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Best irons 2020: GolfWRX Members Choice (best easy-to-launch irons)

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What are the best easy-to-launch irons of 2020?

This category of irons is aimed to help players who need height. With today’s modern golf ball, creating proper flight widows and spin can be difficult for some players, and this is where technology can really help. All of these irons do everything they can to create shot-stopping trajectories regardless of clubhead speed.

At GolfWRX, we take great pride in our online community and the cumulative knowledge and experience of our members. Needless to say, that extends to GolfWRXers views on the best irons of 2020, easy-to-launch category.

Join the discussion in the forums here.

The bedrock of GolfWRX.com is the community of passionate and knowledgable golfers in our forums, and we put endless trust in the opinions of our GolfWRX members—the most knowledgeable community of golfers on the internet. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively, nor is armed with such in-depth information about the latest technology.

Best irons 2020: Easy to launch (Top 5)

best irons 2020 easy to launch_2020

You can see the results for the best irons of 2020 “Easy to launch,” as well as quotes we pulled from GolfWRX members about the irons from our forums.

Also, be sure to check out all the other GolfWRX Member’s Choice iron categories below.

Join the discussion in the forums here.

1. TaylorMade P790

The P790 has a hollow-body design built with an 8620 carbon steel body and forged 4140 carbon steel wrapped-face construction. The sole was tweaked compared to the original to improve turf interaction, and from address, there is a thinner top line and more progressive offset in 3 through 6-irons and a more compact blade length in the 7-PW to appeal to players of all skill levels.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “I have the new P790’s and flat out they are the best irons I have owned, long easy to work, and stop well.” – Member English13
  • “I’m a 6. Long hitter and have been using player distance irons for a while…. I switched to 2019 p790s a few months ago and absolutely love em. Yardage gaps are fairly large and the faces are hot so you need to learn to control the distance and trajectory, but with the right shafts it’s been no problem for me.” – Member Jkim27
  • “I have played the p790’s for the past 2 seasons and I have really liked them. In fact, this past season was my best golfing season to date. I had more rounds in the 70’s than ever before and had my first round in the 60’s … I haven’t played a set of irons for 3 seasons in a row, in a very long time, so that means something, at least for me.” – Member Mob
  • “Took these irons out for their second-round today and shot a 75 (+4). Keep falling in love with these things. On a handful of occasions, I put a terrible swing on them and the ball flight distance and spin was just as good as a flushed shot. Even got into some tree trouble and had to hit some punch 6 iron shots and could flight the ball down super low with no issues” – Member agood3putt
  • “The 790’s are a set of driving irons. They go.” – GolfWRX member survey

For more information on the TaylorMade P790 irons, you can check out our launch piece here.

Join the discussion in the forums here.

2. Ping G710

The key element of the G710’s is its maraging steel construction which allows engineers to make the face to be thinner, which in turn creates more discretionary mass to move around the head to raise MOI and increase forgiveness. The engineers at Ping didn’t just stop at thinner. Each face of the G710 series iron is machined with variable-wall thickness to increase ball speeds around the whole hittable surface to help with those pesky mishits and keep ball speeds and distances consistent.

The body of the iron is engineered to flex along with the face to assist in energy transfer to the ball while also being built to provide a solid and pleasant feel. It’s one thing to offer more forgiveness, but if golfers don’t like the feel, all the effort is wasted.

Based on Ping’s testing, the G710 offers a five percent boost in MOI compared to the previous G700, thanks to optimally placed tungsten heel and toe weights in the head. This allowed designers to shrink the head size while increasing forgiveness. To complete the package, the G710’s come with a new hydropearl chrome finish with black PVD coating. The hydropearl makes the surface of the irons hydrophobic (water repellant) to improve performance through the turf and in wet conditions. The finishing process goes through two-stages to ensure durability.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “Beautiful irons I could not resist. Better sound and feel than the G700, no regrets.” – Member DavidV
  • “I’m 72 playing to a 6 handicap having been a 1 at my best. I like an iron that gives me confidence and works for me. The G-710 gives me everything I need to balance consistency, distance and trajectory control.” DenZ06
  • “I’ve played 7-8 rounds with the G710s and am happy with them. Coming from the G700s … I’ve got to say that I love the new finish (and feel). I’ll avoid hitting them from bunkers since I’m a hybrid player. The hot melt behind the face makes for a much more solid feel.” – Member Drawman
  • “Virtually effortless. If you put a half decent swing on a ball, it’s leaving in a hurry, and usually straight.” – GolfWRX member survey

You can read what other golfers are saying about the Ping G710 iron and see our launch piece here

Join the discussion in the forums here.

