Golf Digest editors picks
2011 Hot List

SUPER GAME-IMPROVEMENT IRONS

February 2011
$: BEST VALUE | W: ALSO IN WOMEN'S | CATEGORY LEADER | (H) HIGH-HANDICAPPER | (M) MIDDLE-HANDICAPPER | (L) LOW-HANDICAPPER
CLUBS LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
ADAMS IDEA A7OS

ADAMS IDEA A7OS

STREET PRICE: $700 (set of eight, graphite shafts)
WEBSITE: adamsgolf.com
LOFTS: 6-iron: 28 degrees, PW: 44 degrees
TECH TALK: Three hybrids and two hollow-back mid-hybrids complement three traditionally shaped short irons (8-iron through PW) to form a true integrated set. The 6- and 7- mid-hybrids feature a four-way cambered sole to improve turf interaction. The company researched yardage gaps before determining each club's loft.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
M: "The irons glide through the grass and have nice balance." ... "I like that the short irons are traditional. It's confidence-inspiring."
H: "A good progression from head to head, but the hybrid shafts are longer than a political speech."

HOT: A comfortable design, the a70S will appeal to a wider range of players than other more expensive sets in this category. The 44-gram rear weight in the 3- through 5-hybrids increases stability and creates a slight draw bias that slicers will appreciate.
NOT: Some might overlook this second-year offering for the newer, sleeker-looking Idea Tech V3 set.
ADAMS IDEA TECH V3

ADAMS IDEA TECH V3

STREET PRICE: $900
WEBSITE: adamsgolf.com
LOFTS: 6-iron: 29, PW: 45
TECH TALK: The tungsten weighting in the hybrids enhances forgiveness, and recessed heel and toe areas reduce turf drag. A four-piece viscoelastic vibration-dampening material is designed to promote a solid feel. There are two set choices (all hybrids or one with forged short irons). Both come with Mitsubishi Bassara graphite shafts.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
M: "Best in show, but not for complete beginners." ... "The all-black is a bad-ass look."
H: "The 6-hybrid is so super-easy to hit I might have to get it on its own." ... "The amount of mass behind the ball makes me feel like I'll make solid contact every time."

HOT: The ability to choose between two sets widens the audience for this model. Adams knows how to make clubs that work for average golfers, and average golfers can't hit long irons. What they can hit are the long hybrids.
NOT: Looking at the hybrid-style short irons, however, may not be so easy on the eyes.
CALLAWAY DIABLO EDGE

CALLAWAY DIABLO EDGE

STREET PRICE: $800
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS: 6-iron: 28, PW: 44
TECH TALK: Two hybrids (with the option to purchase as many as two more at $160 each) come standard in a set that features the company's familiar iron technologies, including a variable-thickness face for extra yards on off-center strikes. There's also a 360-degree undercut channel to increase perimeter weighting for additional forgiveness.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
M: "I like the look: It's minimum gaudy and maximum nice. Plus, the hybrid is powerful. I really knocked it a long way."
H: "These could seriously change someone's game. They're easy to hit, and they pack a lot of power. Anyone could get around the course with these."

HOT: Although this set isn't a substitute for lessons, it comes pretty close. The sole is 15 percent wider than the Big Bertha '08 model and moves through the turf easily.
NOT: All of the hybrids are longer in length than the corresponding iron (1.25 inches in the case of the 3-hybrid). We'd prefer to see the lengths more iron-like.
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