Golf Digest editors picks

BRIDGESTONE J36 CB

STREET PRICE: $800
WEBSITE: bridgestonegolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 31, PW: 47

TECH STORY
Built on the idea that more than one-third of all PGA Tour players have mixed sets in their bag, the J36 CB features a progressively tapered sole design with more relief in the trailing edge as you go from long to short irons. Custom-iron options have gone from 5 to 17.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"What a wonderful iron! It feels like a mid-1970s forging but with a little help. . . . I didn't know Bridgestone made irons. I do now. The ball feels very soft coming off the clubface. . . . This is a player's club that works for you instead of the other way around."

HOT
Bridgestone is one of the top forged irons in Japan, but it's nowhere close in the United States. This stick could change that. The top line is in perfect proportion to the heel and toe length, but what we really like is the flexibility to mix the J36 (blade) and J36 PC (pocket cavity) seamlessly within the set.

NOT
We know it's a player's club, but the top line is thinner than a supermodel.

CALLAWAY X-FORGED

STREET PRICE: $800
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 31, PW: 47

TECH STORY
The CG is positioned lower in the long irons and moves progressively higher through the set, which is intended to create the appropriate trajectory with each club. A short blade length and minimal offset provide a pleasing look for the traditionalist.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"This reminds me of the saying about airplanes: If it looks good, it flies good. And this iron looks good. . . . The most solid of all the irons -- and that includes the game-improvement stuff. . . . I can feel the head throughout the swing. That's cool."

HOT
When Callaway ditched the X-Tour and split its player's line into two models, the X-Forged was clearly aimed at the better of the two player groups. If you're in that category, the buttery feel of the carbon-steel clubhead and the thin top line and narrow sole will appeal to the shotmaker in you.

NOT
Regardless of talent, if you have slow clubhead speed, you won't be able to hit this iron.

COBRA PRO CB

STREET PRICE: $850
WEBSITE: cobragolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 30, PW: 46

TECH STORY
Soft 1020 carbon steel is put through a one-piece forging and nickel-chrome plating process to provide a consistent grain structure. A slightly shorter hosel length than the Pro MB version is designed for those seeking a slightly higher ball flight.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"This is old school. The looks, the way it plays. That's my style. . . . I can do anything I want with these. The 3-iron drops vertically into the green. You can work 'em and shape 'em any way you can imagine. . . . The long head looks like a shoehorn, but the ball was solid coming off the face."

HOT
The look is about as exciting as saltine crackers, but beneath the somewhat bland appearance is a club that invigorates. When you look up "crisp feel" in the dictionary, this club is what you'll see. If you're into the vintage vibe, these are definitely worth considering.

NOT
It isn't the techiest-looking iron, so shelf appeal might be limited.

PING I10

STREET PRICE: $700
WEBSITE: pinggolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 30.5, PW: 46

TECH STORY
It has a shorter blade length and thinner top line than the G10. Weight has been added to the low toe area to increase the moment of inertia. The sole design has been narrowed and cambered to increase workability.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"There seems to be something about the medallion in back that gives this a forged feel even though it's not. . . . The bottom white groove really helps you square the face. . . . I tried to hit some misses with it, but I wasn't really successful. . . . It's a true Ping in every sense of the word. That's good, by the way."

HOT
It's a love-it-or-loathe-it kind of club, but if you're the type of player who prefers function over form, these could be your bats. With a larger clubhead and cavity and a little thicker top line than most player's irons have, hitting these gives a feeling of comfort matched only by your dog bringing you your slippers.

NOT
The feel off the cast clubhead is not quite as smooth as others in the field.
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