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Hireko Golf: Clubs for value-minded golfers of all skill levels

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
Dynacraft Prophet MB Forged Iron
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The Dynacraft Prophet MB Forged Irons are value option blades for low-handicappers. (Courtesy of Hireko)

The golf industry has long lamented the steadily declining number of golfers. What is keeping new players from the sport? Does it take too much time? Is it too hard to learn? Is it too expensive to play?

Frankly, it's likely a combination of all these factors, to which I would add high start-up costs.

You want to start playing soccer, get a ball and you're good. Tennis? A ball and one racket will do. Darts? Ask the bartender to borrow a set -- and buy a beer.

But golf?

Pull out the debit card and start ringing up balls, tees, shoes, and a golf bag along with 14 clubs to fill it.

A new golfer could easily spend a couple grand on new equipment before ever stepping up to the first tee.

Whether you're a new player looking for a decent starter set, or an experienced player who doesn't want to blow your kid's college fund on new sticks, Hireko Golf offers a number of lines of clubs from putters to drivers that will fit any game.

Hireko is a large component company that bought several smaller component companies several years ago. From this vast inventory, Hireko offers components and assembled clubs for a fraction of the price of major OEMs.

I recently took a wide selection of new Hireko clubs to my home course and to Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana, Ill. I played most myself, and shared them with golfers of varying abilities to get their opinions.

Power Play Juggernaut Driver

The Power Play Juggernaut Driver ($124, assembled) is advertised as "illegally long and straight." The 515cc clubhead is 55cc larger than the maximum 460cc volume allowed by the USGA, and the COR effect is also larger than allowed. But you know what? If you just want to go out and have fun, and you don't want to post your scores for a USGA handicap, then who cares?

The Juggernaut lives up to the illegal hype. I regularly hit drives over 270 yards with it, sometimes much longer. But my normal driver gets me similar distance most of the time. The real test came when I shared it with a new golfer at Stone Creek's range who was struggling to hit his Craigslist driver 220 yards. A few swings with the Juggernaut, and his ball was rolling out past 240. He didn't care a bit that it was nonconforming.

Dynacraft Prophet CB Irons

That same golfer's college-aged son, also new to the sport, is one of those kids who can hit his driver close to 300 yards when he makes contact. But he was struggling with his irons. I had him hit the Prophet CB irons ($30 each, assembled). Within a few swings, he could feel the difference between the clunky old cast irons he'd been playing and the forged faces of the CBs. The undercut cavity back served to redistribute the weight, and suddenly his shots were not sailing low and to the right anymore, but high and, after a couple of swing tips, even drawing a bit. He noticed that a new set of the CBs would cost him about the same as he'd paid for the old irons on eBay, and they didn't hurt his hands, either.

Synchron Vespa Driver and Hybrid

These clubs fit my game well, so I tested them extensively. The Vespa Driver ($105, assembled) felt very light, and proved itself to be powerful. The lightness of the head made it difficult to keep track of, however, producing a bit of inconsistency. The sound at impact was somewhat tinny as well. But for just over $100, it would not have been a bad buy.

The Vespa Hybrid ($45, assembled) was very solid. I had a 3-iron equivalent, and the distance it provided was nearly equivalent to my normal 5-wood. The trajectory was also high, and the ball landed quite softly.

Dynacraft Prophet MB Forged Irons

The Prophet MB Forged Irons ($58 each, assembled) are "player's" irons, with classic thin topline at address and minimal offset. The back of the clubhead is weighted such that most of the mass is below the ball's equator. The ball jumped off the MB and grabbed when it landed, thanks to Spin Control surfacing of the clubface, which increases the friction. My favorite design feature is the extra weighting out toward the toe, which produced good distance even when the ball was struck off center.

iBella Obsession Black Ladies clubs

One golf demographic that is growing is women. For beginning female players, though, affordable club options are even fewer than for beginning males. The iBella Black line runs from driver through irons ($130-$40, assembled), and they all feature Swarovski crystals embedded in the clubheads to add a little bling to your swing.

Recall that beginning golfer at Stone Creek who liked the Juggernaut? As it turned out, his wife was also a beginner, who struggled with any club to get the ball up in the air. I lent her an iBella Black driver and hybrid for the nine holes they were headed out to play. When they returned, she and her husband were smiling from ear to ear. As it turns out, she used the hybrid on the club's par-3 third and carded her first hole-in-one with it!

Yeah, umm, I was not able to get that club back from her.

For more information, visit hirekogolf.com.

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Dynacraft Prophet CB IronsSynchron Vespa HybridSynchron Vespa DriverHireko Golf Juggernaut DriverHireko Golf iBella Obsession Black Driver

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.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • For beginners

    Heather wrote on: Sep 28, 2015

    Great post! I am only just trying to get into the game of golf. Does anyone have any experience with any of these golf club sets? Looking for something cheap and reliable. Thanks!