Alright, time for the data. The first two are just my baseline irons and I won't really comment on them, since they are what they are. I have two pictures for each, one with numbers and one with the dispersion given from each iron. The launch monitor at the PGA Superstore was near identical to my on course numbers, with the only issue being that the swing speed looked a bit high to me (the Mizuno shaft fitter gave me swing speeds of 89, 91, and 91 on the three swings needed).
7-iron, Ping Eye 2 KBS Tour stiff:
One quick note here, the shot hung out to the right was one of the Mizuno shaft fitting shots before the fitter minimized this window. It was not hit with my club or shaft.
6 iron, Ping Eye 2 KBS Tour stiff:
Once I had finished my baseline testing, I went through the Mizuno shaft fitting with the device on the shaft and the application the fitter used. I didn't take a picture of it, but my average numbers were 91 (Club speed), 5 (Tempo), 4 (Shaft Toe Down), 6 (Shaft Kick Angle), and 8 (Release Factor). It recommended a soft stepped KBS Tour X-flex, which was impossible to test with the available clubs. They had only one KBS X-flex shaft in the entire fitting area from all the brands, and it was a C-taper (not what was recommended) that fit into the Taylormade MC iron. That said I found that the KBS Tour Stiff suits my needs just fine still, and it was the shaft I opted for in the irons that I ordered. I tested all the irons in the KBS Tour Stiff after the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer recommended the KBS and I had found through other testing last fall that it had the tightest dispersion for me.
Here's the data from all the clubs I tested, along with a couple short comments on each club.
7-iron, Taylormade MC KBS C-taper X-flex:
This one I won't bother to show the numbers on it. The dispersion was so high (and didn't get much better with a KBS Tour stiff in it) that I eliminated it right off the bat.
6-iron, Titleist AP2 KBS Tour stiff:
A solid club with pretty good dispersion, but it just didn't stand out as much as a few of the other irons did. The dispersion was also fairly similar to my Eye 2 6-iron, but shorter distances. It's better than my last experience hitting Titleist irons, but not enough to make me want to purchase them.
6-iron, Callaway Apex Pro KBS Tour Stiff:
Similar to the Titleist, but with more distance. It was a solid club, but the dispersion of this and the Titleist couldn't match the other clubs tested.
6-iron, Mizuno MP-59 KBS Tour stiff:
I forgot to take a picture of the dispersion from the Mizuno irons but, save one thin shot that went short, they were all clustered tighter than my current 6-iron at about the same distance. I also liked how they felt when you hit them solid, it was a nice sound, but the thin shot almost hurt. This may be because I have custom-made (read: home built out of weather stripping and fishing line) inserts in my current irons that help dampen some of the vibrations from bad shots like that.
7-iron, Ping i25 KBS Tour stiff:
I was very happy with these clubs, because I actually was initially considering not testing them since I had already spent two hours in the hitting bay. There wasn't anyone waiting on me, but I felt bad for taking up so much time on the machine (the fitter left after the shaft optimization was done and I had the clubs needed for testing, since I explained my process to him). The dispersion was nice and tight, even with one shot (the pink one) that was hit a tiny bit fat. That likely was helped out by the mat though. Ping was also the only company to use a 7-iron as their demo club, which I expect to be an effective market strategy for higher handicappers since it's easier to hit than a 6-iron. This could make it seem like they're more forgiving than the competition.
7-iron, Ping s55 KBS Tour stiff:
These were the clubs I ended up ordering by phone later that evening. They went, on average, 10 yards further than my current 7-iron with the same max height and a tighter dispersion. The look from the topline of these irons is superb and confidence inspiring, with a clubhead that's small enough to feel like a "better player's iron" while not being so small that it felt you couldn't fit the ball onto it. I found it to be just as forgiving as the i25 (the green shot was the same tiny bit fat) but the dispersion with distance was the main purchasing point. I'll take an average left/right deviation of 4 yards any day with a 7-iron and run like I stole it, especially when the average deviation for distance was only 3 yards.
While I did end up purchasing the Ping s55 irons, I would recommend that people try them all. I personally didn't like the Taylormade club much at all, the fitter hit it better than any other club he tested himself. It's really a matter of personal opinion, because even the shape of the clubhead would sometimes affect how I hit it. A nice looking club that I feel comfortable and confident swinging goes better than one that I really don't like. Go out and find what shaft works best for you, then try everything!
The good news is, since I ordered from Golfsmith, I have the option of returning the clubs for 100% store credit (assuming good condition clubs, which I was told is the norm unless you hit rocks) within 30 days of receiving them in case I am unhappy with something about them. This means to me that, should I find the s55's a bit too much to handle in a tournament (in which I will play 2 during that 30 day period) I can essentially swap them out for the i25's or something else with more forgiveness. I could also return them and purchase the clubs with an X-flex if it turns out that the ones I have are too soft (the fitter said I could go with either shaft since the optimizer put me in between the two). I don't anticipate doing either of those things, but it's just a nice little peace of mind thing that I haven't seen elsewhere.
I can't wait for my clubs to arrive (UPS Ground shipping, 3-5 business days) and I will update this thread when they do come and I test them on the course.