Longest irons 2020

Longest irons 2020 DEFAULT

Best Player’s Distance Irons in 2021

A player’s distance iron is a club that can hit the golf ball a long way but still have great feel and workability.

If you are less than a fifteen handicap and want some great feel without sacrificing your yardage, the player’s distance irons are the way to go.

We have put together a list of the best player’s distance irons on the market. Each one of these options has lots of ball speed and unmatched feel.

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Callaway Mavrik Pro Iron Set

Callaway Mavrik Pro Iron Set

They say you’re either a Callaway Golfer or not at all, but we think that even for non-Callaway Golfers turning down the Mavrik Pro Iron Set would be quite a challenge. With its 360 Face Cup Technology and its Urethane Microspheres we feel that this high-performing release from Callaway is in a league of its own. Its perfect mix of workability and performance makes it our Best Player’s Distance Iron in 2021.

Click to check price on Amazon

Best Player’s Distance Irons

Our Best Player’s Distance Irons in 2021 At A Glance




Best Overall: Callaway Mavrik Pro Iron Set



PROS

  • Urethane Microspheres for great feel
  • Lots of spin on the shorter irons
  • Tungsten infused weight strategically located
  • Plenty of distance

CONS

  • A little thicker than some other options

At the top of our list for the best golf irons for distance is the Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Pro iron set.

This is a very high performing new release from Callaway that allows a golfer the perfect mix of performance and workability

The Mavrik Pro comes with the 360 Face Cup technology. This is the same technology that is on the Mavrik standard, which are the game improvement irons. There is plenty of ball speed to help propel this ball off the clubface. 

The Mavrik Pro features a tungsten infused weight to help place the center of gravity in a position that will keep the ball speed, improve launch but still allow for a great feel.

The Urethane Microspheres that Callaway has been using in their irons have been incorporated to help with unwanted vibration. 

The last few releases from Callaway have included a golf club that is designed to help the players who have a handicap of 12 or less.

If this describes you and you want to start working the ball a bit more, the Mavrik Pro irons are a great choice.




Runner Up: TaylorMade P790 Iron Set



PROS

  • Forged hollow body construction
  • Speed foam technology
  • Large sweet spot
  • Lightweight club head
  • High launching

CONS

  • Not great for the very low handicappers

We love the P790 set of irons for several reasons. These irons have been around for a few years now, but they keep improving and keep offering new benefits.

The Taylormade P790 irons can be great for a mid handicapper down to a scratch golfer. 

The Taylormade P790 is a hollow body iron with a very thin face. The thin face helps the ball jump off the club face and head straight down the fairway.

Even though this iron is a hollow construction, it is filled with the revolutionary SpeedFoam from TaylorMade. The Speedform is a very lightweight material injected into the club head that helps to provide a better feel

The P790 is a little larger as far as the clubhead is concerned than some other players’ irons on the market. If you are unsure whether or not your game is ready for a player-type iron, this is a great club to start out with.

Read our TaylorMade P790 Irons review.




TaylorMade M5 Iron Set

Best Value



PROS

  • Dropped in price since their original release
  • Lots of distance
  • Great from a variety of turf conditions

CONS

  • Not the latest technology

Since the M5 is not the latest release, you can now pick them up at a great price. The M5 irons are some of the best distance irons on the market.

They have the revolutionary speed bridge and speed pocket technology that makes the golf ball feel as though it will launch off the face. 

If you happened to see the M6 irons that TaylorMade released at the same time, you know that they made a model for the higher handicapper and the lower handicapper.

These M5 are slightly thinner and have more of a forged look and feel than the M6. Generally speaking, lower handicap players want a club that looks a little sleeker. 

The M5 came with the Hybrar Compression Damper. This will eliminate almost all vibration at impact, and it has a much better look, sound, and performance than other game improvement type irons on the market.




Cobra King Forged CB/MB Iron Set

Best For Lowest Handicaps



PROS

  • Top of the line look, sound, and feel
  • Lots of distance with irons
  • Clean and sleek looking finish and design
  • Built for better players

CONS

  • Combo set may not be what all players are looking for

Anybody considered a player is probably a golfer that has a lower handicap; however, a ten handicap and a two handicap are still two different things.

The Forged CB/MB Iron set is a great choice for the low handicapper that needs distance but wants a thin players look

The Cobra King Forged goes through a five-step forging process that gives them a much better feel than other options.

We love the black finish on the Cobra, produced with the diamonized black metal. The finish stays looking good much longer than some other iron choices. 

Part of what makes the feel so good on the Cobra irons is the CNC Milled Face and grooves.

You will get all the spin you need from this set and the ability to launch the ball. Of course, this is a progressive combo set so that the long irons will be a bit more forgiving than the short irons.

With these short irons in your hands, you can really start scoring the way you want to.




Callaway Apex Smoke Irons Set

Best For Middle Handicappers



PROS

  • Perfectly positioned center of gravity
  • Players distance irons with forgiveness
  • Tungsten infused weight for a low center of gravity
  • The perfect mix of the forgiving clubhead with spin and feel

CONS

  • Somewhat of players shape but still slightly thick

When it comes to golf equipment, it is sometimes easier to be a high handicapper or a low handicapper than it is, so be a middle handicapper.

The reason is that you can get caught between several different types of clubs that you could play with. 

We love the Apex Smoke Iron Set for those golfers that know they need distance, a little bit of a forgiving clubface, but they care about the look, feel, and aesthetics. The Apex 19 Smoke has a Smoke PVD finish that helps with reducing glare. 

The Apex is made with a forged 1025 mild carbon steel body. Somehow Callaway was also able to their Urethane Microsphere technology to fit inside this forged iron.

The Apex comes in a pro version that is more of a blade-type iron; however, if you want distance, the Apex 19 Smoke is the best choice.




Callaway 2021 Apex Pro Iron Set

Best Looking



PROS

  • Innovative AI technology 
  • IMproved spin 
  • Ability to control launch 
  • Forged 1025 hollow body construction

CONS

  • Not the most forgiving of the player’s distance irons 

The Callaway Golf 2021 Apex Pro Iron set is a brand new release to the market. Callaway is learning how to make their player’s irons even more appealing.

We love the new shaping and design of these Apex irons and the impressive quality they can bring to your game.

As you may already know, the Callaway golf brand is big into the Artificial Intelligence. They use the AI to make sure that the construction of the iron is optimal for speed and performance. 

The new forged 1025 hollow body construction is built to help get golfers distance and plenty of club head speed while maintaining a superior feel. These clubs are made for the lowest handicap players that want to get lots of distance but also need to work the ball. 

Inside the club head’s hollow body, there will be urethane microspheres that help give players improved sound and feel at the impact position.

The tungsten energy core is how Callaway gives players this extra distance. Through the years, tungsten has been discovered to be one of the better distance-producing materials on the market; these irons feature 90 grams per iron.




Cobra King Forged Tec One Length Iron Set

Best For Forgiveness



PROS

  • Classic look and feel
  • Lots of distance
  • One length for consistency

CONS

  • Not all golfers want one length, but you can purchase in variable length as well

The Forged Tec irons are Cobra’s response to the P790 irons. When you look at these clubs you will see that classic muscle back shape, but they do have a hollow core.

The center of gravity can be located quite low, and you get plenty of extra launch and great ball flight

The fact that these are a one-length iron set helps us like them even more. When players can focus on their swing mechanics and the setup and stance can be the same from one iron to the next, the game gets simpler.

When golf gets simpler, it is easy to score. 

The Forged Tec One length is a very clean looking set of clubs that will keep players from a wide range of handicaps happy with their look. Of course, we also love the ability to track your stats using the Cobra Connect technology.

This is a high tech and high performing set of irons that will make long-distance easy to achieve.




Player’s Distance Irons Buying Guide

Now that you have the inside scoop on the best player’s distance irons, here are some questions that people are asking about these clubs.

Making sure that you choose the proper iron set for your game is so important to the overall success of your golf career. 

Who Are Player’s Distance Irons For? 

Not all great players can hit the ball a long way. Some struggle with distance but are very good at accuracy and control.

Players’ distance irons can give golfers the feel they need on their irons but still, give them that jump off the clubface that a game improvement iron would give. 

Player’s distance irons are also for the golfers that find that the more distance they get in their game, the better they are.

Some players feel like if they can’t hit a seven iron 170 yards, they can’t shoot the numbers they want.

Are Player’s Distance Irons Forgiving? 

In order to be a distance iron, there needs to be a certain amount of forgiveness. The forgiveness allows for the distance even when the center of the clubface is missed slightly.

Players distance irons are not as forgiving as a cavity back club, but they are not as unforgiving as a blade. It is a perfect mix. 

Do Player’s Distance Irons Have Good Feel? 

Anything that is called “players” is going to have a good feel. Without having a great feel, an iron can’t be a player’s irons.

Great players want the irons to give them the feel they need to work the ball and work on their golf game. 

Are Player’s Distance Irons The Same As Forged Irons? 

Players’ distance irons are almost always forged. The forged design gives them the feel that they need while there is still forgiveness and distance.

Forged irons look, sound, and perform better than a cavity back iron, and this is something that great players look for in a club. It is rare to find a better player that is content with a cavity back iron. 

Conclusion

A great player’s distance iron is something that will earn a spot in your golf bag for quite some time. Choosing the proper set for you may take a bit of time and a little research, but hopefully, our choices helped narrow things down for you. 

The Callaway Mavrik Pro are some of the greatest player’s distance golf clubs ever released. You should have no issues getting the launch, ball flight, and overall distance that you need from these clubs.

They are offered at a fair price, and they offer all of the technology that the Mavrik standard offers with just a bit better look and sound. This is a set that you will want to grab before they sell out.

Sours: https://skilledgolf.com/gear/clubs/irons/best-players-distance-irons/

Best Golf Irons

What are the best golf irons available in 2021?

The best golf irons for you will depend on the individual strengths and weaknesses in your golf game, the kind of feel and sound you prefer from your irons, and what you like to look down on at address.

RYDER CUP 2020: The ultimate Whistling Straits preview

Golf irons test categories

To help simplify your selection process, we have split the best golf irons 2021 into five categories. Our forgiveness ratings are based on muscleback blades being 1 and hybrid irons being 5, with everything else fitting in-between. Click on the category to jump straight to it.

► Best Blades 2021 (Forgiveness category 1)

► Best Players Irons (Forgiveness category 2)

 Best Players Distance Irons (Forgiveness Category 2.5–3)

► Best Mid-Handicap Irons (Forgiveness Category 3–3.5)

► Best High-Handicap Irons (Forgiveness Category 3.5–5)

What irons are included in the 2021 test?

This is the ONLY place you’ll find all the latest irons compared against each other, with published launch monitor data and recommendations of the top performers. Despite all our efforts, there were two clubs (Callaway’s Apex TCB and Srixon’s ZX4 irons) that we didn’t quite get to test, but based on what we know about them and how models from their matching families performed, we’ve included them to ensure you have a full picture of the market.

RELATED: Golf World's Top 100 Resorts in the UK and Ireland

If you have a particular model already in mind, you can jump straight to its review in our full list of the best golf irons of 2021:

BEN HOGAN

Ben Hogan Icon | Ben Hogan PTx Pro

CALLAWAY

Callaway Apex 21 | Callaway Apex 21 Pro | Callaway Apex DCB

Callaway Apex MB | Callaway Apex TCB

CLEVELAND

Cleveland Launcher HB

COBRA

Cobra King Forged Tec | Cobra King RADSpeed

HONMA

Honma T//World GS | Honma T//World TR20 P | Honma T//World TR20 V

LYNX

Lynx Black Cat

MIZUNO

Mizuno JPX921 Forged | Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro

Mizuno JPX921 Tour | Mizuno MP-20 HMB

Mizuno MP-20 MB | Mizuno MP-20 MMC

PING

Ping G425 | Ping G710 | Ping i210

PXG

PXG 0211 | PXG 0311 P Gen 3

PXG 0311 XP Gen 3 | PXG 0311 XP T Gen 3

SRIXON

Srixon ZX4 | Srixon ZX5 | Srixon ZX7

TAYLORMADE

TaylorMade P7MB | TaylorMade P7MC

TaylorMade P770 | TaylorMade P790

TaylorMade SIM 2 Max | TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS

TITLEIST

Titleist T100 S

WILSON

Wilson D9 | Wilson Staff Model | Wilson Staff Model CB

For 2021, the top performing models of each category receive a Best Golf Iron of 2021 Award. These are the cream of this year’s offerings; they highlight which clubs will perform for you, based on data from our launch monitor.

If you’re in the market for any new golf irons this year, use our recommendations to narrow your shortlist. Then get fitted, as that’s the only way to optimise new models for you.

RELATED: Today's Golfer Editor's Choice Awards winners revealed

Best-Golf-Irons

RELATED: Love KBS iron shafts? Should you try the new KBS TD driver shaft?

How we performed our Best Golf Irons 2021 test

We asked all the major equipment manufacturers to submit their entire 2021 ranges for testing.

We created a controlled test environment indoors at Keele Golf Centre and used Callaway Chrome Soft X premium golf balls. We selected this ball because not only is it played by some of the world’s best players (Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele included) but our test pro (Neil Wain) was a big fan of it when we hit it against his usual Titleist Pro V1 last year (see the results here), and he’s looking at switching to it in 2021.

RELATED: Best Golf Clubs for Beginners

We collected a ton of data from every iron shot hit, using a Foresight Sports GC Quad launch monitor.

BUY NOW: Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls

We use the Callaway Chrome Soft X Triple Track golf ball for our club testing.

How we analysed our Best Golf Irons data

Before we came to any conclusions, we analysed the data for each club tested; on distance, spin rates, forgiveness. The latter we refer to as drop offs; the differences in ball speed, spin and carry between our test pro’s on- and off-centre hits.

This insight gives a reliable indication of how forgiving each model will be on the course, as we’ve argued for years that dispersion can be very misleading as it’s based on how you swing on a particular day. We analysed all that data before choosing winners.

RELATED: Tested – Best Drivers

BEST BLADES 2021

Callaway Apex MB irons

RRP: £1,099 (s), £1,399 (g) | callawaygolf.com

Availability: 3-PW, AW  

Stock shaft: Project X 10 (s)

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness category: 1

Callaway Apex MB iron.

