Can you get a quality set of irons for less than £300? That's what Ram are claiming with their FX77 irons.
Ram Golf has enjoyed a storied history in the game, most notably in the 1970s and 1980s when Tom Watson used their clubs to much success. Their gear has also been used by other legends of the game including Ray Floyd, Gary Player and Nick Price.
In recent years they have put more of a focus on entry level options for budget-conscious golfers, with direct-to-consumer options helping to keep costs down.
So can these irons compete with the big brands when it comes to performance and forgiveness, but at a fraction of the price?
The Ram FX77 Irons are the brand's most expensive iron offering and are designed to provide ball speed and forgiveness in a muscleback-shaped head which looks and feels good too.
There is a dual material construction to provide the combination of performance and feel, with a 431 stainless steel body working alongside a 17-4 super hot face.
The irons have undergone a special heat treatment to deliver a forged-like feel, whilst also maximising ball speeds and forgiveness. The hollow head design allows helps to achieve a lower centre of gravity which gives these irons more playability and should help those golfers who struggle with consistent launch and striking.
Despite the low price tag, the FX77 Irons still come equipped with premium accessories including KBS Tour 90 shafts and Lamkin Crossline grips as standard.
Ram FX77 Irons Review
Looks and Feel
Considering the price of these irons, I think that they look excellent, with a much more premium finish than I was expecting.
I am a big fan of the brushed chrome look as I think it is really classy, and the simple head design gives the impression of a forged muscleback iron which is hiding extra forgiveness, which I think lots of golfers will like.
The irons feature relatively wide soles which should help with a bit of extra forgiveness, whilst the topline is relatively thick too and there is a moderate amount of offset down at address.
The shorter irons border on oversized whilst the longer irons have a really nice blade length and sit well down by the ball. For mid-handicappers I can see these irons providing a nice combination of confidence whilst still looking pretty in the bag - from a distance, others might even think that you are playing blades!
The irons feel solid and powerful off the face, and although they're not particularly soft or buttery they do give you a reassuring thump from the face which can add to your confidence levels.
I would say that I had a slight concern about the durability of this irons. The soft stainless steel with brushed chrome effect seemed to mark up quite easily just from being in the bag and knocking into one another, or by coming into contact with any grit or stones when hitting shots.
With a price tag of £300 this perhaps isn't surprising, but it's something that is worth bearing in mind all the same.
These irons are built to provide forgiveness and easy distance thanks to some relatively strong lofts, with a 7 iron coming in at 30°, and I did find that the irons were easy to hit and launch with a surprisingly good feel.
On good shots I was able to achieve some impressive numbers - over 170 yards carry with a 7 iron - but the dispersion between the good and bad shots seemed a little unpredictable. With a 7 iron this was more than 15 yards, which is pretty big and could cause issues if you suddenly catch one well and it flies the green.
The 5 iron felt relatively easy to hit although the spin rates were very low, averaging at less than 3000rpm which is similar to driver spin for lots of people. As a result I felt like my ball was dipping out of the air a little bit, meaning that I felt as if the distances were bunching up towards the top end of the set.
Hitting from a variety of lies, including out of wet rough, the irons felt very easy to strike and launched easily too, although I did again see that the longer irons had a relatively low ball flight.
The offset look at address did help to produce a pretty consistent draw shape and I could definitely see this being useful for somebody who wants to quieten down their slice and straighten out their ball flight.
I found that the irons were just pretty fun to use all in all, as the design was so simple and smart. The irons were easy to hit whilst feeling great, and with every shot you get that added bonus of knowing that you've played a fraction of the price compared to most of your golfing partners.
I also tested Ram's Tour Grind gap wedge alongside the irons and again I was impressed with the performance too!
The looks aren't quite as smart as the irons, with the two logos and the loft looking a little busy, but they provided good levels of spin thanks to a milled face along with a nice penetrating ball flight.
As you might expect from direct-to-consumer golf clubs, you don't get any choice in bounce options, so bear that in mind if you're meticulous about your setup.
At an RRP of just £45 it's more evidence of the great value for money that Ram are offering, and could be perfect for an improving or beginner golfer who wants to upgrade to specialist wedges without having to pay £150+ per wedge.
Ram FX77 Irons Verdict
The Ram FX77 Irons provide some of the best value for money I have ever seen in my time testing golf gear.
They reminded me a little bit of the Mizuno Pro 225 irons or even my own Callaway Rogue ST Pro irons in that they look sleek and muscleback-like, but actually provide more forgiveness than on first inspection, although the Ram irons were more offset.
At Golfalot we would always recommend that you get a fitting where possible before buying equipment, but off-the-shelf products are understandably popular at the moment as they can help to keep costs down.
If you're confident in what gear you need and you're looking for a good quality product that will save you money, then these could be right up your street.
Who Is It Aimed At?
Any golfer who is on a budget and looking for a little bit of extra help on their approach shots should take a look at this.
They're perfect for a beginner or improving golfer who wants a set of irons that don't break the bank - they could down a slice too!
Would I Use It?
These irons were just a little too chunky and hot for me, whilst I also struggled to get my spin rates high enough consistently. If Ram were able to come up with a sleeker players distance iron though, then I would definitely be interested.
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