ULTIMATE REVIEW! – Adams Idea Pro A12 Irons
Irons

ULTIMATE REVIEW! – Adams Idea Pro A12 Irons

ULTIMATE REVIEW! – Adams Idea Pro A12 Irons

adams a12 iron review

“In the transitional iron category the Adams Idea Pro A12 is my personal favorite of the lot. I think it’s safe to say that the A12s hit the sweet spot for those with a handicap index between 8 and 16.

Adams Idea Pro A12 Irons

(Written By: GolfSpy T) This is our 2nd review of a product from the 2011 A12 series from Adams Golf. As you may recall, the Idea Pro A12 hybrids were very strong performers (which is why I carry 3 of them), so it’s easy to understand why we’d want to take a close look at the irons by the same name. Even though the A12 series is largely a replacement for the A7 series, the Idea Pro A12 irons themselves are not a direct replacement for anything in the Adams lineup.

While we’ve certainly been impressed by what we’ve seen from Adams the last couple of years, there has been some grumblings in our forum about Adams releasing new equipment at what’s been called a TaylorMade-like pace. Even if you toss out the A7 series altogether, the current Adams lineup would still include 6 sets of irons. Let’s not even talk about hybrid and driver offerings. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud ingenuity, and innovation, but there comes a point when simple is better, and quite frankly I believe there is a growing contingent of golfers who believe that when it comes to product lineups, less might actually be more.

The Marketing Angle

According to Adams, the Idea Pro A12 irons were designed with the better player in mind. They cite things like outstanding control, and feedback, a thin top line, and improved sole camber as design elements geared towards more accomplished players. Personally, I see the Idea Pro A12 as a transitional iron; somewhere between game-improvement and a true “players” iron.

Other features include progressive heel/toe weighting for stability, a triple milled face, and your textbook low center of gravity. As Adams likes to do with clubs outside the game-improvement space, they’ve included KBS Tour Shafts and Golf Pride Decade Mutlti-Compound grips as stock offerings on the Idea Pro A12s.

How We Tested

To find out more about how we test our irons: CLICK HERE

Radius-Based Scoring

For more information on our “Radius Based Scoring System”: CLICK HERE

Material Composition: 8620 Carbon Steel (forged)

For testing purposes our sets consisted of 4-GW with stock KBS Tour shafts. Adams also offers Mitsubishi JAVLN shafts as a stock graphite option.

PERFORMANCE SCORING

Accuracy

From an accuracy perspective, it’s fair to say that the Idea Pro A12 performed well for most of our testers. While a couple of testers did miss the target by +40 feet on average (that’s a longer putt than most of us would like), when we factored out the best and worst each tester had to offer (again, we like to look at averages and expected results) we find the average miss to be just shy of 37 feet on average, which places the Idea Pro A12 just behind the Cobra S3 for 2011.

MGS Accuracy Score: 91.03

Consistency

Not surprisingly, the previous reviewed PING K15 remains our gold standard for consistency. Of course, the PING K15 is perhaps the most super of the super-game improvement irons, whereas the Idea Pro A12 fills that transitional space  (more of a traditional players look in feel, with game-improvement-like performance). When you consider the design (thinner top line, moderate offset), the consistency score borders on remarkable. Almost all our testers put up scores in the A range, with 3 of those in the A+ range (topping out at just a hair under 97.5). While those numbers tell us the Idea Pro isn’t the most forgiving iron the market today, it’s not really supposed to be. The numbers do suggest it can keep up with some irons for which forgiveness is actually emphasized.

MGS Consistency Score: 94.15

Overall Performance

We test with a range of handicap levels, so we more or less expect that more player-centric designs may not perform as well in the hands of our testers as some game improvement clubs. Of course, as the results of our performance testing of the Adams Idea Pro A12 suggest, handicap level is only one small factor in determining playability. While our numbers suggest the Idea Pro A12 might not be the ideal iron for everyone, for those who swing it well, the performance numbers place the Idea Pro A12 among the best of 2011.

MGS OVERALL PERFORMANCE SCORE: 91.63

SUBJECTIVE SCORING

Looks

While not quite black, the gray PVD finish (Adams does call it black) was a big hit with our testers. The same holds true for the overall look of the clubhead, which includes a thinner than average top line that manages not to cross over the line to intimidating, a modern but not flash cavity design, and progressive offset that is subtle enough not to give one a fear of the hooks.

