE
The top line is wider than the RAZR X Forged irons, but thinner than the RAZR X Tour irons (however as noted, the RAZR X Tour irons have beveled top lines which make them appear thinner, so some people might see the RAZR Forged irons as having wider top lines).



SOLE (Grind & Bounce)
The sole is wider than both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour sole.  It has less camber (leading edge to trailing edge curve) than the RAZR X Tour irons, but more camber than the RAZR X Forged iron.  The sole is beveled on both the leading edge and trailing edge (like on the RAZR X Forged irons).  Finally, it has more sole radius (heel to toe curve), than the RAZR X Tour irons, but less sole radius than the RAZR X Forged irons.

soles2.jpg

The long irons (3 and 4), have 1 to 2 degrees less bounce than the RAZR X Tour irons, and 2 to 3 degrees less bounce than the RAZR X Forged irons.  The mid irons and short irons (5, 6, 7, 8, and 9), have 1 degree less bounce than the RAZR X Tour irons, and 3 degrees less bounce than the RAZR X Forged irons.  And the PW has 1 degree less bounce than the RAZR X Tour PW, and 2 degrees less bounce than the RAZR X Forged PW.


soles3a.jpg

OFFSET
These irons have more offset than the RAZR X Forged irons and RAZR X Tour irons, but less offset than the FT irons.

FINISH
The finish is a satin chrome, which reduces glare very well, and again makes them fall somewhere in between the RAZR X Forged satin finish, and the RAZR X Tour brushed chrome finish.  It is durable and not easily scuffed.

Edited by The GreekGrind, 14 August 2012 - 10:55 AM.


#3 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:06 PM

2011 - 2012 CALLAWAY GOLF IRONS SHOOTOUT
RAZR X Forged v. RAZR X Tour v. Diablo Forged Irons Review

By Pete Pappas (TheGreekGrind)
On twitter
@TheGreekGrind
And on blogspot at http://www.thegreekgrind.blogspot.com


FEEL

Feel is a difficult aspect to describe.  And it means different things to different people.  It will also vary when different balls are used.  

All the irons in this review have elements of soft feel and click, but fall within a range of softest feel/muted click to firmest feel/loudest click.  

Again, I’ll refrain from commenting on one feeling better than another.  Instead I’ll just point out the similarities and differences between and among all the irons.



RAZR X FORGED

The RAZR X Forged irons have a soft feel, with a compact, muted click to them.  They are the softest feeling of the bunch.  They have the most muted click of the bunch.

Surprisingly, the two forged irons in this review, these and the Diablo Forged, don't feel most alike.  Instead, these stand alone in terms of being the softest feeling.  The Diablo Forged irons and RAZR X Tour irons actually feel most alike in terms of softness and click.


RAZR X TOUR

The RAZR X Tour irons have a soft feel as well, though not as soft as the RAZR X Forged irons.  They have a louder click than the RAZR X Forged irons, but not as loud as the Diablo Forged irons.

What was most surprising was that they don't really have a typical cast feel to them.  I found they are more similar in feel to the Diablo Forged irons, than they are to the cast FT irons (and for that matter, the retired X22, and X24 irons as well).



DIABLO FORGED

The Diablo Forged irons have that soft forged feel, but also a louder click than you might usually find with forged irons.  They aren't quite as soft feeling as the RAZR X Forged irons, but have a louder click than the RAZR X Forged.  As mentioned, they are more similar in feel to the RAZR X Tour irons than they are similar in feel to the RAZR X Forged irons.

Edited by The GreekGrind, 14 August 2012 - 10:55 AM.


#4 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:06 PM

2011 - 2012 CALLAWAY GOLF IRONS SHOOTOUT
RAZR X Forged v. RAZR X Tour v. Diablo Forged Irons Review

By Pete Pappas (TheGreekGrind)
On twitter
@TheGreekGrind
And on blogspot at http://www.thegreekgrind.blogspot.com


PERFORMANCE

Irons can look great, and feel awesome.  But they have to perform above all else of course.  Some aspects of iron performance obviously include distance, trajectory control, and accuracy.  However a player’s ability or skill set (and type of ball) probably influences these aspects as much as different types of irons used does.

Again I won’t give much opinion about which irons are the most accurate or longest, which no doubt will have elements of individual ball striking, swing speed, and general ability influencing those aspects.  

Instead I’ll try to focus more on the objective differences and similarities among and between the irons so that regardless of skill set, swing type, or ball used, the relative comparative results are generally what everyone who uses these irons can come to expect (with the results based as much as possible on the underlying objective factors).



RAZR X FORGED

LAUNCH (CG & Spin)
The RAZR X Forged irons have more traditional (and weaker) lofts than both the RAZR X Tour and Diablo Forged irons.  For example, lofts on the RAZR X Forged 8 iron, 9 iron, and PW are 39, 43, and 47 degrees respectively.  That’s 2 degrees weaker than the corresponding RAZR X Tour irons, and 4to 2 degrees weaker than the corresponding Diablo Forged irons.

Despite these weaker lofts, the RAZR X Forged irons are generally the lowest trajectory irons of the bunch, and their ball flight is the most penetrating.  I say generally the lowest because the short irons launch somewhat higher than the RAZR X Tour irons, but of course have a full two degrees more loft.

