Call me crazy, but for the longest time, I've wanted to have a 2-iron in my bag.
Maybe it was the pre-teen in me that idolized Tiger Woods' perfect stinger.
I also love playing with old equipment -- I once gamed a bag from 1969 for half of a summer, for crying out loud -- so putting a modern version of a club disappearing from bags in favor of hybrids fits my psyche.
What I know for sure is that I'm not really a hybrid guy. They work, they're great, and I like them well enough. But I love swinging an iron. So I wanted something stronger than a 3-iron that I could put out there some 250 yards, practically at will, so I could manage my game around the course.
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When I met with Wilson Golf at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, I saw what I wanted. The Wilson Staff FG Tour V4 utility iron appealed to me right away. It looks like an iron, but it has the extra mass behind it like a hybrid (and more mass behind it than an old-fashioned 1-iron). I took a couple of swings with the 18-degree model.
The utility iron has tungsten weighting in the toe for forgiveness and to help a player get back to square. A sole weight moves down the center of gravity compared to a regular, ole 2-iron. The 455 Carpenter steel face is thinned out to deliver maximum distance.
The Wilson folks were gracious enough to send one to me so I could put it in the bag for my annual golf trip to Orlando in February.
The verdict? I like it a lot. The sound from the hollow head is different than a traditional iron, and it doesn't have the potential metalwood-like sound of hybrids. It's somewhere in between and a little hard to describe. There's definite feedback on each shot, even though the face is fairly forgiving.
I've played six rounds with the FG Tour V4 2-iron, and I've yet to miss a fairway with it. It took maybe 10 swings to get used to the weighting, both of the head and the stock Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Black 90 graphite shaft, but it's very easy to hit. I can hit it with a couple of different ball flights, going either with a mid-height shot that will run a little or my usual higher ball flight that can still roll but not as much. Either way, the club goes about 240-250 yards for me off the tee. On a 400-yard tight par 4, that's all I want in life. Give me an 8-iron into the green.
I'm also becoming more comfortable hitting the 2-iron from the fairway, particularly on par 5s. Until the last year or so, I've never been much of a fairway-wood-from-the-fairway player, so I've used hybrids and long irons to advance the ball. Sometimes, I need a little extra than what the 3-iron or 3-hybrid could give me. This 2-iron can get me that 250-yard shot on occasion that makes a 550-yard hole reachable without that big of a sweat. I'm still working out how to hit shots with the same flighting as off the tee, but, by late Spring, it's going to be a huge part of my bag.
I realized that a 2-iron isn't for everyone. In fact, I'm running into a burning building while everyone is fleeing toward the safety of hybrids -- which, by the way, are starting to look more like utility irons in some cases. But, if you want to try something a little different and have a reliable club that can put you in the fairway time and again, the Wilson Staff FG Tour V4 utility iron may be for you. They're available for $180 each.