3. Ping G410

The Ping G410 irons feature a face and cavity structure that aims to deliver faster ball speeds while saving weight to expand the perimeter weighting. By saving weight around the head, designers re-distributed it to the toe and hosel to achieve an eight-percent increase in the moment of inertia compared to the G400. They also feature a more flexible and free moving face, achieved by de-coupling the weighting structure from the face to create a larger flexing zone. The larger flexing zone is designed to act as a hinge to launch the ball faster and higher with consistency, allowing golfers to take less club into the green.

From a visual perspective, the Ping G410 irons have slightly shorter blade length and 10-percent less offset compared to the G400 iron, and the clubs Hydropearl 2.0 finish contributes towards smoother turf interaction. From heel to toe—these irons are filled with technology built to get the ball in the air.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “I love my G410 irons. In fact like the line so much I now have G410 Plus driver, 3 LST and 5 wood! Ha” – Member LaymanM
  • “Love the distance and ball flight. Ball flight is higher than G400, but very penetrating and not more ballooning on good strikes. Love the forgiveness. Recently my worst recurrent shot is low toe hit and in most of the cases, those babies are saving me from a disaster!! All in all, I couldn’t be happier.” -Member Marco Colo
  • “These things are like a shovel that picks up the ball and throws it up in the air.” – GolfWRX member survey
  • “Terribly easy to hit every club in this set.” – GolfWRX member survey

You can read what other golfers are saying about the Ping G410 iron in the GolfWRX forums: Ping G410 Iron discussion and see our launch piece here.

Join the discussion in the forums here.

4.Titleist T300

The T300 is the hottest and most forgiving Titleist iron ever made and uses Max Impact Technology to add rebound and improve overall feel. The unsupported face is stretched across a larger area, and when you combine the bigger face size, wider sole, and undercut perimeter of the iron you get a club with a very low center of gravity away from the face. This deep CG and thin, fast face are what makes this club so easy to launch high. It’s also the reason why they have stronger lofts than some other irons in the category.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “Super forgiving” – GolfWRX member survey

You can read what other golfers are saying about the Titleist T300 irons in the GolfWRX forums: Titleist T300 discussion thread, and read our launch piece here.

Join the discussion in the forums here.

5. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

The HB Turbo irons feature a redesigned HiBore Crown, which pushes the center of gravity low and deep towards the sole and rear of the club, a placement is designed to allow golfers to launch the ball higher, and carry it farther. The clubs also contain progressive shaping throughout as engineers seek to provide players with a smooth transition club to club by offering maximum forgiveness in the long irons and optimal control in short irons with more loft.

If you are someone who struggles to hold greens, these can really turbocharge your iron game.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “Highest iron I’ve ever hit. Period.”
  • “Big, chunky and launching missiles to deepspace.”
  • “Easiest to launch for slower swing speed and beginners and those who struggle with irons – more like a hybrid than an iron.”
  • “Legally cheating.”

You can also read what other golfers are saying about the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo irons in the GolfWRX forums: Official Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Iron discussion and check out our launch piece here.

Rounding out the top 15 easiest-to-launch irons

  • Ping i500
  • Callaway Epic Forged
  • Callaway Mavrik MAX
  • Titleist T400
  • PXG 0311 XP GEN3
  • TaylorMade SiM MAX
  • Callaway Mavrik
  • Cleveland Launcher UHX
  • TaylorMade P790 Ti
  • Bridgestone Tour B JGR HF1

Join the discussion in the forums here.

Ongoing Members Choice Polls: Have your say!

We’re still looking for your feedback on the “best” items in several other categories, so head to the GolfWRX forums to have your say!

Check out the polls in the GolfWRX forums!

Join the discussion in the forums here.

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TaylorMade P Series irons: Talking tour integration

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Now that the cat has been let out of the bag on the new 2020 TaylorMade P Series irons, I wanted to get some intel on how these new sticks will start to infiltrate the major tours and what that might look like.

