On Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show, a golfer could conceivably hit every piece of equipment from every major manufacturer in the American market.
Most of the equipment we here at Golf News Net have seen already, maybe hit or, at a minimum, probably heard about before the Show.
However, Bridgestone Golf delivered a surprise on Demo Day, with its JGR Hybrid Forged irons.
The trend in game-improvement irons has been toward bigger heads, even wider soles and a healthy mix of hybrids in the set makeup. Bridgestone used those influences in designing this new set, designed through the bag to combine the iron and hybrid looks in a way we've never seen.
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Looking down at an iron, the cavity-back-style iron looks like a hybrid with the crown missing. The sole is wide and runs well behind the club face. The topline is thick. It almost looks like a bigger-head putter in some ways, down to the finish. However, it's an iron, and you can recognize it.
The idea behind the wide sole is to resist digging, while using the weighting properties to drive the center of gravity low and back for easy, high launch. The 1.5 mm face offers flex for added distance, something higher-handicap players desire. A rubber insert improves feel by dampening vibration and allowed for more weight to move toward the perimeter.
Now, here's the kicker. All of this comes in a forged package, offering softer, better feel.
On first look and thought, it made no sense. However, after hitting a few 6-irons, it made sense. If you're a better player, this iron is in no way made for you, and you might even be convinced you couldn't hit it. A higher-handicap player might think just the opposite: How can I miss?
The Bridgestone Golf JGR Hybrid Forged irons will be available March 4 and will come standard in a 6-PW2 set, retailing for $700 with Nippon NS Pro Zelos 8 steel shafts and for $750 in UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts.