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)

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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.

Further Reading

Srixon Z765 (11.32 percent)

Srixon_Z765_Irons

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.

Further Reading

Titleist 716 AP2 (10.95 percent)

Titleist716Ap2

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.

Further Reading

Ping iBlade (9.14 percent)

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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.

Further Reading

Callaway Apex Pro ’16 (9.07 percent)

Callaway_Apex_pro_4_iron_back

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.

Further Reading

View the poll and all of the responses for 2017 Best Players Irons here

2017 Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG 0311T (21.66 percent)

PXG0311t-600x377

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?

  1. Ball height off the T-MB in the mid/short irons was too high. The 0311T brought that down.
  2. 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.

Further Reading

Miura CB-57 (17.98 percent)

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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.

Further Reading

Titleist 716 T-MB (16.08 percent)

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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.

Further Reading

Miura MB-001 (15.67 percent)

golfwrxmiuramb001

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.

Further Reading

View the poll and all of the responses for 2017 Best Exotic Players Irons here.

Members Choice 2017

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29 COMMENTS

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  1. Guys calm down. This is simply what Golfwrx memners find to be the best. Its all perspective of others, not data driven.
    As for PXG being the best lets look at thwir wins. Lets compare those wins to Miura and all the irons made by Miura that won majors. Remember Tiger’s Nike’s were made by Miura and I am sure many others. So why woukd anyone pay Miura pricing for ugly sticks that even some of the best plauers cannot get top tens with including one of the most consistant in Zach Johnson. Haha, PXG is just such a waste pf money and time. Flash in the pan IMO but again, just a opinion. Calm down, no one is right on here, including this article.

  2. The first two irons on the list are awesome. I play the Srixons and love them. The feel of the Miz is fabulous and it is pretty forgiving for a small head. I would not spend up for PXG or Muira

  3. LISTEN…… If you made all these ‘players’ clubs of zinc die casting alloy (at 1/10th the cost) and gave them to the golfing masses (and even the pros) …. it wouldn’t matter one iota ….. believe it …..!

  4. PXG irons heads are a tad oversized because of the internal cavity filled with elastomer jelly that giggles and absorbs the internal metallic vibrations when hitting off center…. and makes them feeeeels sooooo sooooft and buuuuttery (and orgasmic toooo) ….. after all, golf is a game of “feeel”….. and PXG delivers that satisfying feeeel that every golfer wants to experience after slugging that golf ball …. the enemy of every golfer ….!!!!

  5. Now I see two categories don’t know that T-MB is that exotic every store has those it is a meaningless separation. So ranked by score in their group and exotics rank higher nice.

  6. Re PXG irons and metalwoods….. If you’re not playing these clubs you are NOT playing golf to the MAX …. you are just an inferior duffer with obsolete forged Japanese crap and struggling to solve your hopeless golf club problems.
    ——————————-
    Simply put ….. The Best or Nothing …. and PXGs are the Best …. believe it ..!!!!

    • I’d love to play them… when are you going to buy me a set… 1 degree upright and standard loft and length!!! Those of us that live in the real world can’t afford those clubs!!

    • Are you serious? Do you work for PXG marketing or something? This is the dumbest comment I’ve read, PXG makes quality clubs but your statement that if you’re not using PXG then you’re using “inferior Japanese Forged crap” is 100% nonsense. First of all, the majority of golfers aren’t using PXG or Japanese clubs, they’re using off-the-rack models from the big OEMs, which are 90% cast and designed for the game improvement market. Second of all, your claim that PXG is better than all Japanese Forged clubs is straight up false, that’s not even my opinion it’s a legitimate fact that’s provable by real data so your statement is utter nonsense. The highest-quality irons have one-piece FORGED heads, which just happen to be mostly made in Japan. This is claim is verifiable by the consistency of the steel’s grain structure after forging which leads to the most consistent and reliable results. Adding some soft internal substance to the club head does nothing revolutionary and is not the miracle design feature that PXG touts it as being. The best feature of their iron heads is the external weights and only because if they’re fit correctly the SW’s can be dialed-in perfectly. However, that can be done properly with just about any iron head by a capable fitter, so even that feature isn’t outrageously innovative. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about because PXG’s metal woods don’t even compare to the likes of jBEAM, Ryoma, Honma, Epon, and other high-end JDM brands; and their irons/wedges aren’t even in the same category as SEVEN, Kyoei, Epon/Endo forged, Onoff, etc. I won’t even bother mentioning their putters because they’re so far from the pinnacle of putter design and craftsmanship. If PXG was really so great then I think it would have been Parsons instead of Titleist who reached out to James Patrick and hired him to make (what could be) the best wedges in the world. Don’t get me wrong, like I said at the beginning PXG does make high-quality equipment, and I do appreciate that their clubs don’t have a high price tag just for the sake of making money, they actually put a great deal of funds and effort into R&D and use quality materials and manufacturing processes which increases the cost to produce the equipment and thus creates a higher price tag for the right reasons. But your comment is total rubbish, don’t demean JDM equipment just because you think it makes you sound cool, try getting some knowledge about what you’re talking about before making ridiculous statements next time.

