Ft. Worth Hi - Official Stage 2 Review - Bryan*
*My wife took our camera on her business trip and it has my photos on it. She won't be back until 8/9 so I will get photos up as soon as she returns.
Irons Currently in the Bag
Ft. Worth Hi 20*, 24* & 27*
Callaway Apex Pro 5-PW
I love long irons and if I could hit them all day I wouldâ€¦ I have a Cobra Gravity back 1 iron that I've had for what seems like forever that I hit like Kevin Costner hit the 7 in Tin Cupâ€¦ its heaven.
This is where the problem comes inâ€¦ ball flight. I typically hit a high trajectory, medium spin shot with my irons so I was curious to see what I would get out of these beautiful irons. I'm picky I would in an ideal world like a medium penetrating flight that I can still put some spin on to check up. In the real world however I hit a higher ball and can put some decent spin on most shots. I love the look of blades and have moved away from â€œGame improvementâ€ equipment due to the fat/chunky look many are going with. I loved the look of the Callaway Apexes and decided to go that way. Earlier this year I re-shafted my irons to C-Taper 120s after testing them and finding a more desirable ball flight.
Let's see how these stack up.
Distance â€“ I started using these at the range first to get a comfortable swing as the shafts seem so much different from my current shafts â€“C Taper 120 Stiff. The weight is taking some getting used to but the ball contact feels great. I don't have a launch monitor and the closest one is about an hour and a half away so I'm going to be using range and on course distances in this portion, but will get to the launch monitor in the next few weeks. I have kept the clubs grouped together and split the range and course.
Performance Questions at the bottom of performance.
I started off comparing my 21 degree 3 iron with the 20 degree Ft Worth Hi:
-Range: We have a 215 yard pin that I normally hit my 3 iron to so I started with this. I warmed up with my Apex 3 iron and hit 12 balls towards the 215 green. 9/12 landed on the green with a pretty tight dispersion. I figured I was warmed up so I switched up to the Hogan 20 degree. Not going to lie the first 3 shots I hit with it were snap hooks left. The 4th shot I hit was what seemed like a moonshot but it landed about 5 yards short of the green and rolled up on the fringe. I proceeded to hit 11 more shots and disregarded the first 3. The more comfortable I got the more I noticed how high the shots were and it almost seemed like I was ballooning out and losing distance. I hit 7/12 onto the green but 5 of them landed short and rolled on. It had me curious so I moved on to the 4 iron at the range.
-Course: At my home course we have 2 holes that the distance fits this club perfectly. I went out during the week a few days and spent some extra time when reaching these holes. The first is a 207 yard par 3 that has a slight elevation. Due to a slow day on the course I stopped and hit 5 balls trying to shape it a little and just see the overall performance on this hole. I hit 3/5 onto the green with 1 as another hook and one that came up about 10 yards short. Since then I have played this hole 11 additional times and am 7/11 on hitting it with the 20 degree. The high ball flight allows for a soft landing and I can put some spin on it if desired. Ball flight height still really has me baffled.
The second hole is a 323 yard par 4 that has a hazard about 235 off the tee. Perfect opportunity for this club off the tee. There was no traffic so I sat here for a while. I hit 10 balls with the 20 degree and 2(yellow balls) with my 3 iron to have comparison. I normally have a slight left to right ball flight of 2-3 yards with my 3 iron and to a tee hit my two 3 irons exactly as expected. The 20 degree Ft Worth got me intrigued here, off of a tee I proceeded to hit 5 of 10 with a ~5 yard draw. I still had 2 hooks and a straight left pull, the other two shots were dead center straight. After this hole I knew I wanted some more range time to toy with the draw possibility. Since this day I have played this hole 11 more times and have actually been using the 24 degree Ft worth and hit my target area 10/11 times.
Next up was my 23 degree 4 iron vs the 24 degree Ft Worth Hi:
-Range: We have a 200 yard green so this was my target for this club. I used the same process starting with my Apex 4 iron and hit 12 balls. Hit 8/12 on the green with 3 of the other 4 going slightly long, last ball I got a bit handsy and sliced it immensely. Next up was the 24 degree Ft Worth, first shot I was hoping was a sign to come; I hit a smooth, solid shot to what looked like 6 inches from the range pin. The next 6 shots however were not as promising, each of them seemed incredibly high and landed 8-10 yards short of the green. I adjusted my alignment and ball position and worked to see if it was something I was doing or had changed, however I continued to hit crazy high shots and they would come up a little short. Hit 3/12 onto the green with 8 being 5+ yards short. Off to the course with this one.
-Course: After the range, I decided this club should be my 195 club. I found a few holes (3) where I could tee off with the 24 degree and have a fairway shot with it also. The first hole is a 399 par 4 slightly downhill, my accuracy off the tee with this club is spot on. I hit 3 balls off the tee and they were all in a 2-3 yard cluster in the center. All of them had ball marks about 5-8 feet behind the balls so not getting much roll out of it(probably due to height of shots.) I then proceeded to use the 20 degree for 5 fairway shots from those 3 locations. Hit the green on 4/5 shots but got no release just a very soft landing and check on all 4 shots. The more I hit these the more I think the height of the shots is impacting distance, but I do like the soft landings and checks on the greens.
The next is a 188 par 3 so I figured that I would take a nice and easy swing and see how it went. With these clubs I'm finding I need to take full swings if I ease up I tend to get handsy and push/pull. After 4 shots and 4 sprayed misses I decided this hole wasn't for this club, I grabbed my Apex 5 iron and put one on the green.
The final hole is a downhill par 4 just over 400 yards, like the first hole I hit this club very well and very high off the tee on all 3 shots, leaving myself between 190-200 yards to the hole. I figured lets stick with it and hit it into the green. 2/3 I landed on the green in my target location. The last I hit right to left and put it in a green side bunker short. Overall I like the feel of the club and the result but the excess high flight doesn't leave me with the confidence I have with my Apexes, but they are very easy to hit and produce good results. Since then I have played 11 rounds and find myself using this club on 1 tee shot consistently and mainly for layups on par 5's.
And finally my 26 degree 5 iron vs the 27 degree Ft Worth Hi
-Range: The next green on our range is down to 175 yards which I figured would be a bit too short so I used it as a line and wanted to land it just on the back of the green or just over. I hit 12 shots with my 5 iron and like normal landed it just on the other side of the green and bounced a bit (8-10yds) over. Was spot on with line for 11/12 shots with one thick that came up short. On to the 27 degree, the first few swings I hit fat so I kept swinging until I hit a solid shot. This club feels a bit different to me and once I figured that out I hit it amazing. After 5-6 adjustment swings I hit 10/12 on the green and the other two right on line over the green by 3-5 yards. This club has the best feel of the 3 to me and it shows in my performance. Still produces a extra high flight and I can put some decent spin on it, across the board it is a little shorter than my 5 iron but with the consistency, soft landings and spin potential I really like the results.
-Course: There were so many opportunities for this club on the course, I don't hit drive exceptionally far so I have a lot of 170-180 yard shots into mid-range par 4's and it's also a good layup club. I didn't stop on any particular holes and hit a bunch of balls as I found myself using this club on the majority of the holes I used it 11 times in the first round played and find it as one of my go to clubs when 170+ out. The ball flight here is like the others and that is something I will be working on and I plan to re-shaft the other two to see how it affects the results.
Performance on the Range
â— Accuracy â€“ Line and direction of club has been spot on once I adjusted to the differences between the Ft Worth Hi and current clubs.
â— Distance â€“ Seemed approx. 8-10 yards shorter than Apexes.
â— Trajectory Characteristics â€“ Ball flight is extremely high. Significantly higher than my Apexes.
â— Forgiveness â€“ Seem to hook on mishits or straight left pull, this is different from my Apexes which a mishit seems to produce a left to right ball flight. Seems on par for forgiveness with Apexes as mishits are infrequent.
â— Control â€“ Clubs allow me to shape left and right however no matter how I try to impact trajectory I seem to hit them higher than desired.