One tester (a guy who replaces his irons almost annually) called it the “best looking iron I’ve ever held”, while another called them “sexy at address”. The second guy probably needs to get out more, but nevertheless, the Idea Pro A12s, on looks alone, went over extremely well with our testers.

MGS Looks Score: 96.75

Feel

Where feel is concerned, “good” was thrown around quite a bit more than “great”. While I personally wouldn’t put them in the top tier (Mizuno, Miura, and very few others), I’d suggest to you they belong at the very top of the 2nd tier.

With a range of scores largely between 8 and 9 (with a couple higher, and one lower), I think our testers and I are largely on the same page. Some what say the Idea Pro A12 irons deserve a B+, others and A-. Either way, is good by me as I’d tell you the A12s offer very good, though not quite exceptional feel.

MGS Feel Score: 90.48

Perceived Distance

By modern standards the Adams Idea Pro A12 irons are what I’d call slightly jacked up. At 38″ long the 5-iron is a quarter inch longer than what I still consider standard, and the 46° PW is at least 1° strong. With all of that on the table, our testers didn’t find the A12 to be exceptional long. The majority of our testers selected the club that they would normally use from 150 and were dead on for the distance.

Normally when we test indoors, I end up hitting an 8 iron. With the Idea Pro A12, I actually found the 9 iron to be the better club for the distance. One tester alone is hardly enough to qualify the Idea Pro A12s as long, and I suspect that the stock A12 just happens to be a very good fit for me personally.

Tester Perceived Distance Score: 89.58

Perceived Accuracy

As with the Cobra S3s we tested previously, the non-standard specs (although I guess I should point out that the Adams are certainly less non-standard, and less jacked up than the Cobras) didn’t dramatically impact accuracy. While not quite to the extent they were with our previous tests, our testers were basically satisfied with, though not blown away by the accuracy of the Idea Pro A12 irons.

Tester Perceived Accuracy Score:  86.00

Perceived Forgiveness

Though the results of our consistency tests were actually above average, our testers told us that the Idea Pro A12s offer only average forgiveness. One tester told us that he struggled to hit crisp shots (although when he did, they were among the best he hit all season). Beyond that our testers had very little to say good or bad about the forgiveness.

Tester Perceived Forgiveness Score: 85.10


Likelihood of Purchase

Overall there were a few 9s circled in our surveys, but 8 was far and away the most common response. It’s somewhat curious to me because it’s clear our testers really liked the irons. One tester mentioned that the top line was a bit thicker than what he’s accustomed to (and prefers), but otherwise results were slightly above average for the category.

Tester Likelihood of Purchase: 86.00

My guess is that the Adams Idea Pro A12 irons don’t offer quite enough flash, or enough of that visible technology to appeal to most high handicap golfers. That’s probably just as well, because for most in that range, they’re probably not a good fit anyway. Based on feedback from our testers, however; I think it’s safe to say that the A12s hit the sweet spot for those with an index between 8 and 16 (although I’m guessing even lower handicap golfers might find some appeal here).

TOTAL SUBJECTIVE SCORE: 89.83

CONCLUSION

As we’ve seen a couple of other irons we’ve looked at in the last year, it’s possible that the Adams Idea Pro A12 might get lost in the shuffle. Those looking for more forgiveness have plenty of other options in the Adams lineup, while those looking for more workability are equally as well off. Still, it’s abundantly clear that manufacturers are starting to pay more and more attention to the space in between game-improvement and player’s irons (and why shouldn’t they – it’s where a large % of golfers live), and the Idea Pro A12 is the latest forged offering to enter that space.

Over the last year and a half or so we’ve looked at few irons I would toss in the transitional iron category including the Mizuno JPX-800 Pro, Cobra S2 Forged, and perhaps even the Scratch EZ-1. That’s a very solid bunch, but the Adams Idea Pro A12 is my personal favorite of the lot. I’d suggest you’d get better (certainly softer) feel from the Mizunos, and better distance from Cobra, but on balance, the A12s offer everything you could want with very little compromise.

I’ll stop just short of telling you to buy a set, but if you’re in the market for a forged transitional iron, the Adams Idea Pro A12 should most definitely be on your list.

MGS TOTAL SCORE: 91.44


Want to see additional pictures of the Adams A12 Irons, checkout the Adams A12 Iron – Photo Gallery.

If you found this review and others useful, please consider making a cash donation to help support MyGolfSpy or a contribution to our Club Recycling Program. We accept credit cards through PayPal. A PayPal account is not required in order to donate.

