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Members Choice: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

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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.

Related: Full Voting Results and Responses from GolfWRX Members

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)

CallawayApexMembersChoice

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).

Further Reading

Mizuno JPX-900 Forged (18.84 percent)

JPX900ForgedMemebrsChoice

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.

Further Reading

Ping i200 (17.84 percent)

Pingi200MembersChoice

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.

Further Reading

Srixon Z565 (15.62 percent) 

Srixon565MembersChoice

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.

Further Reading

Members Choice 2017

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. DS of GA

    Jul 12, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    As soon as I hear anyone use ‘game’ as a verb, I tune them out. Same person likely uses ‘boss of the moss’ and calls the Ryder Cup captain ‘Captain Azinger’. Golf is so uncool at times…

  2. Benny

    May 30, 2017 at 6:11 am

    How about this, I don’t play any of these but based on opinions on wrx and articles read along with looks and my opionion the JPX is what I woukd go adter first. I would love a set of JPX Tours but cannot kick out my MB2’s no matter how hard I try.

    The second would be the 565’s. A good friend and top am here in NH actually played 545’s. I saw him time and time again fly greens or not be able to stop on greens. I suspect some changes came in the new 565’s or having a mixed back would be idea, 565/765/965 down the line. Either way great to see what oem’s are doing now compared to years past. Longer, forged, forgiving and capable! Cool….

  3. Nigel Kent

    May 30, 2017 at 3:06 am

    How come one of your reviewers voted for 3 out of 4 clubs ??

  4. Matt

    May 28, 2017 at 1:57 am

    The z545 and z565 Srixon iron series’ are fantastic; crisp feel, good dispersion and distance control plus powerful turf interaction. Finding way less chunked shots and/or flying over greens. No excuses now.

  5. Q

    May 27, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Looks like you found each other

    • ooffa

      May 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      He’s funny Smiz you should read his comments. I mean he’s always wrong and always annoying. That’s his thing. It’s fun though to see how off base he can get. It’s kind of like he gets up and says what can I say today that is more foolish then what I said yesterday. Embrace his madness and you can’t help but enjoy his unraveling.

      • Rh

        May 27, 2017 at 5:13 pm

        They’re the same person of one of the multiples

      • ooffa

        May 29, 2017 at 7:18 am

        See guys, this is what I meant by unraveling. It’s really cool to watch. I’m a big fan.

  6. dcorun

    May 26, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I do agree that the Z565 and CF16 are super irons but, no love for Cobra. Their F7 and F7 one length are very fine irons. Distance wise maybe not up with the previous two I mentioned but, not short by any means. The forgiveness and ability to dial in consistent distance is as good or better than those on the list IMHO.

  7. ooffa

    May 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

    There is a mistake in your article. The best clubs in the world were not included. Here is a hint.
    P X G

  8. Steve

    May 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Interesting……no Titlesit AP-1’s? Or were they excluded from the survey?

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      May 26, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Thank you for your comment. We have classified the Titleist 716 AP1 irons as super game-improvement, and that list will be released in the coming weeks for voting.

  9. Joro

    May 26, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I have both the Callaway Apex and the Mizuno Hot Metals, both in Graphite. Callaway has the name, Mizuno has the game. Great Irons, and the Sand Wedge hits itself out of Sand. I have been a crappy Sand Player and this makes me think I am good. And at 78 I hit them a club longer than the Callaway.

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Tiger Tuesdays

Which Tiger Woods major win is the most underrated (and why)? #TigerTuesdays

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@wwos

As part of our new ‘Tiger Tuesdays’ weekly content, we created some Tiger Tuesdays forum threads to get feedback from WRXers on some hot topics relating to the 15-time major champion Tiger Woods.

For one of those topics, we asked our members which Tiger Woods major victory is the most underrated and why, and our members have been having their say with some great takes (including an interesting selection for a non-major Tiger win).

