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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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Whats in the Bag

Lanto Griffin’s winning WITB: 2019 Houston Open

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Driver: Titleist 917 D2 (10.5 degrees @ 9.75)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage TiNi 70 TX

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (16 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80 X

Irons: Titleist U510 (2), Titleist T100 (4-9)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 105 X (2), Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X (4-9)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (46 10F, 50 12F bent to 51, 54 10S bent to 55, 60 08M)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

Putter: Sik Flo
Grip: SuperStroke Slim 3.0

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride tour Velvet

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Whats in the Bag

Cole Hammer WITB 2019

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*Equipment accurate as of the 2019 Houston Open

Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XT 70 TX

cole-hammer-witb-2019-driver

3-wood: Ping G410 LST (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ 7X

cole-hammer-witb-3-wood

Irons: Ping i210 (3, 4), Ping iBlade (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper XP 115

cole-hammer-witb-irons

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50/12, 54/12, 58/10)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

cole-hammer-witb-wedges

Putter: Ping PLD Anser 2

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Equipment

All-new KBS TD graphite shafts for drivers and woods released

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kbs-td-shafts

After more than a decade designing steel shafts that have helped revolutionize the golf custom fitting and OEM space, KBS Golf Shafts and designer Kim Braly are going further by officially launching the all new TD Driver and wood shafts.

kbs-td-shafts-2

Until recently KBS’s focus had always been on steel iron and wedge shafts, including the popular KBS Tour, KBS Tour 90, C-Taper, and TourV products. But over the last few years, its line has slowly expanded to graphite hybrid and irons shafts in varying weights and profiles to help create a matrix of shafts that would allow fitters to find a KBS Shaft for almost any situation. The one void in the matrix was driver and wood shafts—but not anymore!

The all new KBS TD (Tour Driver) wood shafts are a huge step forward for a company that has always focused on helping golfers get the most performance out of their clubs. The KBS TD’s range in weight options from 40g to 80g+ in 10g increments with evolving profiles as the weights increases. This ideology is based on the simple fact that from years of working with the best fitters in the world, KBS has developed a deep understanding of how these factors work together to help each player in certain swing “categories.”

The other interesting part of the KBS TD wood line is the absence of stated flex on each shaft—yes, they 100 percent come in varying flexes but not in the same “stiff” and “regular” naming that most golfers are familiar with. Instead, the TD shafts are separated into categories ranging from Category 1 through Category 4. This helps eliminate some of the preconceived notions that some golfers might have about trying different shaft flexes, and on the custom fitting side, also helps fitters better understand each player swing profile that matches up with a certain weight and flex (category).

KBS TD shafts: Specs & fitting details

Getting into the nitty-gritty of the specs from a fitting perspective, every shaft in the KBS TD line has the potential to work in any driver or fairway wood. This gives golfers the opportunity to play a KBS product right through the entire top end of the bag from driver to highest-lofted fairway wood.

The fitting opportunities are also expanded since every shaft in the TD line has 4 inches of parallel tip section to allow fitters and builders fine-tune to create in-between flexes. This is nothing new in the shaft world, but considering this design trait is available in every shaft, it means that, for example, if you need a “Category 3.5” a builder could tip a 3 a little extra to make it play the perfect flex.

For more information on the KBS TD wood shafts and the rest of the KBS shaft lines, check out KBSGOLFSHAFTS.com 

Also, check out GolfWRX Forums: KBS TD Shafts Spotted to join the discussion on these newest shafts from KBS.

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