TG Verdict: Give 10 players the opportunity to design their dream muscleback iron and eight or nine of them will come up with the new Apex MB. And we say that because so many top-level golfers love straight and true top lines and leading edges.

Blades are utterly subjective as one man’s pleasure is another man’s poison, but for us the Callaway Apex MB is the blade of the year as it’s absolutely gorgeous.

RELATED: Callaway Apex MB irons

The satin finish takes away the shiny plating that some players raise issue with. And the idea to locate a hefty weight behind the impact zone, means the model can be swing weighted for different shafts without putting mass inside the hosel, which draws the centre of gravity towards the heel.

If you’re completely brand agnostic you will not find a better looking blade than the Apex MB in 2021.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Callaway Apex MB irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Callaway iron is right for you?

WATCH: Best 2021 Blade video

BLADED IRONS – BEST OF THE REST

TaylorMade P7MB iron

RRP: £1,299 | taylormadegolf.co.uk

Availability: 3-PW  

Stock shaft: KBS Tour

7-iron loft: 35°  Forgiveness rating: 1

TaylorMade P7MB iron.

TG verdict: If Callaway’s Apex is 2021 blade of the year, then the TaylorMade P7MB had to be blade of 2020. As soon as the model launched Rory McIlroy and Charley Hull put them in their bags, and there’s been some serious love amongst muscleback aficionados. 

We love the head shape and the CNC Milled face and grooves of the P7MB, and our test pro was impressed by the feel, we just wish we had the game to play a set.

FULL REVIEW: TaylorMade P7MB irons

RELATED: Best Ladies' Irons

WATCH: Which TaylorMade P-Series iron should I play?

In all fairness we reckon that thanks to TaylorMade’s new forged irons being available on a pick and mix basis, it’s highly likely lots of combo sets have been created with the P7MB PW, 9 and 8 irons teamed up with P7MC mid and long irons.

TaylorMade don’t launch musclebacks very often – since 2014 there’s only been the P730, Tour Preferred and Tiger Woods’ very bespoke P7TW – so don’t leave it too long if you have any desire to pair a set of P7MBs with your own game.

BUY IT NOW: Get the TaylorMade P7MB irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which TaylorMade iron is right for you?

Ben Hogan Icon iron

RRP: From £700 | benhogangolf.eu

Availability: 4-PW  

Stock shaft: Choose from four premium options

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness rating: 1

Ben Hogan Icon iron.

TG verdict: In a perfect world we’d all have a set of Ben Hogan Icon irons tucked away in the garage just for when we hit a purple ball striking patch. We grew up when Hogan Medallion irons were all the rage and we love how Hogan have given the Icon a lovely modern makeover today. 

Realistically not too many people will buy a 4–PW set. But we love how Ben Hogan offer a great combo set which teams the Icon 8-PW with the more forgiving hollow body PTX Pro 5, 6 and 7 irons, and an option of either a 22-degree forgiving utility UiHi iron or hybrid.

If you’ve got the game, the Icon irons are a very cool set of irons for very sensible amounts of money. Our data has them down as 2nd only to the Ping Blueprint when it comes to any sort of ball speed and carry distance protection.

FULL REVIEW: Ben Hogan Icon Irons

RELATED: Can you buy decent forged irons for £600?

Wilson Staff Model iron

RRP: £899 | wilsongolf.com

Availability: 3-PW  

Stock shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness rating: 1

Wilson Staff Model iron.

TG verdict: The iron that’s reignited the imagination of Wilson golf fans and put the brand back on the forged iron map. The Wilson Staff Model launched in 2019 and Gary Woodland used them to win his US Open at Pebble Beach. 

The irons are just pure classic musclebacks and they’re obviously hitting the spot with golfers as there’s now a Staff Model CB (cavity back) iron and matching tour level golf ball.

If you’re thinking the Wilson blades are right for your game just remember our consistent striking test pro saw 15–18 yard drop-offs in carry distance on some slight mishits with the Staff Model, and that makes them much more of a challenge to live with on the golf course.

RELATED: Which Wilson iron is right for you?

Mizuno MP-20 MB iron

RRP: £150 per club | mizunogolf.com

Availability: 3-PW  

Stock shaft: Choose from 18 premium options 

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness rating: 1

Mizuno MP-20 MB iron.

TG verdict: Mizuno muscleback irons are often put on a lofty pedestal by gear nuts. And it’s probably justified when you realise the likes of Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Jason Day have all played their irons recently unpaid. In many elite golfers’ books Mizuno’s Japanese craftsmen are nothing short of forged iron gods.  

FULL REVIEW: Mizuno MP-20 MB irons

WATCH: Which Mizuno MP-20 iron should I play?

Thanks to being the brand's first blade in decades to have a micro-thin copper coating underneath the shiny plated finish, the Mizuno MP-20 MBs are the best feeling blades the brand have made for ages.

If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned which blade was fastest or longest in our test, well anybody who plays them is much more focused on how they shape and work shots around the golf course than what that ability costs them in terms of speed or distance on a launch monitor.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Mizuno MP-20 MB irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Mizuno iron is right for you?

BEST PLAYERS IRONS 2021

Who are players irons for?

Handicap range: 10 and under

Better player irons are a thing of beauty that should only really be entertained by accomplished ball-strikers. Why? Because better player irons tend to have a smaller head size, a smaller cavity, a heavier shaft and weaker loft – all leading to a club that is less forgiving to hit.

Even if you are good enough to use players' irons, there's nothing to say you have to. But, as your game improves and confidence grows, many golfers feel the need to announce their arrival with a set of irons worthy of a decent player. For those blessed with a good degree of ball-striking, these irons tend to feel softer, sound crisper and give more feedback than game-improvement and super-game-improvement irons.

Plus, because of the smaller head, weight positioned around the perimeter is closer to the centre of gravity, making players' irons easier to shape (but also less forgiving).

Srixon ZX7 iron

RRP: 5-PW £899 (s), £999 (g) or from £149.50 per club | srixon.co.uk 

Availability: 4-PW  

Stock shaft: Nippon NS Pro Modus3 Tour 120

7-iron loft: 32° Forgiveness category: 2

Srixon ZX7 iron.

TG verdict: Over the years Srixon have got nowhere near the credit they deserve when it comes to forged irons, but we think that’s starting to change since the brand have doubled down and repositioned themselves as a players’ equipment brand.

The ZX7, with its very Japanese high-toe shape, is a simple but classy beauty. And that’s usually what ‘players’ ask for.

There’s nothing to not like about this sleek but powerful model. Our pro really liked the feel and feedback from the ZX7 and the data it produced against its peers is really impressive. A 7-iron carry of 168 yards was our third longest, but more impressively was how the Srixon ZX7 combined that power with only dropping seven yards (4.2%) between on and off-centre hits (third best), which really helps consistency and scoring on the course.

Remember, this year you can buy the ZX7 iron individually and mix and match them with the more forgiving and more powerful Srixon ZX5 mid and long irons if you need to.

FULL REVIEW: Srixon ZX7 irons

BUY IT NOW: Get the Srixon ZX7 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Is Srixon's Z-Star 2021's best ball? 

TaylorMade P7MC iron

RRP: £1,299 | taylormadegolf.co.uk

Availability: 3-PW

Stock shaft: KBS Tour 

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness category: 2 

TaylorMade P7MC iron.

TG verdict: Judging by the level of interest on our social media and YouTube channels, the launch of TaylorMade’s new muscle cavity P7MC iron was a highlight of last year.

It’s really important to remember this is very much a tour-level iron though and it was designed in conjunction with TaylorMade’s tour staff so be very careful before deciding if it’s the perfect fit for your game.

FULL REVIEW: TaylorMade P7MC irons

WATCH: Which TaylorMade P-Series iron should I play?

As far as head shapes go, they just don’t come any better; the P7MC is an absolute cracker, with just the sort of simple styling that never looks old.

Because we were assessing players irons, where precision and consistency are key determining factors of making a purchase, we didn’t just analyse how the models in the category protected carry distance.

Instead, we looked at the differences in ball speed and backspin too and unbelievably the TaylorMade P7MC was the only iron to place among the top three for all three areas. That tells us if you’re a good ball striker you’ll see some very consistent results from the P7MC’s on the course. We just wish we were good enough to use a set.

BUY IT NOW: Get the TaylorMade P7MC irons from Scottsdale Golf

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Mizuno JPX921 Tour iron

RRP: £150 per iron | mizunogolf.com

Availability: 4-GW 

Stock shaft: KBS S-Taper 

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness category: 2 

Mizuno JPX921 Tour iron.

TG verdict: The Mizuno JPX 921 Tour iron has a slightly longer blade length than Mizuno’s MP-20 MB which means it’s often better positioned in the hands of point and shoot golfers, or players who see shots in straighter lines rather than those who try to work shots into flag positions.

The Tours are a classically shaped, great looking Mizuno tour cavity iron, and the model has big shoes to fill after the previous two (JPX900 and JPX919 Tour’s) were so successful. It’s really difficult to say one ‘players’ iron is better than another as we’re well aware personal preference and brand affiliation comes into a buying decision in a big way with above average golfers.

FULL REVIEW: Mizuno JPX921 Tour irons

Watch: Which Mizuno JPX921 iron is right for me?

Like the Wilson CBs if you’re positive your game will benefit from a true ‘players’ iron you simply cannot afford to ignore Mizuno JPX921 Tour irons; they’re proven masters of the category and this is the best tour-level cavity back they make.

For many the attraction of Mizuno is sealed by how the brand take a one-price stance and incorporate a whole array of great shaft options at zero upcharge, which is well worth remembering at this end of the market.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Mizuno JPX921 Tour irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Mizuno iron is right for you?

Wilson Staff Model CB iron

RRP: £849 | wilsongolf.com 

Availability: 4-PW 

Stock shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness category: 2

Wilson Staff Model CB iron.

TG verdict: Wilson have a long history when it comes to forged irons, and the brand has had a real resurgence among ‘players’ over the last few.

If you truly are a very consistent ball striker who doesn’t need to keep an eye on distance, Wilson should be factored into your buying decision in 2021.

The CBs are a very traditional lofted, tour-level cavity back which thanks to the likes of TaylorMade’s P7MCs and Callaway’s Apex TCB are now the height of fashion. The glossy high polished plating will split opinion, but there simply isn’t a more traditional iron finish available, and it definitely doesn’t take anything away from the lovely head shape.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘players’ irons launch, spin, peak out and descend shots onto the green at better angles, just because they have more loft. Our data shows it’s simply not the case.

The CB comes with a heavier, lower launching Dynamic Gold shaft, and less offset which means shots have a more penetrating, lower trajectory.

Compared to the competition the CB was great at protecting ball speed (third best) and carry (fifth), which makes them a very solid choice this year.

FULL REVIEW: Wilson Staff Model CB irons

PXG 0311 T Gen 3 iron

RRP: From £135 per iron | pxg.com

Availability: 4-GW 

Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate Tour or 95 (s) Mitsubishi MMT 70 or 80g (g) 

7-iron loft: 32°  Forgiveness category: 2

PXG 0311 T Gen 3 iron.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the PXG 0311 T Gen4 iron

TG verdict: We usually see ‘players’ models as having no fast face or hollow body tech, but PXG are the one brand who break our rule, as almost all their irons have hollow heads.

This is the first year we’ve had PXG’s full iron line-up included in our ‘Best Irons’ section, and if you glance across the different iron categories their results are nothing short of remarkable. PXG know how to make brilliant irons.

The 0311 T Gen 3 is a really good-looking head with a lovely straight, but not confidence-shatteringly thin topline. Thanks to the extra forgiveness of the perimeter tungsten weighting and DualCor material inside, the T (Tour) are actually reasonably forgiving and very powerful for this category.

The head filling ensures sound and feel are fantastic, but if you are a proper ‘player’ who really wants to work shots, we’ve seen how PXG irons are very straight, which comes down to incredibly efficient perimeter weighting.

Of course, not everyone has £1,925 to splurge on a new set, but if you do the PXG 0311 T Gen 3 irons are seriously impressive.  

FULL REVIEW: PXG 0311 T Gen 3

BUY IT NOW: Get the PXG 0311T Gen 3 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: How a chance meeting led to PXG's creation

WATCH: Best 2021 Players' Iron video

PLAYERS IRONS 2021 - BEST OF THE REST

Callaway Apex TCB iron

RRP: £1,099 | callawaygolf.com

Availability: 4-AW  

Stock shaft: True Temper Project X 10 5.5 or X LS

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness category: 2

Callaway Apex TCB iron.

To say we were devastated to hear we wouldn't have a Callaway Apex TCB sample in time for our Best Golf Irons 2021 test is a massive understatement.

FULL REVIEW: Callaway Apex TCB irons

Yes, we love testing all the latest equipment launches, but more importantly we pride ourselves on bringing golfers the most up to date and relevant buying information, and to miss this mammoth iron from our test sessions was a bitter pill to swallow.

But, let's face facts. Two of the top five players in the world, Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele, are playing this new model – there’s no way it’s not going to be good. We can’t wait to find out how good when we finally get our hands on a set.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Callaway Apex TCB irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: WITB Xander Schauffele

Mizuno MP-20 MMC iron

RRP: £165 per iron | mizunogolf.com

Availability: 4-PW  Stock shaft: KBS S-Taper 

7-iron loft: 32°  Forgiveness category: 2.5 

Mizuno MP-20 MMC iron.

The Mizuno MP-20 MMC is the ‘players’ iron for golfers who think with their head rather than their heart.

The MMC’s top line thickness is just 1mm wider than the MP-20 MB which means you give up very little in terms of looks, yet get extra help with forgiveness thanks to the MMC’s multi-material construction.

WATCH: Which Mizuno MP-20 iron should I play?

In terms of data the MP-20 MMC flat-out performs. In a category where there’s less talk of technology MMC bagged top spot for protecting ball speed (there was 1.5 mph / 1.2% between our test pro’s on and off-centre hits) and carry distance protection (four yards / 2.4%) which is seriously impressive for an iron that’s highly likely to be revamped by Mizuno later in 2021.

FULL REVIEW: Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons

RELATED: Which Mizuno iron is right for you?

Ping i210 iron

RRP: £126 (s) £136 (g) per iron | ping.com

Availability: 3-UW  

Stock shaft: Choose from 10 options

7-iron loft: 33°  Forgiveness category: 2.5

Ping i210 iron.

The Ping i210 irons will be three years old come July, but they’re still going strong and are an excellent choice.

FULL REVIEW: Ping i210 irons

They’re Ping’s most played tour iron, and while our data shows they didn’t out-gun the stronger lofted competition, they are a very solid option that Ping will happily custom fit to you.

Our pro switched out of the iBlade to the Ping i210 a couple of years ago and he still swears it is one of the best ‘player’ models available; Tyrrell Hatton certainly wouldn’t argue with that.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Ping i210 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Ping iron is right for you?

Honma T//World TR20 V iron

RRP: £1,225 | honma.com

Availability: 4-10 (PW), 11 (GW) 

Stock shaft: Nippon Modus3 / Nippon NS950GH Neo / Honma Vizard IB-WF100

7-iron loft: 32°  Forgiveness category: 2

Honma T//World TR20 V iron.

Honma forged irons have turned our heads over the last few years. Not only have they always been really attractive and offered great feel, but there’s lots of options to choose from, as Honma never take a one-size-fits-all approach to forged irons.

We love how golfers can mix and match between the three TR20 sets (B;  Blade, V; Player iron and P; Players Distance iron). It means a decent fitter can create your own perfect combo set.

WATCH: How Honma T/World TR20 irons performed against forged rivals

The T//World TR20 V iron is a really simple and attractive head, there’s no fluffy tech story, just a great shaped Japanese forging. So if you’re one to put Japanese forgings on a higher pedestal than their Chinese counterparts, you really should check them out.

FULL REVIEW: Honma T//World TR20 V

BUY IT NOW: Get the Honma T//World TR20 V irons from Scottsdale Golf

Titleist T100S iron

RRP: £160 (s) £185 (g) per club | titleist.co.uk

Availability: 3-UW  Stock shaft: Choose from 10 options

7-iron loft: 32°  Forgiveness category: 2

Titleist T100 S iron.

Like it or loath it, golf has become a launch monitor game. Today, when golfers get fitted there’s always a launch monitor showing how each model compares to the next.

As good as the original T100 irons were, and they’re hugely successful on tour, Titleist realised golfers buy on numbers. And having weaker lofts than most, the T100 irons really struggled to compete in launch monitor wars. Titleist’s answer was the T100S. The new model have stronger lofts (2° stronger in the 7-iron), and according to our data they now position Titleist right at the sharp end of the ‘players’ iron category.

Our pro saw a gain of seven yards of carry distance switching from the T100 to the T100S. The S were also his second longest model (170 yards).

There were significant drops in backspin and descent angle to get the extra power, but we like a lot of good players still rate this model.

RELATED: What's new in the 2021 Titleist Pro V1

BUY IT NOW: Get the Titleist T100S irons from Scottsdale Golf

HOW THE 2021 PLAYERS IRONS COMPARED ON OUR LAUNCH MONITOR

2021 players golf irons test data from on our launch monitor.

BEST PLAYERS DISTANCE IRONS 2021

TaylorMade P790 iron

RRP: £1,299 – Hollow Body | taylormadegolf.co.uk

Availability: 3-PW, AW  Stock shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 (with VSS Pro) (s) UST Recoil (g)

7-iron loft: 30.5°  Forgiveness rating: 3

TaylorMade P790 iron.

TG verdict: The original P790 (launched in 2017) transformed TaylorMade’s iron business, it was the brand's biggest selling forged iron ever and its older brother the P790 (2019) is every bit as good.

Tons of golfers swooned over TaylorMade’s beautiful new P770s that launched in 2020 but if your game dictates needing to keep an eye on distance, our data spells out loud and clear how much is on the line by opting for the more compact model. 

FULL REVIEW: TaylorMade P790 irons

Where the P790 was our test pro’s longest players iron of the year (joint 1st with the Srixon ZX5 at 178 yards) the TaylorMade P770, which has a 7-iron loft that is 2.5-degrees weaker, was shortest at 163 yards. Which, unless you’re a low single figure handicapper who’s not worried about distance, is a heck of a lot to give up.

What’s really interesting is both the P770 and P790 irons produced very good drop off numbers. The P790 ranked 2nd and 4th for backspin and carry distance difference, while the TaylorMade P770 recorded the lowest ball speed and backspin difference and posted the 2nd smallest carry distance drop off, so both come with a degree of forgiveness.

The choice between the two models comes down to how much premium you put either on a smaller more compact head shape or maximising distance.

BUY IT NOW: Get the TaylorMade P790 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which TaylorMade iron is right for you?

Srixon ZX5 iron

RRP: 5–PW £899 (s) £999 (g) or from £149.50 per club | srixon.co.uk

Availability: 4-PW  

Stock shafts: Nippon NS Pro Modus3 Tour 105 (s) Diamana ZX (g)

7-iron loft: 31°  Forgiveness rating: 2.5

Srixon ZX5 iron.

TG verdict: We’ve known for years that Srixon make really good forged irons, and this year, thanks to thier strong performance in this test and the fact four-time major champ Brooks Koepka has put a set in play (he won the Phoenix Open with the ZX7) unpaid, more golfers than ever will sit up and take notice of them. 

The ZX5 irons are absolute beauties. We’re massive fans of the straight line look of the top and leading edges, both combine to give a really simple, clean, unfussy and powerful appearance. The forged springy SUP10 face and 1° less loft than the ZX7 gave our test pro 4mph more ball speed and 10 yards extra 7-iron carry distance, which showcases brilliantly how much fast face players irons bring to the party.

We love the idea that it’s now possible to buy Srixon’s ZX7, ZX5 and ZX4 irons as individual clubs, so if you want a little more control in the short irons and more pop in the long sticks it’s entirely possible to get it.

FULL REVIEW: Srixon ZX5 irons

BUY IT NOW: Get the Srixon ZX5 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: WITB Brooks Koepka

Honma T//World TR20 P iron

RRP: From £1,225 | honma.com

Availability: 5-10 (PW), 11 (AW)

Stock shaft: Nippon Modus 3 (s) Honma Vizard TR65 (g) 

7-iron loft: 30° Forgiveness rating: 2.5

Honma T//World TR20 P iron.

TG verdict: 2021 is the year forged iron fans are utterly spoilt for choice. The market is bubbling away like fine champagne, as high-profile launches appeared from all the major equipment brands since the end of summer 2020. It doesn’t matter if you want musclebacks, tour level cavity backs or forged distance irons, there’s not just solutions out here for everyone in 2021, this year there’s beautiful solutions too. Credit where credit’s due Honma have preached this sort of multi-pronged forged iron story for years. 

The Honma T//World TR20 P irons are the latest in a long line of lovely forged models from the brand. And if you’re the sort who swears blind fast face irons are inconsistent, then they will blow that sort of thinking out of the water.

WATCH: How Honma T/World TR20 irons performed against forged rivals

The TR20 P dropped just 3.9% of ball speed (4th best), 10.6% of backspin (3rd best) and 10 yards of carry distance (6th best) between on and off-centre hits. And it does all that whilst managing to be a really desirable shape that was also our 5th longest player’s distance iron. That sort of across-the-board performance is award winning.

If you find yourself dilly dallying between the Honma TR20 P and the weaker lofted (with no fast face tech) TR20 V, our test pro carried the P 7-iron 7 yards further.

FULL REVIEW: Honma T//World TR20 P irons

BUY IT NOW: Get the Honma T//World TR20 P irons from Scottsdale Golf

Mizuno JPX921 Forged iron

RRP: £150 per iron | mizunogolf.com

Availability: 4-GW

Stock shaft: Nippon Modus 120/105

7-iron loft: 31°  Forgiveness rating: 3

Mizuno JPX921 Forged iron.

TG verdict: When your whole business is built on the success of forged irons and your craftsmen have been forging clubs for 115 years, you challenge and push boundaries that others don’t dare touch. And that’s Mizuno’s thinking with the JPX921 Forged.

Taking chromoly steel which is well known for being springy and lively and stamping it into a top performing mass market Mizuno forged iron was a challenge Mizuno were happy to accept. And they’ve managed it because their experts reckon forged chromoly steel has a very bright future ahead. 

We’ve tested the JPX921 Forged before and they’re a brilliant blend of narrow top edges that lots of reasonable players like, along with a forgiving undercut cavity back. Mizuno reckon they suit 10–14 handicappers brilliantly.

FULL REVIEW: Mizuno JPX921 Forged

Watch: Which Mizuno JPX921 iron is right for me?

Lots of golfers have found themselves choosing between these and Mizuno’s hollow body MP-20 HMB. Our data has the one-degree stronger (7-iron) Forged adding 1mph of ball speed and two yards of carry distance over the HMB.

With such a small performance difference, decisions should be focused around how Mizuno reckon the HMB (Hot Metal Blade) are often a better fit for slightly lower handicappers (5–9), and whether you’re a hollow body fan.

Just remember the face material in both irons is chromoly steel, and if you’re stuck between the Forged and the JPX921 Tour, our data suggests you’ll give up 8 yards of 7-iron carry distance by not opting for the Forged.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Mizuno JPX921 Forged irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Mizuno iron is right for you?

PXG 0311 P Gen3 iron

RRP: From £135 per iron – Hollow body | pxg.com

Availability: 3-PW, GW

Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate Tour or 95 (s) Mitsubishi MMT 70 or 80g (g) 

7-iron loft: 31°  Forgiveness rating: 3

PXG 0311 P Gen3 iron.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the PXG 0311 P Gen4 iron

TG verdict: PXG often get a rough ride in online forums. As critics love hurling the ‘way to expensive’ grenade at whatever equipment they produce. One hardcore naysayer even recently suggested there’s zero evidence the brands perimeter weighting story actually does anything more than a traditional cavity back iron.

Well, thanks to looking at drop offs between our test pro’s on and off centre shots we can say PXG irons flat out perform. 

The 0311 P gave our test pro his smallest carry distance drop-off (six yards/3.4%), which of course increases consistency and predictability on the golf course.

The Ps were amongst our top three irons for protecting ball speed and four for protecting backspin difference too, which largely comes down to the hollow body, DualCor filling and how the brands expensive tungsten weights all work in tandem.

We love the P head shapes through the set, they’re very attractive to a wide audience of players and PXG say their MOI is 13% higher than the T (Players’ iron).

In terms of data the P gave our test pro 3 yards extra carry distance (7-iron) to the T, but 11 yards less than the 3deg stronger PXG 0311 XP (Mid Handicap iron) whilst also posting 174 yards in carry distance, which was joint fifthin our test,  which was against some stronger lofted models.

FULL REVIEW: PXG 0311 P Gen3 Irons

BUY IT NOW: Get the PXG 0311 P Gen3 irons from Scottsdale Golf

WATCH: Best 2021 Players' Distance Iron video

PLAYER DISTANCE IRONS 2021 – BEST OF THE REST

Cobra King Forged Tec iron

RRP: £899 (s) £999 (g) – Hollow Body | cobragolf.co.uk

Availabilty: 3-GW

Stock shaft: KBS $ Taper Lite (s) Project X Catalyst (g)

7-iron loft: 29.5°  Forgiveness rating: 2.5

Cobra King Forged Tec irons.

The Cobra Forged Tec were one of our best performing players distance irons in 2020 and they’re still very good this year.

The strongest 7-iron loft (29.5deg) of the category ensures they’re fast and powerful, and if you’re going all guns blazing for distance the Forged Tec have to be on your shortlist in 2021.

Compared to the competition the Cobra King heads are a fraction chunkier, with a wider top line and a little more hosel offset, which helps flight shots from the strong lofts.

FULL REVIEW: Cobra King Forged Tec irons 

BUY IT NOW: Get the Cobra King Forged Tec irons from Scottsdale Golf

Ben Hogan PTx Pro iron

RRP: £720 (5-PW) – Hollow Body | benhogangolf.eu

Availability: 4-PW  

Stock shaft: Choose from four premium options

7-iron loft: 34°  Forgiveness rating: 2.5 

Ben Hogan PTx Pro iron.

In the launch monitor era Ben Hogan are one brand who staunchly defend traditional iron lofts. They say they want to ensure golfers have no issues launching, spinning or stopping approaches onto any green.

That sort of stance means Hogan irons are massive underdogs for golfers who insist on slug feasting it out on pure speed and distance alone.

For golfers who aren’t obsessed by every last yard though, the Ben Hogan PTx Pro irons are an extremely good blend of modern hollow body technology with a very attractive head shape and look. We’re big fans and not only because they’re the best value for money forged iron on the market this year.

FULL REVIEW: Ben Hogan PTx Pro irons

TaylorMade P770 iron

RRP: £1,299 – Hollow Body | taylormadegolf.co.uk

Availability: 3-PW, AW

Stock shaft: KBS Tour

7-iron loft: 33°  Forgiveness rating: 2.5

TaylorMade P770 iron.

The hollow body P770 caused a massive stir when they launched last summer. We heard from so many golfers hoping their game was just good enough to slide them into the model, without putting too much playability on the line.

The truth is the TaylorMade P770 golf irons are adorable, we’ve tested them a few times now and they look, feel and sound brilliant, but there’s no escaping they’ve cost our test pro 12–15 yards of 7-iron carry distance on each occasion he’s hit them.

FULL REVIEW: TaylorMade P770 irons

WATCH: Which TaylorMade P-Series iron should I play?

And if most club golfers think with their heads and not their hearts that’s way too much of a trade-off for a more compact head shape.

If you are looking however at the weaker lofted models within this category (32-degree – 34-degree 7-iron lofts) the P770 was brilliant at protecting ball speed (3.9mph difference - 1st), backspin (412 RPM – 1st) and carry distance (8 yards difference – 2nd), which means it’s a great iron that’s likely to be most at home in the hands of low–to-mid single-figure handicappers.

BUY IT NOW: Get the TaylorMade P770 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which TaylorMade iron is right for you?

Callaway Apex 21 Pro iron

RRP: £1,099 (s), £1,399 (g) – Hollow Body | callawaygolf.com

Availability: 3- PW, AW

Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate ETS 115g (s) Mitsubishi MMT (g)

7-iron loft: 33°  Forgiveness rating: 2.5

Callaway Apex 21 Pro iron.

