Are Taylormade Firesole Irons Still Good? Are They Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Taylormade Firesole irons came out in 1999.”
When they were released, they ranked among some of the most meticulously crafted irons on the market. Even today, I would contend that their multi-material construction is still an admirable feat of golf club engineering.
Whatever you want to say about the Taylormade Firesole irons, you can’t deny that a lot of love and effort went into them. A lot of iron sets feature progressive offset or progressive CG. Some sets even have progressive head shapes.
The Taylormade Firesole set features progressive construction materials. All of the irons in this set have been thoughtfully optimized either for distance, forgiveness or feel. Still, the Taylormade Firesole irons are almost 25 years-old. So are they still good for high handicappers? Let’s find out.
Are Taylormade Firesole Irons Still Good?
“Based on the level of engineering precision that went into these irons alone, I would say that they are still good.”
Let’s start with the basics. The Taylormade Firesoles are cavity back irons. The cavity isn’t super deep. You can’t eat your lunch out of them. The undercut is fairly deep; but overall the Taylormade Firesole irons have a shape that is slightly on the compact side. Indeed, I found that the Taylormade Firesole irons were pretty workable.
Now onto the multi-material design. The long irons in this set are made of titanium and have a tungsten weight low in the sole and back in the head. As you can imagine, this makes the long irons easier to launch and adds some stability to your low-face shots and enhances the overall forgiveness.
The mid irons are made of stainless steel with perimeter tungsten weights in the heel and toe. This gives the mid irons a bit of a softer feel but the perimeter weighting effectively stretches the sweet spot.
The short irons are made of nickel – a material you don’t see in modern irons. The nickel offers very clear feedback. Nickel also feels a bit softer than stainless steel so you get a bit more control for your chip shots and bump and runs.
The look at address is very clean – reminiscent of players irons. These aren’t gaudy irons with a ton of offset and garish blade lengths. Everything about the way they are shaped is controlled.
Are the Taylormade Firesole Irons Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Taylormade Firesole irons aren’t the most forgiving irons Taylormade has produced.”
It’s hard to find any marketing material on these clubs these days, but based on my experience with them, I would say that they were made for mid handicappers. That’s not to say that they are completely unforgiving for high handicappers.
The mid and long irons were actually surprisingly forgiving considering their compact shaping. With the long irons, I was able to get the ball up in the air with a very smooth, comfortable swing. The blades aren’t super-short so I felt pretty confident at address.
The mid irons have a very wide sweet spot too. While extreme toe and heel mis-hits still yield wide dispersion, it’s easy to avoid those parts of the face. And when you hit them face-center, the dispersion is very tight. On qualifying shots (ones on the scoring lines) my max off-line divergence was only 8 yards.
The short irons are the ones you have to be very careful with. Even I was having trouble hitting the ball heavy and thinning it. And while the Taylormade Firesole short irons provide excellent feedback when struck square, I couldn’t feel much when I mis-hit.
Taylormade Firesole Vs Taylormade 300 Irons
“The Taylormade 300 irons are forged from carbon steel.”
I really liked the soft feel and the consistency of the Taylormade 300 irons. While it won’t be an issue for most players, the different construction materials of the Taylormade Firesole irons does create a bit of inconsistency from club to club. Most of the inconsistency simply had to do with feel.
But as you shift from the mid and low irons, the inconsistency becomes more of a performance issue as there is a more stark change in CG and trajectory control. With the Taylormade 300 irons, you don’t get any of that. They offer the same level of forgiveness as the Taylormade Firesole irons but with a more consistent feel.