Some context before I go into the details of the fitting/purchase. Recently, I installed a golf simulator in the garage with a BLP launch monitor. It has really given me the opportunity to work on my swing (had been working on my swing anyway) with feedback on club delivery parameters. Long story short, with lessons/supervision from Monte, my swing path has become more neutral and my AOA has become less steep (was like -7 with a 7 iron before, closer to -4 to -5 AOA now).
Ok, with that context, have been hitting my JPX 923 HM irons not optimally in my mind. Tend to leave shots out to the right and then some hooks. Swing path generally -1 to +2, so nothing wild from a path perspective, mostly a face angle issue. Also, in the back of my mind, I feel like I could be getting more distance out of the irons, currently carrying about 140 to 145 with a good strike with a 8 iron (bent two degrees weak from Mizuno stock to get the right peak height). Also, had in the back of my mind the question on whether these irons are that forgiving for my strike pattern (miss toe side) because the distance lost seemed to be too much for a toe side strike.
So I went to a PXG fitting yesterday, have heard great things about the Gen 6 irons and I love the fact that swingweight can be dialed in with the big weight in the back of the head. Swingweighting irons with graphite shafts (i intended to go back to graphite) is a complete pain if the heads don't have an adjustable weight because the tips tend to be narrow on graphite shafts, especially with anything 90ish grams and up. OEMs tend to not offer much swingweight adjustment with graphite shafts, maybe a couple of swingweight points max, but not always even that much. I myself can swingweight graphite iron shafts well, but again, total pain.
My thought going in was I would probably fit into the Gen 6 XP irons, given the XP are the most "forgiving" of the irons. Started the fitting by getting some baseline numbers with my 923 HM 7 iron, was hitting 155 to 158 carry, with that normal right push / push fade miss that i don't like. First tried the Gen 6 XP irons, first shot, instant distance gain, about 172 yards. The XP iron was 2 degrees stronger than my 30 degree Hot Metal 7 iron, but that is a pretty solid distance gain and I wouldn't attribute it all to the loft itself. When increasing distance, you need to make sure you aren't compromising elsewhere (peak height, spin, descent, etc.). With the XP, the peak height was actually higher than the HM and the spin was in an appropriate window.
Was hitting the XP pretty well, but still having some of those rightward misses. Next was to dial in shafts. When through a few different graphite shafts but then ultimately landed on Steelfibers, which I have played in the past. Everything about my swingspeed, not being an aggressive loader of the shaft, etc., meant that on paper, I should probably fit into R flex in Steelfibers. That was my thought, as well as the fitters thought. After some tests, a few blinded to which shaft was in the head, the S flex was significantly better in dispersion with no distance lost, same level of spin, same peak height, etc. So Steelfiber i95 in S was the shaft choice. I really do not know why the S flex led me to deliver the club better, i couldn't consciously feel a difference between the two shafts during the swing except with the R flex having more kick at impact.
Next, I asked to try the P heads. The 0311 P series is the Player's distance head, XP is the Game Improvement head. The setup was 2 strong in the P to be similiar in loft to the XP. First few shots were solid strikes but slightly left of target. After I hit a few more shots, the L to R dispersion was much better than the XP, and the F to B dispersion was amazing (168, 168, 168 carry in a row). I found the P series to be more forgiving than I thought. Even off the extreme toe still flew 158. I am talking extremely off the toe.
After some back and forth between heads, it was pretty close in performance between the two, but I the dispersion of the P was better and I actually felt more confident with the P.
One other item i didn't mention is that during the fitting, the fitter helps dial in swingweight by changing the weights in the head. Even a couple of gram difference made a difference in my delivery of the club.
Ultimate order was 0311 P 5 to GW, 2 degrees strong, 1 degree flat, black heads, black i95 steelfiber reserve shafts in Stiff (parallel tip). One note, during the fitting, i was using the i95 CW taper tip version of the Steelfiber, but I like the look of the black steelfiber i95 shafts and they only come in parallel tip. I am confident that the i95 parallel tip will match in performance to the CW for me, because I have played the i95 parallel tip in Stiff in the past with good results. For those wanting to know the difference between taper tip and parallel tip shafts, taper tip shafts are constant weight through the set while parallel tip shafts descend in weight (there are a few exceptions out there where this is not the case). The key point here being that the shafts themselves descend in weight by a few grams, but that doesn't mean that the total weight of the club descends. The total weight of the 9 iron will be heavier than the 8 iron still, for example.
Can't wait to get the iron set.