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Best irons in golf of 2021: Most technology packed

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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_Most Technology Packed

2021 best irons: Technology packed

This is the “give me everything you got” list. These irons are the cream of the crop for offering technology to improve feel, distance, and ball speed. The great thing about the technology category is it’s not reserved for higher handicap golfers—it’s for anyone looking to get everything they can out of their game in an iron that also suits their eye.

Callaway Apex 21

Their story: The new 2021 Callaway Apex Forged irons were created with one goal in mind: optimization, not only through the set but into each specific iron. For the first time, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving.

In this newest iteration of the Apex iron, the focus was on control and “spin robustness,” which is another way to say spin optimization. Callaway was able to not only increase ball speeds and forgiveness across the face but with a new weighting configuration, also able to control and optimize spin. Each iron face is tuned to complement the loft (i.e. long irons = high launch/low spin, mid irons = mid launch/mid spin, short irons = lower launch/higher spin).

From the fitters

  • The Callaway Apex irons have been a staple in fittings since they were originally released, and golfers of all abilities can get a lot out of these irons.
  • For the 2021 version, Callaway really stepped their game up by improving the appearance, feel, and overall performance of this iron and truly packed it with technology. For its shape and size, it’s pretty amazing what they have done with this club—and the results show up in our fittings.
  • Not only is the Apex great, but it’s also a great foundation to build a set with other irons in the line including the DCB and the Apex Pro. If you are looking at the Apex, make sure to at least consider building a combo set.

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

Cobra King RadSpeed

Their story: The Cobra RadSpeed irons are packed with technology. They use a 3D-printed medallion comprised of nylon to increase strength while also reducing weight in the middle of the head to improve forgiveness, and just like the RadSpeed driver, the irons derive their name from newly positioned weights around the radius of the iron head designed to increase stability. By placing weight on the extreme perimeter of the head (away from the center of gravity), Cobra can both lower the CG and make the club slightly more compact while not sacrificing forgiveness.

The 7-4 iron faces also have what Cobra calls PWRShell technology, which used forged high-strength 17-4 stainless steel to increase compliance—a fancy physics term for an object’s ability to flex, which in turn increases the ball speed retention around the face to create a larger area of maximum energy transfer.

From the fitters

  • The RadSpeed is beyond easy to launch and very forgiving. I don’t think Cobra gets enough credit for how much technology they pack into their game improvement irons, and the innovations they bring to the marketplace.
  • This has been our top game improvement iron this year. It’s the highest launching and longest distance iron we have tested, and beyond that, it feels really good too.
  • I hate to make bad puns but the RadsSeed truly is “the king” right now when it comes to everything it offers to create performance for golfers.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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

Callaway Apex DCB

Their story: The 2021 Apex DCB is Callaway’s most forgiving forging ever. It is specifically designed for the golfers who want the full Apex Forged experience but with a bit more forgiveness.

Just like its smaller cousin the Apex, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications, created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving. The iron offers more offset, a thicker topline, a wider sole, and a longer blade length—all with the goal of creating higher launch and top-end forgiveness.

From the fitters

  • This iron is a little rocket ship. The ball flies high, goes long, and comes off with a lot of speed—even when mis-hit.
  • You are going to have a hard time beating this iron when it comes to forgiveness. Good hits are fantastic, and misses are still great with this iron.
  • The sound is solid and the feel is pleasing. It has a much thinner look with a classic shape than I think many people expect from an iron built to maximize forgiveness. Callaway has a winner here.

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

Srixon ZX5

Their story:  The Srixon ZX5 iron uses what the company calls Mainframe face to optimize each club through the set based on tested strike patterns and was refined using machine learning. The face is composed of varying thickness patterns, which are all individually milled into the rear to expand the COR. The irons combine this Mainframe face made of strong and elastic SUP10 steel to the iron’s forged 1020 body to provide feel and elasticity, resulting in ball speed in an iron that appeals to a large group of golfers.

The ZX5 irons offer an extremely clean look from address, and the topline profile matches closely to the popular ZX7—square and sharp! Not only that but the blade lengths and sole widths have all been finely tuned so golfers who plan to build combo sets will see a smooth transition from one iron to the next—even into the utility.

From the fitters

  • The ZX5 is very playable and extremely good-looking. The cambered VT sole results in lovely turf interaction no matter the attack angle of the player—it’s a bit of a Swiss Army knife.
  • This iron fits a wide range of handicaps even though it looks a bit more like a players club. This iron is a chameleon because it has the look of a smaller compact club yet offers the forgiveness associated with a larger one (chef’s kiss).
  • We have been blown away by the ZX5. For the size, it sounds and looks great and has top-end ball speeds. It is our top-fitted forged cavity back iron across the board.

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

TaylorMade P770

Their story: The TaylorMade P770 irons bring together the distance of the extremely popular P790 with the precision of a midsized player cavity to offer distance and control to an iron unlike TaylorMade has ever produced.