Range Score - 8/10
Performance on the Course
Describe the following:
â— Accuracy â€“ Now have 12 rounds in and 11/12 in the fairway. Tend to be on left side as I have discovered I am comfortable hitting a baby draw with the 20 degree. Tend to be centered with 24,27.
â— Distance â€“ Distance seems to be a small percentage, maybe 3-5% less than my Apexes.
â— Consistency â€“ Distance is consistent and its +/- 5 yards on solid hits. High ball flight gets affected by winds more than desired.
â— Shot Shaping â€“ High ball flight allows me to hit draws/fades and even a hard cut. If I try to hit a hard draw I tend to hook it.
â— Carry vs Roll â€“ Everything I hit is high with soft landings. I have come to be used to this with the steep angle of attack of my swing. Off the tee if would be nice to get a little more roll when desired but I cannot seem to achieve that.
Course Score - 25/30
Consistency â€“ The irons are very consistent accuracy wise but crazy high ball flight with some work-ability. I don't have the confidence in them yet that I do in my Apex irons but the more I play the more I know what to expect. Off the fairway has a high trajectory and is very soft when landing, I can spin when needed which is a necessity. Off the tee I find accuracy and consistency after discovering the feel and tendencies, would just like the distance I get from my Apex irons.
Feel â€“ The impact is amazing but I don't quite have the feel of exactly where I am hitting it on the face. With my Apexes I know clearly if I heel, toe, high/low a shot, it's why I like them so much. Don't get me wrong the solid feel here feels like a well hit shot should.
Carry â€“ I am unsure how to answer this one as the ball flight produces an appealing carry, but I achieve a more penetrating ball flight and get a similar landing with my Apex irons. I truly feel that this is due to the shaft difference and will test that in the upcoming weeks. I have little complaints about the Ft Worth Hi's and now that I know what to expect out of them I am enjoying having them in the bag.
I like the impact and the soft landing of the clubs and I really find myself enjoying the 27 degree. I am going to re-shaft the 20 and 24 degree as I got two C Taper shafts on sale last week online. I will update the data with notes as I play more. I don't know that I will like them better than what I have/ am used to but this is a high quality product and I have enjoyed testing them.
The irons are beautiful, the sleek lines and shine make me want to buy a whole set of them. As for durability I have hit roughly 500+ balls at the driving range and played 12 rounds with them so far and they are still in great shape. I will continue to update but they look to be very durable thus far. I am not a fan of the Hogan grips and will be changing them when I re-shaft them. Comparably I feel these are as good looking a club as any on the market.
Looks Score - 18/20
Sound and Feel
I am going to say that for irons they have a very solid pop and the contact feels like its rocketing off the face. It's the sound I would expect out of a high quality iron. The feel is amazing, even on mishits or off center hits it still feels great, I don't have quite the ability to feel the mishits or off centers like I do with my Apexes, but the feel is great on all shots. I like the sound and the impact feel of these clubs but I wish I had a little more feel on the contact location/ impact point.
Sound & Feel Score â€“ 15/20
Likelihood of Purchase
I have mixed feelings on this one. I love the look and the impact feel but the ball flight and feel doesn't match up with my Apex irons. Like I said in my earlier section I will be re-shafting these to match my Apex irons and will provide further info with the impact/ flight. Likelihood of purchase is depending on those results I would say this section is an incomplete, but since that's not an option I will assume the shaft change will fix the problems and score according to that.
Likelihood of Purchase Score â€“ 17/20
Questions & Answers.
Conclusion and Final Score
I love the 27 degree the most and I love the look of these Irons, I don't know that I would have given them a shot had I not been selected to test them. I think/hope with the shaft switch that it gives me the small changes that I desire. I know I'm being picky but the Ft Worth Hi's are showing to be a high quality product and I would like to give them every chance to stay in the bag. The consistency I have learned with them and the soft landings on the majority of shots has given me great results, but ball flight is why I switched shafts in my current irons in the first place. Hopefully the small change will do the trick. I look forward to further testing the 20 & 24 after the change.
Total Score â€“ 83/100