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Iron Reviews

2015 Blade Iron Shootout

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This list of the best blade irons in golf isn’t like the Gear Trials: Best Clubs Lists that we’ve published for 2015. It couldn’t be, because the type of golfers who are generally using blade or blade-like irons are generally looking for something more specific than adding distance or forgiveness to their iron game.

For that reason, we went about this story in a different way. We’re calling it our 2015 Blade Iron Shootout, and we hope it will help golfers understand the differences between some of the most popular blade irons currently available.

BladeIronChart_Combined_

Click to enlarge. See individual charts for each category at the bottom of this story.

We had six golfers with handicaps of 1 or better hit 15 of the latest blade irons on the market in their stock 7-iron configuration in a special session at Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti, Mich. After they hit all the irons, we had them pick their favorites, which was easier for some than others. And of course, we recorded all their Trackman data so readers like you can have all data you want to make the most informed decision about your next set of blade irons.

Below, you’ll see the 15 irons we tested, as well as a full analysis of the average ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, smash factor, landing angle, carry distance, club speed, attack angle, and max height from each iron in the test. We also added a category called “Consistency Ranking,” which ranks the standard deviation of the carry distances we saw from each iron. And you’ll also learn a little more about each of our testers and see what irons they chose at the bottom of the story.

Editor’s Note: We weren’t able to test every model we hoped to for this list. Miura and Epon declined to participate, and Bridgestone was unable to supply us with samples in time for the test.

Related: 2015 Gear Trials, The Best Clubs in Golf

The 15 Irons Tested

Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15

  • Loft/shaft tested: 34 degrees (measured 33 degrees), True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1025 carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 7th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 1st
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 11th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 7th

Overview: Our Ben Hogan’s Ft. Worth 15 iron actually measured 33 degrees, which was slightly stronger than average. Despite its lower loft, however, it proved to be the highest-launching iron in this test. On a side note, Ben Hogan’s Ft. Worth 15 irons allow golfers to pick their own set makeup with lofts that range from 20 to 47 degrees.

Callaway Apex MB

  • Loft/shaft tested: 35 degrees, KBS Tour-V (Stiff Flex)
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1020 carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 3rd
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 6th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 5th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 12th

Overview: Callaway’s Apex MB was the third-most-consistent iron in our test. It had a higher-than-average launch angle while also being the fifth-lowest-spinning iron in our test. Despite its impressive launch angle/spin rate combination, however, the Apex MB had below average ball speed (12th).

Chikara CB-1

  • Loft/shaft tested: 32.75 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 36.75 inches
  • Construction: Forged, S25C carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 1st
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 15th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 2nd
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 1st

Overview: Chikara’s CB-1 had the lowest loft of any iron on this list (32.75 degrees), and also had the highest ball speed and lowest launch angle of any iron tested. It was also the second-lowest-spinning iron in the test. In terms of carry distance, it was the most consistent iron in the test.

Two out of our six testers chose Chikara’s CB-1 as their favorite iron. 

Chikara MB-1

  • Loft/shaft tested: 33.75 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 36.75 inches
  • Construction: Forged, S25C carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 11th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 13th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 9th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 6th

Overview: Chikara’s MB-1 had 1 degree more loft than its CB equivalent. It had slightly above average ball speed (sixth), a middle-of-the-road spin rate (ninth) and a lower-than-average launch angle (13th). It was below average in terms of carry consistency (11th).

One of our six testers chose Chikara’s MB-1 irons as his favorite iron. 

Cobra Fly-Z Pro

  • Loft/shaft tested: 34 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1020 carbon steel, tungsten toe weight
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 8th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 11th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 4th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 5th

Overview: Cobra’s Fly-Z Pro had one of the lowest average spin rates of the irons tested (fourth) and one of the highest ball speeds (fifth). Carry consistency was middle of the pack (eighth), while the launch angle was lower-than-average (11th). On a side note, the irons have a tungsten weight in the toe that is said to improve overall forgiveness by moving the center of gravity toward the toe.

Fourteen FH-1000

  • Loft/shaft tested: 34 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, S25C carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 6th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 9th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 7th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 14th

Overview: The FH-1000 had one of the slowest ball speeds in the test (14th), with an average launch angle, spin rate and carry consistency. Overall, it flew slightly lower and shorter than most of the irons in the test, but had an above average carry consistency (sixth).

Fourteen TC-888

  • Loft/shaft tested: 33 degrees, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 120 (S-Flex)
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, S25C carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 2nd
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 14th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 1st
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 4th

Overview: Fourteen’s TC-888 were the lowest-spinning iron in our test, with one of the highest ball speeds (fourth) and the second-most-consistent carry distance. Similar to Fourteen’s pure blade, the FH-1000, the TC-888 flew lower than most of the other irons in the test and had the second-lowest launch angle.

Mizuno MP-4

  • Loft/shaft tested: 34 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 36.75 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1025E carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 14th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 12th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 3rd
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 2nd

Overview: Mizuno’s MP-4 had the second-highest ball speed despite its standard 34-degree loft. Its spin rate ranking was third lowest, giving it one of the most impressive launch angle/spin rate ratios in our test. Its launch angle was lower than average (12th), and it ranked only 14th in carry consistency.

One of our six testers chose the MP-4 as his favorite iron. 

Nike Vapor Pro

  • Loft/shaft tested: 35 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 37.25 inches
  • Construction: Forged, S25C carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 5th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 4th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 8th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 8th

Overview: Nike’s Vapor Pro was one of the high-launching (fourth) irons in our test. It was above average in carry consistency (fifth) and had a middle-of-the-pack spin rate (eighth) and ball speed (eighth). Testers also swung the Vapor Pro iron faster than all the others on average, and it should be noted that its stock length of 37.25 inches was the longest in the test by 0.25 inches.

Scratch AR-1 v2

  • Loft/shaft tested: 35.5 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1018 carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 15th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 7th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 14th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 15th

Overview: Scratch’s AR-1 v2, along with the company’s SB-1, had the second-weakest lofts of any of the irons tested. It had the slowest ball speed of any iron tested, and was the second highest-spinning iron in the test. Launch angle was average. The AR-1 v2 irons were the least consistent iron in terms of carry distance.

Scratch SB-1 v2

  • Loft/shaft tested: 35.5 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1018 carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 9th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 5th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 13th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 11th

Overview: Scratch’s SB-1 v2 irons launched the ball lower, faster and with less spin than the company’s AR-1 v2 irons. Launch angle (fifth) was higher than average, while carry consistency (ninth) and ball speed (11th) were below average. Spin rate (13th) was higher than average.

Titleist 714 CB

  • Loft/shaft tested: 35 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1025 carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 4th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 2nd
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 10th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 10th

Overview: Titleist’s 714 CB was one of the most consistent irons in the test in terms of carry distance (fourth) and had the second-highest launch angle. Despite its higher-than-average loft (35 degrees), its spin rate (10th) was only slightly above average, while its ball speed (10th) was only slightly below average.

Titleist 714 MB

  • Loft/shaft tested: 35 degrees, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1025 carbon steel
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 10th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 3rd
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 6th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 13th

Overview: Titleist’s 714 MB iron launched fractionally lower than the company’s 714 CB irons and with slightly less ball speed. Spin rate (sixth) was below average and lower than the 714 CB irons, while carry consistency was 10th. Ball speed (13th) was one of the slowest tested.

Vega VM-01

  • Loft/shaft tested: 35.75 degrees, Shimada Tour Stiff
  • Length: 35.75 inches
  • Construction: Forged by Kyoei Golf
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 12th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 8th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 15th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 9th

Overview: Vega’s VM-01 was below average in carry consistency (12th) and ball speed (ninth). Launch angle was average (eighth). It had the highest loft (35.75 degrees) of any iron in the test was also the highest-spinning iron.

Yonex Ti Hybrid MB

  • Loft/shaft tested: 34.5 degrees, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 120 (S-Flex)
  • Length: 37 inches
  • Construction: Forged, 1025 carbon steel, titanium insert in club head
  • Consistency Ranking (carry distance, standard deviation): 13th
  • Launch Angle Ranking (highest to lowest): 10th
  • Spin Rate Ranking (lowest to highest): 12th
  • Ball Speed Ranking (highest to lowest): 3rd

Overview: Yonex’s Ti Hybrid MB had one of the fastest ball speeds (third) in our test, with a higher-than-average spin rate (12th), and a lower-than-average launch angle (10th) and carry consistency (13th). On a side note, the irons have an 18-gram titanium insert in the club head that is said to lower their center of gravity and improve forgiveness.

