Best Irons 2019

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Best Irons 2019: We bring you the best irons of 2019 - tried and tested as part of our biggest ever golf club equipment guide, Top Gear.

In our biggest ever equipment test we reviewed hundreds of golf clubs, and when it came to selecting the best irons of 2019, the only way we thought we could fairly do it was by splitting it in to four categories: Best Player iron (jump to), Best Game Improvement iron (jump to), Best Hollow Body iron (jump to), and Best Super Game Improver iron (jump to).

Don't know which kind of irons you should be looking for to suit your game? Our equipment editor breaks down the types of irons you should choose here


Best Player irons 2019

Callaway Apex Pro 19 iron review

RRP: £1299 (s) £1399 (g)
Availability: 3-PW, AW
Stock shaft: True Temper Eleveate Tour 115 (s) Project X Catalyst (g)
7-iron loft: 33°

Iron forgiveness rating


Callaway Apex Pro 19 ironTG Verdict:

Judging by our website traffic Apex irons were the most eagerly awaited iron launch of 2019. Apex Pro didn’t waste any time getting down to business on tour, either, winning their first week out in the hands of Xander Schauffele.

Unlike the previous model there’s cup face technology in the long and mid irons (3-7), which adds some extra zip, making the Pro’s longer irons slightly more playable than some of the competition. We don’t often endorse “Pro” model clubs, but we reckon Apex Pro might suit up to a six handicapper as long as you’re a confident ball striker.

If you’re in any doubt choosing between the Pro or standard Apex 19, our data suggests you’re putting over 10 yards (of 7-iron carry) on the line by choosing the Pro, which is significant. If you’re good enough, their a cracking set of irons.

Foresight GC Quad launch monitor

Why we use a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor

 

TaylorMade P760 iron review

RRP: £1299 (s)
Availability: 3-PW
Stock shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold 120
7-iron loft: 33°

Iron forgiveness rating


TaylorMade P760 iron

TG Verdict:

We’ve been massive fans of TaylorMade’s P790 hollow body irons since they launched, and P760 are a more compact version. They have forged heads (P790 are cast with forged faces) with hollow bodies in the mid and long irons (3-7) and one-piece forged heads in the short (hence why we’ve included this combo set here and not in best hollow body iron category).

P760 won on tour early in 2019, showing the type of golfer they’re really aimed at. They’re definitely more forgiving than TaylorMade’s P730, but with a 7-iron loft 2.5° weaker than P790, don’t expect P760 to compete on ball speed or distance. Our data has 14 yards of 7-iron carry difference between them. It’s a gorgeous iron, but most category two golfers in our opinion will be better suited to the P790 or the M5.

Ping i210 iron review

RRP: £126 (s) £136 (g)
Availability: 3-PW, UW
Stock shaft: Choose from eight premium steel and two graphite options
7-iron loft: 33°
Iron forgiveness rating

Ping i210 iron

TG Verdict:

The i210s are an excellent players’ iron. So good, in fact, that after our test our pro swapped his iBlades for a set! Their ability to marry good looks with decent levels of playability are what convinced players like Lee Westwood and Tyrrell Hatton to use them.

Unlike muscleback blades, which are favoured by some of the very top players on tour, i210 is also a great option for good club golfers looking for a solid, reliable iron to keep in the bag for years. Our test pro was particularly impressed with the extra feel he got over the Ping i500s, which can only be put down to additional elastomer in the head which creeps further up the back of the face, supporting the head’s structure and dampening vibration. Simply an excellent choice for good golfers.

Srixon Z785 iron review

RRP: £799 (s) £899 (g)
Availability: 3-PW, AW, SW
Stock shaft: Nippon NS Pro Modus Tour 105/120 (s) Miyazaki Kaula 8 (g)
7-iron loft: 32°
Iron forgiveness rating

Srixon Z785 Iron

TG Verdict:

It wasn’t that long ago Japanese forged irons were only really available from Mizuno in the UK, but Srixon, and now Honma, are in that mix. Srixon has refocused their attention to the tour and better player market and the new Z785 are everything a decent player wants.

It doesn’t have fast face tech like the Z585 and the type of player who’ll buy them shouldn’t be worried about distance.

Our data shows (with the exception of hollow body models) they’re among the longest in this category, yet retain a fantastic forged feel and sound. A lovely traditional forging with some modern sole shaping and laser groove tech, which comes in for sensible money compared to the competition.

Mizuno MP-18 SC iron review

RRP: £135 per club
Availability: 3 - PW
Stock shaft: Choice of 16 premium options
7-iron loft: 34°
Iron forgiveness rating

Mizuno MP-18 SC iron

TG Verdict:

It’s worth pointing out Mizuno’s MP-18 irons have been in the range for two years come August, so it’s likely they’ll be replaced at some point in 2019. We’ve tested the SC a lot over the last two years, and they’ve always drawn positives from our test pros.

This is a classic forged cavity back aimed at low single figure handicappers and good ball strikers, hence the low forgiveness rating. HD forging means the lower portion of the head has been squeezed more tightly, which Mizuno says improves feel where shots are typically hit.

Even though the 7-iron loft is quite weak, Neil felt SC gave a strong ball flight so he didn’t feel he’d give up anything in terms of distance to play them. As you’d expect from a forged Mizuno iron feel and sound is excellent.

Jump to: Best Game Improver irons / Hollow Body irons / Super Game Improver irons

Best of the Rest - Player irons here

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Jump to: Hollow body irons / Super Game Improver irons

Best Game Improver irons 2019

Ping G410 iron review

RRP: £126 (s) £136 (g) per club
Availability: 4 - PW, UW,SW, LW
Stock shaft: Choose from seven options
7- iron loft: 30°

Iron forgiveness rating

Ping G410 ironTG Verdict:

You won’t often hear golf brands say they’ve improved forgiveness by making an iron or wood smaller, as reduced head size usually means a lower MOI. But Ping’s hierarchy insisted the new G410 had to be a sleeker, slimmed down model than any of the nine previous G irons.

G410 has a shorter blade length and 10% less hosel offset, which positions the G iron, looks wise at least, closer to a players’ iron than ever before. Yet magically, because the custom tuning port’s moved to the toe, forgiveness is increased by 8%.

G410 is a great option for club golfers; it’s a real looker, too, which hasn’t always been Ping’s strength over the years. Our data suggests there’s more powerful options out there, but you’ll need to compromise on head shape or size to get them. We reckon they’ll suit golfers from about an eight handicap upwards.

Callaway Apex 19 iron review

RRP: £1299 (s) £1399 (g) 
Availability: 3 - PW, AW, SW
Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate (s), True Temper Catalyst (g)
7-iron loft: 30.5°

Iron forgiveness rating

Callaway Apex 19 iron

TG Verdict:

Callaway Apex irons were already seriously good before this new model hit the shelves. The 2019 version focuses on fine-tuning sound, feel and looks, while a new shaft helps flight shots higher to drop and stop approaches onto a green. Simply, they’re a beautiful forged iron.

If you’re drawn to forged models, make sure you have Apex on your list to try in 2019.

The Cup Face and reasonably strong lofts made it (along with the PXG 0311 SGI, which has a stronger loft) our longest forged iron of 2019. The reasonable head size, wider sole and a fraction more hosel offset (than the Apex Pro) mean they sit on the fence between a player and game improver design; we reckon they’ll suit up to about a 12 handicapper.

Honma TWorld 747 P iron review

RRP: From £969
Availability: 4 - PW (10), GW (11), SW
Stock shaft: Nippon NS Pro 950 GH (s), Honma Vizard for 747 50 (g)
7-iron loft: 28.5°

Iron forgiveness rating

Honma TWorld 747 P iron

TG Verdict

Honma is making big inroads into the consciousness of everyday golfers, partly thanks to a great new range of clubs, and partly because they’ve signed Justin Rose to play them. We’ve not tested much Honma equipment before, but our test pro was surprised – and impressed – by the 747’s look, sound, feel – and it’s seriously good launch monitor numbers.

The head has a shorter hosel to free up mass and 20g worth of tungsten weight in the sole to improve playability. A lack of offset and a narrow top line mean the 747 is just as slender as you’ll find in most player irons. Honma had a reputation for seriously expensive, blingy clubs – but all that’s changed. The 747s stand out on merit as a great performing option, at the top end of the game improvement market (meaning they’re close to players’ irons). The price puts them right among the market leaders, making them a seriously good option.

TaylorMade M6 iron review

RRP: £849 (s) £999 (g)
Availability: 4 - PW, GW, SW, LW
Stock shaft: KBS Max 85 (s), Fujikura Atmos Orange (g)
7-iron loft: 28.5°

Iron forgiveness rating


TaylorMade M6 iron

TG Verdict:

 Realistically, the majority of club golfers (10 handicappers and above) should be considering irons just like the M6 when buying a new set.

We’re big fans of how the combination of strong lofts and lightweight, high-launch shafts work together to generate plenty of ball speed and carry. They also launch shots high enough with decent levels of backspin to stop approaches on a green. Simon was the M6’s biggest fan, feeling the mix of looks, sound and feel, hosel offset and forgiveness were perfect for boosting confidence, even for a 10 handicapper.

