50 Words or Less
The New Level 4995 HB utility iron is a versatile club that blends seamlessly into a better players iron set. One of the best driving irons/utility clubs I’ve tested.
Many of us who love golf equipment find ourselves pining after a type of club that doesn’t return our affection. For me, that’s always been utility irons. They look so damn cool, and the concept makes so much sense, but I’ve never found one that truly loved me back.
My lack of success hasn’t stopped my pursuit, and that determination seems to have finally paid off. The New Level 4995 HB utility iron can do everything I want and seems destined for a spot in my bag.
The New Level 4995 HB looks very similar to their 902 Forged iron. Its top line is a touch thicker and there’s a bit more offset, but both have a similar, compact blade length. Importantly, there’s no excess sole sticking out behind the top line. This is a utility iron that, from a visual perspective, can easily mix into any set of players irons.
In the bag, the 4995 HB maintains the classic look that New Level has established for itself. The branding is minimal, and the small amount of paint fill sticks to traditional colors. For me, the most eye catching feature is the milled pattern in the cavity.
Sound & Feel
The sound and feel of impact with the New Level 4995 HB is an interesting mix of elements. The first thing I feel is a soft impact paired with a very quiet collision. Then there is a second act which is a hot, slightly springy sensation accompanied by a quiet “snap.”
Overall, I think it feels great because it checks all the boxes. There’s the satisfaction of sensing a clean impact in your hands, then the feeling that the ball is getting launched.
As someone who doesn’t like fairway woods and can run hot and cold with hybrids, I lean on my 4 iron a lot. And as much as I love my 4I, I know in my heart that my results with it are not that consistent. When I read New Level’s description of the 4995 HB as “a hollow body, long iron replacement engineered for maximum ball speed and forgiveness,” I felt that it was meant for me. I had my 4995 HB built to the same specs as my 4I – 24 degrees, KBS C-Taper Lite shaft – to see if it could end up in my bag.
I started my first testing session by laying down a performance baseline with my 4I. The good shots carried between 195 and 205 yards, but there were some ugly misses. Then I tagged in the 4995. My first swing was utterly mediocre, but I looked up to see that it carried 185 yards. “Promising,” I thought. A series of better swings followed, all landing in the 195-205 range. On those good swings, I noticed that the spin was about 400 RPM higher than my 4I, a major plus for holding greens.
My next session was outdoors, and I wanted to test the versatility of the 4995 HB. I found that this club was able to do everything my 4I can, plus it gave me the ability to hit towering shots. While the 4995 was more than capable of shaping shots both directions, it was easier to fade than my 4I, another very welcome characteristic.
Alas, I have buried the lede. The biggest reason the New Level 4995 will earn a spot in my bag is the forgiveness. In all the launch monitor testing I did, my shortest carry with the 4995 was 180 yards. With my 4I the shortest carry was…less than 180. When you’re not giving up anything in terms of looks, feel, or shot making, leaving forgiveness on the table doesn’t make any sense.
After much searching, I’ve finally found a utility iron for my bag: the New Level 4995 HB. It gives me more forgiveness than my 4I without any cost. The only question left is how long I will wait before picking up an 18 or 21 degree model.