Connect with us

Equipment

2014 Gear Trials: Best Players Irons

Published

on

So what are players irons? Historically, they’ve been forged, blade-like irons that better players tend to use, and we hate that definition. If we achieve anything with this list of golf’s best players irons, we hope to change that way of thinking.

To us, players irons should simply be the irons that perform best for better players, and that’s no longer the case with blade-like, forged irons. That’s why we’re pushing for 2014 to be the year when better players ditch the irons been using for decades and play a set of irons that are a little more, you know, 21st century.

This list includes three categories to help you find the best new irons for your game. The first is called Distance-First, and includes slightly larger, hot-faced irons that are in some cases a club or two longer than the irons some golfers are playing right now. The second category is called Forgiveness-First, and it includes irons that fly so straight and so far on mishits that you might forget just how important it used to be to hit the sweet spot. Finally, our Balanced-Performance category, which is the hardest of our categories to make, includes irons that go far, straight and aren’t all so large that they’ll scare off a good player.

Sure, the lofts of these irons are a lot stronger than your father’s irons, with the average pitching wedge hovering between 44 and 46 degrees, but all that means is that you should skip buying the 3 iron and opt for a gap wedge instead. What you’ll gain is an incredible amount of ball speed and consistency, which will translate into higher-flying iron shots that stop a lot closer to where they land than any iron you’ve ever played before.

So leave your ego in your trunk on your way to your next iron fitting, because after you find your favorite of these 10 top-rated irons, you’ll wonder why you ever let your pride get in the way of longer, straighter iron shots and more birdies.

Who votes?

In our past best clubs list, we relied on both the feedback of our equipment editors and an elite panel of custom fitters located across North America. For this year’s list, we decided we needed another component: mass player testing of every major manufacturer’s irons performed by fitters at Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti, Mich. Those fitters spent eight days with 33 different testers of various ability levels evaluating a total of 30 different players irons. Each of the iron sets had its 6 iron tested with its stock stiff-flex shaft. The data was then normalized by the team at Miles of Golf in order to rank each iron’s launch, spin and smash factor.

After that, we surveyed our five other top custom fitters located across North America: Carl’s GolflandModern GolfMorton Golf and two other custom fitters who chose to remain anonymous on the top performing players irons in each category.

The scoring process

Unlike in years past, this year’s scores were entirely based on the performance of each iron, removing the subjective categories of looks, sound and feel from the equation. What was left was the votes of our custom fitters (60 percent of an iron’s score), the results of our mass player test (30 percent of a iron’s score) and the votes of our staff members (10 percent of a iron’s score).

Now that we’ve added up the scores, we present to you our list of the absolute best players irons in golf. We consider each of these irons to be a winner, which is why they’re listed in alphabetical order (Note: You can click the images of each iron to enlarge the text).

Distance

geartrials_winners_irons_distance Listed in alphabetic order

Iron performance isn’t typically equated with how far an iron goes, but our two winningest irons this year — Callaway’s Apex and Nike’s Covert Forged — both made our Distance-First Category. We don’t see that as much of a surprise, because the same technology in those irons that makes them really long also makes them really forgiving.

Then there’s irons like the TaylorMade SLDR, which aren’t quite as forgiving as others but offer a little higher launch and less spin. That’s the equation for hitting your irons very, very far. Cleveland’s 588 TT irons are another set of bombers that work especially well for high-ball hitters, and if you’re looking for an iron that’s long and looks and feels outstanding, then look no further than Mizuno’s JPX-EZ Forged.

Callaway Apex Gear Trials 2014 Players Irons

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: No iron received more praise from our panel of custom fitters than Callaway’s Apex irons, which are by no means blade-style irons — that’s why Callaway designed the Apex Pro irons — but they’re compact enough that even long-time blade user Phil Mickelson has used the Apex long and mid irons in competition during the 2014 season.

The reason? Unbelievably fast and forgiving faces, which clocked some of the longest iron shots in our testing.

The Apex irons blend a 1020 carbon steel forged body with an ultra-thin 455 carpenter steel face insert that offers screaming ball speeds and consistency that’s just as impressive. They have the lowest center of gravity of any 2014 Callaway iron thanks to the 40 minutes the company spends milling each iron cavity, and the long irons (3, 4 and 5) are stupid easy to hit thanks in part to the bit of tungsten Callaway added to their soles to drop their center of gravity even lower.

You probably won’t need that 3 iron though, and that has nothing to do with it being hard to hit. It’s pretty common for golfers to hit an Apex 4 iron as far as their current 3 iron, especially if they’re coming from a one-piece forging.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FYJVQHI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FYJVQHI&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=SXRGOVBOO6BRHCUC”]Buy the Apex irons[/button][/colored_box]

2014 Gear Trials Players Irons Cleveland TT Distance

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Cleveland’s 588 TT irons aren’t talked about as much as the other irons on this list, but they should be.

They’ll work for a lot of different golfers, but they’re best for high-ball hitters thanks to their launch and spin, which trends on the low side. That means golfers will hit the 588 TT irons miles — even on mishits — thanks to their thin, forged faces and deep undercuts. These irons get high marks for feel as well, and flow nicely from 3 iron to pitching wedge thanks to their consistent blade heights.

The lofts are a little on the low side (18 degrees on the 3 iron, 44 degrees on the pitching wedge), but that shouldn’t be a golfer’s focus. Raising trajectory can be as simple as adding a slightly more forgiving 588 MT long iron or two (or three) as many of Cleveland’s tour players do.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/103546/cleveland-588-mt-and-tt-irons-editor-review/”]Read our review of Cleveland’s 588 MT and TT irons[/button] [button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009TPP5SO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B009TPP5SO&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=STT34V7X4G5SZL7E”]Buy the 588 TT irons[/button][/colored_box]

Mizuno JPX-EZ Forged 2014 Gear Trials Players Irons

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Mizuno has a reputation for making some of the best forged irons in golf, but that label generally applies to the company’s blade-like models such as its MP-4 or MP-54 irons. The JPX-EZ Forged irons are a testament to the company’s commitment to slightly larger, more playable models, and prove that Mizuno can make top-rated irons for golfers who aren’t the purest ball strikers.

Like most of Mizuno’s irons, the JPX-EZ Forged are made with the company’s Grain Flow Forged 1025E carbon steel, and they look and feel fantastic for irons their size. They’re also really long and forgiving thanks to their deep undercuts and multi-thickness faces, which are very, very consistent.

We love their stealthy black-nickel finish, and applaud Mizuno for offering the JPX-EX Forged stock with True Temper’s XP 105 shafts.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/139653/mizuno-jpx-ez-forged-irons-editor-review/”]Read our review of Mizuno’s JPX-EX Forged irons[/button] [button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EW4B7YI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00EW4B7YI&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=U5UUWYPLVC3NNSQO”]Buy the JPX-EX Forged[/button][/colored_box]

Nike Covert Forged Irons 2014 Gear Trials Distance

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Nike’s Covert Forged irons might just be the most impressive clubs the company has ever produced and are easily one of the best irons of 2014.

The only knock on them? They’re slightly larger than their nearest competitor, Callaway’s Apex irons, but the two are a good distance ahead of their competition. That’s why they were the only two irons to earn spots on each of our three 2014 Gear Trials: Players Irons categories.

Golfers who need a little more height and/or forgiveness should expect the Covert Forged to be one of the best irons on their market for their game. An added bonus is that the Covert Forged come stock with true aftermarket Nippon N.S. Pro 950 GH shafts (R and S Flexes), which have a cult-like following thanks to their lightweight design and buttery, smooth feel.

We could bore you with more construction details — fast faces, deep undercut, forged body, etc. — but we won’t. All you need to know is that these irons are as good if not better than anything else on the market. Just go hit them.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HB6Q3UM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00HB6Q3UM&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=JINI7IJOXIKADTCT”]Buy the Covert Forged[/button][/colored_box]

TaylorMade SLDR irons 2014 Gear Trials Irons

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: When it comes to visible technology in irons, TaylorMade’s SLDR irons take the cake.

Theys use the company’s updated Speed Pocket, handle-bar shaped slots in their soles, which cut entirely through their soles to enable the iron faces to flex more at impact. It’s what TaylorMade calls “Cut-Thru” technology, and it creates more ball speed and a higher launch angle than previous TaylorMade iron models, resulting in exactly what most golfers desire from a new set : longer, higher-flying iron shots, particularly with the long irons.

