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Review: Cobra BiO Cell and BiO Cell+ Irons

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Pros: Improved ball speeds across the face can add distance and consistency in both models. The large footprint of the BiO Cell irons offers great forgiveness throughout the set.

Cons: An angular graphics package won’t please traditionalists, and neither will the longer lengths, more upright lie angles and strong lofts in the BiO Cell irons, as they can be a hindrance to golfers with slower swing speeds who aren’t prone to a slice. The impressive variety of stock shaft offerings in Cobra’s BiO Cell driver line is absent in the BiO Cell and BiO Cell+ irons.

Bottom Line: These irons offer above-average performance in their categories, but those categories are becoming increasingly crowded with clubs such as TaylorMade’s SLDR, Callaway’s Apex and Nike’s Covert Forged that offer better looks and performance.

Overview

Cobra has danced along the tightrope of innovation in golf equipment and apparel for decades. Its reinvigorated campaigns feature youthful tour staffers like Lexi Thompson and Rickie Fowler, fashion-forward stalwarts like Jesper Parnevik and Ian Poulter, and trending international players like Johan Edfors and Jonas Blixt. The company’s 2014 release of the BiO Cell iron sets expresses an intention to appeal to a diverse clientele. Gone is the spider-web appearance of the cavity found in the 2013 iron sets, the AMP Cell. In its place is a geometric pattern of cubes and hexagons, suggesting mathematics and science to the naked eye.

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Three essential building blocks define the construction of the BiO Cell and BiO Cell+ irons. E9 face technology is an elliptical-shaped sweet spot pattern. rising from low near the hosel to higher on the toe, ensuring that perfect and imperfect strikes receive optimal distance. The perimeter undercut feature behind the face is the largest unsupported face of any Cobra irons.

In the new irons, the faces are also thinner, the club heads are lighter and an increased face flex at impact generates greater speed and distance. Finally, tungsten weights in the heel and toe in the long and mid irons and more centrally placed tungsten weights in the short irons improve feel and workability. With these critical similarities from set to set, you might wonder about the distinctions between the BiO Cell and the BiO Cell+.

BiO Cell

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This is the set for the distance-craving golfer. Iron lofts average between 2 and 3 degrees stronger per club than their BiO Cell+ counterpart. The club heads and True Temper DynaLite 85 shafts encourage a higher ball flight. The combination of lower lofts, longer shaft lengths and slightly softer shafts encourages soaring shots with a distance upgrade.

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BiO Cell+
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As suggested above, the BiO Cell+ model has a little more loft per club through the set. For example, the BiO Cell+ 3 iron has 20 degrees of loft, the 5 iron has 25.5 and the 6 iron has 29. The BiO Cell set replies with 18-, 23- and 26.5-degree loft values, respectively. Through the long and mid irons, the difference ranges from 1 to 2.5 degrees. Once the short irons and wedges arrive, the differential is minimized to a degree or none at all.

The BiO Cell+ model features a slight offset through the set. Topping out at 4 mm in the 3 iron and ranging downward to 1.8 mm in the gap wedge, the offset helps to raise trajectory and add a bit of draw bias. The standard shaft in the BiO Cell+ model is a True Temper Dynamic Gold. This quintessential metal shaft encourages a lower ball flight to help the accurate player achieve even greater accuracy. Technology affords this golfer the opportunity to play to his strengths.

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Each set is available in a 3 iron through gap wedge. Shared sand and lob wedges in the BiO Cell configuration and design are available. The sand wedge has a loft of 55 degrees of loft and a length of 35.5 inches. The lob wedge measures 60 degrees with an identical length.

BiO Cell Specs

Bio Cell iron specs

BiO Cell+ Specs

Bio Cell+ iron specs

Performance

After a number of goes with 8 iron and 4 iron from each set on the Trackman, a wealth of information lay before me. The data revealed that a number of categories (club speed, ball speed, smash factor) produced nearly-identical results. Other factors began to create a bit of disparity in performance between the two iron sets. For my swing, the BiO Cell+ iron results were a bit livelier in a horizontal way: I was more likely to overcook (right-to-left for my right-handed swing) an iron with the Dynamic Gold shaft than I was with the lighter, True Temper Dynalite shaft of the BiO Cell iron. Both sets that I tested came equipped with stock S-Flex shafts.

