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Equipment

The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Benny

    Dec 28, 2017 at 8:30 am

    KZG shows amd details their forging process. Forging is not hard fellas for these manufactures. But in every industry huge companies all sub contract. I sell plastic and resin but some of the largest manufactures outsource everything as its cheaper than bringing it all in house. Instead these manufactures are trying other ways to market a “better club”. Like any manufacturing it’s about speed, process and profits.

  2. Crazy About Golf

    Dec 14, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Used to game Titleist….Hit all four of these guys over several days and made the change to Mizuno MP18. Hands down the softest, best performing and best looking new blades currently on the market.

  3. OB

    Nov 23, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Okay, Ben, now tell us how each of the clubs were forged. Hot forged? Cold coin forged? Welded hosel?
    You get the metallurgical data from the OEMs, but how about asking them about their forging method so GolfWRX denizens will know exactly what they are buying?

    • Mick

      Nov 25, 2017 at 10:43 am

      If Mizuno is so good, how come no one plays them. PGA Tour, NCAA, Mizuno is the least played and NCAA guys dont get paid to use clubs. Titleist, PING, Taylormade are in most golf bags.

      • Brian

        Nov 27, 2017 at 11:50 pm

        There was a survey a few months back in one of the major golf publications asking tour players what iron they would play if given the choice. Mizuno was atop this list by a large margin. Mizuno also has several sets on the tour in players bags without contracts- any NCAA school with a decent golf program is under a contact with major manufactures. Example PGX supplies several schools with FREE equipment. Mizuno has never spent in this fashion and thus you do not experience the propaganda you may expect.

      • Mike

        Dec 6, 2017 at 3:26 pm

        Actually when Nike stopped making equipment it left a number of players without a club contract for a while. Overwhelming those players put Mizuno’s in their bags for free.

      • Benny

        Dec 28, 2017 at 8:23 am

        Yes but schools get their clubs, gear, and clothing from sponsured OEM’s. You think the schools pay for everything for their teams? Adidas sponsored Louisville for $180mil over 6 years to play all of their gear. Mizuno doesn’t sponsur like these other brands but certainly doesn’t mean their irons aren’t ontop right now.

      • Hutstar

        Dec 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        “Titleist, PING, Taylormade are in most golf bags.” Right. You could add Callaway. Those 4 spend the most at Pro and College level by far. I still remember seeing a really good amateur player using Taylor Made a few years back and being surprised – it just hadn’t occurred to me that someone who knows what they’re doing would use Taylor Made irons by choice (and it’s possible they were holdovers from college days or something). BTW, those companies make decent stuff, but it wouldn’t be the choice of most top players and therefore they are forced to buy their way into bags.

    • SteveK

      Nov 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Full forged or fake forged….. that’s the issue.

  4. Anthony

    Nov 22, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    I’ll stick with my Z965’s. Tried them all and the Srixon’s felt the best…

  5. Bob Jones

    Nov 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Still doing well with my Hogan Red Lines.

  6. The General

    Nov 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    no Cobra KING Forged MBs? They came out late last year, but still, they are some of the best feeling/best looking irons out there and they come in 2 different colors. You guys made a mistake not adding them to this list.

  7. Paul Dooley

    Nov 22, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I’m playing the Apex MB’s currently, and love the feel. Granted I’m a Callaway loyalist, but getting the ball to do whatever I need it to comes really easy with these irons.

  8. Woody

    Nov 21, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    It would be cool to see some other companies from time to time..

  9. Andrew

    Nov 21, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Why is Mizuno the only one that shows the public their forging process from start to finish? Because the others only cold forge? Because the others have a welded hosel? Take away the money, Mizuno is the best forged iron on the planet.

    • JOEL GOODMAN

      Nov 22, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      MIZUNO FORGES THEIR OWN. MOST OF THE OTHERS ARE FORGED BY KENDO OR OTHER GENERIC FORGES

      • Adam

        Nov 25, 2017 at 1:21 am

        Its called Endo, who actualyl forge their own 1 piece irons no welding of of hosel. Who are the generic forgers.

    • SS

      Nov 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Mizuno = 100% hot forged throughout.
      Others = Cheap coin “forged” stampings = 1% surface-only forged.
      Does it matter, particularly since PING are double annealed 17-7 cast steel, to allow for lie bending?
      Perhaps that soft ‘buttery’ impact feel is only due to hosel and shaft design and the ‘feel’ attributed to the clubhead is illusory.