While they’re not quite as forgiving as other irons on this list, they’re one at the best at creating the high-launch, low-spin launch conditions that can help golfers reach more long par 3’s and par 4’s without the need of a fairway wood or hybrid. They also look beautiful in the bag and at address, and while TaylorMade still hasn’t perfected the feel of its slotted irons, these sound and feel tremendously better than the company’s original RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour irons.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/214673/review-taylormade-sldr-irons/”]Read our review of the SLDR irons[/button] [button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JXEW7AA/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00JXEW7AA&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=MCFFIYH6GKMXKUAG”]Buy the SLDR Irons[/button][/colored_box]

Forgiveness

geartrials_winners_irons_forgiveness Listed in alphabetic order

Distance control is the name of the game in iron play. How many times have you hit a shot at the flag, only to watch it land short or long of the green?

Two of these Forgiveness-First irons — Cobra’s Bio Cell and Ping’s i25 — don’t fly quite as far as Callaway’s Apex and Nike’s Covert Forged for most golfers, but it can be argued that they are a little more consistent. So if you don’t care about hitting your 6 iron a few yards farther and are simply looking for the most forgiving set of players irons you can get your hands on, give those two a swing.

The fact that Ping’s S55 irons made this list came as a shock to us, but when we looked at the numbers it started to make sense. They’re the smallest irons on this list, but they’re incredibly forgiving for their size, and the first iron golfers should test if they just can’t look at something a little bigger.

Callaway Apex Gear Trials Players Irons Forgiveness

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: No iron received more praise from our panel of custom fitters than Callaway’s Apex irons, which are by no means blade-style irons — that’s why Callaway designed the Apex Pro irons — but they’re compact enough that even long-time blade user Phil Mickelson has used the Apex long and mid irons in competition during the 2014 season.

The reason? Unbelievably fast and forgiving faces, which clocked some of the longest iron shots in our testing.

The Apex irons blend a 1020 carbon steel forged body with an ultra-thin 455 carpenter steel face insert that offers screaming ball speeds and consistency that’s just as impressive. They have the lowest center of gravity of any 2014 Callaway iron thanks to the 40 minutes the company spends milling each iron cavity, and the long irons (3, 4 and 5) are stupid easy to hit thanks in part to the bit of tungsten Callaway added to their soles to drop their center of gravity even lower.

You probably won’t need that 3 iron though, and that has nothing to do with it being hard to hit. It’s pretty common for golfers to hit an Apex 4 iron as far as their current 3 iron, especially if they’re coming from a one-piece forging.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FYJVQHI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FYJVQHI&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=SXRGOVBOO6BRHCUC”]Buy the Apex irons[/button][/colored_box]

Cobra Bio Cell+ 2014 Gear Trials Irons Forgiveness

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Let’s face it; Cobra’s Bio Cell+ irons won’t win any beauty contests when judged from their (modernistic?) cavities. But at address they’re clean and classic, and they’re one of the most forgiving players irons on the planet.

The Bio Cell+ irons use two tungsten weights that are positioned low and deep in the iron heads to maximize their moment of inertia (MOI), which means that they fly incredibly close to the same distance on mishits as they do good hits. They tend to spin a little too much for high-spin players, but they’ll go miles for golfers who spin the ball an average or below-average amount thanks to their impressive ball speeds that are generated from their deep undercuts.

Again, they’re not the prettiest irons we’ve ever seen in a golf bag, but their 431 stainless steel cast construction creates a very solid feel at impact. In the short irons, that feel is improved by Cobra’s decision to move its tungsten weights closer to the sweet spot, which also adds more of the workability that better golfers demand from their short irons.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/189456/review-cobra-bio-cell-and-bio-cell-irons/”]Read our review of the Bio Cell and Bio Cell+ irons[/button][button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IIRXB2Q/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IIRXB2Q&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=HVWBSRSJXMJ2YQ7M”]Buy the Bio Cell+ irons[/button][/colored_box]

Nike Covert Forged Irons 2014 Gear Trials Forgiveness

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Nike’s Covert Forged irons might just be the most impressive clubs the company has ever produced and are easily one of the best irons of 2014.

The only knock on them? They’re slightly larger than their nearest competitor, Callaway’s Apex irons, but the two are a good distance ahead of their competition. That’s why they were the only two irons to earn spots on each of our three 2014 Gear Trials: Players Irons categories: Distance-First, Performance-First and Balanced-Performance.

Golfers who need a little more height and/or forgiveness should expect the Covert Forged to be one of the best irons on their market for their game. An added bonus is that the Covert Forged come stock with true aftermarket Nippon N.S. Pro 950 GH shafts (R and S Flexes), which have a cult-like following thanks to their lightweight design and buttery, smooth feel.

We could bore you with more construction details — fast faces, deep undercut, forged body, etc. — but we won’t. All you need to know is that these irons are as good if not better than anything else on the market.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HB6Q3UM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00HB6Q3UM&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=JINI7IJOXIKADTCT”]Buy the Covert Forged[/button][/colored_box]

Ping i25 irons 2014 Gear Trials Forgiveness

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Let’s get this out of the way first; the i25 irons don’t go as far as most of the irons on this list. They’re not that much shorter, but they are a little shorter.

Now that we’re clear, let’s talk about what these irons do better than any other players iron on the market. They’re the category leader in forgiveness and consistency, and we’re told by several of our custom fitters that they could be the most accurate irons Ping has ever made. Now that’s saying something.

The i25 irons are cast from 17-4 stainless steel, so they’re not the softest-feeling irons in this category. That’s really a small thing when you consider the power of Ping’s engineering might, which it used to create some of the most playable players iron sets ever. Thanks to the i25’s progressive design, which uses larger, more offset long irons that are easy to hit high and smaller, less-offset short irons that are easier to curve, the i20’s are happily used by everyone from top-ranked tour pros to average joes.

If you want a set of irons that helps your good shots land closer to where your great shots usually land, these are for you.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/205947/review-ping-i25-irons/”]Read our review of the i25 irons[/button][/colored_box]

Ping S55 irons 2014 Gear Trials Forgiveness

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: What the heck is a blade-like iron doing in our Forgiveness-First category? Maybe now you’re beginning to understand just how forgiving Ping’s irons are, regardless of their size.

The S55’s are the undisputed champion of blade-like iron forgiveness, and use a 17-4 cast stainless steel construction, tungsten weighting and what Ping calls a custom tuning port (CTP) to distribute weight low, deep and around the perimeter of the S55’s to give them a level of forgiveness that’s usually reserved for much larger irons.

These aren’t immune to the typical knock on Ping’s feel (they’re a little “clicky”), but the S55’s do feel better than their predecessors thanks to a special elastomer insert in their CTPs. If you just can’t stomach an iron that doesn’t look like a blade, you should hit these first in your next iron fitting. They’re not incredibly long and not nearly as forgiving as Ping’s i25 irons, but maybe you’re that special case who really needs a blade-like iron so you can curve it like Bubba.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/205947/review-ping-i25-irons/”]Read our review of the S55 irons[/button][/colored_box]

Balanced Performance

geartrials_winners_irons_balanced Listed in alphabetic order

So here it is, our list of the five most complete players irons in golf. There’s the usual suspects — Calaway’s Apex and Nike’s Covert Forged — and the king of forgiveness, Ping’s i25.

It makes sense that the other two irons on this list, TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred CB and Titleist’s 714 AP2, are a little more compact than the irons that made the Distance-First and Forgiveness-First categories. Sure, they’re a little larger than Ping’s S55 irons, but that little bit of added bulk and a few key technologies help them fly a little farther while still retaining a size and shape that’s suitable for some of the best players in the world.

If you’re a golfer who is really concerned with versatility from less-than-ideal lies and the ability to shape shots at will, the Tour Preferred CB’s and AP2’s might be the best irons out there for you.

Callaway Apex Irons Gear Trials Balanced

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: No iron received more praise from our panel of custom fitters than Callaway’s Apex irons, which are by no means blade-style irons — that’s why Callaway designed the Apex Pro irons — but they’re compact enough that even long-time blade user Phil Mickelson has used the Apex long and mid irons in competition during the 2014 season.

The reason? Unbelievably fast and forgiving faces, which clocked some of the longest iron shots in our testing.