BiO Cell

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After 15 swings with the 8 iron, my spin rate average was just over 5000 rpm. My average height was 19.8 yards and my average flight time was 4.79 seconds. This translated to an average carry distance of 146.0 yards, about what I expect from the set of Ping i20 irons that I played with immense success throughout 2013.

Once my swing found its truest groove, I averaged 155 yards of carry over the final five shots. Stepping up to the 4 iron, I quickly exited the comfort zone and produced a succession of inferior shots. I carry a 4 iron between 185 and 190 yards when swinging efficiently, and didn’t approach that number with the BiO Cell. My spin rate was very low (average at 2600 rpm) and the carry topped out around 175 yards.

If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that the stiff shaft in the longer irons made it difficult to load the shaft and deliver a consistently strike. The Ping i20 irons that I use have regular-flex shafts throughout the set, and I am able to deliver a square clubface with my 4 iron. In addition, and these are critical points, the length, loft and lie of the BiO Cell 4 iron are 39.25 inches, 20 degrees and 61 degrees, while the Ping i20 comes standard at 38.25 inches, 24 degrees and 60 degrees. In my conclusion, I’ll discuss the importance of these differentials.

BiO Cell+

I expected the souped-up shafts of the BiO Cell irons to deliver a bit more distance than the Cell+ model, and they didn’t disappoint. Interestingly, when I dropped down to the shorter shafts of the Cell+ irons, my spin rate increased for the 4 iron (3200 rpm) and decreased (4100 rpm) with the 8 iron. My carry distances for the 8 iron appeared to average the same (147 yards for the Cell+ versus 146 yards for the Cell), but I would be remiss if I did not report this important fact: I never reached a 155-yard carry stretch with the Cell+ 8 iron as I did with the Cell club.

For whatever reason, I had more confidence with the Cell+ 4 iron in my hand than the Cell model, and the Trackman numbers backed up my attitude. Perhaps it was the shorter shaft, but I delivered higher carry numbers with the Cell+, much closer to the numbers I expect from my set of Ping i20 irons. Flight time was nearly a second longer for the Cell+ 4 iron versus the Cell, and I hit the Cell+ nearly 5 yards higher on average than I did the BiO Cell.

Looks and Feel

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Cobra’s BiO Cell (right) and BiO Cell+ irons at address. 

Both iron sets inspire confidence in the golfer. If they don’t, a correspondence course on how to find your inner hero is in short order. As suggested above, the longer irons (3 and 4) in both sets offer a challenge for consistent production. This was evident in my Trackman testing and, to a lesser degree, in my on-course efforts. This is a minor radar blip, as a quick swap for hybrids will offer respite and solace. The BiO Cell line of clubs has a thicker top line and comes standard with a silver/dark grey color scheme. The dark grey may be replaced by red, orange or royal blue options. The thinner-topped BiO Cell+ irons feature a black/dark grey cavity coloring, albeit again with the same color options.

Neither line of clubs has a heavy feel to it during the various stages of the swing. Even the worst of mishits fails to deliver a clunky sense of contact. It is apparent that the R&D department at Cobra performed their due diligence when it came to this most-important element of club design. Whether on the Trackman or on course during a five-round trial run in North Carolina, I never second-guessed the ability of either BiO Cell iron set to provide confidence in the swing and deliver successful contact, distance and direction in the product.

The Takeaway

A recent piece by my colleague, pro Tom Stickney, calls all of us out by stating “Why you’re not good enough not to get fit.” My Ping i20 irons were personally fitted to me, while the two sets of Cobra irons were not. Remember when I promised to discuss the importance of length, lie and loft? I didn’t forget.

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The 1-inch of additional length in the Cobra BiO Cell 4 iron (versus my personalized Ping i20) demands at least a season of familiarization. As I am of average height, so lengthened irons are not optimal for me. The 1 degree upright lie? Same issue. If anything, I prefer irons that are flatter than normal. More upright clubs mean more likelihood that the ball will contact the club face near the heel, resulting in a low-and-left shot, precisely what I experienced with the BiO Cell 4 iron. Most glaring is the 4 degrees of separation between the Cobra and the Ping. Take 4 degrees off your 4 iron and guess what? You have a 3-iron. I asked a friend who is a respected club fitter to bend the BiO Cell to my specs. He smiled and said, “I might snap it.” That was enough for me.