One of our testers chose Yonex’s Ti Hybrid MB irons as his favorite. 

Ball Speed Data

BladeIronChart_BallSpeed

Launch Angle Data

BladeIronChart_LaunchAngle

Spin Rate Data

BladeIronChart_Spin

Smash Factor Data

BladeIronChart_Smash

Landing Angle Data

BladeIronChart_LandingAngle

Carry Distance Data

BladeIronChart_CarryDistance

Carry Consistency Data

BladeIronChart_CarryConsistency

Club Speed Data

BladeIronChart_ClubSpeed

Attack Angle Data

BladeIronChart_Attack

Max Height Data

BladeIronChart_PeakHeight

The Testers and What They Chose

Player 1

  • Handicap: 1 (multiple time club champion)
  • Age: 58
  • Favorite Irons: Chikara MB-1

Player 2

  • Handicap: +2 (former mini-tour player)
  • Age: 26
  • Favorite Iron: Yonex Ti Hybrid MB

Player 3

  • Handicap: +2 (former college golfer)
  • Age: 33
  • Favorite Iron: Mizuno MP-4

Player 4

  • Handicap: +1 (former college player)
  • Age: 33
  • Favorite Iron: Fourteen FH-1000

Player 5

  • Handicap: NA (current teaching pro)
  • Age: 33
  • Favorite Iron: Chikara CB-1

Player 6

  • Handicap: 0 (current teaching pro)
  • Age: 58
  • Favorite Iron: Chikara CB-1
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109 Comments

109 Comments

  1. Bob Pegram

    Feb 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    It’s surprising KZG blades aren’t included. Their blades are made by Kyoei Golf in Japan, the same people who make the Vega heads. But they have a number of different styles of blades. KZGs are different than Vegas.

  2. smib

    Dec 7, 2015 at 3:03 am

    what a rubbish selection of “blades” ur kidding seiously……….!

  3. stevemcgee99

    Nov 21, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Funny test.

    By the way I think you can find several of these designs used on eBay. From 30+ years ago.

  4. ben

    Sep 10, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Australian Blades TM1. That’s right. I got ’em. I play ’em.

  5. John

    Aug 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Talked to executives at Ben Hogan Golf. They don’t even appreciate it when people refer to the new Fort Worth irons as “blades”. Then throw CB’s and MB’s into it? . . . it’s like they’re just defining anything with a thin topline as a “blade”.

  6. BR

    Jul 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    So I liked the write up but agree with many that (paraphrasing) this is not a true apples to apples club test (i.e. shafts, lofts, cb vs true blade, etc) but IMO the data representing ball speed, smash factor, spin rates are a good enough indicator for the rest of us to nail down potential testing/demos based on our personal preferences…… Would love to see this broken out to CB category, true blade category with like loft, shaft combos.

    • Slick from Ada

      Jul 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

      The authors of this article are morons. They termed the piece Blade Shootout but included Cavity back’s and Muscle back’s but nary a true blade.

      This was a terrible article and I feel dumber now that I read it. Yikes!

  7. Jim

    Jul 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    So, it’s Golfsmith that has re-defined what a “blade” is? A true “blade” has NO cavity, nor should it be referred to as a “CB”. Those re-defined designations must be a “feel-good” term designed to make CAVITY-back players feel better about themselves and so they can say “Yeah, I play “blades”.

    • Joe Duffer

      Jul 10, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Yeah, kinda like calling an Anser/Newport design a blade putter…

  8. Peter Overlien

    Jul 8, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The more I hit my mp 4s the less I care the little bit of forgiveness I am sacrificing. I am starting to lose the lingering ego/doubt/ etc.. What is my motivation, I guess I will worry about that moral phsyco dilemma/ hang up etc.. For the real world, ( who I marry, etc..) ? 2 thoughts here, when I flush my MP4 5 iron into our tenth green, watch it either roll on check up or stop dead while II am doing my best hogan at merrion pose, then feel that beauty between my calloused hands and terry cloth, feel that angle of muscle….. Oh man, then sneak a look, feigning inspection, admire it and feel that familiar thump before tossing my tools up on my back give little whistle like the old old spice sailor. Uffdah. I. Love love my 09 Xforged and would stack it up against any of these, but fellas, we are a club of enthusiasts here, some would say even a fellowship. A fellowship implies a quest. Fellows are chosen for a higher purpose by a higher power. I am also a fellow in a twelve step program. My golf fellows know what I mean when I say that golf a big part of my spiritual quest. Some of us appreciate the practical info and enjoy the ensuing debate etc.. That these trials provide. Let’s see some positivity men! Are my xforged blades? They feel soooo good to me well struck, but they don’t feel like a blade when I whipe them off. Who cares. See you wrxers’ at the turn as we trudge the road to happy destiny. Now where to go from the xforged w 6.0. Time for this 8 capper, with a love of forgiveness and sole help, to upgrade!

