The ICL-601 by Miura Golf was just announced and released in Japan. Its a driving iron with a hollow cavity and weight screw located on the sole. Miura designed this club as an optional replacement to the long irons in their forged iron sets creating a club easy to hit 200 yards and beyond. Learn more about the materials, technology and where its made after the jump…
Back in February of 2014 at the Japan Golf Fair RomaRo showed off it’s new iBrid Chapter 2 driving iron, many months went by with no official release and customers began asking when it will become available. Good news is it’s now at TSG head only or with custom shaft options. Better yet I’ve fallen heads over heels with it’s performance, looks, and feel. let’s dive a little deeper into the good stuff.
Not many driving irons have a forged cup face, for those not familiar with a cup face it’s basically a higher rebounding softer feeling design where the face is not welded at the edges but more cup like wrapping around the edges before it’s welded making the face more flexible. It’s evident that the Chapter 2 iBrid has a forged cup face because it feels so much better than any other driving iron I’ve tried it’s a more springy more spongy launch you will notice immediately at impact.
For more pictures and the rest of the review please follow the Jump…
The Yonex ZERO Iron was first introduced at the British Open last year as a prototype for Ishikawa to use off the tee in battling the strong winds at the open. The ZERO Iron has a premium forged body from S25C Carbon Steel matched with a high strength SAE spring steel face. The ZERO iron provides a penetrating trajectory thanks to a short CG and the ease of use of a utility. Extra weight is focused on the heel and neck area to keep shots centered and reduce shots off the heel. The sole is semi wide for versatility and features a semi groove trailing edge relief. Because the ZERO Irons feature lower lofts, they are made for extra carry with that penetrating trajectory thanks to lower spin which also equals run out.
At the Japan Golf Fair I had a chance to demo these briefly into a net. I wasn’t able to make good contact then, it was sporting the Tour AD Japan spec shaft. In the U.S the new 2011 Yonex Zero Iron comes with a nanopreme 85 stock shaft which isnt on the same level as the Tour AD yet I was able to make great on course contact using this shaft. It’s 85 gram weight works well keeping me on plane. I would also be interested to try the new Yonex Zero Iron with a steel shaft yet its not an available option at the moment.
The Zero iron has an interesting hump heel side, Its a heel outer weight that helps the player square up the face at impact for a straighter ball flight. It’s something I haven’t seen done for a very long time. Another thing worth noticing is the shape while looking sole down. It’s thick and boxy, my on course impressions are that this thickness really helps by adding substance behind the club face. mis hits are absorbed a bit better because of this. Overall the trajectory achieved was medium. I suspect it would be a little lower with the Japan Tour AD standard shaft offering. The big question for me is does the new zero iron have what it takes to knock the Srixon Z-UTi out of the bag?
Our New Fourteen Hi610 Driving Irons have arrived and they look amazing. I have had the opportunity to hit these several times since they were announced back in Feb. The new Hi610 T.S was just released this week and we are pleased to finally say that all pre orders have been filled. So what’s the deal with driving irons? Some players prefer hybrid wood style clubs to fill that gap above their longest irons while others like myself prefer the driving iron style of golf club. Many people ask which one is better and in my opinion it boils down to what do you hit better, long irons or fairway wood? In my case I can hit a wood longer but my dispersion is no where near as tight as a driving iron, another aspect that makes me lean toward them is that they make a fine replacement of 3 & 4 irons. Now day’s I purchase iron sets 5-PW and mix in some driving irons.
In previous years the driving iron trend has faded in and out. Fourteen first made big waves on the JPGA then later we say players like Ernie Els, David Duval and more recently Matt Kuchar playing prototype tour only versions. In my bag I have been gaming the Srixon Z-UTi and love it. I actually prefer the setup and feel over the new Fourteen. I have not done a head to head review yet but I do know I like the trajectory and forgiveness of the new Fourteen Hi610 T.S better. Above I have the Srixon Z-UTi on the left and the new Hi610 T.S on the right. The Fourteen is shorter heel to toe, features a thicker more rounded top line and sole. Stay tuned for a full head to head review.
We received our sample products of new 2011 Srixon Japan products last week and since the Japan Golf Fair i’ve been lusting to try a new driving iron. Some of us call them Driving Irons, others say Hybrid Iron, and Srixon say’s Utility Iron. There are three really hot DI clubs on the market from Japan at this moment. The Yonex Zero Iron that Ryo Ishikawa play’s, the Fourteen Hi610 T.S and this new Srixon.
