To determine the best driver of 2017, we asked the GolfWRX community of equipment experts to provide their opinions based on their individual testing and experience. Now, to find out the best players irons on the current market, we looked to our community once again.
Defining what constitutes “Players Iron” has never been easy, even for equipment aficionados. But for us here at GolfWRX, a players iron is designed with sleek top lines and soles. It places workability and control over distance, and for that reason it’s an iron you can expect to see in the bag of a professional golfer.
For the purpose of our polling, and for the benefit of consumers, we also broke down this category into “players irons” and “exotic players irons.” Since there was confusion on what exactly we meant by “exotic,” our Editor-in-Chief Zak Kozuchowski took to the forums to clarify. Here’s what exotic means in his words.
Our editorial team went back and forth on what an “exotic” players iron is. In most cases, price was the biggest factor. The majority of [exotic] irons sell for more than $1199.99, which is about the top end of the U.S. market. But as other members have pointed out, there are a few irons on [the exotics list] that don’t cost that much. There are also irons on our players irons list that cost more than $1199.99.
So what we determined for these lists was that an “exotic” players iron is something that is more limited in its availability, particularly in its availability for GolfWRX Members to test. Most of the irons on [the exotics list] are sold only through a small network of elite club fitters. Because we’re aiming to collect votes and feedback from GolfWRX Members who have actually hit these clubs, we decided to separate out these “harder to test” players irons. We’re looking forward to your votes and feedback on these irons so we can share it all with our readers on the front page.
Hopefully that clears things up.
Below are 2017 Players Irons and 2017 Exotic Players Irons that separated themselves from the pack in GolfWRX Member voting. We’ve also included real feedback about each iron from GolfWRX Member posts to help golfers better sort out which one(s) might be best for their game. Enjoy!
Note: Irons are listed by the percentage of votes received in descending order. Percentages are accurate as of May 4, 2017. Voting will remain open throughout the year.
2017 Best Players Irons
Mizuno JPX-900 Tour (14.76 percent)
RHJazz: Mizuno JPX 900 Tour — weak in the knees from first look at the satin finish and compact size. Feel is excellent and there’s just enough forgiveness to get what I deserve. Many easy-to-order shaft options and excellent custom fitting sold me on the right fit without extreme up charges. I guess I’m less traditional but prefer the satin look. This is a club I love to practice with.
friedegglie: Mizzie JPX 900 Tours are easily the best irons out there right now in terms of blending feel, forgiveness, and the ability to shape shots.
Brewhawk23: Played Mizuno JPX 900 Tour irons for a few months. WOW! Great mix of buttery feel and forgiveness. Easily able to shape shots. Unfortunately, my time on the course was not enough so went with a different set.
ifc202: JPX 900 Tours have been the best golf-related decision I have ever made.
Mini88: JPX 900 Tour — love the finish, feel is excellent as well, however, slightly different from the MP-5. I got more distance with the MP-5 on pure strikes but the JPX has more forgiveness it seems.
statgrad: I’ve hit the JPX 900 Tour and am considering buying a mini-set of 4, 6, and 8 irons. Typical Mizuno feel and very consistent distances. Very pleasing to the eye, as well.
Srixon Z765 (11.32 percent)
JimThompson: Srixon 765s. Finally available LH! Love ‘em.
edresnick: The fact Srixon is getting so much love without the marketing dollars of the big three or the support of the magazines just shows how great these irons are. If you haven’t done [player testing] yet, give them a try.
cvvorst: Srixon has produced some great irons lately. They look incredible, they are soft, they are forgiving, and they are very affordable. I would have no problem recommending the Z565, Z765, or Z965 to just about any skill level golfer. The only group that likely wouldn’t like them is the small blade group. The Z965 are great, but they are a bit big for a blade.
Britannia: Definitely the Srixon Z765/965 combo. I know not the most popular brand but the best iron. Best combination in workability and forgiveness.
Hotdocta: Z765 have some forgiveness plus are sneaky long. I love them.
barosborough: Second on the looks and desire to play are the Srixon (7 and 9 series). Good lord I wanted these to be the answer. The dispersion was just to all over the place compared to the others.
grillinandgolfin: Srixon 765 (Nippon Modus S 120 shaft). They are long, good looking, and very workable IMO. Great for knock down shots, can hit some bullets even with the higher irons. I’ve been very pleased with the performance so far.
gioguy21: Srixon 765 — Forged, extremely forgiving for style head, exceptional distance. One of the best irons on the market despite the low market share of Srixon; dark horse in the field that deserves more respect amongst the big boys.
