Unless you’re new to Hooked On Golf Blog, you know that Golf Research In Play is a good friend. “GRIP” is a new golf company which offers high technology designs but at generic/component pricing. GRIP’s offerings now include hybrids, putters, drivers, fairway woods, wedges and now irons.
GRIP’s goal is to make reasonably priced golf clubs which are easy to hit for the average golfer and will make his/her golf experience more enjoyable. The Wide Sole irons accomplish this goal with ease.
First I need to clarify just what kind of iron we’re talking about. There are “player’s” irons and there are “game improvement” irons.
Player’s clubs would be a little harder to hit, less forgiving, smaller heads and little or no offset. They’d be easier to “work” (curve left or right). Player’s clubs are typically played by low handicap players or pros.
Game improvement would typically mean larger and more forgiving heads, offset to prevent slices, wide soles to combat fat shots, weighting designed to help off-center shots, and various other technologies to help one’s game.
The GRIP Wide Sole Irons fit into the game improvement category. See the comparison in the photo to the right. Left is a Hogan cavity-muscle back, center is a GRIP Wide Sole, and right is a MacGregor blade.
The WSI’s are made from a specially chosen stainless steel for feel and performance.
The extremely wide soles of these irons makes it very difficult to hit fat shots.
The oversized design of the WSI’s makes them easy to hit. Off center shots will still fly straight, true and long. The face on these irons is so big I actually used one of to hold a tuna sandwich the other day. Don’t ask…
The topline of the WSI’s is very thick and sandblasted for a pleasing look to the player’s eye. The thick and fat look of the WSI’s gives the average player confidence standing over the ball. If you’re a “blade” or “player’s club” type of iron player, the WSI’s may be too big for you.
The WSI’s employ a progressive offset. Progressive means there’s less offset on the short irons and they get more and more offset as you get to the longer irons. The longer the iron the less loft and less easy to hit. The longer the iron the easier it is to slice. So as you get to the tougher-to-hit irons, the offset serves to counteract the propensity to slice.
When standing over shots with the WSI’s it’s hard to believe you could miss. These things are HUGE. Having played “player’s” type irons for years it took me a while to get used to the width and thickness of these irons.
I first hit some range balls with the WSI’s. My first shots were with the pitching wedge. Right off the bat I couldn’t help noticing how straight all the shots went. The left to right variance after hitting about 15-20 range balls was only a few yards on either side, despite how off I felt some of the shots should have been. The accuracy I have with the WSI’s has really come in handy on my home course. My home course is hazard central. This swamp lined course has more red stakes than any course I’ve ever seen. Being able to hit such straight shots with the WSI’s has proven to be extremely valuable.
The next thing I noticed with the WSI’s was that regardless of how fat I felt I was hitting shots, they were still flying as normal. The fat and deep soles were preventing the club from digging into the ground. For fun I started trying to hit fat shots and unbelievably I could hardly do it. It’s damn near impossible to hit fat shots with the WSI’s.
303 Yard 4-Iron
The four iron in particular seems to be a magic club for me. It’s fairly offset, which I normally wouldn’t like. I can hit this thing a long way. One day on the 403 yard par-4 10th hole, I hit a shot which ended up about one foot from the 100 yard marker. Ok I admit that I had a tail wind, but still that’s a 303 yard 4-iron!
I try to critique all the products I review and find things that could be improved or that I don’t particularly like.
As well as I can hit the 4-iron, I can’t hit the 3-iron. It looks really offset and mentally I think I’m going to hit a big hook every time. I haven’t been hitting many 3-irons this year anyway since I replaced my 3-iron with a GRIP Hypersteel 4H anyway. So I ended up creating my own custom set of GRIP clubs, just like you can do on their site here. I recommend a combo set of a 4-PW or 5-PW along with the GRIP 3H and/or 4H hybrids.
An issue I have with the WSI’s (and any other game improvement clubs with offset) is that I can’t work the ball as easy left-to-right. If I need to hit a fade, the offset makes that shot shape much more difficult. If I want to hit a draw or a hook however, it’s much easier.
There are three club sets you can buy from the GRIP site:
1. Iron Lovers: 3-iron through pitching wedge. This is the set I have, but I turned it into a custom set.
2. Hybrid lover’s set: Three hybrids and 6-iron through pitching wedge.
3. Most popular set: One hybrid and 4-iron through pitching wedge.
If none of the three above fit your needs or desires, you can create a completely custom set from the irons and hybrids GRIP offers. As long as your total is nine clubs, you can configure it any way you want. You could get 5 hybrids and 4 irons!
Options & Custom Fitting
The GRIP irons come with many different shaft options, ranging from senior & women’s to stiff steel or graphite.
Via the GRIP site you can input information about your height, hand width, swing speed and many other fitting fields. The GRIP site will then figure out the perfect specs for your clubs. That perfect set will be built for you at NO extra charge!
The one option missing is for lefties. Currently the GRIP iron sets are only available in right handed.
The GRIP Wide Sole Irons are as easy to hit as any iron I’ve played. For my shot shape (straight or draw) I can literally forget about missing anything right. I’ve eliminated half the hazards on my home course, the half to the right!
I recommend the WSI’s for anyone who needs game improvement or just wants to hit straighter and more predictable shots. If you’re a typical golfer who could use a little help enjoying the game, the WSI’s will be a big piece to that puzzle.
I don’t recommend the GRIP Wide Sole Irons for players who prefer the blade type of setup or players who like fairly neutral clubs so they can work the ball either direction. If the thick topline look and offset aren’t your preference, stick with your blades.
Visit GRIP’s Golf Space profile here:
Visit my GRIP photo gallery for more pics of the irons and their other offerings: