Edel SMS irons feature three movable back weights to match your swing
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Edel SMS irons take the learnings of the movable weight technology from the company’s SMS wedges and show that irons can be optimized to each player’s swing based on the arrangement of movable weights. These hollow compact players-distance heads feature a high-strength steel face insert, but its designers believe real power is keyed by matching the weights to each individual player’s swing type.
PRICE: $250 per club. Available July 21.
THE DEEP DIVE: We’ve long seen the effects of movable weights in drivers. Shifting a heavier weight in one position (the heel, for instance) helps mitigate a flaw (a slice, for instance). The whole idea is taking one club with a few adjustable parts and making it perform like many different clubs to better optimize performance for each individual golfer.
David Edel, the inventive mind behind Edel Golf, made the case last year that the same sort of idea could be applied to wedges with the company’s SMS models. The “SMS” stands for “swing matching system” and the company pointed to research on how switching the position of the heavier weight in one of the three ports in the back of the wedge resulted in better results for each player. Now, that same idea is behind the company’s new SMS irons.
Unlike in drivers, the movable weights’ effect in the SMS irons aren’t specifically about the shifting of the center of gravity. Edel said the movement at the extremes in the SMS irons might only be about two-hundredths of an inch. But the arrangement changes the feel of the iron in a way that resonates specifically with one type of swing versus another.
“It comes down to swing efficiency,” Edel said. “The way you slot the golf club in the swing is a transitional force. For example, if you have weight toward the shaft, that’s going to change its rotational forces one way and slot the club differently from backswing to downswing. By that player being able to slot the club better, the swing is going to be that much more efficient.”
The weights on the three ports in the SMS irons include two 2-gram screws and an 8-gram screw. By making the body hollow, it enables the weighting to be more effective, Edel said.
“I always laughed when I saw lead tape on a player’s irons,” he said. “I thought two grams here or there is not going to make any difference. Was I totally wrong. It’s literally changing their leverage of the face of the golf club.”
The relatively but not excessively compact player’s distance shaping of the head appeals to a broad audience from low single digits to higher handicaps, and a maraging steel face insert (a uniform two millimeters thin) is designed to provide more flexing at impact for better distance. But Edel said these irons aren’t necessarily chasing distance as much as they’re chasing each individual golfer’s efficiency. Hence, the idea of “swing matching.” He believes in relatively short order, fitters will be able to look at a player’s swing and determine how the weights on the SMS irons should be arranged.
“As the golf club is going back the influence of where that mass is changing the takeaway, it’s changing the direction, it’s changing the leverage based on that person’s particular swing attributes,” he said. “We all have different body types, different flexibility, different natural attributes and I think it is relatively predictable.”
The SMS irons, though the first hollow design from the company known for forged designs, pay attention to feel through the use of a slightly heavier thermoplastic, high density foam filling to damp vibration.
While the implementation and execution of the concepts behind the SMS irons are distinct from irons of the past, Edel sees a historical continuity.
“In theory, this is not a new concept,” he said. “Yes, moving weights with three different ports is and understanding what’s coming out of these possibilities is. But golf clubs have been doing this since the beginning of golf clubs. We just didn’t know why. Now there’s a process we’ve created to understand what things I need to feel the proper swing. It’s been around. We’ve just put a fingerprint on it now.”
The Edel SMS irons will be available July 21 ($250 per club).