Everything You Need to Know About Forged Players Irons
By Ryan Gager
It’s that time when your ball-striking has improved and you’re ready to upgrade that set of irons to something with a little bit more feel and workability. Welcome to forged/players irons! These irons might lack maximum forgiveness, but they make up for it in looks and feel, while still being able to deliver the latest in iron technology. GOLFTEC’s Brad Skupaka reviews three of the top performing forged/players irons for players who strike their irons pure in this edition of Club Explorers.
While forged irons are known for having smaller heads, minimal offset, and thin top lines and soles, there is still plenty of technology that manufacturers can pack into these irons. This includes injecting polymers into the heads to provide that forged feel, while also increasing ball speeds for more distance. If you want to play what the pros play, this is the category for you.
Check out a few of the great options below, and as always, be sure to head to your local GOLFTEC and work with one of our Coaches to try out various irons and find the one that’s best for you and your game!
Mizuno Pro 221
This one is for the forged blade iron purists. It doesn’t get more traditional than the Mizuno Pro 221. Mizuno has long been known for producing some of the best irons that many tour players have in their bags, including Hannah Gregg and Fredrik Lindblom, who recently visited GOLFTEC to work on Correcting Backswing Flaws.
These irons have the smallest head of the three we tested, leaving little room for off-center hits. The Pro 221s feature a narrow sole with a sharp leading edge, perfect for striking precise shots that catch ball first then turf. If you struggle with hitting shots fat, these irons might not be for you as the sharp leading edge will promote more digging.
Because the iron head is smaller, this is one of the least-forgiving irons available. Anything struck too thin, or fat, or off the toe will result in a significant loss in distance and accuracy. However, the center strikes provide an incredible feel that will keep you coming back for more!
Next up is the PING i525 iron, which introduces some more technology than the typical traditional forged irons. For starters this iron features a forged maraging steel face that is welded onto a cast body. This allows the face to be thin and increase ball speed.
As you notice the toe of the club has a small port allowing PING to inject a polymer into the club head to give the feel of a solid one-piece, muscle back blade. This produces great feel while still taking advantage of technology that will increase ball speed and provide some forgiveness.
This club does have slightly more offset than the Mizuno Pro 221, so it will help you if you fight a slight fade or slice. It also features a wider sole, so if you do dig a little or hit some fat shots, this club will help you out a little bit more than the Pro 221.
Callaway Rogue ST Pro
Brad snuck this club into the forged category even though it’s not a forged club. However, the Callaway Rogue ST Pro does have the look and feel of a forged iron while delivering some additional technology that comes from a cast iron.
Like other forged irons, it has a small profile from heel to toe. The sole of the club lands right in the middle of the other two clubs we tested, slightly wider than the Mizuno Pro 221 and slightly narrower than the PING i525. The sole on the Rogue ST Pro does have a little bit of camber (curve) which adds a little big of forgiveness on turf interaction.
Similar to the i525, the Rogue ST Pro is injected with a polymer to help the club feel like it is a one-piece, muscle back blade. You’ll really notice this helping with off-center hits as you will still have a good feel that results in a decent shot.
There are so many of great forged/players irons out there, including these three featured. And there really is a variety in this category ranging from the very traditional blade, like the Mizuno Pro 221, to those that have a similar blade profile with technology added in, like the PING i525 or the Callaway Rogue ST Pro. To find the right irons for your game, get in touch with GOLFTEC today and schedule a custom club fitting. You’ll work with a certified Coach who can fit you into the perfect set of irons for your game.
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