In the first of a new monthly Club Test series, Golfmagic surveys ten top-end game improvement irons launched within the last 12 months.
What is a game improvement iron?
The game improvement iron, a concept that originated in the mid-1980s, has the sole purpose of combining forgiveness with playability, enabling us to hit the ball further, straighter, higher and more consistently than ever.
Game improvement irons feature a larger head profile than irons designed for better players with the goal of achieving solid contact at impact. The addition of perimeter weighting creates a larger effective hitting area for the golfer, minimising loss of distance and accuracy on those dreaded mis-hits.
All the irons tested in this feature comprise offset (how much the neck or hosel is positioned in front of the face) to reduce pushed and sliced shots. The more offset, the further the head’s centre of gravity is back from the shaft and therefore the lower the centre of gravity, the higher the trajectory off the face.
Secondly, the more offset you have in the clubhead, effectively the greater time you have in the downswing to square the face at impact as the face arrives at the ball a split-second later than a club without offset.
NEW! 10 OF THE BEST: GAME IMPROVEMENT IRONS 2014
About the test
The test was carried out over a single afternoon at the World of Golf driving range in Wimbledon by products writer Andy Roberts and associate editor Alex Perry.
We selected our ten brands, within the price range of £200 and £600, and used a steel-shafted 6-iron to hit ten shots with each. We then marked each out of ten for appearance, feel and performance. (Andy and Alex both scored separately without consultation and the score presented for each iron is an average of the two.) This generated an overall score out of 30 and the overall scores and conclusion can be found on the final page of the feature.
With each iron, we have provided details of set price, loft, lie angle (angle between centre of shaft and sole), length, swing weight (measure of how the weight of the club feels when you swing it), shaft and grip.
The test is carried out in no particular order - other than the order in which we tested them, which was completely at random.
Click here to see how our testing went...
(If you would like to skip straight to the results page, click here.)