In Search Of The Ideal Trajectory

June 08, 2017

Photos by Ryan Zimmerman

Most players prefer irons that make it easy to get the ball in the air. A high ball flight lets you carry those bunkers, and a steep landing angle keeps the ball on the green. Using a Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor, we found a correlation between an iron's sole width and the maximum height of its shots: Wider equals higher. For some golfers, a 6-iron that's an inch or more wide in the center of the sole flew up to 25 feet higher than irons with soles three-quarters of an inch wide or less. To launch it high without a wide sole, look for irons with low internal weighting (like tungsten) and a flexible face that's a separate piece from the body. Don't need more height? Try one-piece irons with thicker faces—the compact, muscle-back, narrow-sole designs found in PGA Tour bags. Here are four new irons. Choose your trajectory wisely.

An exoskeletal structure in the back supports a very thin cupface, and an internal tungsten weight launches long irons high and controls short irons.
PRICE: $2,000

Forgiveness in a muscle-back design? Yes. Subtle angles and less material in the sole help the club move cleanly through the ground.
PRICE: $1,100

This compact forged design has tungsten in the sole of the 3- through 7-iron to give even the best players optimal trajectory.

TITLEIST C16 The extra tungsten weighting (the most in Titleist's line) works with a steel wraparound cupface for more height and distance.
PRICE: $2,700