The Apex irons blend a 1020 carbon steel forged body with an ultra-thin 455 carpenter steel face insert that offers screaming ball speeds and consistency that’s just as impressive. They have the lowest center of gravity of any 2014 Callaway iron thanks to the 40 minutes the company spends milling each iron cavity, and the long irons (3, 4 and 5) are stupid easy to hit thanks in part to the bit of tungsten Callaway added to their soles to drop their center of gravity even lower.

You probably won’t need that 3 iron though, and that has nothing to do with it being hard to hit. It’s pretty common for golfers to hit an Apex 4 iron as far as their current 3 iron, especially if they’re coming from a one-piece forging.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FYJVQHI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FYJVQHI&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=SXRGOVBOO6BRHCUC”]Buy the Apex irons[/button][/colored_box]

Nike Covert Forged Irons 2014 Gear Trials Balanced

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Nike’s Covert Forged irons might just be the most impressive clubs the company has ever produced and are easily one of the best irons of 2014.

The only knock on them? They’re slightly larger than their nearest competitor, Callaway’s Apex irons, but the two are a good distance ahead of their competition. That’s why they were the only two irons to earn spots on each of our three 2014 Gear Trials: Players Irons categories: Distance-First, Performance-First and Balanced-Performance.

Golfers who need a little more height and/or forgiveness should expect the Covert Forged to be one of the best irons on their market for their game. An added bonus is that the Covert Forged come stock with true aftermarket Nippon N.S. Pro 950 GH shafts (R and S Flexes), which have a cult-like following thanks to their lightweight design and buttery, smooth feel.

We could bore you with more construction details — fast faces, deep undercut, forged body, etc. — but we won’t. All you need to know is that these irons are as good if not better than anything else on the market.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HB6Q3UM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00HB6Q3UM&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=JINI7IJOXIKADTCT”]Buy the Covert Forged[/button][/colored_box]

Ping i25 irons 2014 GEAR TRIALS BALANCED

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Let’s get this out of the way first; the i25 irons don’t go as far as most of the irons on this list. They’re not that much shorter, but they are a little shorter.

Now that we’re clear, let’s talk about what these irons do better than any other players iron on the market. They’re the category’s leader in forgiveness and consistency, and we’re told by several of our custom fitters that they could be the most accurate irons Ping has ever made. Now that’s saying something.

The i25 irons are cast from 17-4 stainless steel, so they’re not the softest-feeling irons in this category. That’s really a small thing when you consider the power of Ping’s engineering might, however, which it used to create some of the most playable players iron sets ever. Thanks to the i25’s progressive design, which uses larger, more offset long irons that are easy to hit high and smaller, less-offset short irons that are easier to curve, the i20’s are happily used by top-ranked tour pros to average joes.

If you want a set of irons that helps your good shots land closer to where your great shots usually land, these are for you.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/205947/review-ping-i25-irons/”]Read our review of the i25 irons[/button][/colored_box]

Titleist AP2 Irons 2014 Gear Trials Balanced

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Titleist continues to chug along through our 2014 Gear Trials club test by racking up votes in our prestigious Balanced Performance category. That’s probably because of a philosophy that allows them to create beloved irons like the 714 AP2, which blend performance, looks and feel in a way that few other irons can claim.

In terms of size, the AP2’s are clearly in the blade-like category with the S55’s. Maybe that’s why they’re one of the most popular irons on tour; they’re not too big, not too small and pack more ball speed and forgiveness than their size indicates. And oh yeah, they feel awesome.

The AP2’s have a dual-cavity design to help redistribute weight around their perimeter. They also use a massive amount of tungsten to drive the center of gravity low and deep in the long irons and slightly higher in the short irons for a flatter, more workable trajectory.

A long-time beef with the AP2 iron series is that they don’t go quite as far as other irons, but for this fourth-generation line, Titleist strengthened the lofts just a touch to help bridge the gap. They’re still not the longest irons, mostly due to their still higher-than-standard lofts, but it’s hard to call that or anything else about the 714 AP2’s a weakness.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/110054/ping-g25-fairway-woods-and-hybrids-editor-review/”]Read our review of the 714 AP1 and AP2 irons[/button][/colored_box]

TaylorMade Tour Preferred CB Gear Trials Irons Balanced

[colored_box color=”white”]Tech Talk: Can’t stomach the size of TaylorMade’s SLDR irons? Lucky for you, the company offers the Tour Preferred CB’s, which are noticeably smaller yet perform eerily similar to the SLDR irons.

The feather in the CB’s cap is that they launch really high, which says a lot for an iron that’s so compact. They’re also pretty low-spinning, which is great for the high-speed players who tend to gravitate toward TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred irons.

There’s really nothing that these irons don’t do well, and they blend nicely with the company’s smaller, better-feeling Tour Preferred MC and Tour Preferred MB irons if you’re a golfer that’s looking to play a mixed set.

Like the SLDR irons, the feel of the CB’s is improved tremendously over its predecessor, the RocketBladez Tour irons, and TaylorMade went out of its way to give these a badging and a finish that’s hard to call anything but beautiful.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.golfwrx.com/163759/2014-taylormade-irons-comparison-photos/”]Read more about the Tour Preferred line[/button] [button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HIZUCBW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00HIZUCBW&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=X2TFKTE5HQKH34HX”]Buy the Tour Preferred CB[/button][/colored_box]

Your Reaction?
  • 32
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW6
  • LOL4
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP3
  • OB2
  • SHANK9

We share your golf passion. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX, Facebook and Instagram.

111 Comments

111 Comments

  1. Jim

    Mar 8, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I have played titelist mb for many years, this year I bought AP2 714 ‘s 6-7-8-9 irons with x95 shafts. I kept my mb p wedge and use hybrid’s in place of the longer irons, I’m not interested in hitting these irons crazy long only trying to get back some of the distance I have lost with age. I like and need to hit my 7 iron 150 yards, helps with my golf course management. As far as new players wanting to hit the irons as long as they can, I’m ok with whatever gets people out to play this great game. To each his or her own.

  2. Ian H

    Dec 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Wow, I would say you have struck a cord with this test! It seems to me the biggest discrepancy comes from the difference between traditionalists and the newer golfer for lack of a different description. The traditional player will expect to see all blade type sets in a players club article, and the younger type will expect to see many of the irons suggested.

    I myself love the look and feel of a blade, but I am not willing to give up ball shaping. And flighting for a larger less
    Attractive looking head. I realize I give up yardage and possible easier ball striking for th is, but that is really the point. I think once you showed all the irons you tested it proved your point better. It does seem the younger player or say, non traditionalist wants more distance and a more forgiving head. Let’s face only 10% of the tour any more uses true blade iron sets and most of those are combo,s. I do disagree with one point many fitters and companies make in the a truly well designed and built set of blades are significantly more difficult to hit. I still th ink one of the best sets ever built and the first real milled set were the old Accuform PTM blades made in Toronto Canada. If you had looked in Davis Love or Joey Sindalar,s bags back at the start of their careers you would have found these. They were a work of art in their simplicity and balance. I enjoyed the article and keep up the great work!

  3. Johan

    Nov 15, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Great article – it prompted a barrage of important dialogue between those who agree with the article’s conclusions, and those who don’t.

    For me there’s one CRITICAL aspect to golf iron selection that wasn’t mentioned, and it needs to be spelled out:
    Blades/clubs with small heads and no/few technology tricks that aid forgiveness by definition “force” the player to improve his ball striking immediately, or he’ll face the most awful results. The feedback is instant and undiluted. Thus, demanding blades is the FASTEST route to great swing, IF (!) a player practices regularly ON THE RANGE with the clubs and don’t get discouraged.

    HOWEVER, on the actual course during a round, where you can’t practice minor swing changes nearly as efficiently (and if the score matters), clubs with lots of help will nearly always produce a better score (subject to the golfer not hating the look) ON THE DAY.

    But in the real world, this dual nature of irons is of course impossible to reconcile. You can’t practice with MP4 blades and then go hit huge JPX EZs on the course once a week. Since this conflicting iron selection duality will always exist, each person has to choose as best they can (combo sets anyone?). And most of us will likely get it wrong. For me personally, the greatest teacher I had in learning a good swing in the last few years was to buy a used set of very demanding Titleist 755s as my first set of irons. Did I spray the ball? yes, but I improved very quickly and am now comfortable with irons much more demanding than my overall handicap should allow (Callaway MBs).

    Finally, marketing segmentation is a very real thing, and the industry will ALWAYS use it to increase sales as it artificially simplifies something that is in reality much more complicated, and always will be. i.e. how to select the “right” iron for each golfer.

    • Dave R

      Feb 6, 2017 at 6:28 am

      Largely agree with Johan if you are serious about golf at your level of ability. It is essential IMO that your chosen clubs ‘talk’ to you and indicate the where and why of your shot making. Else, it is difficult to form a platform from which to improve. My seminal experience was with the original C’way BBs when younger and not playing often. These provided me with an instant improvement in my game from 16 – 18 HCP to about 12 HCP. I then noticed that as my shot making improved the BBs with their forgiving and thin faces did not allow repeatable ‘hitting to distance’ and the localisation on face of slightly off-centre strikes. To improve I changed to Wilson Staff Ci7s ( very fine clubs ) and these were a major step forward in tightening shot dispersion and club ‘talkativeness’. I am now 7 – 9 HCP at age 68 and will be changing to WS Tour FG V6s very soon in an attempt to get down to that elsuive mid-single-figure HCP.

      I see why GI clubs were introduced and also understand that many golfers need to be coaxed along by them and thereby captured long-term for this great game. When that occurs then they are on the path to Johan’s POV….

  4. TheFightingEdFioris

    Sep 8, 2014 at 1:18 am

    If these are the “Player’s clubs” of 2014, I’ll stick with my 680s.

  5. joro

    Jul 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    looks like Cleveland just changed the name on the Cobra Amp Cell Irons and introduced it al theirs.

  6. Jim

    Jul 23, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Golfwrx lost a bunch of credibility with me in the first paragraph. In my opinion you should not be re-defining things, especially “standards” upon which golf terminology and thinking has been based for decades now. A “Players club” (in my opinion) does NOT have a cavity-backed, perimeter (or other) weighted design. Your observations are all marketing / sales driven and consistent with the “buy yourself a longer, straighter game every year” philosophy to keep the industry alive and well.

    I’m no expert, but I’ve played the game for about 50 years since back in the “old days” before we had game improvement clubs. Who ever decided we needed to make the game easier? Where’s the challenge in that?

    Not only have I played the game for about 50 years, I worked in the industry, both in manufacturing and retail sales for awhile, and used to find it refreshing to see that as many players became better and their scoring dropped from the 90’s into the 80’s into the high 70’s, etc., they would trade in their Game Improvement irons for “blades” or “musclebacks” (we used to just call them irons) because they knew that at a certain level, the only way to really improve your ball-striking skills is to become a better shot-maker and “blades” force you to do that. I am in the minority I know, but I am not one who believes in buying forgiving clubs to make the game easier – that is not what it’s all about. GI irons just allow you to get away with being a sloppy shot-maker.

    If one feels the need to buy new clubs every year, to make the ball go further and straighter, and in so doing hopefully lower their score, there will always be manufacturers lined up to sell to them.

    We can destroy a lot of games with this same philosophy. Contrary to what Mr Adams said in a related article, why don’t we just lower baskets to 8′ in basketball, and heck even double the size of it? Wouldn’t that make it a lot easier for some of us to get higher scores?

    • David

      Sep 22, 2014 at 4:42 am

      Well said.

    • Devil Dog

      Dec 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      Jim, I agree with about 90% of what you said. However, there is a certain part of the market, aka players, that needs to have a club to assist their swing.
      I am one of them. I too, remember the “old days” of steel shafts, wooden heads, and clunking sounds from the head of the club on impact. But, after 11 surgeries on my hands, elbows and shoulders, I need a little help. So, if mister club maker, in China, makes a club to help my swing, then more power to them.
      Oh, by the by, I have an old metal driver I bought at Service Merchandise in 1979 if you want to have it for a reminder. I jest. I still remember Ben Hogan swatting the ball 300 yards down the fairway.
      But your point of marketing is correct. It is also the same with everything else made to be sold. Since you were once in the business, you should remember that.
      But Jim, the real irony of ALL the new clubs is that they still are just a tool. As you know from your years in the game, if the craftsman is so so, then new clubs won’t improve his skill level.

  7. Tom Donnelly

    Jul 17, 2014 at 1:09 am

    I fell in love with the Nike VRs Forged irons, an iron that no one ever mentioned. I only found out about them when I “Googled” the phrase “forged cavity back”. When the Nike Covert 2.0 Forged appeared, I waited a while, wondering if there was enough difference to warrant a new set of irons, so soon. About a month ago, I popped for a set of the Covert 2.0 Forged irons. What I found was irons that were MORE forgiving, still buttery-soft off the face, and the new X3X grooves, which grab a golf ball like a shark grabs a slab of meat. These truly are the most underrated, most under-appreciated iron in golf.

  8. Tony

    Jul 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    S55′ s are the best of all worlds. Distance, accuracy, and forgiveness.

  9. Splitter

    Jul 13, 2014 at 2:06 am

    I’d ask GolfWRX to look at this from a different POV than the outraged “players”…. Because, IMHO, while this “review” may be aimed at better players, it’s doing a HUGE, GIANT, GINOURMOUS, disservice to the average reader.

    As a very average ball striker, I put myself in the “need GI” category. As a club Ho, I’ve been fit more than once and tried way too many irons. I am fine knowing that GI irons work for me and are where I need to be.

    What that usually means is that as an average player and striker, I don’t often look into the “player” sections when looking for some helpful direction. I know I can’t hit what most consider players irons (please don’t tell me I can, that thread has been beaten to death).

    But, bored tonight I see the “players irons” scroll across the header and click in it. Imagine my surprise to find that my new GI iron set of choice is sitting in the “players Iron” review. They were missing from the GI review, but I just figured it was timing… Or maybe they were not “GI enough”. But now, they’re in the players review along with a total mishmash of players GI irons… Errr… What?

    Thank goodness my fitter suggested I look at my new irons. But what about the guys who don’t have access to good folks? Or really put a lot of trust into GolfWRX? First, these GI Irons were not even looked at in the GI category. Second, they’re in the players category. Again.. Errr.. What?

    What’s that do for a guy looking for a good GI iron? If they didn’t find it in the GI test and then find it here, they get totally turned off and may not even try it. It’s confusing and a total failure of reader support.

    Maybe GI guys don’t even LOOK at a great set of irons because GolfWRX has decided they want to teach better player a lesson? I can’t be the only one that sees the arrogance in that? Sorry guys, no matter how many times you click your golf shoes together, you can’t change a GI iron into a players iron.

    I’m all about being progressive in thinking, but let’s do it in a way that benefits and teaches all. Not just a small subsection of golfer. You have an opportunity to broaden all horizons but instead choose to fail the average guy and alienate better players? IMHO, this article comes off as spiteful towards guys that think they need players irons AND hurts guys that would not read a players iron review for advice… but should be looking at several clubs in this article.

    Love GolfWRX, but you guys need the feedback. Reviews like this are going backward and not helping your readers.

  10. birly-shirly

    Jul 12, 2014 at 7:09 am

    “If we achieve anything with this list of golf’s best players irons, we hope to change that way of thinking.
    To us, players irons should simply be the irons that perform best for better players, and that’s no longer the case with blade-like, forged irons. ”

    “Sure, the lofts of these irons are a lot stronger than your father’s irons, with the average pitching wedge hovering between 44 and 46 degrees, but all that means is that you should skip buying the 3 iron and opt for a gap wedge instead. What you’ll gain is an incredible amount of ball speed and consistency”

    If you want to publish statements like these with any sort of credibility, then I’d expect to see actual data published.

    The article, and the various defences of it in the comments below, repeatedly refer to the facts and the data.

    Let’s see some robust evidence of the performance advantage of these clubs instead of assertions illustrated by meaningless slider scales with no units, numbers or calibration. Otherwise this just reads like yet another internet opinion.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

      For a lot of our readers, the only data that will shift their mindset about larger-sized players irons is their own. That’s why we’re pushing for golfers interested in a new set of irons to at least try some of these models and see what happens.

      As for our “meaningless” sliders and opinions: If you call the votes and feedback of five of North American’s top club fitters worthless, there’s probably nothing I can say that will change your mind.

      Thanks for reading.

      • birly-shirly

        Jul 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

        So basically you’re saying that if I don’t take your word and the word of your fitters for the performance of these clubs then my mind is closed to the possibility of change. That’s insulting.

        I’m interested enough in the design of clubs to spend time reading Wishon, Maltby, Jorgensen, Cochrane and Stobbs, Werner and Greig. All produce objective data to support their arguments.

        Crucially, they use data to quantify their statements. They don’t just say “i25 is more forgiving than AP2” – they give you enough info to judge the significance of any difference.

        Why should anyone take seriously the statement that you can gain “incredible ballspeed” by switching from blades, if you don’t produce anything to make that claim credible.

        How much ballspeed is a change in head worth, keeping shaft and loft constant? What does a half-inch toe miss cost in terms of yards?

        If you want golfers to rethink their ideas – you need to give them something to think about.

        • Zak Kozuchowski

          Jul 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

          There are some club tests that list specific testing data, but we made a decision not to do that with this year’s test because there are simply too many variables in play.

          Most of these irons have slightly different shafts, shaft lengths, lofts and lie angles. Then there’s the testers: their swing speeds, angles of attack and contact points are all different as well.

          That’s why we weight the feedback of our panel of custom fitters of heavily (their votes account of 60 percent of an iron’s score) and use the club test for only 30 percent of a club’s score, as well as to give readers a baseline of the launch, spin and forgiveness of each club.

          I understand and appreciate that you want more specific data, but since each golfer is different, we encourage golfers to get a proper fitting. And I think you’ll find that more often than not the irons we listed as the longest and/or the most forgiving are exactly that.

          We understand why a golfer might want to play blades, but we also want them to understand that they will likely get better performance from one of these models. What is that better performance? It depends. But most golfers understand that even the smallest amount of improvement can make a noticeable difference is this game of inches.

          • Jimbo

            Jul 19, 2014 at 7:16 am

            Well you need new club fitters because any experience club fitter knows nike makes their clubs with inferior metals and poor quality. For a club fitter to say a nike set is the best iron set in golf…you lost all credibility right there…..forever!

            • Joe

              Apr 7, 2015 at 12:57 am

              MY Nike forged pro comb are forged out 1020 by Epon in Thailand same as many other brands look it up shafts are US made. If your club fitter is telling you that Nike makes inferior clubs i might find a new club fitter

          • adam

            Aug 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm

            Jimbo… Highly disagree. For their testers who are human, just like everyone else, Nike scored the highest. Do you think they would fib about this? I’m a club junkie and after trying the Covert Forged, they stacked up very well against any other iron out there. I don’t care what material my clubs are made of. If the price is right, and they improve my game, why should I care about what brand of clubs I play or what metal they’re made of? If knock off irons helped my game the most, I’d game them without a fuss, as long as they were tournament legal that is.

      • Joel

        Jul 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm

        I hate to disagree or pile on but here’s a relevant case study:

        I’m back in the game after a layoff and have returned to single digit. I assumed I’d buy some new GI Irons. The game is hard enough, right? I warmed up to JPX-825 but I kept trying stuff. For months.

        I ended up with a set of Adams MB2 off the used rack. Blades!?

        They were among the smallest heads I tried and I hit them best. I did a lot of side by side testing because I did not intend on blades.

        From 7I-SW the GI or Players CB didn’t offer any huge advantage vs. these blades. In fact, the bigger the head the more of the face I used resulting in inconsistency. Perhaps I line up better with a smaller head? Also, big heads seem to make me want to “kill it”. Not helpful – lol! I don’t think I’m alone.

        Bigger heads shined for me in the 3-5 irons. The punishment on a long iron mishit is far worse than a 9 iron. The argument against blades is better there. But Players CB long irons are not very friendly. GI or direct iron replacement makes more sense to me. I bought MP Fli Hi 3&4 Irons.

        So I tested your theory, hit everything and bought blades for the scoring irons after serious testing. CB and MB were so close it came down to looks, feel and money and not “tech”. Great website overall, thanks!

        • Zak Kozuchowski

          Jul 28, 2014 at 7:21 pm

          So glad to hear that you took our testing advice to heart and bought what turned out to be the best clubs for you. That’s what proper fitting is all about!

          Congrats!

    • Oldplayer

      Jul 13, 2014 at 4:45 am

      Here here!

  11. Oldplayer

    Jul 12, 2014 at 2:06 am

    You can’t just go changing a well understood club categorization just because in your opinion golfers need to change their thinking.
    In other words don’t try telling experienced better players what they should be thinking; that gets people offside straight away.
    All of the clubs reviewed except perhaps the S55’s and maybe the i25’s are clearly in the GI category; perhaps you could say players GI or tweener at the most.
    When a player clicks on a review for better players irons they would understandably expect to see mp64’s and the like, maybe a few blades thrown in. Better players irons have increased to include blade style cb’s. Mostly with thinner soles, less offset and no pocket cavities and the like. This has come about partly because among the best players of the game on tour those types of irons have gained a lot of acceptance.
    You can try and introduce new ideas, nothing wrong with that, but if you do it in this way it removes the credibility of the approach.
    GI irons, tweener irons are not better players irons no matter how much you try to make it so.

    • Jimbo

      Jul 19, 2014 at 7:09 am

      And nobody worthwhile plays nike but yet they are at the top of every review? Probably paid off. Worthless reviews. Acid no titlest or mizuno.

      • bradford

        Jul 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

        Nobody worthwhile plays Nike? This has to be some sort of troll, otherwise you’re just way out of touch…and yes Mizuno still makes the best irons out there, but nobody worthwhile on the tour plays them. I just don’t follow your logic…

  12. Jim

    Jul 9, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I am really surprised about who made the top 3 or 4 as best players iorns and Mizuno, Miura, and Wilson were not even really in the fold. I doubt the best player use any of these irons listed, most of them should be game improvement. I have been looking at many of the irons listed and still keep going back to the Mizuno , Miura, and even my good ole Muira Forged Taylormades . I do think the Nike’s have a great feel with the Nippon shafts

  13. Perry

    Jul 9, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Lame that distance is even included here. Interesting to see how many <100 gram shafts are in the "players" category these days.

  14. Cris

    Jul 6, 2014 at 3:32 am

    So, you guys mean to say that Ping S55 is as forgiving as TM SLDR? Between this and the ridiculous abundance of coverage of the G30 line, I’m thinking we should rename the site PingWRX. Starting to look deeply conflicted and biased.

    • Rich

      Jul 6, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Hang on. So when Taylormade release a new line, there isn’t full coverage of that on this website? I think you may need to get a reality check. Ping make quality gear and when they bring out new stuff, it’s worth a mention and people want to know. You might not but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be covered.

  15. Cameron

    Jul 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Guys…I think the writers here have realized the error in the evaluation here, and 50 more comments reminding them of that is not going to undue the article. I was the very first person to comment on the flaws in the evaluation, so I agree with the comments being said. Rating players irons on distance is probably the most nonsensical metric that one can come up with. How about shot shaping control? Feel? Consistency?

    Either way, let’s let the comments go as this is a great site and the evaluation is something to build on for next year.

    • Rich

      Jul 6, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Tell me how you would MEASURE shot shaping control, feel or consistency (although I think consistency is closely related to forgiveness). I think most of what you are expecting them to determine is subjective so to me means absolutely squat. Distance and forgiveness can be measured so that’s what they have done.

    • Pete

      Jul 12, 2014 at 2:46 am

      The distance is lot easier to measure, than feel or forgiveness for that matter. A skilled ball-striker can make the ball curve with what ever keel attached to a shaft, but how to measure shaping a ball with a valid comparison?

      Anyway, I have the feel issue very close to my heart, since I play Mizunos, which I have turned back into after tried out an AP2-set among few others, the AP-trial lasted only for two months. And due to my experience I find it really hard to figure, why Mizzies does not score well in these tests or even, if they’re at all on the lists.

      What I think, Taylor Made, Callaway, Cobra, Nike and Ping among others top-selling brands have their strategy to sell tons and therefore are willing to provide gear to be evaluated as often as possible trying to please the market demands and bring in all new features that make them a bit special compared to latest models of their own or of course their rivals.

  16. Mike

    Jul 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Interesting test; wish you would’ve listed the comprehensive list of test subjects up front. Hard to do review testing of feel due to its subjectivity.

    Next year you may want to consider do a testing of all the iron sets with categorizing them until after the results are in. If it’s all based on performance the stratification will take care of itself. Using this method make the performance criteria: carry/peak trajectory, % of distance lost on certain mishits (heel, toe, low, and high), and workability (face closed/open x% yields y yards of curvature.

    Not far away from being a great testing. Thanks for the hard work!