Doc420: Most of thes irons are pretty equal in performance: 900 tours, 765’s, Callaway Apex Pro, iBlade… just not many differences. If I had to pick one, I would probably pick Srixon. Considering Srixon is several hundred cheaper, then it’s a no brainer. Best bang for the buck on this list.
Titleist 716 AP2 (10.95 percent)
peterjh325: Titleist AP2 — If Jordan Spieth thinks they are good enough to play on tour they are good enough for me! But in all seriousness, I just had a club fitting last weekend and the amount of forgiveness Titleist has managed to build into an iron that is also workable at the same time is mind blowing. I do not think there is a better iron on the market today.
DukeOfChinoHills: I’ve had my 716 AP2’s for a couple months now. The forgiveness is absolutely noticeable and I’m sure I’ll have them for a long time.
cvvorst: Titleist 716 AP2 — I haven’t been able to knock these out of the bag. I like how they look and feel, but there are plenty of sets that look better, feel better, go longer, etc. But nothing has been as consistent and forgiving. I’ve tested super forgiving sets like the CF 16, but I much preferred the Apex Pro 16 to the CF 16.
MCCA: I voted AP2, AP2, AP2. Tried everything else keep coming back to them.
Ping iBlade (9.14 percent)
Brewhawk: 3rd choice is the Ping iBlade. Great forgiveness with excellent workability. The feel is fantastic for a cast club.
towncryer: iBlade — destroyed every other iron I tried in all categories. Looks, sound/feel, simulator numbers, etc. They’re fairly forgiving for the category, but there’s a sharp difference in feedback and results between purely struck shots and mis-hits. I’ve found the ball to jump off the face and have a stable and penetrating flight (some WRXers have complained profusely about excessive spin and higher trajectory than they’d like). Coming from 712 MB in my 7-PW, I don’t feel like I’ve lost any workability… easy to flight down and draw, but I have a little trouble hitting an exaggerated fade. In the longer irons, I’m coming from 712 CB in 3-6… iBlade is remarkably more playable and a little longer. My two hangups were that they don’t say Titleist on them and they’re not forged. While I still do miss having a one-brand bag, I’m totally over the forged vs. cast saga.
T-MAC: Ping iBlades were a nice surprise. Felt really good for a cast club and I could work the ball well with them.
Callaway Apex Pro ’16 (9.07 percent)
RHJazz: Apex Pro ’16 is outstanding in performance. Loved the size and control. Feel was good but I liked the feel of the 2014 year model better. Just didn’t like the look of the backside.
Brewhawk23: Apex Pro is a great players iron. Hit it extensively on a few different occasions. Good result but the feel is not as good as JPX 900.
Yrian: Callaway Apex Pro — Very nice feel and plenty of forgiveness. Workable and consistent. Still higher launch than P750 but nice spin numbers. Would tie this with the P770 really.
cvvorst: Callaway Apex Pro ’16 — These are a fairly close second to the AP2. These look great from address, and I’ve found them to be as soft as anything else I’ve tried. They are surprisingly forgiving for a players CB. But, the AP2 were a bit more helpful on mishits. That being said, I’ve had some of my best rounds with these, when my iron game is on.
mscontantinejr: Apex Pro 16 — Feel and performance are crazy good. Not a huge fan of the badging but I love the feel.
View the poll and all of the responses for 2017 Best Players Irons here.
2017 Best Exotic Players Irons
PXG 0311T (21.66 percent)
MJL313214: I hit the 0311T against the Titleist 716 CB. They were similar in top line and overall blade length, but to me the the 0311T was more forgiving and felt unbelievable.
baylorlefty: I’ve had the PXG irons and wedges in the bag since October. 0311T’s are compact like a Titleist CB and offer more forgiveness IMO than an AP2.
BirdieBob: The 0311T irons have a much softer across the face feel compared to the T-MB, especially when using a soft ball like the Pro V1. I have a full set of the Xtreme Dark 0311T irons and they replaced the full set of T-MB irons I had. Why?
- Ball height off the T-MB in the mid/short irons was too high. The 0311T brought that down.
- Face feel. The T-MB is firm/hard feeling on the face, but the 0311T is a softer forged feeling face.
