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.
RBC Heritage Tour Truck Report: Kevin Kisner takes the armlock plunge?
The tour trucks roll into the Lowcountry and Hilton Head Island this week for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. With plenty of players who teed it up last week at Augusta National in the field, it’s a combination of finally heading to the doctor’s office for ailments that surfaced prior to the season’s first major and the freedom to experiment before the intensity ratchets up again leading into the PGA Championship at the end of May.
And for those who didn’t tee it up at Augusta, well, this week represents the opportunity to double down and get after it.
Driver and putter changes abound this week, as well as some shaft switches and fresh grooves.
Tune in to this week’s Tour Truck Report.
Chesson Hadley switched into a 15-degree TSi3 (A1 SureFit setting) as he works on a push-draw ball flight.
Denny McCarthy is testing U500 and T100 4-iron in a bid for more control on hold shots and tight fades.
Not a Titleist staffer, Chris Kirk is testing an 8-degree TSi2 with a Kai’li Blue Prototype 60 TX shaft.
Some of Vokey Wedge Rep Aaron Dill’s handiwork below.
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Jason Dufner tested a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X shaft before ultimately settling on a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow 60 TX for his RadSpeed driver.
We spotted Kevin Kisner testing the armlock putting style with multiple heads. Per Callaway, Kisner ultimately settled on a Stroke Lab Black Seven putter with a White Hot insert and a SuperStroke Flatso 17 grip (positioned sideways). We’ll see if it goes into play Thursday.
Emiliano Grillo is testing an Epic Speed DS (9 degrees @8.3, neutral) with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X shaft (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch).
Dylan Frittelli moved into an Epic Max LS driver.
Apparently, the Top Gun Proto Apex MB didn’t take Mav McNealy’s breath away as he looks to have returned to his Nike VR Blades for the RBC Heritage this week.
Danny Willett is reportedly testing Mitsubishi Diamana Kai’li White in his fairway woods.
Matt Wallace tested a number of Toulon putters and an Odyssey 2-Ball Ten.
William McGirt tested a Graphite Design Tour AD DI in his 5-wood.
Tommy Fleetwood was testing a Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Pro White shaft as well as multiple putters. He’s in a 9-degree SIM2 driver and 15-degree SIM2 3-wood.
Doc Redman is gaming the TP5 2021 ball.
Harry Higgs put the 2021 TP5X in play as well as an MG2 wedge (60 degrees).
Bobby Mac, Robert MacIntyre, has a SIM UDI 2-iron in play.
Non-staffer Daniel Berger is in a SIM driver (9 degrees).
Zach Johnson has a new Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6 X shaft in his driver.
Hudson Swafford was spotted testing what we’re calling PXG Gen4 ST irons.
Matt Kuchar continues testing the reverse armlock putting style.
Brandt Snedeker was spotted with Miura CB-301 irons.
Hideki Matsuyama changed putters prior to Masters win
We filed this piece for the PGA Tour’s Equipment report. Read the full piece here.
As Hideki Matsuyama brushed in his winning putt at Augusta National on Sunday evening, the setting Georgia sun glistened off his 2012 Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Tour Prototype as he carried the wand with him off the famed Georgia course’s 18th green.
While most viewers who have seen the Masters champion in action over the past two years likely assumed from the finish and shaping it was the same flatstick Matsuyama has been stroking putts with all season, Japan’s first men’s major winner actually only put this particular putter in play at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play two weeks ago.
Matsuyama consulted with Scotty Cameron TOUR rep Drew Page and had a Lamkin Deep-Etched Cord Full Cord installed as well as a stepped putter shaft.
And while Hideki’s exact specs are under lock and key, Page and company dialed in the same loft, lie, and head weight as the Newport 2 GSS Timeless Matsuyama has played since the 2020 BMW Championship.
GolfWRX Spotted: PXG Gen 4 ST Super Tour iron?
It was only a few months ago that PXG unveiled its Gen4 line of irons, but there was one set missing from the line relative to the previous generation—a new “ST” or Super Tour milled blade.
The ST is a unique club in the PXG line since it doesn’t offer a hollow structure, and the only new blade currently is the 0211 ST which doesn’t offer the adjustable weighting in the back and also comes at a much lower price point.
Based on the centrally positioned weight and the thin body of the irons we spotted in Wyndham Clark’s bag at the RBC Heritage this week on the PGA Tour, it looks like some Gen4 0311 ST irons could be on their way to retail soon.
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