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Best irons in golf of 2019: The shotmakers

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What are the best irons in golf for 2019 and possibly 2020?

It’s an interesting question to ask anyone who works in golf equipment since it opens up a Pandora’s box of debate and discussion, which inevitably results in the conclusion that every player has to go out, work with a fitter, and find the best set for him/her. There is no one single best iron for every golfer in 2019, but there is a best iron of 2019 for you—and that’s where we come in to help you find your ideal set.

2019 has been a big year for irons, with OEMs taking bigger steps to push the science of structure, materials, and processing to move mass and further optimize MOI and COG to provide improvements across the board. In certain iron categories, clubheads are generating maximum potential speed over larger areas of the face, just like a driver, while in other parts of the market, some iron models have been shrunk to improve workability for the players looking for shot-shaping control.

So what do you look for? What do you need? With so many great irons released in 2019, the decision-making process can be overwhelming, and that’s why at GolfWRX, we are here to help you go through that process and help you ask the right questions to find the iron set for you.

Best irons of 2019: How we did it

Even before starting the process of building the survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was simple—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer whenever they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with handicap.

Since modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the traditional “what’s your handicap” model, we at GolfWRX believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance, to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

We have developed separate categories that will help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game. 

Just like with our Best Drivers of 2019 survey, we consulted leading fitters in the industry and compiled our results anonymously. The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools to go out and find what works best for you, with recommendations for your individual needs, with feedback from the people that work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Trackman

We at GolfWRX then worked internally to craft a survey that allowed the fitters to be honest…we want the truth just as much as you do, and to prevent anyone from feeling they couldn’t be, we allowed all of the results and quotes to remain anonymous unless otherwise stated. We can’t thank the fitters enough for their time!

Best irons of 2019: Meet the fitters

Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van
Alex Panigas: Fitter, TXG
Chris Kendall: Fitter, TXG
Cam Kennedy: Fitter, TXG
John Sawatsky: Fitter, TXG
Ryan Johnson: Fitter, Carl’s Golfland
Brent Norton: VP Shop Operations, Miles of Golf
Craig Allan: Golf Performance Manager, Sea Island Performance Center
Timothy Briand: SVP Customer Experience, True Spec Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Dominic Choma: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Matthew Sim: Fitter/Director of Operations, Modern Golf

Best irons of 2019: Shotmaking

Each one of these irons was designed with a single purpose: to provide the ultimate shotmaking weapon. You don’t have to be a tour player to appreciate the pleasure of hitting a well-struck shot with a club engineered to offer superior feedback. This category is all about control—and that doesn’t mean is “has to be a blade.”

These are the top 5

(Question for fitters: What are your best for irons for shotmaking?)

Srixon Z785: Forged from a single piece of soft carbon steel, the Z785 is the next generation of the legendary Srixon 700 series that took off after the 745 years ago and had a cult following. A further refined V sole, short blade length, and shape from address cement this one at the top.

From the fitters:Distance, spin control and turf interaction are all very important parts of shot making and the Srixon Z785 produces a nice balance of control and forgiveness in a great looking package”

TaylorMade P7TW: The irons that set the internet on fire earlier this year include a “hidden” tungsten weight to help concentrate mass behind the sweet spot for “a unique blend of feel, flight and control.” Add in a milled sole for consistency from iron to iron, set to set and you have a shotmakers dream.

From the fitters:What else is there to say except these irons are both stunning to look at and offer all the control any player could want – including Tiger Woods” … “The Tungsten plugs makes an already solid feeling club feel even better, and the mill grind sole design glides through the turf”

Ping Blueprint: The Blueprints were born from the idea of creating a club for the most exacting of golfers. Ping meticulously prototyped and tested with their tour staff on everything from preferred shots and grinds, to blade size and shape. These are 100 percent about total golf ball control and nothing more.

From the fitters: “The Blueprint is definitely not a club designed for a wide audience but for those capable, it is one of the most solid irons we’ve ever tested” … “Tiny precision instrument. You won’t find much forgiveness with the Blueprint but what do you expect for a club designed for the most discerning players”

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour: The JPX iron with the Mizuno MP player in mind offers stability and moderate forgiveness in a club that boasts feel and control. Grain Flow HD Forged of mild select carbon steel, the JPX 919 Tours are an iron built for shotmakers, with just enough help to keep misses closer to the intended target.

From the fitters:Tour proven performance that carries over to a broad spectrum of good players. The irons are forgiving yet easy to control flight. Plus that feel spectacular!” … “Its fun to put a JPX iron into a good players hand and watch their reaction to the control they get with the iron”

Titleist 718 CB: Although recently refined and replaced by the Titleist 620 CB, I believe we can draw the conclusion that what made the 718 so great applies to the new model as well. The long irons feature tungsten inserts to increase MOI while maintaining a player preferred small shape. The sole has a lot of camber front-to-back for great turf interaction over a variety of playing conditions. The 718 CB is everything you expect from a Titleist forged CB iron.