The low launch and penetrating flight characteristics of the RAZR X Forged irons is due in part to them having the highest Center Of Gravity (CG) of all irons in this review. (These irons also have a CG closer to the face and hosel than the other irons in this review based on the numbers I got, and results on off center hits, in particular off the toe, as will be discussed below).

The RAZR X Forged long irons (3 and 4) launch slightly lower than the RAZR X Tour irons, and considerably lower than the Diablo Forged irons.  They have the lowest spin rates of the bunch.  And as mentioned, they have the most penetrating trajectory.

They descend from their peak height at a flatter angle than the descents of both the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons.  And they also have the lowest peak height of the bunch. (Compare later on, the Diablo Forged irons ball flight, which ascends and descends at the steepest angles, and also has the highest peak height).

The RAZR X Forged short irons (8, 9, and PW) launch lower than the Diablo Forged irons, but slightly higher than the RAZR X Tour irons (I attribute this to the weaker lofts). They have higher spin rates than the RAZR X Tour irons, but lower spin rates than the Diablo Forged irons.

They descend from their peak height at a somewhat steeper angle than the descent of the RAZR X Tour irons, but descend from a noticeably flatter angle than the descent of the Diablo Forged irons.  They have a peak height slightly higher than the RAZR X Tour irons, and definitively lower than the Diablo Forged irons (which have by far the highest peak height and highest spin rate of all short irons).



PLAYABILITY (Ease of Launch & Turf Interaction)
Playability can mean numerous things to different people.  It can refer to how forgiving irons are on mishits, and it can refer to how workable they are (I’ll cover both of those aspects below).  However for the purpose of this section, I’m going to discuss playability in terms of ease of launch, and turf interaction.

By turf interaction, in particular I mean how the versatility of sole and club design minimizes the difficulties of uneven and trouble lies, so that swings still result in clean, solid contact on the ball.  The lies discussed in ranking the irons will include downhill, uphill, sidehill, tight, and soft lies, as well as lies from the rough.  So for instance, when I get to downhill lies, I’ll rank the irons according to which ones dug the least, and launched the easiest (since the main difficulties from downhill lies are digging, and low launch), and also note the club design features which were most important in the relative comparative results.

Reasonable people will value and weigh aspects such as bounce, camber, and sole width differently, according to their own preferences, swing styles, and skill sets (different angles of attack between two people for example, will likely result in different opinions on the value of bounce and camber in certain situations).

So if you find yourself disagreeing with the subjective weight I give to these different aspects of club design when ranking the irons by turf interaction, just use the relative comparative objective aspects underlying those rankings, to come to your own conclusions, based on how important you believe they are in the various lies.

The RAZR X Forged irons are generally the least easiest to launch in terms of CG location.  One aspect in getting an iron to launch easily is to make sure the CG of the iron is below the CG of the ball.  And so the lower the CG for any particular set of irons, generally the easier they are to hit in the air.  (I say generally because launch will also of course depend on other things such how well the club is released through impact, and how much offset the club has, and of course how much loft the club has).

The CG on the RAZR X Forged irons is higher up the face than it is on both the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons.  Therefore all other things being equal, the RAZR X Forged irons won’t be as easy to launch as the others (in particular the long irons).  

They might be better suited for those who don’t have any trouble launching the ball, or someone with a steep swing, like a digger, or someone who holds their release longer, late into impact.  But this is not to say someone with a flatter swing for example, won’t be able to get these in the air.

Remember, this review is about relative comparisons between and among all the irons.  So the RAZR X Forged irons just won’t launch as easily as the other irons in this review, which have a lower CG and will therefore have a comparatively easier ability to launch across all swing types.

The RAZR X Forged irons turf interaction is generally excellent, and they are more playable from a greater number of lies and trouble spots than the other irons in this review.

They have the most versatility from uphill, sidehill, and tight lies, as well as out of the rough, and therefore generally do a better job than the other irons in minimizing troubles from these lies.  However from downhill and soft lies, they have the least versatility, and consequently generally aren’t as effective as the other irons in minimizing troubles from these lies.

I use the word generally, because in addition to the effect of club design on turf interaction, subjective factors like swing type also influence playability.  For example, someone with a flat swing plane swing will be less likely to dig a sharp leading edge than someone with a steep swing plane.

From downhill lies and soft lies, the RAZR X Forged irons have a greater tendency to dig than both the RAZR Tour, and Diablo Forged irons.  This is in part because they have the sharpest leading edge (even though beveled), narrowest sole and least camber of all the irons.

From sidehill lies on the other hand, they are the most versatile and least likely to bounce, because they have the most sole radius of all the irons.

From uphill lies and tight lies they have better turf interaction than the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons, and are less likely to bounce off the turf, or hit thin shots.  In particular, their narrow soles and low camber (in conjunction with their relatively low bounce) keeps the leading edge down and prevents the sole from bouncing, so you can pinch the ball easier, and hit with crisp contact.

Finally, out of the rough, the RAZR X Forged irons are the most versatile of the bunch.  With the thinnest sole, sharpest leading edge, and smallest footprint, they cut through the rough better than the other irons, making them least likely to catch and drag, and in that sense are the most playable.



FORGIVENESS (Sweet Spot & Loss of Distance) & WORKABILITY
The RAZR X Forged irons are the least forgiving of the bunch (in particular on toe mishits, and thin shots), but they are the most workable of the bunch.  This shouldn’t be surprising since more or less forgiveness and workability often come at the expense of one another.

Again it bears mentioning, I am not saying these aren’t forgiving in any absolute sense.  I’m merely saying, relative to the other irons in this review, they are the least forgiving.  Many people (consistent ball strikers, and those who know when they hit the sweet spot) may find these have more than enough forgiveness for their game, while others (who have mishits more frequently) may not find them nearly forgiving enough.

When discussing forgiveness, aspects such size and place of sweet spot, loss of distance on mishits (hits not on the sweet spot), and resistance to twisting on off center hits (MOI) are often brought up.  In general, higher MOI means the club is more likely to be stable on off center hits.  And lower MOI means a club is less likely to be stable on off center hits.

The sweet spot on the RAZR X Forged irons is a little higher, more towards the heel, and smaller than the sweet spots on both the RAZR X Tour and Diablo Forged irons.  They also have the lowest MOI of all irons in this review.

For shots struck on the sweet spot, the RAZR X Forged irons feel more solid and powerful than both the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons.  However there is more relative distance loss on mishits off the toe, fat shots, and thin shots with the RAZR X Forged irons, than with the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons (attributable in part to the CG and sweet spot being higher on the RAZR X Forged irons, than they are on both the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons).

Mishits off the toe, and thin shots, are particularly punishing (in some instances, more than a full club and a half length shorter for any given iron).  However on mishits off the heel, the RAZR X Forged irons lose relatively less distance than both the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons on similar mishits.

I don’t want to give much opinion in this review, but feel I need to in this instance.  As much as I love these irons, in my opinion, if you tend to miss on the toe, or have trouble getting the ball airborne, the RAZR X Forged irons probably shouldn’t be your first choice among the irons reviewed here.  The only way I’d recommend these to someone who normally misses on the toe, or struggles with launch, is if they could say that the appearance and feel of these irons makes them feel so comfortable and so confident, that their swing actually improves (reducing the likelihood of misses off the toe, and eliminating difficulties with launch).

For some people, appearance and feel are such significant factors in how well they hit their irons (even more important than how forgiving the irons are), that they actually become more comfortable and confident with less forgiving irons, and ironically better ball strikers.  And these RAZR X Forged irons would certainly fit the bill with their fantastic feel and confidence inspiring appearance.

I’ve read a few threads on various forums, where people claim they actually hit players irons like muscleback blades better than any other kind of irons.  And I don’t doubt this.  However if you’re not the type of person who benefits from appearance and feel, as much if not more than from forgiveness, then these RAZR X Forged irons may not be the best choice of irons for you of the three here reviewed.

Finally, as mentioned, the RAZR X Forged irons are the most workable irons of the bunch.  This is generally because they have the highest CG location and lowest MOI of all the irons, which makes shot shaping (trajectory control, and directional left and right spin manipulation) relatively easier (in particular for more skilled players) than it is with the other irons.
  


RAZR X TOUR

LAUNCH (CG & Spin)
The RAZR X Tour irons have stronger lofts than the RAZR X Forged irons, but weaker lofts than the Diablo Forged irons.  For example, lofts on the RAZR X Tour 8 iron, 9 iron, and PW are 37, 41, and 45 degrees respectively.  That’s 2 degrees stronger than the corresponding RAZR X Forged irons, and 2 to 0 degrees weaker than the corresponding Diablo Forged irons.

The RAZR X Tour long irons (3 and 4) launch slightly higher than the RAZR X Forged irons, and noticeably lower than the Diablo Forged irons.  They have a higher spin rate than the RAZR X Forged irons, but a lower spin rate than the Diablo Forged irons.  Their trajectory is more similar to the low flying and penetrating trajectory of the RAZR X Forged irons, than the higher soaring trajectory of the Diablo Forged irons.

They descend from their peak height at a steeper angle than the descent of the RAZR X Forged irons, but a flatter angle than the descent of the Diablo Forged irons.  Their peak height is slightly higher than the RAZR X Forged irons, but noticeably lower than the Diablo Forged irons.

Meanwhile, the RAZR X Tour short irons (8, 9, and PW) launch lower than both the RAZR X Forged, and Diablo Forged irons.  They also have lowest spin rates of all the irons.

The short irons descend from their peak height at a somewhat flatter angle than the descent of the RAZR X Forged irons, but descend from a noticeably flatter angle than the much steeper descent of the Diablo Forged irons.  They have a peak height slightly lower than the RAZR X Forged irons, and definitively lower than the Diablo Forged irons (which as mentioned have by far the highest peak height and highest spin rate of all short irons).


PLAYABILITY (Ease of Launch & Turf Interaction)
The RAZR X Tour irons are easier to launch than the RAZR X Forged irons, but still not as easy as the Diablo Forged irons are to launch.  In part, this is because the CG on the RAZR X Tour irons is slightly lower on the face than it is on the RAZR X Forged irons, but certainly higher on the face than it is on the Diablo Forged irons.