Pure745: The 0311T is a great looking club, the fact that you can barely tell if it has or doesn’t have more offset than the MB (blade) 7 iron just shows how little it has. If we are comparing the 716MB to the 0311T, the 0311T outperforms the MB’s and looks really good from address.
bluesgolfer: I tried the PXG 0311T against the Titleist 716 MB in a 7 iron. PXG felt very soft on center hits and pretty soft on slight mis-hits, huge “wow” factor. The MB felt soft on center hits and a little harsh on off-center hits just as you would expect with a blade. The PXG was the clear winner with regard to pleasant feel. In fact, I can’t say I have ever hit anything that feels as good as the PXG. After several shots with each, however, I realized the dispersion was much tighter with the MB. I’m thinking the flex of the 0311T produces angle fluctuations at impact which could increase dispersion without much loss in distance. I’d rather have a slight distance loss on mis-hits with tighter more predictable dispersion. Hence, I ordered the mb’s in 4-PW.
Miura CB-57 (17.98 percent)
SmoothStroker81: I have only played the Miura CB-57s, but they are super sweet and solid. Not so soft that you don’t feel much like a Mizuno blade. Paired with Modus3 shafts make a very smooth, but solid feel.
Batman1971: They feel fantastic. Soft but precise. I really knew that I was hitting a smaller head than PP Straight Necks. The Straight Necks have a nice soft feel where the ball really melts into the face but with the CB57s you can really feel the weight bar when you hit it right out of the button and I believe (for myself anyway) that’s what gives the CB57s such a precise, deliberate feel about them.
MJisGOAT: Oomph describes the 57’s.
Titleist 716 T-MB (16.08 percent)
Pure745: The T-MB 2 and 3 irons are flat out great performing clubs. They are a great fit for me and do a lot of really good things for my game. They go high and far, and are pretty easy to hit for what they are.
jthunter: All in all, less clicky than 712U, not as soft as my CB’s (but really close) and played much much more like my CB’s than my AP2’s. At address looks just like my CB’s. Finally, they have a great muted, thump sound, which I liked a lot.
rjp322: I hit the T-MB over the past weekend with the stock AMT shafts and had what I would consider a weird experience. Was kinda tough to tell when I flushed one but I swear every damn shot just flew high and straight no matter what I tried to do. They were incredibly consistent in that regards. I’d guess they are pretty forgiving since everything flew high and straight for me. Seemed better than the AP2 in terms of forgiveness. Was overall very very impressed with them, would love to get a set.
SJP1: The flight is really powerful, same stock draw as usual but I could also hit a cut when I wanted — no different than with the MB, CB, or AP2. The feel is super hot and soft enough — like a springy AP2 — and they are STUPIDLY EASY to hit. Personally think they are way more friendly than 716 AP2. Definitely not for everyone, that’s why they’re not being mass released. But if you’re a swinger not a hitter, you should definitely try them. Says a lot that Ben Crane and Tim Clark are bagging full sets. These guys aren’t slow, but could gain a few yards by tour standards.
Miura MB-001 (15.67 percent)
kizdoc: …the MB-001s frame the ball nicely without looking too intimidating. They are supposed to be a little toe-up by design, but I can’t tell. The top line is thinner than the MP 69s. Feel-wise, all I can say is “WOW.” Trying to articulate the feeling, I would say they are more solid feeling than the Mizunos. It’s almost like all that mass of the club is right behind the face when the back is struck for a very solid feeling hit. On mis-hits, I can tell when I don’t strike the center, but the ball still goes almost the distance I was expecting. Not sure if it’s the honeymoon phase, but my ball striking has never been better. Even my playing partners have made the same comment and I recently shot my best score last week with the MB 001s.
tomc262: I hit the MB-001’s this weekend at GolfMD in Olathe and they were super sweet. Tried them with a few different shafts but with the SteelFiber’s they were amazing. Just wish I had a couple of grand laying around the house. Guess I could take a note out on the car…
lapinou25: I just did a fitting and this club was amazing. I hit this club better than the Passing Point (longer and tighter dispersion). This club was a surprise to me. Very easy to hit and with very good numbers. The best result was with a Steelfiber and a Recoil shaft. The Recoil was slightly better so this one will be in my set. Cannot wait to get them.
View the poll and all of the responses for 2017 Best Exotic Players Irons here.