From the fitters:The CB iron for us is one of the best, classic-looking irons with moderate forgiveness. For a pure small cavity back the design of the 718 allows you to do anything with it.” …  “The Titleist CB franchise is always a competitive option in the shotmakers category. The clubs looks good and offer extremely consistent distance and flight control.”

Read all the comments or make your own in the discussion thread in the forums here.

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Whats in the Bag

Jordan Spieth WITB: 2020 Farmers Insurance Open

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6-X

3-wood: Titleist 915F (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7X

Hybrid: Titleist 818 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95X Hybrid

Irons: Titleist U500 (4), Titleist T100 (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (46-08F, 52-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Proto (60)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.0

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 009
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0

Grips: SuperStroke S-Tech

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Equipment

New for 2020: Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 4 wedges

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Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S sole3_4 copy

Cleveland Golf has unveiled its new Smart Sole 4 wedges featuring three new models all of which contain an extra-wide sole with extra leading edge bounce in a design to ensure crisp, clean contact and better stability.

The Smart Sole 4 wedges all feature an extra-wide three-tiered sole, with added leading edge bounce, in a bid to provide maximum forgiveness from the fairway, rough or out of the bunker.

Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S sole

The new additions also contain upgraded Feel Balancing Technology which sees the redistribution of weight from the hosel to allow the center of gravity to be moved closer to the center of the clubface in design for improved feel and greater consistency.

Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S top

The Smart Sole 4 wedges feature new aggressive milled grooves that look to generate better spin performance from all conditions.

Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S face

Cleveland’s Smart Sole 4 wedges arrive in three different models – the C model (42°), G model, (50°), and S model (58°). According to the company, the introduction of the G model aims to provide full-shot capability and extensive versatility to go along with the S and C models.

The new additions for 2020 arrive in right and left-handed options as well as Men’s and Women’s offerings.

Cleveland’s Smart Sole 4 wedges hit retail on February 7, 2020, and are priced at $119.99 MAP for Men’s Steel and $129.99 for Men’s Graphite, while the Women’s Smart Sole 4 wedges are priced at $119.99 MAP for graphite.

 

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Equipment

Puma introduces Ignite PWRADAPT Caged footwear

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2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Puma Golf has introduced its new Ignite PWRADAPT Caged footwear featuring a new PWRCAGE saddle unit designed to provide locked-in stability.

The Ignite Pwradapt Caged is designed to provide maximum comfort and a perfect fit and contains the brand’s new PWRCAGE Saddle which wraps around the medial and lateral sides of the shoe in a bid to provide unmatched stability.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Speaking on the new Caged footwear, Andrew Lawson, Footwear Product Line Manager, Puma Golf stated

“Our new CAGED footwear will keep you locked in and comfortable all day thanks to our new Adaptive Fit System and PWRCAGE saddle unit which provides the perfect fit, and stability like you’ve never felt before. Best of all, they come in a stylish, lifestyle-inspired, extremely comfortable package.”

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

As the laces tighten, the cage around a golfer’s foot on the new shoe seeks to form a perfect, comfortable but stable fit, while the Heel Lock Window is designed to cup the golfer’s heel comfortably locking his foot securely into the shoe.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

The Ignite PWRADAPT Caged features a layered Adaptive Fit System which seeks to produce 360-degree support through the internal bootie. The external bootie equipped with PWRFRAME technology is designed to ensure that the foot is fully supported in highest impact areas.

Finishing off the technology on the new additions, the shoes feature full-length IGNITE foam cushioning and the PWRADAPT Technology sole is designed to provide responsive comfort and 3-dimensional traction that adapts to the way a golfer moves.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Both the lace and Disc version of Caged feature an Epic Tour Last – a refined, anatomical last shaping that aims to deliver both an excellent fit and ample forefoot volume for maximum comfort as well as a stylish toe-down look.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

The Ignite PWRADAPT Caged collection is available in the golfer’s choice of five colorways (Gray Violet/Silver/White, Black/Silver/White, Quiet Shade/Silver/Black, Peacoat/Quiet Shade/Silver and White/Silver/Peacoat).

Limited-Edition colorways and styles of Caged inspired by upcoming, key tournaments this season are also expected to be released throughout 2020.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Available in sizes 7-15, the Ignite PWRADAPT Caged will feature a retail price of $150 and is available through select retailers and at pumagolf.com beginning January 21.

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