If I were told to remove the Ping i20 irons from my bag and replace them with Cobra BiO Cell irons for the 2014 season, I could be comfortable in doing so. If you then examined my bag, you would find one of two configurations. The first would be BiO Cell irons from 6-GW, and BiO Cell+ for the 3-5 parcel. If I found that this didn’t work, I’d return the BiO Cell 5-iron to my bag and substitute Cobra BiO Cell hybrids for the longer irons. In other words, I’d have to monkey around with the set make-up.

I’ve never been the type of golfer who overwhelms partners or opponents with a powerful lash at the ball. I have a tendency to narrow my stance when I’m swinging well and impress my mates with a smooth, repeating swing. In other words, I’ll par you to death. I have no doubt that if I had tested these same irons with regular-felx shafts in the longer irons, my results would have glowed brighter. Unfortunately, a set with regular shafts was unavailable during the process. As it is, the results from studio and golf-course usage drove home yet again the importance of shaft customization.

I am pleased with the appearance and feel of the BiO Cell and BiO Cell+ iron heads from Cobra, and I was enthused by the feel and sound of solid contact. As a result, I believe that the BiO Cell and BiO Cell+ club heads are worthy candidates for your bag in 2014.

If you agree, do your due diligence and find the proper shaft stiffness for your swing, and most importantly, the proper length, loft and lie for your build. The results may not be so apparent in the shorter irons, but you’ll see a measurable difference in your mid- and long-iron production.

Thanks to Kevin Hoffstetter and Donna Henrich of Woods To Wedges, Inc. (Williamsville, NY) for the use of their Trackman studio and their assistance in capturing and tabulating iron swing data.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Dan

    Mar 31, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    How do these compare to the Cobra Baffler Hybrid irons? I currently have them but was considering switching to the Bio Cell irons. I’m typically a 83-85 scorer.

  2. Keith Panco

    Jan 8, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I have a set of Bio Cells that I got when they went half price. I cannot get used to them. They look too chunky for me, and actually I have less confidence over them. I will either sell them or give them to my son.

  3. MD

    Nov 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    You were Wright Ronald about Trevino,If this Mexican had new tech clubs wathever the looks ,he would make jokes 24/7 .imagine him in his 20s hitting lets say a low lied XTD tour driver rather than wath he had on hand back then , even with a stock shaft options irons ,this memorable Champ would have probably won twice as much majors.

  4. Matt

    Oct 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I actually just picked these clubs up today (Bio Cell +) 4-GW and love them. I used to play TaylorMade TP (2009) and switched to Ping G25’s with a 4/5 Hybrid set. I hit the Cobra 4 iron so much more solid and longer than I did with the 4 hybrid. I love being able to have more control working the ball right-to-left and vice-versa. I love the look of these irons at address and the look overall.

  5. Butch V

    Oct 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Mr. Montesano. What is your thinking about shortening shafts? For example, I use a Cobra Bio Cell Driver and thought about cutting it down to 43 3/4 inches. I read where some pros are decreasing shaft length for accuracy. Couldn’t hurt us regular golfer, could it?

  6. Ryan

    Aug 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I hit the Cell+ with the KBS C Tapers in them…WOW. Felt better than my S57 set and added 7 yards on avg. Now only if my wife would be okay with spending an EXTRA $250 on the shafts alone. Oh well…

  7. M.D

    Jun 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I was to the demo day caravan lately,I am 5,11 with a slow swing speed of 84 mph tried the Cell irons non plus per say,and I really had the kick out and compressed ball that I could not get,from other,Call,TM,Adams, they were like made for my swing and this little more we all search for,,I think it the shaft stock regular..the TM was fun to like butter muted sound but to high..for my taste ..I would defenitly recommend these to amateur SS,OF 9 TO 11 handicaps..

    • Ronald Montesano

      Jul 12, 2014 at 6:36 am

      Very precise suggestion and much appreciated, doctor. That range seems to fall within the parameters targeted by the company.

  8. D

    Jun 12, 2014 at 11:37 am

    The topline is thicker then John Holmes!!!!!

    • Ronald Montesano

      Jul 12, 2014 at 6:36 am

      #stayclassy

      Different views from different pews…

      • chris

        Sep 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        I’m a ex-scratch and after 2 little girls and chance of membership i am now soul searching. I’ve played x14 pro series as long as I could remember, and then began shooting sub par to 1 and 2 over rounds at my home course. I do not hit the ball a long way driver about 245-260 and 8 iron about 148-155. I got as low as a +1 and thought I needed players irons (nike pro combos) and now hitting 6-10 greens a round. I want to go back to those type of irons and cobra bio cell are in my sights. I am the worst 2 hcp golfer you”ll ever see but seem to shoot 74-78 from back tees once a week with no range work. I guess what I’m asking would these be a mistake or or am I in the ball park with Bio cell irons

  9. Title

    May 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Can anyone compare Bio Cell iron with 714 AP1 pls?

