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Best irons in golf of 2024: Slower swing speed (Easiest to launch)

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In our effort to assemble the 2024 best irons, we have again compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of the 2024 irons is best for your game.

Ultimately the best way to find your personal best 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. And of course, proper set makeup and gapping is essential. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

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 2024: The process

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Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?”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

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you determine which category is most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2024: The categories

  • Overall performance
  • Easiest to launch/Slower swing speed
  • Pure enjoyment
  • Shotmakers
  • Most technology-packed
  • Best blade

2024 Best irons: Easy to launch/Slower swing speed

These are the irons for golfers 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 and a steeper angle of descent.

Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL

Their story: With the JPX923 Hot Metal, Mizuno introduced “4355 nickel chromoly,” which is 35 percent stronger than the original Hot Metal material and allows for an eight-percent thinner clubface. Cup face construction works in tandem with a deep center of gravity for high launch with stopping power. Mizuno developed Hot Metal Pro, Hot Metal and Hot Metal HL (High Launch) from 175,000 real golf swings recorded via Mizuno’s Swing DNA system. JPX923 Hot Metal HL is a high launch speed cavity delivering a higher launching option for players with moderate swing speeds or aggressive shaft lean, it’s suitable for mid to high-handicap golfers.

Fitter comments:

  • “We’re talking about… people who need forgiveness, but they don’t spin it enough. They don’t get it in the air. The HL is a little little weaker-lofted, but they have the size and the forgiveness they need. It’s one of the go-tos for us.”
  • “We’ve been getting a lot of guys where it’s like, you know, the way you deliver it, you really need the loft of a, of a blade, but you’re not good enough to hit a blade. So, you know, we need to get some height. Like the slower swing speed player, aging golfer, like they don’t have 130 MPH ball speed with a seven that they can launch it at 15 degrees and still get it in the air. They gotta get that thing off the ground and up to get some distance out of it. And this thing is just, it’s so easy to get up in the air…even if we do bend other things weaker, we can’t get it as high lofted as that thing, and it just goes straight up in the air.”
  • “It’s super forgiving and it feels pretty good that. We sell more HL’s than we do standard Hot Metals. It’s such a popular golf club.”
  • “It’s a spectacular club and really is probably the best club in that high-launch category. If you take the high launch QI, you take the [Callaway Paradym] Ai Smoke HL, [Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal] HL, that’s the best one.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL

Their story: At the core of Callaway’s new Ai Paradym Smoke irons is the Ai Smart Face. With the Ai Smart Face, these irons are designed to promote exceptional distance, tight dispersion into the green, and optimal launch in a modern construction. The new shape consists of longer blade lengths, thinner toplines, and optimized sole widths in a bid to create a forgiving, yet streamlined look at address. In addition, an all-new Dynamic Sole Design features a pre-worn leading edge with variable bounce that cuts through the turf with efficiency.

Fitter comments:

  • “Compared to the standard Ai Smoke, it’s definitely launching a little bit higher. I would say blade length is a little bit longer. So, you know, it’s a little bit more forgiving a little bit easier to hit than that traditional AI Smoke. It’s gonna launch higher than Ai Smoke and spin a little bit more for that player that needs that help.”
  • “Amazing when it comes to getting the ball airborne and retaining spin. Very easy to hit and very stable through impact. Second place to Mizuno, for me.”
  • “The HL version allows for a player to play a strong lofted iron in a lightweight package that helps achieve great distance. This iron is long! The ball speeds are crazy high. This iron is great for a player who flips at it.”
  • “Even though not as light as the others, the HL gets the ball in air faster and slower speed needs that for distance”
  • “Powerful but still helps get the ball to launch at a playable angle. Generates height well with lots of speed across the face.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

TaylorMade Qi HL

Their story: With a blend of minimalistic aesthetics and advanced multi-material technology, TaylorMade’s new Qi irons aim to deliver the optimal combination of distance, accuracy and solid feel in an inviting game-improvement package. At the heart of the Qi iron is individual head optimization, organic face designs, and FLTD CG, all working in unison to help golfers minimize the right miss. With their latest irons, TaylorMade has designed the all-new Qi irons to have significantly less right bias for straighter and more accurate shots.

