I last built a set of clubs (that I’m still playing) in 1995.  I think it’s time for a new set.  My current set was built for my style of golf — pure connect-the-dots straight shots.  I have no skill to draw or fade; I’m just looking to hit it straight.  I’m not afraid to admit there’s a 7- and a 9-wood in the bag, either.  The MPF rating was made for me.

The gold standard for forgiveness in 1995 was the Callaway Big Bertha, with an MPF of 1111.  The tops since then appears to be 2005’s Outburst NT (1328) or the Callaway Fusion Wide Sole (1203).  That was 15 years ago.  Today’s best irons seem to have noticeably less playability, assuming it takes at least 100 points to feel a difference as you’ve suggested in other posts.  The MP890 tops the modern list (982).

Is this just because iron sets have ditched the 5-iron for a hybrid?  It looks like somewhere around 2007 the MPF started using the 6-iron instead of the 5-iron.  If so, how much does going up a club shave off the MPF of the old clubs?  That might help me compare new irons to my old set.

Or did club designers start building more workability in their clubs in the last 15 years, at the expense of some forgiveness?

If I’m looking at a new set of irons, am I better off finding a used set of Outburst NTs or Fusion Wide Soles, or a nice set of new MP890s with hybrids instead of long irons?

Thanks for your help.