Best Game Improver Irons 2019

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Best Game Improver 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 for us there were four stand out performers, Honma T/World 747 P, Ping G410, Callaway Apex 19, and the TaylorMade M6.

Don't know which kind of iron suits your game? Our equipment editor breaks down the types of irons you should choose here

ROBOT TESTED: Which golf ball suits my game?


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 iron

Ping G410 iron 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.

Which Ping iron suits me?

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

Callaway Apex 19 iron 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.

Which Callaway iron suits me?

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

Honma T/World 747 P iron 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.

TESTED: Titleist Pro V1 vs TaylorMade TP5 golf balls

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

TaylorMade M6 iron 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.

Which TaylorMade M6 iron suits me?

Jump to: Best Player iron 2019 / Best Hollow Body iron 2019 / Best Super Game Improver iron 2019

How they compare in data

Game Improver Iron data


Best of the rest

Cobra King F9 Speedback iron review

RRP: £699 (s) £799 (g)
Availability: 4 - SW (stock set 5 - GW)
Stock shaft: KBS Tour 90 (s), Fujikura Atmos 6 (g)
7-iron loft: 29.5°

Iron forgiveness rating

Cobra King F9 SpeedBack iron

Cobra King F9 Speedback iron verdict:

All of Cobra’s King F9 clubs this year have been really powerful and forgiving, and the irons are no different. The long, low-profile head, which gives extra stability, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But for those after a brilliant mix of ball speed, carry distance and forgiveness, the F9 delivers in spades.

Our data has the F9 down as one of the longest irons of 2019 (and it doesn’t have the strongest loft), which along with its reasonable price point should make it attractive to lots of club golfers.

Why we use a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor

Foresight GC Quad launch monitor

Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal Pro iron review

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

Iron forgiveness rating

Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal Pro iron

Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal Pro iron verdict:

Mizuno introduced the Pro in January because they’d seen better players turning to their Hot Metal iron, and they thought by creating a slimmer and smaller, less offset head, they could attract more decent players to the benefits of hot faced irons.

We love how Mizuno have given both Hot Metal irons and the JPX919 Forged a very similar look at address; it means they can be interchanged at will to create a brilliant combo set.

Best driver 2019

Srixon Z 585 iron review

RRP: £799 (s) £899 (g)
Availability: 3 - PW, AW, SW
Stock shaft: Nippon Modus 3 105 (s) Miyazaki Kaula 8 (g)
7-iron loft: 31°

Iron forgiveness rating

Srixon Z 585 Iron

Srixon Z 585 iron verdict:

The Z 585s have forged heads with modern springy 1mm thick faces. A 7-iron loft of 31° says though they’re not chasing ball speed and distance at all costs.

The two-piece construction means a slightly different sound than a one-piece forging like Srixon’s Z 785, but all three testers were impressed with the data the 585 produced. For our pro it was just a single yard behind his longest forged iron of 2019 (Callaway Apex).

TESTED: Blade vs Cavity irons with Sir Nick Faldo

Mizuno JPX919 Forged iron review

RRP: £135 per club
Availability: 4 - PW
Stock shaft: Choose from 16 premium options
7-iron loft: 32°

Iron forgiveness rating

Mizuno JPX919 Forged iron

Mizuno JPX919 Forged iron verdict:

Mizuno’s forged iron for the masses, and absolutely the model for golfers who insist on a forged head, but aren’t necessarily great ball strikers.

You have to realise, as classy and seductive as the JPX919 Forged is, because it has a very traditional 32° 7- iron loft it’s going to struggle to help golfers crying out for a smidge more distance. An absolute beauty of an iron, though.

TESTED: Titleist Pro V1 vs Mail Order golf balls

TaylorMade M5 iron review

RRP: £999 (s) £1199 (g)
Availability: 4 - PW, AW, SW
Stock shaft: True Temper XP100 (s) Mitsubishi Tensei Orange (g)
7-iron loft: 30°

Iron forgiveness rating

TaylorMade M5 iron

TaylorMade M5 iron verdict:

M5 has the toughest gig of any iron in the TaylorMade line-up. Golfers who’ll consider M5 are highly likely to explore the P790 (which are brilliant irons) and competitor irons, too.

Think of the M5 as being the iron for golfers who insist on compact head profiles, but also want a degree of forgiveness, and you won’t go far wrong. It’s not forged, so costs are slightly lower than the P series irons, too.

TESTED: Longest iron of 2019

Callaway Rogue X iron review

RRP: £849 (s) £1049 (g)
Availability: 4 - PW, AW, GW, SW
Stock shaft: KBS Max (s) Aldila Synergy 50 (g)
7-iron loft: 27°

Iron forgiveness rating

Callaway Rogue X iron

Callaway Rogue X iron verdict:

An all-out assault on distance. Their lighter, stronger, longer design philosophy ensures every detail is set up to make them the most powerful iron available (they’re our longest 2019 model).

You have to realise they’re not for everyone, and especially not those who struggle to launch irons high enough to maximise carry. If, though, you don’t have difficulty flighting shots from the turf and want to rinse every last yard from your swing, they are a revelation.

And the other irons we tested in this category

Callaway Rogue / Ben Hogan Edge / Benross Evolution Type R / Cleveland CBX / Wilson Staff C300