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GolfWRX Members Choice: The best players irons of 2018

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The bedrock of GolfWRX.com is the community of passionate and knowledgeable golfers in our forums, and we put endless trust in the opinions of our GolfWRX Members. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively, or is armed with as much in-depth information about the latest technology.

So we asked our GolfWRX Members, “What are the the best players irons on 2018?” (Blades excluded. The membership voted on those here). As part of the voting process, we allowed members to vote for up to three irons they felt most worthy of the title, based on their testing of the forged offerings from 17 different manufacturers.

GolfWRX members are both discerning and carry handicaps lower than the general golfing population, so OEMs ought to (and do) take note of their feedback.

With the votes tallied, it’s time to take a look at the top-five vote getters of the bunch. And many thanks to all who voted! (See the full thread here).

No. 5: Ping iBlade (8.26 percent of votes)

Ping’s new iBlades fit the broadest definition of blade irons; they have the narrow soles, thin top lines, short blade lengths, minimal offset, maximum workability, excellent feedback and soft feel blade players want. They aren’t forged like most blades or blade-like irons, though, instead opting for a multi-material, cast chassis that Ping uses to boost forgiveness and distance. Think of them as “intelligent blades;” they’re a much smarter choice for blade players who don’t compete for a living, and even some who do.

The iBlades offer more distance and more forgiveness than their predecessors, Ping’s S55 irons, as well as more refined look and feel that makes them more “blade-like” than they’ve ever been.

Related: Review: Ping iBlade irons

No. 4: Srixon Z 765 (8.41 percent)

Srixon’s no-frills approach to iron-making is refreshing in today’s golf equipment climate. The company forges its irons from 1020 carbon steel, and offers three distinct models than can please anyone from traditionalists (Z965) to forged cavity-back enthusiasts (Z765) to distance- or forgiveness-seeking crowds (Z565).

Low handicappers have a difficult decision to make between Srixon’s Z765 and Z965 irons. The Z965’s are musclebacks that are slightly more “workable,” as blade-lovers like to say. That’s another way of relaying that they’re smaller-sized irons that spin slightly more. Both irons, though, have similar profiles with little offset and thin top lines. Both also use Srixon’s Tour V.T. Soles, and utilize a new heat treatment to make the irons more durable. For blade players, the Z765 won’t look clunky or have too much offset. Low, single-digit handicappers could really go either way, or create a brag-worthy mixed set.

Related: Review Srixon Z765 irons

No. 3: Callaway X Forged (10.36 percent)

X Forged irons, like Callaway’s Apex Muscleback, are also single-piece forgings, the blade lengths are slightly longer, the overall head shapes are slightly larger, and they are cavity-back irons made for a bit more forgiveness.

Like the Apex MB irons, the soles of the X Forged irons are built for the turf interaction that’s desired by Tour players, and the head profiles are tour-inspired. The lofts are slightly stronger throughout the set than the Apex MB, but are still weaker than the game-improvement style irons in Callaway’s stable. That means better players will see the ball launch in the “desired window,” according to to the company.  The X Forged irons are “triple net forged,” according to Callaway, and they have progressive CGs with 20V grooves on the face.

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

No. 2: Titleist 718 AP2 (16.22 percent)

With fast-face technologies and stronger lofts off the table (the 6-iron is 30 degrees), Titleist investigated new ways to improve the AP2 recipe. The result was a new main ingredient, a high-strength steel known as SUP10, which is used to make the forged bodies of the 3-6 irons. Titleist also used SUP10 to form the face inserts for the 3-6 irons. Because SUP10 is stronger and lighter than the 1025 carbon steel bodies and 17-4 stainless steel face inserts Titleist previously used to create the AP2, designers were able to move the CG of the new irons lower in the club heads for higher ball speeds and a higher launch angle.

Like the 718 CB, the 718 AP2 irons are also co-forged to concentrate high-density tungsten weights in the corners of the club heads to improve MOI and exactly center the CG of the irons.

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities

No. 1: Mizuno MP-18 SC (16.82 percent)

The MP-18 Split Cavity irons feature what Mizuno calls a half-cavity design. Mass has been taken of the upper portion of the irons, focusing CG (center of gravity) lower in the club head for an easier launch and more forgiveness.

The MP-18 SC irons are only fractionally longer from heel-to-toe than the MP-18 muscleback irons. They’re also 0.5 millimeters taller and have soles that are 1.5 millimeters wider. With identical specs (aside from swing weight in the longer irons) and offset, these irons are designed to blend seamlessly into a combination set with the MP-18 muscleback irons regardless of where golfers decide to split their set.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. shane

    Aug 18, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    PXG fad is finished now. Anybody with PXGs in their bag is a loser!!!

