For those of us of a certain age, if you bought a set of irons, it was a forged set of irons. In 1978, I was 23 and just about to get out of the Navy when I bought my first set of irons at the Exchange. (Navy's version of the PX) $42.00 for a set of English made irons endorsed by that South African guy that won the 1978 Masters. With a chrome finish that I keep shiny by cleaning after each and every round, I used these clubs until the mid 1990's. when I bought my first set of cavity back irons. Throughout this period, I used Titleist golf balls and had a set of wedges, so I was always aware of the quality of the products made by Titleist.
Cut to 2010, I was missing the look and feel of a forged iron. A set of forged irons that made a distinctive clinking sound when I carried my bag from the car to the pro shop for one of crack of dawn rounds. I also missed the clicking of the steel spikes on the concrete and mentally kick myself for getting rid of my leather Footboys with the metal spikes.
I came across a set of 690mb's, the 4 iron of which you see in the photo. My golf buddy gave me grief for buying a set of clubs that was beyond my then 11 index and noted that he hit his 6 iron 10 yards or so farther than mine. I ignored him as well as the endless magazine advertisements masquerading as "gear reviews" and resisted the urge to buy the latest and greatest for many years. Then, after having a fitting for a driver and fairway woods by a Titleist fitter, I gave in to that temptation and bought a set of 714 Ap1's.
Yes, I really like the AP1's and these probably are a better fit for my current ability. Still, I could not part with my forged beauties.
A couple of months ago, I retired and now have more time to play and practice golf. I also had some time to think about what was important for me, including what I valued about the game of golf. I realised that it wasn't as important as it used to be what I scored. It was more important to open my senses to the game. Whether that meant smelling the freshly cut grass as I walked down the first fairway right as the sun peaked over Mt. Diablo. Or being the only person on the course because it was pouring rain and still having the time of my life because I had thought to bring my waterproofs. It was a special kind of quiet and I understood then what Seve meant when he said that the happiest time he had spent on the golf course in his youth was playing in the rain on a course by himself. So, with frame of mind, I put the cavity backs in the garage and dusted off my set of 690's. Yes, it's true, it can be painful to hit one thin on a cold morning and I hit about 10 yards less with the 4 iron here compared with the 714 4 iron, but there are compensations. One of which is the chrome finish which just looks fantastic to me. You can have your Picasso's or Monet's, I'll take the look of my Titleist forged irons any day. Or, when you hit a shot that is so perfect, you don't feel the club strike the ball, I'm just swing the club and look up to see a ball in perfect flight. I feel blessed that my forged beauties took me back. Cheers