Connect with us

Equipment

The most popular design trend in irons you’re just noticing now

Published

on

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons

When it comes to being a golf equipment junkie, irons have always been the most fascinating clubs to me. They are designed cohesively from top to bottom and vary greatly in aesthetics from set to set—more so than any other club in the bag beyond a putter.

What also makes irons appealing, is—if you feel so inclined—you can use a set from 30 years ago and play golf without noticing a huge drop off in performance—depending on the style of clubs of course. Any modern game improvement irons with lighter weight, higher-launching shafts, and fast faces are going to go further, fly higher, land softer, and offer better performance on mishit shots thanks to technology—but as many golfers have proven, you don’t need technology to enjoy the game.

So where does this leave us with modern iron design?

It used to be that when picking a set of irons you had to make the choice between game improvement or blades. There were few options in the middle, and those options that existed still trended strongly towards one or the other.

Then came along “combo sets”—and we have covered them in the past (Greatest forged combo sets of all time)—beyond a few exceptions these were configured from the manufacturer with little wiggle room for swapping out clubheads for performance. But a few years ago, that started to change for the better, and we are seeing a modern revolution in the way irons are designed from OEMs.

The modernization of iron families

This is where custom fitting, as well as “big data,” is helping OEMs change the way they think about iron design and building a perfect set for every golfer.

If we go back, some of the earliest examples are the 2011 TaylorMade Tour Preferred line that featured blades, muscle cavity irons, and large CB’s, which could be interchanged quite easily—although the CB irons were noticeably larger than the other two clubs.

Another example from that era were the Mizuno MP-63 and MP-53 irons, which looked very similar from an overall design perspective, but the MP-53 offered more forgiveness thanks to a wider sole and undercut cavity. The sets were released simultaneously and could be custom ordered as a combo set.

Past examples can be found from almost every OEM, but now more than ever, we are in the golden age of optimization and club fitting. With the help of new manufacturing technologies that allow engineers to produce smaller clubs with faster faces and higher MOI, we are seeing entire lines of irons being released together in the hope of providing every golfer with the opportunity to get everything they can out of a set of irons. The most recent examples being the TaylorMade P700 Series and the Mizuno JPX 921.

Other examples include

Titleist T-Series

PXG’s Gen3 

Srixon Z-Series

Honorable mentions go to Cobra for its Forged Tec irons that blend into longer irons as well as Ping’s i500—which although not a perfect “looks” match to other Ping irons, has become a mainstay for a number of players looking to maximize long iron performance.

Where this leaves you

When looking for your next set irons, think less about matching and more about maximizing.

Thanks to club designers who have put endless hours into sculpting each edge and radius on iron heads in CAD and master shapers that put on the finishing touches, you can mix and match to your heart’s content and still have a set of clubs that matches perfectly behind the ball—becuase that’s where it matters the most.

Your Reaction?
  • 91
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW2
  • LOL7
  • IDHT4
  • FLOP1
  • OB2
  • SHANK13

Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. James R

    Sep 2, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Look back at the Mizuno Grads of the 90’s. To my knowledge they were the first set that combined cavity backs and blades. There is nothing completely new under the sun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Whats in the Bag

Cameron Young WITB 2024 (July)

Published

on

Driver: Titleist GT2 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Accra Tour Z5 65 M5

3-wood: Titleist GT2 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K White 80 TX

Irons: Titleist T200 (3), Titleist T200 (4), Titleist T100 (5), Titleist 631.CY Prototype (6-9)
Shafts: MMT Utility 105 TX (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 (4-9)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (48-10F, 52-12F), WedgeWorks (58, 60 @62)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X7

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom 5.5 Tour Prototype

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot

 

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Whats in the Bag

Tony Finau WITB 2024 (July)

Published

on

Driver: Ping G430 LST (10.5 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana GT 70 TX

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (14 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: Nike Vapor Fly Pro (3), Ping Blueprint S (4-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 105 Hybrid X (3), Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 TX

Wedges: Ping Glide s159 (50-12S, 56-12S), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 125 Wedge S

Putter: Ping PLD Anser 2D Prototype
Grip: Garsen Golf Ultimate

Grips: Lamkin UTx Mid

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot

See the rest of Tony Finau’s WITB in the forums.

More Tony Finau WITBs

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Whats in the Bag

Collin Morikawa WITB 2024 (July)

Published

on

Driver: TaylorMade Qi10 LS (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 60 TX (45 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM TI (14 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade Qi10 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7CB Proto (4), P7CB (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid 115 X100 (4), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (5-PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG4 (50-SB09, 56-LB08), TaylorMade MG4 TW (60-SBC)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade TP Soto
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending