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Best irons in golf of 2022: Top overall performers

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Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?”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

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: Top overall performers

This category is the perfect place to start if you’re not quite sure what you are looking for. Distance? Check. Forgiveness? Check. Sleek looks? Check. The top five in the “best irons overall” category are perfect for those golfers who appreciate technology and want something that is going to give them shot options.

Srixon ZX7

Their story: The Srixon ZX7 provides a compact squared-off blade profile with a thin topline to frame the ball and inspire confidence for those who prefer workability over maximum forgiveness. The “tour cavity” construction places mass where it’s needed for feel and acoustics while removing it from other places around the cavity to increase stability in the small forged cavity back.

The other piece of technology, which Srixon is using to maximize performance, is tungsten in the toe of the mid and long irons to condense more mass towards the toe for extra stability without having to extend the blade length. Using tungsten isn’t new, but when the goal is to minimize size while maximizing stability, it’s a complete necessity at this point, and Srixon does a great job utilizing it in the irons.

From the fitters:

  • “Srixon across the board, but really the ZX7, are very underrated. For an iron to look that good, feel that good, and perform so well is not that common. The ZX7 creates great ball speed and is one of the longer heads for the type of iron it is. Not every player is looking for that but if you can get a few extra yards, why not.”
  • “For the guy looking for a pure forged iron that’s still exceptionally forgiving, it’s a great, great iron.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

TaylorMade P790

Their story: Of course, we also know the real story of the P700 line in general, P790 in particular, is under the hood, so let’s take a look.

SpeedFoam, which was the showpiece of the original (2017) P790 line gets an upgrade in the 2021 edition. Dubbed SpeedFoam Air, the ultralight urethane foam is 69 percent less dense than the 2019 iteration.

As is the formula in golf club design, saving weight in one area allows engineers to relocate it to another to accomplish specific aims. In this case, it’s to aid launch. And that’s just what the folks at TM have done, moving the CG lower in the heads of P790 irons to the tune of an average of .5 millimeters.

From the fitters

  • “Just a ton of technology packed into a great looking iron. The ball speeds has been crazy good and I am impressed with how TaylorMade keeps improving them. Even for better players who just want a little more distance, they love the look.”
  • “It’s still very highly in demand. Very forgiving. Very long. In those hollow foam irons, if not the best, probably the leader in that category.”

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

Callaway Apex 21

Their story: 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 equal high launch/low spin, mid irons equal mid launch/mid spin, short irons equal lower launch/higher spin).

From the fitters:

  • “They have had Apex for so many years and each year they add improvement. It fits a wide range of golfers from 4 to 15 handicaps. Some distance irons see some hot spots on the face and the Apex just offers really consistent ball speed, spin, and distance.”
  • “Apex has always been one of our bread-and-butters. Actually, if anything the 790 tilts toward the better player, and the Apex tilts a little bit towards the player that wants some help. It’s not as clean looking, but it has that forged feel, good looking, forgiving, ball speed, yeah, it’s…those two irons are our top dogs for sure.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

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 that do plan to build combo sets will see a smooth transition from one iron to the next and even into the utility.

From the fitters

  • This iron is a chameleon because it has the look of a smaller compact club yet offers the forgiveness associated with a larger one. It can fit a wide range of golfers, regardless of skill, even though it looks more like a club geared toward lower handicap golfers.

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

Cobra LTDx

Their story: The irons have been re-engineered from the inside out using a PWR-COR Weighting design that strategically positions the CG and adds face and body flexion in design to deliver maximum ball speed.

Combined with a thinner and larger PwrShell Face, the LTDx irons seek to provide players with an iron that blends forgiveness, high launch, excellent feel, and longest total distance.

The PWR-COR Weighting system features a multi-material design utilizing a floating steel core bar that is suspended in a lightweight and soft polymer. The steel core bar positions the CG low and right behind the impact zone.

From the fitters

  • “So good, man. After the last 2-3 generations, they’ve imporved little things from each line. The look, the sole width, I think this generation is the best. The CG being so low and back it launches the ball so high. The guys that come over the top, deliver a lot of loft…the LTDx is crazy. It gets the ball in the air, but you get the benefits of a strong lofted iron. It’s so good. Probably the second longest 7 iron I’ve ever hit behind the Wilson D9.”
  • “Cobra, in general, from an aesthetics standpoint, does the best job across all the vendors. They make beautiful cosmetics across their lines. It’s elegant, refined, and exceptionally easy to hit.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Join the discussion about best irons 2022 in the forums!

 

 

 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: TaylorMade launches new 2022 Stealth UDI and DHY driving irons – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: TOUR REPORT: Maverick McNealy explains his “11-iron,” and a 12-year-old 5-wood finally gets replaced – GolfWRX

  3. Crashtestdummy

    Apr 11, 2022 at 2:30 am

    No Titleist irons? I have the 2020 T100s and really like them. Took a little time to get used to, but now hitting some quality iron shots. Any poor shots is on me, not the irons.

  4. Bool

    Apr 10, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    You’re the real, true, moronic, gullible, spastic dummy idiot consumer if you believe this “list”

  5. Paulo

    Apr 10, 2022 at 1:18 am

    No mizuno, no Ping , no worth in this clickbait

  6. Bellender

    Apr 9, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    Lets not ask retailers and custom “sellers” of over-priced goods what they think, all they want to do is sell the junk.
    The fact that Mizuno is not on this list tells you everything you need to know about the kickbacks they’re getting to sell these ones.
    Complete and utter bollocks

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Whats in the Bag

Tommy Gainey WITB 2024 (July)

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Driver: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: ’24 Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 S

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Max D (16 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX 60 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Apex (20 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue

Hybrid: Callaway Apex (23 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue

Irons: Callaway Rogue Pro (5-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.0

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (50-10S, 56-08C, 58-08C)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Backstryke

Grips: Lamkin Crossline

See more in-hand photos of Tommy Gainey’s WITB here.

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Day WITB 2024 (July)

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Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana WB 63 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade Qi10 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 80 X

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

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (2), TaylorMade P770 (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 S+ (2), True Temper Dynamic Gold X Seven (4-PW)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX 6 ZipCore Tour Rack  (52-10 MID, 56-10 MID), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X Seven

Putter: TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Spider Limited

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X (with Mindset)

Check out more in-hand photos of Jason Day’s WITB here.

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News

Highlights from the Wilson Golf Product Testing and Fitting Experience at Pinehurst

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All new from Wilson Golf this year are Staff blades and CB irons, Dynapower Forged irons, Staff Model ZM wedges, a new golf ball, the RB Utility iron that was released just a few weeks ago, and the company’s own club fitting technology called Wilson Fit AI.

Yeah, it’s been quite the first half of the year for Wilson Golf. Wilson is serious about establishing themselves as a major player in the golf industry. They’ve made new hires, bringing on Markus McCaine (by way of Cobra Puma) as the Head of Global Marketing. Willie Mack, Padraig Harrington, and Kevin Kisner (to name a few), are playing their products on Tour. As we mentioned earlier, they’ve released a ton of new products. But, with all of that being said, how do these new products really stack up?

That’s where we come in. Wilson Golf wanted to reach the hardcore golfer. The equipment junkie. The person who tries everything to find the right fit for optimal performance. They weren’t looking for someone who already had Wilson products in the bag, who would have attended this trip and predictably said great things about their newest line of products. They wanted to prove how Wilson Golf, the brand, and their new products, can truly compete with the major golf manufacturers. With four lucky GolfWRXers in tow, we headed to legendary Pinehurst to meet Wilson Golf’s team of product experts, to test (and get fit) for the full 2024 lineup of Wilson clubs — and play not-yet-open-to-the-public Pinehurst No. 10! The four WRXers — @TLUBulldogGolf, @TM golf guy, @Shilgy, @Olson12— enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience in North Carolina thanks to Wilson.

Members on Wilson Fit AI

TM golf guy: “The AI experience was super cool. 3 swings and it fit me basically exactly into what I expected.”

Shilgy: “The new Ai fitting tool is legit. First answer a few questions and then there is a fitting iron that measures everything. It’s almost scary how easy, and accurate, it is. Started me with a shaft that was too light but based on contact it changed to 115g DG. About as expected. I was fit into the CB with the Dynapower forged as the 5 and 6 iron.”

First impressions on the Staff Model and Dynapower irons

Olson12: “After warming up, Ed had me hit a handful of shots. It took maybe five or six shots, and we decided it was enough. Of the six shots, I hit four pretty well, one perfectly, and one really bad one. The app spits out recommendations based on all the data it collected and gives you both a steel and graphite option. On the graphite side, it went straight to the Steelfiber 110s, so that was the first one we tried. Ed built up a 7-iron in the Wilson Staff CB with the Steelfiber 110s, and we were off to the races.”

“I currently play a Titleist T100/T100s combo set with Nippon Modus 120x shafts. I bought this used set from a local shop after bouncing around a few different sets. (Thank God for the 90-day playability policy.) We’ve all heard the standard saying, “you want 1k spin x the number of the club.” For me, I’ve never even come close to getting 7k with my 7-iron. I’ve always hovered around 5500 and just learned to play with the rollout. My first few shots with the Staff CB were 7400, 7600, and 7100 with the Wilson Model X ball. Nice high cut, landed soft, PERFECT. Didn’t need to hit any other combos.”

TM golf guy: “I am currently playing i230s, and am generally happy with the performance. I had a feeling I would wind up with the Dynapower Forged, but I went in with an open mind to see what was suggested. After getting my numbers, Ed put together a Dynapower Forged with the UST Recoil Dart 105 F4 (stiff). It didn’t take me more than a few swings to know this was the set for me. I’ll do a formal review with side by side with my i230s later after I get them back and get more time with them, but I think these are going to be gamers. I was able to move them either direction, and they felt better than the i230 based on my limited experience so far.”

TLUBulldogGolf: “The MBs flat out perform, if you want that classic look they should be on your shortlist to try, they nailed the shape and the sole design and turf interaction were just what I expect out of a blade. The options to combo with the CB and new utility should appeal to anyone after that classic look with performance.”

Shilgy: “First swings warming up on the range and I could feel the difference, in a good way, between a properly built set and more mass produced. The balance of this set is fantastic. I’ve always been partial to heavier shafts and heads but the T150 always felt too head heavy to me. The balance on this Wilson set is perfect.”

“Suffice it to say both the CB’s and Dynapower irons were quite good today. Hit it solid and you will get the same result every time….miss it a bit and you’ll still get a very playable result.”

First impressions on the Staff Model ZM wedges

Olson12: “I currently play 50, 54, 60 Vokey SM9 wedges but decided to give the 58/6* a whirl, and I’m glad I did. I mentioned to the staff earlier that I never use my 60 for anything longer than 50 yards. I’ve never felt comfortable with a full swing lob. Going to the 58* gives me more confidence on full shots but was still able to hit all the chips and bunker shots I normally hit with my 60*.”

Guys… These are fully forged wedges for $150. I just ordered my three Vokey wedges a few months ago for like $600. What the hell, man! If you are in the market for wedges, do yourself a favor and just give them a shot. Nice traditional shape and a super soft feel. Not too clicky but still gives audible feedback on mishits.”

TM golf guy: “The Staff ZM wedges were something I was really interested in as I loved the head shape, and the feel and performance didn’t disappoint. They have a really nice shape to them, and the sound and feel is also excellent. I’m a big fan of the 60° that I got. The grind really allows for a lot of versatility around the greens as well. My only regret here is that I didn’t get the Staff gap wedge instead of the Dynapower one.”

TLUBulldogGolf: “The wedges are really solid as well, I feel like I can flight them with ease and they spin like crazy.”

“I have the 60-06 and it’s similar to a Vokey T grind, maybe a touch less demanding. The 56-10 plays very similar to a Vokey S grind.”

First impressions on the utility irons

Olson12: “I’ve played Srixon & Ping Utilities for a while now. I recently gave up the Crossover and went back to a 3 hybrid because the offset was just not working for me. Since the club was just announced today, we had just the stock HZRDUS Black shaft in both the 3 and 4 iron. I hit the 3 and realized it’s been a really long time since I hit a long iron. It took a few swings, but I started to find my groove. Minimal offset, satin finish, and a good-looking topline. This thing is going to compete with the big boys. Hell, @TLUBulldogGolf was getting 150mph ball speed when hitting it off of a tee.”

TLUBulldogGolf: “The utility is the real deal, just seems to want to go straight. A little longer heel to toe than my T200, and it just feels easy.”

The utility surprised me, I knew it was good at my last range session but it seems to come off lower despite having more loft than my T200. I hit it over the green from 240 on a par 5 which shocked me. The stock HZRDUS 4G stays with me and seems to be a good match for my irons.”

TM golf guy: “This utility is stupid good. The first swing I made I hit rather toey, and it flew straight as an arrow. Off the tee it’s a more penetrating flight than my Srixon, but still has good height. Like @TLUBulldogGolf said, it really wants to go straight. Definitely a winner.”

GolfWRX Members on Wilson Golf:

TLUBulldog: “They want to get everything on the golf side right.”

“I came away super impressed with what Wilson is doing and the direction they are taking the brand.”

“I’m hoping this (and their overall strategy) can up their visibility because the new product is legit.

Olson12: “I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the Wilson product. What stands out the most is the people behind the scenes. This group of people is IMPRESSIVE. They love golf, they are competitive, and they want to compete with the best of the best. I’m thankful to be part of their story, and once we get the full set and get a chance to play them out in the wild, I’ll be able to give a more thorough breakdown.”

TM golf guy: “They are a group of super passionate people who absolutely love what they do, really have a lot of great ideas, and are a really cool group of people to talk to (they also know their way around a golf course!). They were incredibly open to feedback, and were also very candid about their thoughts on things as well. The people a company chooses to represent them says a lot about the company, and Wilson has picked an incredible group. I think Wilson has an extremely bright future ahead of them, and they’ve certainly made a fan out of me.”

Shilgy: “We all definitely need to add Wilson golf to our must play equipment. You’re definitely doing yourself a disservice if you don’t at least try them out and with the new AI fitting tool every fitter out there can be a Wilson expert fitter.”

Shilgy, Lindsey Lasater, TM golf guy, Markus McCaine

One final thought

If you’re in the market for a new ball, a hidden gem emerged during this trip. Our members were impressed with the new ball from Wilson. Coming from the Chrome Tour X and TP5, Olson12 stated that the feel of the X around the greens was “pretty damn good.” While TLUBulldogGolf shared, “I’m liking the Model X. Very natural transition as a V1X player.”

We’re looking forward to diving even deeper into the trip and what Wilson has to offer over the next few weeks. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to follow along in the forum.

 

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