Fitter comments: 

  • “That’s a big ass iron. But you also have a much better look than the [Stealth] HD last year. That [iron] was really shallow in the face that got the ball up great. But it just didn’t look the way some people wanted, right? They didn’t want a small face. So it’s a really good option for people.”
  • “You’re seeing some of these companies…I think they’re seeing that sometimes…a little bit of loft can be, be good, you know, but they’re combing it with heads now that are super tight off the face. You get some of those guys catching it all on the face, the thing still getting up in the air, still producing ball speed.”
  • “I would say the Qi HL, it’s like kind of top charts when it comes to…if someone’s hitting it, that thing wants to go. And I think they definitely did a good job…with the redesign of it compared to Stealth HD.”
  • “The previous generation was a little bit off-putting, you know, some, most people don’t wanna play kind of, you know, a hybrid-iron. It’s a little bit easier to hit a little bit better package…compared to the HD, the packaging is 1,000,000 bucks.”
  • “I mean…[Stealth] HD worked really good but it was very hard to…get someone to accept that they had to use it. Now at the [Qi10] HL you put that in someone’s hands, it looks good. It feels good. And they feel like, ‘I’m using a, a golfer golf club,’ you know. It’s a real battle sometimes with people…our job is performance, but they also want something that’s gonna look good in their bag.”
  • “The fact that it looks like a regular golf club is helpful. I think in that modern-day iron, it’s just lofts are getting so strong, and the ball is spinning so little off of these things that if you don’t naturally hit it super high, irons like that are just perfect for guys, they’re able to hold greens, stop it quicker. For a lot of guys, that height means more distance. So they’re actually hitting it farther with more loft and, and be able to hold a green better. And guys that maybe had a five hybrid are now getting a five iron back in their bag and it’s great.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Ping G430 HL

Their story: Billed as Ping’s “longest iron ever”, the G430 irons combine a lower CG with stronger, custom- engineered lofts and a thinner face that delivers up to 2 more mph of ball speed, per the company. At the heart of the new addition is the PurFlex cavity badge, an innovation which features seven flex zones that allow more free bending in design to increase ball speed across the face. In combination with a lower CG, the badge aims to contribute to the solid feel and pleasing impact sound. The stronger lofts across the set resulted in the addition of a 41 degree PW to ensure proper gapping options and allowed for standard lofts in the traditional scoring wedges (45.5, 50, 54 and 58 degrees).

From the fitters:

  • “With that Alta Quick shaft, I mean, it’s just, it’s super easy to kick that thing up in the air. And what I really like about it is they don’t put flex on the shaft. We’ve had, you know, I mean, you explain to the customer like, hey, you know, you might, you know, you’re gonna need that 35-gram Alta Quick. It’s not gonna say, you know, ladies flex or whatever and no one knows.”
  • “It’s super easy to hit, super easy to launch, especially for someone who needs…that help and forgiveness.”
  • “What I like about what Ping does, they don’t just like, shove a lighter-weight shaft in the same club head. They put a lighter grip on it, they put a lighter shaft in it. So like they kind of do it the right way. It’s just an overall lighter package version of the best game improvement iron out there. So it’s you get all the forgiveness and everything else that you get with G430, but now in a total balanced package for a slower swing speed player, it’s, it’s great.”
  • “What I like about it too is with the Alta Quick 35 [shaft]. It’s essentially like a ladies golf club that doesn’t say ladies on it. So like you get that guy that swings super slow or you get like that junior boy or something like that that just, you know, I’m not, you know, especially like the kids like, I mean, he’s not playing a club that says ladies on it or it’s purple or something you can get than this and it looks just like his dad’s G430s, but it just gets up in the air and goes and it’s awesome.”
  • “The best iron in the game improvement category. High launch and packed with forgiveness on those off-center hits. It’s one of the easiest irons to hit. The HL version allows players who need a lighter package and need help with higher launch are able to achieve that with this iron.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Titleist T350

Their story: The new T350 irons are still built for maximum distance and forgiveness, but they were redesigned with a hollow-body construction that’s inspired by the T200. Like the T200, the T350 also uses Max Impact Technology behind the face to maximize speed and forgiveness, and dual-tungsten weights in the back cavity. The T350 irons are noticeably larger, and with thicker toplines, than the T200 irons for golfers who need the additional surface area and stability.

Fitter comments: 

  • “The T350 is super good. They definitely cleaned it up, cleaned up that topline a little bit and made it…a little bit more compact, a little bit smaller for sure.”
  • “You know, I think is one of those irons that maybe sometimes can get overlooked. I don’t know…some guys, they think ‘Titleist,’ they can’t hit it. If someone’s in this category, it’s always a club you’re gonna have.”
  • “So like this is the first one in that model that’s had like a forged face and, and, and, and I think that just improved the feel of it. Topline to me looks a little bit cleaner and, they do a nice job of hiding the offset doesn’t look quite obnoxious when you look down at it. I don’t know if it’s like the chrome that they put or whatever, but it looks a lot cleaner at address. The iron’s always been super easy to get up in here.”
  • “That type of customer, I know they all want to do is just hit it nice and far. But we’re seeing so many guys come in that just need help getting it airborne in that moderate kind of clubhead speed category. And this thing is probably, if not the easiest, one of the easiest irons in this category to launch. And I think that’s what makes it so great.”
  • “High launch is a key component to this iron. Clean look, with reduced offset and a better look for a players game improvement iron. Players are surprised that this is a game improvement iron based on the looks and package size.”

