The golf club industry is full of ideas. Historically, many proved to be fads. But the best ones do well, sometimes from small companies that don't have the multi-million dollar marketing budgets of the bigger players in Carlsbad.
Edel Golf is one such company. Producing golf equipment for nearly 30 years, Edel has had some significant innovations in its time. From the company’s founder, David Edel, revolutionizing putter and wedge fittings, to Edel being the original producer of single-length irons for Bryson DeChambeau, it comes as no surprise that the boutique-feeling club manufacturer seems to have another R&D masterpiece.
New for 2023, Edel Golf has released its SMS and SMS Pro irons. Two sets that have some fantastic similarities, but are intended for different strikers of the golf ball. I had the opportunity to test both models and walked away with a newfound understanding (and want) of adjustable weight irons. But don’t think this technology is being offered by everyone. These adjustable sticks are only being produced by Edel and they are the first of its kind anywhere on the golf market.
Pete Wlodkowski had the opportunity to visit Edel's headquarters in Colorado and sit down with one of the main design engineers of the new SMS lineup, Preston Smith. He is the R&D Manager at Edel and took us through the details of what makes the SMS and SMS Pros boldly different from anything you’ve ever hit.
“The stock configuration is 2 g, 8 g, 2 g,” said Smith. “Face angle and path will change based on where the heaviest weight is so we go through the fitting process to figure out what the best configuration is for you.”
So if you’re reading the tea leaves, that means every single iron in your Edel SMS set is specifically tuned to your game beyond just shaft and lie angle. Mighty impressive.
“It has a 1025 carbon steel, which is a softer steel, with a great sound to it,” added Smith. “Our SMS irons also have the same construction of the body and then there is a maraging steel face that’s welded with a polymer fill.”
I was lucky to take both models for a spin and here are some thoughts along with further details of each.
SMS: Changing weights with a twist
The SMS iron is the friendlier of the two models as it falls into the player’s distance category. What that means is that most amateurs with a handicap around 10 or above might find these to be a bit more in their wheelhouse between the two choices. Like many irons on the market, they are a forged, hollow body construction which is advantageous when you consider there’s 12 g of moveable weight in each club.
The SMS irons are built for speed and the plasma welded maraging steel face cup that Preston Smith mentioned in our video is designed for that ultimate buttery feeling at impact.
My first impression, this is a pretty iron. The edging and details remind me a lot of the SMS wedges from Edel, which you should also give a go if you have yet to. Everything from the paint fill to the ferrules makes the SMS irons look like a million bucks. Setting up to the golf ball, the topline might be just a hair thicker than what I’m used to, but this is not a super game-improvement iron by any stretch. At impact, this club feels truly different than anything I’ve hit. Really nice “click” from the center of the clubface and it was repeatable based on how forgiving they are.
The launch angle was slightly higher than what I normally see with my 7-iron, it was averaging around 21 degrees. Distance and spin, however, were right in my happy place. Around 175 yards with backspin in the 6,000s depending on how clean I made contact.
Where I really love the SMS irons is its hallmark, the adjustable weighting. Being a Midwest guy, my golf swing doesn’t look the same in April as it does in September. Specifically, I find that early in the season I tend to draw the ball and once I get into “mid-season form” I tend to fade the ball. I love the fact that I can change the weights around to accommodate my swing.
How you configure your SMS iron set is up to you, there are plenty of options. The irons are available from 4- GW and cost $250 per stick and have stock shafts from KBS, Nippon, Project X, AeroTech, and more.
SMS Pro irons
The SMS Pro has the same adjustable weighting option as the standard SMS but in a more compact body. Designed for the better player, most likely with a single-digit handicap, they fall into the player’s cavity back category.
The 1025 carbon steel has Precision Grain Forging to cater to the better player who wants the most pure-feeling iron that money can buy. Those players will also notice its Tri-Step Sole design, which is intended for better turf interaction so you can shape shots from any lie. This is accomplished by having a leading edge bounce, middle tier bounce, and trail bounce, which all work in unison.
I was glad to have tested the standard SMS before moving over to the SMS Pro. Visually speaking, you can instantly tell the difference between the two irons. The SMS Pro is clearly a smaller head with a thin topline, but boy is it nice to look at.
The results were consistent with what I expected. The SMS Pro 7-iron launched slightly lower and required more from me from an accuracy standpoint. Distance, however, didn’t fall off significantly. In fact, I didn’t mind losing a few yards when I saw the benefits of how well the SMS Pro held greens and spun. The main thing I noticed when having fun adjusting the weights, however, was that I needed to keep the 8 g weight in the center on the SMS Pro. Once that heavy one moved to the outside, life got more difficult.
The SMS Pro irons are priced the same as the SMS, at $250 per club. There are several set makeups for you to choose from as well as shafts from companies like KBS, Nippon, Project X, AeroTech, and more.
There’s no doubt that the SMS lineup from Edel Golf is legit. Technology, innovation, performance, and visual appeal are all there. And each and every set is custom-made. A set of irons can a long time if not abused. Having the ability to change weights is truly unique, and has a number of benefits beyond the initial fitting, for example, if you wanted to change shafts or grips and keep the feel (swing weight) of the club the same.
If I were purchasing irons from Edel, I would go with a combo set, which they so conveniently offer. Most like 4-6 iron in the SMS and 7-PW in the SMS Pro. The longer irons in the SMS Pro are a bit above my skill set, but the higher lofted irons felt undeniably good and performed as such.
If you’re interested in where to get fit for Edel Golf Clubs or want to learn more about the company, visit them at EdelGolf.com