Are you new to the game or struggling to make a decent contact with the golf ball? You love golf but it doesn’t love you? Maybe you need to start looking at super-game improvement irons. The new Wilson Launch Pad irons provide serious help striking the ball from the turf and getting the thing in the air.
Wilson Staff are offering these super-game improvement irons at a very competitive price of £549 for a set of 5-PW (£699 for graphite). This is a whopping saving of around £300 for a set when compared to the other main manufactures like compared to other manufacturers like Callaway, TaylorMade and Ping.
The Wilson Launch Pads are also available in women’s specs.
I had never tested a hybrid-iron like this before, so was very interested to see how they performed and answer that question - should more golfers have a full bag of hybrids?
There is no secret to the fact that the Launch Pads are all about forgiveness, and lots of it. They tick all the boxes: offset, full thick top line with a large hybrid-like hollow body. When I say hollow body, I really mean it - they have a baffler shape to them, even the pitching wedge.
At address it looks like an iron with a dark blue mass stuck on the back, it's a cross between an iron and hybrid. The sole is twice as thick as what you’d expect from a traditional game-improvement iron like a Callaway Rogue ST Max or Ping G425, this helps the club skim across the grass at impact and helps prevent the dreaded fat shot - one of the most common mistakes from high handicap golfers.
This should result in the following: a quicker clubhead speed due to a cleaner strike. More speed equals more distance. Simple.
Because so much of the club is aided for launch the five iron being 25 degrees of loft, which is on the high side, comes as no surprise. The weight on the back (for low centre of gravity) also has a positive effect on the height of your shots.
Wilson Staff wants these irons to be your friend, they claim the much feared long iron can go back into the bag for the higher handicap golfer, but it may just look a little different...
If you add into the equation a graphite high launch shaft which I tested these irons in and these do exactly what the name says - launch.
Wilson Launch Pad 22 Irons Review
If you are new to the game, all golf clubs look weird and wonderful, so as a professional golfer for me to say that these look a little odd wouldn't be too relevant. These type of irons aren't aimed at me, they are aimed at golfers who genuinely struggle to get the ball in the air and to be honest probably don't care too much how they look at address.
In my opinion they looked very odd, but maybe I’m a traditionalist that needs to get on board with technology and making golf more accessible through making it easier.
The face is Callaway Big Bertha iron-like with a dark blue mass on the back and with an extremely wide sole. I’m not sure I’d call them an iron, this is a set of hybrids in your bag. But the lofts are on the truer end of the scale which is nice to look down on. They look seriously off set to help stability at strike and give you lots of confidence at the ball.
Compared to the previous generation Wilson Launch Pad irons I think the overall aesthetics and build quality seems to have improved slightly. The lines are a little cleaner and there is less of the dark mass at the back which does them look a little less bulky in your bag.
If you're a better player or somebody who has been used to using more compact irons, then you shouldn't expect to get much feel from these irons.
Having said that, feel is not really what you should be judging these irons on. The thing that is all-important is that they are massive help in your ball-striking. They make the ball fly high and they seem to do all of the hard work for you.
These are the easiest clubs I have hit in a long time. They launch high into the sky without you really having to interact with the turf which will be a great relief to those golfers who struggle to strike the ball consistently.
This may surprise some, but I didn't find them to be overly hot in the distance-department. Compared to a Callaway Rogue ST Max they’re 3 degrees weaker throughout the set and spin around 500 rpm more and therefore come up almost a club shorter.
My 7 iron was carrying at 132 yards and the 6 iron at 145 yards, but the consistency was effortless. High, straight and easy.
Performance-wise there isn't much to say other than that I had a great time playing with these irons for the first time at Reddish Vale Golf Club; from the rough, tee and fairway they made life easier.
More specifically, it took the worry of hitting an iron up a hill or over a bunker away, I found the Launch Pads helped just as much psychologically as they did physically.
Wilson Launch Pad 22 Irons Verdict
After the first few shots, once I'd stopped overthinking “is it an iron or hybrid?“ I really took to these clubs and it proved that conventional isn’t always the way to make your golf game better.
I have always hit hybrids really well and I did the same with these, they had enough loft and spin to stop on the greens and I could chip with the wedge from a good lie. It may be worth getting a conventional wedge or two for out of the rough if you're afraid of the club flipping over but I’d imagine the sand wedge is great in bunkers due to its wide sole.
I found it hard to get the leading edge under the ball in general as these clubs are built to get you to the greens with full shots and not particularly the shorter shots.
In conclusion, if you're struggling height and strike with your irons, the Wilson Launch Pads will help you out. If you need all the help you can get then try these.
Ideally you are oblivious to what a traditional iron should look like and/or don’t care what others will say about the clubs you play. Different, yes they may be, but I remember when hybrids first came in and people called them cheating sticks. Why not make life easier, as we've all said a million times - golf is hard enough.
Who Are They Aimed At?
I teach a few women who have these kind of clubs. Women in general don't carry as much speed or aren't as strong in their swings compared to men, they hit up on the ball rather than down at impact which means they have the perfect mix to make these clubs work at their best. In many cases women hit woods better than they hit their irons.
I’d also recommend these to golfers who are new to the game and seniors who are starting to lose strength. Often a phrase I hear is “I want to lift the ball into the air” which isn’t what is actually required but with these clubs it works.
Also I see lots of players who have a full set of irons and only use SW to 7 iron as they can’t hit the long irons, things will change with Wilson Launch Pads.
Would I Use Them?
Obviously these clubs aren't quite aimed at me so I don't think I'll see them in my bag any time soon, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to others who are in need of some more consistency in their approach play.
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