  9. May be typos

    Jun 27, 2015 at 9:03 am

    These are the clubs tested
    And these are the results….
    What’s the problem
    If you don’t like it, move on in life
    Noone cares what you think anyways
    #TROLLIN

  10. Duncan Castles

    Jun 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    So the company that makes a selling point out of stamping the loft on the clubhead appears to be selling clubs a degree stronger than their claimed loft? Well done the new Ben Hogan…

  11. Jafar

    Jun 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve never see so many comments for an article outside of a Tiger Woods piece.

    I didn’t know so many WRX’ers played blades.

  12. Tom

    Jun 26, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Excuse me “excluded”

  13. Clintwc

    Jun 26, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Need to test the Miura CB57.

  14. Woohoo

    Jun 26, 2015 at 1:39 am

    This is not a Blade test, if you have Cavity Backs in it. Start over.

    • Eh

      Jul 5, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      idiot

    • DolphLundrenade

      Jul 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      “Blades” refers to the lack of offset, thin sole with minimal bounce, and a thin topline… typically a smaller length as well. There are both “cavity back” and “muscleback” “Blades” in the test. There is no need to start over for your lack of understanding. That said, I myself consider musclebacks the truest form of a blade, but if the three primary ingredients are there, then it is still a blade by definition.

      I agree with others, Miura should have been included in this test. Mizuno’s newest MB is no joke though. Love ’em.

  15. golfiend

    Jun 25, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    having different shafts is a big problem with this test. also, it’s not a true blade shoot out if you have cavity backs in the mix

  16. Mat

    Jun 25, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    The Chikara 6-iron beat everyone’s 7-iron. Nice.

  17. gocanucksfan123

    Jun 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I thought this test would have the Taylormade Tour Preferred MB considering the photo for the article is actually the TP MB, but I guess Taylormade’s irons just aren’t good enough for this?? Explanation please?

  18. Ryan

    Jun 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Lets summarize two days of complaining: You didn’t test all possible brands, in identical and/or all shaft combinations, with each head bent to the same angle, by a robot and by real players. In conclusion, all club tests are meaningless because it is all about personal preference and player feel. Boom.

  19. Greg V

    Jun 25, 2015 at 9:48 am

    So what happened to the AP2’s, Ping S-55, Mizuno MP-54, Callaway Apex Pro, and other irons in that category?

    Aren’t these the clubs that a majority of folks on the site play?

    • Scooter McGavin

      Jul 7, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Those fit into another category, for which I think there was already an article. The AP2s, MP54s, and Apex Pros are not blades, which is why they were probably included in the other article.

  20. Rich

    Jun 25, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Some serious JDM love here. Good to see. Not enough people consider JDM clubs and they are often the best you can buy. Might be a little more expensive, but hey, who cares if you they are perfect for you.

    • christian

      Jun 26, 2015 at 8:23 am

      There isn’t a single JDM club in this test. They are all available and marketed internationally. Hell, Vega is even a British company. JDM = Japanese Domestic Market, meaning a product that is developed for and sold exclusively in the Japanese market. Examples would be Miura Giken, Royal Collection, Tsuruya, PRGR, Baldo, Crazy, Jbeam, XXIO, S-Yard..

      • Rich

        Jul 3, 2015 at 9:19 am

        I know what it means mate but check your facts before you correct someone. XXIO is widely available in golf stores in Australia so is that JDM now? You knew what I was getting at. Oh and Vega? Didn’t see a lot of love for them in the test so how is that relevant?

      • Scooter McGavin

        Jul 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm

        Yeah, sorry, bud, but I’m with Rich. You’re definition doesn’t seem consistent since Miura and XXIO aren’t sold “exclusively” in Japan. You can get those over here in the states. Maybe the clubs you listed are actually JDM, but your description doesn’t match up.