Hollow-body irons haven’t really been Callaway’s bag before, but in 2021 the new Apex 21 Pro is an absolute delight.

The muscleback appearance gives the impression of being a blade, whilst inside there’s up to 90g of low and deep tungsten weighting to maximise forgiveness from what is very much a players’ iron head shape and size.

FULL REVIEW: Callaway Apex 21 Pro irons

Callaway reckon the model suits scratch to high single figure handicappers, so we can see lots of players struggling to choosing between them and the TaylorMade P770’s. Realistically the decision is likely to come down to price, and the Pro’s edge that battle by £200.

Our data shows the standard Apex 21 iron being seven yards longer if distance is more of a priority.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Callaway Apex 21 Pro irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Callaway iron is right for you?

Mizuno MP-20 HMB iron

RRP: £180 per club – Hollow Body | mizunogolf.com

Availability: 2-PW

Stock shaft: Nippon Modus

7-iron loft: 32°  Forgiveness rating: 2.5

Mizuno MP-20 HMB iron.

The HMB iron will be two years' old this summer so they’re highly likely to be replaced at some point in 2021, but that hasn’t stopped Jason Day being spotted with some in his bag recently.

As long as you’re a reasonable ball striker and your handicap falls somewhere close to the brand's 5–9 guide, you just can’t not like the Mizuno MP-20 HMB iron.

FULL REVIEW: Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons

WATCH: Which Mizuno MP-20 iron should I play?

Purists will say the face is springy chromoly steel, but if that doesn’t float your boat Mizuno also have the MP-20 MMC and JPX921 Tour that will. Our data suggests the HMB’s give up 9 yards to the brands JPX921 Hot Metal Pro irons, which will be a factor to some.

In our book anyone who already owns the MP-20 HMB have a set of Mizuno irons that will stand the test of time.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Mizuno iron is right for you?

HOW 2021 PLAYERS DISTANCE IRONS COMPARED ON OUR LAUNCH MONITOR

How the 2021 players distance irons compared in data on our launch monitor.

BEST MID-HANDICAP IRONS 2021

Who are mid-handicap irons for?

Handicap range: 10+

A mid-handicap iron (or game-improvement iron as it is often called) is designed to deliver if your game needs a little bit of help – and let's face it, that’s most of us. With a slighter larger profile, a lighter shaft, stronger lofts and a slightly thinner face, game-improvement irons are a more forgiving club that is designed to improve ball speeds and carry distance - even when shots aren't hit in the centre of the face.

Mid-handicap irons typically make up 80% of a brand’s sales and with the average UK handicap around 14, the market for them is huge. So it’s important for manufacturers to do game-improvement irons really well, with a design that blends good looks, excellent off-centre hit forgiveness and strong carry distance.

Typically they have a larger head with more offset (distance from the hosel to the leading edge), which positions the centre of gravity further back. The extra offset and wider sole positions more weight beneath and further back from the ball’s equator to help shots get airborne. A cavity or hollow head positions more mass around the perimeter to improve forgiveness.

PXG 0311 XP Gen 3 iron

RRP: From £135 per iron | pxg.com

Availability: 3-PW, GW

Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate Tour or 95 (s) Mitsubishi MMT 70 or 80g (g) 

7-iron loft: 28°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5 

PXG 0311 XP Gen 3 iron.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the PXG 0311 XP Gen4 iron

TG verdict: The XP (Xtreme Performance) isn’t one of PXG’s new lower price models (though the price has come down from last year) but, leaving cost aside and just looking at the numbers, the 0311 XP Gen 3 is stunning. Yes, the lofts are strong (the 7-iron is 28°), but so is the competition.

The PXG was our longest mid-handicap iron (by three yards), but amazingly the XP also produced our smallest carry distance drop off (eight yards or 4.3%) of the whole category. That means great consistency on the course which is just what most club golfers need.

Our test pro was really impressed with the sound and feel, which are outstanding for the mid handicap iron category. What PXG have done for forged irons is incredible – game improver models just weren’t this good looking a decade ago.

We understand at £275 a club they’re not for everyone and that’s why we’ve also selected the new 0211 iron (£130 a club) among our Best Golf Irons 2021, too.

FULL REVIEW: PXG 0311 XP Gen 3 irons

BUY IT NOW: Get the PXG 0311 XP Gen 3 irons from Scottsdale Golf

TaylorMade SIM2 Max iron

RRP: £899, £1,049 (g) | taylormadegolf.co.uk

Availability: 4-PW, AW, SW, LW

Stock shaft: KBS MAX MT (s) Fujikura Ventus 5/6/7 (g) 

7-iron loft: 28.5°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5 

TaylorMade SIM2 Max iron.

TG verdict: “Cap Back” isn’t a term used for irons before, but that’s how the TaylorMade SIM 2 iron's construction is described by the brand.

Essentially the SIM2 Max is a hollow head design, but rather than the head being entirely made from steel, like a traditional hollow body iron, there’s a lightweight polymer “cap” covering the back of the iron. TaylorMade say the idea helps secure the topline and increases rigidity for maximum ball speed.

This is a really attractive iron for the category. The head shape looks great sat behind the ball, and while our test pro didn’t feel they sounded or felt quite as good as the very best forged irons, they were really impressive.

FULL REVIEW: TaylorMade SIM2 Max irons

Watch: The tech behind TaylorMade's SIM2 Max irons

We particularly like the lightweight feel and flighting of the KBS Max shafts. They’re a key ingredient of how TaylorMade get strong lofted irons to launch, fly, spin and descend onto the green at manageable levels, which hasn’t always been the case in the past.

TaylorMade’s beautiful P-Series (player) irons garner lots of attention, but if you’re anywhere close to approaching a mid-handicap level and looking for a new set of irons in 2021, we struggle to see past the SIM2 Max’s value for a whole host of club golfers.

BUY IT NOW: Get the TaylorMade SIM2 Max irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which TaylorMade iron is right for you?

Ping G425 iron

RRP: £129 (s), £139 (g) per iron | ping.com

Availability: 4-LW

Stock shaft: Ping AWT 2.0 (s) Ping Alta CB (g) with 7 after-market no charge upgrades 

7-iron loft: 30°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5

Ping G425 iron.

TG verdict: The G425 wasn’t our longest or fastest mid-handicap iron, which shouldn’t really be too surprising as the 7-iron loft is a couple of degrees weaker than the competition, but it is among the best mid-handicap golf irons for 2021.

Our data does show how Ping’s new mid-handicap iron is brilliant at protecting carry distance when shots don’t hit the centre of the face. Our pro saw a drop off of just eight yards (4.6%), which was a very close second to the PXG XP (4.3%). It means slight mishits with the Ping G425 iron will find their way over a bunker or water hazard on to the putting surface.

And our data completely ties in with how the brand say the G425 squeezes long and left and short and right misses much closer together.

FULL REVIEW: Ping G425 irons

WATCH: Everything you need to know about Ping G425 irons

We’re really big fans of the progressive nature of the irons. They’re much more compact and less offset in the short irons which is just the look a lot of golfers like. The longer irons have more offset and a slightly longer blade length to aid playability and offer more help where it’s needed in the longer clubs.

Ping G irons have been stalwarts of the mid-handicap iron category since the original back in 2004. Thanks to the G425’s clever tweaks, and because they now come with Arccos shot trackers in the grips (along with a free 90-day trial) we reckon there’s a decent chance they can shave a couple of shots a round from your scores.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Ping G425 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Ping iron is right for you?

Callaway Apex DCB iron

RRP: £1,099 (s), £1,399 (g) | callawaygolf.com

Availability: 3-PW, AW

Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate ETS 85g (s) UST Recoil Dart 75g (g) 

7-iron loft: 30°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5

Callaway Apex DCB iron.

TG verdict: We had a real headache choosing between the Callaway Apex 21 and Apex 21 DCB within this category as both are very worthy winners.

We’ve come down just on the side of the DCB and our thinking goes something like this. Callaway say Apex irons are now the best they make, and very rarely are the best iron range from any brand squarely aimed at mid-higher handicap golfers.

FULL REVIEW: Callaway Apex DCB irons

The Apex 21 DCB (Deep Cavity Back) just gets our nod because we love the way they open up forged irons to mid/higher handicaps, and thanks to a lighter 85g True Temper Elevate shaft more average speed players, too.

Sat alongside the Apex 21 at address the DCB is very closely matched. The untrained eye will struggle to see much difference in head size, shape and hosel offset. The DCB does have a wider and more friendly cambered sole which will help less consistent strikers. Our test data somewhat masks how desirable the Apex and Apex DCB iron really are, as we’re all prone at times to just look at the longest and fastest models.

We have the DCB 12 yards back from our longest, and nine yards back from last year’s Callaway Mavrik iron (which was also 2.1% more forgiving), but without a doubt we’d prefer the DCB in our bag in 2021. We don’t get to say it often enough, but these are a great looking set of mid-handicap irons.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Callaway Apex DCB irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Callaway iron is right for you?

WATCH: Best 2021 Mid-Handicap Iron video

MID-HANDICAP IRONS 2021 – BEST OF THE REST

Cobra King RADSPEED iron

RRP: £749 (s), £849 (g) | cobragolf.co.uk

Availability: 4-SW

Stock shaft: KBS Tour (s) UST Recoil (g)

7-iron loft: 27.5°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5 

Cobra King RADSPEED iron.

If your game needs the forgiveness and power of a mid-handicap iron, but your fancy isn’t tickled by going forged, the Cobra King RADSPEED irons are a very solid choice.

The lofts are strong (27.5°), but our data has the model down as being capable of launching, peaking out and dropping them on to the green at very sensible levels. The carbon-fibre topline insert is a different look, and it will divide opinion.

We love how Cobra’s engineers have built in an MOI-enhancing toe screw which draws the sweetspot towards the centre of the RADSPEED's face, which also improves feel in this cracking mid-handicap iron.

FULL REVIEW: Cobra King RADSPEED irons

BUY IT NOW: Get the Cobra King RADSPEED irons from Scottsdale Golf

Srixon ZX4 iron

RRP: £899 (s) £999 (g) | srixon.co.uk

7-iron loft: 28.5°  Forgiveness rating: 3

Srixon ZX4 iron.

Sadly Srixon weren’t able to get us a sample of the ZX4 iron in time for our test deadline, but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t highlight how they’re scheduled to make an appearance very soon.

Based on the excellent performance of both Srixon’s lovely ZX7 and ZX5 irons we’re confident the ZX4s will be top performers, too. They combine a hollow-body construction with tungsten sole weighting in the mid and long irons, and a forged springy face along with powerful lofts. And that sounds like a potent Japanese iron combination to us.

FULL REVIEW: Srixon ZX4 irons

BUY IT NOW: Get the Srixon ZX4 irons from Scottsdale Golf

PXG 0211 iron

RRP: £80 per iron | pxg.com

Availability: 4-LW

Shafts: Choose from four premium options

7-iron loft: 28°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5

PXG 0211 iron.

No, the price isn’t a typo, you really can buy a 5-SW set of PXG irons this year for £910, and if PXG’s premium forged XP model hadn’t topped our distance and forgiveness charts the 0211 iron would definitely have been among our favourites.

Like the G425 the 0211 are a really good progressive set. There are smaller, more compact heads and less offset where golfers can handle them and longer blade lengths and extra offset to help flight the longer sticks. PXG have built their name on forged irons, but the 0211 have a cast construction.

Thanks to not having the brand’s familiar perimeter weighting set-up they can now hit these sorts of prices. PXG say thanks to forgoing the perimeter weighting you give up 9-10% MOI, but that’s the price you pay for PXG’s premium models.

The 0211 will attract the eyes of a wide audience of golfers. We see them as a cracking 2021 model which for many will find tough to resist at less than a £1k a set.

FULL REVIEW: PXG 0211 irons review

BUY IT NOW: Get the PXG 0211 irons from Scottsdale Golf

Callaway Apex 21 iron

RRP: £1,099 (s), £1,399 (g) | callawaygolf.com

7-iron loft: 30.5°  Forgiveness rating: 3

Callaway Apex 21 iron.

We wouldn’t put up much of a fight against anyone arguing that the Callaway Apex 21 iron should be among our top performers, rather than the Apex DCB. Both bring very solid benefits to their intended target audience. But in our view the DCB serves the mid-handicap category particularly well.

Just like its siblings the Apex is a great looking forged iron. Unlike some it’s also really good at protecting carry distance, as it gave up just eight yards between on and off-centre hits (ranking second, just 0.3% behind the PXG XPs).

FULL REVIEW: Callaway Apex 21

Compared to the previous Apex 19 the topline is a little narrower, which potentially makes them more attractive to reasonably solid ball strikers who don’t want to give up 2.5° of 7-iron loft to play the hollow-body Apex Pro.

Our data shows that sort of decision is likely to cost seven yards of carry, which if we’re honest most club golfers will struggle to justify.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Callaway Apex 21 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Callaway iron is right for you?

Lynx Black Cat iron

RRP: £499 | lynxgolf.co.uk

Availability: 3-PW

Stock shaft: KBS Tour 90 (s), UST Mamiya Recoil (g)

7-iron loft: 33°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5 

Lynx Black Cat iron.

With golf booming we’re well aware there’s plenty of players either returning to the game or taking it up for the first time and Lynx are an ideal brand to start with.

Taking the plunge on a new set of irons is expensive, and that’s where Lynx come in. If you have £500 to spend on a new set of mid-handicap irons, the Black Cats will serve you really well.

The heads are hollow, the shafts are KBS Tour, and our pro was really impressed with how they felt.

A more traditional 33° 7-iron loft does mean that if you try them on a launch monitor they won’t be faster or longer than a lot of the competition but, thanks to that hollow head, our data has them among our five most forgiving models within the category. That’s great performance for half the price of many of the other irons we tested.

RELATED: How good is the Mid-Handicap Ben Hogan Edge EX iron?

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro iron

RRP: £135 per iron | mizunogolf.com

7-iron loft: 29° Forgiveness rating: 3

Availability: 4-GW

Stock shaft: Project X LZ Black 5.5

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro Iron.

The JPX921 Hot Metal Pro iron is a really good option for golfers who struggle to live with big offset hosels within the mid-handicap iron category.

It could easily pass for a more players’ style iron, due to the lack of offset, but unlike Mizuno’s player models the heads are cast not forged.

FULL REVIEW: Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro irons

Watch: Which Mizuno JPX921 iron is right for me?

We love the head shape of the Hot Metal Pro iron and think they’re a really good fit for reasonable ball strikers. Thanks to good sized and efficient cavity back design they also protect carry distance on off centre hits too.

From a 7-iron loft that’s two-degrees weaker than the strongest (in this category) the Mizuno gave up just six yards of carry against the very longest, and by posting a drop-off of just 10 yards (5.6%) of carry distance the Pro was comfortably among our top five for forgiveness this year.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Mizuno iron is right for you?

HOW THE 2021 MID-HANDICAP IRONS COMPARED ON OUR LAUNCH MONITOR

2021 mid-handicap golf irons test data from our launch monitor.

BEST HIGH-HANDICAP IRONS 2021

Who are high handicap-irons for?

Handicap range: 15+ 

The high-handicap iron (or super game-improvement iron as it’s often known) might not be the prettiest of clubs, but these brutes are meant to make the game easier for all of us. With the largest profiles, strong lofts and a huge amount of face-tech, these irons are for those who need plenty of forgiveness.

A high-handicap iron will mean you hit fewer bad shots and shorter clubs into greens - a win-win in our book. If you are looking for the best irons for beginners or high handicappers, this is the place to start. 

Related: Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers

High-handicap irons are often seen as the ugly ducklings, as their designs are never quite as sleek and appealing as other options. But they boast tonnes of tech to help anyone hit better shots. In a nutshell, these irons are aimed at the golfer looking for ultimate distance and forgiveness, without worrying too much about looks or control.

Wilson Staff D9 iron

RRP: £499 (s), £599 (g) | Wilson.com

Availability: 4-PW, GW, SW

Stock shafts: KBS Max Ultralite (s), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Silver (g)

7-iron loft: 27°  Forgiveness rating: 3.5

Wilson Staff D9 iron.

TG verdict The D9’s predecessors (D7) were a huge hit for Wilson. They combined strong lofts with oversized heads, plenty of hosel offset and lightweight, higher-launching shafts.

The combination worked really well in the hands of ordinary club golfers as they delivered strong, powerful ball flights, but they were also very playable, too. And, from what we can see, the Wilson Staff D9 iron has inherited all those superb traits.

Yes, the heads are big and the soles are wide, but that’s where the forgiveness comes from that the users of these clubs will enjoy so much. We’re big fans of the easy-to-launch KBS Max shafts and how Wilson manage to bring a set of D9s in for less than £500.

If you’re new to golf in 2021, or you just want to make the game as easy as it can be without employing a set of hybrid irons, the D9s are an outstanding place to start your search and one of 2021's best high-handicap irons.

FULL REVIEW: Wilson Staff D9 irons

Honma T//World GS iron

RRP £1,155 | honmagolf.com

Availability: 4-PW, GW, SW

Stock shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro 950GH Neo (s), Honma Speed Tuned 55 (g)

7-iron loft: 29º  Forgiveness rating: 4

Honma T//World GS iron.

TG verdict: The GS in Homan's new-for-2021 T//World iron stands for ‘Gain Speed’, which spells out loud and clear how this new model targets low and moderate swing speed players.

This year the GS family has come up trumps across the board in our Best Golf Clubs testing sessions, and the iron is no exception. Our data has the Honma down as our test pro’s second longest high-handicap iron, just two yards (193 yards) behind TaylorMade’s SIM 2 Max OS (which has a 7-iron 2.5° stronger in loft), and it was among our top five for protecting carry distance on off-centre hits, too.

But what’s really attractive about the T//World GS iron is Honma’s shaft choice. The Neo (steel shaft) by Nippon is lightweight, high launching and high spinning, and it means the brand get a strong lofted iron to launch, flight, spin and stop shots even at slower speeds. For club golfers, that means getting the best of both worlds – maximum distance and stopping power.

FULL REVIEW: Honma T//World GS irons

WATCH: Best 2021 High-Handicap Iron video

TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS iron

RRP £899 (s), £1,049 (g) | taylormade.co.uk

Availability: 4-PW, GW, SW, LW

Stock shafts: KBS Max MT 85 (s), Fujikura Ventus Blue (g)

7-iron loft: 26.5°  Forgiveness rating: 4

TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS Iron.

TG verdict: The game’s biggest brands understand how the majority of golfers who get fitted on launch monitors find it almost impossible to turn down extra carry distance. Well, if you’re looking for the longest iron in 2021, the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS is as good as it gets.

Yes, the OS is the strongest 7-iron (26.5°) on the market and yes that’s just 0.5° more than TaylorMade’s P7MC 5-iron. But the Cap Back design means that loft is still very playable – the data shows our test pro peaked shots out higher and got them descending towards the green at a steeper angle with the SIM2 OS than the P7MC 7-iron.

FULL REVIEW: TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS irons

Watch: The tech behind TaylorMade's SIM2 Max OS irons

So, if you’ve heard strong lofts hit low spin bullets that don’t stop on a green, think again. Yet for all that power and forgiveness, the OS has a really nice-looking head in the category. Our data has the TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS picking up 15 yards (7-iron) over the 2° weaker SIM 2 Max iron. Food for thought...

BUY IT NOW: Get the TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which TaylorMade iron is right for you?

Ping G710 iron

RRP £169 (s), £179 (g) per iron | ping.com

Availability: 4-PW, GW, SW 

Stock shafts: Ping AWT 2.0 (s), Ping Alta CB (g)

7-iron loft: 29.5°  Forgiveness rating: 4

Ping G710 iron.

TG Verdict: High-handicap irons never used to look this good, and the Ping G710s are testament to how far the category has come.

We love the hollow body and fast face construction, a design method that isn’t widely available within this category. It’s not too surprising it was the second-best iron for protecting carry distance drop-off.

FULL REVIEW: Ping G710 irons

We also like how the head covertly inspires confidence behind the ball, as the dark finish very cleverly hides the size. From a weaker loft than many, it’s unfair to expect the G710 iron to produce the very longest carry distances for our pro. However, from experience we know at more average speeds, any distance edge is likely to be tiny.

It’s also worth mentioning the Arccos shot trackers that come as standard in the G710 irons grips. As well as valuable data about your own game, Ping will use the stats to influence future club designs. Very clever stuff.

BUY IT NOW: Get the Ping G710 irons from Scottsdale Golf

RELATED: Which Ping iron is right for you?

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo hybrid iron

RRP: £599 (s), £649 (g) | clevelandgolf.co.uk

Availability: 4-PW. GW, SW 

Stock shafts: Dynamic Gold DST 98 (s), Miyazaki C. Kua 60 (g)

7-iron loft: 30°  Forgiveness rating: 5

Cleveland Launcher HB iron.

TG verdict: If, like us, you reckon golf should be fun, then more of us should be taking the extra forgiveness hybrid irons deliver.

We’ve tested the Cleveland Launcher a number of times over the last few years and every session puts a big smile on our pro’s face, and leaves us trying to fathom why more of us don’t put hybrid irons into play (we think it’s ego).

Our forgiveness ratings are based on muscleback blades being 1 and hybrid irons being 5, with everything else fitting in-between. And it goes without saying you won’t find anything more forgiving in the iron arena than the Launcher HB Turbo.

By not having the strongest lofts and incorporating a lightweight shaft, the Launcher are very easy to flight, particularly at mid and slower speeds. It’s worth remembering 2021 is the Launcher’s two-year anniversary, so there could be a new model at some point – and that may mean there’s a bargain to be had.

FULL REVIEW: Cleveland Launcher HB hybrid irons

How the 2021 high-handicap irons compared in data on our launch monitor.

READ NEXT: Best Wedges 2021

Simon Daddow

Equipment Editor

Simon Daddow
Sours: https://www.todaysgolfer.co.uk/equipment/best/golf-irons/
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MOST WANTED- BEST PLAYER’S DISTANCE IRON 2020

INDEPENDENT & UNBIASED

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OUR JOB IS YOUR GAME

Once a trend, the Player’s Distance Iron has become an industry-wide staple. The category offers the sleek, sexy appeal a majority of golfers’ egos desire in terms of looks, combined with an attractive duo of power and a bit of forgiveness. It’s the best of both worlds. However, this utopian offering is not for everyone despite the temptation it offers. The 2020 Best Player’s Distance Iron is the ultimate iron for someone looking to enhance looks, feel and performance in a more forgiving package than a traditional player’s iron.

With each passing year, manufacturers are inching closer to the limits of technology. They flirt with the established limits of the equipment rules governed by the USGA and R&A. These innovations continue to transform golf equipment to produce more ball speed across the club face, higher launch angles, straighter shots and improved feel and sound.

This year, we threw 13 of the top Player’s Distance Irons into a “battle royale” arena. Shots were hit, data were collected and analyzed. The results are in.

Most Wanted: Wilson Staff D7 Forged

Performance Grades

Below is the Best Player’s Distance Iron 2020 broken down by performance grades for each iron length. The percentages displayed for each iron represent the frequency at which each was among the best performing irons for each tester across the test pool. For more information about how we arrive at these results, see our How We Test page.

Iron Buying Considerations

Performance should be your primary concern when buying new irons but there are some additional things you may want to think about before you make your decision.

SET MAKE-UP

It’s essential to pay attention to set make-up. As with most things in the golf equipment industry, there is no universal standard for set composition. That’s not a bad thing as it allows for almost endless combinations and the ability to mix and match between models when appropriate. In the Player’s Distance category, 4-irons are practically ubiquitous but not every set offers a gap wedge. Make sure your iron set can fill every spot in the bag you need it to fill and that you’re not forced to buy more clubs than you want or need.

SHAFT SELECTION

The number of shaft options for irons is growing. It can be challenging to navigate the different models, weights, and flexes to find the right shaft for you. The answer to the best performing shaft question stretches well beyond graphite versus steel.

Go through a professional fitting. If for some reason you can’t, theMizuno Shaft Optimizer isn’t a bad place to start. The optimizer utilizes gyroscopes and strain gauges to measure things like club speed, tempo and how much the shaft is flexing at impact. It then recommends a list of shafts for your swing. It even makes a lie angle recommendation.

DISTANCE VERSUS FORGIVENESS

As technology advances, marketing increases and options multiply, it becomes critical to analyze distance and forgiveness in an iron. Obtaining the best performing iron with both metrics is a dream scenario but one that is challenging to achieve.

The two metrics are always pushing and pulling for the high ground…a give-and-take situation. To maximize distance, consider Cobra KING Forged Tec, Tommy Armour 845 Forgedor Callaway Apex 19. To enhance forgiveness, look at Honma T//World X, Titleist T200 or PING i500. It is important to note that there can be a correlation between distance and backspin. Distance does not always equal performance. After all, if you have distance but not enough spin or your descent angles are too shallow, you will not get stopping power on the green. What is the objective of distance if you are not hitting greens in regulation?

COST

A set of irons is an investment.  A majority of the Player’s Distance Irons for 2020 will cost you at least $1,000. Thankfully, there are bargains to be found. For example, Sub 70 699 Pro Black irons retail at $623 for a seven-club set (this doesn’t include exotic shaft upgrades).

BEST FOR FORGIVENESS - Honma T//World X

BEST FOR FORGIVENESS - Honma T//World X

The 2020 Best Iron for Forgiveness in the Players Distance category is the Honma T//World X. If you are looking for tighter dispersion and to hit more greens in regulation, don't overlook this one. While it's not among the longest, it offers the consistency you may need in a highly touted design that offers excellent feel.

FIELD NOTES

During each test, we look for trends that provide us with insight into where the market as a whole is moving as well as what noteworthy changes manufacturers have made to improve year-to-year performance. Additionally, we solicit feedback from our testers. We want to understand what they liked, what they didn’t like and why. Although we obtain their feedback, their subjective opinions do not influence, dictate or determine our testing rankings.

Trends and Tweaks

  • Without question, the objective of the category and the trends observed throughout this test is increased ball speed across the face. Each manufacturer features technology in the head designed for this purpose. The leading feature is innovative face technology. Wilson Staff D7 Forged, Honma T//World X and Cobra KING Forged Tec all feature unique takes on forged face design for increasing ball speed.
  • We continue to see a hollow-body or filled-body design approach for a majority of the competitors in this test. PING i500 and Honma T//World X  feature the hollow body. TaylorMade P790, PXG 0311 P Gen3 and Sub 70 699 Pro Black lead the filled-body contingent. These designs include some variation of a thinner face designed to increase face flex and generate more ball speed.
  • The majority of Player’s Distance Irons offer some form of multi-material construction. In addition to steel, tungsten is common. PXG (Impact Reactor Technology, powered by DuelCOR), TaylorMade (SpeedFoam) and Titleist (Max Impact) use polymers and other proprietary materials to reinforce the face, allowing for thinner designs.
  • Callaway Mavrik Pro brings the innovation level to peak heights with its “Flash Face Cup Technology” which utilizes artificial intelligence to increase ball speed unique to each individual iron.
  • While there’s as much or more technology packed into Player’s Distance Irons as there is in the Game Improvement category, one of the distinguishing features of the category is is often a more compact, player-preferred profile. Shorter blade lengths and thinner soles in irons like the Callaway Apex 19 are more pleasing to the eye and allow the golfer some degree of workability with more forgiveness than you find in a Player’s Cavity Back iron.
BEST FOR DISTANCE - Cobra KING Forged Tec

BEST FOR DISTANCE - Cobra KING Forged Tec

Cobra KING Forged Tec was a tester favorite in 2020. The longest players distance iron we tested, the Forged Tec is 2020's KING of Distance. Offering arguably the most balanced performance throughout the set, it's an iron that should definitely be on your demo list.

Notes from the Testing Pool

The following section details subjective feedback from our pool of 20 testers. Gathering feedback is an important aspect of any test. You are a consumer, just like the folks in our Most Wanted Tests. We use their feedback as a representation of what the consumer likes and dislikes in a product. This being said, the feedback is strictly subjective. It does not play a factor in the rankings.

  • Give us all the feels. Testers raved about the feel of a majority of the irons in this test. Top comments regarding feel belonged to: PXG 0311 P Gen3, Titleist T200, Callaway Apex 19, Wilson Staff D7 Forged.
  • Looks are invariably part of the conversation. TaylorMade P790, Honma TR20 P and PING i500 excelled in the design/looks department. All proved extremely popular with our testers.
  • The Tommy Armour 845 Forged pleasantly surprised testers despite its overall results. Testers were impressed by its feel and profile. The biggest knock from a majority of testers was the sound at impact, described it as an unappealing clicking noise.
  • The 2020 Most Wanted Player’s Distance Iron, the Wilson Staff D7 Forged, captured testers’ attention immediately. One tester commented that he would buy a set after testing it. He loved the feel, look, sound and performance.

2020 Most Wanted- Best Player’s Distance Iron 2020 Data

To filter and compare by club, use the drop-down list and checkboxes to select the irons you wish to compare.

It is important to note that while comparing the performance averages of 20 golfers with varying swing speeds and characteristics is interesting and sometimes useful, it doesn’t tell the complete performance story.  For this reason, we look at performance on a per-golfer basis. The overall rankings (listed near the top of this story) reflected the rate at which a club finished in the Top Performing Group for each tester.

Use the dropdown below to switch between long, mid, and short irons. Mobile users can use their finger to scroll through the chart in both vertically and horizontally.

Expert Tip - Shaft Weight

Heavier steel shafts tend to produce lower launch angles with less spin. Lighter shafts (steel or graphite) tend to produce mid to high launch with more spin. Finding a shaft that matches your swing will help produce the desired launch conditions, and shot shape. Remember to keep an open mind and pay close attention to the shaft's influence on performance during your next fitting.

 

HOW WE TEST

Our mission is to help you find the best Player's Distance Iron for your game.

We are 100% independent and unbiased, and always put the #ConsumerFirst

ABOUT OUR TESTERS

Our pool of testers consists of 20 golfers with handicaps ranging from plus to the mid-teens. As a group, they span a broad range of swing characteristics.

Over the course of several sessions, each golfer is required to hit PW, 7 Iron, and 5 Iron. Iron groupings and order are randomized on a per tester basis.

LIMITING VARIABLES AND GATHERING RELIABLE DATA

To minimize variables, all testers hit Bridgestone Tour B-X Golf Balls inside our dedicated Lab X testing facility located in Yorktown, Va.

While it doesn't affect the final results, subjective feedback on looks, feel and alignment is taken from each tester on every putter in the test.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

To determine the Most Wanted Player's Distance Iron, we calculate the strokes gained value for each iron relative to the average strokes for each tester. Those values are aggregated and totaled with the Most Wanted iron being the one that produced the highest average strokes gained value across the test pool.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

The Best Player’s Distance Iron For 2020  – FAQ

BUYING NEW IRONS

Q: How often should I buy new irons?

A: While on rare occasions there are quantifiable year-over-year breakthroughs, typically it takes three to five years for manufacturers to make significant performance gains. With the USGA further tightening restrictions on manufacturers, it’s possible, even likely, that it will take longer still moving forward. Our recommendation is to buy new irons only when they appreciably outperform what is already in your bag. Of course, if you want new irons because you want new irons, that’s fine, too.

Q: How do I determine the right category of irons for me?

A: The four categories of irons we test are Player’s (cavity backs), Player’s Distance, Game Improvement and Super Game Improvement. While there is some overlap between categories, your search should begin with an honest assessment of your skill level (handicap) as well as what you need in your game. While there are always exceptions, if your handicap is above 10 and ball striking is not a legitimate strength, consider Game Improvement or Super Game Improvement. For more skilled players who hit the ball more consistently, a set of Player’s or Player’s Distance irons may benefit your game the most. For those on the bubble, especially for those seeking a few more yards, the Player’s Distance category could be ideal.

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SEE MY RESULTS

Q: Does the shaft matter?

A: Absolutely. While changes to spin and launch differences are rarely massive, shaft changes frequently lead to improved accuracy, tighter dispersion and greater overall consistency.

Q: What should I look for when testing irons?

A: While golfers have been conditioned to consider distance to the exclusion of nearly everything else, even within the Player’s Distance category, we recommended looking at the little numbers and looking for small circles. When comparing metrics like distance and ball speed, be sure to look at your standard deviations (the small numbers usually found under the big ones on the launch monitor data screen). Smaller numbers mean better consistency which will usually mean more than an extra yard or two on the golf course. Similarly, look for tighter dispersion ellipses (small circles). We can’t overstate the importance of consistency with irons.

MOST WANTED

Q: How are the irons in the test fitted to each golfer?

A: We use a fitting process that we call fit from stock. Irons are fitted to each tester using the stock, no up-charge options from each manufacturer. We test one short iron, one mid-iron and one long iron from each set. While there are no irons in our testing that feature adjustability, we fit to flex for each tester in the pool. Occasionally, manufacturers will send multiple sets with different stock shafts that we can utilize to improve launch conditions.

Q: How do you determine in which category to test a given set of irons?

A: To ensure that we’re testing irons as alike as designers allow for, in addition to the design of the head itself (profile, sole width, etc.), we sort by length and loft. Our goal is to keep differences as minimal as possible within any test cohort. When an iron reasonably fits in more than one category, we defer to the manufacturer’s category choice.

Q: How is the Most Wanted- Best Player’s Distance Iron 2020 Determined?

A: To determine our rankings, we collect key performance metrics with Foresight GCQuad Launch Monitors. After eliminating outliers, we use a utilize a proprietary methodology to calculate Strokes Gained values for each combination of tester and golf club. The iron that produces the highest Strokes Gained values relative to the field average is our Most Wanted.

Q: How is the “longest” Iron determined?

A: The process to determine the longest Player’s Distance Iron is similar to how we arrive at our overall rankings. For distance, our critical metric is Total Yards. We identify the iron that produced the most total yards with the long and middle irons relative to the field average.

Q: How is the “most forgiving” Iron determined?

A: We’ve taken a practical approach to forgiveness. The club for which Strokes Gained values for the best shots are closest to the Strokes Gained value for the worst shots (relative to the field average) is the Most Forgiving.

Q: You discuss subjective feedback for things like looks, sound and feel. How much do those ratings factor into your rankings?

A: ZERO. Our rankings are based purely on launch monitor data and quantifiable performance metrics.

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Best Player’s Distance Irons in 2021

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find the Best Player’s Distance Irons in 2021, then we recommend the Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro.

I remember starting college at Georgia Tech in 1997, we were the first class that was required to have a computer to attend school.

With that requirement also came high speed internet for all dorm rooms on campus. When I plugged the ethernet cable into my new Dell computer and had my first non-dial up internet connection, my mind was blown and my world was changed.

All of this information right at my fingertips and all I had to do was get online. No more AOL and no more IBM floppy disks.

In this article we’re going to be reviewing the following irons:

When our game and skill level graduates to the point of using a player’s distance iron, some of the same things happen. You no longer have to sacrifice feel and spin for the sake of forgiveness. When you need to draw your ball around a tree or hit a towering flop shot that stops at the hole, you pull your irons out and know you can hit any shot.

You find that set of irons that gives you the distance, feel, shot-making ability, forgiveness, and look all in one package. The following is a list and review of the best player’s distance irons on the market. If your game is ready to make the upgrade, we suggest you read this list and find the set of irons that fits your game.

Best Player’s Distance Irons in 2021 Reviewed

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro

If you are a solid ball striker looking for a some added distance, you should take a look at the JPX921 Hot Metal Pro set. Mizuno is most known for their forged clubs because of their feel and the forging process that they use.

Best Players Distance Irons - Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro

Their cast irons, however, are some of the best on the market today. These irons may not have the feel and look that you find with the grain forged clubs, but they are really long, really powerful, and give you enough forgiveness if you strike the ball pretty well. The chromoloy steel sets these irons apart and allowed Mizuno to create a 2.2mm wide face, the thinnest in the company’s history. The variable thickness of the sole allows the thinnest area at the leading edge to act like a hinge and give you that much more torque at the bottom of your swing. All of that adds up to a very long iron with good feel.

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Pros

  • One of the longest irons on this list.
  • The “Harmonic Impact” gives you a solid feel and great sound.
  • You get a piercing and straight ball flight that is very consistent.
  • The seamless cup face with the variable thickness sole gives you that hinge effect.
  • The chromoloy allows for one of the thinnest and hottest faces of any iron.
  • A “stability frame” gives you some forgiveness on off center shots as you get some perimeter weighting. This also allows for a better, more solid feel.
  • The offset is reduced from previous models and it is a very compact head.

Cons

  • Not a very forgiving iron.
  • You do not get the same feel that you find in the forged Mizuno irons.

TaylorMade P770

The first thing you notice about the P770 irons is that they look like a high level “Tour type” club. When you swing them however, you feel and see the extra distance and forgiveness that these clubs offer.

Best Players Distance Irons - TaylorMade P770

The speedfoam is injected to the face so that you get the benefits of distance from the hollow construction and the feel of a solid club. You will also find tungsten weighting throughout the set so that the clubs are a little easier to hit, have a higher MOI, and give you a higher launch. These irons also have a progressive variable thickness pattern so that the most common mishits on each iron are covered and given more distance and accuracy. With the P770 from TaylorMade you get a great looking iron that looks like a Tour model but has the distance and forgiveness features that make these clubs accessible to a lot of players.

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Pros

  • A compact players shape is desirable and gives confidence.
  • The forged, hollow body construction gives you that extra bit of distance and forgiveness.
  • The speedfoam found in the 790 irons are found here as well so that you get high end feel and forgiveness. 
  • You get increased workability and a great ball trajectory.
  • Your scoring irons land softly on the green and give you good spin and feel.
  • A thin 4140 steel face gives you hot ball speeds and extra distance.
  • The Thru slot speed pocket gives you high end forgiveness while also adding some distance to the clubs.

Cons

  • Not as long as most of the other clubs on the list.
  • They perform differently than how they look and that can throw some golfers off.

Callaway Apex 21

The Callaway Apex irons have been at the top of a lot of “Best Players Irons” lists since they came out in 2014, and many people consider them the gold standard still today. They were made specifically for mid and lower handicappers with a great blend of game improvement and players features.

Best Players Distance Irons - Callaway Apex 21

These are forged cavity back irons that give you terrific feel without sacrificing distance or forgiveness. These irons look great and perform just as well. This is the first Apex set that was made using AI technology, and the flash face architecture designed to optimize each loft is great. There is no detail overlooked and the speed and spin that comes from this construction makes these some of the best irons out there. They are very consistent in performance, very accurate, and some of the more forgiving irons on this list. While the Mizuno irons take our no. 1 spot, these Apex irons are probably better for those mid handicappers who are on the higher end of the scorecard. There is a tungsten core that improves the launch and forgiveness of the club which also add to the game improvement features. 

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Pros

  • There are a lot of game improvement features that would help most golfers.
  • You get great feel without losing forgiveness and distance. 
  • Some of the longest irons on this list. 
  • The AI technology sets these irons apart as each club face is built to optimize performance for that loft.
  • These clubs are just as long as the Mavrik Max game improvement irons, but they are more forgiving and offer better feel.
  • Some of the most consistent and accurate irons out there.
  • They are a great combination of players iron features with game improvement features.

Cons

  • One of the more expensive sets on the market.
  • They do not produce enough spin for many mid handicappers.
  • The weight in the head feels a little different than what many golfers are used to. 

Mizuno JPX921 Forged

The JPX921 forged irons are similar in look to the Hot Metal clubs ranked first on this list, but with a couple of major differences. These clubs are forged so you get that incredible grain-forged feel that Mizuno is known for.

Best Players Distance Irons - Mizuno JPX921 Forged

However, you lose out on some of the distance that you get with the Hot Metal clubs. They use the chromoloy that they have become known for in the face so you still get the hot ball speed and extra flex. It is also really thin so you have some weight savings that Mizuno uses to place the center of gravity further down in the club. This is a stable club with a higher than average launch and a straight and piercing ball flight. It finds its way down the list in players distance irons because it does not give you the same distance as the irons above it, however, the feel of this set is, if not the best, one of the best that you will find in this category.

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Pros

  • Has some of the softest feel on the list.
  • Looks great at address.
  • Has the sound and feel that you expect from a Mizuno iron.
  • One of the more accurate iron sets out there. 
  • Some of the heavy hitters on tour (ie. Brooks Koepka, Tiger, etc.) have used these clubs successfully…Without being sponsored.
  • The first full-body forged chromoly steel iron means more speed, better feel, and high end energy transfer.
  • These clubs are easy to work around the course.
  • A higher than average launch, and is one of the easier forged clubs to hit.

Cons

  • Not as much distance as you will find in some of the other irons on this list.
  • Sacrifice some forgiveness for the great feel.

Cobra King Forged TEC

One of the things that sets these clubs apart is that they have all of the advantages and features of a player’s club with some game improvement aids as well. The hollow body construction gives some added distance and forgiveness while the traditional compact head and thin toplines make this an obvious player’s iron. The metal-injected tungsten toe weight makes the center of gravity in line with the center of the face for more distance and higher ball flights.

These clubs have great feel as well in part because of the foam microspheres infused to the hollow cavity. The club face is ultra thin for increased distance and face flex at impact, but you also have the flexibility and feel to shape your shots. The Cobra King Forged TEC are great because you get the playability and feel of a player’s club with the distance and some of the forgiveness of a game improvement iron.

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Pros

  • If not the best, at least one of the best when it comes to distance.
  • Performs well overall because of its length combined with feel and playability.
  • The feel is as good as any other set of irons out there.
  • There is a “one length” option that is growing in popularity.
  • The hollow cavity of the long and mid irons is infused with foam microspheres to fine-tune sound and soften feel at impact.
  • Has some game-improvement qualities that will appeal to a wide audience.
  • You get a lot of distance and decent forgiveness without losing feel.
  • The tungsten weighting is perfect for a higher MOI, more distance, and a lower center of gravity.
  • Blade look, feel, and performance but with a hollow design.

Cons

  • Thicker top line is not appealing to the target audience.
  • A lower spin rate than most on this list can make it more difficult to hit a draw or fade.

TaylorMade P790

Probably the most forgiving clubs on this list, the P790 irons are a great club if you are just starting the move to player’s irons or if you are more of a mid handicapper that still needs some game improvement features.

(check out this article for an in depth review of the P790 irons)

The hollow construction gives these irons the forgiveness and distance of a game improvement club, but the speed foam technology adds a lot of feel.

Speed foam technology is a very lightweight material that is injected into the club head to give it the feel of a forged club. The ultra thin face of these irons makes the ball jump off at contact and produces some really high ball speed and distance. The tungsten weight is no longer a disc, but a bar that runs from the heel to the toe and provides a high MOI and low center of gravity. There is also an L-shaped steel insert in the face for more face deflection and increased forgiveness. 

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Pros

  • The ultra thin face produces a lot of ball speed.
  • Launches the ball as high as any other club on the list.
  • Ultra thin, hot face that gives you some really high ball speeds.
  • The tungsten weight is an internal bar that goes from heel to toe and gives you high MOI, low center of gravity, and increased distance.
  • Low spin rates makes for straighter ball flight and more accuracy.
  • Probably the most forgiving club on the list.

Cons

  • One of the more expensive options.
  • Added forgiveness takes away some of the shot shaping capability.
  • A “tweener” club that is not good for high handicappers, but is not the first choice of low handicappers either, more of a transitional club.

Mizuno MP20 HMB

The blade-like looks and forged features mask a hollow bodied construction and more generous sole width. Mizuno calls this a set of “hybrid” irons because of the combination of muscle back looks and feel with added distance and forgiveness.

Best Players Distance Irons - Mizuno MP20 HMB

The biggest difference with these “hot metal blades” is the wider sole, chromoly face, and hollow bodied construction. Each of these features are game improvement features that are meant to increase forgiveness and distance and they do just that. You still get the incredible feel that Mizuno is known for, but you get it in an iron with a lot of added distance. This is one of the most sought after distance irons out there and have been since they came out. 

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Pros

  • Grain Flow Forged from 4135 Chromoly for high-strength performance with soft, solid, consistent feel.
  • One of the most forgiving forged irons out there.
  • You gain some ball speed from the Chromoly face.
  • These are really forgiving irons especially for the blade like look.
  • The game improvement aspects of this iron can genuinely improve your scores.
  • Mishits can still travel long and straight.
  • Look great at setup.
  • A tungsten weight in the 3-8 irons create a higher MOI and steeper launch, and that weight is removed for your “scoring” clubs.
  • Great feel for a distance iron.
  • One of the best combinations of game improvement and players features out there. 
  • Produce a really high launch.

Cons

  • One of the most expensive sets on this list.
  • Not as much workability in these irons.
  • The topline and sole are noticeably thicker and this can throw you off if you are looking for a true blade.

Titleist T200

The T200 by Titleist is probably the most similar to a cavity back look of any club on this list. You still get the feel and shot shaping capability of a player’s iron, but with the look and forgiveness of a cavity back. The forged, L-shaped face is very forgiving and produces some really high ball speeds. The best part of this club, the thing that gives it the feel of a player’s iron, is the “max impact” technology.

A very lightweight silicon polymer is spread behind the entire face of the club. This does 2 things very well. First, it makes this club the most forgiving iron set on this list and makes the T200 playable for a wide skill set. It also adds a feel to the club that is usually only available to solid, forged clubs. These irons are almost a hybrid between player’s clubs and game improvement clubs, and for most player’s this is a good thing.  

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Pros

  • Max Impact technology makes it one of the most forgiving player’s irons out there.
  • That same Max Impact technology gives these clubs the feel that a lot of lower and mid handicappers need.
  • The L-shaped face and combination of a forged face with a cast body make mishits low on the club better (a common mistake) and also gives this club a great launch.
  • This club is weighted to help you get under the ball easily and to give you a strong and penetrating ball flight.
  • A great transition club away from game improvement irons to player’s irons that will take your golf game to the next level.

Cons

  • A more expensive option.
  • Lacks some of the “performance features” you want in a player’s club.
  • Has a bigger head and more cavity back look to it.

Honma TR21X

Hollow body designs continue to trend upward in the players distance category, and the Honma TR21X irons are a great example of a hollow body with tungsten weighting. The tungsten, up to over 73g, is placed low, deep, and away from the face to give you high MOI, extra distance, a higher launch, and more flex.

Best Players Distance Irons - Honma TR21X

Honma also uses a foam inside the head to dampen vibrations and create that solid feel that you do not always get with the hollow body. What you will probably notice first is the looks of these irons. They look like a classic muscle back, forged iron so they are the perfect club if you want a little extra forgiveness in your longer irons but you still want the muscle back look. They are fast, high launching irons with controlled spin for longer carry and better feel and control around the greens. Look out for the 10-iron and 11-iron as these are actually the PW and GW.

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Pros

  • The look of a muscle back with the distance and forgiveness of a hollow body iron.
  • The foam injection gives you great feel and dampens vibrations.
  • These may be the best looking clubs on this list, if not, they are close.
  • Honma continues to impress as a brand and especially in the players distance category. 
  • The tungsten weighting really makes this club special with up to 73g of tungsten placed low and deep in the club.
  • It is not an overly light iron, but the weight placement makes it fast and the L-face insert gives you plenty of heat and great energy transfer.

Cons

  • They are some of the most expensive irons on the list.
  • You do not get great workability with the irons.
  • The launch can be a little high if you have a lot of clubhead speed.

Ping i500

The Ping i500 irons are a terrific balance of precision and power. With a hollow body design, there is enough ball speed to produce the distance that you need. Add to that the high-strength and ultra-thin maraging steel face, and you get a ton of face flex at impact as well. This causes the ball to launch off the face with a lot of speed but the flex also gives it the launch that all player’s are looking for in their swing.

This allows Ping to design clubs with slightly less loft for added distance but that still reach similar ball heights. The distance that you get from these clubs are as good as any on the market and the clubs look great at setup. The compact head design gives you the look of a forged iron while the features give you that same type of performance but without the price. In particular, the longer irons in this set play very well. The distance and control you get out of the lower lofts are as good as any other club on the market. 

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Pros

  • The long irons play as well or better than any other on the list.
  • A classic and clean look.
  • Very accurate short irons that land softly on the green.
  • The thinner face allows weight to be moved to give these clubs a lot of MOI.
  • The flex in the face of these clubs allow you to use less loft for more distance without losing much ball height.
  • Great turf interaction.

Cons

  • The feel is not the same as many of the other options here.
  • You gain distance but give up a little forgiveness and precision.
  • The higher irons do not perform as well as some of the other sets.
  • One of the more expensive options.

Wilson Staff D7 Forged

The Wilson D7 Forged irons are some of the best player’s irons Wilson has ever developed, and they have been around for a long time. The “Power Hole Technology” has a lot to do with the distance that these irons give you. It gives increased face deflection and contact time between the club and the ball for more efficient energy return. Basically, they give you a lot of ball speed and distance.

With that distance, you also get the look and feel of a forged iron so you get the best of both worlds. In addition, the entire chamber behind the face of the club is filled with urethane to give you the feel that a player’s iron should always have. In fact, the D7 Forged irons offer some of the best feel on this list even amongst the higher end manufacturers. The carbon steel cavity construction combined with the blade look and feel give you player’s irons performance with game improving distance.

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Pros

  • Wilson’s best player’s irons in a long time.
  • Great feel.
  • A good all-around club that does well in terms of distance, feel, and shot shaping ability.
  • A really good price for the features and quality.
  • The Power Hole Technology adds a lot of distance to this club.
  • Urethane filled power holes give great feel to every shot.
  • They look great at setup.
  • The look and feel of a blade with the game improvement distance and forgiveness of a cavity back.
  • Very accurate and very consistent.

Cons

  • Not as long as the clubs ahead of it.
  • Does everything well but does not do anything better than every other club.

Srixon ZX5

If you want a set of blades, the Srixon ZX5 are some of the most forgiving on the market. Srixon designed a great looking blade iron with enough distance and forgiveness that they are accessible to most golfers.

Best Players Distance Irons - Srixon ZX5

The tungsten weight lowers the center of gravity while raising the MOI. The forged face is hot and gives you a lot of ball speed and distance. You get a really high launch compared to other irons as well. The wedges feature progressive grooves that really grab the ball and give you the spin and feel around the green that most golfers want.

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Pros

  • The feel of a muscle back with the forgiveness of a cavity back.
  • Forged face enhances speed and distance.
  • The deep tungsten weighting in the toe increases the MOI and lowers the center of gravity to make it a very hittable iron.
  • Really good wedges.
  • The Tour V.T. sole features the comeback of the sole notches that were popular in older models.
  • If you want the look and feel of a blade, but you need the distance and forgiveness of a cavity back, this is a good iron set.

Cons

  • The distance is not there compared to similarly priced irons.
  • They are not very workable compared to other irons.
  • A high price tag.

What Is a Player’s Distance Iron?

A player’s distance iron is a club that you can hit a long way but still gives you a lot of feel and helps you shape the shots you need to. By nature, a club that is focused on distance has to have some aspects of forgiveness as well, but it is a fine line between the forgiveness offered by game improvement irons and the type of forgiveness that lower handicap player’s need. In the past, muscle back clubs, or blades, were the only player’s clubs out there. With technology continuing to improve, you can find player’s clubs in all forms with different levels of feel and forgiveness. In general, however, the more feel a club has the less forgiveness and the more forgiveness the less feel. A player’s distance iron exists for more advanced player’s who need both but can handle clubs with smaller sweet spots and less forgiveness. 

Who Needs Player’s Distance Irons?

A set of player’s distance irons are for golfers who have played enough and developed their skill to the point that feel and shot shaping is more important than forgiveness, but distance is still vital. If your current clubs are holding you back in terms of feel and spin, but you are still making good contact with the ball, then you should consider a new set of player’s distance irons. 

Features To Look For in Player’s Distance Irons

Feel

The feel of a club is a combination of the sound and vibration you get when the club makes contact with the ball. In our mind, feel is more than that too. It is how the club feels in your hand, what a solid shot feels like when you strike it, and the way you can draw or fade your shots by making small changes in grip or stance. “Feel” is probably the most important thing you are looking for when you make the change from game improvement to player’s distance irons. 

Shot Shaping

Player’s irons, because of how they are weighted and where the sweet spot sits, are easier to draw and fade. While most game improvement irons go for the lowest spin rate possible, player’s irons add some spin so that you can shape your shots.

Distance

The word “distance” is actually in the phrase “player’s distance irons” so you know it is important. You want to find an iron with feel and that helps you shape your shots, but distance is still one of the most important features of your golf game and you do not want to lose even a yard if you do not need to.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the least important aspect of a player’s iron, but it is still an important feature in an iron set. Some of the sets above have maximum forgiveness while still giving you feel and distance, and depending on your game, you may gravitate to those clubs. In general, remember, the more forgiveness you get, the less feel you will have.

Final Thoughts On The Best Player’s Distance Irons In 2021

Our Choice – Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro

In general, Mizuno is best known for their grain-forged softness and feel, but their cast irons continue to rate as some of the best on the market as well.

Best Players Distance Irons - Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro

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The Hot Metal Pro is a great players distance iron, first of all because they are some of the longest clubs out there. But even with the distance you get, Mizuno has kept the feel both solid and soft at the same time. While you lose on forgiveness, you gain a lot in feel and distance with the JPX921 Hot Metal Pro.

Sours: https://redbirdiegolf.com/best-players-distance-irons/

Irons 2020 longest

Players-Distance Irons

“Who are you? Who, who, who, who? That song lyric by the rock band The Who is a fitting start to your iron search. As clubmakers continue to splinter the market into several categories—for the Hot List, we group by Players, Players Distance, Game Improvement and Super Game Improvement—it’s important consumers are honest with themselves about what they need from their irons. Is it a hint of forgiveness with the workability, thinner topline and sole width that appeals to better players? Are you seeking to regain that lost half-club to Father Time without using something that resembles a shovel? Perhaps it’s a slightly bulkier iron that offers enough forgiveness to let you reach the front of the green on a slight mis-hit. Or maybe you’re relatively new to the game or don’t possess the skills others have. Iron sets with wide soles and thick toplines—or even all-hybrid construction—can provide you with the confidence you need. So, who are you? That’s a question only you can answer. Once you figure it out, the following pages have an iron set just for you.

Sours: https://www.golfdigest.com/hot-list/golf-clubs/players-distance-irons
TOP 5 FORGIVING IRONS OF 2020 FOR MID TO HIGH HANDICAP GOLFERS!

If you're looking to invest in a new set of irons to get added distance, check out our run down of current favourites

Best Distance Irons

It should come as no surprise that distance is a huge factor in the modern game of golf. If you can hit the ball further than you have a distinct advantage over everyone else at pretty much every level of the game. Bryson DeChambeau for example has an advantage at every event he tees it up.

One avenue manufacturers have realised that distance can be gained is in the irons sector, and as such they have made huge leaps forward in technology to help players hit the golf ball as far as possible.

Within this particular category of the best distance irons, you’ll find clubs featuring technologies to maximise clubhead and ball speed in order to generate maximum distance.

That being said, distance is obviously not the only factor to consider when choosing an iron because if there is no control over that distance, then what is the point?

As such we have looked at some models below that not only help maximise yardage, but also have a degree of control and feel too.

Alternatively if you want something a little bit different, or you want something other than distance from your irons, take a look at our guides on the best compact mid-handicap irons, best golf blade irons, or the best irons for low handicappers.

Watch our video on the Best Distance Irons below

Best Distance Irons

TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS Irons

+ Great distance
+ Better looking than previous SIM Max OS iron
– Not the greatest for feel players

TaylorMade’s longest iron in the current range, and one of the most forgiving, is the SIM2 Max OS.

The newly designed head, with a polymer cap instead of the Speed Bridge on the previous model, is large and really boosts confidence thanks to the sole width, offset and chunky topline. It just looks like a powerful iron down by the ball, not to mention one that seems impossible to hit badly.

The stability on offer is also noticeable – when you strike the heel or toe the face holds firm and the ball holds its line through the air. Only the poorest of strikes will result in a missed green which shows TaylorMade has managed to create an iron that blends distance with accuracy.

TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS Irons Review

Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Irons

+ Fast ball speed
+ Greater consistency from off-centre strikes
– Not as workable as Pro option

Best distance irons

The JPX921 Hot Metal is the longest iron in the JPX range, thanks to the use of Chromoly 4140M and a re-engineered Cortech face, now 0.2mm thinner across the centre point, creating faster ball speeds.

These are assisted by a Seamless Cup Face featuring a variable thickness sole design that allows the leading edge to act as a hinge, generating more face flex.

Three additional sound ribs produce a more solid sensation at impact while extreme perimeter weighting and toe bias in Mizuno’s Stability Frame help to deliver greater consistency from off-centre strikes.

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Irons Review

Callaway Apex DCB Irons

+ Most forgiving of the Apex irons
+ Improved sound
– Perhaps minimal different between DCB and standard Apex

Best Callaway Irons

A new model to the Apex range, the DCB is the iron for those seeking distance but still want the look and feel of a forged design.

Despite the shape clearly being the one most revolved around distance, the look is still fairly traditional with a slightly thicker topline compared to the Apex, Apex Pro and Apex MB designs.

From a technology standpoint, distance comes from the deep cavity back design, and the 50 grams of tungsten in the longer irons to help players get the ball in the air. The enhanced sole width has been engineered for easy launch and solid turf interaction out of a variety of lies as well.

Importantly there are also urethane microspheres to improve the sound of the irons which can be an issue in the best distance irons.

Overall, the lure of the extra distance and forgiveness in the Apex DCB  in a package that still looks appealing and feels good will make these very popular.

Callaway Apex DCB Irons Review

Cobra Radspeed Irons

+ Strong flight with low spin
+ Increased distance
– Not everyone will like look of carbon fibre topline

Cobra Radspeed Irons Review

An upgrade to the popular Speedzone irons, the Radspeed has a number of subtle improvements to help players hit it further.

Cobra have kept the lofts on the Radspeed the same as the Speedzone, but during our testing we found the 7 iron went five yards further on average. This is very impressive considering the lofts have not changed and it is a credit to Cobra’s clever design in the Radspeed.

Speaking of clever design, the 3D printed medallion is the chief change from the previous model and it offers makes the irons feel very lively off the face, whilst also helping with forgiveness.

Cobra has also made the Radspeed irons a lot more pleasing to the eye with a smaller sole shape, funky cavity design, and there is also a carbon fibre effect on the topline too. This may not be for everyone but we liked it as we felt it tricked the eye into thinking the club is thinner that it actually is.

With Cobra Connect grips as standard – and a One Length option available – the Radspeed irons offer some of the best pound for pound performance and value in the iron market.

Cobra Radspeed Irons Review

Wilson Staff D9 Irons

+ Suited to wide range of players
+ Explosive distance
– Lightweight feel may take a bit of time getting used to

wilson-staff-d9-iron-review

An iron that recently made our Editors Choice list for 2021, the Wilson D9 is one of the longest irons we’ve tested.

This is thanks largely to Power Hole technology. The Urethane-filled pocket arrangements increase deflection and allows more energy to transfer to the ball across the entire face for higher balls speeds and increased distance.

The irons also have a new ultra-thin face which incorporates a larger sweet spot for more forgiveness.

During testing we felt the feel also stood out massively – the D9 feels as hot as a three-wood or a driver out of the middle and feels nearly as good on slight mishits too.

Importantly, the irons offer up a clean, traditional look at address, and they inspire confidence too with the generous topline width and wide sole.

Wilson Staff D9 Irons Review

Ping G710 Irons

+ Striking black finish
+ High ball flight with good distance
– Minimal gains in distance over G700

Best distance irons

 

With its black PVD coating, the Ping G710 is a standout iron designed to help improving players get the most from their games.

With flexible maraging steel face, the design is intended to replicate the feel of a fairway metal and the speed and power produced by the G710 is impressive.

The addition of high density tungsten toe and heel weights further increases Moment of Inertia and helps maximise club head and ball speed.

We found the G710 produced a satisfyingly high ball flight and some good distances, even on the off-centre strikes.

The addition of Arccos shot-tracking sensors embedded in the grips as standard bolsters the appeal.

This is a great option for an improving golfer looking to improve consistency and distance.

Ping G710 Irons Review

Srixon ZX4 Irons

+ Top turf interaction
+ Clean looks
– Hollow construction not the best for feel

The ZX4 is Srixon’s iron built for distance, whereas the ZX5 and ZX7 models are for more control and feel.

In terms of how they provide more distance, MainFrame technology is a variable thickness pattern milled into the backside of each face, and it helps increase ball speed. More distance is the logical result of that.

The irons also help in terms of strike too with the Tour V.T. Sole which helps the iron move through turf rather than dig down into it.

Of course there is also a fully hollow construction too which helps players hit shots further regardless of where they hit it across the face.

Yonex Ezone GS Irons

+ Visually pleasing
+ Speedy and forgiving
– Some might be reluctant to go to a less mainstream brand

best distance irons

Part of the new Yonex Ezone GS range, these irons have a four-piece graphite-hybrid iron structure, consisting of a mild carbon steel body, tungsten plate, carbon graphite insert and maraging steel face.

This is said to offer maximum ball speed and distance and there is also an enlarged sweet spot across the face.

Built for the game-improver, it prioritises distance and forgiveness in equal measure and our testing showed that it delivers.

This iron does feel quite firm but is very solid and stable on mishits – ideal for inconsistent golfers who require assistance to find more greens in regulation. It has a flawless look at address, and it is definitely an appealing prospect for the mid-handicap golfer that should not be discounted.

Yonex Ezone GS Irons Review

Honma T//World GS Irons

+ Long performance on offer
+ Subtle, good-looking irons
– Wide sole may put some off

best game improvement irons

The Honma T//World GS irons are all about gaining speed across the face to create more distance with less effort.

The irons feature an L-Cup structured face which helps enlarge the sweet spot whilst a deep cavity and wide soles help inspire greater confidence at address.

Overall we think there are clear performance gains to be had here and we are also fans of the look of these irons because they are not hugely chunky, and the red and black accents in the cavity look good in the bag too.

Titleist T400 Irons

+ Max distance in Titleist iron range
+ Most forgiving iron in Titleist range
– Back of the sole is visible at address in the long irons

best distance irons

The Titleist T400 iron has been designed to be the most forgiving and longest iron in Titleist’s popular T series.

It has the strongest lofts in the Titleist range, but the launch is not compromised with a strong, high ball flight produced.

The split sole design delivers smooth turf interaction, while super-thin face and hollow head are fortified by high-density tungsten weighting making this a powerful and supremely forgiving iron.

The set is progressive with blade lengths, sole widths and hosel lengths decreasing towards the shorter irons.

Overall, we think the T400 is a great distance iron that could really help higher handicappers get the most from their games.

Titleist T400 Irons Review

Wilson Staff Launch Pad Irons

+ Extra assistance from wide sole
+ Good accuracy
– Unorthodox looks take some getting used to

best distance irons

The clubhead of the Launch Pad irons incorporates a wide, progressive sole throughout the set that prevents the sole from digging into the turf before impact. The short irons (7-SW) feature more traditional sole widths, while the longer irons (4-6) feature wider, more forgiving soles, for more consistent ball-striking and greater distance.

In testing we were impressed with the Wilson Staff Launch Pad irons. They’re not going to hit the ball for you and they’re certainly not going to save a really poor swing, especially in wet conditions, but the margin for error on the strike is definitely larger on a club like this and if you’re a beginner or high handicapper it’s certainly an option worth trying.

It is also one of the best golf irons for seniors too because of the consistency it offers.

Wilson Staff Launch Pad Irons Review

Callaway Mavrik Irons

+ Forgiving
+ Good distance
– Not as workable as Pro model
Best distance irons

There’s some complex technology contained within the Callaway Mavrik Iron.

The irons feature Flash Faces designed by a super-computer. The result is a sophisticated face architecture for every loft delivering a significant boost in ball speed and optimised spin.

In the long irons, the faces are designed for launch and speed, while in the mid-irons the faces are engineered for a combination of speed and spin consistency. The short irons have a face construction designed to optimise precision for shot-making.

Tungsten weights have been precisely positioned to deliver the best possible launch and trajectory.

In testing, we found the standard Mavrik Iron to be the longest of the three in the range – the others being Mavrik Max and Mavrik Pro. If you’re looking to gain maximum distance from iron shots, this super-forgiving set could be the way to go.

To take a more in-depth look at the Mavrik iron range, take a look at our best Callaway irons guide as well.

Callaway Mavrik Irons Review

Cleveland Launcher UHX Irons

+ Good power and strong launch
+ Nice feel in shorter irons
– Chunky longer irons


Cleveland’s Launcher UHX Irons incorporate hollow long irons (4-7-irons) for more distance and forgiveness, with lower and deeper weighting compared to traditional cavity back irons.

Meanwhile, the 8-iron through to pitching wedge feature a cavity back construction, which focuses on precision and control rather than maximising distance.

The Cleveland Launcher UHX irons will suit a player who struggles to find consistency with the longer irons but still craves a degree of control and precision in the shorter clubs.

We hope you found this guide on the best distance irons informative.

Sours: https://www.golfmonthly.com/best-golf-deals/best-distance-irons-146741

Now discussing:

ClubTest 2020: 5 player-distance irons that excel in the consistency department

By: Jonathan Wall

Callaway Apex irons.

The beauty of a player-distance iron is how it can benefit a wide range of handicaps. A more compact shape caters to the better player, while the forgiveness/distance package allows the mid-handicapper to reap the performance benefits — without having to go up in head size. For a large swath of golfers, it’s the total package.

As designers have continued to refine the profile and make tweaks to the technology, the iron has become even more consistent in terms of distance and dispersion. Based on GOLF’s 2020 ClubTest, these five irons stood out, from a consistency standpoint, during robot and player testing.

Callaway Apex

All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.

Callaway Apex

The players-distance model has continued to build upon one of the strongest reputations in the industry. The latest version is no different.

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Set: 3-PW
Our take: It doesn’t get much better than Callaway’s Apex. Since the iron was introduced in 2013, the player distance model has continued to build upon one of the strongest reputations in the industry. The latest version is no different, thanks in large part to a lively 360 cup face and metal-injection-molded tungsten that yields a cornucopia of speed and forgiveness. Speaking of speed, with it being less of a priority in the short irons, designers incorporated a variable thickness design for more spin control and a tighter dispersion. A forged mild carbon steel construction gives the iron a buttery feel, while the addition of a urethane microsphere inside the head—the same used in the company’s other premium irons—absorbs unwanted vibrations without negatively affecting ball speed. It’s darn-near impossible to quibble with Callaway’s version of the kitchen sink.
One of the most popular irons with testers, Apex continues to bring the heat with a combination of ball speed (1 mph faster), consistency and a sky-high launch (2 degrees higher than the average tested). With a shape even a single-digit handicapper can embrace, it remains a total package in the category.
ClubTester’s take (12-hdcp): “This iron almost makes me want to stop testing. Shape, feel, performance is all off the charts. It’s scary-good.”
Robot’s take: A speed and consistency leader in the Players Distance group.

Cobra King Forged Tec

Cobra King Forged Tec

The hollow cavity of the long and mid irons is infused with foam microspheres to fine-tune sound and soften feel at impact.

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Set: 4-PW
Our take: With nearly every major manufacturer now boasting a hollow-construction product featuring a material of some sort inside the cavity, Cobra became the latest to join the party with King Forged Tec in 2019. Designing the iron on a muscleback platform keeps the attention of better players while allowing mid-handicappers to reap the benefits of a forged PWRShell face and tungsten toe weights that expand the sweet spot and ramp up distance. The hollow cavity of the long and mid irons is infused with foam microspheres to fine-tune sound and soften feel at impact—a combo everyone from Rickie Fowler to your club champion will embrace. In addition to a traditional-length version, Forged Tec also comes in a One Length model, with each iron built at standard 7-iron length (37.5 inches), if you’re feeling adventurous.
Cobra’s latest creation is a certified showstopper. With one of the fastest ball speeds recorded on the robot, King Forged Tec produced a carry that was five yards longer than the average for all clubs tested in the category. For fast swing speeds in search of more distance, this is a legitimate contender.
ClubTester’s take (17-hdcp): “Really strong trajectory. Feel is second to none, which is what impressed me the most.”
Robot’s take: A leader in ball speed retention, low spin and carry distance.

Mizuno JPX 919 Forged

JPX 919 Forged

The JPX 919 Forged irons are designed to fit a wide variety of players.

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Set: 4-GW
Our take: The JPX 919 Forged irons are designed to fit a wide variety of players. Heads are Grain-Flow Forged, but they have boron infused into the 1025 steel to make the face thinner and faster. There’s also a micro-slot behind the face to expand the sweet spot.
ClubTester’s take (5-hdcp): “Sets up great and offers the benefits of a player iron with forgiveness. Clean look.”
Robot’s take: Emphasize consistency? If so, this is your iron.

TaylorMade P790

TaylorMade P790

The SpeedFoam-injected cavity increases speed and feel, while a tungsten weight lowers CG for a towering launch.

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Set: 3-PW
Our take: This iron offers a bevvy of technological innovations. SpeedFoam-injected cavity increases speed and feel, while a tungsten weight, positioned low in the club head behind the face, lowers CG for a towering launch. Responsive face forged from 4140 carbon steel brings the design together.
ClubTester’s take (13-hdcp): “Profile makes it look like I know what I’m doing.”
Robot’s take: A speed, carry and forgiveness winner.

Wilson D7 Forged

Wilson D7 Forged

Minimal offset and a thinner topline get paired up with a forged 8620 carbon steel face and urethane-filled holes in the sole of each iron head.

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Set: 4-PW
Our take: Minimal offset and a thinner topline get paired up with a forged 8620 carbon steel face and urethane-filled holes in the sole of each iron head. The result is an iron that not only looks but performs like a better-player offering.
ClubTester’s take (8-hdcp): “The best-looking iron I’ve seen from Wilson in some time.”
Robot’s take: Forgiving and consistent, with high spin and lower flight capabilities.

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Jonathan Wall

Golf.com

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.

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Sours: https://golf.com/gear/irons/player-distance-irons-golf-clubtest-2020/


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