The NCG irons test: what we learnedApril, 2013
Our conclusions from a day of hitting and testing irons
THESE IRONS ARE INCREDIBLY LONG…
We can’t believe how high and far some (most) of these irons go. They look like they will never come down. That’s exciting. And if you haven’t changed your irons for a few years then you’re going to notice a big difference. Irons have never been easier to launch and keep in the air.
…AND ONE REASON IS STRONG LOFTS
Some 7 irons in our test had 30˚ of loft. In old money, that’s nearer a 5 iron than a 6. Some had longer shafts as well. So that’s two good reasons they are going further. The issue here, say the manufacturers, is that there’s so much weight under the ball on the modern iron clubhead that the lofts have to be strengthened to create the optimum flight.
TRY GOING LIGHT
Light shafts can be a big help – you will almost certainly be able to keep the ball in the air for longer. Be careful using a traditional heavy shaft like Dynamic Gold unless you are a strong player. To give you an idea of the difference, a Dynamic Gold weighs 125g. With a Nippon you can come down to 85g, which is a third lighter.
We can’t believe how high and far some (most) of these irons go. They look like they will never come down. That’s exciting. WILL YOU BENEFIT FROM A 5 IRON?
These days, when you hit a 5 iron, it actually has the loft of a 3 or a 4 iron. That makes it hard to flight. There was clear evidence in our testing that unless you are a fast-swinging, high-launching player, it makes sense for your longest iron to be a 6. You won’t hit your 5 iron any further and even if you do it will be through run rather than carry.
ARE YOUR GAPS EVEN?
You need to do two things having selected a new set of irons: ensure you know how far your longest iron goes so you can then find a hybrid to ensure a reasonable gap; look at your wedges – it’s very easy to come away with a 43˚ wedge and if your current gap wedge is, say, 52˚ then that’s far too big a differential.
DISTANCE ISN’T ALL
Which one of us can honestly say they’re not excited to hit their irons a club further? But as nice as it is to pull out a shorter club, or get up with a 7 while our mates are having to lean on a 6, don’t lose sight of what irons are primarily for – precision. So remember when trying out a potential new set of irons that dispersion and consistency are key.