  21. nathan

    Jun 25, 2015 at 6:54 am

    So the club that wins the ‘Blade Iron Shootout’ was a cavity back. Well that was helpful…

    • Tom

      Jun 25, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Muscle back design, cavity back design both blade style heads.

      • christian

        Jun 26, 2015 at 8:15 am

        Hu? One is a blade the other is a CB..Only one is a blade and so is “blade style”..Whatever that means..

        • Tom

          Jun 26, 2015 at 10:40 am

          small heads, thin top line, minimal offsets. If a cavity back has the same dimensions as a muscle back does this mean the cavity back is precluded from the catagory?

          • christian

            Jun 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

            Yes, that’s exactly what it means. A blade is not about “dimensions” it’s about being a muscleback, that is, no cavity. Not that hard to understand.

            • Tom

              Jun 29, 2015 at 12:30 pm

              The Lines Are Blurring
              These differences, however, are no longer as clear as they once were. Forged blades are now made with shallow cavities to improve accuracy, and cavity backs are being made that provide increased feel and maneuverability. In fact, when manufacturers such as Mizuno unveil new club designs, it can be difficult to see any major difference between their player’s clubs and their game-improvement designs. The once-clear divide between blades and cavity backs is vanishing as the two join and form new easier-to-hit irons
              Definition from GolfSmith.

  22. Large chris

    Jun 25, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Perfectly fair test. To everyone moaning about different lofts and lies….. Best way to determine what number iron a club is, is the spin / 1000. Holds true for Trackman PGA tour averages (7097 for a 7 iron, yes slightly higher swing speeds than in this test). In that case the Yonex, Scratch and Vega clubs are closer to 8 irons than 7s.
    Loft alone does not determine spin, launch angle or smash factor. You have to look at the composite design of the head, CG placement etc.
    Completely pointless bending all the clubs identically, away from how each was designed.

    • Tom

      Jun 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Can I get a whoop whoop on this.

    • christian

      Jun 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      And shafts? Are you saying spin rate/flight is not dependent on different shafts? No differnece between nippon, KBS och DG?

    • KK

      Jun 27, 2015 at 8:15 am

      I think there is a point in bending clubs because ams and pros do it to fit their swings. We should be able to do it to fit a comparison. I would like to see another article with original loft results and same loft results.

  23. Jack

    Jun 25, 2015 at 12:50 am

    So the CB’s were the most consistent irons. Surprise surprise.

  24. Bryan

    Jun 25, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I guess for all the shaft junkies out there who split hairs that the same shafts weren’t used are intentionally over-looking the data that shows a club measured with less loft can actually launch higher and travel slower than a club with the same shaft and one additional degree of loft (see Ben Hogan v. Cobra Fly Z Pro comparison). Admittedly, there are points where what would be expected actually pans out, but this just goes to show that what matters most in selecting and fitting a club should be the club head, not shaft (not to be taken to mean shaft isn’t important, but I will probably get roasted on this by other readers)

  25. erick

    Jun 24, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    im a 1.8 call it 2 handicap if you will. 26 years old and have tested many of the irons.. its all subjective but the callaway mb’s are the best feeling of the bunch, even beyond the mp4’s and im a mizzy fanboi…good list none the less. i still game my mp68’s and mp54’s (step muscles blah blah)

  26. lmao

    Jun 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Why are there CBs in this test?

    Sorry, I had to repeat that question for everybody’s annoyance. lmao

  27. MadeinJapan

    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    The fact that the Chikara CB-1’s did so well go to show you don’t have to be a big name with big budgets to create a nice iron. Just find an open model catalog head that came out in Japan 3-4 years ago and lightly tweak it and you have a gamer…

  28. KK

    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for the article. Very interesting comparison and great data. I have always thought the Callway MBs were very forgiving for blades and this seems to support it.

  29. Steve

    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I think it is a pretty good club test. You cant have every model, from every maker. But there is some good data. It doesnt bother me that some arent blades. Wish they would have golfers of all levels test them. If your not scratch or better it’s hard to relate too. Testing a 7 iron from each set, is that fair test. But this is golfwrx, everyone here plays top level golf.

