The new Epon Forged Limited edition Personal Iron demo arrived at my house today so I spent the afternoon snapping photos and examining the design of the head. One of the advantages Epon has as a premier boutique brand in Japan, is that it is owned by Endo Manufacturing which reserves nothing but the best when it comes to design, manufacturing and materials for any Epon product. Epon staff are very passionate about golf and over the years have experimented with in house designs that were meant to be staff prototypes but became limited retail editions such as the rare and very much still in demand limited edition Tecnity 380 Forged driver. The Personal iron is another one of those products that after Epon produced the iron, it was simply too beautiful to keep for themselves.
The Personal Iron is a compact blade with some interesting design aspects. Some golfers in the now may be reminded of Ben Hogan's Apex iron which featured a muscle on muscle design much like the Personal. Epon wanted to create a blade that while small and compact still allowed players of different levels to enjoy the pure feel and control of a muscle back. The head features a cut away toe area which progresses through the back of the iron. This removes weight from the toe and high up in the blade and allows it to be placed lower in the head and more towards the hosel. This also allows for a much thicker sweet spot resulting in softer feel at impact.
The premium forged S20C steel head is rather short from heel to toe but is not quite as sharp looking as some pro model blades in the Japanese market today. The Personal Iron features an ever so slightly rounded top line which is also tapered towards the face to create a thinner top line. While the highest point of the toe is still reasonably boxy, the toe area is rounded. The edges soften the look of the Personal a bit at address and provides more comfort and confidence for the player who may not be used to playing a smaller sized blade.
At address, there is a tad bit of offset for a blade but some may still consider it minimal. You can see in the picture above what appears almost as a two tone top line which is the visual effect given by the tapered design. The score lines and face frame the ball very well and even though the hitting area appears quite small, the rounded lines of the face profile push focus towards the ball and making good impact.
The sole of the Personal Iron features a reasonably straight leading edge but with a killed leading edge grind that provides relief. The toe off course is cut away which minimizes resistance and promotes more solid contact by allowing the head to square to the ball easier. I wish I had the AF-Tour here to do actual side by side pics but since I don't, I have to rely on my memory for a comparison. The sole of the Personal is definitely narrower than the AF-Tour and the actual blade length is also shorter. According to the specs, there is actually a tiny bit LESS offset in the Personal compared to the AF-Tour (2.5mm 7i vs 2.6mm 7i). Both feature traditional lofts with a 28* 5 iron. Many AF-Tour users have loved the feel but based on the design, and thicker muscle of the Personal it should be even softer. The AF-Tour was also more toe heavy compared to the Personal meaning the Personal should square up quicker for crisper impact.
Even though I did not have the AF-Tour here I do have the Crazy Muscleback and Kyoei V Muscle here and they are very comparable in size with the Personal having a slightly thinner sole and rounder appearance. The Epon has a tad more offset than the other two. When I first saw images of Epon's Personal iron I was not sure how to react. When it arrived at my house I could only marvel at its design and the more I took pictures of it the more I liked it. It is a very beautiful iron. I'll only be giving my design impressions and posting the photos I took today in this blog. I will leave the testing up to Tourspecgolfer and Tatsuro as a full set shafted with KBS Tours will arrive in Las Vegas later this week for them to play.
The Epon Personal Iron is only available 3-PW shafted with your choice of shafts. It is limited to only 500 sets for all of Japan and the rest of the world so I am sure they will be gone quickly. As with all Epon clubs, they must be ordered by contacting us directly.
Here are more pictures for your viewing pleasure!