  10. Steve Sands

    Nov 21, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    The Miura’s are the best, and and the Srixons are right there too. How come we only mention the same major companies over and over again?

  11. Michael Riechmann

    Nov 21, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Srixon 965’s All Day

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Equipment

Jimmy Walker spotted testing a Titleist prototype driver?

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As spotted by GolfWRX Forum Member “anthony007,” Jimmy Walker was shown on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive hitting an unidentified driver at the Warrior Open.

In anthony007’s forum post, along with the photo, he asks the question “Is this a new Driver from Titleist?”

Well, it’s hard to tell from the grainy photo exactly what the driver says on the sole. But then Jimmy Walker himself posted on Twitter saying: “Great catch! Its always fun to test new prototypes and the [Titleist on Tour] guys have given me some cool toys to play with that are incredible – but unfortunately I can’t talk about them yet!”

While the response is a bit cryptic, it does seem that Walker confirms he was indeed testing a Titleist prototype driver.

What do you think?

Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the photo.

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Whats in the Bag

UNLV Rebels WITB: 2018 NCAA Men’s Championship

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The University Of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Men’s Golf team is participating in the 2018 NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma on May 25-30. Representing the Mountain West Conference, the team is led by Head Coach Dwaine Knight.

To see the team’s full roster, click here

Below, we highlight the clubs and shafts that each of the players on the team are using at the championship.

Shintaro Ban

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

Hybrid: Callaway Epic (20 degrees)
Shaft: Oban Steel 115

Irons: Callaway X Forged (4 and 5 iron), Callaway Apex MB (6-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Fourteen RM Raw wedge (50, 55 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (50 and 55), S400 (60)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works 7S

Harry Hall

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917 F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue M-AX 65TX

5 Wood: Titleist 917 F2 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue M-AX 65TX

Irons: Titleist 718 AP2 (3-9 iron)
Shafts: KBS Tour V 120X

Wedges: Titleist SM7 (48, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

Putter: Evenroll ER5 Hatchback (36.5 inches)

Jack Trent

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-TP 7X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8TX

Hybrid: Titleist H2 818 (17 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: Titleist T-MB (4 iron), Titleist 718 CB (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5R
Grip: SuperStroke Flatso 1.0 (35 inches)

Justin Kim

Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-TP 7TX

3 Wood: TaylorMade M2 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-TP 8TX

Driving Iron: Titleist 712U (3 iron)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shaft: KBS $-Taper 130X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Sm6 (50, 54 and 58)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Justin Chong

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ 6X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M3
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X

5 Wood: Ping G30
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X

Hybrid: TaylorMade M1 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD 85X

Irons: Miura CB-57 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-09 F Grind and 58-08 M Grind)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey V-Line Fang O-Works

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Garrick Higgo

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 60X 120MS

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Black 70 TX

Hybrid: Titleist 816H2 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 85H X-Flex

Driving Iron: Titleist TMB (2, 3 and 4 iron)
Shaft: KBS C-Taper 130X

Irons: Titleist AP2 (5-PW, GW)
Shafts: KBS C -Taper 130X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 Matte Black (55 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper 130X

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X7M Black Tour Only

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Equipment

Spotted: New Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI shaft

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The official Tour launch of the Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI shaft is this week at the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial, and we were able to snap a few photos on the range. MSI stands for millions of pounds per square inch, and basically, it refers to how stiff the fiber is — the higher the number, the greater stiffness it has.

Headed to retail later this summer, according to Aldila, the lower-launching, lower-spinning Rogue Silver 130 MSI is the successor to the Rogue Silver 125 MSI.

Per the company, the new Rogue Silver 130 MSI will feature the same tapered butt-counter-balanced design as the 125. The stronger 130 MSI carbon fiber produces slightly lower torque, however, and is the strongest material in a Rogue shaft to date.

Several Tour pros have already made the switch to the new shaft:

  • Jimmy Walker put the 70 TX in his driver for the first time at The Players. He had been gaming the 80 TX in his fairway wood since the Masters.
  • Kevin Chappell has been playing the 80 TX in both his 3 and 5-woods.
  • Martin Flores has put the 70 TX in his driver
  • Chez Reavie put the 60 TX in his driver at the Masters.

We’ll bring you more details as they become available closer to launch. Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the new shaft in our forums.

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