Year in and year out, Yamaha's irons dominate the market in Japan thanks to awesome designs, premium materials and manufacturing and what counts, performance on the course. Every year the limited Tour Model forged iron sells out in several weeks and next year's model will probably do the same.
Today I'll briefly introduce the new models and wedge and save the details and testing for when we get our demos. I won't talk about the 2010 D Steel and D Black made for average golfers since they have been around already for a year but any average golfer looking for an automatic max distance iron, both the D Steel (steel shaft) and D Black (graphite shaft) are very very good options.
For 2011, Yamaha has introduced all new V Forged Tour Model and standard model. Both these models are designed for the athlete golfer as they call it in Japan or simply put the better golfer or lower handicapper. The Tour Model is the compact cavity (or half cavity as Yamaha calls it) made for the pro player or single digit golfer. The more forgiving and slightly larger standard V Forged is for the low handicapper and good ball striking mid capper.
So what is it about the V Forged that always makes it so popular among golfers in Japan? Three main reasons make players fall in love with the irons and those reasons are the irons' looks/design, feel, and performance. Since it's introduction as a 2008 model in late 2007, the V Forged has always been a very good looking iron. Superb balance with sharp lines and just the right amount of offset in the V Forged to make it comfortable looking at address and with less offset in the Tour Model as preferred by the better player. Soft S20C steel forged at Endo provide rewarding and pure impact to well struck balls. The V Forged models always provide a balanced amount of control, stability, spin and even ease of use (this is why even mid cappers can play the so called athlete model standard V Forged - including myself).
This year Yamaha has decided to increase availability of the Limited Tour Model from 1000 sets last year to 1200 sets this year. The compact head straight neck Tour Model focuses on feel and spin control with the CG placed higher in a thicker cavity created for that soft feel at impact. The Tour Model produces a mid trajectory ball made for accuracy and direction and is shafted with DG S200 as standard. Custom shafts are also available if you can order them early enough before they sell out.
The standard V Forged model has a similar look but different design from the Tour Model. The head is larger with more offset and has a cavity flow design, in other words, the cavity changes depending on the iron. The long irons 3-5 feature a low cavity and tungsten weighting in the toe and heel for higher launch and a focus on carry and distance. The cavity gradually increases in height as the irons get shorter for more focus on feel and control as you reach the short irons. This design ensures that the standard V Forged will again be well balanced for performance and control and of course feel great. The standard shafts for the standard V Forged are DG S200, Nippon 1050GH Stiff, 950GH Stiff and graphite option Tour AD-75 in R and S flex with DI colors. Custom shafts and specs are also available for the standard V Forged.
One club I'm really looking forward to is the new Inpres X V Forged Wedge. Forged by Endo from premium S20C steel, the new edge features a straight neck, tear drop shape and higher CG for a stable lower trajectory producing more spin. Many wedges seem to be designed this way especially since the new grooves. Today I was at Hirakawa CC watching the Fujifilm Japan Senior Open and it was amazing to see how LOW the trajectory is of many of the pros during their approaches. Several times I thought, whoa he's gonna be well pas the hole but the ball bites and spins back. The new Inpres X F Forged wedge is designed for this type of play as well thanks to a thicker mid section and top blade and CG higher up in the cavity. Be sure to keep your eye out on the blog here fore more detailed reviews when we get demos and for the pre order in the pro shop. Pre order is recommended to avoid disappointment.