What we say...
Wilson have done some serious investigation into the typical traits of 10+ handicappers in the development of the Launch Pad family. And surprisingly the stats show even mid-handicappers hit 12% of shots fat or heavy, which costs golfers on average 10 yards of carry distance.
So Wilson came up with the new Launch Pad hybrid irons to help. And they feature hollow heads, with large cambered soles, which Wilson say have generous amounts of late bounce to ensure the leading edges are kept from digging at impact. Launch Pad soles are progressively wider in the long irons and narrower in the short irons to deliver more consistent contact and aid scoring.
According to Wilson's data, Launch Pad helped testers hit 25% more clean shots, reduced heavy strikes by 73% and increased ball speed and carry distance by 4.8mph and 9.8 yards.
Wilson Launch Pad iron verdict
We’re really impressed with the thinking behind the Launch Pad. It goes without saying, to play hybrid irons you have to turn a blind eye to bulging backs and wide bodies and focus instead on the Launch Pad’s shiny chrome face and topline, which really is very much like a traditional oversize Wilson iron.
We were surprised to hear that 12% of club golfer iron shots (10 handicap and above) are hit fat. Our test pro doesn’t hit many fat shots, but if your tendency is to hit turf before ball the Launch Pad’s sole design will help.
We’re fans of teaming up this style of head with KBS’s lightest iron shaft, which helps maximise launch and shot height, and does a great job of counteracting the Launch Pad’s reasonably strong lofts.
On paper our numbers look very similar, but remember shots were hit by a test pro – regular golfers would see a much wider variation in strike location. He felt the hybrid bodies were more forgiving than the cavity-back Pings, especially when hitting the mid and longer irons.
In terms of data, you gain in backspin, shot height and descent angle over one of the very best game improvement irons, which tells us hybrid irons deserve respect and should be treated as a legitimate option for golfers intent on enjoying the game in 2020.
WATCH: Should I be using hybrid irons?
What Wilson say about the Launch Pad irons
The Launch Pad irons incorporate a wide, progressive sole throughout the set, which improves ball launch for high handicap players. The technology prevents the sole from digging into the turf before impact. Late bounce on the sole keeps the leading edge up through ground interaction, creating a cleaner strike.
The short irons (7 - SW) feature traditional game-improvement sole widths, while longer irons (4 - 6) feature wider, more forgiving soles, for more consistent ball-striking and greater distance. Club heads across the entire range feature a hollow construction and incredibly thin faces for maximum ball speeds. Lower profile heads move the centre of gravity backwards, giving a higher MOI and more forgiving club to get the ball airborne.
“Our latest research shows Launch Pad irons reduce ‘fat’ shots by 73% and help players gain an extra 10 yards distance compared to other models in the super game-improvement category,” said Jon Pergande.
Launch Pad irons are also lightweight to make it easy to generate high club head speeds with minimum effort. The irons (5-SW) are available both right and left-handed with KBS Tour 80 steel or UST-Mamiya Recoil 460 shafts, for £549 (s) or £645 (g).
Wilson Launch Pad iron specs