  17. Matthew Bacon

    Jul 4, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    I’m not a “blades make you better” guy but to dismiss them because they “aren’t as forgiving” or “don’t go as far is insane”. On thing that I have found is, at an 7.0 USGA handicap, is I prefer as little offset as possible in my irons and my FG Tour 100s have some of the lowest offset numbers available. So being comfortable at address and visually help me hit better shots even though they aren’t as forgiving.

  18. Enrique

    Jul 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    What’s the obsession with distance…

    “They’re not as long as…They’re not as long…They’re not as long…” about some of the best irons on the planet. S55, i25, and AP2. All knocked in your review due to not being distance irons.

    We don’t want to hit our 7 irons 205.

    • Enrique

      Jul 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      In fact, why is “Distance” a category that is even winnable?

      Why is there not an award for cavity decoration? It has the same value.

      • Rich

        Jul 6, 2014 at 7:22 am

        Ok so if you went out and tested a Mizuno MP64 and a Titleist 714 CB for example and one of them went significantly further than the other, that wouldn’t be part of your decision making process? What load of bull.

        • Dave C

          Jul 8, 2014 at 11:31 pm

          No, because you are still only allowed 14 clubs. If your 4i now goes as far as your 5w, then you have to take a club out of your bag because you’ll probably need another wedge to fill the gap where you new pw goes as far as your old 9i. The numbers on your clubs should be purely for identifying which is which, while set composition should be tailored to keep gaps between clubs consistent. If you used to play 3-Pw and now play 4i-gw, what is really the difference if the new 4i and GW go the same distance as your old 3i and pw, respectively? This is my real reason for saying added distance does not matter, for irons and wedges that is.

          • Rich

            Jul 19, 2014 at 2:04 am

            Because if your new 4i goes as far as your old 3i, it means you’ll hit it better because it’s half an inch shorter and you’ll probably hit it higher as well. Sounds good to me.

        • bradford

          Jul 28, 2014 at 8:03 am

          Not at all, honestly a 160 yard 9-iron just means I’m going to have some horrible gaps at the low end of my bag, but the hacker buying distance irons doesn’t care about that part of the game…they like to think they are hitting the ball as far as the guys on TV, then they like to talk about it on the internet.

  19. andy

    Jul 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    The topic is good: lower handicaps should consider non-blades, including highly playable clubs. Reviewing game improvement clubs as players irons? Categorically silly.

  20. Chris

    Jul 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Personally I tested the Wilson Tour M3 irons again Ping I25s. The Wilsons were the hands down winner on both the simulator and on the course. The Wilson’s were a half-club longer even though Ping lofts were a half-club stronger and the feel of course is no comparison on a soft forging versus cast.

    Hard to believe they didn’t make the “best” list but I wonder how many of these clubs would rate with the brand name stripped off and done completely blind. But then again that’s why these companies spend millions and millions on advertising and marketing to influence decisions. And with golfers is works as well as anything.

    One other side comment. I owned a set of Ping S55s and had to change out of them because they are NOT forgiving. Not sure what they were thinking on that one other than the Ping aura of forgiveness influencing perception.

    • Perry

      Jul 4, 2014 at 3:37 am

      Obviously W/S don’t pay enough to get a mention.

  21. mark choi

    Jul 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    How about Bridgestone J40 DPC? great feel, forged, easy to hit, half the price,..

  22. Tom

    Jul 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    The Apex Pro with OG Px6.5 are the best irons I have ever hit. I test just about every new gimic every year but these made me switch!

    • Omar

      Jul 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      +1

      Just got my Apex Pro set with DG Pro shafts. Awesome set of irons all the way around. Feel, accuracy, loft, distance.

      • Jeff

        Jul 24, 2014 at 2:13 am

        @apex pro players. What is the big difference between regular apex and the pro version? In really bummed they didn’t review these or the TM MC.

  23. Charlie

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I love GolfWRX with a passion as most of the people reading this article do. But every once in a while a poorly produced article sneaks out, and this is surely one of them. I have to disagree with the way this article tells us to regard what a players iron should be. Distance should be a factor, but in no way should it be a main decision point when purchasing players irons. Feel & Workability are HUGE. Forgiveness when hitting off the center should not be too much of an issue, because if you want to game a players iron, you should be hitting center-face more than not! When you hit slightly off center, either way, that’s where the workability comes into play. Unfortunately as vain as it sounds, looks are a large part of a players iron, at least in my opinion. Deep cavity backs, large offsets, and thick top-lines are some things that I am seeing with the reviewed clubs, and that just isn’t right.

    I think GolfWRX has a point that we need to start looking at clubs a bit different, but I think this is because a new category of clubs that wasn’t possible due to lack of technology is emerging. Its a cross-breed between game improvement and players irons, where you can have the best of both worlds. It’s a great move by manufacturing, because it fits a very large portion of the golfing world. But, in no way, should some of these irons be considered players irons.

  24. JDB

    Jul 3, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Love reading these tests. I play the Cleveland tt 5 to pw and I wouldn’t call them a player iron. Middle of the road irons I would say. I’m a 12 handicap and hit these long and straight but if you shape your shots look elsewhere. Very forgiving and consistent

    • Isoturius

      Jul 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      I’m a 6 cap, use 4-DW 588 TT’s and I move the ball all over with them. Also get great spin…how ever I also hit the ball high. Maybe it’s just a club that suits my game? Dunno, like them a bunch though:)

      • Scott K

        Jul 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm

        Isoturius i am also a 6 and use the 3-9 with the RTX 46, 50 & 58 Wedges. Just a great set and very underrated. Like you i like to hit cuts and draws. I find then high launching, which is the opposite to the review. I have the stock Actionlite 85 Stiff in them. Great clubs.

        • JDB

          Jul 6, 2014 at 5:33 am

          Awesome to find out players are using Cleveland irons. I thought I was the only one!!! My whole bag is Cleveland and I’m not changing. Great company that is underated. Too bad they only market their wedges.

  25. Rich

    Jul 3, 2014 at 4:40 am

    I think half the people bashing this test didn’t read the intro. Golfers clearly identifies what the traditional thinking of what a players iron is but they clearly state that with this gear trial, they hoped to change that thinking. Well done g

    • Rich

      Jul 3, 2014 at 4:42 am

      Sorry, didn’t complete the comment. As I was saying Golfwrx clearly identifies what the traditional players will think a players iron should be but are hoping that thinking will change with this gear trial. Well done Golfwrx

  26. Chris

    Jul 3, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Not gonna lie, was a little shocked to see the irons that made this category. When I saw “players irons”, i expected..well..something different. Either way, Im glad to see the industry going in this direction. Opens my eyes to irons that I would have over looked.

    • Cameron

      Jul 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      There are clubs in this category that should not be there. Half of the list is not comprised of players clubs.

  27. Scott

    Jul 2, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Great article…it made me add a couple more irons to the test list over the next 6 months as I look for a new set.

    My only question is the s55 was a “winner” in the forgiveness category, yet has the lowest slide rule score for forgiveness of any of the listed “winners” in the other categories– i.e. The Cleveland TT or AP2.

    I only ask bc AP2 is on my list & s55 I thought would be too challenging for me, but if s55 is “more forgiving” than the AP2 I will definitely have to put that into the mix

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      Scott,

      To answer yours and others’ questions, the S55 made our list because it got the votes and led all blade irons in the club test. We recognize that it’s probably the least forgiving iron on the Forgiveness-First list, but if you read these comments you’ll see a pretty good sample of how many golfers think a players iron has to be a blade or a blade-like iron like the S55.

      We expected that, and if golfers won’t give up their blades, we hope that they’ll at least give golf’s most forgiving blade in golf a try. That’s why we put in our 10 percent for it on the Forgiveness-First list.

      • Scott

        Jul 3, 2014 at 9:51 am

        Oh ok, so the full 10 vote from WRX staffers, bc of how shocked you guys were with the forgiveness in such a small package, put it over the top of some of the other more conventionally forgiving irons. That makes total sense now, thank you for the clarification, I was definitely not trying to be adversarial as some of the other commenters seem to have become, just trying to see if a s55 would help me more than the AP2 or some of the others on the list

  28. Justin

    Jul 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Were most of the people testing these “players” irons 20+ handicaps? Mizuno JPX EZ are now considered players irons? I’m reminded of Mr. Mugatu…reading this article made me feel like I’m taking CRAZY pills!
    JPX-EZ in the players category. Ha!

    • chocobean mugatu

      Jul 3, 2014 at 1:34 am

      Not now Todd!!!!!

