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La Quinta, Calif.


Equipment

First Cut

XXIO 12 irons: What you need to know

January 05, 2022

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The XXIO 12 irons are designed to be lightweight so players can swing them faster, but a weight in the butt end of the club also allows them to be swung better. The titanium face provides more than enough flex to generate significant rebound at impact, even at lower swing speeds. A new blade putter offering boasts a face insert designed to provide consistent speed over a wider portion of the face.

PRICING/AVAILABILITY: The XXIO 12 irons sell for $220 each and the blade putter sells for $300. Both will be available in stores Feb. 11.

THE DEEP DIVE: Rather than trying to design clubs that attempt to fit all players, the new XXIO 12 irons don’t compromise on ways to attack the specific needs of slower swings. In these irons that means the use of a fast-flexing titanium face insert, lightweight constructions and shafts and other technologies and design features beneficial to those who need their clubs to help supply most of the power.

To garner speed, the 12 irons use a titanium face plate that is just 2.1 millimeters at its thinnest. That helps to create face flex. The irons also have progressive face thicknesses that help optimize the speed and launch of each iron, creating lower center of gravity positions in the long irons to foster height and higher in the short irons to promote a more controlled flight.

However, the face is not the only thing contributing to more rebound at impact. An L-shaped internal groove etched deep into the interior of the iron’s stainless-steel body further enhances flex, especially for shots struck low on the face where most iron impacts occur.

Creating speed, however, is just one ingredient in the recipe for more yards. Getting the right launch angle is key too.

XXIO 12 is designed to help players launch iron shots higher through a lowered center of gravity. Helping to achieve that is the use of high-density tungsten nickel weights in the toe area of the 5- through 7-irons. In addition to lowering the center of gravity to assist launch, the added heft ups the moment of forgiveness to mitigate the loss of ball speed on off-center strikes.

There are other more subtle, but helpful aspects to the irons. Like a shorter hosel that contributes to a lower CG or the wide soles that help get more out of fatted shots than you should. There’s also the loft specific grooves. As lofts increase, the grooves are deeper and closer together, enhancing spin for more control on approach shots.

Perhaps most helpful of all is the company continuing down its path with its “Weight Plus” technology, where thin, lightweight graphite shafts take saved weight and move it to the butt end of the club. Doing so brings the balance point closer to the hands, making the club easier to swing and get in the proper position at the top of the backswing.

“Usually taking weight out of the shaft ends up pushing the balance point farther away from the hands because it’s difficult to thin out the tip of the shaft and keep it durable,” said Jeff Brunski, vice president of R&D for Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO. “Weight Plus involves making a small tradeoff in club weight to gain a large benefit in balance point height. It’s very effective for generating speed and consistency for moderate swing speed players.”

While the XXIO 12 irons will help get you to the green, the company also is introducing a new blade putter to help you once you’re on them.

The blade features a pair of high-density tungsten-nickel weights to increase moment of inertia, helping to keep the face square on off-center hits. The face insert features grooves that increase in density at face center to help with consistent roll over a larger portion of the face.

The XXIO 12 irons sell for $220 each (steel) and the blade putter sells for $300. Both will be available in stores Feb. 11.