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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

Tigers Woods WITB for each Masters win

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At its core, Tiger Woods’ equipment hasn’t changed by much over the better part of the last two decades. However, Tiger Woods’ equipment is constantly evolving, and there is no better tournament to witness that evolution than to take a peek into the equipment he used to win all five of his Masters Tournaments.

A couple of major notes to consider is Tiger used a steel-shafted driver playing less than 45 inches all the way up until the 2004 season when he finally made the move from his trusted Titleist 975D long after the rest of the PGA Tour had swapped in newer technology. It was still another two years before Tiger made the move to a 460cc driver head in the pursuit of greater ball speed and forgiveness.

Tiger also held onto his 2-iron for a long time, and up until a few years ago would rotate it in and out of the bag with a 5-wood. 2019 was the first major tournament Tiger won using a 5-wood instead of his trusted 2-iron.

Masters Winning Gear from 1997 – 2019

Tiger Woods WITB 1997 Masters

Winning Score: -18 bested his next closest competitor Tom Kite by 12 shots!

5101543P BAY HILLS INVIT''L

Driver: King Cobra Deep Face (9 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

3-wood: Titleist PT (15 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 15

Irons: Mizuno MP-29 (2-4) and MP-14 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTG (Raw Tour Grind) (56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport TeI3

Ball: Titleist Professional 90

Tiger Woods WITB 2001 Masters

Winning Score: -16, beat David Duval by 2 shots and Phil Mickelson by 3.

Driver: Titleist 975D (7.5 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft

3-wood: 
Titleist 970 (15 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: 
Titleist 681 Forged (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: 
Titleist Vokey Design 200 Series (58 bent to 56 degrees, 6o degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: 
Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: 
Nike Tour Accuracy TW

6502203P THE MASTERS X

Tiger Woods WITB 2002 Masters

Winning Score: -12, was 3 shots better than Retief Goosen and 4 better than Phil Mickelson

Driver: Nike Forged Titanium (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

3-wood: Titleist 970 (15 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: Titleist 681 Forged Prototype (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design 200 Series (58 bent to 56 degrees, 6o degree)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter:
 Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball:
 Nike Tour Accuracy TW

1805138SH010_Amex_Champs

Tiger Woods WITB 2005 Masters

Winning Score: Tiger beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff after they both tied at -12. The next closest golfers were Luke Donald and Retief Goosen at -5.

Driver: Nike Ignite 460cc (8.5 degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Diamana 83 TX

3-wood: Nike T60 Ignite (15 degrees )
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 103 TX

Irons: Nike Forged Blades (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Nike Pro Combo (56 degrees), Nike Blade TW (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Nike One Platinum TW

Tiger Woods WITB 2019 Masters

Winning Score: -13, was one shot better than Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Xander Schauffele.

Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 60 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (13 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX

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

Irons: TaylorMade P-7TW irons (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

 

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Equipment

The irons GolfWRXers with a 10-18 handicap are playing

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In our forums, WRXer ‘jjfcpa’ dedicated a thread to irons that fellow members with a handicap in the 10 to 18 range play. ‘Jjfcpa’ himself currently plays Callaway Apex CF19’s, and our members have been discussing the irons they currently play and why 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.

  • tangojay: “Ping G-700, Alta CB graphite shafts, hitting them long, high and straight. Hitting them same distance and higher than my seven-year-old G-25’s with steel shafts, am 58.”
  • SouthLand: “Right now it’s a set of Cobra Amp Cells (~2013 GI), but I am in the process of upgrading. Need more spin on the ball, as I’m way below the desired range for spin metrics mainly. Pro thinks I could pick up some distance with improvement there. Driver too.”
  • Twinsgroupie: “Coming from Cobra Tour Forged and just ordered a set of PXG 0211’s. I tend to like a little bit more of a players iron than game improvement. Ball striking of the irons is better than my handicap would lead you to believe – let please not talk about my short game and putting…”
  • pat_kato: “Was playing Nike Vapor Pro Combos then went with the Mizuno MP-20 MMC, and I love them.”
  • BPetry: “Just got a set of Cobra Forged Tec players distance irons and so far I really like them. I came from hitting Callaway Razr X MB’s or a set of MP-54’s that I still hit well when I swing well but needed the extra distance with a bit slower swing speeds as I get older.”

Entire Thread: “10-18 handicap: What irons?”

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about Ping Eye 2 Berylliums

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In our forums, our members have been talking about Ping’s classic Eye 2 Berylliums after WRXer ‘mywong23’ kicked off a discussion on the irons. ‘Mywong23’, who refuses to replace them with newer technology, reaches out to fellow members who give their thoughts on the vintage clubs.

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.

  • Old Tom Morris: “I never liked the way they looked. The shape was funny, and the lack of ferrules turned me off. However, they were and still are an excellent iron that are as good as many models out now. Nothing wrong with gaming that set, not hurting you at all.”
  • need2golf: “The rich kids had the Eye 2’s back in the late ’80s, nothing wrong w/ that. I had Wilson 1200 GE’s. Years ago, I bought my very own Eye 2’s, loved them, but sold them. Just bought BeCu Eye 2’s a little while back, can’t play golf yet but dying to game them. I shot some great scores w/ the Eye 2’s several years ago, can’t go wrong.”
  • scruffynick: “No but they’re my dream irons. Used the stainless for best on two decades… They were the greatest irons ever made for me. But I’d love a set of BeCu…. Had a look while on lockdown as there’s a 6-PW in red dot and I’m so tempted but… Mrs not having it considering I’ve got brand new Mizunos in my locker.”
  • 14max: “I’ve always been partial to the steel EYE2s, but the nickel and copper ISIs have made their way into my bag on more than one occasion. The copper EYE2s are pretty special and just seeing them sitting in a bag makes me wax nostalgic…”
  • BobV56: “I played mine until 2018. Sometimes I still miss hitting them.”

Entire Thread: “Ping Eye 2 Berylliums”

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