Testing out the XXIO Cross Iron #7 

↓ A #7 Iron with the loft of a #5, and it still lifts the ball!




Distance Irons with Smaller Loft!

There has been a trend lately for irons that can hit long distances. Like a #7 that can hit 200 yards, that’s amazing, you know! In Japan, power and distance in clubs is a big trend, not only for drivers but for irons as well. So what do you do to increase distance? Reduce loft. Lately, distance irons have had smaller lofts. In general, a #7 has a loft of 30°, give or take. However, this isn’t even close to 30°, it’s not even 27°! And there are others with an even smaller loft.

Reduce loft!

The XXIO Cross Iron #7 has the loft of a #5

The XXIO Cross Iron #7 has a mere loft of 25°! That’s 25°! That’s the same as the #5 I’ve been using. If it has the same loft as a #5, doesn’t that make it a #5? Even if it has #7 written on it? But let’s not get too caught up in that. If it says its a #7, then it is safe to assume it is a #7.

25 degrees!

The secret to getting the ball to lift is a low center of gravity

You can see when setting up the shot that it doesn’t look like it has the loft of a #7. It looks like the loft of a #5. Of course, not everything is about loft. The sole is widened in order to help lift the ball. Most people know that a wider sole decreases duffing, but it also actually affects weight distribution. The wider the soul, the lower the center of gravity. Since there is little wiggle room for the design of an iron, you can usually tell where the center of gravity is simply by looking at the width of the sole. 

The wider the sole, the lower the center of gravity

And look at this pocket, it’s like a coin purse. This is called a pocket cavity, which keeps the weight far from the face.

XXIO CROSS IRON pocket cavity

With a pocket cavity, the center of gravity is moved deeper into the head. In order to get the ball into the air while also reducing loft, there must be a low center of gravity. You can get a lower center of gravity with a pocket cavity and an increased sole width. This is the technology that allows you to get good lift with the same loft as a #5.

The XXIO Cross Iron #7 is also the same length as the #5

The XXIO Cross Iron #7 is 37.75 inches long. In general, #7 irons are 37 inches. However, the XXIO Cross Iron #7 is almost an entire inch longer, about the same length as an average #5. But please don’t yell at me that this should say #5 instead of #7! There is magic to numbers.



↓ Wow, that went far! The low center of gravity really made a difference!

★XXIO CROSS IRON MH1000 Carbon Shaft (R)★

Today I will be trying out 3 different shafts: the XXIO MH1000 Carbon shaft R, S, and the N.S. PRO 870GH DST for XXIO lightweight steel shaft. Let’s start with the main model, the Carbon R. The shaft is extremely light, weighing only 49 grams.

International flex

Dunlop uses an international flex of 3222. Overall it’s pretty flexible, but it's a bit stiffer near the grip.

Overall, it is flexible. It is a little stiff by the hands.

I feel like this is going to go pretty far just from my practice swings. Wow, that really went! How far did that go? Look at that. The low center of gravity sent that ball flying. It had the impact one would expect from an iron. And man, it really goes.That’s a plus for sure.

That really went!

↓ Surprisingly great hitting feel!!

★XXIO CROSS IRON MH1000 Carbon Shaft (S)★

Next I'm going to try out the S shaft. You can see when you waggle that it is quite stiff. You can really feel the difference in flex.  It has a long face. Yeah, it feels like it’s a #5… but it’s a #7. I know I keep saying this, but don’t ask me what’s going on here! One thing that is really surprising is how great it felt to hit.

The impact feels great

The feeling tends to change when performance is prioritized. A lot of XXIO users focus on impact feel. This is my first time hitting with the XXIO Cross Iron, and I am shocked by how great the impact feels.

↓ Looks of a utility, Feels of an iron!


Next up is the steel shaft. I wonder why they even have steel I guess some people prefer them.


Alright, time to give it a try. Woah, it's surprisingly nice for steel! It doesn't have the typical "iron" look, but it sure feels like an iron when you hit with it. It looks and hits very differently. Usually distance irons look and hit like utility clubs. The fall smacks the face and goes flying, but you aren't able to tell how far it will go. With the XXIO Cross iron's pocket cavity, it definitely looks like a utility club. However, it feels like a normal XXIO iron when you hit. Please try it yourself. You'll see that it looks like a utility but feels like an iron.

When I hit with it, it feels just like an iron

 Carbon shaft or Steel? It's all about timing

A carbon shaft matches the XXIO character more. When it comes to carbon vs steel shafts, the difference is in timing. If people who are good at hitting with carbon try hitting with steel, they will often duff. On the other hand, people who are used to using steel will often top the ball if they try using carbon. The material the shaft is made of will greatly affect your swing, so it's all about getting used to it.

The timing of carbon and steel are completely different

If you are able to make nice contact with steel, you should stick with steel, regardless of your head speed. If you hit well with a more flexible carbon, go with carbon.

A light club may lead to swinging with your hands

With a weight of just under 50 grams, it's fairly light. Sometimes people can tend to swing using their hands when using a lighter club. If you are trying to avoid that, try using steel. If it is easy for you to time your swing with a carbon, use carbon.

Recommending R Shaft for people swinging with their hands, rushing the downswing, and yank the ball

 For those of you who tend to swing with their hands, definitely choose an R carbon shaft over an S. Since it has a little give, it is unlikely to rush the downswing. A flexible shaft can move from the bottom, while a stiffer shaft creates pressure from the top. 

It doesn’t matter how good a club is, how many great features it has, because if the shaft is not right for you, you won’t be able to fully utilize those features. I’m sure you have experienced this yourself. A lot of people want to use an S shaft, but I recommend an R shaft for anyone struggling with rushing the downswing or yanking the ball.

If you tend to yank the ball, try an R shaft.

How to use the Cross Iron Efficiently: Choose your Shaft Wisely and Invest in Some More Lower Numbered Clubs

The XXIO Cross Iron #7 has a loft of 25°and an attack angle of 37°. I usually use a club with an attack angle of 44°-47°, so this is much less loft than I am used to.

A Pitching Wedge with loft of 37 degrees

 You should start with a #7 with distance irons. If you prefer a #5 or #6, go ahead, but I think you are fine to start off with just a #7. Instead, buy yourself another wedge. If you are really unsure of what to get, get the XXIO Cross Iron full set. In addition to the AW and SW, it has a DW club with an attack angle of 49°

A Dual Wedge with a loft of 49°

It doesn’t matter if an iron can hit distance if it’s not the right fit. No matter how nice it may be to have a distance #7, you don’t want to overshoot on the green. Please buy yourself some more lower numbered clubs.

The XXIO Cross Series really sends the ball flying. But golf isn’t all about distance. First, think about timing when you check your shaft. Second, increase your lower numbered clubs. That’s how you will master the XXIO Cross Iron and improve your golf score.


Mark Kanai (Golf Club Analyst)
Mark Kanai was born on September 16, 1958, in Osaka. He is 6 feet tall and has A blood type. After working as an editor for a golf magazine, he switched to freelance. He has tested over 5,000 golf clubs. With his expertise and as a single digit handicapper, his golf club trials and reports are published both in magazines and online.