TaylorMade’s Adrian Rietveld is one of the individuals that players like Rory, Rahm, and a number of the European staff trust to transition into new product.

I had a chance to chat with him this week on all things P Series, and this is what he had to say.

JW: In a general sense, what is the process for you when integrating a new product on Tour?

AR: I never like to do [more than] one product at a time, unless I’m at the Kingdom or off-site. On tour, it’s essential the focus stays in a bubble and we deal with one thing at a time. We typically will speak before any testing is done and I’ll get a sense from them what is looking to be gained or if there are any glaring issues.

The main place to start is going apples-to-apples spec-wise—old product vs new product. At that point we can see what the new product is offering, i.e. where it’s good and also identify what we need to do to get dialed across the board.

JW: Of the main Tour staff, who is testing now, and who will be testing after the season is over?

AR: Can’t answer exactly who is currently testing because all players test at different times, but I know our U.S. and European core staff players all have sets including non-staff players that also have our equipment in play.

The cool thing is the players who have had the time to test put them in play quickly which is a good sign.

JW: Rory put the P7MB in play quickly. What did he respond to on the P7MB that encouraged the switch?

AR: He did, but by the time, he got them he had been testing with us for a good while. When he got the set he has now, he was already quite familiar with them, so the transition was easy. This iron was designed with a lot of his input (as well as DJ) and both players had very nuanced but similar preferences, so it’s safe to say he was comfortable with them when they came outta the box.

It’s not a huge switch from his 730’s. He liked that he picked up marginal improvements across the board and was particularly pleased of the simplicity of the set—especially in the longer irons with less offset.

JW: What improvements are you seeing so far vs old models?

AR: For MB, using Charley Hull as an example, the 730 for her seemed to turn over a bit and was a bit less forgiving. With the 7MB, she neutralized her ball flight all while keeping her spec identical to her old set.

In the MC the long irons seem to launch a touch higher with a fraction more speed. Every player who has tested has made the switch, and that’s with no pressure to do so. We are patient when players irons hit in regards to player switches. I believe in the next 6-9 months you will see a ton of MC’s in bags, whether its staff or non-staff.

JW: Do you think you will see more combo sets than before?

AR: To be honest most setups these days are combo sets in some way shape or form. What I think we will see are players having the P7MB play further down into the set. For example, the player that was 4, 5, 6 750 and 7-P in 730 will now start to have the MB in the 5 and 6. That little addition of forgiveness will give players enough confidence and performance to make them comfortable.

JW: Using Rahm as an example, what is his process when he is getting into a new product?

AR: He spends a lot of time at The Kingdom and does any major switching there. He’s not a player who tends to tinker at a tournament site. As with most of our staff, his process is about making sure any switch in the bag is a step forward in performance. Since he lives in Arizona, getting to Keith and me in Carlsbad isn’t a long trip and that gives us ample quiet time to focus, test, and experiment.

*according to TaylorMade, eight sets P Series irons have been built for players on the European Tour with seven going into play immediately.

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Best tips for shopping for used golf clubs

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We’re in the middle of the golf season, and there is still lots of time left to lower your handicap, post a personal best score, and have some more fun along the way—but it might require some news clubs to get there. The best part is today, new doesn’t have to mean brand new—it can just be “new” to you.

Before spending any money shopping for used golf clubs, it’s important to pay close attention to a number of small details to save you time—and prevent you from having to spend more money down the road to correct for purchasing mistakes.

Here is our how-to guide to shop for used clubs

Shop the big sellers: Unless you are buying locally and have the opportunity to inspect clubs and know their source, the safest and easiest way to shop is from the big online sellers that inspect and verify the clubs they sell are legit.

Although thanks to a very concerted effort by OEMs to mostly eliminate counterfeit gear, it can still find its way into the marketplace and big sellers help stop the spread and prevent you from wasting your money. Also, most of the big sellers use photos of the actual clubs you are buying – not representative photos so you know exactly what you are getting.
**(We also have a great Buy/Sell/Trade board here on GolfWRX too)**

The telltale signs of counterfeit clubs are

  • Badge and brand colors slightly off
  • Poorly installed shaft bands (the stickers on steel shafts)
  • Awful smelling grips – they can feel thin and smell like very cheap rubber or solvents
  • Club weight seems very off – for irons and wedges they might feel extremely light and for drivers and woods they can feel a lot heavier because of the extremely poor quality graphite shafts being used.

