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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Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?”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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5 Comments

5 Comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. Bool

    Apr 10, 2022 at 1:50 pm

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

  4. Paulo

    Apr 10, 2022 at 1:18 am

    No mizuno, no Ping , no worth in this clickbait

  5. 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

Preston Stanley WITB 2022 (July)

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Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

3-wood: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 80 TX

Irons: Srixon ZX (2), Srixon ZX7 (4-5), Srixon Z-Forged (6-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid Orange 95 X (2), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX Zipcore (50-10 Mid, 54-10 Mid, 58-10 Mid)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (50-54), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Spinner Wedge (58)

Putter: L.A.B. Golf Directed Force 2.1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm WITB 2022 (July)

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  • Jon Rahm what’s in the bag accurate as of the U.S. Open. 

Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 M.S.I. 75 TX

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T (16 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 M.S.I. 85 TX

5-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T (18 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (22 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Callaway JAWS Forged (52-10, 56-12, 60-10)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Grips: Golf Pride MCC

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Whats in the Bag

Chris Gotterup WITB 2022 (July)

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  • Chris Gotterup what’s in the bag accurate as of the John Deere Classic.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (9 degrees @7.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black

 

3-wood: Titleist TSR2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDRUS Smoke Green

 

Irons: Callaway Apex TCB (3), Callaway Apex MB ’21 (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper 130 X

 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG3 (52-09, 56-12, 60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 7.2 Tour Prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

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