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.
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|$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.