Over the last few years there has been a growth in the popularity of direct-to-consumer golf brands, with more and more people looking for better value for money without sacrificing on build quality or performance.
One of those brands is Finland-based Takomo, who have been wowing golfers and reviewers with their fantastic looking, great performing and excellent value for money irons.
The company's ethos is that they 'exist for the golf community' by cutting corners in retail and marketing to help keep costs down.
We got in touch to get our hands on a set, selecting the players-distance 101T, which are priced at just $589 (around £480) for a set of 4-PW. The whole process of comparing the different irons, choosing which one to order, adding customisation and organising delivery was very straightforward and the irons were delivered in just a matter of days.
One thing to bear in mind - if you live in the UK you will have to pay the import fee which does add a little extra to the price tag.
Takomo have five different irons available in the range, ranging from sleek blades to a forgiving players distance model.
The 101T sits around the middle of the overall offering and is said to be a players distance iron which blends distance, workability and style.
Takomo say that it shares similar looks and technology to the forgiving 101, but has a slightly shorter blade length, a thinner topline and a narrower sole.
The heads are made from a 431 steel with a hollow body design, promoting forgiveness without sacrificing any distance. There's a thin face which is a precision-milled for high ball compression and more spring off the face, helping to raise ball speed across the face.
Takomo 101T Irons Review
Looks and Feel
The first time I saw Takomo irons I was impressed with how they look, and this was only heightened when I received the 101Ts, they really are stunning. I love the simple design and the brushed chrome of the head, and I was really impressed with the quality of the finish too.
There's always a worry when buying online that the clubs may arrive and not look as good as you'd hoped or may even be damaged in transit, but they were exactly as advertised on the site.
Both in the bag and down by the ball (in terms of blade length) the irons reminded me of the TaylorMade P770s, which is not a bad thing!
It's a generous looking head but still has a relatively sleek topline and quite a square look, which I actually like as I think it helps to frame the ball really well.
The irons produce a decent feel with plenty of forgiveness in the head even when striking a couple of shots away from the centre of the face. They were perhaps a little firmer than I expected and this made it feel like there was plenty of stability, backed up by the fact that there is a strong, solid sound.
Firstly I put these irons through their paces on the Flightscope Mevo+ launch monitor to see how the numbers stacked up.
The irons feature relatively standard lofts with a 7 iron coming in at 32 degrees, meaning that those golfers who struggle with distance might want to go for something that has stronger lofts and more of an emphasis on launch.
An average carry distance of just under 158 yards is about where I'd expect with a 7 iron, with one lower-spinning shot jumping out towards 165 yards. Besides this shot, the other nine I hit in the set were all within 5 yards of each other in carry distance which is pretty impressive consistency.
This kind of consistency did continue in the rest of the set too, although I would say that I struggled to launch the 5 iron a little as proven by the peak height of around 50ft and spin rates which were less than 3000rpm.
I was able to take a full set of the irons to the golf course which was a nice way to be able to assess the clubs as a whole, rather than just a couple of the irons.
I found the 101Ts to be forgiving and easy to hit from a variety of lies, and I loved the look down by the ball. The blade length is quite long which gave me plenty of confidence, but there's a slim topline and no visible offset which makes them look sleeker and more workable.
Like was the case on the launch monitor, I found that the long irons produced a low ball flight on the course as well. I actually quite enjoyed seeing this when hitting off the tee, but I would be a little concerned when trying to stop the ball on the green in firmer conditions.
Whilst I didn't see loads of distance from these irons on the course, I wasn't really expecting that thanks to the traditional lofts. I was able to work the ball both ways if necessary which is a bonus, whilst the hollow body design did give forgiveness across the face which helps with front-to-back dispersion.
The durability of these irons also appeared to be good with these irons after playing a couple of rounds and also spending quite a bit of time hitting off mats in the practice nets, where I find it is easier to get scuffs or scrapes due to the stones and grit on the surface.
Takomo 101T Irons Verdict
I have always been a little bit sceptical when it comes to direct-to-consumer golf equipment for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, you never know what the quality is truly going to be like when your gear does arrive, and you hear plenty of horror stories about people who have been fooled by fake online reviews and ended up buying something that's nothing like the pictures they saw on the website.
The second is that buying clubs online mean that you forgo a proper fitting process, which can mean that you end up with something that isn't correctly suited to your game.
Takomo do give you the option to customise your order by specifying shaft length, lie angle and grip size, but you will pay a little more for this and experience a longer waiting time.
The 101T is an excellent players distance iron which looks fantastic in the bag, performs well and provides good value for money, and they're bound to get your playing partners asking questions down at the golf club. As far as direct-to-consumer golf clubs go, they're as good as you're going to get in my opinion.
Who Are They Aimed At?
Anyone from single figures to mid-handicappers could use these irons, although the lofts aren't particularly strong so don't be expecting huge distance gains unless you've been using a set of blades.
Would I Use Them?
I'd need to do a little more testing with the long irons to see whether they are controllable in firmer conditions, but I loved the look and feel of these irons.
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