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Best irons of 2024: Meet the fitters

RELATED: Best driver 2024

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Equipment

Toulon Golf collaborates with Valhalla Golf Club for latest Small Batch putter

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Toulon Golf has today officially announced its latest Small Batch putter — the Valhalla.

Discussing the putter, Preston Toulon of Toulon Golf said: “This putter is a collaboration with the club at Valhalla and incorporates three of the many things that make the state of Kentucky great – horseracing, bourbon and championship golf. The head of the putter and headcover have several allusions to a jockey’s silk and there are thoroughbreds on the sole.”

Inspired by Toulon’s classic tri-sole Santa Monica design, the company sought to modernize the profile and design leveraging its 904 stainless steel and 6061 aircraft aluminium across the sole. Toulon describes the Valhalla’s profile as “slightly oversized blade whose proportions are meticulously balanced to maintain the look and feel of the Santa Monica, while increasing the putter’s inertia to create one of the most forgiving putters we have ever designed.”

Throughout numerous prototypes, Toulon paid particular attention to the L-neck, with its full shaft of offset, adding a bit of length for better blending with the slightly wider and longer blade.

On the rear of the putter are homages to horse racing in the form of jockey silk diamonds and Churchill Downs-inspired font.

The sole of the putter features a large cavity covered by a 6061 aircraft aluminum sole plate. According to Toulon, this allowed for the addition length to the putter and improved inertia as well as moving more mass to the perimeter for greater forgiveness.

In another nod to Valhalla, Toulon uses a milled watermarked limestone pattern, a reference to stone featured widely on the property.

As with all the Toulon Small Batch putters, the team paid particular attention to the topline thickness and radius to achieve a desired look. “Soft yet crisp was the design intent,” according to the company.

Toulon Golf Small Batch Valhalla specs

  • Material: 904L Stainless Steel/6061 Aluminum Sole
  • Face Mill: Fine Double Fly with Big Tuna
  • Finish: Kentucky Bourbon PVD
  • Grip: Custom Toulon Collection Vintage Blue Pistol
  • Shaft: Chrome Stepless Steel
  • Headcover: Valhalla Custom Leather
  • Head Weight: 355 g
  • Toe Hang: 40 degrees
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie: 70 degrees

Pricing and availability

The Small Batch Valhalla is available for purchase today via the company’s website — ToulonGolf.com.

Supply is extremely limited. The price is $1,800.

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Max Homa is the latest to put prototype Titleist 2-wood in play

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from a piece our Andrew Tursky originally wrote for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report. Head over there for the full article.

Titleist’s new 2-wood prototype first popped up on the TOUR at the 2024 PLAYERS Championship, in the bag of Cameron Young, who had been working with Titleist on the design since 2023.

Here’s what Titleist Tour fitter J.J. Van Wezenbeeck had to say about the design back at THE PLAYERS Championship:

“(Young) was looking for a certain ball speed and yardage gap from his driver,” Van Wezenbeeck said. “One of the things for him with the 3-wood is he wanted something with a little more volume that he felt more confident off the tee with, so he was looking for a little bigger footprint and something that was a little bit more penetrating than some of the 3-woods he’s played in the past. This will be a club he’ll hit 90 percent off the tee, versus the ground, so for the golf courses that set up for that, that’s what he’s looking for … this may or may not ever come to retail. It’s a chance for us to learn and put it in future products that may not be exactly this.”

Since the initial unveiling of the product at THE PLAYERS Championship, fellow PGA TOUR players such as Homa, Webb Simpson and Justin Thomas have also taken notice…

“[The new 2-wood) helps me draw it a little bit better,” Homa told GolfWRX.com on Monday at the 2024 PGA Championship. “I don’t draw the ball well, so left-to-right winds it’s quite helpful.”

Now, according to Van Wezenbeeck, Homa has two different options off the tee: A flat-trajectory cut shot with his TSR3 driver, and a “spinny draw” with his new TSR 2-wood, which flies farther than his former 3-wood.

Head over to PGATour.com for the full article.

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (5/15/24): Bettinardi x Unimatic 1/50 watch

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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 Bettinardi x Unimatic 1/50 watch.

From the seller: (@Puma74): “BETTINARDI Golf x UNIMATIC [ 1/50 Limited Edition ] Italian watch collection Modello Uno U1-BF automatic. Comes with complete package! Mint condition. Only 50 made and will be highly collectable! Only $850 plus $19 insured UPS or USPS shipping to the lower 48 U.S………. FIRM FIRM FIRM !

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Bettinardi x Unimatic 1/50 watch

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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