Our data showed despite M6 and TaylorMade’s P790 using the same face tech (the bottom of the face floats and isn’t attached to the head), M6 – thanks to a stronger loft – increased ball speed by 2mph and added four yards of carry distance.

Best of the Rest - Game Improver irons here

Jump to: Best Player irons / Best Super Game Improver irons

Best Hollow Body irons 2019

TaylorMade P790 iron review

RRP: £1049 (s) £1299 (g) 
Availability: 3 - PW
Stock shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 (s) UST Recoil 760/780 (g)
7-iron loft: 30.5°

Iron forgiveness rating


TaylorMade P790 iron

TG Verdict: 

We’ve tested P790 plenty over the last two years (they launched in August 2017 so are likely to be updated in 2019), and they’ve always been great looking and strong performers. TaylorMade says it’s their best-selling forged iron ever (forged face, but cast body) – and we can see why.

The hollow body construction undoubtedly plays a role in making P790 our longest players’ iron of 2019 – 179 yards. Hollow irons are a growing trend, and P790 sits right on the fence between player and game improver. They’re fast and give a strong ball flight which above-average golfers will admire as much now as when they first launched.

PXG 0311 P Gen 2 iron review

RRP: from £400 per club
Availability: 3 - PW, GW
Stock shaft: N/A. PXG insist on only fitting golfers to their best performing option
7-iron loft: 31°
Iron forgiveness rating

PXG 0311 P Gen 2 iron

TG Verdict: 

PXG founder Bob Parsons charged his engineers with creating a forged iron that looked like a blade, but played like a cavity back. Four years on he’s built a super-premium brand around the idea.

The Gen 2 P iron, for reasonable club golfers (we see it as a players iron), is an absolute corker. Our test pro was a huge fan and while we can’t say the cost of PXG equates to big gains (P790 carried shots three yards further), there’s no doubt the forged heads look, sound and feel great.

If we didn’t have a hollow body iron category, P would easily have featured among our top 10 player irons. Just beautiful.

Ping i500 iron review

RRP: £149 (s) £159 (g) per club
Availability: 3 - PW, UW
Stock shaft: Choose from eight premium steel and two graphite options
7-iron loft: 30.5°

Iron forgiveness rating


Ping i500 iron

TG Verdict:

A players’ distance iron, with a hollow compact head and similar levels of hosel offset to Ping’s iBlade.

Our test pro said he could feel and hear how the heads were hollow, whereas the PXGs and TaylorMades are filled with either elastomer or speed foam. Hands down this is an iron that’s been designed for speed.

Strong lofts, combined with the right shafts, deliver a towering ball flight, extra ball speed and plenty of carry. This is a brilliant hollow design, that sits nicely on the fence between player and game improver models. If you’re thinking about a set you should also make it your business to try the P790s and Titleist AP3s.

PXG 0311 XF Gen 2 iron review

RRP: From £400
Availability: 3 - PW, GW, SW, LW 
Stock shaft: N/A. PXG insist on only fitting golfers to their best performing option
7-iron loft: 30°

Iron forgiveness rating

PXG 0311 XF Gen 2 iron

TG Verdict

Forged irons used to be the reserve of decent players, as great forged models very rarely filtered down into the game improver category. PXG has changed all that and we applaud them for doing so. Just because you’re not a great player doesn’t mean you don’t want the same feel and sound as the best.

The XF is oversized, but it looks great sat behind the ball, without too much hosel offset or a chunky top line. We’re big fans of how you can’t buy PXG irons off the rack – they insist on fitting you. A brilliant forged game improver iron, which isn’t something we’ve said often before.

Ping G700 iron review

RRP: £149 (s) £159 (g) per club 
Availability: 4 - PW, UW, SW
Stock shaft: Choose from 10 premium options
7-iron loft: 29.5°

Iron forgiveness rating


Ping G700 iron

TG Verdict:

Just to prove hollow iron tech is for everyone, the G700 – aimed at super game improvers – makes an appearance here. Whereas most hollow irons try to blur the lines between player and game improver categories, the G700 blurs the line between game improver and SGI models. Or as our pro put it… “it’s a hacker’s blade”.

None of our three testers felt they’d choose the G700s increased head size and wider sole over the very tidy and low offset look of the G410s, but we can’t take anything away from the G700’s performance (second longest iron of 2019). Just make sure you take advantage of Ping’s brilliant fitting to ensure you get your perfect set.

