In my last post about 10 Great Golf Gifts for Xmas I mentioned how I liked the work of The Iron Factory and how I would love to buy some classic blades and get them restored by the Iron Factory. I guess some people like restore vintage cars, I like to restore vintage clubs. Anyway, a reader e-mailed me asking what are some of my favorite iron designs, so I thought I would pass along what I thought:
Mr. Hogan was such an ingenious person when it came to the game of golf. He figured out so much about the golf swing and made some of the best irons ever. I would highly suggest anybody looking for a blade style iron, especially the older designs where the COG is higher up on the face to consider Hogan irons. However, I would suggest any models pre-1994 as that's when the Hogan Company had their forging house and shafts made in Ft. Worth. After that, their forging and shaft making wasn't quite the same. If I get some vintage Hogan irons, I'll probably have KBS Shafts put in them because I'm likely too tall for standard length Hogan shafts, but that would be the big bummer for me. Of course, I may be able to just 'soft step' the shafts and ditch the 3-iron.
Here's a pic of various Hogan irons throughout the years, the pics above are my 3 favorite Hogan irons.
POWERBILT GRAND SLAM
When PowerBilt came out with their Air Force One driver I was hoping that it would lead to a resurgance in Powerbilt Golf as the company used to make fantastic persimmon woods and a great set of blades. These were my personal faves as a good buddy of mine used to play them and they sounded like no other blade when he compressed the ball properly.
1958 WILSON DYNAPOWER
Out of all of the older, excellent blade making OEM's...Wilson is probably doing the strongest of the bunch (I don't include Mizuno), which really isn't saying much. Wilson clubs were sworn by
MACGREGOR VIP AND MUIRFIELD
The VIP line of irons were the cream of the crop for years and years and would still be a great set of irons to own. Also, the MacGregor Tommy Armour line is some of my faves, but I couldn't find good pics. I included the MacGregor Muirfield, even though that particular model is not my favorite. A friend of mine that I grew up playing golf with had a set of Muirfields that looked much like this Muirfield iron, but in didn't say Muirfield anywhere on the club. More noticeably, the clubface was bigger, but really at a perfect size and there were no diamonds on each side of the grooves. He got rid of them about 15 years ago as he had hit them to death, but they were probably the best looking blade iron I've ever seen and I have yet to found another set like them, even though about once a month I search for them on eBay. My guess is that he somehow got a custom grind.
For 15 years straight Mizuno was the #1 iron on the PGA Tour until the major OEM's started to force their players to use their irons and also making replica's of Mizuno irons, just with their company stamps on the back and labeling them as a 'prototype.'
I had a friend somehow get his hands on the TN-87 and they were about as pure of an iron as I've ever hit. This later helped lead to the MP-29 and MP-14 series which were wildly popular and now has made Mizuno a leader in blade design irons.
So, those are just a few of my favorites. I will probably stick with my current MP-62's for awhile and then maybe look into Scratch Golf's SB-1 line. Whatever I choose, it's easy to appreciate the artistic genius behind these designs.