The RAZR X Tour irons turf interaction overall is very good from all the lies.  However they don’t quite reach the highest level of versatility from any particular lie.  Again it’s important to note, I’m not saying in any absolute sense that the RAZR X Tour irons are not versatile or playable.  They are very playable from all types of lies.  But relative to the RAZR X Forged, and Diablo Forged irons, the RAZR X Tour irons are generally just not as versatile as these other irons (although in most lies they are more versatile than one of the other irons).

From downhill lies and soft lies, they are more versatile than, and not as likely to dig as, the RAZR X Forged irons, but are more likely to dig than, and not as versatile as, the Diablo Forged irons (based somewhat on them having wider soles than the RAZR X Forged irons, but not as wide as the Diablo Forged irons).

From uphill lies and tight lies, they are more versatile than, and less likely to bounce off the turf, or hit thin shots as, the Diablo Forged irons.  However they are less versatile than, and are more likely to bounce off the turf, or hit thin shots as, the RAZR X Tour irons (based somewhat on them having narrower soles than the Diablo Forged irons, but not as narrow as the RAZR X Forged irons).  

From sidehill lies, they are less versatile than both of the other irons, and more likely to bounce or hit thin or fat shots (based somewhat on them having the least amount of sole radius).

And finally, out of the rough, the RAZR X Tour irons are slightly more versatile than the Diablo Forged irons, but less versatile than the RAZR X Forged irons (the Diablo Forged irons have a sharper leading edge than the RAZR X Tour irons, however the RAZR X Tour irons have a thinner sole, and lower profile face).



FORGIVENESS (Sweet Spot & Loss of Distance) & WORKABILITY
The RAZR X Tour irons are more forgiving than the RAZR X Forged irons, and when compared to the Diablo Forged irons, in some respects are more forgiving, and in some respects slightly less forgiving.

For example, the RAZR X Tour irons have a bigger sweet spot than the Diablo Forged irons (and bigger than the RAZR X Forged irons as well).  This larger hitting area makes them more forgiving than the Diablo Forged irons in that regard.

However on mishits outside the sweet spot, the RAZR X Tour irons have slightly more relative distance loss than the Diablo Forged irons, and so in that sense, are somewhat less forgiving.  In addition, the RAZR X Tour irons have a lower MOI than the Diablo Forged irons (but a slightly higher MOI than the RAZR X Forged irons).

The sweet spot is a little lower on the face, deeper, and more towards the center than it is on the RAZR X Forged irons.  However it’s slightly higher on the face than it is on the Diablo Forged irons.

Shots struck on the sweet spot feel very strong, and very stable.  When missing the sweet spot, the RAZR X Tour irons generally result in less relative distance loss than the RAZR X Forged irons, but slightly more relative distance loss than the Diablo Forged irons.

For mishits off the toe, on thin shots, and fat shots, there is noticeably less relative distance loss than the RAZR X Forged irons (which as mentioned are particularly punitive on mishits off the toe), and slightly more relative distance loss than the Diablo Forged irons.

However, for mishits off the heel, the RAZR X Tour irons have more relative distance loss than both the Diablo Forged, and RAZR X Forged irons.

Finally, the RAZR X Tour irons are generally less workable than the RAZR X Forged irons.  However they’re noticeably more workable than the Diablo Forged irons controlling trajectory, while slightly less workable than the Diablo Forged irons moving the ball left and right.  (As is about to be discussed, the Diablo Forged irons do a very good job of left and right ball shaping, in part due to their shorter toe to heel width).



DIABLO FORGED

LAUNCH (CG & Spin)
The Diablo Forged irons have the strongest lofts of all the irons in this review.  For example, the lofts on the 8 iron, 9 iron, and PW are 35, 40, and 45 degrees.  That’s 4 to 2 degrees stronger than the corresponding RAZR X Forged irons, and 2 to 0 stronger than the corresponding RAZR X Tour irons.

Despite these stronger lofts, the Diablo Forged irons are the highest trajectory irons of the bunch, and their ball flight is more soaring than penetrating (it is not ballooning for my swing, but could be for someone with a faster swing, tempo, or transition).

The high launch and soaring flight characteristics of the Diablo Forged irons is due in part to them having the lowest and deepest CG of all irons in this review.  And as mentioned earlier, they also have most offset of all the irons in this review.  Combined, that results in more shaft kick with these irons, more spin, and higher launch.

The Diablo Forged long irons (3 and 4) launch higher than both the RAZR X Forged irons, and RAZR X Tour irons.  They have the highest spin rates of the bunch.  And as mentioned, they have the most soaring trajectory.

They descend from their peak height at a steeper angle than the descents of both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.  And they also have the highest peak height of the bunch.

The Diablo Forged short irons (8, 9, and PW) also launch lower than both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.  They have higher spin rates than the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.

They descend from their peak height at a steeper angle than the descent of both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.  They also have the highest peak height of the bunch.



PLAYABILITY (Ease of Launch & Turf Interaction)
The Diablo Forged irons are the easiest to launch in terms of CG location.  The CG on the Diablo Forged irons is lower on the face, and further back than it is on both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.