[donation-can goal_id=’fund-the-revolution’ style_id=’mgs’ show_progress=false show_description=false show_donations=false show_title=false title=”]

For You

For You

Drivers
Jun 11, 2024
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
Putters
Jun 11, 2024
Triple Black Evnroll 38 Tour Spec Putters
FootJoy limited FootJoy limited
First Look
Jun 11, 2024
JUST DROPPED: FootJoy Red Clay Premiere Series
Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

      NY Golfer

      9 years ago

      I know these irons are now considered old, but I figured I would comment anyway. Just upgraded to these irons from a set of late 90s Tommy Armour 845s. All I can say is, WOW. Definitely a great transitional iron. I didn’t want a huge CB game improvement iron so I opted for the A12s Definitely not as forgiving as my 845s but when you make good contact you definitely know it! I find myself keeping my driver in the bag more often and going for the 5iron off the tee. 220yds and straight as an arrow with normal swing. I love the feel of the clubface. It is sad that Adams gets no respect in the iron world, but they put out one heck of a set with the pro A12s. I paid $200 for 4-Gap set from my local golf shop, and these clubs were only used once. I personally have only used these irons 5 times so far and I am already knocking 6-7 strokes off my score. Shooting in the high 80s now. I will be playing these irons for years to come.

      Reply

      Tim

      12 years ago

      I’m a 5 handicap and LOVE trying out new clubs… have owned at least 13 sets in the last two years. Hogans, Mizunos, Titleists, Taylormade and Callaway irons. Big Mizuno fan… best club ever is the T-Zoid Pro, DG300 Sensicore. I compare everything else to the T-Zoid for feel, set up, playability, forgiveness, look, etc.
      I began checking out different sets of clubs to find a good cold/wet weather set. My T-Zoids play great, but when the swing is off a bit, you pay the price. In wet conditions, they tend to dig a little too much. So, two sets was the goal. One for early season/ wet weather and one for when I’m in the groove. I’ve become almost as addicted to trying new clubs as I am to the game itself!
      So, I stopped into the golf shop last summer to get my ‘fix’ and tried out the Adams Pro Gold. I had been admiring the looks of the Pro Gold for some time, but was reluctant to buy an Adams. After hitting several shots with the 6 iron, I walked out with a new set… 5-PW, Black Gold shafts, stiff. Beautiful club. Sets up terrifically and plays as good or better than any club I’ve played. Doesn’t have the buttery soft feel of the Mizunos, but plays every bit as good, especially the long and mid irons. Distances are spot on. They can handle any shot you can imagine with no idiosyncrasies. 5 iron is a breeze to hit. Draw, cut, high or low. Scoring irons are as easy to hit as a game improvement iron, but with serious results. I can do more with the T-Zoid PW vs. the Pro Gold PW as far as pulling off creative shots around the green, but the Pro Gold is very good and quite forgiving. I also bought the Pro Gold GW and SW. Not a big fan of them. Not nearly the feel or spin that other wedges provide (Mizuno, Titleist, Taylormade). A little clicky. They have been relegated to the practice squad!

      Reply

      Scott

      13 years ago

      I went to get fitted for new irons. After hitting a few 6 irons with my old clubs the fitter pulled several heads off the rack. One was the A12, with a project x shaft in it. I tried every other club combo for 3 hours. Nothing compared, trust me, I did not want to play an Adams iron but it was hands down the best fit for me. 6 iron swing speed is 97 mph, avgerage tempo. 3 handicap. Switched from a Taylor made forged, was determined to walk away with a new set of Mizuno’s but the A12’s won hands down

      Reply

      JNRadio

      13 years ago

      I have the original AP2 and was thinking of getting the new 712 series AP2’s but now you got me thinking about these instead. how would you compare the two? i’m probably playing to about a 12-13hcp at the moment…

      Reply

      N8Gardner

      12 years ago

      I was actually between the 712 AP2’s and the a12’s. For me I just got much more feed back from the a12’s. The distances were the same and both clubs are beautiful in their own right. What I liked was how the KBS Tour stiff shafts were stock in a12’s while the DG S300 are for the AP2’s. I really love the feel of the KBS shafts and they really work well with my swing. So basically for me it came down to feel and looks. Also doesn’t hurt that I saved $300 by going with the a12’s.

