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Adams Golf’s new XTD “Cross Cavity” Irons

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The give-and-take of golf club’s design is one of the biggest challenges engineers face when tuning its distance, forgiveness and feel.

Take, for example, golf equipment’s hottest trend of “distance irons.” Such clubs have extremely thin, unsupported faces that drive their fast ball speeds. But the thinness of their faces also tends to change their sound in a negative way, creating a loud, high-pitch noise at impact that golfers equate with bad feel.

Adams’ newest distance irons, the XTD “Cross Cavity” irons, are designed to fix that feel problem, while at the same time adding ball speed and forgiveness. To do so, however, the company needed an out-of-the-box solution that came by way of the Cross Cavity design.

2014 adams xtd irons

The Cross Cavity design in the rear of the iron heads serves to move the center of gravity farther back, allowing the irons to be more forgiving than their size indicates. That’s the genesis of Adams’ claim that the irons have forgiveness that’s “more like a hybrid,” because the deeper CG generates a gear effect (draw spin on toe hits, fade spin on heel hits, etc.) that is similar to a hybrid.

But what makes the XTD irons truly unique is what Adams calls a “Pressure Piston,” a structure that’s mechanically lodged between the Cross Cavity and the club face to quiet sound and vibration (see the diagram below).

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Justin Honea, senior director of research and development for Adams, said that Pressure Piston’s acoustic benefits allowed for a thinner, harder face material (450 stainless steel) to be used in the XTD irons. The thinner faces, combined with a 25 percent longer Cut-Thru slot on the irons’ soles, makes them significantly longer and forgiving than their predecessors, Adams’ Super S irons.

adams xtd ironsadams golf xtd irons

Sole shape (left) and topline (right). Click to enlarge

Just how much longer are they? According to Honea, they’re about 10 yards longer than the Super S irons while maintaining the same modest lofts (the 6 iron measures 28 degrees, 1.5 degrees weaker than TaylorMade’s SpeedBlade irons and 2 degrees weaker than Callaway’s X2 Hot irons).

The XTD irons sell for $599 for a seven-club set and come stock with KBS C-Taper 90 steel shafts. Golfers can also add one of Adams’ new Pro hybrids to the set for $100 each. Click to enlarge the spec sheet below.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 7.38.52 PM

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Joe

    May 29, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I just bought the xtd irons and two months later the 4 iron backing plate broke off, then three months after that the 3 iron broke in the same place, looks like a bad design,anyone else have such problems?

    • Joey

      Aug 3, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Bought my clubs about a year ago and the exact same thing happened to my 4 iron. Hasn’t happened to any other clubs yet though.

  2. Pingback: Adams Golf 2014 Xtd Irons | Bi Golf Psychology

  3. gray

    Oct 21, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I just played these irons….they are really good. I think they set up nice behind the ball and they just have a beautiful flight. yes they are long but very, very forgiving….I ma purchasing them… I am a low handicap player by the way…

  4. luis d

    Sep 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I just bought these this past weekend. I went in with the mindset of buying the JPX or Apex, then the golf pro came over and handed me the 7 iron of the XTD and man i was hitting the ball straighter and at least 14 yds longer. A great product and cant eait to hit the links this weekend.

  5. marty

    Jul 14, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Love these clubs.

  6. Vaun Stoots

    Jun 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    These irons are incredible! They are 1 to 1 1/2 clubs longer than my Taylormade irons. The ball flight is high and just seems to carry & carry. Awesome feel! My last 2 rounds have been -1 and -2 & I’m an 8 handicap. They have been a huge difference in my game.

  7. Birdman

    Jun 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Hit these at a Demo Day a few weeks back … best feeling club I’ve hit in a long time. Not crazy about the ‘gimmicky’ back – but who cares if it works?! Tried it both with the stock steel shaft & also the graphite Matrix Q shaft. Loved the feel, the ball flight, and the distance so much – that I bought a set. Oh, and I went to this demo thinking that I would buy one of the following sets: Taylormade Speedblade, Titliest AP2, or Ping G25’s — sorry guys – Adam’s performed and felt better than all 3 of those, hands down!

