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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

Adidas unveils new ‘Go-To’ collection

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Adidas Golf has today launched its new Go-To apparel line, which is headlined by the brand’s Go-To polo.

Per Adidas, the new Go-To line is designed to be worn on the go, who created the new polo by utilizing materials and colors that give it a “wear-anywhere mentality” while still performing the way a golfer would expect.

“This polo, and the Go-To Collection as a whole, is a huge positive step forward for golf fashion. It’s very rewarding to be able to introduce versatile options that provide both style and function that golfers want and need, while also giving them a sense of satisfaction every time they put these pieces on before heading out to the first tee – or wherever the day takes them – that they are doing something good for the world and our environment.” – Shaun Madigan, global director of apparel, Adidas Golf.

The men’s Go-To polo features a raglan cut in the back for a sportier design that also helps increase mobility and range of motion. Adidas also included a flexible collar construction so that golfers can easily pull the shirt over one’s head when fully buttoned – like a t-shirt – without it losing its shape.

The women’s Go-To Polo comes in both a short-sleeve and sleeveless option and is highlighted by an open placket construction for easy wear and side slits for additional versatility.

All of the Go-To Polos offer UV 50+ sun protection and are PrimeGreen – which means they are made with 89 percent recycled content to help End Plastic Waste and continues Adidas’ progress towards the goal of using 100 percent recycled polyester in all their products by 2024.

Adidas Go-To Collection

Go-To Polo (men’s): $75

Comes in six colorways (hazy sky, green oxide, crew navy, wild pink, clear brown, wild sepia)

Go-To Pique Polo (men’s): $75

Comes in two colorways (crew navy/white & white/screaming pink)

Go-To 5-Pocket Pant: $90

Comes in six colorways (clear brown, grey three, black, green oxide, crew navy, wild sepia)

Go-To 5-Pocket Short: $80

Comes in six colorways (clear brown, grey three, black, green oxide, crew navy, wild sepia)

Go-To Polo (women’s): $65

Comes in three colorways (black, crew navy, white)

Go-To Sleeveless Polo: $60

Comes in three colorways (black, crew navy, white)

Go-To 16” Skort: $75

Comes in two colorways (crew navy & white)

Go-To 5” Short: $65

Comes in one colorway (crew navy)

Go-To Commuter Pant: $80

Comes in one colorway (crew navy)

All products in the Go-To Collection are available now on adidas.com, the Adidas app and at select retailers worldwide.

 

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Korda Sisters, Danielle Kang and Justin Rose all switch to new Titleist TSi drivers

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Nelly Korda made it back-to-back wins to open the year for the Korda sisters in a week where new Titleist drivers featured prominently.

The younger Korda sister reigned supreme at the Gainbridge LPGA and did so after putting Titleist’s TSi1 (10 degrees) driver in play, as well as the company’s new Pro V1 ball.

Nelly’s older sister, Jessica, as well as the World Number 5 Danielle Kang also switched into Titleist drivers, with Jessica Korda playing the low-spin Titleist TSi4 driver, having won the opening event of the year with the TS4. While Kang, who has been a long time user of TaylorMade’s M4, opted for the TSi3.

At the WGC-Workday Championship, Justin Rose was also spotted with a new Titleist driver, playing the TSi3 with a Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 75TX shaft.

Check out Nelly’s bag in full here.

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Honma introduces new ‘Gain Speed’ drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons

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For 2021, Honma has unveiled its new line of ‘Gain Speed’ drivers, fairways, hybrids, and irons designed to help golfers gain speed.

For the GS line, Honma Takumi and their 60-year history of craftsmanship worked in partnership with the North American engineering team in designing the new Flip Slot and Keel Sole for the technology-packed clubs.

“In much the way the TR20 and TR21 lines we launched last year delivered exquisite design for unrivaled performance for mid to low handicappers, The GS line brings a rewarding combination of technology for golfers attracted to game-improvement clubs. Everything about the new GS line of drivers, fairways, hybrids, and irons shouts speed, consistency and confidence.” – Honma’s Vice President of Marketing Brad Holder.

GS Drivers

The new GS 460-cc drivers from Honma feature a raised Keel Sole towards the heel to promote draw-bias and a lower, deeper CG and high MOI in a bid to provide maximum forgiveness.

The 9-gram adjustable weight in the heel allows for individual customization for preferred ball flight, while the GS driver’s titanium construction, utilizing Ti811 for the body and a Ti 6-4 face, allowed engineers to sculpt thick and thin allowances throughout the club head for the optimal speed and stability.

The drivers contain Honma’s new Flip Slot technology, designed to increase face flexure and reduce spin for more speed and forgiveness. The precise location and shape of the forward Toe Slot creates a shot-straightening gear effect on off-center hits.

Additionally, regardless of where the ball strikes on the club face, the Radial Face seeks to dynamically flex all parts of the club face to harness more speed. The Radial Face design has rib patterns and variable thickness for a weight-efficient design. The ribs are designed to add strength to the top and bottom of the face to ensure hits obtain advanced flex and speed.

Per the company, the flexure of the ultra-thin titanium crown, Radial Face and Flip Slot react at the same time, for the same amount of time, to deliver more consistent shot patterns. This aims to produce the most speed off the club as well as adding distance for a wide range of players. 

The GS driver includes an integrated heel-bias crown graphic applied to encourage golfers to return the club face to square at impact, while Honma’s non-rotating hosel is also featured in the GS driver. 

Specs & Pricing 

Lofts: 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5 degrees 

Price: $499

GS Fairways and Hybrids

Honma’s GS Fairway woods feature a traditional shape and size and are built with the brand’s Flip Slot technology to maximize face flexure and reduce spin for more speed and additional forgiveness.

The internal weight positioning toward the heel also aims to create dynamic closure for increased side spin and enhanced draw-bias that is beneficial for most golfers.

The new GS Hybrid also features Flip Slot technology and internal weight positioned low and towards the heel to provide increased side spin and slight draw-bias ideal for off-center hits. The hybrid includes a heel-bias crown graphic applied to visually encourage golfers to return the club face to square at impact. 

Specs & Pricing 

Lofts: Fairways – 3W (15), 4W (16.5), 5W (18), and 7W (21), Hybrids – U3 (19), U4 (21), and U5 (24)

Price: Fairway – $249, Hybrid – $219

GS Irons

The new GS Irons are Honma’s latest game improvement clubs, designed to inspire visual trust at address and technology that corrects mishits.

Honma’s GS irons feature a wide, deep cavity and sole to increase CG depth for enhanced MOI, while the L-Cup face construction in the 4-7 irons aims to maximize ball speed and reduce spin. A 360-degree heavy steel undercut in the 8-11 irons is designed to increase face flexure as well as expanding the size of the sweet spot.

Flip Slot technology is incorporated within the sole of the iron to produce higher ball speeds, particularly on shots struck off the toe. The L-Cup face and Flip Slot flex work ‘in phase’ for increased ball speed and longer distance, while the modern accents of red in the cavity in the men’s set and vibrant yellow in the ladies clubs aim to create distinctive appearances.

Specs & Pricing 

Mens: 4-iron to 11-iron plus SW

Women’s: 6-11 irons plus SW

Price: $200 graphite with Honma SpeedTuned shaft, $175 steel with NS Pro Neo.

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