Editorials Iron Byron May 13, 1998 Share 1 -- It's no surprise that the United States Golf Association takes the game seriously. How seriously? you might ask. (Insider did.) So seriously that the association employs a full-time player to test various types of golf balls. Visitors to the USGA's research and test center in Far Hills, N.J., can even see this guy in action. The guy in question, though, is a machine known as Iron Byron, so called because its swing is programmed to be identical to that of legendary pro Byron Nelson. During the winter, the machine whacks golf balls into an indoor net, but come fair weather, the guys at the test center open the doors to a practice fairway and let Iron Byron show his stuff for visitors on the observation deck. It's a tough job, but something's gotta do it.