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • digger91: “I would say the 01 Masters. I know it’s a part of the Tiger Slam, but the fact that he needed to win that to complete it is crazy to think about. You’ve got to assume the pressure he felt to get the W was huge, and that makes this one even bigger in my eyes.”
  • Mello Yello: “I think his 5th major might qualify. That is the 2000 PGA Championship, which was the 3rd leg of the Tiger Slam. When it comes to the Tiger Slam, people talk a lot about the other 3 titles which include his 15-shot victory at Pebble in the US Open, the 8-stroke victory at St. Andrews and the incredible 2001 Masters where he closed it out. But in order for that Tiger Slam to exist, he had to take down someone with a hot hand who was seemingly destined to win that 2000 PGA. Tiger won in a Play-off after shooting 18-under including 66-67 to start and a 67 on Sunday, defeating runner-up Bob May. Both TW and Bob May finished at -18 while 3rd place was only at -13. If somehow Tiger didn’t pull that out, the whole Slam never would’ve happened, and quite frankly, a lot of the myth surrounding TW being the greatest ever probably wouldn’t be as big as it is. And again, when was the last time you heard someone talking about the 2000 PGA? There are a few other wins that don’t get so much hype (mostly from the late-Haney era) but most of Tigers significant wins are talked about for one reason or another: the various Masters titles, the historic US Open at Pebble, the 2 wins at St. Andrews, the 2-iron adventure at Hoylake, the battle with Sergio at Medinah in ’99, the amazing Play-off win over Rocco at the ’08 US Open, etc.”
  • ElMosquito: “Another vote for the 2000 PGA Championship. The third part of the Tiger Slam and the closest he came to not winning one of the four. Birdied both 17 and 18 to get into a playoff as well as playing his last 12 holes on Sunday seven-under par. Phenomenal. “
  • QuigleyDU: “His 3rd amateur title. In comparison to everything else. It seems this gets lost. He was way down and battled back to win. Another thing he really did not do all too often. Come from behind to win.”

Entire Thread: “Which Tiger Woods major win is the most underrated (and why)?”

We’re also running more Tiger polls and surveys as part of our ‘Tiger Tuesdays’, and we want your views on the following topics:

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best cheaper/older 3-woods for off the deck

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@golf_baragins

In our forums, our members have been discussing older 3-woods that work great off the deck. WRXer ‘FakeClubPro’ has a budget of around $100 and WRXers have been putting forward their picks in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • anythingfinite: “Ping i20 forever.”
  • FakeClubPro: “I was checking and my 10+ year old Yonex 3 wood is stiff flex. I am sure my swing speed is 100 or less. I usually go for regular flex. I got the Callaway 8 fairway wood with senior flex, and it is super consistent off the turf. I am in my late 50’s with still good swing range of motion. If I work on my fitness I can get my speed back up. I wonder if senior flex is the way to go. One of the UK Youtube golfers (so many) tested stiff versus regular versus senior, and his distance was pretty much the same. He had to make some slight adjustments.”
  • kthomas: “I went through this recently myself. I’ve been playing a TM R11s 3 wood for many years, which I’m pretty good off the tee with but no confidence hitting off the deck. Was recently playing with some family members who were playing with rental Callaway clubs, which had I believe was the epic or epic flash 3 woods in the bags. I borrowed the 3 wood at the driving range to check it out, and I nailed every shot I hit with that club, tee or deck. Long straight bombers. From that point forward I knew my next 3 wood was going to be a Cally. Not a brand I would normally look to, but I was impressed. Went on the Callaway pre-owned site and picked up an excellent condition epic flash sub-zero for just a bit over $100. Should show up today or tomorrow, excited to take it to the course. I would suggest looking on the Callaway pre-owned site.”
  • Markrip: “2014 Adams Tight Lies 2. I’ve been trying to replace the last 3 years, and I still haven’t found anything easier off the deck.”
  • FriscoKid: “Some great recommendations posted, I’ll add a TaylorMade M4 3HL…basically a 4 metal at 16.5 degrees. It’s not as long as the Ping G it replaced but a better feel/sound and consistency. It’s bonded though with zero adjustability so better make sure you’ve got the right shaft in it.”

Entire Thread: “Best cheaper/older 3-woods for off the deck?”

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about alternatives to hybrids

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In our forums, our members have been having an interesting discussion on clubs that can be used in place of a hybrid. Neither too comfortable with using a 4-iron or his current hybrid, WRXer ‘Brenkj’ asks fellow members for alternatives, and WRXers have been having their say in our forums.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Rapidcat: “You have quite a few options in addition to already mentioned, assuming you are an ok ball striker being a 13 or so cap: Higher lofted wood like a 5 or 7, you can experiment with shaft lengths and lie angle with some adjustable hosels so not too upright. 3 or 4 iron of something like a Srixon 585 model – like a driving iron but not quite so bulky and easy enough to launch but with nice turf interaction and a little broader sole (and in this model’s case, the Srixon V sole).”
  • ChipNRun: “If you have the 4i but are reluctant to play it, consider getting the shaft softstepped, or refit it with a higher launching shaft. (My irons have a parallel 0.370″ hosel, so I put a hybrid shaft into my 4i).”
  • SwingMan: “High lofted fairway – you can shorten the shaft length.”
  • Golf64: “G410 set at ‘flat’ will help with that ‘draw/hook’. If that doesn’t work, for sure go with a 5/7/9 woods. Never hit a 7W before, loved it when I demoed one! Could game one.”

Entire Thread: “Alternative to a hybrid?”

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