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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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What is the benefit of using a wedge instead of PW or GW from the iron set? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the pros and cons of using a pitching or gap wedge from an iron set. WRXer ‘jpark0221’ kicks off the thread, asking:

“What is the benefit of doing this instead of using PW from the iron set, which is essentially 10i? I see a lot of pros using wedges from different brands (e.g. Vokey) instead of PW from the same set.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts 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.

  • North Butte: “The only way you’ll know is try a different (specialty) wedge instead of the one marked P and see how it works. Give it a couple of dozen rounds, you can’t really tell whether a wedge has an advantage until you get used to playing various shots with it. My point being…they play those wedges because it’s what works best for their game. And you ought to play what works best for your game too. Your best choice won’t necessarily be the same type of club as someone else’s.”
  • Jc0: “If you look a little closer, you’ll notice that most pros who have a specialty 46/48 wedge usually play cavity backs. The speciality wedge is more blade-like to allow a little more control and the ability to play shots a little easier than the PW that matches their set would provide. If a pro plays blades, they usually have the same blade for PW.”
  • PureStrikes54: “Flighting shots lower, getting additional spin for stopping power and to hit it shorter, and minimizing the chance of hitting flier moon balls you can sometimes get with even players cavity irons. At that level, very few players want to be hitting their pitching wedge more than 150 yards. The wedge is a scoring club and is almost always being used to hit knockdowns to tweener yardages.”

Entire Thread: “What is the benefit of using a wedge instead of PW or GW from the iron set?

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (12/7/22): Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons

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At GolfWRX, 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 – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons

From the seller (@bdawg983): “Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons 4-PW. They have Project X 5.5 flex steel shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet Midsize grips. Project X shaft bands have been removed. 4 and 5 are standard length, 38.5 and 38. They have P stamped on the hosel. 6-PW are .5 inch short (37, 36.5, 36, 35.5, 35). Played the last few seasons. They have A stamped on the hosel. A few dings and groove wear from regular play, but no browning. $300.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Nike VR Pro Combo CB irons

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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TaylorMade unveils all-new P770, P7MC, and P7MB irons

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TaylorMade Golf has today announced the latest evolution of its acclaimed P700 Series with the all-new P770, P7MC, and P7MB irons.

TaylorMade P770 Irons

The all-new P770 irons feature a thinner top line, less offset in long irons, and a shorter blade length when compared to the P790. With its hollow body construction and forged L-Face, the 2022 P770 is designed to provide elevated distance, forgiveness, and excellent feel in a smaller sized head.

The P770 features FLTD CG, a strategic design that positions the center of gravity (CG) lowest in long irons and progressively shifts it higher throughout the set to the shorter, weaker lofted irons. The tungsten weighting scheme in the long and middle irons has been redesigned, shifting more weight to the longer irons’ low tungsten mass and a reduction in the middle irons’ tungsten, resulting in an ascending CG through the set.

The aim behind the FLTD CG strategic design is to create easier launch and playability in the long irons while optimizing trajectory and spin in the scoring clubs. 

The P770 irons feature SpeedFoam Air, a technology introduced in 2021 with the launch of the P790. SpeedFoam Air dampens sound and strategically supports the face with a material 69 percent less dense than SpeedFoam, which was seen in the prior generation of the P770.

In addition to the added speed made possible by the thinnest P770 face TaylorMade has produced, the Thru-SlotSpeed Pocket and Inverted Cone Technology aim to help unlock increased ball speed across the face and forgiveness low in the face, where mishits happen most commonly.

“P700 Series irons need to be technical, elegant and timeless and the new P·770 design has all of that in spades. We wanted to take as much performance and hide it on the inside of the iron to where you look at it and it looks like a clean and classic iron with the pearl satin chrome finish and hint of mirror on the toe. On the inside, the technology we have poured in to this iron creates a product that we believe is truly one of one in this space.” – Matt Bovee, Director, Irons Product Creation

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Specs: P770 is offered in 3-PW/AW and comes equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S 120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
  • Availability: Pre-order on December 6 at TaylorMadeGolf.com and at retail beginning January 20, 2023
  • Pricing: $1299 USD (steel) and $1499 USD (graphite)

TaylorMade P7MC Irons

The tour-inspired P7MC iron features minimal offset and perimeter weighting.

A narrow sole and tight leading edge aims to ensure consistency through the turf, while TaylorMade’s Compact Grain Forging process uses 2,000 tons of pressure, more than double the industry standard, with the additional force giving TaylorMade engineers precision control at a micro level, producing a tighter grain structure for the best possible feel and strength properties.

Compact Grain Forging seeks to deliver a refined composition inside and out, with the sophisticated craftsmanship coming to life with a satin finish and forged “Metal-T” within the cavity back.

Per TaylorMade, precision in P7MC is paramount, which is why the face of this iron is continued to be machined. Machining the face aims to ensure precision and quality with TaylorMade’s most aggressive score line geometry for exacting shot making.

“There’s no better feeling than a solidly hit forged iron. For pure ball strikers, the consistency of P7MC rivals anything in the marketplace today and has been a favorite among skilled golfers. For players who choose to combo, our cohesive design language allows you to seamlessly pair it with either P770 or P7MB. No two golfers play the game exactly alike, and one of the things I love about our P·700 Series family is the ability for golfers to personalize a set to match their needs and maintain aesthetic unity.” – Matt Bovee, TaylorMade Golf, Irons Product Creation

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Specs: P7MC is offered in 3-PW and come equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S 120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
  • Availability: Pre-order on December 6 at TaylorMade Golf.com and at retail beginning January 20, 2023
  • Pricing: $1299 USD (steel) and $1499 USD (graphite) as seven-piece sets

TaylorMade P7MB Irons

As a result of detailed feedback from testing with Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa, the P7MB features a shorter blade length, brand new sole geometry, and progressive offset to create a minimalist profile that’s designed to control shot shape and trajectory.

The sole of P7MB is one millimeter narrower than the previous generation, meaning TaylorMade engineers had to add slightly more bounce to the leading edge which creates a completely different sensation through the turf. Total effective bounce is a combination of sole width and bounce angle, which engineers were able to perfect by increasing the bounce angle to keep the sole from getting caught in the turf.

The shorter blade length of P7MB allowed TaylorMade engineers to create an updated backbar using symmetrical geometry. This allows for more mass to be positioned directly behind the face to support the point of impact and elevate feel.

In addition, the P7MB also features the Compact Grain Forging and machined face and grooves that are also seen in the P7MC irons.

“The narrower sole width of P7MB is a direct result of testing and feedback from Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and our TaylorMade Tour pros. Rory and Collin worked with us to identify the right sole geometry and bounce to match what they were looking for and we perfected that with P7MB. Having two of the best players in the world being a driving force behind the design of this iron have us extremely excited to bring it to the marketplace.” – Matt Bovee, Director, Irons Product Creation

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Specs: P7MB is offered in 3-PW and come equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S 120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
  • Availability: Pre-order on December 6 at TaylorMade Golf.com and at retail beginning January 20, 2023
  • Pricing: $1299 USD (steel) and $1499 USD (graphite) as seven-piece sets
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