BAG PRODUCT REVIEWS and equipment news you can use BY BRIAN BEAKY — CG EDITOR
THE IRON PRICE
f all of the clubs in your bag, besides possibly your putter, I’m willing to bet that your irons have been in there the longest. Drivers are flashy, relatively inexpensive to upgrade (relatively, I said), and are generally the club most golfers say they wish they could hit better — for those reasons, they’re also one of the most frequently replaced. Wedges, meanwhile, wear out after 1-2 years (or sooner, depending on how often you play), while most golfers either play the same putter they’ve had for decades (like Tiger Woods and his trusty Scotty Cameron Newport 2), or churn through flatsticks every year trying to find the right one. Irons, though, are both costly — most namebrand sets start around $599, and many reach four digits — and less likely to earn our angst. When we mis-hit an iron, we try to figure out what we did wrong; when we mis-hit a driver, we assume the problem can be fixed with a new club. In this issue, we take a look at a few of the coolest new iron sets to hit the market this year from PING, Callaway and Titleist, along with some junior sets and our favorite new kicks. Now, you might ask — wait, doesn’t Tiger play TaylorMade? What about Tiger’s irons? In fact, Tiger plays a prototype TaylorMade iron that’s not currently available to the public — though, you can bet TaylorMade is scrambling to put together a commercial version they can market as “Tiger Woods’ irons” just as fast as they can. (If you’re wondering, Tiger also plays a TaylorMade M5 driver and 3-wood, an M3 5-wood, and TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges.) If you’re like me and you’re still swinging irons you’ve had in your bag for close to a decade, it might be time to head into Puetz and see what a custom fitting could do for your game.
G410 Irons PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Apex 2019 Irons 2
starting at $124.99 per club
ING’s G-series irons have always represented the company’s game-improvement line, geared towards golfers who don’t mind a little help encouraging that little white ball to fly far and straight. And, while that still hasn’t changed, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some single-digit handicappers putting the G410 irons in their bag this year. This year’s PING irons are smaller and more compact than previous G-series offerings, with a reduced offset, better sound and feel — all qualities preferred by top players — yet, amazingly, offer even more consistency than previous models, with a slightly longer ball flight, too. That’s been accomplished primarily by removing the Custom Tuning Port that has been on the back of all G-series irons to date, and replacing it with weights in both the toe and hosel. With the weight gone, the G410’s face can flex more for higher ball speeds, while the two added weights help stabilize the head on mis-hits, for better accuracy. For a mid- or even high-single-digit handicapper looking for a game-improvement club with a player’s iron look and feel, the G410 is a great fit.
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
starting at $174.99 per club
f the G410 represents PING’s efforts to bring the look and feel of a players’ iron to a game-improvement club, the Callaway Apex 2019 is exactly the opposite. The original 2016 Apex irons proved so popular that Callaway waited three entire years to upgrade the line, until the manufacturing tech caught up with designers’ vision. This year’s Apex 19 offers the same premium forged look and feel of its predecessor, but with the kind of distance and forgiveness gains you’d expect from a game-improvement club — all without sacrificing the ability of a better player to adjust their ball flight as conditions or the course demand. Technological advances include the use of Metal Injection Moulding to insert a finely calibrated tungsten weight into the cavity at the optimum position for each club, plus the use of a Variable Face Cup, giving more consistent ball speeds across the face. Apex designers also took a nod from the Rogue design team, adding urethane microspheres behind the face to give a more solid sound and feel than one would expect from a cavity-back iron. Available in both chrome and “smoke” finishes, it may well be your go-to iron for the next decade.
Order online at puetzgolf.com • Call Toll Free (866) cascadegolfer.com 362-2441
Western Washington's largest and most widely distributed golf magazine, with news and views for Seattle-area golfers.