The iron has a SpeedFoam-supported forged 4140 high-speed steel face attached to a soft forged 8620 carbon steel body, and a Thru Slot to help the mishits lower on the face retain ball speed in the 3-7 irons. Those same irons (3-7) have 46 grams of tungsten positioned as low and as far back as possible towards the toe to boost MOI and launch in the longer clubs while precisely locating the center of gravity.

From the fitters

  • Without a doubt, this is one of our top-selling irons. The P770 has been a go-to for a variety of golfers thanks to its easy-to-launch performance along with the distance it produces. 
  • Simply calling this iron a smaller P790 doesn’t do it justice. It has a really clean look on its own but also allows players to easily add extra forgiveness and speed to their long irons if they are combo-ing with another iron like the P7MC.

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

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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Whats in the Bag

Brooks Koepka’s winning WITB: The Match

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Driver: Srixon ZX5 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70 TX (44.5 inches, tipped 1 inch)

3-wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour HL (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX

Irons: Nike Vapor Pro (3), Srixon ZX7 (4-PW)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 95 X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW, 38 1/4 cut on 4i)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore – Tour Rack Raw (52 Mid, 56 Mid, 60 Low)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (Standard length/lie)

Putter: Scotty Cameron T22 Newport 2 Prototype

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (Midsize) round

Ball: Srixon Z Star Prototype

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Whats in the Bag

Bryson DeChambeau WITB 2021: The Match

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Driver: Cobra Proto (9 degrees)
Shaft: LA Golf BD Prototype 60 X (45 inches)

Driver 2: Cobra RAD Speed (5.5 degrees)
Shaft: LA Golf BD Prototype 60 X (48 inches)

3-wood: Cobra SpeedZone Tour (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: LA Golf BAD Prototype 70 TX

Irons: Cobra King One Length Utility (4), Cobra One Length MiM Tour (6-PW)
Shafts: LA Golf Rebar Proto (37.5 inches)

Wedges: Artisan Prototype (47, 52, 58)
Shafts: LA Golf Rebar Proto shaft

Putter: SIK Pro C-Series Armlock
Shaft: LA Golf C2L-180
Grip: JumboMax JMX Jumboflat 17

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X (2022 prototype)

Grips: JumboMax JMX Ultralite

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Equipment

2021 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Golf gifts for the Clothes Horse

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to improve,” “the clothes horse,” and “the big spender.”

You know the golfer looking to get better by his/her closet full of every infomercial training aid and a pursuit of forgiveness that would put the most penitent sinner to shame.

Here are our best recommendations for “the clothes horse” in your life.

Jordan ADG 3 – $140

Taking the iconic style of the Jordan 4 and incorporating that with the performance levels of a golf shoe, Nike has created the Jordan ADG 3. A sneakerhead’s dream for golfers, the shoe comes in three different color schemes and features Zoom Air as well as the classic Jordan wing-shaped upper eyelets that are designed to cushion and support your feet on and off the course.

Buy here.

G-T PrimeGreen Cold.Rdy Hoodie – $90

Hoodies are the in-thing at the moment on the golf course, and considering Spring/Summer isn’t exactly just around the corner, now is the time to join the movement! The Cold.Rdy hoodie from Adidas features a built-in stretch for a full range of motion on the course, as well as ribbed details to give an extra-comfortable feel. Keep warm in cool conditions with Cold.Rdy by utilizing the drawcord on the hood for total protection on the course.

Buy here.

FootJoy Premiere Series Tarlow – $190

No golf collection is truly complete without a set of FootJoy’s, and the company’s Premiere Series Tarlow provide a premium, hand-selected, soft full-grain leather with luxurious calfskin details. The shoes also feature soft, supple sheepskin linings and lightweight performance materials, and with the brand’s new VersaTrax+ technology, aim to deliver unparalleled traction and stability in every playing condition and surface.

Buy here.

G/Fore Back 9 Bully Trucker Hat – $45

Show off your back 9 credentials with this ‘Back 9 Bully’ trucker hat from G/Fore that features a breathable mesh and tech interlock, as well as an athletic sweatband and an adjustable snapback closure.

Buy here.

Muni-Kids’ I’m Under Part T-Shirt – $30

Show off the ultimate golf flex in this comfortable t-shirt from Muni-Kids, a Portland-based streetwear label inspired by municipal golf culture. The shirt comes in a white color scheme and features a comfortable dual blend of 60% combed and ring-spun cotton and 40% polyester.

Buy here.

LinkSoul Anza Flora Print Polo – $89

LinkSoul’s Anza Flora print polo is available in two color schemes – ink heather and chai heather – and features a blend of cotton, poly and lycra in design to provide golfers with the perfect amount of comfort and fit.

Buy here.

 

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