Last time I tested the Acer XK Pro irons. They proved to be one of the nicest sets of cavity back irons that I have tested over the years. This year Acer has come out with a new set of Acer irons, the XDS React irons. I tested the React irons with the standard Apollo R flex steel shafts. Last years XK Pro irons had Dynamic Gold steel shafts, so this would not only be a test of the new XDS React club heads but the Apollo shafts as well. I did go with an upgrade on the factory grips. Instead of the Karma grips that come standard on the React irons, I went with some Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound half core grips. I’ve come to prefer half cord grips on my clubs over the years, and the New Decade grips are one of the best on the market.
What I found interesting when the set of Acer React irons arrived was how thin the top line of the heads is. Not being a Pro version of the irons, I expected the top line to be wider than the top line of the XK Pro irons I tested last year. As it turns out, the new XDS React irons have top line that is a good bit thinner than the XK Pro irons. They are very much like what you might fine on a top end set of forged irons that tour pros prefer. This was a very pleasant surprise.
The size of the club heads is very similar to that of the Acer XK Pro irons. Offset is also very similar, maybe just a little more but not much. The most noticeable difference is in the width of the sole. The new React irons have a good bit wider sole. This should help to make them a good bit more forgiving when hitting off the fairways as the wider sole will be less likely to dig in. What is less notable at first is the fact that the loft of the new React irons is a good bit stronger throughout the set. This is in keeping with what other golf companies are doing with their irons.
More and more today’s irons are at least one club stronger then the irons from just a few years ago. As an example, my forged set of irons, the 6 iron has 32* of loft. The new TaylorMade Burner 2.0 6 iron has only 27* of loft. Same for the new Cleveland CG16 6 iron. The Acer XK Pro 6 iron has 31* of loft, while the new React 6 iron has 29* of loft.
What this all means is that with the lower loft of some of the new irons, you can expect the hit the ball farther. You can also expect the hit the ball on a LOWER trajectory, due to the lower loft angle. This is good and bad. With the lower ball flight, you may gain some distance from more roll-out, that could be good. You will also have a harder time getting the ball to stop on the greens due to the same extra roll; this may not be so good. What I can tell you is that you will get more carry yardage with the lower loft irons. Depending on the loft of your current set of irons, you might see a gain of 10 to 20 extra yards of carry. Plus any extra roll you might get due to the lower ball flight and less backspin.
When I demoed the Burner 2.0 6 iron with its 27* loft, I got a go 20 yards more carry and a lot more roll, as much as 25 yards worth of roll. The carry I don’t mind, but holding a green with the extra roll is a serious issue worth noting. With the Acer XDS React 6 iron, I didn’t notice nearly as much different in launch angle due to it having 29* of loft compared to only 27 for the Burner 2.0. What I did notice was the extra carry yardage I got compared to my 32* loft 6 iron I have been playing. While the Burner 2.0 was about 20 yards longer, and the Cleveland CG16 about 22 yards longer than my forged irons, the React 6 iron was only about 10 yards longer. I think this is a good compromise. A little more carry distance without too much roll to make it really hard to hold the greens on approach shots. I doubt too many golfers would complain about getting 10 more yards of carry from each of their irons while not giving up any of the stopping power on approach shots into the greens.
I was also impressed with the Apollo R flex shafts in the clubs. When I demo tested the new Burner 2.0 irons, I found the R flex steel shafts in them to be way too soft. They caused me to hit the ball about 3 degrees “lower” than what I got with Stiff flex shafts in the same Burner 2.0 clubs. I can only assume this was due to the shaft still being bent away from the target at impact, which would de-loft the club head a few degrees. I didn’t notice a lower ball flight with the Acer XDS irons with R flex shafts. I don’t honestly know if this is due to the shafts playing stiffer than what came in the Burner 2.0 irons, or if it was due to a different bend point in the Apollo shafts. Whatever the reason, I liked the launch angle I got with the Acer React irons a lot more than what I got with a few of the new low loft irons from other OEM clubs.
One of the best things about buying Acer XSD React irons from Amazon is that you can order a custom set exactly the way YOU like your clubs. You can buy the standard 3 to PW set if you wish. Or you can forget about the 3 and 4 irons if like most amateur golfers you don’t hit them all that well. This can save you a good deal of money. You can also custom order your set of irons with ANY shaft you like, and with the grip you prefer the most. You aren’t forced to buy clubs with the grip the OEM provides as standard. You can custom order what YOU like, not what the factory has on hand. Same with the shafts. If you like True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 steel shafts, you can get your clubs made with those shafts. You have the option of having a truly Custom set of clubs built to your likes and needs. All at a price that is well below the retail price for most name brand OEM irons on the market today. Check out the Amazon website and the Acer XDS React irons soon. I think you will be very impressed with this set of irons. I know I am.