Orka Kii CTi irons

Attractive-looking, solid clubs with expensive looks but in the short irons they lacked the finesse I sought for my short game.

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 2 Aug 2007

Orka Kii CTi irons (5-SW)
Technology:Cast stainless steel with progressive top line thickness through the set with PU insert to absorb vibration. Four shaft (Dynalite, R300, S300 steel and UST TX80 graphite) and four grip options. 15 length options.
Price:£299 (5-SW)


Orka KTii CTi iron - solid-looking clubs

Ever experienced the situation where you look forward with great expectation to trying new equipment? You hardly sleep in anticipation of stepping out on the first tee and ripping the ball down the middle; your first iron shot covering the flagstick and you're left with an opening birdie putt.

This is how I felt before I was given the opportunity to exclusively test the latest irons from Orka Golf - a new company headed by Stuart Johnson aiming to muscle in to the market with a sophisticated range of clubs some of which target today's budget equipment but with a custom-fitting edge.

Currently he has established 10 fitting centres where you can either get the clubs you order on line made to measure to the customised specifications you dial in or visit one of the centres and receive professional advice from hand-picked experts to have the equipment tailor-made for you.

I ordered my seven clubs (5-iron to sand wedge) on-line with Dynamic Gold Steel R300 shafts (an extra £100 on the standard £199 option offered with Dynalite shafts) and with Orka Velvet .58 grips. I ordered a standard length though with the drop down menu you can order +0.25 ins down to -1.5ins depending on your height.

First impressions on the range were encouraging. I liked the chunky top line looks of the clubs and with the black polyurethane dampener cartridge positioned behind the head to reduce vibration were reminiscent of Callaway's Fusion irons in 2005.

I got a decent ball flight with the highlight in my first round a towering 6-iron at a wind-assisted 190-yard downhill par-3 which plummeted to within six feet of the hole and sent the ball spinning a few inches out of its pitchmark.

The 5- and 7-iron proved almost as accurate and forgiving though over three competitive rounds using the clubs the 8- and 9-iron didn't quite perform to the same standard. Was it me or the clubs?

As for the pitching wedge the occasional long chip from whispy grass got nods of approval from my fellow competitors but around the fringes, the club lacked the feel and spin need to control these delicate shots.

The sand-iron was disappointing. At address it looked similar to the TaylorMade rac OS I have used for at least two years but I was unable to caress the ball consistently out of the sand as I'd hoped and too often it took at least two attempts to escape.

The Golfmagic Verdict
Summary: Testing during medal and matchplay competitions may not be the most sensible time to review a product but it proves how the clubs perform under pressure. Overall I perhaps didn't have the ideal shaft (steel Dynamic Gold R300) for clubheads that already felt heavy to wield. The lighter UST TX80 graphite shaft may have been more appropriate. An attractive-looking solid club with expensive looks but in the short irons lacked the finesse I sought for my short game.

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