by Frank J. Peter
GigaGolf has kindly sent us some samples of their latest club series, the Cloud 9 series, for review. Here we look at the irons, the C9 VFT Composite Driver and the corresponding #3 Fairway Wood are described elsewhere on this site.
C9 Ti Face Insert Irons are based on the technology found in the Ping Rapture irons. Like those the C9 Ti Face Insert irons are made of a combination of titanium, steel and tungsten. The titanium club face is welded to a hollow steel 'rim', and a tungsten weight added into the toe to balance the clubhead.
Here is how it works
The more weight that can be moved away from the center of the club face the more stable the clubhead becomes, resulting in less twisting of the head during impact with the golf ball. This is caller 'perimeter weighting' and is a main characteristic for today's 'forgiving' clubs. In forged irons most of the steel is hammered away from the center to the side of the head, but the C9 irons are more radical: Instead of a (thicker and heavier) stainless steel face a thinner and lighter 6-4 titanium face is welded on the stainless steel perimeter rim. This allows for the overall iron to become wider than classical blade irons, which brings extra game improvement especially for beginners and intermediate golfers - more on that below.
The 20 gram tungsten weight insert (see picture) on the toe provides added balance to the iron, which in turn is supposed to result in higher and straighter shots.
Behind the clubface is a weight pad which dampens any vibrations the thin titanium face may cause. It also makes the face a bit thicker at this position, which results in a larger hitting area and more accuracy without sacrificing the distance offered by the titanium face.
What we think
Our test model of the C9 Ti Face Insert Irons was a 7 iron and came with the standard True Temper Feather Flight (Premium) shaft and the standard GigaGolf VX grip.
The soles of these irons are very wide (see picture on the right), so they can definitely be called 'game improvement clubs'. They don't come in a shiny finish but in a tumbled (matt) finish, so the optics may not be for everyone.
We hit our 7 iron first on the range and compared it head-to-head with other 7 irons: due to the titanium face the clubs feels 'different' at impact compared to forged clubs. The titanium face also gives the ball some extra 'ump', although not as much as I would have thought. The iron swings well balanced and produces an accurate ball flight. In short, on the range it's a good iron, but nothing spectacular.
However, this iron really shows its magic on the course under 'real life' conditions. Due to the wide sole and overall stability the C9 iron makes playing from difficult lies a lot easier. The sole literally forces its way thru high grass without getting stuck, something a thin blade could never do. It even works well from the bunker as long as the ball isn't buried. We had one beginner in our testing group, and he ordered a full set of the C9 Ti Face Insert Irons the moment he got back home, this is how impressed he was.
The C9 Ti Face Insert Irons are excellent clubs for beginners and intermediate golfers who would like some added forgiveness in their irons. Advanced players may miss the feedback that a blade iron will give, but beginners need not worry about this yet. Overall another great premium club worth the money, especially if compared with the Ping Rapture irons at three to four times the price.