If you've ever bought a golf product, you're paying a lot for the name. A hand towel at Wal-mart is maybe 4 bucks(?) but if you put (insert mainstream golf company here)'s name on that it goes to $20 and sometimes $30. So i thought "what if I took my specs and built my own clubs for cheap to mimic these big box brand name clubs". Out comes my personal "Maltby" irons. When you hear the name you may think of Rodger the Golf Channel/ NBC on-course correspondent and, for you older chaps, multiple tournament winner on the PGA tour in the 70s and 80s. When you READ the name Maltby, it may or may not bring to mind Ralph Maltby the club designer from golfworks.com. Sounds the same, but it's spelled different. (10 points to guess the movie).
|Roger Maltbie (no relation)|
Ralph used to design clubs for Tommy Armour and is an all around fitting guru. He developed the MPF or Maltby Playability Factor to rank clubs on how they will perform for different levels of players. With iron head price points at around $30 and shafts at about $10, I can build a set of custom golf clubs to my exact specifications for $300 or less, compared to the $1000 for the brand name clubs. I went ahead and ordered a Malby KE-4 hybrid iron and a Maltby MMB-17 8 iron to see if there was any confirmation to my thought process. Today I got them and decided to do a test against my current Titleist AP2 4 and 8 iron on the range for feel, playability, and general distance.
|MMB-17 - 8 iron - 39* - 36.5"|
True Temper Command Stiff
Maltby MMB-17The 8-iron has a really nice look about it. Very "players club" with a chrome nickel plating and satin face area. Thin topline, thin sole. Turf interaction was stellar and it didn't dig as much as I originally thought it would. at 3 degrees of bounce, it actually scooped through the grass nicely! The ball came off cleanly with a much more crisp "click" sound and feel than my AP2 which is more of a muffled "thwack" with a solid but soft feel. I think I like the MMB feedback a little better because I can really tell when I hit it cleanly and when i hit it nearer the toe or heel which for me translates into MORE confidence if I miss a shot. At least I know why I missed it.
The shaft, a True Temper Command R/S flex (trimmed for Stiff), did leave a little bit to be desired. The shaft is designed for control and lower trajectory - and control it did. My shot dispersion was much tighter than my AP2, even on solid hits. I could also work the ball much more easily in both directions as well as up and down. The feel was somewhat looser than the S300 on my current 8 iron. The Dynamic gold series have the shock absorbing "sensicore" inside. Basically it's a wire with foam wound up it in a spiral pattern. It's placed in the shaft and deadens any vibration coming from the head. I noticed it was missing when I hit one thin, but it wasn't as jarring as some would have me believe. I hit about 2 dozen balls with each and came to the conclusion that the only thing that MAY be missing is the distance factor. I hit my AP2 8 iron about 160. I don't think I was hitting that all the time with the MMB. Still, I attribute that to the muscle back design. Traditionally, the forgiving zone on the face is only about the size of a dime or nickel whereas the AP2 irons are more like a quarter or half dollar because of the technology. I wanted a muscle back though because of the accuracy and I definitely got that. When I get it on the course for part 2 and I'm really able to see the distance for myself instead of guestimating based on landmarks, then I'll be able to make a good decision.
|KE4-Tour 4 Iron/Hybrid - 23*- 38.5" |
Graffaloy ProCustom Stiff flex
Click here to check out Part 2!