Confirm specs: You don’t need to have a shop worth of tools to quickly and easily take some simple measurements to make sure you and getting clubs that match the right spec you are looking for, although a very specific tool is needed to check lies and lofts.

Specs you can check without tools – irons and wedges

  • Lengths: If lengths arent stated and you are buying in person, just simply bring a few of your own clubs to compare.
  • Grips: A quick check that all of the grips match for size and style can save you money, and make sure they feel good when you go to use them. Don’t forget though, grips are an easy and affordable way to make used clubs feel new again.
  • Matching shafts: A quick visual inspection to make sure the shafts match up will make sure you are getting what you pay for. Along that same line, checking to also make sure the ferrules match will show whether any club in the set was potentially repaired at some point.

Shopping for used clubs can feel like a treasure hunt and is a lot of fun—it’s also a great way to save money on equipment. Just be sure to not get caught up in what might seem like a deal too good to be true and take your time when evaluating what you are buying.

Happy (used golf club) shopping!

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Korea’s AutoFlex Shaft: Challenging the conventional wisdom of golf

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We are creatures of habit, or so I’ve been told. And God knows old habits are hard to break. Just ask my right leg that simply refuses to stop reverse-pivoting, despite my best intentions.

Equally hard to break are pre-conceived notions and superstitions. There are hundreds of them to be sure, but I want to focus on one particular idea in golf that seems to be largely unchallenged for its conventional wisdom: The more flexible the shaft, the less accurate it is.

You may have heard a similar version of the same idea. Stiffer shafts offer straighter shots, faster swingers need stronger shafts, and whippier shafts result in more slice. But a recent find has caused me to challenge this well-established notion—that an ultralight, super flexible shaft (44 grams) is claiming to be not only straighter but longer as well.

My first reaction: “NO WAY”. The shaft would practically be a fishing rod. There’s no way that it would stand up to my normal swing speed of 98~100 mph.

But the kicker was that the makers of this ‘breakthrough’ shaft doubled down on me by claiming that their fishing rod-esque shaft can hold under swing speeds of up to 150mph! That’s up in the territory of world long drive champions-and they are practically inhuman! Now I was scoffing out loud—time to put the money where their mouth was.

(Jung-hwan MOON, member of Korean National long drive team, testing out the new AutoFlex FS505 shaft)

The new shaft is named AUTO FLEX. Sounds a little cheesy, until you realize that Dumina Inc., the South Korean shaft manufacturer, also makes AUTO POWER shafts that have caused a local sensation on the KLPGA and elite amateur circles over the past few years.

Autopower shafts have proven itself to be effective, largely due to a wide range of 50+ shafts offering a much smaller gapping of about 5-10 CPMs between shafts. It allowed golfers to dial into their particular swing speed more effectively. Its use of their proprietary weaving pattern and as-yet-undisclosed material KHT (Korea Hidden Technology!?) also did what it said it would. Smooth feel, mid-high launch, and great accuracy/forgiveness.

FLEXING SOME MUSCLE

Enter AUTO FLEX, the new generation of shafts that Dumina claims will make the game of golf easier and more enjoyable for all golfers. By allowing golfers to swing more easily and smoothly with a much lighter shaft, golfers will not only feel fewer aches and pains but that their scores will improve as well.

Oh, and did I mention that there are only 3 shafts that are supposed to fit all levels of swing speeds from 65 to 150mph?

“NO WAY”, you say? I told you so.

Autoflex SF305 shaft / 38 grams / approx. 170cpm / Ladies / SS 60~80mph
Autoflex SF405 shaft / 44 grams / approx. 180cpm / Men / SS 80~95mph
Autoflex SF505 shaft / 51 grams / approx. 210cpm / Pro / SS 95~120+mph

According to the specs provided, I was fit for the SF405 shaft. The SF stands for ‘Spec Free’ meaning that these shafts do not follow the conventional labeling system of R, S, X, and weight. The first few waggles and I was at a loss for words.

