The Forged PCB Tour’s are one of the best-looking of the new breed of traditional players irons. They are a serious set of sticks when mated to the Flighted Rifle stepless shafts from Royal Precision. The Forged PCB Tours are not to be confused with the regular Forged PCB irons which are aimed more towards mid- to high handicappers.
The Tour version has minimal, progressive offset, a shallow cavity that grows slightly deeper in the long irons and square grooves. Though larger than MacGregor’s pure blade, the PCM, these traditional looking heads are relatively small and thin. They set up very neatly behind the ball and are not as intimidating to hit as some may assume a players’ iron would be.
The look of these irons both at address and in the bag is universally appealing. It is a simple design that has been used in various forms by a number of manufacturers, but don’t let that fool you; it is an effective one. Just about everyone here has found them to be beautiful irons. The ‘fit and finish’ of these MacGregor’s is very fine. They look like they are worth $700.
Though much more firm-feeling at impact than most larger cavity backs, these forged heads can be surprisingly sweet feeling. They are not buttery soft like the Hogan Apex Plus’s, but they do have an equally solid feel. Mishits are punished, but not severely so. The extreme vibrations caused by most blades do not occur. Enough input is communicated to the hands to provide valid feedback, however. Those of our testers who like this traditional approach to classic-style irons have found them to be very enjoyable to hit.
Lofts on the PCB Tour’s are typical of good players’ irons and will be too weak (high) for many higher-handicap players. For those suited to the irons, distances have been average to good with a high, arched trajectory. Backspin has been first rate. Bite on the green is good – so good that some have been able to reel their approach shots back in to a very large degree.
The evenly balanced cavity backs stay the same size, but get progressively deeper as the irons get longer. They provide a moderate amount of forgiveness on mishits. The neutral nature of the weighting pattern in the PCB Tour’s allow for good workability, but basically they prefer to hit straight. In spite of some gentle cambering, the soles are relatively squared off. The heads stay stable trough impact regardless of swing velocity.
With a mildly blunted leading edge they dig less deeply than do the comparable forged cavities from Hoffman and Browning, but more so than the Apex Plus’s. Overall, everything about the PCB Tour’s is neutral and solid. They have been able to hit through thick turf with authority making them quite capable from the rough. Their lack of exaggerated cambering and heavy sole weighting keeps them from being exceptional, however.
Not all of testers have loved the MacGregor’s, but a couple have placed them at or near the top of their list of most desirable irons. Those testers who have not liked the PCB Tour’s have appreciated their performance, but have found them too dissimilar to their own irons to be comfortable playing with them for long. They have preferred larger cavities with more offset. Those who routinely hit players’ irons and blades have all produced excellent results. Accuracy has been exceptional regardless of handicap level. Some though prefer the added workability and feel produced by smaller-headed blades.
The square grooves of the PCB Tour’s exaggerate shot shaping skills. If you are looking for an iron that can make the ball spin around in its own ball mark momentarily before being reeled twenty feet back towards you as if a good touring pro had struck the shot, then these babies might be your ticket. The square grooves have some real grip to them. When teamed with a good wound ball, shots coming off the PCB Tour’s face can dance all over the place.
On-course testing with the MacGregor’s has been very fine for those partial to them. Accuracy has been first rate and sticking greens has been a cinch. The MacGregor’s inspire confidence every time they come out of the bag. This is a classic and classy design. The sense of control is always apparent. The Flighted Rifles are extremely stable feeling at all times with little trace of the harshness that afflicts some stiff steel shafts. Given the fact that they are more user-friendly in the longer shaft lengths, the Flighted Rifles are an ideal match for the graduated cavities and offsets of the PCB Tour heads.
Of the player’s cavities – the Hogan Apex Plus’s, Snake Eye’s MC-01, Browning Classic’s, Taylor Made Burner Tour’s, Golfsmith Tour Cavity Pro’s and Hoffman cb1′s – the MacGregor’s along with the Hogan’s have been the most respected. Long-term, the Mac’s have played better for us than have the lower, longer hitting Hogan’s. The Hogan’s get the nod for feel and good looks, however. The Golfsmith’s, though, probably rate as the most "likeable" – especially for mid-handicappers.
Our test clubs have Rifle shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet Wrapped Cords. Dynamic Gold shafts and non-corded Tour Velvet Wrap grips are standard. MacGregor will customize their clubs with any requested shaft and grip.
The Forged PCB Tours are not to be confused with the regular Forged PCB irons which are aimed more towards mid- to high handicappers.