This is another question I get CONSTANTLY.
“X-Forged UT VS 5-Wood?” or “X-Forged UT vs Tour UT?’
Of every club in the 2021 line-up, the X-Forged UT was the one I took the most time to warm up to. It has nothing to do with the look, promised performance, or anything else, I simply just didn’t feel I had a place where a UT would reasonably work in my bag.
Going section by section my rationale looked like this:
- 16 Degree: Don’t be crazy
- 18 Degree: Nope, I’m a ride or die, 5-wood guy,
- 21 Degree: MAYBE but my 4-iron is at 22 so what’s the point?
- 24 Degree: Like the 21, it’s enticing but my 5-iron is 25 and I don’t need any help there.
So what the hell?
It has to provide value somewhere right? The answer is yes and it took a subtle comment from Gerritt Pon to spin my thinking around. The comment was,
“Do you want an Iron off the tee option that launches like a wood, or are you looking for a true 4-iron?”
In this simple questioning did I realize where I was leaving meat on the table. My Apex ’21 4 iron is amazing OFF THE GROUND but I don’t adore it off the tee nor do I consider it a consistent option. Since putting those irons in play I have had 4 or 5 times when I had to tee one up on a tight par 4 and fling one out there 215-220. I’ve hit some good shots no doubt but that club is maxed out. Over the past few weeks I have been testing an X-Forged UT 21-degree with an MMT 125TX and what I have found is something that gives me 215 off the ground and up to 230 off the tee with some serious launch. That extra 10 off the tee is a big deal, it gives me a 4th “off the tee option” I didn’t have before.
What is the X-Forged UT?
According to the Mother Ship, X-Forged UT’s come with:
- High Ball Speeds
Our A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup creates a sophisticated face architecture, so we can create high ball speeds with outstanding spin robustness.
- Extremely Soft Feel
Forged 1025 mild carbon steel and hollow body construction combined with our proprietary urethane microspheres to create a pure feel.
- Enhanced Launch And Control
Our external MIM’d tungsten weighting allows us to precisely locate the CG position for optimal trajectory and launch. A longer blade length and a wider sole versus a traditional long iron provide forgiveness and control.
In simple gearhead terms its high-speed long iron replacement that launches high with low spin all while maintaining the look and feel of a forged iron.
Yes, X-Forged UT has a Tour Brother, the X21 Tour UT. The point was to give our Tour staff something with a smaller footprint to not only blend a little better with the TCB but also a Zero Bounce option for tighter lies. Truth be told not all of our staff uses the X21. I’d call it a 50/50 split. Some players like Phil will use the X-Forged UT in the 1-iron slot and go into the X21 as he goes further through the set. Why? Because the X-Forged UT gives him another tee option while the X21 gives him a true long iron replacement that goes straight up in the air.
Club to club, the X21 has less offset, shorter blade length, and almost zero bounce. That’s the gist of it, X-Forged UT is way easier to turn over by the way, not hook, turn over. Huge difference.
So How do I know when a UT is better than a hybrid/7-wood etc.?
That’s the same question I had and truthfully the answer is not an easy one to find. It’s a bit more nuanced than just telling you to get fit and see what happens. An indoor fitting won’t help on these in my opinion, this is an off the grass or golf course thing 100%.
If you go to any used bin at your local shop, you will see buckets of retired UT’s (from every OEM). Why? Well in my opinion the player bought them thinking they were just a forgiving 2-iron or 3-iron replacement. It’s a bit more complicated than you may like. The common theme is, I love it off the tee but struggle with it off the ground or vice versa. CG placement, turf interaction are just as important on UT’s as they are with any other club in your bag. Hence, don’t base your decision on what you do with these off of mats, it won’t tell you the whole story. If you are looking to fill a gap in the bag mainly that 18 to 21-degree section, try every option and work them against a checklist of “must do’s” Then and only then will a UT find the right place in your bag. Just my 7 cents but it’s how I found the right option for me.
Putting a UT in the bag takes some thought and planning to ensure that it truly fulfills a need and elevates that part of your bag into something that helps your score. Granted this isn’t curing cancer so I don’t want it to sound like a life decision HOWEVER I want us all to play well and find the perfect tools to help navigate that journey.
Find something that will stay in the bag and not end up in the Roger Dunn used bucket. You know what I’m talking about.