Bridgestone Golf, which has made a name for itself as of late for their B330 and e-Series balls, is set to unveil their newest set of irons at the upcoming PGA Merchandise show. While producing irons (and clubs in general for that matter) is nothing new for Bridgestone, the company is not as well known for it, at least not here in the states. They aren't the kind of company that rolls out a new set of irons every six months, and in fact, it was nearly a decade ago that their J33 came out. In Orlando, the company will show off its new J15 family of forged irons which contain four different options, each aimed a different type of player.
Tristan Hilton's Archive
One of the best ways to get golfers to spend more money on a new club is to convince them that they will gain considerable distance. While there are many who scoff at the seemingly wild claims so many of the companies make; many are more than willing to plunk down three or four hundred dollars in an attempt to see if the claims are true.
Always at the forefront of cutting edge golf technology is TaylorMade. They seem to be the one company that puts themselves out there time after time and seem to be first with the latest and greatest equipment. Sometimes strategies like this backfire, and your products are seen as a joke or as gimmicky; other times you hit home runs. One technology that the company has been pushing over the last several years is its speed slot technology which has been found on both woods and irons. On the irons, it is a polymer filled slot found on the clubs sole. The idea behind the slot is that it allows the face to flex more, producing higher ball speeds across a larger portion of the face. In other words, more forgiveness and more distance. With the release of the RSi Irons, the company is pushing the bounds even more with the addition of slots on the clubs face.
At the beginning of 2014, Callaway Golf brought back an old favorite with the reintroduction of an old favorite; the Big Bertha. The driver came in two different versions (a standard Big Bertha and the Alpha) and both were received well. Callaway worked hard on these clubs to create a club that was both forgiving and long, and in the eyes of many, they did just that. Recently, they followed up with the release of the Big Bertha V Series; which wasn't an update to the Big Bertha line so much as it was a replacement of last years FT Optiforce line. Those clubs were meant to be lighter and faster than a typical driver and help those that needed it achieve higher club head speed. Now, the company has the true update to Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha, and it is the Big Bertha Alpha 815.
While some golf companies go the route of bombarding the customer with release after release, Titleist takes the opposite approach and sticks to a two year product cycle with woods and irons alternating years. While that means that there is often a product from a competitor with more current technology, it gives Titleist the opportunity to do its due diligence and figure out what technologies work, which don't and then bring debut a lineup that will hold its own for a couple years. It wasn't until the 910 line of clubs that Titleist added an adjustable hosel, which was quite a while after competitors such as TaylorMade and Callaway had done so; however, Titleist took the time to do it right and the hosel they created is regarded by many to be the best of the bunch; an opinion which is further supported by the fact that four years later the company is still using the same one and is no essentially being used by Callaway (just a minor tweak to their version).
With the 915 woods, Titleist has its most featured packed set of clubs. While most of the technologies are ones that we've seen in one version or another from the company's competitors, you can be sure that the company has done it the right way.
Certain golf companies tend to make one think of certain types of clubs, and with Adams golf, the mind goes immediately to woods and hybrids. Years ago, the company produced one of the most popular fairway woods of all time with the Tight Lies and more recently, they've become known for making easy-to-hit hybrids.
About this time last year, the company reintroduced its famed Tight Lies line of clubs and now the company is ready to roll out an update to those clubs. The new clubs still have the features that make it part of the Tight Lies line, however new technology has been built in to add to the clubs distance and forgiveness.
This past year, the golf world saw Callaway revive a couple of old favorites with the reintroduction of the Big Bertha woods and Apex irons, the latter of course being made famous under the Ben Hogan name. Earlier in the month the Big Bertha's received their first update with the V series and now it's time for a new set of Apex irons. It should be no surprise that Callaway takes feedback and suggestions from its tour players seriously, so when they asked for a new blade, the company got to work; the result is the new Apex Muscleback irons. In addition to the new blades, the company has new matching utility irons to go along with them.
Over the last few years, Mizuno has updated 2 of its MP iron sets each year as well as updating the JPX line of clubs. This year, the updates include the new MP-15 irons, a slight cavity back aimed at the better player as well as the MP-H5, the MP club for the not so good. In addition to those, Mizuno has unveiled the new JPX 850 irons. These clubs are unique from anything else out on the market as they include Boron in the forging process. Read on to get the details on each.
Anybody who has paid any attention at all to the golf equipment industry in the last few years knows that TaylorMade tends to flood the market with club after club, each promising to add more yardage than the last. While that hasn't changed too much, the company has slowed things down and trimmed their offerings back a bit. Earlier in the year, the company re-introduced the Tour Preferred line of clubs which featured muscle backs, muscle cavities, and cavity back models. While consumers should be able to find a set that fits their game there, the company has given us one more option, the SLDR irons.
With the SLDR irons, TaylorMade hopes to follow the success that they have seen with the drivers and woods of the same name. Many golfers found longer drives by lofting up with a club with low and forward CG, and with the SLDR irons, the company hopes to add more distance throughout your bag. Read on to see if we think the SLDR irons are as good as TaylorMade says they are or if they are just another set soon to be replaced and forgotten.