      Reply

      JP

      13 years ago

      I played my trusty Titleist DCI 962 irons from when I purchased them in the mid 90’s, thru 2 complete shaft changes, up until this summer when I purchased the Adams A12 irons 3-PW. Thru the years I went to countless demos, never finding anything that beat the DCI’s, with several coming close, but not enough to warrant a switch (at least for me anyway). The A12 topline is similar to the DCI, as well as overall clubhead shape and size…which is what sealed it for me.
      Since the switch my game has improved dramatically. My ball contact is more solid and consistent, improved accuracy with the scoring irons, and better performance with the long irons. And I love the sound of them when good contact is made.

      Reply

      Ken Brown

      13 years ago

      Purchased these as a replacment for TM Burner 1.0 irons.
      The A12’s are more accurate, specifically chipping/pitching and have much better feel, although not as forgiving. There is no comparsion when hitting out of the rough, Adams wins by landslide. Long irons are much easier to hit, likely a reult of shorter shaft.
      Downside: I just returned from Myrtle Beach, played 6 rounds and the finish is gone on the face. Had the same results with the 9064 driver but it still bombs and its still in the bag.
      Burner 1.0 provided 6-8 yard advantage over the A12’s but to be expected as the Burners have longer shafts.

      Reply

      John Barry

      13 years ago

      Have my last year’s CB2’s that I went from the Burners. man, Adams makes a great iron and I love my new irons, which should be able to carry me no matter how much I improve, or slide!

      Reply

      Steve

      13 years ago

      First, Thanks for providing a nice review of these great looking and performing irons. I currently play Taylormade r7 tp’s, and will definitely have to give Adams a look when it’s time to replace them. Any insights on how these Adams compare to TM’s offerings in this niche?

      Reply

      P-Gunna

      13 years ago

      They are better in every sense, TM’s latest iron offerings have been a flop with customers. They make some fine woods though!

      Reply

      Richard P. Jacobs II

      13 years ago

      Steve, hit whatever TM iron that you are considering(MB, MC or CB)…Then hit the comprable Adams iron(CB1, CB2 or A12)…There should be no comparison in feel and depending on your level of play, no comparison in performance…You might also look @ the Mizzy 800 Pros & the MP-53s if you like the cavity back..A whole different level from the TM..The best to ya..Greens & Fairways 4ever….

      Reply

      Tim

      13 years ago

      I tried out a set of Adams ATour Blacks as I found them for a very good price and was pleasantly surprised at how ell the feel was off of the face. I’m a forged iron player and for all those who say you can’t tell the difference, I personally say “I can” but with these cast ATOURS I have to admit that these clubs be it the design or the material or the way they are cast make them play and feel very much like a forged iron. Now I know the irons i’m talking about are a few years removed, but I strongly feel that Adams is moving into one of the better club makers in the industry! So now that I have finally broke down and tried a set of Adams I may just have to start taking a better look at the newer offerings from Adams! Way to go Adams keep up the good work, also I like the fact that they are making CB irons that a lower handicap can play without all that offset that seems to be all the rage for the higher handicap golfers.

      Reply

      Golf business

      13 years ago

      I’m hoping the pro shop near me has some demos. I’m planning on taking my husband so that I can start shopping for Christmas.

      Reply

      Gavin

      13 years ago

      I think its close enough to buy myself a christmas present haha. Giving is caring, but does that also apply to when you give a gift to yourself?

      Reply

      Gavin

      13 years ago

      Planning on upgrading from my callaway 2007 x forged. Thanks for another great review…now I have to decide on what set to get bleh. Really want the mizunos mp53s but I also like the looks of these too Arggggg.

      Reply

      Nick m

      13 years ago

      I love that you guys took out the explanation for your testing and made it a link. These irons look great but there are so many offerings in this market. I would prob not look at Adams given so many offerings. I’ve been to demo and fittings from Adams and other manufacturers and I found Adams to be lacking in both so they are definitely last on my list to look at.
      They look good none the less.

      Reply

      Richard P. Jacobs II

      13 years ago

      Nick, it’s unfortunate that you have crossed Adams off your list..I hope that you @ least hit the CB1s, CB2s and/or A12s…Although their fitting does leave something to be desired, any pro or qualified golf shop employee can assist you..I had played Mizuno for 25+ years and was playing the MP-67s when I had the opportunity to hit the Pro-Gold irons(Tour Black)…Although firmer(not harsher), the Pro Golds were incredible..From the look @ adress to the feel & most importantly to the performance, the only limitations were mine, not the iron’s…They did whatever I wanted them to do..It’s hard to describe, though I preferred their feel to the 67s…My point is, Adams makes great irons(and metal woods & hybrids)..For someone transitioning from a GI iron to a “blade” or MB iron, or a single digit/+ player looking for a little more forgiveness with no loss of “workability,” those three irons(CB1,CB 2 & A12)are as good as it gets… with the exception of Mizuno & possibly Titleist & Cobra, there are no better companies or irons out there in this category…Just my humble opinion…Best of luck to ya..Greens & Fairways 4ever….

