Dynacraft Prophet Tour Review
While the sad reality is that most golfers probably won’t look any further than the big name manufacturers when shopping for their next set of irons, we think it’s always worth bringing some of the smaller, lesser-known component companies into the discussion. Really, should a quality component manufacturer be ignored simply because their logo isn’t stitched (in orange thread no less) across Rickie Fowler’s backside? Not only are many component companies you may never have heard of churning out products that are often on par with those of the major OEMS, but because smaller companies don’t have to worry about things like PGA sponsorships and multi-million dollar advertising budgets, these less-than-household names can afford to offer competitive products at significantly lower cost to the consumer.
What We Tested, and How We Tested It
Our new testing methodology, which we think will prove to be the most comprehensive and unbiased set of club testing procedures found anywhere (online or in print), includes a balance of subjective feedback (look, feel, sound), as well as detailed ball flight analysis. The next generation of reviews from MyGolfSpy will include what we call SpecCheck; a series of tests designed to determine if the clubs you buy are truly the clubs you get.
A full overview of our new testing procedures will be posted soon, and rest assured future reviews will be much more data intensive.
For this review Hireko Golf sent us a set of their Dynacraft Prophet Blades (3-PW), equipped with TrueTemper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts. Because Dynacraft is a component company, this review features a less comprehensive version of both SpecCheck and our performance tests. Here’s how we tested:
- All performance testing was done on state-of-the-art 3Trak equipped simulators from aboutGolf at Tark’s Indoor Golf; an indoor golf, club fitting and repair facility located in Saratoga Springs, NY.
- Prior to performance testing, the entire set was measured for lie and loft on a STEELCLUB® Plus Angle Machine from Mitchell Golf. For any head that measured outside of MyGolfSpy’s tolerances for lie or loft (± .5°) points were deducted accordingly.
- A group of golfers consisting of high, middle and low handicap golfers was asked to hit several shots with both the 6 iron and pitching wedge so that we could accurately calculate averages for both overall distance, and deviation from the target line.
- When possible, golfers were asked to hit several shots with their own clubs so that comparative data could be collected.
- Our 3 testers, as well as several testers for whom comprehensive data was not collected were asked to subjectively rate the irons for looks, feel, and overall value.
- Points from all scoring categories were tallied to arrive at our final score.
Looks – Simply Exquisite
The Prophet Tours feature a glossy black PVD coating that gives the irons a distinct, sophisticated look. No matter who we showed it to (man or woman) everyone we showed the Prophet Tour to absolutely loved the smokey black finish. Most of the golfers we spoke with feel the Prophet Tour looks as good, or better, than anything they’ve seen from the major OEMs.
Apart from the finish, the Prophet Tour feature a reasonably compact blade style head. It is worth noting that the Prophet Tour has more offset than one might typically find in a blade – especially in the longer irons. Some low handicappers may not approve, but since the Prohpet Tour is billed as more of a transitional iron (for the mid-handicapper closing in on single digits), the additional forgiveness provided by the offset should make the club more appealing for the mid-low handicap golfer.
Visible on the back of the clubhead is what Dynacraft calls a stability slot. Basically they’ve milled out a section of the head so that more of the overall mass is shifted to the bottom of the club. Those of you familiar with Mizuno’s “pocket cavity” design will not doubt find similarities. It’s a design that for the most part we like, however, Kent, our low handicap tester felt the cavity was unnecessary in the shorter irons. It’s a point we’re inclined to agree with.
>> Looks: 8 out of 10
Feel – Pretty good…no more, no less
We had three golfers (low, middle, and high handicap) take several swings with the Prophet Tour 6-iron and pitching wedge. While no golfer who tested the Prophet Tour would classify the feel as great or outstanding, the general consensus among our middle and low handicap golfers was that the Prophet Tour felt “pretty good”. As one might expect our low handicapper hit nearly every ball on the center of the clubface, so he really couldn’t say how mis-hits feel. Anthony, our high handicap golfer, who felt the Prophet Tours felt just ok on solid shots, labeled the Prohpet Tours “downright uncomfortable” when less than solidly struck.
We’re less than concerned about the prospect of the Prophet Tours feeling harsh on mis-hit balls. These are, after-all, better players clubs, and most better players demand exactly the kind of feedback provided by the Prophet Tours. It’s also not unrealistic to think that golfers who’ve grown accustomed to oversized cavitybacks designed to make hosel rockets feel as buttery soft as grandma’s biscuits, aren’t going to enjoy the less than subtle vibrations that come from a ball struck 1/4 inch from the toe.
What we took away from our feel testing is that although the Prophet Blades don’t feel quite as good as a forged iron from Mizuno or Titleist, the feel as good as many cast irons on the market today, and significantly better than department store junk.