  2. stephenf

    Aug 4, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Okay, but can you see that this is really not the best way to get an idea of what the best irons are? It’s a little like figuring out what the best hamburger is by looking at where the biggest sales are. So McDonald’s, then. Or if you limit it only to non-fast-food, maybe Red Robin or something. But the odds of finding the _actual_ best burger that way aren’t good. It just means it’s the one with the widest distribution and the one the most people know about.

    Quite obviously, several really excellent irons are not even on this list. Wilson, for instance, has put out some great irons for the past 10 years or so.

  3. Dave

    Aug 2, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    wilson c300 forged should be on this list. in fact i think they will be better than almost anything to come out for years to come…..trust me i have had a almost every set available to me to try. the difference is in the distance if you need any help at all and the forgiveness is out right amazing. thin shots tend to go near correct distance, but the toed shots are almost identical to pured shots. i found out by on course testing. i couldnt believe it then i saw their promo material for the c300 forged and saw that the toe area of these actually get the most help from the power holes…..the only reason i moved on was simply i hit them too far…much to far…i am looking forward to having them again with a heavier shaft. i miss the 5-7 iron for sure. i currently game the v6 forged. nice irons as well. i was hoping to do a mix set but the distance on the v6 is almost under standard which i like but id have to play like 5-7 forged and 7-pw v6 to get the gaps i need. it would bug me to no end to have 2 7 irons 🙂

  4. Miuralovechild

    Jul 14, 2018 at 1:48 am

    My Miura CB 1008’s would run circles around those mizunos! I love mizuno btw. Always have but after I hit a miura in 07, things changed.

  5. patrick floyd

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    So we asked our GolfWRX Members, “What are the the best players irons on 2018?” (Blades excluded. The membership voted on those here).

  6. ben jones

    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Still loving my Adams CB1 irons which look a lot like the Mizzys.

  7. joey

    Jul 12, 2018 at 1:02 am

    My circa 1980 RAM Tour Grind TW276 forged 2-PW irons are better than all the supposedly game improvement current models… because I keep impact in the sweet spot. All these “best” irons are just cosmetic designs to scam the gullible golfers with more money than brains or talent.

    • @LivenearPar_Golf

      Jul 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Doubtful with zero grooves left….unless you’ve left them in the garage all these years. Can you even hold a green anymore?

  8. 2putttom

    Jul 11, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    lol…wow really…this is shocking. I voted three times

  9. Carmen Sandiego

    Jul 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Shame that Mizuno doesn’t sell those irons in LH….

  10. Al Czervik

    Jul 11, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Like running for student body president in middle school, this is nothing more then a popularity contest. Yawn… Mizuno’s most popular Yay!

    I tell you what… Dollar for dollar, I’ve tried 4 of the irons on this list and my Honma Tour World irons blow them all away. You’re welcome.

    • The dude

      Jul 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Aaaand…how do you think they (Mizuno) won the popularity contest??

  11. Milton Taylor

    Jul 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Not one set of pure blades?

  12. Doug Roberts

    Jul 11, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    If you visit a top private club…You will see bag after bag full of PXG irons.

    • Milton Taylor

      Jul 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      I’m at a private club and I don’t see it. No disrespect

      • greg taylor

        Jul 11, 2018 at 12:44 pm

        I agree but you have to go to a TOP private club. As you go to the top privates you will see a lot of PXG for sure. But you will see a lot of 150k + cars as well.

    • G

      Jul 11, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      I work at a top private club with approximately 900 + members, A ton of PXG and Miura. A lot of guys shouldn’t even be hitting the Miuras, but money is spent here!

    • Rich

      Jul 12, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Because they cost too much so they are still in the display bags?

    • Funkaholic

      Jul 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Because it is all about show, more money that skill. Look at the JDM market, over the top prices, flashy designs and endless customization because it is more about a statement of wealth than functional club design. PXG is overrated give me a pure set of well forged irons any day.

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the clubs they chip with

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the clubs they like to use around the greens. WRXer ‘jomatty’ uses a 58-degree wedge for most shots around the green and asks fellow members if that’s an ‘amateur move’ or if it’s a default play for most players. Our members have their say.

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.