    • Ronald Montesano

      Jun 10, 2014 at 6:59 am

      Title,

      Here is our company review of the irons: http://www.golfwrx.com/144023/titleist-714-ap1-and-ap2-irons-editor-review/

      They log in as quite a bit more expensive than the Cobras, but if money is less of a concern and you love those AP1s, go for it. At the beginning of the day, find yourself a clubfitter who will let you test the irons until you feel confident in them. If you walk away a satisfied customer, at the end of the day, you will have confidence in the fitter and she/he will have a satisfied customer.

  10. Foz

    May 30, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I have the Bio Cells w/Dynalite 85S in my bag……what is great is that I now hit the 4 iron (175+ yds). I had not been able to hit a 4 iron for a couple years. As for the design, get over it, You don’t see any of the back at address. These irons are definitely worth a go, especially if you are a mid Hcapper.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 31, 2014 at 7:41 am

      There is nothing like that feel of hitting a solid, straight long iron. I’m glad to hear that you like them. If there is something that leaves you wanting, don’t hesitate to mention it here. Thanks for commenting, Foz.

  11. Trevor

    May 29, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Probably the ugliest irons I have ever seen in my life

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 31, 2014 at 12:21 am

      Trevor,

      Lee Trevino had the ugliest swing I ever saw, but he did some good. If ugly is all that keeps you from a club, reconsider.

  12. Josh

    May 28, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I saw how these clubs looked online and thought they were hideous. Seeing them in person is a different story. They actually look pretty nice in person! If I didn’t purchase the Mizuno JPX EZ Forged irons I’d would have picked these up.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Josh,
      It’s funny how in-person alters one’s perception! My wife said…oh, never mind; we’re happily married!

      Seriously, I agree. I didn’t know of the irons until they arrived on my desk, so I hadn’t developed a prior sense of their appearance/worth. I hope you enjoy your Mizunos. Keep reading and writing.

      Ron M.

  13. JJ

    May 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Wow, how could you mess up a good thing. They had the forged iron nailed and then this crap…in jail irons….

    • cp

      May 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      I’m sure they perform great, but what’s with the design? Looks like something Walmart would sell

      • Ronald Montesano

        May 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm

        cp, what is “walmartian” about it? It reminds me of a Top Flite look from the 1980s, but I guess when everything else has been used, you cycle back to a previous visual. I have no idea if there is functionality to the back-squares…I’ll try to find out.

      • johnjohn

        May 29, 2014 at 8:44 am

        all they did is copy what Tour Edge has been doing since the XCG-4 irons ( 3 yrs ago). I have the XCG-5 with Matrix shafts and they are great irons! Save your money and just get the TEE’s,

        • Ronald Montesano

          May 29, 2014 at 9:30 am

          johnjohn,

          Can you elaborate on how the Cobra irons resemble the Tour Edge XCG5 irons? To my eye, they don’t look at all alike. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Great question…I assume you’re suggesting the backside is less than attractive? If so, you don’t have to look at it when you hit it. I’m fortunate in that aesthetics take a back seat to function for me, so I can play a visually-unappealing club, as long as it performs.

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Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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Equipment

GolfWRX Member Reviews: TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 Irons

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. For Giveaways — we give away everything from golf clubs to golf balls to GPS units — all it takes is a forum name. Enter any Giveaway, and we select winners randomly. You’re then free to enjoy your prize as you wish.

For Testing Threads, the process a bit more involved. GolfWRX Forum Members sign up to test the latest and greatest products in golf, and then they provide in-depth reviews on the equipment. Being the intelligent golf-equipment users they are, GoflWRX Members are able to provide the most-informed and unbiased reviews on the Internet.

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In this Testing Thread, we selected 75 members to test a TaylorMade M1 2017 7-iron and TaylorMade M2 7-iron. Each of the clubs were built with the stock lofts and shafts — M2 2017 (28.5 degrees) with a TaylorMade Reax shaft, and M1 2017 (30.5 degrees) with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft — and the testers were instructed to post their review of the clubs here.