The Diablo Forged irons turf interaction overall is very good from all the lies.  From downhill lies and soft lies, they are more versatile than both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.  From sidehill lies, they are more versatile than the RAZR X Tour irons, but less versatile than the RAZR X Forged irons.  And from uphill lies, tight lies, and out of the rough, they are less versatile than both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.

Again it’s important to note (in particular from uphill lies, tight lies, and out of the rough), I’m not saying in any absolute sense that the Diablo Forged irons are not versatile or playable.  But relative to the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons, the Diablo Forged irons are generally just not as versatile as the others.



FORGIVENESS (Sweet Spot & Loss of Distance) & WORKABILITY
The Diablo Forged irons are more forgiving than the RAZR X Forged irons, and in most respects, also more forgiving than the RAZR X Tour irons as well.

They have a bigger sweet spot than the RAZR X Forged irons, but a slightly smaller sweet spot than the RAZR X Tour irons.  This relative hitting area makes them more forgiving than the RAZR X Forged irons, but somewhat less forgiving than the RAZR X Tour irons.

However on mishits outside the sweet spot, the Diablo Forged irons have slightly less relative distance loss than the RAZR X Tour irons, and so in that sense are more forgiving (they also have less relative distance loss than the RAZR X Forged irons).  In addition, the Diablo Forged irons have a lower MOI than both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.

The sweet spot is also notably lower on the face, deeper, and more towards the center than it is on the RAZR X Forged irons (it is also lower on the face, and deeper, than it is on the RAZR X Tour irons).

Shots struck on the sweet spot feel hot and stabilized.  And when missing the sweet spot, the Diablo Forged irons still generally result in less relative distance loss than both the RAZR X Forged, and RAZR X Tour irons.

For mishits off the toe, on thin shots, and fat shots, there is noticeably less relative distance loss than both the RAZR X Forged (which as mentioned are particularly punitive on thin shots, and mishits off the toe), and RAZR X Tour irons.

However, for mishits off the heel, the Diablo Forged irons have more relative distance loss than the RAZR X Forged irons, but less relative distance loss than the RAZR X Tour irons.

Finally, the Diablo Forged irons are less workable than the RAZR X Forged irons in controlling trajectory and shot shaping.  And while they’re also noticeably less workable than the RAZR X Tour irons controlling trajectory, they’re slightly more workable than the RAZR X Tour irons moving the ball left and right (in part due to their shorter toe to heel length).

Edited by The GreekGrind, 14 August 2012 - 10:56 AM.


#5 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:07 PM

2011 - 2012 CALLAWAY GOLF IRONS SHOOTOUT
RAZR X Forged v. RAZR X Tour v. Diablo Forged Irons Review

By Pete Pappas (TheGreekGrind)
On twitter
@TheGreekGrind
And on blogspot at http://www.thegreekgrind.blogspot.com


SUMMARIES & ULTIMATE CONCLUSIONS

For easy reference, this is the place to find summaries ranking the 2011 CALLAWAY IRONS SHOOTOUT results.  For each of the categories covered, there are relative ranking positions, illustrating the differences among and between all the irons.

In the event you skipped right to this section, and would like to know more about why the irons rank the way they do, the explanations and discussions comparing them, are in these various corresponding sections above.

Near the end of this section, I’ll also point out briefly why I think someone might choose one set of irons over another, and why one set of irons would perform better for a particular type of player than the others.

But before I go to the scorecard, remember this review hasn’t been about opinion.  It hasn’t been about particular irons being better or worse, or longer or shorter, in any absolute sense.  And that’s because individual swings, various shafts, and other factors make those comparisons in an absolute sense unfair without something more.

For example, the Diablo Forged irons give me my greatest distance.  But that’s true for me, and my swing, its characteristics, strengths, and flaws.

Compare on the other hand someone with say just 5 more mph of club head speed, or who has a later release than I have.  They’ll likely have more ball speed, more shaft kick, and probably more distance with the RAZR X Tour and RAZR X Forged irons.

Furthermore, that same higher swing speed, and later release, would also likely have an opposite effect on distance with the Diablo Forged irons, and actually result in a punitively higher trajectory, higher spin, and ultimately less distance.

That’s why relative comparisons were emphasized among and between the irons based on underlying objective aspects and design features.  That’s your something more.  So even if we disagree about the conclusions and rankings, you’ll be able to form your own conclusions and relative rankings for any category just by weighing the objective aspects in a manner that suits your game, and your strengths, and weaknesses, and tendencies.

I will say this however.  No matter what your strengths, weaknesses, or tendencies, I truly believe Callaway has something for everyone this year.  I’d even go so far as saying Callaway’s newest irons can do no wrong.  All of them in their own right, are so good, that you really might be angry when your round ends because you won’t want to stop hitting them.

Yes.  Really.  Posted Image

So with that said, on to the SUMMARIES & ULTIMATE CONCLUSIONS!



