Ask someone what they think of the new Bridgestone GC Mid iron set on looks alone, and you could receive any number of reactions. More than likely, it would depend what view of the clubhead a particular person happened to have. If they happen to be looking at the cavity of the GC Mid, you might receive some mixed reactions. While looks are subjective, performance is something we can all appreciate. While standing over the GC Mids, your attitude may begin to warm. I know mine did.
When I saw the GC Mids for the first time, I have to admit, I was in the, “Whoa, these look a little odd” camp. But, the only views I had seen were of the cavity of the GC Mid. Prominently featured in the cavity are black disks that Bridgestone refers to as Gravity Disks. Many game improvement style irons have some sort of weight in the cavity, so in this regard they are nothing new. However, Bridgestone has taken the idea a bit further by using two “Gravity Disks” at the heel and toe of the iron head. This in turn increases the stability of the head, especially on mis-hits, according to Bridgestone. Furthermore, the disks are varied throughout the set. Long irons have the disks spaced further apart and lower in the head to raise the ball flight and promote more forgiveness on off-center contact. Lower irons have the disks spaced more closely together to increase directional workability, and they are also raised higher in the clubhead to promote a more boring trajectory with these shorter scoring clubs. They might not look very conventional, but let me tell you- they flat out work. Shaping shots was possible without worrying about absolute “perfect” contact every time. Essentially, these irons will allow you to be as creative as you want to be, while still offering a safety net of forgiveness.
Bridgestone has also engineered a hollow area in the middle of the GC Mids which they call the “Gravity Chamber.” This hollow area takes even more discretionary weight out of the center of the clubhead and allows it to be moved to the perimeter in the form of the gravity disks. My concern was that the GC Mids would feel hollow or lack “punch” at impact due to this hollowed area. This concern was quickly erased when I took them out on their maiden voyage. Impact felt very solid, yet quite soft. The 431 stainless used in these heads is softer than more common 17-4 steel sometimes used in irons. They are some of the softest, -if not the softest cast clubheads I have had the joy of experiencing.
The GC Mids exhibited plenty of forgiveness throughout the set. Working fades and draws came naturally, especially in the mid and short irons. The reduced offset of these clubheads is something that is unique to this category of irons. Despite the lack of offset, it did not seem to negatively affect the forgiveness in any way. Standing over the GC Mids, they evoke a feeling of confidence. Not only is the offset very minimal, but the topline of the heads is very thin as well, more closely resembling a “players” cavity in this regard. This is the view of the GC Mids that I immediately fell in love with, as has been the reaction of everyone who has seen or hit this set. These irons look like they can produce just about any type of shot, and more importantly, they can. The only shot I struggled to hit was a knockdown long iron, as the longer clubs do help to hit a higher trajectory shot. The sole widths are wide enough to prevent “fat” shots and feature a radiused leading edge, yet they are not overly wide or bulky in any way. They seem to be a good compromise that will fit the widest variety of conditions and swing characteristics. With the utilization of the Gravity Disks and Gravity Chamber, Bridgestone seems to have emphasized the forgiveness to levels not before seen in an iron of this size and tasteful shape. Long irons were easy to hit high, and short irons act like the scoring tools they are in this set.
As impressive as the engineering and materials are in the GC Mids, the shafts are where the rubber hits the road (had to work a tire reference in there somewhere, right?) Bridgestone has really upped the ante in this aspect. The Stock shafts are the Nippon NS Pro 1050GH. They are a type of flighted steel shaft made in Japan, and featured in many of the more expensive clubs in the Asian markets. If you were to go out and purchase those shafts, they would be about a $200 expense. Other options include the lighter Nippon NS Pro 950 steel, the lower-launching True Temper Dynamic Gold, as well as proprietary graphite shafts manufactured by Aldila. Considering the quality stock shafts, and the impressive performance of the heads, the GC Mids are one of the best values on the market.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the case of the Bridgestone GC Mids, beauty is in the eye of the golfer. From address, the GC Mids are some of the most pleasing game improvement clubs you will lay eyes on. The Gravity Disks and Gravity Chamber design, while somewhat unconventional in their looks, are completely functional and make an ascertainable difference in the performance of the clubheads. With an incredible soft feel at impact, high quality stock shafts, and an uncanny ability to be workable while offering forgiveness, the GC Mids should be on anyone’s list of demo clubs. Once you see this set in person, the look will likely grow on you. Bridgestone markets this set as being appropriate for mid to high handicap players, but I think they are selling them short with this description. This set could fit a low single digit very easily. See for yourself, and you will likely be impressed.