Dumina claimed that after three rounds with the Autoflex, I would be well adjusted and that results would be prominent. I began by hitting a few shots with the 43-gram shaft and immediately noticed that the shaft had something much more than meets the eye.

Once I got over the initial doubt that a whippy shaft would not be able to square up to the ball at impact and started to swing normally, the shots flew straight with a bump up in launch angle. The higher launch (from 9º up to 13º) gave me more carry distance over my previous gamer, but I thought it might be increasing my backspin. But a quick check with a launch monitor showed an average of 2,000-2,100 RPM, which was about the same as before.

But the most noticeable numbers were from the total distance, which was about 5~7 yards farther than my usual average. This was surprising because I felt I was swinging a little slower and smoother than before (it may be from the fear that the whippy shaft may cause a duck hook), but the average ball speed increased from 62~63mph to about 65.

I venture that because the shaft is more flexible, it causes the head speed to increase, kind of like cracking a whip of sorts. This somewhat fits into my current belief that a more flexible shaft hits the ball longer (at the expense of accuracy).

Pretty darn good numbers for me, but ZERO side spin means a straight as an arrow shot and 1.50 smash factor.

 

The numbers on the launch monitor were impressive for my standards and usual play. But it needed to be tested out on the course.

At the time of this article, I have played some 10 rounds with the new AutoFlex shaft on my Cobra F9 driver (10.5°, 45.25 inches at D2) and I couldn’t be happier with my results. My driving accuracy has significantly improved over the conventional shaft (HZRDUS Smoke 6S).

I’ve played in both fair and very windy conditions, and the results were the same. I was finding a lot more fairway than ever before. That pesky little draw at the end that rolls the ball into the left rough has all but disappeared.

To be frank, I didn’t see much change in the overall distance as well-struck shots from both my old gamer and new shaft tended to go about the same distance. However, it was the frequency of how often I was able to hit the sweet spot with the new shaft that made me feel much more confident in swinging the driver on the tightest of fairways.

I am still searching for the right words to explain it, but the driver feels whippy on the backswing and yet it feels like the entire length of the shaft firms up on the downswing and at impact. At times, I was certain that the shot completely missed the center of the face and a quick check confirmed that I struck the ball on the heel or toe, well outside the center. But the resulting ball flight is either a slight push or pull with a small distance loss of about 10 yards. Yet, no bananas or duck hooks that I’ve come to associate with such mishits and feedback to the hands. What sorcery is this?

But the most beneficial factor for me was that I was swinging the club much easier and with less energy exertion than I would have done with a heavier, stiffer shaft. I had a lower back disc surgery five years ago that prevents me from making a full turn and a limited finish. Playing with longer-hitting friends invariably leads me to try to swing harder at a faster tempo, usually leading to ballooning scores.

With AutoFlex, once I dialed into the new reality with an adjusted belief about whippier shafts, I was able to maintain both accuracy and distance for the whole round and not feel as tired. And I was better able to maintain my balance with a smoother swing and not have to worry about losing distance. Perhaps this is what let me hit the face center more often. Just like the namesake, it was as if the shaft was automatically trying to help fix my swing flaws to provide maximum forgiveness.

Whatever it is, I was sold.

I now have the same spec AutoFlex shaft in my 3-wood as well. If I had trouble getting my fairway woods up in the air previously, no one would suspect that of me now.

I would love to replace all of my shafts, irons and all if I could afford it, but unfortunately, the shafts are quite expensive. The company tells me that the “hidden technology” material and the manufacturing process is quite costly (nearly seven times over regular shaft manufacturing cost), and they are available in limited quantities at 950,000 KRW (about $775) each.

For me, the proof was in my new-found fearlessness with the driver and wood. I get a kick out of waggling my driver on the first tee to the shock of my playing partners and then bust a drive down the middle. Some still can’t come to grips with the shaft despite trying for themselves. And the makers of the shaft are keeping their lips sealed on what makes the shaft behave differently than the commonly held perceptions. In fact, Dumina has not applied for a patent at all, stating that once their secret is out, it will change the way we play golf and limit their business from copycats. So whatever KHT is about, it will remain undisclosed for the time being.

What do you think? Do you have any ideas on how the AutoFlex shaft works or what are its component materials? I would be interested in hearing from other gear heads out there!

 

 

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