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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2021 Ping putter series: No name, all performance
As William Shakespeare famously wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” and for Ping and its 2021 putter series, there is no fancy name for the new line, it’s all about performance—because they are Ping putters after all.
For the new 2021 putters, Ping engineers focused on creating optimal MOI and roll performance using multi-material designs and an all-new insert to create consistent ball speed around the face.
“We’ve engineered a lot of score-lowering technology into the 2021 putter line through extensive research and tour player feedback. All of the models are developed with higher MOI through strategic use of various materials, including tungsten, steel and aluminum, to provide the forgiveness and accuracy golfers expect from a Ping putter. The dual-durometer insert features uniform, shallow grooves to give golfers a soft, responsive feel for more consistent distance control with the precise touch they need to hole more putts.” – John K. Solheim, Ping President.
The putter lineup features classic and new putter designs which were developed through Ping’s tour-focused Putting Lab Design aka. the PLD program and made popular by Ping professionals including Viktor Hovland’s DS 72, and Cameron Champ’s Tyne 4.
Every model in the line is built using aerospace-grade materials to maximize the level of forgiveness and offer a superior quality feel and performance. The Anser, Anser 2, and Anser 4 combine a stainless-steel head with tungsten heel and toe weights to elevate the timeless designs to the highest MOI they have ever measured.
While in the Kushin 4, DS 72, and Tyne 4, a steel weight is used in the heel, and tungsten is used to the toe to optimize the center of gravity locations for each model.
The Fetch and Oslo H bring together a cast 304 stainless steel body with an aluminum sole plate to position mass around the perimeter of the heads to create highly forgiving mallet-style designs.
For the new CA 70 head, a stainless steel sole weight is used to lower the center of gravity of the putter which is mostly constructed of an aluminum body for more forgiveness
The behemoth of the new designs is Harwood which offers the highest MOI in the line thanks to its 6061 aluminum body and 93g worth of tungsten weights positioned in all four corners of the head.
Dual-Durometer Insert for Soft, Solid Feel
The 2021 Ping putters offer golfers a soft yet responsive face thanks to the use of PEBAX – an innovative dual-durometer material, which is also fitted with shallow grooves. The front portion of the insert is made softer for shorter putts, while the back layer is firmer and becomes engaged at higher speeds to help improve distance control on longer-range putts.
Just like with golf ball technology, multiple layers help with creating optimal dynamics at different speeds and Ping is using that same time of philosophy to improve putter insert design.
Price, specs, and availability
The new 2021 Ping putter line will be available in 11 different models including one in an armlock configuration and come in both right and left-handed. The models include
- Anser 2
- Anser 4
- Kushin 4
- DS 72
- CA 70
- Tyne 4
- Oslo H
- Tyne C
- Harwood / Harwood Armlock
The putter are each fitted with one of three original Ping designed grips intended to maximize the putter performance based on stroke fit.
The PP58 – A mid (87g) standard-sized pistol shape made of rubber and designed to help square the face at impact is the standard grip on the Anser, Anser 4, Kushin 4, CA 70, DS 72, Tyne 4, and Tyne C.
The PP60 – Another (86g) midsize option, pistol design with a rubber under-listing with larger flat surfaces for increased face awareness. A new rubber outer layer features a unique texture to enhance a golfer’s sense of touch. It comes standard on the Anser 2, Fetch, Oslo H and Harwood.
The PP58-S – An optional pistol-shaped midsized grip featuring a straight taper and predominantly flat surface to aid in clubface awareness.
All of the 2021 Ping Putters are priced at $270 usd except for the Harwood and Harwood armlock, which are priced at $380.
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/13/21): TaylorMade M5 driver head
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a TaylorMade M5 driver head. It’s in nice shape—you just need to supply the shaft.
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Drivers heads – TaylorMade M5 and TSi
What GolfWRXers are saying about Japanese brand Shimada iron shafts
In our forums, our members have been sharing their thoughts on irons shafts from Japanese company Shimada. WRXer ‘Erchuccc’ is interested in the iron shafts and would like a comparison to his Modus 105’s, and our members have been having their say in our forum.
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.
- BD14: “I’m currently gaming them on my CB301. I can’t compare them to the modus, but I get higher launch with them than my KBS Tour 90. Also, I normally play regular flex shafts (low swing speed), but I’m stiff in the Shimada Nine9. I find them very consistent for me.”
- kcsf: “I’d had Shimada tour lites in the past and found them to be very smooth and consistent. I know that’s a different model than you’re asking, but I think you’ll really find them to be fantastic shafts.”
- Vanbilxmchi: “I like Shimada NINE9; they feel very smooth; I think they are very similar to Oban CT. However, when I assembly them to my irons, it seems they have a bit smaller diameter to fit into 355 hosels. I have to use shim.”
- chicolax2: “Great shaft company. I play different shafts, the tours, however, I highly recommend the quality of the shafts from Shimada.”
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