Viper XT irons

Feature 'super high Moment of Inertia' (MOI) head weighting, to reduce twisting through impact and can can be fitted with pre-PUREd FST Pro 115 Steepless lightweight steel shafts or AeroTech 'hoop-wind' graphite. Available in three flexes.

Bob Warters
Mon, 30 Mar 2009
With soft forgiveness of a hybrid

Need To Know

Our score:
PRICE: £299.00 YEAR: from 2008

With the Golfsmith/Snake Eyes brand providing shafts for many of the leading brands, the St Ives-based company knows more than almost anyone about matching shafts and clubheads to make the most of a set of irons. It's also one of the pioneers of the PURE-ing of shafts to ensure they maximise a player's ability.

Looks: Some may not, but I appreciated the offset look of the heads at address more pronounced in the longer irons (5 or 6mm) and less so in the shorter irons (3 to 4.5 between sand-iron and 7-iron). The anti-glare, thicxker top line was particularly appealing to me as I get distracted by reflections as I waggle the clubhead. Reminiscent of chunky Callaway Big X-18 irons.

Feel/Performance: These are the replacement to the popular Viper Ti-Steel irons, with the addition of new technology to what was already a good performing iron and introducing a hollow core in the sole and deep undercut cavity. The big faces on the half-set I tested (4-, 6-, 8-iron and PW) delivered a soft forgiveness more akin to a hybrid than an iron, especially in the longer irons, which have 8-gram weight increments allowing for a progressive swing weight set compared to traditional static swing weights.

The shorter iron set up to give you confidence which in turn tended to generate an extra few yards on the normal 8-iron or 46-degree pitching wedge - even with my boring, fizzing ball flight honed on wind-swept seaside courses. Part of the credit might well go to the AeroTech hoop-wind technology in the black and silver shafts which are PUREd for each clubs and slightly longer than their FST Pro steel equivalent.

not first look
not picked