Bridgestone Golf has a reputation (justly deserved) as a traditional equipment company, particularly when it comes to clubs. The company’s new JGR Hybrid Forged irons, however, are distinctly un-Bridgestone-like. The irons were introduced at this week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
“Similar to how we identified a gap in the market and invented the category of Tour balls for amateur swings back in 2008, we noticed that there was major gap in the club market for players who wanted the feel of a forged iron, but needed more forgiveness,” said Josh Kinchen, golf club marketing manager for Bridgestone Golf.
Kinchen said the forgiveness and performance that the JGR Hybrid Forged Irons generate is achieved through three primary technologies: A thin face design created from a proprietary metal alloy- Ultimate Strong Metal 2.0 – that features tensile and yield strength in an ultra-thin (1.5mm) face for greater repulsion, forgiveness and longer carry distance; a low and deep center of gravity that utilizes a wide-sole design that resists digging at impact. The center-of-gravity in the JGR irons, Kinchen said, is located in the extreme lower rear of the club, allowing for easy, high launching distance; and a turbo rubber composite insert that in the clubhead dampens vibration at impact, further enhancing its soft forged feel and saves discretionary weight to optimize perimeter-weighting forgiveness.
To get a good idea of what the JGR Hyrbid Forged Iron is all about, just set down the 5 iron. It sets up similar to Bridgestone’s driving iron. The flange helps players take the club low for a more sweeping swing that middle to high-handicap players need. In that regard, each JGR Hybrid Forged iron is progressively offset.
“Every oversized, forgiving club on the market today is cast,’’ Kinchen said. “The higher handicap player has no ability to play forged (irons). This is the first oversized, forged club, so it gives you that soft feel along with a high launch and it’s easy to hit.’’
Available March 4, the JGR Hybrid Forged Irons come standard in a set of 6-PW2 with steel (Nippon NS Pro Zelos 8) and graphite (UST Mamiya Recoil) shaft options. Street price for steel is $699 and for graphite it is $749.