Golf Digest editors picks
Hot List 2008: Super game Improvement Irons

Super Game Improvement Irons

February 2008
STREET PRICE: $700 (set of eight, graphite)
WEBSITE: adamsgolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 28, PW: 44

TECH STORY
This integrated set of irons is designed with easy-to-hit features. It includes three hybrids with a boxy shape (for the 3-, 4- and 5-irons), iron-like hybrids (for the 6-, 7- and 8-irons) and an undercut, cavity-back 9-iron and pitching wedge.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"They look a little chunky at address, but they're light, and the impact is smooth. I hit the 3-hybrid better than any 3-iron I've hit in my life. . . . You can't miss with these clubs. They are ridiculously easy to hit."

HOT
Adams deserves credit for taking the hybrid set to another level by increasing the number of wood-like and iron-like hybrids and leaving just two irons in the set. Options for more hybrids are available for those in need. These are the Volvo of irons: They're boxy, but they're good.

NOT
Best for slow swingers. Players with high swing speeds tend to balloon the loftier hybrids.
STREET PRICE: $800
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 29, PW: 45

TECH STORY
Wide-sole, hybrid-like irons replace the 3-, 4- and 5-irons before making the transition to conventional irons that have been redesigned with more offset and a constant-width sole throughout the set.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"I love the look of the short and middle irons, but the hybrids are a little too avant-garde for me. . . . Once you get over their unusual look, they really perform. I mean, these went far. . . . If you can't get the ball airborne with these, you might as well go fishing."

HOT
Call this one Extreme Makeover, Golf Edition. The predictable and longtime stalwart of Callaway's iron line has been revamped to include iron-like hybrids (with very wide soles) in its long irons and more contemporary graphics. Despite these changes, the company hasn't increased the price.

NOT
This change to Ms. Bertha is a big leap of faith, but has the company gone too far?

CLEVELAND HIBORE

STREET PRICE: $700
WEBSITE: clevelandgolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 30, PW: 45

TECH STORY
Because of the inverted crown and hollow construction, the iron features a center of gravity that is six times farther back than in conventional irons and a sole width that gets progressively thinner throughout the set. Bulge and roll was added to the 3- and 4-irons to make them more playable.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"These are terrific irons. Anywhere on the face is a sweet spot. They're extremely reassuring at address. . . . I like how they taper the hybrid look so it's not as drastic in the short irons. . . . The height was fantastic, but the 6-iron flew as high as the 9-iron."

HOT
An all-hybrid set isn't for everyone, but for those secure enough in their manhood to realize that function, not form, collects the cash in the grillroom, this one almost eliminates operator error.

NOT
Do you really need a sole that wide on the short irons?
STREET PRICE: $800
WEBSITE: cobragolf.com
LOFTS
6-iron: 28.5, PW: 44

TECH STORY
An expanded three-piece polymer top line allows weight to be moved to the sole of the club to create a lower CG and a higher moment of inertia. The urethane sole insert and cavity plate are designed to reduce vibration.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"It's got a clean look for a club with so much going on technology-wise. . . . The black top line frames the ball well. . . . I got nice distance with these. The ball flight was about ideal, too."

HOT
One of our favorites from last year received some nifty improvements. Chief among them is the sole chamfer, which adds playability and helps keep the weight low and back. A progressive low-profile shape helps keep the head from looking bulky, and the Nippon NS Pro 900 is a solid choice for a stock steel shaft.

NOT
We would prefer to see a hybrid as part of the standard set offering.

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