Players Irons

At the end of 2011 golf season, I was thinking about trying out more of a blade style iron (often referred to as Players Irons) for my next set. Then two of my TaylorMade Burner irons snapped in the course of a week and I wasn’t offered what I would consider a good solution to the problem. I don’t feel like sticking to these clubs if it’s a known problem and more of them are going to break.

Tonight I headed over to the PGA Tour Superstore in Scottsdale where they have every club you can imagine and an awesome indoor ball tracking system. I didn’t have any idea what brands of irons I wanted to try and I wanted to have an open mind, so I put my swing in the hands of their staff. A college kid named Nolan asked me about my scoring and started me off with the Ping i20 (Players) and G20 (Game Improvement). Immediately the i20 felt great. I was hitting a lot of crisp shots, with a slight draw.

So then he put a plastic board under the ball and taped the club to see when I was striking the sole. It was a little on the toe so he adjusted the lie angle of the club to 1.5 degrees upright, which led to me hitting the ball nice and square. Next, Nolan had me hit a random driver just to check my ball speed coming off the face because that’s how you determine a shaft flex. My ball speed indicated I was almost right in the middle of a regular and a stiff flex, with an edge going to regular. I’ve always played stiff flex shafts so I was surprised. I could see all of the numbers right in front of me and they don’t lie.

After hitting the i20 some more I asked if there was something similar he would recommend I try out. Nolan came back with the Titleist AP2 and I started crushing it. I wasn’t sure something could feel better than the i20 had, but the AP2 was smooth swinging and long! I was consistently hitting a 6 iron around 210 yards, which is typically the distance for the Burner 5 iron.

I hit both clubs some more and really liked them both. He gave me a sheet with the fitting specs and I told him I’d stop back out in a few days to try both clubs again to make sure it wasn’t a one day fluke.

So I get home and look up the prices online. Of course the AP2 irons cost $300 more than the i20. At $800 and $1,100 neither set is cheap because they’re brand new. The good news is both sets received Golf Digest’s Gold rating for Players Irons in the 2012 Hot List so I can’t go wrong with either one. After I get back out there to hit them again, hopefully I can confirm if they felt as good as they did tonight and I’ll decide what to do. One of the guys I golf with has a really good relationship with the PGA Tour Superstore and said he could get me a deal.

A Message to TaylorMade

I just sent the following message to TaylorMade. We’ll see what happens.

I have a set of the Burner irons that I purchased almost 2 years ago at the Saginaw Golf Centre in Saginaw, MI. Last September during a round of golf the 6 iron snapped inside the hosel and the head went flying down the fairway on a par 3. The shop called it in and then sent in the club for a free repair. I had my club back in about 3 weeks.

This past Sunday the same thing happened to my 5 iron on a shot just off the fairway. Since I’m out in Phoenix, AZ for a few months I took the club in to the PGA Tour Superstore in Scottsdale. They sent the club in and I expect I’ll get it back in about 3 weeks as well.

I just got home from the driving range, where the same exact thing has now happened to my 8 iron. This is starting to get ridiculous!

Every time I swing the club now I’m afraid something is going to break. I’m sure I could get this club sent in for a free repair as well, but I think it’s time to ask for a different option. How many more clubs out of this set are going to break on me?

Three clubs have now broken in less than 6 months and I’ll be without 2 of them for the next several weeks if I stick to the same repair options. It makes it tough to play golf without a full bag. Is there a way I could exchange my clubs for a new set or get some type of refund?

I’ve long been a fan of TaylorMade, but my confidence in the brand is fading fast. In addition to my irons, I play a hybrid, 5 wood, and 3 wood from your company. Before they started breaking, I’ve loved all of the clubs.

Please let me know how we can address the issues I’m having with these irons.