The Srixon Z-UTi features a mild steel S25C forged hollow body design. The hollow structure improves forgiveness and allows for a lower center of gravity which is needed when hitting lower lofted irons. It’s 2 piece design also incorporates a soft iron vanadium steel face. The thing is with multi piece designs usually they sacrifice feel in the name of forgiveness but Srixon has been able to keep a rewarding and pure feel. The laser milling now a staple in Srixon and Cleveland has also been applied.
Another interesting aspect is that the spin rates have been truly optimized with the combination of the face milling, sand blasting and now an updated pitch angle of the groove interval. Srixon Japan’s professional golfers wanted an accurate long iron that was extremely forgiving and easy to hit. It’s available 18/20/23* with your choice of the steel NSPro 950GH and the Miyazaki Kusala Blue 77 gram utility shaft The head and shaft are made in Japan. Look forward to a good run of video reviews this week. This should be one of them.
Matt Kuchar was spotted carrying a New Prototype Hi-610 TS Driving Iron by Fourteen Golf at the British Open this week. Two versions are expected a standard Hi-610 and a Hi-610 TS (Tour Spec). Fourteen Golf is not sure if both models will make it to the retail market but stay tuned for more pics and info as they are now in play on the JPGA tour as well.
It’s been a while since Fourteen Golf has released a new driving iron design their last was the HI-550 and HI-660 which both have been phased out for quite some time.
Based on the looks of the spy pic via Golf.com it appears this version has a more rounded sole and will of course feature a hollow body most likely with tungsten weighting inside.
Let’s hope we see a resurgence of the driving iron. In my opinion there are far to few on the market in recent years.
Ping G15 Hybrid Review by Tatz
Total Score = 22/30 Possible Points!
** This Review is based on the Driving Iron Style G15 not the Hybrid Wood model **
Feel: 4/5 points
The G15 Hybrid had a very interesting and pleasing vibration at impact. It was different but felt very good so no faults at all there. The toe shots were a bit numb but the result was worth it. This felt like more of a hollow titanium driving iron than your typlical hybrid wood style club feel.
Forgiveness: 3.75/5 Points
Very forgiving especially out on the toe, Tatz says that it felt like something was behind the mass of the toe making it fairly straight and accurate when missing out on the end. Heel shots were user friendly as well and the sweet spot appeared to cover a large zone. A decent swing should put up a good result most of the time. Keep in mind it is a driving iron style club that is less forgiving than a hybrid wood style but a lot more forgiving than a traditional long iron.
Accuracy 4.5/5 Points
The G15 Hybrid excelled in this category. Mostly because it is a driving iron and used to produce lower more accurate shots than a traditional hybrid wood style but it was an all around straight shooter even with a what we would call a medium to med/high trajectory. The standard build of the club, its shaft, and specs should work well in a good players hands as well as the average golfer. Tatsuro can hit just about any club straight so he may not be the best judge this one.
Distance & Workability 4/5 Points
Compared to the Epon AF901 with a standard graphite shaft the G15 didnt compare in terms of distance or feel but this club was longer than just about every other driving hybrid iron he has ever tested. It was fairly easy to work but Tatz noticed that when hitting a high draw the tendency of his swing combined with the design and original setup made his ball turn early when compared to others on the market. hitting low to high soft landing fades worked out perfectly for his swing.
Aesthetics: 2.75/5 Points
Pretty Ugly he says, its got a goose neck and looks like a driving iron that was mated with a hybrid wood. I have not seen it in person but from various angles posted online can understand what he’s saying. I would like to add that the entire G15 series sole design reminds me of an autobot for some reason. But hey some people cant look past that and let the club shine for what its supposed to do… Provide Results!
Overall: 4/5 Points:
Good club but would Tatsuro dethrone his AF901 for it? Nope he likes it but again he wants something with almost no offset, a lower trajectory and provides a bit more mishit feedback. This G15 Hyrbid is a great clubs for the average golfer and can solve some big problems that many players have like hitting long irons, sub 5 wood distances with a soft landing onto the green or give them some lift options for the longer club. Available in five lofts: 17 degrees, 20, 23, 27 and 31. The Japanese versions are set to have different standard shafts than the U.S offerings.