Equipment Editor Dan Owen puts a set of Proto Concept C03TC Irons through their paces with the help of the custom fitting experts at Golf Tech UK

While all the main golf brands do an exceptional job when it comes to creating irons to suit a wide range of golfers, there is a small but growing group of golfers who are looking for something a little bit more niche. This explains the rise of boutique brands such as Miura, Vega, and Epon, who specialise in creating hand-made irons made from the finest materials.

You can now add Proto Concept to that list of brands catering to discerning golfers who want something that not only offers incredible feel, but unlike many boutique irons, offers advanced performance as well.


Played by women’s world no.3 Lydia Ko, Proto Concept irons are built in a factory that many experts believe make the best forgings
in golf. The range includes four iron models, but after a custom fitting at the West Sussex-based headquarters of Golf Tech UK, the best results I got were with the CO3TC model.

This forged one-piece carbon steel design features a CNC- milled channel in the longer irons, that lowers the centre of gravity and promotes a higher launch. In the 8-PW this is removed to give the clubs a more controlled flight. The bevelled sole design with a killed leading edge reduces turf drag and helps maintained clubhead speed through impact.


Initially apprehensive about their playability, I expected to be fitted into one of the more forgiving irons in the range. However, with my shallower swing, the narrow sole helped me achieve better contact and, more importantly, faster ball speeds than the larger CO5 molde.

Expertly fitted by the team at Golf Tech UK, these irons were built with the KBS TGI 90 graphite shafts. Despite being graphite, they are stiff, providing a stronger ball flight than comparatively weighted steel shafts. And one of the keys to choosing a set of irons like this is they will be custom fit, and you won’t be limited to standard options.


While hitting indoors on a Trackman is informative, the true feel of a club is experienced on the course, so I took them for a round at Littlehampton, a gem of a links course. The most surprising aspect on the course was that the heads aren’t overly compact. With their Japanese shaping, there’s more mass in the heel, and the irons don’t have an excessively thin topline. Despite being one-piece forgings, these are forgiving irons for their size.

Striking them out of the middle was addictive. The soft, compressed impact may be the best I’ve felt. Unlike Miura, which feels a bit thuddy to me, these resemble the Bridgestone forged J33 irons I played in the past, which were manufactured in the same factory.


They aren’t exceptionally fast or long irons – they deliver to the ball what you put in, and as I’ve lost some speed, they might not be what I’m looking for long-term, but if you want a set of irons that keep you honest and feel is more important than distance and forgiveness, these could be exactly what you are looking for.

RRP: £345 per iron
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