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Best irons in golf of 2021: Best blades

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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

2021 Best irons: Blades

This is by far the most straightforward category because it is defined by a single style of club—the blade AKA the muscleback or MB for short. Although modern variations offer a lot more playability than they did decades ago, blades are still defined by their workability, compact shaping, and lower ball flight. If you are looking for the ultimate test or just prefer something in the more traditional vein, these are for you.

Srixon Z Forged

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: The Z-Forged irons from Srixon are forged from a single billet of soft 1020 carbon steel, and are designed to offer players an exceptional amount of feel throughout all shots. The irons also contain the patented Tour V.T Sole which is designed to provide more consistent ball striking while keeping the versatility to execute every type of shot.

From the fitters

  • I know this is will sound like an oxymoron based on the category, but thanks to the profile and sole design, the Z-Forged is quite a forgiving blade option.
  • This is my favorite blade iron because of the VT sole—it’s a game-changer for steeper players who take a divot but still performs great for those that don’t.
  • With blades all being very familiar, it often comes down to look and turf interaction, and the Z-forged arguably offers the best turf interaction of the group with the beveled leading edge.

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

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

Callaway Apex MB

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: The Callaway Apex MB is forged from 1025 carbon steel with a classic shape that is similar to other blade irons from Callaway’s past, but this time with a slightly narrower sole and less offset. Another improvement is the 20V grooves ensure optimal spin control in and out of the rough.

The centrally located weight screw in the back of the head allows Callaway builders to maintain the precise center of gravity locations when adding or removing weight from the irons—it’s not a new idea, but it’s one that is key to allowing the irons to be dialed into spec for each golfer.

From the fitters

  • With its compact profile and subtly square toe, the Apex MB is the best-looking blade on the market in my opinion. It’s also very easy to work the ball in any direction you want.
  • The central weight screw for adjusting swing weight has been great this year for quality control and to fine-tune during fittings. Although not everyone is sensitive to swing weight, this feature allows us, and secondly the builders, to get things just right.

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

Mizuno MP-20

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: Mizuno calls the MP-20 “the ultimate tour blade” thanks to its melding of modern manufacturing techniques with classic styling. The MP20s provide flow throughout the set from top to bottom leading to greater control over ball flight. This flow also increases forgiveness (please remember it’s still a blade) and launch in the longer irons, with an increased ability to flight the ball in the scoring clubs.

To help create the classic Mizuno feel, the irons are also complemented with a copper underlay beneath the final chrome plating.

From the fitters:

  • The MP-20 is the quintessential Mizuno blade while also being quite a bit easier to hit—a relative term I know.
  • Not only is the iron great on its own, but Mizuno has a fantastic fitting cart full of shaft options.

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

Titleist 620 MB

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: The 620 MB offers ideal turf interaction throughout the set thanks to more camber and a tweaked leading edge.  In addition to the sole tweaks, the blade length is progressive from the longest iron to the shortest and the transition is so smooth that unless you set clubs next to each other, it’s quite difficult to notice. The final design element is the face height progression which transitions from more shallow to tall in the pitching wedge to offer the greatest control over ball flight.

From the fitters:

  • As long as the player has the skill set to play a blade, the 620 MB is consistent and the misses are not too bad.
  • This is a “traditional blade” in every sense, and sticks with slightly more traditional lofts. The other great thing Titleist did with the lofts of the MB is match them exactly to the 620 CB so you can easily build combo sets—because even at this point Adam Scott isn’t using a blade 3-iron.

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

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

TaylorMade P7MB

Their story: Making something seem simple is often the most challenging. What makes the TaylorMade P7MB great is in the nuance and very fine details that the designers made upgrades to compared to the previous models. The P7MB keeps the same workability as the previous generation P730 but with some extra forgiveness built into the longer clubs by the way of a slightly longer blade length. The irons are also manufactured using a multi-step forging process which includes a 2,000-ton forging press to push the quality tolerance of every 1025 carbon steel forging to its peak.

From the fitters:

  • A lot of the players I have worked with have given great feedback on the look and feel of these irons. I also love that the whole P-Series irons can be easily custom-built as combo sets—P7MB’s mixed with a couple of P7MC longer irons is a real “gamer” set.   
  • This is without a doubt the nicest looking and best-performing blade TaylorMade has ever produced.

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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Equipment

Callaway launches Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver

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First in our sites on the PGA Tour at the RBC Heritage in April, Callaway announced today it is bringing its Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver to retail as the competition for the “not quite a driver, not quite a fairway wood” slot in golfers’ bags continues to heat up.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver: Tech story

At 340 cc’s and designed primarily as an alternate tee club (11.5 and 13.5-degree lofts), the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver features the same Ai Smart Face technology as the Ai Smoke family of drivers — for more on Micro Deflections and Swing Code, check out our driver launch piece. Additionally, with the mini driver Callaway engineers opted for a dual weighting system (four grams and 12 grams), which can be swapped to adjust launch and spin.

Discussing the mini driver, Paul Winterhalter, Product Manager at Callaway, said, “This isn’t necessarily your “bomber” spec; this isn’t looking for extra added distance as compared to your driver. But this is an alternative club to where it’s giving you that consistent distance. It’s that smaller footprint for a player that’s probably a little bit higher caliber, looking to control.”

Added Advanced R&D Manager Nick Yontz, “What we’ve seen from a Tour aspect is that Tour players are rarely hitting their 3-woods into greens as approach shots. The 3-wood has become nearly a tee-only club, so situationally I think we’re going to see tour players lean into this at certain golf courses and certain setups as a club that they can use to hit more fairways.”

Yontz also stated the mini driver is 43.75 inches in length, two inches shorter than a traditional driver. He described it as “easier to swing and easier to hit straighter, because of that shorter shaft being able to square it up and control it a little bit more.” He also mentioned the Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 is well suited to players who struggle to hit their 3-woods, particularly off the tee.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver: Pricing, specs, availability

  • Price: $449.99
  • Lofts: 11.5, 13.5 degrees
  • Shafts: Project X Denali Blue (50, 60), Project X Cypher (40)
  • Pre-sale date: 6/11
  • At retail: 6/27

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What’s the most forgiving and longest driver you’ve played in past 5 years? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the most forgiving and longest driver they’ve played over the past 5 years. WRXer ‘bogeykibg’ poses the question and also asks “does forgiveness mean shorter?”, and our members have been sharing their thoughts on the subject 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.

  • Kai Slater: “The Callaway Rogue ST Max driver is the most forgiving/long driver that I’ve personally tried.  It’s my current driver and, although, I see no reason to change, I’m very curious about trading up to the AI Smoke when the prices drop later this year.”
  • Ger21: “Srixon ZX5 LS MK II. Remarkably forgiving.”
  • scooterhd2: “If we are talking about average on course distance, and not max distance, or good hits on a sim, then its G400MAX. Theres no rollout in the woods or the lake. Hit em straight.”

Entire Thread: “What’s the most forgiving and longest driver you’ve played in past five years? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (6/11/24): 2024 Bettinardi BB1W Raw putter

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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 2024 Bettinardi BB1W Raw putter.

From the seller: (@tnrts345): “2024 Bettinardi BB1W Raw – slight patina. Limited Release. 36.5” 3* loft 72* lie. Ping cord midsize. Can get lie and length adjusted free of charge prior to shipping out. No headcover. $500 shipped. $450 Shipped.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: 2024 Bettinardi BB1W Raw putter

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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