1. What is an iron?
Irons were originally made using
iron, but are now generally made from steel, titanium or a high tech alloy.
Irons are smaller than woods and are considered finesse clubs, meant to
be used when accuracy is more important than distance.
2. What does the number on the club
For the most part, the number
represents the loft of a club. The lower the number, the longer the shaft
and the lower the loft of the club, relative to the other clubs in the
set. The lower loft and longer length will result in greater distance,
but with a concurrent loss of accuracy. This also equates to lower numbered
clubs being more difficult to hit properly.
3. What makes a set of clubs?
A set of golf clubs is restricted
to no more than 14 clubs, according to the Rules of Golf. What constitutes
this set depends on your preferences. In general, a basic, full set of
clubs might include the following clubs:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW, SW
1, 3, 5, 7
and a putter.
This is just a guideline, the clubs you carry
should be determined by the type of course you are playing, the weather
conditions and your own playing ability. Also keep in mind that there is
no minimum requirement. Many players, especially beginners, carry only
7 to 10 clubs.
4. Investment Casting
Investment casting is a highly
accurate and precise method of casting or pouring liquid metal. It is a
significant improvement over older casting methods. A master die, usually
of aluminum, is milled. Wax is then injected into the die and once it has
solidified, the die is removed. The positive wax pattern is then dipped
into a ceramic 'slurry', which hardens around the wax to create a negative
mold. The wax is then melted away and the empty ceramic negative is filled
with molten metal, typically stainless steel or titanium. After the metal
has cooled, the ceramic negative is broken away, exposing the newly cast
clubhead. The new clubhead is finished and polished and then is ready to
be assembled into a golf club. For more information on the investment casting
process, please visit these websites:
Forging is a process of pressing
or hammering the metal into the desired shape. Forging is very similar
to what the village blacksmith used to do except today a large machine
called a “press” is used instead of a hammer. Dies are “sunk” or cut, by
milling the desired impression into hardened steel. The die is then installed
into the press and is used to actually squeeze the “blank” into the desired
shape. The manufacturer is then presented with a raw forging, which is
a close approximation of the clubhead desired. The clubhead must then be
finished by milling, grinding and drilling. Forged clubheads are commonly
made from soft carbon steel and may rust if not plated. Some forged wedges
are deliberately not plated so as to encourage rusting. The rust reduces
reflected glare, but does not affect spin.
A blade is an iron head that has
no cavity and typically is forged from soft carbon steel, but there have
been some models investment cast in 304 stainless steel. Blades are the
iron of choice for many pros and top amateurs because they allow better
players to more effectively work the ball. This means that better players
typically report that it is easier to draw, fade or otherwise deliberately
cause direction changing spin when using blade-type irons. The drawback
is that blades have a smaller “sweetspot ” and
so are less forgiving when mis-hit.
7. Cavity Back/Perimeter Weighted
A cavity back iron, also known
as perimeter weighted, has generally been associated with investment casting.
The design of the clubhead distributes the weight around the perimeter
of the head, supposedly producing a large ' sweetspot
'. This makes the off-center shots more forgiving, flying longer and straighter,
than an off-center shot with a blade-type iron. The drawback is that it
is considered more difficult to reliably work the ball with cavity back
When investment cast heads were
first introduced, several companies claimed that the feel of the head was
lost. These same companies also claimed it was more difficult to work the
ball with the cast heads. Keep in mind that most golfers tend to believe
that a blade-type iron (usually forged) produces more feel than the cavity
back models (usually investment cast). They also say that it is easier
to shape the shot using the blades over the perimeter weighted clubs. Before
making a decision, you should try a few blades and cavity back irons and
see for yourself.
Also be aware that in the past few years
“forged cavity back” club heads have hit the market. The theory is
to provide the feel of a forged club with the forgiveness of cast cavity
backs. These are fairly new, but the reports from golfers who have these
type of clubs have generally been favorable. However, forged cavity back
irons typically cost the same as forged blade irons.
Another recent trend in irons is the use
of exotic and multiple metals. The most common of these metals are tungsten
and copper, for their high density. These materials are typically used
to lower the center of gravity (COG) of the clubhead, promoting a higher
ball flight. This is particularly helpful to higher handicap players who
have trouble getting the ball airborne.
9. Quick Comparison
Investment cast cavity back
Harder to work
Carbon steel & chrome
Easier to work
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