Below, we’ve selected what we’ve deemed the most in-depth and educated reviews out of the 75 testers. We have edited each of the posts for brevity, clarity and grammar.

Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

Brock9007

To be honest, looking down on the TaylorMade M1 and M2 irons at address, there is really not much difference. I would have to pick one up to see which is which.

The first 10 balls I hit were with M1 and 6/10 felt great, while the other 4 were toe hits, which I felt and the distance reflected that. Kinda what I expected with a club design for lower-handicap players. Distance was about 1/2 longer than my Srixon iron and dispersion was close, as well. I will say they did not feel as good as the Srixon on center hits.

Next 10 (ok, 15) balls were with the M2. Wow, can you say “up, up and away? The ball really popped of the club face, but wasn’t a ballon flight. Waited for the ball to come down and WTH, with the roll out it was 5-8 yards longer than balls hit with M1, and that is with a few toe shots. I did some smooth swings and then very aggressive swings and was a little amazed at this iron. Just like the M1, it does not have the forged feeling and does have a clicky sound (which I hate).

Bottom line: M2 is the longest iron I have ever hit. I love my 545s, but I could see myself playing M2 very easily. Matter of fact, I will be taking this M2 7 iron in my bag and play it more head-to-head against my Srixon 545 on the course.

deathbymuffin

These are both beautiful clubs. What surprised me the most is how much alike the two clubs look at address. I was expecting a chunky topline and significant offset in the M2, but it’s footprint looked almost exactly the same as the M1, outside of the chrome finish on the M2 versus the frosted finish of the M1. The M2 could almost pass as a player’s iron to my eye at address. These clubs both get A’s from me in the looks department.

The M1 felt a tad thicker than most player’s irons I’m used to, but it seemed to come with a bit of added forgiveness too. Well-struck shots felt good, with a nice mid-trajectory and with the workability that I’ve come to expect from a player’s iron. But true to TaylorMade’s claims, the M1 seemed more forgiving than a traditional player’s iron. Had a nice soft feel at impact, mishits didn’t sting and left you with a more playable result. A really nice combination of the better attributes of both player’s and game improvement irons. I’ve been playing with an old set of Tommy Armour blades, but I’ve been recently wanting more forgiveness for when I’m stuck with my B or C swing. Based on the early returns, I could definitely see myself bagging these.

I’m not sure if it’s the shaft, the design of the clubhead, or a combination of both, but the M2 is definitely a different animal than the M1 at impact. This club launches the ball high, arguably ridiculously so. I was hitting Jason Day moonbombs with this bad boy. Didn’t seem to matter what kind of swing I put on it, the ball launched high, flat and dead straight. The club was super forgiving and if not for the insanely high ball flight, I would love to have a set of these for when my swing is out of sorts. I didn’t really try to flight it at all, so I’m not sure what it’s capable of at this point. One other note was that the M2 had a clicky feel at impact. It didn’t bother me since it still felt so sweet… so strange as it sounds, clicky, but smooth and sweet at the same time. I think these clubs will be big winners with the mid-to-high handicap set.

The M1 is a fine iron, but doesn’t really stand out in any way from other irons of its class.

The M2, on the other hand, is an iron on steroids. I’m really starting to love this thing. It’s super forgiving and just goes and goes. According to my laser, flush shots were going 195 yards (my usual blade 5 iron distance) and very high. I can’t help but think golf would be a whole lot easier, particularly longer courses with long par 3s, with a full set of these in my bag.

poppyhillsguy

M1 feels softer than the M2 and I felt the ball flight was more consistent and what I want in an iron. The M1 did have a harsher feeling in my hands than I typically like, but I’m going to credit a lot of that to the range balls.

M2 flies very high. It was a windy afternoon and about 100 degrees. I love the high ball flight on the range, but I have a concern what that ball flight would be like on the course. I like to hit the ball different heights for different shots and I don’t think I could do that confidently with the M2, but I could with the M1. I don’t like the sound of the M2. It sounded “clicky” to me.

