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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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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Todd

    Aug 2, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Agree on the Mizuno 900s, was not impressed. Testing the V6, coming from FG62s.

  2. TONEY P

    Jul 24, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Why are you making up categories for PXG. OH I FORGOT ,THEY PAY YOUR BILLS.

  3. Dick

    Jun 28, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Steelheads with Recoil shafts are, in my opinion, unmatched for consistency regardless of how you want to categorize these clubs. The categories are too broadly defined to have any teal meaning. Try them all and see what works for you.

  4. Shortside

    Jun 28, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to getting a case of the “I wants” every year as some new irons are sure to give me an itch in need of a scratch.

    That said I just want to be able to control a shot and know how far it’s going to go consistently. Yes I also need to like it at address and looking good in the bag gets points too.

  5. Robert Parsons

    Jun 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    This had nothing to do with testing or quantifiable variables.

    It was nothing more than a popularity contest with votes coming from those who hadn’t even hit all the possible entries.

    It’s more a flavor of the month club. Brands with multiple entries had no chance compared to a brand with a single model entered in a category.

  6. Sebastian

    Jun 28, 2017 at 7:15 am

    IMO, I really like the Wilson V6. Very underappreciated and underplayed. They feel and perform really well. I know they are not really bent as strong as most, having a more “traditional” loft on them, so you are not getting the distance, but feel and forgiveness are there.

    I think they are amazing. I still love mizuno, not saying they aren’t great. I hit the PXG, they do feel amazing, but not 3x cost amazing.

    I am surprised that iBlades aren’t doing better. Those feel really nice as well.

  7. Francois Mathieu

    Jun 27, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Les fers APEX: un excellent bâton tout dépendant de la tige.
    Les PING G: bâton intermédiaire et non de débutant.

  8. ooffa

    Jun 27, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    What are you talking about? These are standard terms. You should embrace them.

  9. Jim

    Jun 27, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Not sure why the Ping G is listed under SGI irons as it’s only a GI iron. Ping has another iron, the G Max, that is in the SGI category. And the Apex is borderline a players club as well. The categories seem to be a little mixed up.

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Whats in the Bag

Sergio Garcia WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9.0 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Rocket 3 (14 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX

Irons: Ping Blueprint (3-PW)
Shaft: Nippon NS Pro Modus 3 Tour 130 X

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (54-10, 58-8)
Shafts: Nippon NS Pro Modus 3 Tour 130 X

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Grips: SuperStroke S-Tech

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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GolfWRX Spotlight: Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges

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What Titleist tells us:  “SM8 features a reimagined progressive center of gravity, which produces the most accurate and forgiving Vokey wedge yet. Using tungsten weights and varied hosel lengths, the Vokey R&D team has moved the CG outside of the wedge head and placed it in front of the face, resulting in increased MOI and exceptional feel.” 

“For the golfer, this means an optimized ball flight and a clubface that simply wants to square up at impact. SM8 accomplishes all of this while preserving the classic Vokey head shape players demand.”

In simple terms, what Bob Vokey and his team have done is gone even further with CG placement and dialed it in to make sure each unique wedge has its own flight DNA. Since most players go with a four wedge system—46, 52, 56, 60, for example—it is essential that full shot wedges do full shot things and higher lofted wedges do their duty around the greens. 

Spin Milled grooves to ensure maximum spin and consistency is also a trademark of Vokey wedges. All OEMs have their version of this, they all work effectively and the SM8 is no different.

Vokey SM8 wedges: Specs and grinds

The grind I was most taken with was the M Grind, which, according to Titleist, is the most versatile of all the grinds. It’s got plenty of bounce squared up and has just the right amount of heel and toe give when opened up.

Overall thoughts

I had the opportunity to test the SM8. My biggest takeaways: the feel, which is solid, the flight on the gap and sand wedges was lower with a ton of spin and the higher-lofted wedges were extremely stable on mishits, especially off of a tight lie.

Do you know that shot that comes out at the toe and floats a bit? Maybe not getting to the top of a slope or carrying some rough? Those shots hold their line a lot better which ultimately could be the difference between a six-footer for par or another chip.

In simple terms, this one was kind of a layup. Of course, Vokey is going to make a fantastic wedge line. It’s the most played wedge on Tour by a bajillion and for good reason. They always have a clean simple look, there are enough grinds to satisfy any golfer—and you can’t argue with legacy.

Truth is, there are a ridiculous amount of good wedges out there by all the big OEMs. I know. I’ve tried em all. But there is something about the golfing public and Bob Vokey that just won’t stop. That’s a great thing. 

 

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Today from the Forums: “Recommend me a 14th club…”

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Today from the Forums showcases our members helping out ewe8523 who is on the hunt for a 14th club. Per ewe8523:

“My home course is fairly short 6050 yards, so I’m not really in a position where I have to hit a lot of long fairway shots. There is one par 5 on each side – 548 and 449 respectively.

Open to other options as well.

Including current specs and avg distance.

  1. Driver – Cobra F9 – 250 yards
  2. 3-Wood – Cobra F7 – 220 yards
  3. Hybrid – Callaway Epic – 200 yards
  4. 5 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 175 yards
  5. 6 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 165 yards
  6. 7 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 155 yards
  7. 8 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 145 yards
  8. 9 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 130 yards
  9. PW – Callaway Apex CF16 – 115 yards
  10. 50 Degree – Vokey SM6 – 100 yards
  11. 56 Degree – Vokey SM6 – 75 yards
  12. 60 Degree – Cleveland CBX – Bunker Only
  13. Putter – Scotty Cameron Newport 2
  14. ?”

WRXers have been giving their suggestions on what could work best for ewe8523, and also discussing what they have found most useful from a 14th club standpoint.

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.

  • heathpitts: “Very similar setup and gapping to my setup. Although my wedge lofts are a bit different. I have wedges at 50, 54, 58, and 62 but generally, only carry 3 per round. I adjust the 54-62 based on where I’m gonna play. I do also have a graphite shafted 3 utility iron that I play around with as a driving iron, but I see that you haven’t really found one that you like. I adjust the 14th club based on the course or conditions or time of year (due to different wedge grinds) sometimes but try to keep it as simple as possible. I think your setup is pretty good honestly. I always seem to score better with fewer options, so I don’t try to get cute with shot selection 🙂 I play 13 clubs a lot of times.”
  • MP4444: “I agree with the others on a club to hit that 185-190yrd spot. Either a hybrid or an iron with extra help compared to the CF16s. I personally have a 4 hybrid and a more game-improvement style 5 iron that I use interchangeably for this spot in my bag depending on how I’m striking the ball. When my ball striking is on, I usually prefer an iron in this spot because my misses are smaller, but it’s nice to have the help of a hybrid when I’m not feeling so on with my game. If you go the iron route just be sure to check out the lofts to ensure the proper gapping. Some game improvement and super game improvement type irons have stronger lofts so you may need to look at a 4 or 5 iron depending on the model. I would also recommend hitting both on a launch monitor and comparing peak height and spin numbers. You are still typically looking to hold a green at this distance, so you want to make sure you are getting enough height and spin to have a chance.”
  • Z1ggy16: “The obvious choice is like a 188-yard club but if you never need that shot… Why spend the money? Other option is like a 64* wedge, but that’s probably going to get you into trouble more often than not. I’d lean toward the 185-190 yard club, probably another hybrid, gives you more flexibility if you play other courses that are longer.”
  • crapula: “Higher lofted Callaway Epic?”

Entire Thread: “Recommend me a 14th club…”

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