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Test of Metal

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Photo: Jeff Harris

Srixon I-701

It’s often difficult to find irons that linger between blades and game-improvement models in terms of design, but the I-701 fits the bill. The face is forged from soft carbon steel, and the pocket cavity makes the CG low and deep—enough to produce a higher launch angle and trajectory than many competitors’ irons. The clubhead is large but not oversize and has a wide sole and progressive offset. Low-handicappers will appreciate the clean appearance, thin muted-gray topline and soft feel. In fact, the PGA Tour’s Henrik Stenson plays this set in competition. $999. Call 888-477-4966 or visit srixon.com.

Hot Stix Stats

Center Ball Speed (mph): 110; Launch Angle (degrees): 19; Spin Rate (rpm): 5,313

Toe Ball Speed (mph): 104; Launch Angle (degrees): 18.3; Spin Rate (rpm): 5,359

Nike Slingshot 4D

The original Slingshot irons were so popular that Nike also released Tour and oversize models. The goal with this update is to blend the best qualities of each into one set, from the playability of the OSS long irons to the penetrating ball flight of the Tour version’s short irons. The clubs also have a cleaner look: As designer Tom Stites points out, the 4D’s slingback is now hidden at address. $799/graphite, $699/steel. Call 888-799-6453 or visit nikegolf.com.

Hot Stix Stats

Center Ball Speed (mph): 111; Launch Angle (degrees): 18.8; Spin Rate (rpm): 5,850

Toe Ball Speed (mph): 104; Launch Angle (degrees): 18.1; Spin Rate (rpm): 5,930


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