APPEARANCE
“It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”
~Oscar Wilde


FACE HEIGHT (Profile)
From Tallest to Shortest
RAZR X Forged
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour


TOP LINE
From Thinnest to Widest
RAZR X Forged
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour


SOLE LENGTH (Footprint)
From Longest to Shortest
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged


SOLE RADIUS (Curve of Sole Length)
From Most to Least
RAZR X Forged
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour


SOLE WIDTH
From Thinnest to Widest
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


CAMBER (Curve of Sole Width)
From Most to Least
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged


BOUNCE
From Most to Least
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


OFFSET
From Most to Least
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged




FEEL
“When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.”
~Abraham Lincoln


FEEL
From Softest to Firmest
RAZR X Forged
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour


CLICK
From Loudest to Quietest
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged




PERFORMANCE
”An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”
~Mae West


PERFORMANCE (LAUNCH)
“My swing is so bad I look like a caveman killing his lunch.”
~Lee Trevino


CG (Center of Gravity)
From Highest to Lowest
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


LAUNCH (Long Irons)
From Highest to Lowest
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged


LAUNCH (Short Irons)
From Highest to Lowest
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour


SPIN (Long Irons)
From Most to Least
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged


SPIN (Short Irons)
From Most to Least
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour


PEAK HEIGHT (Long Irons)
From Highest to Lowest
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged


PEAK HEIGHT (Short Irons)
From Highest to Lowest
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour


DESCENT (Long Irons)
From Steepest to Flattest
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged


DESCENT (Short Irons)
From Steepest to Flattest
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour



PERFORMANCE (PLAYABILITY)
“The only really unplayable lie I can think of is when you’re supposed to be playing golf, but come home with lipstick on your collar.”
~Arnold Palmer


EASE OF LAUNCH
From Easiest to Most Difficult
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged


TURF INTERACTION (Downhill Lies)
From Most Versatile to Least Versatile
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged


TURF INTERACTION (Uphill Lies)
From Most Versatile to Least Versatile
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


TURF INTERACTION (Sidehill Lies)
From Most Versatile to Least Versatile
RAZR X Forged
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour


TURF INTERACTION (Tight Lies)
From Most Versatile to Least Versatile
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


TURF INTERACTION (Soft Lies)
From Most Versatile to Least Versatile
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour
RAZR X Forged


TURF INTERACTION (Rough)
From Most Versatile to Least Versatile
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged



PERFORMANCE (FORGIVENESS)
“It’s good sportsmanship not to pick up lost balls while they are still rolling.”
~Mark Twain


SWEET SPOT (Size)
From Biggest to Smallest
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged


SWEET SPOT (Location)
From Highest to Lowest
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


MISHITS (Toe)
Loss of Distance from Most to Least
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


MISHITS (Heel)
Loss of Distance from Most to Least
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Forged


MISHITS (Fat Shots)
Loss of Distance from Most to Least
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


MISHITS (Thin Shots)
Loss of Distance from Most to Least
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged



PERFORMANCE (WORKABILITY)
“If profanity had an influence on the flight of a ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is.”
~Horace G. Hutchinson


TRAJECTORY CONTROL (Flighting)
From Most to Least
RAZR X Forged
RAZR X Tour
Diablo Forged


SHOT SHAPING CONTROL (Drawing and Fading)
From Most to Least
RAZR X Forged
Diablo Forged
RAZR X Tour




ULTIMATE CONCLUSIONS
I hope this has helped some people get a better understanding of how these various irons compare.  And as mentioned as the season here in Ohio grows stronger, I'll continue to update this review with more specific performance and detail driven results (sometimes in narrative form deconstructing my actual rounds of golf, and other times just giving you just the actual numbers like carry and roll distances, spin rates, and dispersion ranges).

For now though to wrap it up, I’m just going to quickly give my opinion about why someone might choose one set of irons over another, focusing on what that particular set of irons does better for a certain type of player.



WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THE RAZR X FORGED IRONS OVER THE OTHERS?
These irons are probably best for someone who values trajectory control, penetrating ball flight, short game spin, and great feedback above all else.

They are the smallest and most traditional looking irons of the bunch, which will undoubtedly appeal to many players.

They are however also the least forgiving, and mishits will be punished more severely than with the other irons.

I’d recommend these to solid ball strikers, who like shaping shots, don’t need a lot of forgiveness, and demand feedback from their irons.



WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THE RAZR X TOUR IRONS OVER THE OTHERS?
These irons will probably appeal to the largest number of players because they do many things very well.

They give you some benefits of the RAZR X Forged irons, as well as some benefits of the Diablo Forged irons.

For example, you’ll get some of the workability and penetrating ball flight found in the RAZR X Forged irons, and also some of the forgiveness and distance found in the Diablo Forged irons.

I’d recommend these to players who want a little bit of everything in their irons.  Workability, forgiveness, distance, and penetrating ball flight, you get it all with these irons.



WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THE DIABLO FORGED IRONS OVER THE OTHERS?
Easy launch, forgiveness, and distance probably sounds good to a lot of people.  It does to me, and it’s why these are my favorite irons.

If you’re a low ball hitter, someone who struggles getting the ball in the air, or likes the kind of shot that soars in the air and then lands softly on a dime, then these irons are for you.

They are the most forgiving, and least punishing on mishits, so you don’t have to be an excellent ball striker to hit these well, and benefit from them.  You also get a fair amount of workability with these irons if you’re so inclined.