    • Rory

      Jun 24, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      WRX site and forums SCREAMS that shafts completely change clubs yet 4 different shafts were used among the 15 heads…..Is there even a slight chance that Player 2 likes the Nippon over the S300 shaft? If so what do you think you should do inorder for a fair comparison….you don’t even need a High School diploma for that one. And if Miura, Epon, and Bridgstone didn’t provide clubs just use your own like Top Gear does when car companies wont provide…..

      • Chip

        Jun 25, 2015 at 10:48 pm

        Maybe they liked the shaft, maybe the grip was the difference..

  30. Chim Richalds, MD

    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Those Chikara CB-1s look like the old Ben Hogan Apex Plus/Edge Pro models

    • sgniwder99

      Jun 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      That was exactly my response when I saw them.

  31. Kurren

    Jun 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    The dumbest thing about this entire Club Test is that there wasn’t a true players CB category. They were add ons to the “players” category that were really game improvement while game improvement really should’ve been super game improvement. I think the fact that the Titliest AP2 failed to make any list says it all. Especially on a site like this where the most common demographic is playing a players CB

  32. Spieff

    Jun 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Cool another useless “best” list.

  33. Hippocamp

    Jun 24, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Funny that the picture at the top of the article is the Taylormade MB TP, which wasn’t included in the tests. It is still in production, as far as I know.

  34. Ben

    Jun 24, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Not here to complain. Just thought it was funny the TaylorMade Tour Preffered MB was left off but that the picture behind the title is clearly one with a shopped WRX stamp. I’m assuming they were left off because they were a 2014 model?

  35. Lowell

    Jun 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    This probably confirms that no matter what the Trackman numbers tell you, you are gonna play what feels best in your hands. Best thing to do is get fitted by a professional and not by a magazine or something you happen to run into online. To be able to utilize the best equipment, it first and foremost has to fit the player and their swing characteristics.

  36. TF

    Jun 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Like Chuck said earlier, I think there’s plenty of valuable information presented, even if it’s not a direct “apples to apples” type of comparison. Having said that…

    I think that a future test where each tester visits the testing facility on a separate day and is able to hit clubs built with the shaft specs of their current gamers would provide data that WRXers would find valuable. Allowing some time between test events would give time to re-shaft the clubs to each player’s personal shaft preferences.

    The major downside being, or course, that it would require a lot of extra money spent on shafts/grips (public math: 6 golfers x 15 club heads = 90 shafts). If the WRX coffers are a little low for that, I’d be willing to bet that you could crowdsource it, as long as people were sure that the data being produced would be as close to a true apples-to-apples comparison as we could reasonably hope for.

  37. Golfistough

    Jun 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Swing … and a miss. How tough is it to make sure that irons included in the test aren’t cavity backs and that each iron has the same shaft in it?

  38. MP-4

    Jun 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    With so much effort going into this comparison, why not use the same shafts and loft, on a robot? What about 5 or 6 different shafts on each club? Why isn’t anyone spec’ing club heads like this?
    If it’s too expensive to do, take up a collection. lol. Also, to call an article a “Blade Iron Shootout” that includes cavity backs doesn’t make much sense.

    • May be typos

      Jun 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      If you think you can do better,
      Go ahead

      • MP-4

        Jun 24, 2015 at 6:43 pm

        I would certainly like to, but not really the job of an individual.
        And seems it is even beyond the scope of any one website.
        Why not a collaborative effort?
        GolfWRX + GolfShaftReviews + GolfLabs?

        • May be typos

          Jun 27, 2015 at 9:14 am

          I’ll start….
          I hit my g20 purple dot 7 iron 185
          Sometimes it goes straight. Sometimes I push it. Sometimes I hit low hooks. When I play cheap courses the ball releases hard on the green. When I play at the country club in my town (soft greens) I see a ball mark and the ball is about 2 yards farther …..
          Why would anyone factor someone else’s results in determining what’s best for their own game

  39. Rob S

    Jun 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Do the same test with the same loft, length, SW and shaft in each club and then the numbers would mean something.. I believe the point of the test was to show the different launch characteristics of teh club heads, which was not accomplished bc of the different setups.

  40. Zed

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    So you take the time to secure each club for testing, measure the data and break all the numbers down, but you don’t bother bending each iron to the same loft and lie to remove a few of the variables and give the test a bit more accuracy.

