Introducing the Dynacraft Prophet Tour CNC Forged Irons

Part 1 of 2: Construction

With each New Year, there comes new gear and this year in no exception as Hireko begins to roll out some our newest wares. There are certain models that take additional explanation to what makes them better or unique.  For example, out of all the products that Hireko will make available this coming year, the Dynacraft Prophet Tour CNC forged iron is one that I get extremely excited about.  One of the reasons is that it has been a pet project of mine for some time now which is going to revolutionize how forged irons can and will be made in the future.  Forged irons have been revered primarily amongst better players for years, but that is all about to change.

$29.95 Per Clubhead
$44.95 Custom Assembled (headcover not included)

You see, forging is only a process – plain and simple.  The initial step in forging an iron involves taking a solid, tubular billet of soft steel (normal carbon steel), heating it, and then pressing into the rough shape using a huge mechanical press exerting several tons of force.  This allows the rough shape to be stamped out.  There is one limitation though.  Traditional forging techniques allowed only basic plain back shapes that we call a blade style or muscle back iron.  Over time, forged irons evolved to have basic cavity shapes, but no where near the complexity of a modern investment cast iron.

Then 3 years ago Hireko introduced the forerunner of this iron aptly called the Dynacraft Prophet CNC.  This iron started as a basic forged cavity back and utilized an additional step of milling the cavity to create an undercut or other shapes that could not be done with traditional forging techniques.  This was revolutionary in itself.

A little over a year ago we started to think of a way to improve and freshen up the Dynacraft Prophet CNC for 2011. After racking our brains we realized there wasn’t a significant amount of material that could be moved around to alter the performance.  To be brutally honest we would be doing nothing more than window dressing on an iron that received extremely good reviews.  So we had to think of something different that we wouldn’t have the same conclusion 3 years from now.

One of the stumbling blocks of forged iron production is the astronomical tooling costs compared to investment cast irons.  Believe me it is extremely expensive with a capital E. This is the reason why you see so few new forged designs introduced on a yearly basis and the few models that are brought to market usually have a much longer life span than their cast brethren.  Coupled with their higher price of fabrication which limits their potential sales and this becomes a large investment / risk for a company regardless of their size.

Hireko decided if we are going to invest into a new forged iron, we would do so by looking into the future.  Our concept was to produce a set of forged irons with a great shape, but grossly overweight. We added approximately 100g of extra material on the back side of the iron that allows us to change the iron without the extravagant cost of new tooling.  With the luxury of an extra 100 grams of material we have nearly unlimited options. By CNC milling the material away to create not only distinctive looks, but also alter the performance by manipulating the center of gravity location.  We are only limited by our imagination.

Based upon the huge success we had with the investment cast 304 stainless steel Prophet Tour (you know, the sexy and highly playable blade iron we introduced at the end of 2009), we patterned our inaugural forged version after it.  The Dynacraft Prophet Tour CNC forged iron is a three-quarter cavity back iron with an undercut we call the stability slot to further enhance the weigh distribution.

Here is a brief slide show to should how the Dynacraft Prophet Tour CNC forged iron goes through some additional steps.

A special nest holds each numbered iron securely to allow the milling bit precisely follow the cutting path in the CAD file.

Water jets cool the head and bits as the milling process creates a lot of heat.

Here is the head after the milling has been completed and before the final finishing phases.

11 comments

  1. Andy Dugger says:

    Are these irons (which look great) come with Graphite shafts?

  2. Ken Boucher says:

    Being a machinist and a clubbuilder I understand the accuracy and intense work producing these irons. I may be interested in playing these myself

  3. Tom Woodall says:

    Mr.Golf;
    I have been saying for far to many years that you,friend, are as good as it gets to knowing how a golf club does what it is supposed to do.
    This great looking new club is a good as anything out there today and I often wonder why the big boys on tour don’t play them. I’m still hitting my Prophet driver!
    Easy answer! They don’t get paid to play them or they would.
    Best to you and your family;
    Tom Woodall

  4. The 2009 model was an exceptional head for the better golfer, providing consistency and workability far superior to any OEM product. I continue to use it in me fittings, and it never fails to create a positive response. I can’t wait for the forged version.

  5. Louis Rieke says:

    Specs? (offsets, weights, etc.)
    Is the name/branding a glued plate or part of face?
    What is metal? Is a headcover needed due to metal softness?
    Impressive. Like the minimal cosmetics.

  6. Jeff Summitt says:

    Andy:

    None of these clubs are pre-built so they can be made to order with a number of graphite shafts.

  7. Jeff Summitt says:

    Louis:

    The specs can be found at the following link:
    http://info.hirekogolf.com/dynacraft/prophet/prophet-tour-cnc-forged-irons/

    They are constructed from 1021 carbon steel and there is a medallion inside the cavity. Headcovers are optional, but if you want to maintain the look and finish on any iron (not just this one), they are available to protect the clubhead when not in use.

  8. Edwin Davis says:

    I am still new to golf, have purchased early last year the Acer XDS Cabriolet Irons (X125A – 003 thru 009) what could I expect by upgrading?, really like the conquering of irons sometimes experience a weird vibration effect liken old baseball days when ball hit the label on wood bat, otherwise open to irons.

  9. Jeff Summitt says:

    Edwin:

    If you are still new to golf and you aren’t making solid contact on a regular basis, the smaller sized head probably wouldn’t be in your best interest from a forgiveness standpoint.

  10. Question: How Do Cast Irons and Forged Irons Compare?

    Answer: The terms “cast” and “forged” simply refer to the manufacturing process used to form the
    shape of the iron head.
    Casting always involves turning the metal from which the ironhead is to be made into its molten, liquid
    state, after which it is poured into a mold to form the ironhead design.
    Forging involves literally pounding or compressing the metal, in its solid form, from which the ironhead is
    made into the designed shape of the ironhead, after which a number of other machining and drilling steps
    are necessary to complete the production of the ironhead.
    If you have a cast iron and a forged iron of exactly the same shape and weight distribution design, the
    same loft, the same center of gravity position in the two heads, and the heads are built with the same
    shaft, same length, same grip and same swingweight/MOI, hitting the same ball, the shots will fly identical
    distances and 99-percent of all golfers will never know which was forged and which was cast.
    Most of the remaining 1-percent want to believe that the forged iron would be softer in feel because the
    carbon steel of a typical forging is a softer metal, but scientific research has shown that the hardness
    4
    difference in a metal alone is not enough to create a difference in impact feel. All of the other factors listed
    above are the reason for differences in the feel of shots hit with one club vs. another.

    Appreciate your Answers to the Question.. Thanks, gc

  11. [...] In Part 1, we discussed how the exciting new Dynacraft Prophet Tour CNC forged iron was constructed.  In this segment we will talk about the playability and fitting aspects of the iron.  As I said in Part 1, forging is only a process – plain and simple.   What makes an iron perform is not exactly how it is constructed (forged versus investment cast), as much as it is about other things like weight distribution, hosel configuration and the like. [...]

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