STAGE 2...from me to you!
As with my other fellow reviewers, I'd like to again point out to all the loyal MGSers out there what an honor this is. Going into it, I had a couple of preconceptions. First, this would be easy. Friends, it is not! I hope you can see from our efforts that we're taking this pretty seriously for you! Second, that I would be able to formulate an educated opinion right quick and then move on. Nope! I laughed at the struggles of Tiger, Rory, Zach, etc. when changing equipment. Truth is, it takes a LOT of swings to adjust to new sticks, even if those sticks are an upgrade!
It is with these thoughts that i came to truly appreciate what this forum contributes to scrapers like me though loyal participants like you (you...the one reading this right now!). By providing opportunities like this - even if you aren't chosen as a tester - MGS fosters thorough reviews for guys and girls who may not have the resources to buy the latest and greatest each spring. I mean, really...you have nothing better to do than to read MY ridiculously humble opinion on whether or not you should shell out $800 on F6s? You probably do, but this is important to you! As such, it's important to me, too!
Let's get into it!
As a reminder, I'm sitting on a 8.3 (tending 7.9L since gaming the F6s...just saying). Like most players in the 8-12 range, I make some bad swings each round. I sit over my "2-iron" post round (goose-club-splash of cranberry...spread the word! Let me know what YOU call it at your club!) and opine over what might have been had I NOT caught that limb on my recovery shot on 5 or that missed 4 footer on 9.
That in mind, let's talk about THE RANGE!
It's worth mentioning that my complete inability to commit to meaningful practice is a limiting factor to my index. Oh well, call me what you want!
ACCURACY: I think I mentioned in stage 1 that these things are kinda point-and-shoot. Even heel and toe hits track pretty straight. There's nothing wanky or tricky about them, just line it up and thar she blows! Don't get me wrong, if you get your hands out in front, it's going right. Shut the face and a low, left screamer is heading at the unsuspecting bev cart girl. I believe physics would dictate that. One note worth mentioning is that my "perfect" swing typically yields a 5 yard draw. This was less pronounced on the range. 18 out of 20
DISTANCE: I've also mentioned that these are 1/2 to full club shorter than my current gamers (SpeedBlades). There's a signifcant blow to your ego to pull an 8 where you pulled a 9 yesterday. Worse when you need to choke down on your 3 hybrid because you can't reach that par 3 with a 4 iron. Egomaniac that I am, this has been the single biggest - shall we say "concern"? - with the F6s. Of course, brute force is only half the story. CONSISTENT distance should be rather important as well. These guys are top notch in that area! There are no surprises here - put a good swing on it and it's going to fly in a very similar fashion every stinking time. I would call this an improvement over the SpeedBlades (heretofore referred to as SBs). 14 out of 20 (remember, I admittedly gauge my manhood on hitting the shortest iron out of my foursome!)
TRAJECTORY CHARACTERISTICS: My very first swing with these babies on the range was with the gap. It's stunning to look at, plus I always start with the shortest club and work my way up. (I read that somewhere. You know, to do that. So I do that.) Anyway, I thought it was going to bounce off my chin, knock out my teeth, bloody my nose, then trickle off the practice box. Of course, I'm at least slightly deranged (pun intended) so this was a silly notion. I did not, however, imagine a high launch. Higher than the SBs, at least on the gap.
As you can see, the specs are pretty similar on the gap (or AW). Maybe the offset threw my eye off? Who knows, and who cares. Club by club thereafter, the flight was quite similar to the SBs. Flighting them down proves no more difficult than any other irons I've recently played. 17 out of 20
FORGIVENESS: Who hits bad shots on the range? Me! I frequently know it's time to depart the range and head to the first tee when I shank 2 in a row and then manage to punch a choked down 5 iron 120 yards. That said, you can feel a mishit and a good swing feels REALLY good! I mean effortlessly good. Of course, a good swing doesn't really factor into "forgiveness" now does it? I have a better story for this one on the course... 17 out of 20
CONTROL: I usually try to hit a couple punch hooks, a couple high draws, a couple high fades, and a couple punch fades before a round. I figure I'm going to need at least 3 of those 4 shots today, and I'm probably (sadly) going to need them more than once! I find these irons to be straight. Really straight. Did I mention that before? (that's a test, YES I did!) As a result, these are a little tougher for me to shape. Distance control is great! Right to left control, not as much. 14 out of 20
RANGE SCORE: 84 out of 100
THE COURSE! (Yay! Fore! Comin' through!)