    • John Brusseau

      Nov 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Spot on. In addition, all should be reshafted with the same shaft prior to the test. After all, wasn’t this a test of the best blade club head?

  41. Chris

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    No S55’s.. This article is a SHANK

    • Hans

      Jun 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      S55’s are player’s cavity backs. The are made to appear blade like and be workable like a blade, but they are in no way blades.

      • Ian

        Jun 24, 2015 at 3:35 pm

        Disagree – looks to me like there is as much if not more cavity in the CB’s tested here than the s55 has. I’d argue that the s55 have more place here among the blades than the majority of the CB’s. Would have been nice to see them compared.

        • Hans

          Jun 24, 2015 at 7:03 pm

          I understand the bit about the CBs being a bit odd, they aren’t a true blade, just a close cousin, but the S55s are much closer to the AP2s. They are designed to “look” like a blade, but the insert and tungsten weighting make them forgiving like a player’s cavity. An odd bird nevertheless because they are the most blade-like iron ping makes, but doesn’t make them blades. Rather they are the irons look like blades and have some of the workability of blades, but underneath the hood they have the perimeter weighting and forgiveness of a cavity back.

    • BigBoy

      Jun 24, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      S55’s are cast from different materials, and cheap to make/press…about $5 a club…doesn’t fit the category of true forged.

  42. birdeez

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    what i learned from this test …..is that all of these blades are very similar and little separates them.

    what i learned from the comments ….is that readers will forever be dissatisfied, are impossible to please, and will always find something to B* about

  43. Christosterone

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Missing:
    Bridgestone
    Srixon
    Wilson
    Ping
    Miura
    Should I go on?
    Also, what shafts? S300, X100, Modus, KBS, Project X???

    • Fred

      Jun 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      I believe the author noted why some of the brands you mentioned weren’t included. From the article: Editor’s note – “We weren’t able to test every model we hoped to for this list. (Miura) and Epon declined to participate, and (Bridgestone) was unable to supply us with samples in time for the test.”

      • Christosterone

        Jun 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        Srixon Z945 are a piece of technological art….
        Wish they would’ve been included….but the 945s were a Japan only product so I guess I get it…
        Bought mine from a Japanese distributor with KBS 140x white powder coated….love em

      • Christosterone

        Jun 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        130x I meant

  44. Jimmy

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Great test. Done much better than any other web site that does golf club testing.

  45. Paul

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Unless these were consistent specs/shafts then the information is pretty limited in it’s usefulness. Nice to see what is out there, but there are too many variations in the clubs be able to draw any conclusions. Having said that I appreciate it’s going to be almost impossible to get so many clubs from different suppliers all at the same specs.

  46. Adam

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    As someone who only plays blades I will agree that the shaft can make more of a difference than what is seen in these results. May be a point to consider. Also, no wilson FG100’s? That actually is a true blade iron and many of the ones you tested aren’t.

    The concept was good, the execution of this test left a lot on the table.

  47. Rene

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    No Miuras included…surprised.

  48. Ryan

    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Why were some non-big name blades tested but the Srixon 545s weren’t tested in the GI Gear Trials?

    • kevin

      Jun 24, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      In the gear trials for other categories, they pick the top few irons, and I guess srixon 545s didn’t make the cut

  49. Fred

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Not sure that it would make much difference, but I found it very interesting that the Hogans tested came with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts. Mine all came with KBS Tour 90s.

    • BladeJunkie

      Jun 26, 2015 at 5:30 am

      How are you finding your Hogans Fred ?

      • May be typos

        Jun 27, 2015 at 9:06 am

        Terrible probably…kbs is for slower swing speeds so he hits his 7 iron 135 and likes to play the tips

  50. Max

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:50 am

    They were only averaging 159 with a 7 iron? This will not relate to most wrxers because they all hit 7 at least 180.

  51. DB

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:44 am

    So… Pretty well as expected. Blades are pretty much all the same with only very minor differences.

    • May be typos

      Jun 27, 2015 at 9:09 am

      That’s clubs in the same category across the board

  52. Chuck

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

    So I think this is some pretty interesting information. I don’t think you’ve hidden anything, and I don’t think you’ve tried to skew any results.

    But testing an iron with DG S400, and another one with a Nippon Modus 3, and another with a KBS, is probably as much of a “shaft” test, as it is an “iron” test. It is all information, of course; and I tend to view all information as having value.

