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Best irons in golf of 2022: 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 2022 best irons, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2022 irons is best for your game.

OEMs have again 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. We are also seeing more segmentation of models to help you determine your best set and/or set combination.

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 2022 in the forums!

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 2022: 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Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?”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 2022: The categories

  • Overall performance
  • Easiest to launch
  • Pure enjoyment
  • Shotmakers
  • Most technology-packed
  • Best blade

Best irons of 2022: 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: Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Fitter, Carl’s Golfland
Eric Hensler:
Manager & Fitter, Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carl’s Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter,Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner,The Tour Van
Matt Decker: Head Fitter and Builder, The Fitting Lab – Baltimore
Jason Bodey: Head Fitter and Builder, The Fitting Lab Pittsburgh
Bradley Harrelson: Fitter, 2nd Swing Golf
Alex Dice: Fitter, Carl’s Golfland
Matt Mora: Director of Club Fitting, Urban Golf Performance
Jordan Patrick: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Gus Alzate: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Carmen Corvino: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Blake Smith: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Marc Roybal: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf

2022 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.

Titleist T300

Their story: The T300 is the hottest and most forgiving Titleist iron ever made. Just like its smaller brother, the T200, it uses the same Max Impact Technology to both add rebound and improve overall feel. The unsupported face is stretched across a larger area thanks to the bigger face size, wider sole, and undercut perimeter to push the COG low and away from the face—if the T200 launches, then the T300 REALLY Launches! This deep COG and thin fast face is what makes this club launch so high, it’s also the reason stronger lofts are necessary. If it wasn’t for strong lofts, then with the speed and spin they would create at “standard” lofts, ball flight would end up uncontrollable. Basically the exact opposite of what you want in an iron.

From the fitters

  • “The Titleist t300 series is the ultimate game improvement iron. This iron isn’t as big and bulky as some of the other irons in the game improvement category. Players who tend to gravitate toward this iron have seen an increase in ball speed. This iron is a lighter weight iron to help reduce the swing weight, and allow players who tend to not swing it as fast create a little bit more club head speed.”

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

Callaway Rogue ST Max OS Lite

Their story: Callaway’s most forgiving iron with high launch, increased lofts, and wide soles in a lightweight package. The Lite version has lighter shafts and lighter swingweights to make them easier to swing. In an industry-first, Callaway combined high strength 450 steel with A.I. designed Flash Face Cup for more ball speed and better ball speed consistency, according to the company.

From the fitters

  • “This club allows players to get height on their shots. The lofts on this iron is weaker than the lofts of the standard Rogue st max iron. Players who need help with hitting the ball higher tend to swing the club slower and don’t tend to spin the ball. This iron helps to create a little bit more spin to help increase launch on iron shots.”
  • “The Rogue ST Max OS Lite has been a great iron. Fits the profile of being super forgiving, easy to hit, easy to launch, and you can hit it anywhere on the face and get good results. It is a little larger and a little stronger lofted to help those players who need height get the ball up in the air.”

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

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo

Their story:  The new additions feature an XL Head design which increases MOI (17% increase compared to predecessors) in design for improved forgiveness and higher launch Designed using Artificial Intelligence, the MainFrame variable face technology on the XL Halo irons aims to increase ball speed, while unique weight pad designs seek to provide maximum forgiveness across the face.

From the fitters

  • “It’s awesome. I’ve fit a ton of the Halo or hybrid iron because I think a ton of people like the idea of a transitional hybrid set…as they go down in iron, it looks more like an iron. Higher up it looks more like a hybrid. The thing is so good…because of that hybrid shape, you just can’t beat it. It gets up in the air, it’s easy to hit to where you don’t have to worry about stubbing it because of the wide sole. It’s awesome for that 70+ year old golfer who comes in with their blades from the 90s and says, ‘I don’t hit it anywhere.’ The aging golfer may not like it because it’s not traditional, but once they see the benefit of getting the ball in the air and the control you get, it’s so good.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece. 

Ping G425

Their story: The Ping G425 iron builds off the success of the G410 by packing more forgiveness into a smaller package designed to add distance and give golfers the ability to reduce dispersions and land the ball softer into greens.