>> Feel: 7.5 out of 10
SpecCheck – Not up to par
A new feature of MGS club reviews is a little something we like to call SpecCheck. We’ll be comparing the actual specifications of the clubs we test against the manufacturers stated specifications. We want to make sure that the manufacturers are delivering what they say they are. You can expect future iterations of SpecCheck to include an unprecedented amount of detail, but since we’re reviewing the Prophet Tour irons as components, and not a complete set, we limited our tests to loft and lie measurements.
Through our testing we discovered that 6 of the 8 clubs we received actually fell outside of MyGolfSpy’s .5 degree tolerances (when compared to published specifications) for lie, loft or both. The biggest discrepancy we found with with the loft of the 3 iron. Although the published specifications for the head call for 21° of loft, we measured the club at 24° - meaning that the 3 iron and the 4 iron (which measured within our tolerances), were effectively the same (apart from the longer shaft of the 3 iron). It goes without saying that we find a 3° discrepancy unacceptable. From a consumer perspective, it’s safe to say that we’d sent the head back.
Dynacraft Prophet Tour SpecCheck sheet:
With the exception of the 3 degree discrepancy in the loft of the 3 iron (bending a cast head 3° is a hairy proposition at best), it would be reasonably easy to bend the clubs to spec, but realistically, the average golfer probably has neither the tools nor the inclination to do so.
>> SpecCheck: 21 out of 25
While I’d never dream of telling you that looks don’t matter (nobody wants to play with an ugly club), but performance is where the rubber meets the road, or at least where the steel meets the surlyn.
While we didn’t collect the kind of detailed data you’ll find in our future reviews, we did have our golfers hit shots with both the 6 iron and the pitching wedge.
- HIGH-HANDICAPPER – Anthony, our high handicapper was all over the map with the Prophet Tour blades. He quickly learned that, like most irons designed for the better player, there are sometimes severe distance penalties to be paid for mis-hitting the golf ball. From an accuracy standpoint Anthony felt that they were about the same as his current irons – a notion that supports the contention that the Dynacraft Prophet Tours are an easy to hit blade. Surprisingly, Anthony felt that the Prophet Tours were nearly a full club longer than his current irons; an notion fully supported by the raw distance data we did collect.
- MID-HANDICAPPER – Dan, our middle handicapper also felt the sting of distance lost on mis-hit balls – at least in comparison to his current cavity backs. For well struck balls, however, Dan found distance to be lockstep with his current setup. On the day we did our testing he didn’t have his own clubs with him, but since he’s used the simulator on several prior occasions we don’t have any cause to doubt him.
- LOW HANDICAPPER – Kent, our low handicap golfer (and PGA teaching professional) also found distance right in line with his current irons. Watching him hit shot after hot nearly straight down the target line was hard for this average golfer to stomach, but it wasn’t until we looked at the numbers and discovered that he averaged just a hair over 3 yards off the center line did we realize that the Prophet Tours, when placed in the right hands, are very much a serious players iron.
“These things have razor blades for grooves” – Kent T (low handicap golfer)
While overall the Prophet Tours outperformed our first expectations, it’s worth noting that the grooves, especially those on the pitching wedge, are absolutely brutal on the cover of a golf ball. I’ve tested a number of clubs over the years, but have never seen anything (Vokey SpinMilled and Callaway MacDaddy wedges included) shred the cover of a golf ball like the Prophet Tours.
The golf balls provided by aboutGolf for use on their 3Trak equipped simulators are just a hair softer than the average steel pipe, and yet by the time we were done our simulator mat looked like somebody had been grating cheese over it. While we suspect the grooves will dull over time, we’re wondering how many $4 golf balls get chewed to the mantle before that happens.
>> Performance: 38 out of 50
Value – A good product at a great price
All 3 of our formal testers said that overall they liked the Prophet Tour blades. Dan, our mid-handicapper (who looking for new irons) said he’d definitely consider the Prophet Tour blades, especiall when we told him that the cost ($35,95 each / 287.60 assembled – 3-PW) was roughly one third the cost of similar OEM blades. While based on performance alone, our low handicap golfer rated the irons as a 7 out of 10, from a value perspective, they’re easily an 8 out of 10. Our other testers thought that number might actually be a little low.
>> Value: 8.5 out of 10
Conclusion – Not for everyone, but an excellent value proposition
While the Dynacraft Prophet Tours received low marks on our SpecCheck (which put a significant ding in the total score), overall, we came away pleasantly surprised and even a little bit impressed. Not surprisingly our high handicap golfer said he probably wouldn’t consider buying a set for himself, but both our middle and low handicap golfers thought enough of the clubs to say that they would at least consider Dynacraft’s Prophet Tour irons when it comes time to buy their next set.
>> Total Score: 83 out of 100
(MORE INFO ON DYNACRAFT PROPHET IRONS:) CLICK HERE