Fourpar18

Initially on the range I was scared because the M1 had a regular flex in it, so I took it easy for my initial 10-15 swings with it. Ball SHOT off the face, loud crack (didn’t care for it, but not too bad) and ball just kept rising and rising but didn’t balloon. I thought, “whoa,” that’s not what I expected…did it again…another CRACK and the ball just flew. I set another down and I paid attention to how it looked behind the ball, not much offset for a game improvement and I thought…”I could actually play this club!”  The 5-7 were EASY swings, aimed at a target of 170 yards away (my normal 7 iron distance) and with a EASY swing I was flying it by 20 yards or so. The next 5-10 I really went after it, same CRACK and ball just flew but to my surprise it was a nice draw, harder draw than the first but it was a nice 10-yard draw. This time the balls were landing just short of the 200 yard marker. Damn, 200 yards with a 7 iron! I know they are jacked lofts but it feels good to say “my 7 irons just few 190-200 yards!”

P.S. LOVE the Lamkin UTX grip!

Now, this was interesting, the M2 was quieter then the M1… weird!  Now, there is more carbon fiber added to this one and there is a “Geocoustic” label on the back. I am sure that it has something to do with all that carbon fiber but it does have a better sound. Other than the sound, it played exactly like the M1: long and straight. The REAX shaft felt a little weaker than the True Temper shaft and it flew a little higher but nothing else I could pick up.

noahdavis_7

Finally got out to the range after getting these bad boys in on Friday. My first impression of them is that they look really sharp. The graphics and design really stand out and really give these clubs a cool, modern look.

They were both a little to big IMO, as I am currently bagging Mizuno MP-68s. The M2 isa definite “game improvement iron”, while the M1 was similar in size and shape to my previous irons, Titleist AP1s.

They both really launch it, high and far. Ridiculous for 7 irons. I don’t have access to a launch monitor, but it was about a 20-yard difference between my gamer 7 iron and these (stronger lofts, as well).

The M1 definitely was more suited for my eye, and produced more consistent ball flights. It felt much more smooth and solid as the M2 had a clicky, cheap feel.

The M2 just isn’t for me. I felt like it was launching too high and ballooning, which could be due to the shaft (the M1 had the S300, while the M2 just had a stock “Reax” shaft). The feel off the face of the M2 just turned me off, to be honest.

While I don’t think I’ll be putting either model in play, I can definitely see the appeal for mid-to-high handicaps. Both irons were super forgiving, and they should be a dream to the average weekend golfer who has trouble with ball striking consistently.

golfnut5438

Looks: As expected, I preferred the M1 with less offset, slightly smaller sole and a smoother finish. Less glare looking down on the iron. I must say the M2 did not look as bulky, or have as much offset as I thought it might have.

Feel: This was a close race, probably due to the shafts as much as the heads. The M1 was just a slight bit smoother feeling on solid shots. But the M2 was not bad at all, just not quite as smooth.

Distance and performance: Our range has a slight incline up the length of the range, so specific yardage gains or losses were difficult to measure. Both irons had a higher trajectory than my gamer 7 iron. Neither sole dug onto the turf either. The lofts for both irons are a degree or two stronger than mine, so I would think they probably flew a little further than my gamers. Neither iron flew “too” high, however. Might be a little harder to hit knock down shots, though.

Final thoughts: I had hit both the M1 and M2 irons last year during a fitting day, but did not like either. This year’s model were both better in my eyes. I asked a fellow member at our club to hit both and he felt the M1 was his preferred model, and he is a 20-index player. So coming from both a single digit, and a high double-digit, the M1 won this battle of wills. I will try and see if I can locate both a 5 iron and 9 iron to see if a full set might be a winner for me.

DblEgl

I was surprised that the M2 was the winner in this brief session. It felt better, flew higher, easier to hit and about 1/2 club longer that my gamer Apex CF16. The feel/sound was better than I thought it might be, but really not up to the CF16. I could, however, easily game the M2’s.

Bstein74

Feel: I hit the M2 first, and found it to be very solid when hit on the screws. There was almost no feel off the club face at all. When I mishit it, you knew it was, but it wasn’t harsh at all. Hit the M1 next, and same type of feel when hit solid. Much more harsh when mishit though, but I knew that was coming.

Distance and performance: This is was where I was curious to see how they would play. The M2 went out high in the air, and just kept going forever. Now granted my eyesight isn’t that great anymore, but it looked like I got about 10-15 yards more from the M2 compared to my Wilson D300. The only thing I didn’t like about the M2 was how much I was able to turn it over. Got a lot more hook compared to my D300. Don’t know if that was from the REAX shaft, but would love to find a less spinning shaft to correct that.

The M1 wasn’t a great performer for me. Same height as the M2, but much straighter off the club face. Didn’t get any great distance advantage as compared to my D300. Can’t game a player’s iron anymore, and testing this one just reaffirmed that.