    • Fred

      Jul 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Justin: You’re right. Even Mizuno markets JPX EZ irons in the “game improvement” category. I’m an MP-54 guy, and have always thought of the MP-4 and 64 as their primary “player’s” irons. As far as I’m concerned, the MP-4 is the most beautiful iron out there.

  29. Josh C.

    Jul 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I applaud the effort that went into to testing and gathering all of the information surrounding this equipment. However, as many have stated before me, these are player’s irons? What does the game improvement irons list look like compared to this “player’s” irons run down?

    This article is borderline treasonous.

  30. Chris

    Jul 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Thanks for the info. I’m shopping for a new set of irons so this will be very helpful.

    I noticed that your review of the i25 irons back in April stated this as a pro:

    “The only iron to medal in all three categories (distance, forgiveness and overall performance) in our “Gear Trials” club test”.

    Have things changed since then? Has the perception of the i25’s distance worsened? Have perceptions of the Apex and Covert improved?

    Thanks again.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 2, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Thanks for catching that, because we missed it. We took another vote when the SLDR irons were released and they pushed the i25 irons out of the Distance-First category.

  31. Jgpl001

    Jul 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Since when did the majority of these become players irons?

    I am not saying there is anything wrong with any of these but………get the classification right

  32. j.a.

    Jul 2, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    There is a lot of copy/paste in this article. It would be great to have more specific information on each category when a club make two or three of them, not just a repetition of what had been said.

  33. Michael

    Jul 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I guess I’m the first to respond who really likes the direction you went with this article. Why shouldn’t distance be a part of this test? If I hit a lower lofted 6 iron at the same trajectory as a higher lofted 6 iron, and I hit it 12 yards further, than it is important. If the 4 iron goes every bit as high as a more “traditional” club, but goes 20 yards further, than that is a huge advantage.

    The Forgiveness Category, to me, is essentially the accuracy portion. Anyone spouting that forged blades are inherently more accurate than CB’s, as is often the case on the forums, is mistaken and uneducated regarding modern golf club design. Ask ANY well-respected club fitter about this premise and they will immediately shoot down the archaic notion that blades=accuracy. Forgiveness, guys, is when a mishit shot ends up closer to a perfect shot (which NO ONE hits [spin axis, trajectory, spin rate, smash factor, horizontal plane, swing path, clubface angle, et al being exactly optimal]). Isn’t that synonymous with accuracy in your book?

    Overall, this is the best large-scale iron review out there, and supports the premise that technology is beneficial to better golfers. I love that respected fitters/builders were included, and appreciate the amount of data used to verify the stance you took. Golfwrx, I am grateful for the second paragraph of this article, and love that you stuck to it! I understand the nostalgia many purists have towards what a “Players Iron” should be, but applaud you for not caving in to that mindset. The WITB on the PGA Tour will be changing a lot over the next 5 years or so. Way to get the unbiased info to the community before it becomes en vogue.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Thank you for the praise, Michael. We really appreciate it.

    • MHendon

      Jul 3, 2014 at 1:51 am

      Michael maybe I’m one of these old traditionalist but I’ve found that for me a traditional blade style iron or at least the irons that I’ve been using since 2001, Mizuno Mp33’s give me exceptional distance control. Like most players I was using a more forgiving cavity back iron when I was new to the game but as my swing became stronger the distances the ball would fly from one well struck shot to the next could vary as much as 15 yards and many time I would completely fly the green. That’s never been an issue since I went to my Mizuno’s.

    • Dan

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Spot on Michael! I can’t believe the responses I’ve read on here.. I have been searching the web for over an hour trying to find a good Iron review and felt like I hit the honey hole when I stumbled across this article.. Sounds like hurt feelings if a players club wasn’t listed? Being a 6 handicap I took a 10 year lay off and have spent a lot of time hitting different clubs to replace my OLD Lynx Super Predators! I settled on the S55 after my fitter sugested I give them a try.. Absolutely crushed the ball 20 yards past the Titliest a
      AP2 and CB.. So based on all the clubs I have hit this review is SPOT on and the best Iron review I have yet found!! I am still learning the S55 and being a 14 handicap right now I would be better off with a more forgiving Iron but that’s what back up set’s are for 🙂 This review helped me pick out my back up set. I was disgusted when I read all the people complaining about this review.. Either they are out of touch with the new technology or it’s just hurt feelings that there clubs aren’t on the list. MC just destroyed the Open Championship with Nike!! Zak I dont know if you wrote this review but it’s the best and most HONEST Iron review I have found so far. Thanks!!

  34. savarini

    Jul 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    How can the Ping S55 be more forgiving than jpx825 pro ? How can you call this a players Iron review with no FEEL category ? Anybody who has played a distance iron and that is really what this review is a distance iron review aka game enhancement knows feel and feed back are what these club lack you can crush them however often there is little no difference in sound from the sweet spot to mis hits. The fact you left the mp54’s off this list says a lot …. SMH

  35. nick

    Jul 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    OK I will say it. The lofts on the apex and a lot of these irons are jacked. The apex 7 iron is 31* while most of tge real player irons are 34. Of course they go further. Wht are the apex and sldr even in player iron testing? There game improvement irons. The apex pro and TP MC are there player iron offerings.

    • Jacob

      Oct 8, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Even if the lofts on the Apexs are jacked thats the whole point. They lower the lofts purposely and then lower the CG to make it go further but the same height so really bringing up lofts is just kind of idiotic when they state that they lowered the lofts.

  36. Rob

    Jul 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    It’s too bad Nike has no lefty clubs these days, although I’ve heard the Pro Combos may come out in the Fall.

    The only clubs I’ve been able to find in lefty are the Apex Pro and TM TPs. TM weren’t for me, but the Apex Pros feel great and are at least a club longer than my 712 AP2s.

  37. Jeff

    Jul 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    No blades? These heads are the size of shovels. Give me a set of miura blades over any of this junk.

    • Fred

      Jul 7, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Ah, would have to agree with you there. Love my Mizunos, but would give them up in a heart beat if I could afford the Miuras.

  38. Pingback: 2014 Gear Trials: Best Players Irons | Spacetimeandi.com

  39. 3 putts

    Jul 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Lol. This is a bunch of marketing b.s.. Lets forget about blade like irons because the technology in them is maxed out and you prob won’t buy a brand new set that looks like your old set. So lets drink some hype flavored kool and buy “game improvement” players irons. What a joke. Could the individuals you used to make these conclusions even decent ball strikers? Doubt it. Shouldnt players irons be evaluated by ‘players’ not various skill levels. why do i care how a 20 handicap hits the newest blade? Players are used to smaller head size and less forgiveness to maintain workability and distance control. What scratch and better players know is forgiveness turns into sloppy swings. Very disappointed in this article.

    • RG

      Jul 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Here,here!

    • Gotama

      Jul 3, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Absolutely spot on.

    • Steve

      Jul 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Are you better than touring pros? Those are the folks using the irons on this list. Blade players are great only in their minds. The rest of us use a hybrid set just as the article points out that Phil uses.

    • Ethan

      Jul 4, 2014 at 4:11 am

      What about the taylormade mc or mbs. That’s the irons from taylormade that should be on the list.

  40. Andy

    Jul 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    You may consider that better players are more focused on finding a certain ball flight instead of solely focused on performance numbers. Better players depend on those subjective measures to find the right set of irons.

    Even at that, I question the results based on the fact that Taylormade computers suggested the TP MB for me last week based on their swing analysis. There has to be some sort of performance data you’re missing that factors in to the best “players” irons.

    I will note that I tried the TM MC before deciding on the MB because I saw the results from the tour. However, the MB won out from 5 iron down due to flight and feel.

    From a pure Taylormade point of view, I think this review loses credibility when the CB is listed as their best “players” iron, while the best players on the planet are playing the MC.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Andy,

      We’re well aware of the importance of a proper trajectory. Our testing showed that most golfers will be able to achieve a more optimal trajectory from one of these 10 irons and not irons like the Tour Preferred MB. TaylorMade itself admits that blade irons are more of an art project than an engineering feat and do not create maximum performance.

      What I don’t want to go unnoticed about your comment is that you did what most golfers hesitate to do; you went through a fitting. It might very well be that the Tour Preferred MB irons are the best irons for you and that’s great. But you’re in the very small minority of golfers who had that experience.

