For most of golf’s history, irons were fairly uniform, the equivalent of what are now called blades. With the advance of golf technology, most casual players don’t use standard blades anymore. Instead, the typical golfer uses more forgiving cavity-back irons. Among professional golfers, however, you’ll find a mix of irons.
Titleist, based in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, is one of the world’s largest golf equipment manufacturers. Among the company’s products is a full line of golf clubs, including 2- through 9-irons, and both blades and cavity-backed clubs. Professionals such as 2011 U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy and 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas have used Titleist clubs on the PGA Tour. You don’t need to employ any special technique when using Titleist irons.
Depending on what type of swing you possess, stiff-shaft irons might help you control your shots better, achieve optimal results from a swing with a fast tempo and aid your short game. The most flexible shaft is designated as "ladies" and the least flexible shaft is called "x-stiff." As Golf.com states, "Choosing the right shaft is crucial to lowering your scores as well as giving you the feel and control you desire."
In 1982, former vineyard owner Ely Callaway bought a share of the Hickory Stick USA golf club manufacturer for $400,000. By the end of the decade the company, now called Callaway Golf, had sales of more than $10 million, according to Callaway’s website. Since then, Callaway has grown into one of the world’s largest golf manufacturers, and pros such as Phil Mickelson and Morgan Pressel have won tour events using Callaway clubs. The company continues to manufacture a complete line of irons. Four of the company’s standard iron sets and two hybrid lines earned “gold” recognition on the 2012 “Golf Digest” Hot List.
More Irons Picks
Buying a set of used golf irons is a cost-effective way to add new clubs to your golf bag without paying full-market price. Because golfers routinely upgrade their equipment, it's relatively easy to find many used clubs on the market at different price points and degrees of use. Buying used clubs isn't the same as buying new clubs. When the clubs are used, you must be vigilant about inspecting their condition prior to purchase.
Golf manufacturers introduced what they termed “draw” clubs in 2006, beginning with a driver, then following with irons (3 through 9), along with fairway woods, hybrids and wedges. Some of the early draw irons were well-received and earned gold medal status on “Golf Digest’s” annual equipment Hot List in 2007.
Ping is one of the elite golf equipment manufacturers in the game. The company's clubs are not cheap. Taking proper care of your Ping irons is a good way to protect your investment and ensure they perform the way you expect them to as they age. The three main components of Ping irons -- the clubhead, shaft and grip -- all deserve your attention.
Some golf topics are almost as volatile as politics and religion. One such debate concerns how irons are made. There was a time when the pros would use only forged irons, and cast irons were limited to amateurs. That has changed, with cast irons finding popularity even among the pros. The main difference from a practical standpoint is the ability to bend a forged club to adjust the lie angle and loft with minimal risk of the club breaking -- unlike the cast club, which can only handle a few adjustments.
Since the hybrid revolution struck near the turn of the 21st century, golfers have removed irons from their bags to make room for hybrid clubs. Even many top professionals have made the switch, including 2009 PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang, who told “Golf Digest” in 2010 that he uses three hybrid clubs in place of his long irons. For recreational golfers, hybrids are more tolerant of mishit shots and help players loft the ball in the air, so the shift from irons to hybrid clubs should be a smooth transition for most players.
A forged iron contains a clubhead that’s heated and molded from a single piece of metal. Unless you’re an expert, you probably won't be able to look at an iron and determine whether it’s been forged or created via a different manufacturing process. But the differences between forged and non-forged irons might be felt when you swing the clubs on a golf course.
The fight between forged and cavity-back irons for the affection of the golfing public once was a cleanly defined competition. Forged irons were produced the old-fashioned way, while the relatively newer cavity backs offered the appeal of a modern golf club design. The battle lines have blurred recently, as some cavity-back irons are now forged, leaving the golfing consumer with a variety of choices.