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Best irons in golf of 2021: Easiest to launch

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron 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 clear—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 when 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 a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we 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.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

best irons 2021 pure enjoyment

2021 Best irons: Easy to launch

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—especially those at lower speeds, 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.

Ping G710

best irons 2021

Their story: The key element of the Ping G710 irons is in the materials used to build them. Thanks to maraging steel’s high strength and durability attributes, engineers can push the face thinner, which in turn creates more discretionary mass to move around the head to raise MOI and increase forgiveness. Beyond that, each face of the G710 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.

Just like with other hollow irons from Ping, the body of the iron is maximized 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.

From the fitters

  • The G710 irons offer supreme forgiveness and a low center of gravity. They just want to get up in the air, which is great for those golfers who struggle to stop shots coming into greens.
  • These irons are really forgiving and pack a ton of ball speed. With as well as they perform, I still feel they fly under the radar for their ability to throw the ball up in the air.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Callaway Big Bertha B21

best irons 2021

Their story: The Callaway Big Bertha B21 irons appeal to higher-handicappers and players who tend to slice the ball. The irons contain a large amount of offset, wide soles and a thick topline, and feature a Visible Tungsten Energy Core (VTEC) for the very first time which deepens the CG in design to make these irons extremely easy to launch.

The irons also feature a unique Flash Face architecture in each iron in a bid to provide high balls speeds and increased spin robustness throughout the bag on each loft. Complimenting the Flash Face Cup is a 360 Face Cup that flexes and releases at impact to help increase ball speed further.

From the fitters

  • Probably the most forgiving iron out in the market for golfers who need to both get the ball up in the air but also to help stop the dreaded fade. The matching hybrids are the perfect complement to build a high launching combo set.
  • This iron is hot and forgiving and just launches to the moon for slower players

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

best irons 2021

Their story: The Launcher HB Turbo irons feature a redesigned HiBore Crown, which pushes the center of gravity low and deep within the sole – a placement that is designed to allow golfers to launch their ball higher. The clubs also contain progressive shaping throughout, as the designers at Cleveland sought to provide players with a smooth transition by offering maximum forgiveness on long irons to optimal control on short irons.

From the fitters

  • The Launcher HB Turbo irons are a straightforward high-flying set built to maximize launch. The wide sole also helps glide the iron through the turf.
  • They are super easy to hit, super high launch, and pack a lot of distance. The only drawback is the full hybrid look can be a bit too much for some players, but most change their tune very quickly after seeing the results they produce.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

XXIO Eleven Series

best irons 2021

Their story: Thanks to their low profile geometry along with a forged titanium faceplate, tungsten sole weight, and intricate composite construction the XXIO Eleven Irons are easy to hit and very easy to get up in the air.

It’s also not just about the materials, but also how they use them. The thin titanium face is designed to create maximum flex resulting in additional ball speed and two slots cut behind that face, form a double undercut cavity to help get shots hit lower on the face up in the air faster to promote extra carry.

From the fitters:

  • The Eleven series is a great lightweight game improvement iron that helps slow-speed players. It works exactly as advertised to boost launch and feels unbelievable.
  • Every golfer that I have fit into these has raved about how great this iron set has been—total game changes.
  • Incredible height and ball speed. XXIO really has designed an iron that delivers the whole package by having the head and shaft pair so well.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

XXIO Prime Series

best irons 2021

Their story: XXIO and its whole Prime line of clubs are one of the leaders in the world of lightweight golf equipment. With the 2021 Prime line, XXIO continues to offer some of the fastest and most forgiving clubs on the market for golfers in the moderate-to-slow speed category looking for speed and height.

The key to the XXIO Prime irons is strategic weighting and mass saving at every possible step without sacrificing forgiveness. The faces of the Prime irons are made of the same Super-Tix Plus titanium, as the fairways and hybrids – how’s that for speed!

From the fitters:

  • Premium materials, top-end technology, and designed with the singular goal of making the game easier for players who have lost distance and need height. 
  • It’s always fun to hand this iron to a golfer who you know it is going to benefit and see their face light up when they see a trajectory that they didn’t think was even possible.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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Equipment

A look at Bryson DeChambeau’s prototype line drive driver

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Editor’s note: We filed this story for PGATour.com’s equipment report.

Dechambeau’s much ballyhooed bid to compete against the professional long drivers — and just a few days after the conclusion of the Ryder Cup — has captivated the gold world. Even casual fans of the Golfing Scientist have to admit they’re curious to see how the TOUR’s longest hitter stacks up against the guys who blast bombs for a living.

