The American Express

La Quinta, Calif.



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