The most important design feature of the G425 irons is the new metal wood style VFT (variable face thickness), used to increase ball speed, consistency, and launch. The new VFT is possible thanks to the Hyper 17-4 stainless steel material, which allows engineers to go thinner while still maintaining structural integrity and feel. This new VFT is not symmetrical and is instead a more sideways egg-shaped oval. This allows the G425 iron to have more face deflection than Ping has ever been able to create with a cast design. When you add in the new face with an improved hinge (notice the small notch on the toe to also increase deflection) you get a diving board-like effect to send the ball higher to stop sooner.

From the fitters:

  • “The G425 iron is easily the number 1 iron I fit players to in the fitting bays. A lot of players come in are high handicaps and need forgiveness. The Power spec allows us to decrease the loft by 2 degrees for those players who need to lower ball flight and reduce spin. The retro spec lofts allow us to add 2 degrees of loft for those players who need to add spin and height to their shots.”

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

XXIO 12

Their story: The XXIO 12 irons are a super lightweight family of clubs featuring a specialized suite of technologies that are designed to amplify performance for the moderate swing speed golfer. a thinner face allows the entire face to flex more extensively while grooves etched deep into the interior of the iron body further aim to enhance flexibility. Progressive variable face thickness and a tungsten-nickel weight in the toe optimize speed, stability and launch for every loft. A lower center of gravity for long irons creates more carry, according to the company.

From the fitters:

  • “With its weight, similar customer profile to Cleveland but a different price point. For the golfer who’s sub 85 mph club head speed, they’re going to generate lots more club head speed because of the weight. And low CG helps pop the ball up in the air, particularly with seniors and ladies. It’s not uncommon for us to see a 15 or 20 yard difference with that product between an iron from another category. As price points have gone up in the industry, XXIO isn’t as far reaching as it used to be.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Join the discussion about best irons 2022 in the forums!

 

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Day WITB 2024 (February)

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Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees @10)
Shaft: TPT prototype

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 80 X

7-wood: TaylorMade Stealth (21 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 80 X

Irons: TaylorMade P760 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X Seven

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (52-08F, 56-10S), WedgeWorks (60-08A+)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper 125 S+ (52), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56, 60)

Putter: TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Spider Limited

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X (with Mindset)

More photos of Jason Day’s WITB in the forums.

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Whats in the Bag

Byeong Hun An WITB 2024 (February)

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Driver: Titleist TSR4 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore X F1 6 X

Hybrids: Titleist TSR2 (18 degrees), Callaway Apex UW (19 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura Ventus Blue 9 X

Irons: Titleist U505 (1), Titleist T200 (3), Titleist T150 (4, 5), Titleist 620 MB (6-9)
Shafts: MMT Utility Iron 105 TX (1, 3), Project X 6.5 (4-9)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (48-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M, 60-04T)
Shafts: Project X 6.5 (48, 52), Project X 6.0 (56), Dynamic Gold S400 (60)

Putter: L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 Max

Grips: Lamkin UTx

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

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Equipment

Tiger Woods to put 2024 Bridgestone Tour B X golf ball in play at Genesis

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While we’re waiting for a look at Tiger Woods’ full WITB, we can report Woods will have a new golf ball in play when he tees it up at this week’s Genesis Invitational.

More specifically, TW is switching into the the 2024 Bridgestone Tour B X golf ball. Last time we saw Woods in action, at the 2023 PNC Challenge, the 15-time major winner still had the previous generation of the Tour B X in play. Prior to 2022, Woods had played the company’s Tour B XS ball, owing to his preference for more spin, but after a launch monitor session at home revealed 10 yards of additional distance with the Tour B X.

“I am always seeking more distance off the tee and more control around the green, that’s the Holy Grail, and what Bridgestone’s delivered with the new Tour B X,” Woods said. “I tell people all the time how important it is to get ball fit, and if you’ve been fit, to get fit again. Bridgestone re-fit me into the new Tour B X, and it’s got a little more pop off the tee and the control I need around the greens.”

Bridgestone will launch Tiger Woods Edition Tour B golf balls on February 16. The ball is the exact same model Woods plays (which, per Bridgestone, is the retail Tour B X) and features ‘Tiger” on the side stamp.

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