Jump to: Best Player irons / Best Game Improver irons / Best hollow body irons

Best Super Game Improver irons 2019

Callaway Big Bertha iron review

RRP: £1140 (s) £1399 (g) 
Availability: 4 - SW
Stock shaft: KBS Max (s), UST Mamiya Recoil (g)
7-iron loft: 30°

Iron forgiveness rating


Callaway Big Bertha iron

 

TG Verdict:

Good looking, super game improver irons never used to be a thing, as old school designers thought golfers were willing to give up cosmetics for increased performance. The Big Bertha, though, shows how far the category has come. The BB's head is created as a skeleton frame with parts attached to it, ensuring weight is positioned precisely to maximise playability from what is a head size we wouldn't expect to see in this category.

Simon, who plays off 10, says he could happily play the Big Bertha, knowing its extremely forgiving body and slightly lighter weights would help with accuracy and power at his average swing speed. Like most irons nowadays these aren't cheap. The PVD finish looks super sleek, too, on an iron more than worthy of the legendary Big Bertha moniker.

TaylorMade M CGB iron review

RRP: £849 (s) £1099 (g) 
Availability: 4 - SW
Stock shaft: Nippon NS Pro 840 (s) UST Recoil 460 ES (g)
7-iron loft: 29.5°

Iron forgiveness rating


TaylorMade M CGB iron

TG Verdict:

Even though the M CGB o ers more forgiveness than any other iron in TaylorMade's line- up, they don't have the strongest loft. And that tells a story. The extra loft and lighter weights are tailored to help average swing speed players optimise launch, spin and height to improve carry. Every iron in the set gives as much face ex as a modern driver, which you won't get in most fast-faced models. And for a super game improver iron, the M CGB has a really nicely shaped head.

They have been in TaylorMade's iron line for two years come August, which means they're likely to be updated at some point soon. But in the meantime, if you want extra speed and distance from your irons, but struggle to launch the M6 or Callaway's Rogue X from the turf, these are a brilliant option.

Wilson Staff D7 iron review

RRP: £469 (s) £599 (g) 
Availability: 4 - PW, UW, GW, SW (5 - PW, SW stock set)
Stock shaft: KBS Tour 80 (s) UST Recoil 460 (g)
7-iron loft: 28°

Iron forgiveness rating

Wilson Staff D7 iron

 

TG Verdict:

The D7 has a heck of a lot going for it. There's seriously strong lofts, an extra row of power holes in the soles of the longer irons to give extra pop where golfers need it, and the thinnest faces Wilson have ever produced in an iron. Throw into the mix how the oversized head is easy on the eye, without being ridiculously chunky or off set, along with a price tag half that of the premium competition, and many golfers should be more than satisfied.

But the D7 offers something extra; it powered shots out there! 189 yards (with a 7-iron), making it our third longest iron of 2019. All that together makes the D7 a cracking package for anyone looking for an iron to boost distance, but without giving up everything in terms of looks to get it.

Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal iron review

RRP: £120 per club 
Availability: 4 - LW
Stock shaft: Choose from 16 premium options
7-iron loft: 30°

Iron forgiveness rating

Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal iron

TG Verdict

Mizuno are renowned for their great irons, and even though the Hot Metal isn't forged, or among our longest, we still reckon it's a brilliant option for golfers looking for forgiving irons in 2019. It gets an Editor's Choice Award because, where lots of game improver irons go big and chunky with masses of off set, the Hot Metal stands out as THE model for golfers demanding a good looking, reasonably compact head size.

It says bundles about its looks that Mizuno were surprised that so many decent players turned to them to experience fast face tech. Just remember, if you're after pure power, a 7-iron loft a few degrees weaker than the strongest means the JPX919 will struggle to compete on ball speed and distance alone.

Ping G700 iron review

RRP: £149 (s) £159 (g) per club 
Availability: 4 - PW, UW, SW
Stock shaft: Choose from 10 premium options
7-iron loft: 29.5°

Iron forgiveness rating


Ping G700 iron

TG Verdict:

The G700 appears three times in our Best Gear 2019 testing, which tells us it's a top drawer performer for a good chunk of mid to high handicap golfers. We'd say G700 is for golfers looking to add ball speed and distance to their iron game, but combine it with a high degree of forgiveness from heads that don't look like shovels. The G700's larger head means more face ex and ball speed, which is di cult to achieve in a smaller model. The head hinges backwards from its leading edge, increasing launch and carry, which is really clever as it counteracts the strong loft, and means shots y high and approaches stop on the green. A brilliantly powerful but super forgiving iron for 2019.

Best of the Rest - Super Game Improver irons here