I’d recommend these irons to players who need or desire forgiveness as a main quality in their irons, and who prefer or benefit from high launching shots.

Edited by The GreekGrind, 14 August 2012 - 10:56 AM.


#6 tomg1969

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:19 PM

Wow...probably the most detailed comparison/review that i've ever seen on WRX.
Thanks for taking the time!

#7 GW222

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:27 PM

WOW, had to use my first post to give credit!  Not a Callaway player but fantastic narrative, structure and content.

#8 maxpower

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:29 PM

What a review/comparison! Thank you for that...I think I will be looking at the Razr X Tours now. What a classy review

#9 golfware

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:50 PM

Wow.  I, for one, am thoroughly impressed.  Very well done and easy to follow.  AND, I love my Diablo Forged too!

#10 M-Power

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for the review......well done!


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#11 onetime19

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:55 PM

Thanks for an awesome review! I am playing the DF now but will go out and hit the Razr x tour!

#12 Brizam

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 01:03 PM

wow... thats one heck of a review... thanks so much..

can you go and do it for the TMAG irons now?  LOL

#13 suwdawg

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 01:32 PM

Very nice and detailed review thanks.

#14 muskyhunter

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 01:55 PM

awesome review....

#15 knockdown9

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 02:15 PM

A very excellent review.  One of the best I've read.

Being a current FT iron player, where would you rate the forgiveness and ball flight of the FT irons compared to the DEF and RHT irons?

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#16 Sabre3

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 02:15 PM

Nice review. Getting me excited to get my new x-tours as soon as they are ready.

#17 jwfgolfpro

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:01 PM

:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:
Thanks for putting the time and effort into a such a good review.

JWFGOLFPRO

#18 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:21 PM

View PostRyedhel, on 29 April 2011 - 02:15 PM, said:

A very excellent review.  One of the best I've read.

Being a current FT iron player, where would you rate the forgiveness and ball flight of the FT irons compared to the DEF and RHT irons?

Hey Rye, I too enjoy playing the FT's still.  I don't think they got the credit they deserved when they came out.  I didn't include these in my testing, but I've played them enough to actually have visualizations still of ball flight and memories of feel.

Ball flight is generally lower than the Diablo Forged, but higher than the RAZR X Tours.  They launch higher than the Diablo Forged, but have a lower peak height.  I'm sure this has to do with the Diablo Forged irons spinning more.

I saw people write about these ballooning when they came out, but I never had that problem.  I do however like high ball flight and benefit from it probably more than those who prefer more penetrating flight.

Still I'd say if ball flight was closer to one or the other, I'd say the FT flight is closer to the RAZR X Tour than the Diablo Forged irons.  This despite having more offset than any irons in this shootout.

As far as forgiveness goes, you know how forgiving they are.  Comparing them to the RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged irons, I'd have to say again they probably fall somewhere in between the two.

I have no numbers for these, but if memory serves me, these irons have a big sweet spot.  So they might be forgiving like the RAZR X Tour irons in that regard.  And in terms of mishits, I think they probably are more similar to the Diablo Forged irons, and so a little more forgiving than the RAZR X Tours in that regard.

The next time I pull these out, I'll take a RAZR X Tour, and Diablo Forged iron or two along with me, and hit some side by side by side shots, so I can be sure.  But the memories of feel and ball flight I have in my mind now are pretty certain.  I loved these irons when they came out, and still love them today.

Even if you decide to upgrade to one of Callaway's newer models, I'd say hold on to those FT's.  They're like a trusty pair of sneakers. :)

Edited by The GreekGrind, 29 April 2011 - 04:04 PM.


#19 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:27 PM

View Postonetime19, on 29 April 2011 - 12:55 PM, said:

Thanks for an awesome review! I am playing the DF now but will go out and hit the Razr x tour!
I'll be curious to hear how you like the RAZR X Tours when you hit them, and how they compare to your Diablo Forged when you do.

View PostSabre3, on 29 April 2011 - 02:15 PM, said:

Nice review. Getting me excited to get my new x-tours as soon as they are ready.
Prepare to be even more excited when you hit them for the first time.  :man_in_love: What were you playing before you ordered the RAZR X Tour irons?  It'd be great to hear more about what you think of them once you put them in play.

View Postjwfgolfpro, on 29 April 2011 - 03:01 PM, said:

:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:
Thanks for putting the time and effort into a such a good review.

JWFGOLFPRO

Now if I could get that kind of applause while I was on the course playing, that'd be something!   :tongue:

Edited by The GreekGrind, 29 April 2011 - 04:52 PM.


#20 gjunky

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:42 PM

Awesome review!


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#21 The GreekGrind

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:57 PM

View Postgolfware, on 29 April 2011 - 12:50 PM, said:

Wow.  I, for one, am thoroughly impressed.  Very well done and easy to follow.  AND, I love my Diablo Forged too!
I hear you golfware.  The Diablo Forged are my without a doubt the most favorite irons that I've played.  Hope you and everyone else find this entertaining, informative, and helpful as the season goes on.

Edited by The GreekGrind, 28 May 2011 - 11:26 PM.


#22 Trevorn

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:23 PM

Best review I have read here. Well done.

