What are the best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017? Before you can answer that question, you of course have to define exactly what a Game-Improvement Iron is. After conducting this poll and reading the responses from GolfWRX Members, however, it seems defining a Game-Improvement Iron is not as straightforward as it might seem.
To create this list, we defined Game-Improvement Irons as models that fall in between Players Irons, which are designed with small frames, thin top lines and have few distance-enhancing technology features, and Super Game-Improvement Irons, which focus on generating as much distance and forgiveness as possible for golfers. That leaves Game-Improvement Irons as a wide-ranging category of clubs that offer a blend distance, forgiveness, good looks and workability.
Some of you may disagree with how we’ve categorized our lists of Players Irons, Game-Improvement Irons and Super Game-Improvement Irons in Members Choice, and that’s fine. As always, we’re listening to your feedback and working to get better. We want to thank all GolfWRX Members for the votes and feedback you’ve provided, and believe that you have provided an important resource to the greater golf world.
Below are the results for Members Choice: Best Game Improvement Irons of 2017, where four models separated themselves from the pack of 27 options. Along with the percentage of the vote each iron garnered, we’ve also highlighted noteworthy responses from GolfWRX Members about each of those irons, which have been edited for brevity.
Note: Percentage of vote is accurate as of the time of publication. Voting will remain open throughout 2017 as GolfWRXers continue to test and evaluate the latest Game-Improvement Irons.
Callaway Apex CF 16 (19.45 percent of votes)
eldog-in-the-hizouse: CF 16 is every bit as good as the others
mxskier: CF 16 for me is best (why I play it :)). I love the look of the matte silver, not too white/bland like the Mizuno (JPX-900 Forged).
Striker Ace: Callaway Apex CF 16. I’m new to the sport, but I didn’t want to start with beginners clubs and they feel great.
Warrenpeace: Apex CF ’16 are nice feeling, but are so long it’s hard to know just what is going to happen when you hit one good. Will my 7 iron go 165 or 195?
TonyJ10: My top 3 were the Apex CF 16, JPX-900 forged and the Steelhead XR 16s. I settled on the Apex CF 16s over the JPX-900 because there is not much loss of distance on mishits. I’m a 18 Handicap and was intimidated at first because I didn’t think my swing was “good enough” to play them until I actually hit them. They felt great from the beginning and I love the look of them. To me, that’s the first step of playing good it to like what you are looking at. They perform very well on center hits and almost as good on mishits. If you are in the market, definitely consider the Apex CF 16.
gallas2: They’re like Kelly Clarkson: a little chunky, but still workin’. Confidence, ball speed and spin. KBS Tour 90 (also tested xp95).
LeftyDanny: Apex CF is simply the most explosive, best feeling iron I’ve ever hit in this category. It hasn’t even been close (for me).
- Callaway Apex, Apex Pro irons: What you need to know
- Head-to-Head Testing: Callaway’s 2016 Apex and Apex Pro irons
Mizuno JPX-900 Forged (18.84 percent)
Willstuart2328: I voted for Mizuno JPX-900s because I game them. I feel they are a pretty solid mix of players irons and game improvement. It was a tough adjustment for me at first because I’ve played players irons since high school. I just only get to play maybe 8-10 times a year now so I need the help in the long irons. I can honestly still work the 8-PW though in these. I also like them because they are a little fade biased, whereas the others I tried were all draw biased if anything with my swing.
Warrenpeace: Mizuno JPX-900 Forged are great irons although the lofts are super strong, but they feel great. Look a lot like the tour model, but are longer and stronger.
MPG: I went through a extensive fitting and this was the iron with Project X LZ shafts for me. I will say it wasn’t immediately, but it took me a few practice sessions and rounds to get comfortable with these. I will say that once I got use to these, they are not going anywhere. They are amazing and my overall numbers are terrific. The distance, trajectory, spin, forgiveness and consistency are perfect for me. These are real close to the Z565, and I could go either way once you find the right shaft head combo.
Shawn Paul: I went into my fitting with Ping i200 or MP-25 in mind. I ended up with Mizuno JPX-900 Forged. The Mizunos had the best accuracy, flight, feel, and distance. I did not consider them a true GI. A bit spendy, but top quality. Great looking irons.
Ping i200 (17.84 percent)
eldog-in-the-hizouse: The i200 is yet another consistent performer from Ping.
jtothep21: I am gaming the i200s and love ‘em. Nothing bad to say except they are hard to keep clean.
oldtimie: Picked up my I200s yesterday, replacing my i20s. Took them out to the course that afternoon. One thing about new clubs is that you can see right away where on the face you are contacting the ball. Hit a six iron and thought, wow, that didn’t feel good! Then noticed that it was a toe hit. Well, the ball ended up just right where it normally would for a good hit. Had a couple more off-center hits with other clubs, also toe hits, and results were still acceptable. Decided that I wasn’t setting up close enough to the ball. Point is, these clubs are very forgiving for those of us that don’t always contact the sweet spot.
Mtngolfer1: I voted for the Ping i200. This is as versatile of an iron as I believe you will find. It offers a ton of technology, providing a high level of playability and ample forgiveness all packed in a attractive iron design. Ping definitely has a winner with the i200.
MPG: I will say i have had limited time with these. I did enjoy them, but I definitely liked the S55 irons much better than any of the new i-Series clubs. Yes, the S55 are not game-improvement, but they played like game-improvement with enough forgiveness across the entire set. I am not saying these are not good; they are really good irons but just do not match up for MY game like the Mizuno or Srixon irons.
gallas2: (Tested with an) AWT 2.0 shaft (also tested XP95 and KBS Tour 90). Second cousin once removed to the RAC irons we all loved.
Srixon Z565 (15.62 percent)
eldog-in-the-hizouse: The Srixon (Z565) fractionally looks and feels the best.
mxskier: The Srixon (Z565 irons) also look great, but I like the slightly softer/less square toe of the CF 16 compared to the Srixons. And I thought it felt a touch softer, but really no huge difference between the two.
hurricanes7: Try the Srixon Z565 if you have hit the others on the list to compare. They are that good.
MPG: I really like the look and playability of this head with the Project X LZ shaft. I think they are slightly more forgiving then the JPX-900s, but I get better distance control with the Mizunos. I can definitely control trajectory with any of the heads that I tested. I could definitely use these day in and out with no problem. I don’t really care for the approach wedge in this set for some reason. To me, that is not a showstopper because of the other wedges that could replace that spot in the bag.
gmiller598: I went for the Z565, as that is what I play. I’m on the high end of the handicap spectrum and I feel like I can hit these and grow into them as I improve my ball striking.
gallas2: Best looks, feel and dispersion. They may have a little junk in the trunk, but they ain’t gonna let you down when you need a 5 iron into a back pin.
Members Choice 2017