    So thank you, for all of the time and everyone’s effort put into this. Interesting reading.

  53. THC

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

    There are too many factors involved and the ranking is not fair in my opinion. Just one example, how can one complain about Apex’s ball speed ranked 12th while the club speed is 2nd to last? It still delivers 2nd highest smash factor and 4th in carry distance. To me that’s impressive.

  54. james

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

    not all of those clubs were pure blades so why include them?

  55. Sean

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

    No simple summary. Missing way to many good irons… Adams MB2’s? TM’s? Weird…

    • Chris

      Jun 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      You want them to include Adams clubs that are over 3 years old…

  56. BladeJunkie

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Why include 5 cavity backs in a blade comparison article ? LOL ! A third of the sample … and two of them even have “CB” in the product name, which is a bit of a give-away n’est-ce pas ? 🙂

    • Nathan

      Jun 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      I agree. If this was a blade comparison, CB’s shouldn’t have been included. Also, lofts were all over the place and shafts were different between clubs. The information gleaned from this comparison is null and void, in my opinion. It tells me very little because of the compounding variables.

      • other paul

        Jun 24, 2015 at 9:23 pm

        Titleist CBs are basically blades. I have hit both and I can’t tell the difference in forgiveness at all. Seller said that the blades are for pickers and the CBs for someone that likes to take a bigger divot. After hitting them both I agreed.

      • BladeJunkie

        Jun 26, 2015 at 5:37 am

        The thing that cracks me up is the modern day focus on all these launch monitor stats. What about outcomes ? Real shots at a target ? The main thing I am interested in with an iron is consistant distance for any given shot, and tightness of dispersion. In short, “how close to the pin am I ?” Not this crap about smash factor, launch angle blah blah blah. Workability also important – can I hit fades, draws, low flight, high flight etc etc, depending on how I see the shot in front of me.

  57. Joe

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Yes the reviewer stated this is an incomplete list, but choosing to review the Titlesit 714 CB (not really a blade) but not reviewing the S55 let alone the TMAG TP MB, (a commonly used blade)…curious decision..

  58. christian

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    CBs shouldn’t hav been in the thest. And you really should have specified the same shaft for every brand.

    • stevemcgee99

      Nov 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      It’s not science when it’s marketing.

  59. Crono

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I have the Vega VM 01 with kbs tour v shafts and love them. They give me better distance and consistency than my miura tournament blades or my scratch SB 1 did. They are nearly as forgiving as my Bridgestone J40 CB. The large muscle in back produces nice high flat shots with good stopping power/spin.

    I really wish golfwrx would have tested the J15 MB and the Srixon z945, they seem really popular on the forums.

  60. SteveO

    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Taylormade TP MB’s????

  61. TJames

    Jun 24, 2015 at 10:56 am

    This must be some elusive set of blades. I havent heard of half the clubs listed, and they arent sold at any golf store near me (Canada, we have GolfTown).

  62. Allen

    Jun 24, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Where are the Wilson Staff FG-100 blades? Very interesting that they would not be included in this test when they are played on tour.

    • Jeff

      Jun 24, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Agreed. You didn’t test Wilson Staff irons, and if you are talking straightforward blade irons played on tour, affordable, and well engineered, then this is no test at all. No reasonable person would/could ever even purchase Fourteen or Chikara. Super expensive and hard to find. W/S makes the best irons in this category, and from a value perspective it’s a runaway. Leaving out Taylormade and PING S series was a miss as well.

    • CharlieChips

      Jun 25, 2015 at 11:22 am

      I couldn’t agree with this more. Wilson FG tour 100’s are one of the most under rated premier blades out there. They have to be included next time! Not a big TMAG blade fan, but they have to be included as well! Having Titleist CB’s in this category is nonsense. I know they are “pretty much a blade” but so are a million other Player’s Irons. True blades or nothing in this category please!

      Also, I don’t know how it would be done, or if it would even work… But I would LOVE to see the best Blade/CB combo setups out there. Would be nice to find out what brands merge/blend best down their product line with something like 7,8,9 Blade 4,5,6 Cavity Back or something along those lines. I feel like alot of the players on this site play combo setups, and could benefit from a test/information like this.

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Iron Reviews

Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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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.

df5745825623a9697f92315cd9d8f1d7

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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