    • marty

      Jul 14, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Not a gimmicky back. The cross brace allows a thinner club face. Beast.

  8. leftymoose

    Feb 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    When’s the release date on these? And what are the specs on C-taper 90’s? KBS doesn’t even show them on their website.

  9. Duncan Castles

    Feb 13, 2014 at 8:20 am

    ‘Modest lofts’? A 28-degree six iron is at least 3 degrees stronger than standard. Essentially, Adams’ ‘modest’ six iron is a five iron…

    • leftymoose

      Feb 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Have these irons been released yet or soon to be? Also, what are the specs on the KBC c-taper 90 shafts? Can’t find any info on them

    • Kenneth Petersen

      Aug 31, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Then speedblade 6 iron is essentially a 4 iron compare lofts to dif clubs of same nature, they are not as strong

  10. Joe Golfer

    Feb 13, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Since Ernie Els is putting something like this in his bag now, I wonder what his lofts will be on his Adams XTD’s?

  11. M

    Feb 11, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Not only are the lofts jacked up now, the lengths of the shafts have gotten longer than what they used to be too, so the number of club doesn’t really matter any more than to just to help us count how many clubs there are in the bag.

  12. Kyle

    Feb 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Hit these the other day. Great clubs! Who cares what the back looks like, because it is all hidden at address.

  13. Fuck Off

    Feb 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

    They look tight to me

  14. markb

    Feb 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Yes they are ugly, but I wonder how they perform.

    Is that “piston” that connects to the face made out of a polymer or some speedslot goop? If so, it probably doesn’t impact the trampoline effect much.

  15. Double Mocha Man

    Feb 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    “What’d you hit there?” Just bought some Titleist irons with close-to-old school lofts. 3-4 degrees weaker. So now when I’m asked that question (because I’ve got them all memorized) I just respond with the degrees of loft.

  16. Ryan

    Feb 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t get it. First they tout how thin faced irons will have a trampoline effect for MAXIMUM DISTANCE. Then they add a bar to the face so it can’t flex?

    • Joe Golfer

      Feb 13, 2014 at 1:45 am

      If you are referring to the “Pressure Piston”, I suppose it acts like a normal piston in that it moves up and down, or in this case, back and forth. The metal support in the back is all off of the face, so that the face is unsupported.
      It doesn’t even say what this “Pressure Piston” (see diagram they posted) is made up of, so it could be rubber material or elastomer.
      The word “piston” would indicate that the object moves when the face is struck, so it isn’t a rigid support.

      • Kenneth Petersen

        Aug 31, 2014 at 8:34 am

        That “piston” is just for a sound dampener so club doesn’t sound so pingy and vibration isolator all I can say is go hit one then you’ll know what your talking about

  17. Dave

    Feb 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    In a few years our 5i will have 21 degrees and we’ll be playing six wedges. No different than what we play now, just different labeling. Will we have a sub set name for wedges weaker than 53* ?

  18. Bradley Lawrence

    Feb 8, 2014 at 12:05 am

    These are not like the speedbladez. I was able to hit these yesterday, they feel and perform incredible. The feel is much more solid than the speedbladez, much more like an AP1 feel. These are also crazy long! I hit a steel shafted 5 iron with the Stock KBS Tour C-Taper lite in them, and a 7 iron with the matrix program 85. They were both 15-20 yards longer than my current irons, Titleist 714’s.

    I also had one of my members hit them, and he gained 15 yards, and was straighter than his Mizuno’s.

    Are these for everyone? No are they for the average golfer who wants to hit the ball longer, straighter and higher. Not the Golfwrx member who wants a 52* PW, and wants to curve shots on command.

    • Ron H

      Feb 13, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Why does it matter in ANY way that your irons go further than any one else’s? Irons that fire the ball farther serve no purpose other than “bragging rights”. If your 6-iron is really like my 4-iron, will that lower your scores? Nope. But it will shrink your wallet because you’ll have to buy annother wedge or two to make up the gap at the scoring end of your set. It’s worse than pointless; it’s a waste.

