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|The Acer XDS React irons by Hireko Golf have all the features of more expensive game-improvement irons. (Courtesy of Hireko Golf)|
The recipe for game-improvement irons has become fairly standard throughout the golf industry: lower center of gravity, cavity back, perimeter weighting and an offset clubface.
The upside to this is now it has become possible for average and high-handicap players to shop around. All the big-name manufacturers have game-improvement irons. But fortunately for those of us on a budget, so do component manufacturers.
Case in point: Hireko Golf has recently introduced the Acer XDS React irons, which retail for just $25.95 per club (assembled; $9.95 component clubhead only). The XDS React irons follow the formula sketched out above with considerable success but also add a few special ingredients.
The first thing you notice when unpacking the XDS React irons from the box is their weight. Game-improvement irons are generally a bit heavier than expected, given their somewhat chunky profiles, but the XDS React feel even weightier than usual.
Despite the weight, the irons set up fairly unobtrusively. The topline is not overly thick, and the offset is not overly distracting.
Another less-noticeable "secret spice" is that all the irons in the set are lofted just a bit lower (one to three degrees lower) than comparable game-improvement sets. Normally, this would mean a lower ball flight.
But because of the low center of gravity -- and the magnitude of the weight -- the ball flight is very high and somewhat paradoxically piercing at the same time.
I played the DXS React irons during several rounds of blustery autumn golf at my home course and was impressed by how well the ball held its line time after time in crosswinds, quartering winds and head-on, despite the extremely high ball flight.
But what about the sheer weight of the club? Well, in my case, I struggle with swinging too fast and becoming "disconnected" through my swing. The heavier irons had the effect of slowing me down a bit and allowing me to feel the clubhead from takeaway through transition to delivery.
Of course I didn't stripe every shot, but the biggest problem I faced was hitting approaches too long, even into the wind. That's not a problem most golfers of my middling caliber would complain about.
A brand new set of Acer XDS React irons cost about $100 less than a two-year-old set of used big-name irons. Golfers looking for some forgiveness and extra length without breaking the bank should take a look at the Acer XDS React irons. And because Hireko Golf will custom assemble your set, you might be able to fiddle around with the weight a little bit as well.
For more information, visit www.hirekogolf.com.
November 3, 2010
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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