For those who know me, I'm always on the lookout for the "next best set of irons/woods/wedges". Currently onto my 10th set of irons since November. That being said the reason I change so frequently is that I have a very particular set of requirements I need a set of irons to meet.
What I want in a set of irons:
1. They need to look just right:
a. Short Blade length with a highish toe.
b. Little to no offset . Literally they need to have no more than 2.5mm throughout.
c. Satin chrome or matt black finish
d. They need to look "small"
2. They need to feel just right
a. Miura are mushy, Titleist are clicky. Mizuno are ok but not great. Kyoei and Endo are AWESOME
b. They need to give you feedback when not hit out the sweetspot
c. They mustn't eave you with numb hands when you miss hit them
3. They need to play just right
a. Must be workable thoughout the set
b. Some forgiveness in the longer irons is a bonus but not essential
c. Must allow for playability from all lies
So I know what I have described is pretty much the Holy Grail of players irons, and in my attempt to find something that at least ticks the majority of the boxes I have owned and played virtually every players iron than comes out (both blades and CBs). My Scratch SB-1 irons are the closest thing I have found to date along with the United SBB1 Tour irons. If I had to reach back a few years, the iron set closest to meeting these criteria (I think they ticked every box) was the TM Rac TP blades.
So now knowing what I am looking for in an iron, fast forward to last week, when I finally bit the bullet and bought a set of P750 Tour Proto heads. I have been avoiding these because of the $ as well as the stigma attached to playing "Tour Proto" anything. Finally I caved in and got a great deal on a set of 4-PW heads.
I shoved a set of Recoil 110 F4 shafts in them (my stock shaft I have been using for a year) on Friday night and off to the range we went on Saturday morning. Well after hitting the 7 iron for exactly 15 minutes, I was horrified. They felt dead, ball went nowhere and generally they were pretty horrible in the feel and playability categories. However, they did tick all the boxes in the looks category.
So I went back to my workshop and started to think things through. I wasn't going to give up on them that quickly, especially as I loved how they looked. Sorting through my overly large collection of shafts I came across a set of Shimada Tour Stiff shafts that I had pulled out of my United SBB1 Tour irons.
What the hell, I had nothing to lose, so shoved them into the P750's on Saturday afternoon and took them out for my Sunday group round (quite a competitive bunch of hacks) who won't hold back in giving me a tough time if I don't hit it decently.
The transformation was incredible. Suddenly I was left with an incredibly responsive iron in my hands, that felt amazing when flushed, gave you enough feedback so that you know exactly where on the head you have hit it when you miss the middle, but without being harsh. Distances were back to where they should be and in fact I have picked up a half club over the SBB1 Tour's and the Mizuno JPX-900 Tours that I used earlier this year.
Over and above everything though, they look FANTASTIC, and they are SMALL, VERY SMALL, in fact they are smaller throughout the set than my Scratch SB1s, yet they do over a small modicum of forgiveness. They aren't as forgiving as AP2s or Apex Pro's but they are probably more forging than any of the current blades and certainly more forgiving than the JPX-900 Tours. Plus they feel better than the Mizuno's and the Pings and the Titleists. They actually feel very JDM like.
It will be interesting to see how long the honeymoon lasts, but for now, these may just be the Holy Grail in irons!