Final thoughts: Was very happy with the distance I gained with the M2 compared to my current gamer. Very good-performing iron for me, and something I would definitely consider changing them out if I could reduce the spin off the face. If you’re looking for more distance, you need to try these out. The M1 just wasn’t for me, but as a player’s iron, I can see it as a great option.

Bobcat271

Like the other testers, I found the M2 to launch the ball much higher and is 10-to-15 yards longer than my Adams XTD forged 7 iron. Of the two 7 irons I prefer the M1. I like the design of the M1 and its visual appearance at address. I feel more confident in trying to work the ball with the M1. The M1 gave me more feedback as to where the club head was in relation to my swing plane. If I had my druthers I would put the M1 in the bag as it stands now. Will continue to test, what a treat to compare the two irons.

myurick2

Once I started making solid contact with a decent shoulder turn, the M2 really came alive in my hands. Towering flat height, for me, and very long. No more clacky hollow feel, just a very mild pleasant sensation… then zoom. Once I started making better swings, back to the M1, which was a very nice iron. Shorter than the M2 (though not short) and a little lower ball flight. Felt nice and substantial without being heavy. Very forgiving on slight mishits.

But the M2 was the star for me. High trajectory and very long. Club felt lively and fun. Frankly, unless a player wanted a lower trajectory, or likes to hit a lot of knock downs or feel shots, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t choose the M2. They are very attractive and a very fun iron. I think folks who say that the M2 feels and/or sounds clicky, clacky or hollow may be mishitting the iron toward the toe. I am not judging — I mishit a lot of shots at first. I agree on toe mishits the iron did not feel great. It almost felt like plastic. The ball still flew pretty well, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. Not painful, just felt very dead. But when hit nearer the center, the iron felt fantastic. Light, springy and very lively. 

hammergolf

They are both good-looking clubs. Not too long heel to toe and toplines were not that distracting. M1 is more what I like to see shape wise, but M2 was not bad at all. Personally, not a fan of seeing the face slots. But I could see how some people may like how they frame the ball. 

Ace2000

M1 

– Has a very odd sound on contact, almost sounds a tad like a fairway wood “ting. Not a fan
– Looks very good at address with the brushed finish
– Most shots I hit with it seemed to fall out of the sky (very likely a lack of spin). Ball flight was much lower than I would have expected (not super low, just not much different than my 7 iron)
– Inconsistent misses. Next to no distance gains vs RocketBladez Tour 7 iron

M2

– Doesn’t look as good at address as the M1. Chrome finish at address is not an issue in even direct sunlight for me
– Feels and sounds quite nice to my ears at impact. Not a classic sound but very good considering what type of club it is
– Ball flight is very strong (comes off hot). Ball stays high in the air for awhile. Very high and lands soft
– 10-12 yards longer on average vs my 7 iron, it even had the horsepower to hang with my 6 iron
– VERY forgiving on thin strikes. Couldn’t believe how a near-top still traveled to nearly the front edge in the air and still went as far as the M1 did on a good strike
– Shaft is too light

Even though I’m a 2-handicap and don’t fit the M2 “mold,” I could see myself playing this club from 4-6 iron (although gapping would be a major issue mixing these with almost anything else) if it had a heavier shaft in it (I can only imagine how far this 4 iron must go… yikes)

M1 = 2.5/5 stars
M2 = 4.5/5 stars

tpeterson

Visual first impressions: The M1 7-iron is visually appealing to me as far as the finish and overall look. Even though it is classified as a player’s iron, it doesn’t seem so tiny that it would be tough to hit. I am not a huge fan of the bright-yellow badging, but I probably could get over it. The iron inspires confidence with its topline and a little bit of offset. The “rubber” piece on the hosel is a little bit funky to me.

I thought the M2 7-iron would look clunkier than it really is. Besides the finish being a little bit different, the difference between the M1 and M2 is actually pretty small. The M2’s topline and sole are a touch wider, but not by much. Not a huge fan of the fluted hosel since it can be seen at address. The M1’s fluting is only on the rear of the club.

I did notice that the sole’s finish did scratch pretty easily. Overall, I thought the M1 and M2 are pretty good looking, but I would definitely give the edge to the M1. I also preferred the stock Lamkin grip on the M1 vs. the ribbed M2 grip.