  • jholz: “I think the conventional wisdom is to use what works for you. Chipping is largely a matter of practice and comfort, and I think every player will have their own, personal preference. If you practice a ton with your 58* and can hit the shots you need with it – then more power to you. That being said, I find using a variety of clubs for chipping is beneficial for me. I assess every chip for the amount of green I have to work with, and how much crap I have to clear. Less green, more loft. Less crap and more green, lower loft. If it’s a generic green side chip with a bit of green to work with and a bit of crap to clear, I default to a mid-lofted wedge (I.e. a sand wedge), which for me is 54*. I would say I hit probably 75-80% of all chips with this club. If I have less green to work with, I will go up in loft to my 58*. If I have less crap to carry I will go down in loft perhaps using my 50*. Probably the most reliable shot in my bag is a little 9 iron chip from the fringe.”
  • demecca2: “I am the same as you. I pretty much use my 58 for every single shot unless I need to hit a bump shot into a hill. I would rather get really good with one club rather than just good with a bunch of clubs.”
  • nova6868: “Like several others have said, I do the bulk of my chipping and pitching with my 50 and 54. I only bring out the 58 if I need a chip with lots of spin, high pitch, or flop because I don’t have much green to work with. I just find the 50 and 54 to be more predictable in terms of my misses and the amount of roll out.”
  • aenemated: “My 52° pretty much exclusively. It’s just what I’ve always used for chipping going back to my high school days. Only time I’ll deviate is if it’s a really uphill lie.”
  • platgolf: “The 9 iron is my go-to for chipping. It has the right roll out to get it close.”
  • Sean2: “It depends on the situation. Anything from a 50º to a 62.”

Entire Thread: “What clubs do you chip with?”

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best anti-left hybrid for a sweeper

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In our forums, our members have been discussing anti-left hybrids and which ones work best for a sweeper of the ball. WRXer ‘Hougz79’ is considering Callaway’s Mavrik Pro, TaylorMade’s SIM and PXG’s Gen 2 – and our members have been sharing their thoughts 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.

  • Orlandogolfguru: “Cally super hybrid is supposed to be anti-left.”
  • Golf64: “Ping G410 is best out there, IMO.”
  • Wardonnation: “Have had 6 since and finally got it back.. 915 Titleist hands down…”
  • Valtiel: “I think there are two main factors/categories for hybrid fitting and eliminating the left miss. 1) Weight and length. Most hybrids are too long and too light which further complicates trying to slot them in as iron replacements vs wood replacements. I think many peo -y reputation that hybrids have has far more to do with #1 above than any inherent CG bias as a lot of people feel. I think CG bias is still important, don’t get me wrong, but we are often told to treat our hybrids more like irons while off the rack they are setup too much fairway woods. Don’t be afraid to tinker with weight and length; it makes a world of difference.”
  • halfsumo: “I am a sweeper and have trouble with hybrids going left. Like you have had success with Apex. Titleist hybrids in the flat and open settings have worked pretty well for me. The weird thing about the Titleist are that the “player’s” version usually has a weird offset to it which I think looks like it wants to go left. I had the TS2, and it was pretty solid, probably shouldn’t have sold it. I had the SIM Max, and it was totally draw-biased for me. 100% due to the upright lie angle. I think that anyone that struggles hitting hybrids left there are two options: 1. Steer away from any hybrid with a fixed hosel that cannot be adjusted more flat if necessary. Hybrids with stock flatter lie angle like Apex, Mav Pro and Mizuno CLK can work if you get lucky. The only hybrids that I’d look at are Titleist, PXG and Ping because they can all be adjusted flatter and more open and Titleist and PXG can also adjust the weights toward the toe. 2. If you really like a fixed hosel head, get fit and see if you can try shorter and heavier shafts. Something 90-100+ grams and like .5″ to 1.5″ shorter than stock. If it works, have it built and swing weighted properly. I like the looks of the Mav Pro, Super Hybrid and Epic Flash hybrids which are all supposed to be pretty good at being anti-left, but I have a PXG Gen 2 on order because of the adjustability (and sale price).”

Entire Thread: “Anti-left hybrid for a sweeper”

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Whats in the Bag

Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning winning WITBs: The Match: Champions for Charity

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phil-mickelson-witb-the-match-2-2020

Tiger Woods WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 60 TX

tiger woods witb

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15  @14.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 @18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 TW/MT Grind (56-12, 60-11)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS Newport 2

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord 58R

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

Peyton Manning WITB

Driver: Callaway Mavrik (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD TP 6 X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue (15 degrees)

Irons: Callaway Mavrik Pro (3-PW)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Lite 110 S

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (52, 56, 60)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Lite 110 S

Putter: Scotty Cameron SB+

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS with #18

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