      Reply

      Richard P. Jacobs II

      13 years ago

      BTW, Tom Watson had the A12 irons in his bag for his Sr. PGA victory @ Valhalla, along with the A12 hybrid(18′) & F11 driver(9.5′) though I’m sure his demo day & fitting were different than yours & mine…..Greens & Fairways 4ever…

      P-Gunna

      13 years ago

      Great set of irons, Adams continues to show us all that they are already more than a serious contender. I too am confused as to what place these have in the lineup given the CB1s and CB2s are very similar in a lot of ways.

      My guess is that these are a modern update to the extremely underrated Pro Gold iron set.

      Reply

      Richard P. Jacobs II

      13 years ago

      If it helps, the A12s were to replace the A7s, though I too was slightly confused as to where they fell in the Adams line-up…I would think that they probably will kill two birds with one stone because as you noted, the A12s are very similar to the CB2s, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the CB2s phased out along with the A7s, which already have been…Greens & fairways 4ever…..

      Reply

      Richard P. Jacobs II

      13 years ago

      P-Gunna, regarding the Pro Golds, which I replaced my MP-67s with, they were replaced by the CB1s…I tried the CB1s, and though they are a very solid iron, I still have the Pro Golds in my bag…They are getting worn & if I can’t find a set(9.5+) on the computer, I may be forced to put my MP-68s in the bag…Nice dilemma but I hope that I can find a set of Golds..I got a set of the Tour Blacks from the rep, though I love the look of of the chrome, & am holding out hope that I can find a set…The best to ya..Greens & Fairways 4ever…

      RP Jacobs II

      12 years ago

      There is a Santa Claus & yes, lightning can strike the same person twice…Why the childish euphemisms instead of just stating that I found another set of Pro Golds..Simple..Trying to find a pristine used/new set of 4i-PW(Yes, I play a 3i, though I gave up locating one either on the net or through Adams) has been a 7-9 month odyssey…As all probably know, the set came standard with 3-4h & 5i-PW, so I got extremely lucky the first time when I got 4i-PW & the pro got me a 3i from the rep..To top it off, he threw in the 3-4h for $150..I sold my MP-67s to appease my significant other(plus a purse that cost more than my friggin driver!!) & my love affair with Adams began..One problem: After 1 1/2 seasons, the grooves are worn on four of the irons…I purchased the MP-63s & 68s & put a combo set together(4-6i MP-63s, 7i-PW MP-68s), though I have kept looking/hoping to find a set of Golds…While searching, I hit, played & ultimately bagged the MP-59s this past November…Yesterday, my hopes were realized..The downside(slightly) is that these don’t have the PXs in ’em, instead they have the TT S300s..Though as someone said, He giveth & He taketh away cuz although He took the PXs away, He gave me a set of BRAND NEW 3i-PW Pro Golds…The cost of this dream come true?….$399.99…INCREDIBLE!!..I know alot of guys have drooled over the CB1s, CB2s & MB2s, & though these are all great clubs in their own right, my yardstick are my Mizunos & the only irons that have moved them outa my bag in the last 26 years are the Golds…Oh well, that’s about it..I just thought about somethun..How pathetic is my life that I get this excited over a set of golf clubs?..Especially when I’ve got four pristine sets of Mizzys(33s, 59s, 63s, & 68s) in the closet..Please don’t reply to that question cuz it’ll ruin an otherwise great day!!..lol…Fairways & Greens 4ever….

      Tyk

      13 years ago

      Your review pretty much summarizes my initial thoughts on these irons, which are: “Hmm, these look pretty good. . I like the look of the CB1s much better. . but these are probably a better fit for my game. . .”

      Good work and thanks!

      Reply

      Golfspy Dave

      13 years ago

      How does the target market for these compare to the market for the CB2’s?

      Reply

    Leave A Reply

    required
    required
    required (your email address will not be published)

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Drivers
    Jun 11, 2024
    Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
    Putters
    Jun 11, 2024
    Triple Black Evnroll 38 Tour Spec Putters
    FootJoy limited FootJoy limited
    First Look
    Jun 11, 2024
    JUST DROPPED: FootJoy Red Clay Premiere Series