  7. Dear GolfWRX: …. Please show us the face of these clubs because …. that’s what hits the ball …. not the back of the club.
    The back of the club is just artistic sculpturing and graphic design eye-candy. Perimeter weighting is fraudulent “game improvement” and only for the deluded.
    Even the tungsten inserts are superfluous and unnecessary density replacement …. unless your swing is consistently hitting towards the toe, and no successful pro or good amateur does that consistently.
    If you want to be a “player”…. PRACTICE …. and don’t blame it on the golf clubs ….!!!

  8. “Defining what constitutes “Players Iron” has never been easy, even for equipment aficionados.”
    Not true – it’s real easy fellows. Not to damage any egos, but a TRUE “players” club does not have a cavity back and/or other exotic, tricky weighting. In my opinion (and that of many other old-timers) the only true players club shown above is the Miura MB0-001. A clean, pure blade or muscle-back is a Players club, everything else is just a marketing gimmick. Oh, and contrary to what the manufacturers want you to believe, you do not need a new set of clubs every 3-6 months to become a better golfer. Wiser, older golfers would tell you to spend your excess money on lessons and practice balls, not on new gear.

    • Hush, Jim ….. that’s heresy….. and if gearheads didn’t buy the latest and greatest irons annually the game of golf would experience a horrendous sucking sound as golf OEMs vanished into bankruptcy ….!!!!!

    • I disagree that players clubs are only pure blades. I consider anything used by true “players” to be players clubs. The iblade, and even AP2 are high tech but sweet looking and feeling sticks used by some of the best in the world.

    • To those complaining about the ranking….did you even read the title of the article

      “Members Choice” – this means forum polling from golfwrx readers. yes, this measures perception, but i also find it interesting what some of the most knowledgeable die hard golf fans think is the best when it comes to equipment.

      I’d still like to see a separate article with measurable data, but this article was never meant to be that.

  9. Golfwrx,

    What happened to the panel tests you used to run back in 2014 and 2015? In my opinion, those tests were much more insightful, more objective, and more convincing. The forum voting is nothing more a popularity test as many noted, and it weighs very little if not all in the decision to buy my next irons.

  10. Question: Why are the Titleist muscle-back irons and cavity back irons never considered ‘Players Clubs” in polls like this? They certainly seem much more of a Players Club than the AP2. The AP2 seems more of a Game Improvement club than Players Club. Some of the other clubs listed also seems to straddle the line between Players and Game Improvement Clubs. Maybe the definition of what a Players Club is has gotten out of joint.

  11. Were these determined by a poll in the forums? That would just make it a popularity contest, right? What are the criteria used for judging? Any data to back it up?

    • The title of this article is “GolfWRX Members Choice”. Exactly what data or criteria are you asking for in a poll where members pick their favorites? If we all picked our favorite ice cream, would you ask for “judging criteria” and “data”?

      If you’re suggesting “popularity contest” in the sense of marketing and hype, then you don’t know Golfwrx very well. I’d bet money that most people voted for something they’re hit (probably most have owned them).

      I wouldn’t vote for a flavor of ice cream I’ve never tasted. Likewise, if I were voting, it’s unlikely I’d have eaten a gallon of every single flavor in the poll.

      If you want data, buy an Iron Byron.

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