Of course, at the Equipment Report, our interest is a tad more specific. Namely, how would Bryson switch up his driver setup to hit the golf ball as far as he possibly can — with only a modest concern for accuracy.

According to Cobra’s Ben Schomin, DeChambeau is using a prototype Cobra RadSpeed driver with 5 degrees of loft for this week’s competition (he used a 2015 Cobra King LTD Pro driver for most of the 2021 season). We assume that, since the club is outfitted with a MyFly loft sleeve, the club is turned down a half-degree from the 5.5 degrees it is labeled as having. DeChambeau could dial the loft down even further — to as low as 4 degrees with the MyFly adjustability.

“We chose to remove adjustable weights to lighten overall head weight and give us more discretionary internal weight movement,” Schomin told PGATOUR.COM.

According to Schomin, along with the 190-gram head, Bryson is using a 48-inch version of the LA Golf Axis Blue 60 X shaft he plays on the PGA TOUR.

Two interesting items here about the clubhead: the weight ports and hot melt.

In a bid to maximize ball speed while still offering a measure of forgiveness, the retail Cobra RadSpeed driver has a 12-gram weight near the face and a two-gram weight near the rear of the club. Cobra’s RadSpeed driver uses radial weighting, by which engineers were able to maximize the distance between the front and back weights for greater stability. Built on a T-Bar Speed Chassis, RadSpeed drivers also feature a thin-ply carbon wrap crown for additional weight savings.

Read the full story here.

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Adams Golf unveils new Tight Lies fairways and hybrids

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Adams Golf has today introduced the reimagination of Tight Lies fairways and hybrids with a modern take on an Adams classic.

First launched in 1995, the OG Tight Lies featured a trapezoidal sole – labeled Tri-Sole – for versatility. Today Adams Golf is building upon that history with its new Tight Lies fairways and hybrids, which not only feature the classic Tri-Sole but also revamped technology in design to make it easy to hit high, consistent and long shots from any lie.

Speaking on the new additions, John Gonsalves, Vice President Direct-To-Consumer, said

“Adams Golf has a lot of history in the game and we are excited to re-introduce the Tight Lies fairways and hybrids into the market.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen elevated interest for a recognized brand like Adams that provides great value for golfers looking to reconnect with Tight Lies technology, as well as new golfers coming into the sport.”

In addition to the classic Tri-Sole, the new fairways and hybrids from Adams Golf feature an extended face with a new face design that extends the top of the face in a bid to make it easier to hit off the tee while retaining the low-profile head design for optimal performance from the fairway.

Located on the sole of the club directly behind the face is a ‘Velocity Slot’. This open slot is designed to increase face flexibility, ball speeds and improve launch on off-center strikes.

While the clubheads also appear larger from address, the fairways and hybrids feature a low-profile design with a shallow face for a lower center of gravity to provide excellent launch characteristics.

Individual Tight Lies fairways are priced at an MSRP of $179.99 (USD) and are available now at www.adamsgolf.com.

Tight Lies hybrids are priced at an MSRP of $149.99. Both individual hybrids and Tight Lies bundles will be available on October 1, with the bundles ranging from $289.98 to $579.96.

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Equipment

Using a 46, 52, 58, 64 wedge setup – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing wedge setup strategy. WRXer ‘HyperGolf’ has been experimenting with a 46, 52, 58, 64 degree wedge setup that has been working very well recently, and kicks off the thread, saying:

“I started experimenting with this wedge setup and found that it is working quite well for me. I only use 58 and 64 for partial swing or out of the bunker.

I initially thought 6 degrees would be too much gapping in the wedges but found they covered a wider range of distance, both long and short, compared to my older setup of 46, 50, 54, 58.

Just curious if anyone else is using the 46, 52, 58, 64 or similar wider gapping in wedges and having good performance around the green.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts on the strategy 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.

  • JMB3: “I have in the past and liked it a lot. I tend to prefer 6* gaps because they generally provide a 15-yard gap for me, and I can manipulate ball position or backswing to hit the in-between numbers.”
  • rkillian: “I’ve thought about looking for a 64 to add to the bag for fun (and probably to my detriment) since I have room. I thought it might be at least interesting to practice with even if it doesn’t get much use.”
  • benclab: “I’ve tried it before. Worthless for me. I can do everything with a 58 that I can with a 64.”
  • llewol007: “I do. Biggest reason for me falls on the courses that I play often having really small greens. I need more options wedges rather than opening up wedges which for me doesn’t work with the high bounces.”

Entire Thread: “Using a 46, 52, 58, 64 wedge setup – GolfWRXers discuss”

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