      • Aaron miller

        Aug 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm

        I bought a set of these because I loved the way they looked at set up address. I played them for the first time last weekend and they launch the ball very high and mishits are very forgiving. I was really surprised at how easy they launch the ball out of deep rough on a buried lie but they are great feeling irons. I’ve always been a ping guy and play a set of titleist blades also. Guys these clubs are nice. Only down fall is you will have to add another wedge to your bag most likely. The pitching wedge is deep long. I hit it 135-150 pending wind here in Colorado. So a 50-52 degree gap wedge will mist likely be needed. A scratch golfer may not like these but if your a 8-10 handicapper you will love them.

  19. prairiegolfer

    Feb 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    I thought these things were butt ugly and I still think they are. However, looking deeper at the technology they might have sick performance. I got to try them to find out. If they perform really well, a purchase may have to be made.

  20. kev

    Feb 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Just about everything Adams makes looks ugly…..including the name.

    • marty

      Jul 14, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Not a gimmicky back. The cross brace allows a thinner club face. Beast.

  21. Amir

    Feb 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Look at those jacked up lofts! PW at 44*..

    • Justin

      Feb 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      I’m not sure why everyone complains about the lower lofts. Does everyone’s pitching wedge have 52 degrees? No? Well, if not, then you’re technically playing irons with jacked up lofts. According to Mr. Wishon, in the 60’s and 70’s that was the standard pitching wedge. A 6 iron was 36 degrees, and even traditional players with “standard” lofts are a maximum of 31 degrees usually.

  22. RumtumTim

    Feb 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Ugly, maybe, but I have a hunch that these perform.

    Adams is still playing catch up to my Wishon’s though.

    • Because

      Feb 9, 2014 at 11:10 am

      yea, because your Wishons are probably properly fit to you.

    • Joe Golfer

      Feb 13, 2014 at 1:55 am

      I like those Wishon 771 irons, with the High COR unsupported thin face.
      Maybe that’s what you play, since you are comparing Wishon to these particular Adams clubs.
      Don’t know how those Wishon heads sound though, as this article states that Adams made these so that they’d have the benefit of the unsupported thin face as well as good acoustics.
      With Wishon’s prior model, the 870Ti irons, I have heard that they sounded sort of “clicky” to some golfers.
      Wishon has a lot of great products, but I think they’d do themselves a good service if they provided all the aftermarket shafts of other companies in addition to their own in-house shaft models, just like companies such as Golfworks and Golfsmith and Hireko do.

  23. Mike

    Feb 7, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Look very much like Adams version of Speedbladez. Sure they are great but do we really need two versions of Speedbladez?

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Whats in the Bag

Akshay Bhatia WITB 2022 (November)

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST (9 degrees @8)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (19 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 10 X

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (22 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS $-Taper 125

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (50-10S, 54-10S, 60-08C)
Shafts: KBS $-Taper 125

Putter: Odyssey 2-Ball Ten (long)
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour long

Grips: Iomic

More photos of Akshay Bhatia’s WITB in the forums.

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Bettinardi unveils new 2023-2024 Queen B line of putters

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Bettinardi Golf has today introduced its new Queen B Series of putters that includes four timeless models.

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In addition, the new Queen B line debuts Bettinardi Golf’s new Mini Honeycomb face milling. This newly developed face utilizes an 8% smaller machine tool in order to provide the softest Honeycomb face to date.

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The 2023-2024 Queen B Series will be available for pre-order on Tuesday, November 22nd online at Bettinardi.com, and will be available for purchase at authorized Bettinardi dealers worldwide, starting January 17th.

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Bettinardi adds BB28 putter to brand’s BB series

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Bettinardi has today unveiled the addition of the BB28 to its BB series line.

The BB28 features Aggressive Flymill face milling designed to give the putter a responsive, yet soft feel off the putter head, and offers a full-flange design, which provides greater perimeter weighting and higher M.O.I.characteristics.

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Bettinardi have also launched the center shaft BB28 putter featuring a 1/4 toe-hang wide-body blade, as well as a BB28 Armlock containing a near-face-balanced wide-body blade.

The BB28 model is available for pre-order at Bettinardi.com ($430) from November 22nd and at retail on January 22nd.

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