On course action: They both feel solid. I tried hitting both irons in all different types of on-course situations over a two week period. Both clubs launch the ball high but I would not say they balloon. For me, the M2 was about 10 yards longer and higher than the M1. Compared to my Cleveland irons, they are 1 to 1.5 clubs longer.

M1 loft = 30.5
M2 loft = 28.5
Cleveland TA7 loft = 33.5

I know this accounts for the distance gain but the ball definitely comes off hot compared to my set. I was hoping I would hit the M1 better since I like the appearance better, but that was not the case. The M2 definitely felt better for me and I felt more confident with it in my hands.

Discussion: Read all 75 reviews and the responses in our Testing Thread

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Equipment

Members Choice: The Best Irons of 2017

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To help golfers find the best irons for them in 2017, we enlisted the services of GolfWRX Members, the most knowledgeable golfers on the internet. They not only understand the technology used in the latest golf equipment, but they also test new clubs extensively. Following their detailed experiences and words of wisdom about the latest products is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in purchasing new golf clubs.

To gather their votes and feedback, we as a company first needed to properly sort the irons into categories. We aimed to keep the categories as simple as possible with 2017’s crop of irons, and we broke them down into three general categories:

  • Players Irons: Basically, small-sized irons. These irons have sleek top lines and soles. They place workability and control over distance, and for that reason they’re irons you can expect to see in the bag of a professional golfer.
  • Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, medium-sized irons. This category includes a wide-range of clubs that blend distance, forgiveness, good looks and workability.
  • Super Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, large-sized irons. These irons are juiced with hot faces, wide soles, thick top lines, big offset and a low center of gravity, among other engineering feats, that are often unique to each company.

Note: Because of the abundance of Players Irons currently available, we divided that category into two categories: Players Irons and Exotics Players Irons. The Exotic Players Irons list included players irons from companies such as Epon, Fourteen, Miura, PXG, and Honma, which are not as widely available for testing in the U.S.

Below you can access the full results of our Members Choice 2017: Best Irons lists, as well as feedback about each iron from the GolfWRX Community. We’d like to sincerely thank all the GolfWRX Members who participated in the voting and provided feedback on the irons. We also want to thank those of you who provided feedback on the voting process itself. We assure you that we read and consider everything, and we’re going to continue to improve our process in order to provide the best and most useful information about the latest golf equipment.

Members Choice: The Best Players Irons

Mizuno_JPX_900_Tour_Feat-1021x580

Vote Leader: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour

“WOW! Great mix of buttery feel and forgiveness.”

Overall, the Mizuno JPX-900 Tour irons earned nearly 15 percent of votes on the Players iron category, giving them top billing for players irons. One GolfWRX member said he was “weak in the knees from first look at the satin finish and compact size,” and that the “feel is excellent, and there’s just enough forgiveness.” Another said the JPX-900 Tour irons are the “best irons out there right now in terms of blending feel, forgiveness, and the ability to shape shots.”

Full List: The Best Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: The Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG0311t-600x377

Vote Leader: PXG 0311T

“I can’t say I have ever hit anything that feels as good as the PXG.”

With more 21 percent of votes for the Best Exotics Players Irons of 2017, PXG’s 0311T irons were described by GolfWRX members as “a great looking club,” and that they “felt unbelievable.” When comparing the irons to Titleist’s 716 MB irons, one member said, “The fact that you can barely tell if it has or doesn’t have more offset than the MB 7 iron just shows how little it has.”

Full List: The Best Exotic Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: Best Game-Improvement Irons

CallawayApexMembersChoice

Vote Leader: Callaway Apex CF ’16 

“Apex CF is simply the most explosive, best feeling iron I’ve ever hit in this category.”

Acquiring nearly 20 percent of votes of all models in the Best Game-Improvement Iron category, GolfWRX Members described the Callaway Apex CF ’16 irons as “simply the most explosive,” and that they “perform very well on center hits and almost as good on mishits.”

Full List: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

The Best Super Game-Improvement Irons 

PingGironsWRX

Vote Leader: Ping G

“The Ping G takes what Ping has done for years and added in increased ball speed, improved feel and much better looks.”

An iron that “will appeal even to Ping haters.” GolfWRX Members described the Ping G as “stupid easy to hit,” providing a “high and straight ball flight,” and “an eye opener.” The irons also accumulated more than 22 percent of the total votes in the category.

Full List: The Best Super Game-Improvement irons of 2017

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