      The bigger point is that golfers need to get fit for their irons and shouldn’t be scared to play something that’s not a blade, especially if they shoot above 75 more than they break par. Most golfers will hit longer, straighter and more consistent shots with the 10 winners listed in the article than they would a set of forged blade or cavity backs.

      That’s not our opinion. Those are the facts.

      • Andy

        Jul 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        I agree with your facts on performance. I wouldn’t suggest a set of blades to just anyone. I just disagree with the title of the article. Replace “Players” with “Performance” and you’ve got a winner. I just think it’s off the mark to consider all of your winners players irons.

        I would agree to the i25s and the AP2s because they’re common on tour and in top amateurs’ bags, but good luck finding any scratch player playing the Callaway Apex over the Apex Pro or any other forged offering.

        • Zak Kozuchowski

          Jul 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

          Point taken on the title, Andy. We will use the usual “players” and “game-improvement” titles this year, but maybe we should consider changing the titles for next year’s story. It’s something we will have a discussion about going forward.

          You’re right that most top amateurs and professionals don’t usually play a set of Apex or Covert Forged irons over those companies’ smaller irons, but our point is this: Does that have to do with performance or perception? We think it’s more of a perception issue, because the numbers are almost always better with those irons than more blade-like models.

          • Andy

            Jul 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm

            Right on… thanks for the responses.

            Think about this though. Perception = how a player feels about hitting a certain shot in certain conditions.

            This translates into way more shots on the course than a flat lie with no wind factor on artificial turf. While the MC gave me better numbers on a launch monitor, it was way less predictable out in real conditions.

            Just thoughts for the future… 😉

          • RG

            Jul 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

            You left out the most important categories, which are feel and workability.

      • Rich

        Jul 2, 2014 at 2:12 pm

        Very true

  41. jason

    Jul 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Why is “Accuracy” not a metric when comparing players irons here? It seems that this category of irons should be evaluated mostly on if they do what you direct and the ball goes where its supposed to….not just straight. I don’t think forgiveness encompasses accuracy. In low handicappers hands, irons can be accurate while not necessarily being forgiving.

  42. Mason

    Jul 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Perfect timing. I have the ap2s, and hit them well. But the feel is awful. I am looking at trying s55, i25, and BCP.

    • 3 putts

      Jul 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      It’s obviously the clubs fault. Good thing this review is here to save you. Jk. But for real, try hitting practice balls or maybe lessons instead of wasting your money on new clubs you won’t hit any better. It’s the Indian and not the arrow most times.

      • Mason

        Jul 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm

        Re-Read my comment. I hit the ap2 very well, just don’t like the feel.

        • 3 putts

          Jul 2, 2014 at 2:25 pm

          Aren’t most players irons designed for a minority of golfers? You keep saying MOST golfers. Most golfers can’t break 80. So why would they waste their money on a ‘players’ iron? Players irons are for good golfers, the minority of those who play golf.

          • 3 putts

            Jul 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

            This was supposed to be a reply to Zak’s comment above here.

          • Zak Kozuchowski

            Jul 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm

            To clarify, “most golfers” means most golfers for this category.

            We will be publishing a 2014 Gear Trials: Best Game-Improvement Irons list shortly that is for golfers who need even more forgiving irons than those on this list.

            And you’re right, the majority of golfers should be in game-improvement models. But high handicappers do the same thing as “players;” they continue to buy irons that are too small and too hard for them to hit.

        • 3 putts

          Jul 2, 2014 at 2:29 pm

          My bad. Realized it as soon as I hit post. The 714 mb and cb feel great as well. More feedback with the mb.

    • Dpavs

      Jul 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      If you are ok with the distance on the AP2’s but simply want better feel, give the Mizuno MP54 or 64’s a swing.. it’s hard to beat Mizuno for feel.. you also might want to add the Nike Pro Combo’s .. it just might surprise you.

  43. Zak Kozuchowski

    Jul 2, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Here’s the list of the players irons we tested.

    Again, this was a purely performance-based list. If an iron didn’t make it, it’s because it either didn’t perform as well as another iron in our club test or it wasn’t a top performer in the testing bays of our panel of elite custom fitters. It’s as simple as that!

    Adams XTD Forged
    Callaway Apex
    Callaway Apex Pro
    Callaway X Forged ‘13
    Callaway X2 Hot Pro
    Cleveland 588 CB
    Cleveland TT
    Cobra AMP Cell Pro
    Cobra Bio Cell +
    Mizuno JPX-EZ Forged
    Mizuno JPX-825 Pro
    Mizuno MP-4
    Mizuno MP-54
    Mizuno MP-64
    Nike Covert Forged
    Nike Forged Pro Combo
    Nike VR Pro Blades
    Ping i25
    Ping S55
    TaylorMade Tour Preferred CB
    TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB
    TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC
    TaylorMade SLDR
    Titleist 714 AP2
    Titleist 714 CB
    Titleist 714 MB
    Tour Edge Exotics CB
    Wilson Staff FG V2
    Wilson Staff FG 62 Tour
    Wilson Staff M3

    • Rich

      Jul 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      comprehensive list indeed, well done. I prefer my MP54’s after countless hours spent hitting most of the clubs on your list. For me, they are the perfect fit.

      • Zak Kozuchowski

        Jul 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm

        The MP-54’s are fantastic irons, but the JPX-EZ Forged irons will be better performing for most golfers in a head-to-head test.

        It’s ok to want to give up a little performance for better feel or a better visual like you did. We just want golfers to understand that they have a choice and to be armed with enough information to make the best possible decision for their game.

        Thanks for reading, Rich.

        • Rich

          Jul 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm

          The JPX are definitely longer and if that equates to better performance then I guess you’re right. Well written test that I enjoyed, thank you.

          • Zak Kozuchowski

            Jul 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm

            Thanks Rich. They’re longer, but also a bit more consistent on mishits. That’s why we call them better performing.

            Distance is great, especially for golfers who struggle with it, but with irons it’s all about consistent distance and a high enough trajectory to stop the ball close to the hole. It just so happens that bigger irons tend to be more consistent and fly higher than smaller irons.

            As many commenters have pointed out, there’s a fine line between bigger irons being better for golfer’s game and having larger-sized irons hamper a golfer’s creativity. Each golfer can start to figure out what size will work best for him or her with a proper fitting, and that’s why irons of various sizes made this list.

            We agree with our fitters, however, that there isn’t really any reason to play blade-like forged irons anymore unless you are already hitting your irons as far and as consistently as you want. I don’t know many golfers who can say that.

    • Guantanemo

      Jul 3, 2014 at 5:59 am

      I appreciate you testing all of those irons, and sharing the results with us, I’m sure it wasn’t an easy feat at all. I’m about a 7 handicap and personally play (and prefer to the others) MP-64s, absolutely love everything about them. Ballstriking is the strongest part of my game though, and I was fit for my set.

      Obviously, club companies won’t be releasing clubs that they think are any worse than their competitors’. I think what we all need to take away here is that the most important thing is to figure out what kind of club you really need to improve your game, and go get fit, whether that means choosing a club that’s traditionally thought of as a “player’s club” or one of the more “game improvement”-like offerings in the list above.

    • Christopher

      Jul 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      I’m glad to see some of those irons are actually ‘players-irons’ but why try and invent the wheel by re-defining what player’s irons are? There are lots of players irons with new-tech in them on the list so I don’t see the need to add the more forgiving alternatives to the test as more often or not they’ll go higher and go further as well.

      Apart from the PINGs I’d consider all the clubs highlighted as mid-size alternatives to players irons. Even the Apex Pro are mid-sized, even if they’re popular on tour!

  44. Rich

    Jul 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

    You seemed to have forgotten the MP54 in your testing?

    • Vince

      Jul 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      How about the Orlimar Tour 2 & Tour 3 irons?? Currently on staff with Orlimar and I would put them up against ANY players club on the list!

  45. Cameron

    Jul 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    why are we evaluating player’s irons based on distance? I see the relevance for game improvement irons, but player’s irons…not sure that is a measure that anyone considering these irons should truly care about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

Published

on

Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

Your Reaction?
  • 203
  • LEGIT20
  • WOW8
  • LOL4
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP8
  • OB4
  • SHANK98

Continue Reading

Equipment

True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

Published

on

True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

Your Reaction?
  • 95
  • LEGIT7
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP4
  • OB2
  • SHANK23

Continue Reading

Equipment

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

Published

on

The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

Your Reaction?
  • 64
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending