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Test of Metal

Jeff Harris Proshop

Photo: Jeff Harris

Are blades an endangered species?Not yet—but more and more single-digit players are switching to game-improvement irons as companies continue to upgrade these clubs’ appearance and performance. Here is the latest crop, all of which can help enhance consistency; look for the ones that offer the feel and ball flight you like.

Mizuno MX-950

Long the producer of elite irons for Tour pros, Mizuno has recently struck a surprisingly golden chord with everyday golfers. The three styles of clubhead that constitute this set are a pair of hybrids at the long end, three forged cavity-back mid-irons and a trio of forged scoring irons. The hybrids and mid-irons sport internal tungsten weighting that produces high, razor-straight shots, and the eight-iron through the wedge communicate sheer satisfaction to the hands at impact. Mizuno’s reputation for sweet-feeling irons is legendary, but the playability of the MX-950 should bring a legion of new fans. $1,180/graphite, $1,080/steel. Call 800-966-1211 or visit mizunousa.com.

Hot Stix Stats

Center Ball Speed (mph): 111; Launch Angle (degrees): 18.6; Spin Rate (rpm): 5,426

Toe Ball Speed (mph): 104; Launch Angle (degrees): 18.4; Spin Rate (rpm): 5,569

Ping G10

The G10 holds true to the Ping look: thick topline, plain-Jane hosel and that distinctive brushed-metal finish. Who can blame the originator of game-improvement irons for continuing the tradition?In the latest version, the stainless steel clubheads feature low toe weighting to increase stability on mis-hits. There’s also progressive offset throughout the set to help encourage a gentle draw. A deep cavity and wide sole move the center of gravity (CG) low and away from the clubface, and its insert—more recessed than on Ping’s previous models—produces a solid feel and sound. $1,080/graphite, $860/steel. Call 800-474-6434 or visit pinggolf.com.

Hot Stix Stats

Center Ball Speed (mph): 110; Launch Angle (degrees): 19.6; Spin Rate (rpm): 6,069

Toe Ball Speed (mph): 105; Launch Angle (degrees): 18.6; Spin Rate (rpm): 6,199

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