ACCURACY: I had to convince myself to take dead aim at pins with anything longer than a 7 iron. Took me more than one approach shot to get it through my teeny, tiny granite-like brain so I hung a few quality shots to the right. No left misses here! With the SB long irons, my 5 yard draw frequently becomes a 15 yard left bunker-finder. That was a lovely surprise here! Also worth mentioning that one of my buddies took a few swings and he's got a 20 yard left to right shot with every club. Well that's not fair...he rarely slices his putter. Anyway, there was noticeably less left to right spin on these for him. He wasn't nearly as impressed as I was, but I made a mental note to let you know that. It makes sense: I'm not hitting the same kind of draw (or hook) so he's not hitting the same kind of fade (or slice). Make note of this, Slicers and whatever you call a righty that has a too-dramatic right to left shot but that isn't a pseudonym for the "oldest profession in the world"! 19 out of 20
DISTANCE: I'm throwing the distance CONTROL into this because my insecurity among my friends should not weigh as heavy as it does. Distance CONTROL is great! Distance is a slight disappointment. I've convinced myself it's okay...I don't need a prescription to continue to feel manly here. In fact, #16 at Spring Ford CC is a 193 downhill par 3. Plays about 188. We can typically play the yardage or the yardage plus due to the typical head wind. I can still get there with a well struck 4. No one even asks me what I hit. I shouldn't even care. 16 out of 20
CONSISTENCY: Distance wise, GREAT! PREDICTABLE! REPEATABLE! Mishits are pretty solid, too. See pic below. This is a badly-toed 8 iron (if you look really close you can see the dimple marks) that still made the approximately 135 yard journey to the front of the green. A solid hit would have likely made the whole trip to the flag (145yd), but pretty sweet for a near whiff! 20 out of 20
SHOT SHAPING: This one kind of snuck up on me. I've played 11 rounds and (2) 9s with these things. I only recently realized it wasn't me...these things are tough to bend. I know, I know..."what the heck are you doing under a tree anyway??" you say. Trudat. Unfortunately, I find myself there a couple times here and there, and I pride myself on these recoveries. I'm just not getting the same turn as I've been with the SBs. Considering these are in the game-improvement category, this shouldn't be scored too harshly, but so are the SBs and those babies go left or right for me with relative ease. 14 out of 20
CARRY VS. ROLL: No, this is not a supreme court case hopelessly deadlocked due to an even number of justices. It's a tough category for me though. I hit a high ball, our course is typically not condusive to run outs, even with drivers, and we have false fronts coming out the wazoo. Of course, we're verging on a drought here in south east PA so the ball is rolling. I really don't know how to grade this one. I would guess it's about the same as what I'm used to. I guess? Wish I had more for you here! I mean, maybe this means more if they launched low? They don't. They are consistently high with a fairly steep descent to the earth. 18 out of 20
COURSE TOTAL: 86 out of 100
LOOKS: You've seen the pics. They're really nice. I mean, particularly for a game-improvement set, these things look like they're for grown ups. Side by side, they're dimensionally similar to the SBs, but with a more sophisticated look.
A slightly shorter face length makes you feel like a player without sacrificing confidence!
The progression from 4-5-6 to 7-8-9-W is subtle, but if you look close, there it is!
20 out of 20
SOUND/FEEL: Having very limited experience with forged irons (2 seasons with MP-H4), I am not exactly an authority on this, but I would say these fellas, when struck correctly, have that "muuuuush" of a forged club! You absolutely do not hear of reel anything unpleasant with these guys! Mishits are mishits, and I think the "feel" there has as much to do with the temperature, the ball, even the grip you choose to game as the club itself. I really, REALLY like these things in this category. Tough to find a GI set with this kind of feedback! 20 out of 20
LIKELIHOOD OF PURCHASE: Going into this, my interest was piqued no further than the recent review (last summer I think?) of the Cobra fairway woods. I believe our very own Barbajo was a fan! I figure he's smarter than me so there must be something to this Cobra thing. If not for that and the Ricky Fowler good looks of the F6s, I wouldn't have even applied. No joke. And I certainly would not have predicted that I'd keep these in the bag this long, much less post-review. So before hand, I would have given these a 10 out of 20 for LOP. After 6 weeks of beating them up, I'm going with the seemingly arbitrary number of 15 out of 20!
SUBJECTIVE TOTAL: 54
TOTAL TOTAL: 84 + 86 + 54 = 224 out of 260 = 86!
Guys, these are worth considering! I'm looking forward to putting a bow on this for you in stage 3! Keep an eye out for my new bestest friends Joey East Cost, Ashton Plumley, and fozcycle...they're doing an AWESOME job so far! I hope you'll come back for mine, too!