We take a look at the 11 best game-improvement irons 2017 has to offer that could help you find more greens and attack more pins this season
The 11 best game-improvement irons 2017
Outside your annual sub, your irons are probably the most expensive golf purchase you are likely to make, so it’s worth spending a little bit of extra time researching the various models to make sure you get the best set for your swing and budget.
Much of the innovation and technological advances in iron design in 2017 isn’t visible to the naked eye. New heat treatment techniques has allowed manufacturers to make the clubfaces thinner to create more spring and more ball speed.
Lofts are getting stronger every year because of the ways brands have been able to increase forgiveness and launch angle, so you’ll almost certainly find a 7-iron from today goes a lot further than a 7-iron, or even an 8-iron, from a few years ago.
The shaft plays an important role in your sets overall performance, as does the lie angle to make sure you maximising speed and delivering the club correctly, something your local pro will be able to check out for you.
Larger, more game improvement irons tend to go further and be more forgiving, which is why mid-to-high handicappers tend to favour them. Here are 11 of the best game-improvement irons 2017 has to offer…
Ping’s COR-Eye Technology creates a hotter clubface than the G30 iron the G replaces, causing a gain in ball speed and shot height for more carry distance and a steeper landing angle.
RRP: £92 per club. Ping G irons review
Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal
Made from a new material called Chromoly 4140M, the JPX900 iron combines very high ball speeds with the bendability of a forged iron.
It has paved the way for Mizuno to create its thinnest ever cup face for extra distance, while remaining soft and bendable in the hosel for precise lie angle adjustments.
TaylorMade engineers have been able to lower CG and improve consistency by adding Face Slots and adopting a deeper Speed Pocket with a 33% thinner front wall for even more flexibility. A new thinner, wider six-sided fluted hosel saves weight that is put lower in the clubhead. The new hosel bend slot also allows for a 30% improvement in bending. Similar to the M2 metalwoods, the new M2 irons employ ‘Geocoustic’ engineering techniques; acoustics tuned through geometry for better feel and sound via 3-D damping and an optimized rib structure to create ideal frequencies.
Cobra King F7
New to the King F7 iron set is a ‘Pwrshell’ face design, which comprises a thinner face and sole structure that increases the sweetspot and delivers distance, precision and forgiveness. Also available in One Length version, where all irons are in 7-iron length in an attempt to improve consistency.
Titleist 716 AP1
Callaway Steelhead XR
Callaway has kept the best heritage elements from original X Series irons, but added modern-day tech like its 360 Face Cup, which provides the distance. A Hollow Bore-Thru hosel design has also allowed weight to be repositioned where it can further increase forgiveness and stability, while a steel bar infused with urethane behind the face dampens vibration and lowers the CG to improve feel and launch.
Wilson Staff D300
The D300 iron boasts the same FLX FACE technology with refined Power Holes found in the Wilson Staff C200 iron that boost speed and distance by limiting contact between the thin face and clubhead to just 26 per cent of the face’s area. These holes are filled with a special Urethane to improve the irons’ feel and sound. Finally, special heel and toe weight pods (60g in total) have been positioned around the extreme perimeter to push the centre of gravity deeper and increase MOI for extra forgiveness.
Yonex Ezone Elite
Lynx Predator The Lynx Predator Irons are made from stainless steel and are designed to offer a high Moment of Inertia for added forgiveness. They also feature a progressive offset design to make the longer irons easier to square the face – preventing shots from being lost out to the right. They have a chrome finish and are available in four different colour options – black, orange, green and yellow.
Benross HTX irons
The HTX irons feature heat-treated faces for faster ball speeds and Torsion Control Bars across the cavity that increase stability to boost heel and toe forgiveness. For players after a little more workability, the HTX type R irons (pictured above, £379.99 steel or £429.99 graphite) still feature heat-treated faces to increase ball speed, but utilise progressive top lines through the set to blend short game control with long game forgiveness.
RRP: £299.99 steel, £349 graphite
What else you need to consider
Set make up
Some of these game-improvement iron sets will include the option of switching out the 3, 4 and even 5-irons for easier-to-hit hybrids, which will give your game a lift in the trickier end of your bag.
If you have the time to dedicate toward successfully reducing your handicap, you may want to favour the more compact models that offer a little more feel and workability.
Steel shafts are cheaper and generally more common, however graphite shafts are lighter, will tend to offer you more club speed for extra distance, and will usually make it easier to launch the ball.