Adams Red Line Irons Review--Which Set?
Jul 4, 2011 (Updated May 21, 2012)
Review by Bill Brott
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Long, Lots of Hybrids to Mix and Match with your set. Forgiving
Cons:Thuddy Feel, and no Gap Wedge as an integral part of a strongly lofted set.
The Bottom Line: These clubs get 4-Stars only because of their build quality. Whomever decided that The Gap-Wedge might not be an integral part of this set needs to be fired.
What A Great Set Of Irons These Should Have Been
Recommend this product?
It's no secret that I am a big fan of Adams golf equipment. I currently bag the F11 Speedline Driver, and I've bagged many of their clubs in the past, from other drivers, fairway metals, irons,wedges,putters, as well as numerous different types and models of the hybrids for which they are famous for, but this set was a toal enigma to me for some time.
Due to the marketing department dropping the ball, these sets originally came out with few reatilers understanding that you could get a Gap Wedge as part of the integral makeup of the set. At first, all three of the local Big Box Golf Retailers told me that the Gap Wedge would have to be purchased separately, and that as with most sets, the Sand and Lob Wedsges were sold separately as well. I have since come to learn differently. The emphasis from the comapny to the retailers was--"Sell the set makeup as 3,4, and 5 Hybrids, with 6 trhrough Pitching Wedge as regular irons, and due this in volume. There was a lot of confusion as regrds the initial fate of the Gape, Wedge, Sand Wedge, and Lob Wedge--as Adams was definitely marketing this as a distance set. I have since found out differently, but now that Adams has become part of TaylorMAde Adidas, the poiint is moot.
Initially I was impressed with the distance on these irns. After a recent driver and fairway metal fitting, I had to come back to these irons as the only ones that could fill the gaps left in my bag from my new woods. I am fitted with 1,3,5 and 7 Wood, so there is no room in my bag for hybrids ( even though these are the longest hybrids I've ever hit) but I neede a 6 iron that could hit almost as long as a red hot 7 wood, and these were the only ones that fit the bill. THese are the longest irons in the business--period. They were built for distance, and they deliver. They are longer than my old Wilson Di9's, and not nearly as juiced in the loft department. A lot of seriously good engineering went into these.
Balance and Feel--3 1/2 Stars
It's not that clubhead awareness is lacking throughout the swing--it isn't. It just seems ever so slightly vague in a couple of spots due to the lighter shaft, and thuddy feel at impact. Often times I write about balance, and simply mention clubhead awareness, and treat "Feel" as if it is it's own category. The fact of the matter is that these offer slightly above average clubhead awareness, and this can often be overcome when the feel at impact offers a decent enough amount of feedback to help you overcome the vague spots. These irons offer a ton of club head awareness, as the shaft is very light, but the head is a touch on the heavy side.
As I said, the feel on these is really kind of thuddy, and very similar to the rather vague thuddiness of the original Adams Idea Irons of a decade ago. In essence, you can feel the impact of the clubhead on the ball, but actually telling the exact spot on the clubface where the ball hits at impact is occasioanlly, a bit dodgey.
Forgiveness--4 1/2 Stars
Though they are indeed Thuddy feeling, they are very close to the most forgiving of any and all irons to hit the scene this year. I'd have to give that forgiveness award to The Taylormade Burner Superlaunch irons, but these are a heck of a lot longer, and nowhere near as shovel-like in both looks and workability. These will forgive any and all minor swing flaws, but they don't have that masive amount of offset that so many other irons sport in order to put the Kibosh on most serious over the top slice inducing flaws. So if you are fighting a slice that you can't get rid of--no matter what you do----the TaylorMade's might be a better fit. If, however, you have a slight fade that needs some help, and you value distance above all else, than you need to consider these a must try.
Specs are both The Double Edged Sword of Damacles hanging over their head as well as The Achilles Heel of these clubs. It's not that the specs are wrong on these irons, (as a matter of fact the lofts on my Di 9's are even stronger than the ones on these.) The trouble is that both the marketing department and the bean counters dropped the ball on this one. The hybrids are included, and they are easily the longest hybrids on the market. The lofts of the irons are also well integrated. All you have to do, however is read on past the lofts on these to see where this starts to get really ugly--and I do mean ugly.
Now if you look at the 3 available sets you can get here, it's not all that bad. The trouble is, if you play a standard issue Sand Wedge--that is to say 56*--then you have whopping 12* of difference between The Pitching Wedge in this set, and The Sand Wedge you currently play. I'd like to meet the knucklehead who decided that if you wanted the Gap Wedge to this set you need to buy it separately.
Sadly, unless you ask hard and fast questions of your local retailer, they may not even realize that said Gap Wedge is even available, much less the Matching Sand Wedge and/or Lob Wedge. Since a lot local retailers aren't getting their facts straight, and that's more of a miscue on the part of the marketing department at Adams Golf, and not the retailers, (believe me I got the same, " Gap Wedges aren't available with this set.." answer from all of The Big Three --Edwin Watts, Golf Smith, and Golf Galaxy), Sadly, it falls back on the shoulders of local club junkie reviewers such as myself to inform you that you can get a
but you will have to make the dealer aware of their existence, as well as your desires. In addition, you will have to pony up the money for each one of these --"Sold Separately" clubs that your little heart desires.
I am well aware of the fact that most sets sell Sand Wedges and Lob Wedges separately, but when you are hyping "Distance" this much as your selling point, and you are hot-rodding the lofts as strongly as the ones on these clubs, failure to include a Gap Wedge as an integral part of the set, is negligent at best, if not outright criminal stupidity.
(A/O 7/13/2011 a lot of this has changed. Some retailers have awakened to the smell of the coffee--believe me I started to receive lots of e-mails from several dealers telling me specifically that they were going to market sets of 4H and 5H-SW. They also mentioned to me that they did suffer a bit of confusion on their end as well. SO again--be sure to ask---as this is still a matter of contention.)
Shafts-- 4 Stars
I really like the 85 Gram Steel Shaft. It really lets you take a rip at it with each and every iron. BUT, similar to the old Nippon Steel Shafts they play roughly 1/2 a flex to the soft side, so you need to be aware of that going into the deal. The ATTAS Graphite shaft is kind of, "The Thud Culprit", as far as the super hot hybrids go. It's not a bad shaft, and it's not a bad fit, but it really is kind of an average shaft mated to a truly red hot club head.
Overall -4 Stars
There is so much that is right about this set of clubs, but unfortunately, there is just as much that reads like an after thought as well. If absolute distance and straight shots are your main concern, even at the expense of Feel, Balance, and Proper Yardage Gapping--these clubs are a real go. I hate to beat up on one of my favourite companies, but seriously??!!??!!--Hot lofts, hot hybrids, hot club faces, and the posiibility of NO GAP WEDGE??????--Give me a break.
I'd like to thank my Category Lead Abraham for getting me the link that made this review possible.
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