Now, can you do a review comparing the AP2, AP1, Razr Tour and the Taylormade TP CB and MC, you will have covered everything off for me!!

#23 Hey Bob

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:51 PM

This is quality.
Thanks mate!

#24 Bravo36

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 05:49 PM

Damn...now that's what I call a fricking review!

Well done, and may it serve as an instrument of instruction for those wishing to do future reviews.

Good job brother!

#25 fr0sty

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:03 AM

Great review.  I wonder how the Razr X Tour compares to my X-22 Tours, they look very similar.

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#26 vinny809

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:29 AM

Excellent review, Cheers!

#27 One_Putt_Blunder

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:13 AM

Great well thought out, planned and written review. I have taken pride in a few of the reviews I have done, but this is impressive. I am sure this will be a great bit of info to quite a few members. As you have stated the looks of things like top lines are subjective to the individual player. I find that the top line of the Razr X forged is way to thick especially in the short irons especially for those that are used to playing with a thin top line. Everything else about the Razr X Forged is terrific though. The sole grind is absolutley ideal for the digger driver type of player and just cuts through the turf so smoothly. The feel is top notch and on par with high end sets such as dare i say it Scratch and Miura. The irons are very easy to control and for the better ball strikers the X Forged provide a nice controllable and smooth trajectory macthed with great forgiveness.  

Well done and +1 rep points for you :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

Edited by One_Putt_Blunder, 30 April 2011 - 02:14 AM.

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#28 The GreekGrind

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 05:59 AM

View PostOne_Putt_Blunder, on 30 April 2011 - 02:13 AM, said:

Great well thought out, planned and written review. I have taken pride in a few of the reviews I have done, but this is impressive. I am sure this will be a great bit of info to quite a few members. As you have stated the looks of things like top lines are subjective to the individual player. I find that the top line of the Razr X forged is way to thick especially in the short irons especially for those that are used to playing with a thin top line. Everything else about the Razr X Forged is terrific though. The sole grind is absolutley ideal for the digger driver type of player and just cuts through the turf so smoothly. The feel is top notch and on par with high end sets such as dare i say it Scratch and Miura. The irons are very easy to control and for the better ball strikers the X Forged provide a nice controllable and smooth trajectory macthed with great forgiveness.  

Well done and +1 rep points for you :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
Thanks One Putt.  Yes I've read and enjoyed your reviews over the years.  It's a great community here.

I think your point about the top line is well taken.  It's why in part that appearance section I tried to just give details, and let people form their own conclusions.  Some people find it a bit too thick, others will think it just right.

Agree with you on the sole design.  Really well done by Callaway.  I hope among other things, the length, width, and curve comparions are helpful to people who might be wondering about how exactly the sole designs compare.

Edited by The GreekGrind, 30 April 2011 - 06:34 AM.


#29 The GreekGrind

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 06:04 AM

View Postfr0sty, on 30 April 2011 - 01:03 AM, said:

Great review.  I wonder how the Razr X Tour compares to my X-22 Tours, they look very similar.
Hi ft0sty, unfortunately I can't really give an opinion about comparative performance of the X-22 Tours, since I didn't play them.  Over the recent years I've played the FTs, the X-22s, the X24s, the Diablo Forged, and now the RAZR X Tour, and RAZR X Forged.  

Appearance wise however you're generally right on.  The RAZR X Tour irons look similar in shape, in particular in their low profile face, and longer heel to toe footprint to the X-22 Tours. From an appearance standpoint alone, I think it's fair to say the RAZR X Tours look more like the X-22 Tours, than they do either the RAZR X Forged, Diablo Forged, or even the FTs.

If anyone I play with this season is hitting the X-22's and they let me give an iron or two a mash for a bit, I'll be sure to get some head to head work in with those and the RAZR X Tours, so I can give you more performance detailed comparions.

Edited by The GreekGrind, 30 April 2011 - 06:06 AM.


#30 Sabre3

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 06:39 AM

View PostThe GreekGrind, on 29 April 2011 - 03:27 PM, said:

View Postonetime19, on 29 April 2011 - 12:55 PM, said:

Thanks for an awesome review! I am playing the DF now but will go out and hit the Razr x tour!
I'll be curious to hear how you like the RAZR X Tours when you hit them, and how they compare to your Diablo Forged when you do.

View PostSabre3, on 29 April 2011 - 02:15 PM, said:

Nice review. Getting me excited to get my new x-tours as soon as they are ready.
Prepare to be even more excited when you hit them for the first time.  :man_in_love: What were you playing before you ordered the RAZR X Tour irons?  It'd be great to hear more about what you think of them once you put them in play.

View Postjwfgolfpro, on 29 April 2011 - 03:01 PM, said:

:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:
Thanks for putting the time and effort into a such a good review.

JWFGOLFPRO

Now if I could get that kind of applause while I was on the course playing, that'd be something!   :tongue:
I have been playing DCi 981's for way to long now. Got fitted and it was between the cg-16 tours and X-Tours. Opted for the X-tours with the 1/4" longer shafts and just overall feel. I can't believe I am not going back to Titleist. Never thought I would play cally irons until now. Tried them against ap1's and jpx800 pros as well.


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