Best Player Irons 2019

Published:

Best Player 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 five stand out performers, Mizuno MP-18 SC, Srixon Z 785, Callaway Apex Pro 19, Ping i210 and the TaylorMade P760.

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 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 iron

Callaway Apex Pro 19 iron 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.

Which Callaway iron suits me?

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

TaylorMade P760 iron 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.

Which TaylorMade iron suits me?

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

Ping i210 iron 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.

Which Ping iron suits me?

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

Srixon Z785 iron 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

Mizuno MP-18 SC iron 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.

Which Mizuno iron suits me?

How they compare in data

Player Iron Data

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


Best of the rest

Wilson Staff C300 Forged iron review

RRP: £599 (s) £699 (g)
Availability: 3 - PW, GW
Stock shaft: KBS Tour 105 (s) Fujikura Pro 85 (g)
7-iron loft: 33°

Iron

Wilson Staff C300 Forged iron

Wilson Staff C300 Forged iron verdict:

Right on the fence between a better player and game improvement iron, the C300 could easily slip into either category. C300 Forged is aimed at golfers who love the look and feel of Wilson’s FG Tour V6, but feel intimidated by the tiny head size.

We’ve tested the C300 on several occasions now and it’s a good marriage of a forged head with decent ball speed protecting tech. The shiny, rounded head shape won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but we reckon they’re a good shout for golfers of a 12 handicap or less, who are looking for a good forged iron for sensible money.

Best Hybrid 2019

Cobra King Forged TEC iron review

RRP: £799
Availability: 3 - PW, GW
Stock shaft: True Temper AMT Tour White (s) UST Mamiya Recoil ES (g)
7-iron loft: 30°

Iron forgiveness rating

Cobra King Forged TEC iron

Cobra King Forged Tec iron verdict:

A strong 7-iron loft gives the TEC a distinct advantage when it comes to ball speed and carry. It’s no surprise the model produced a 7-iron carry within four yards of our longest 2.5 forgiveness irons (only PXG 0311 P Gen 2 at 176 yards and Mizuno’s MP-18 MMC at 174 were longer), which says the King is very much a speed and distance orientated design.

We’re big fans of the head shape and love how the dark finish disguises the head shape. Sound is louder than most in the category (it’s down to the thin and fast face), but our test pro wasn’t put off by it.

Ben Hogan PTx iron review

RRP: £580.51 + shipping (£30.15)
Availability: 4 - PW (in four different launch profiles)
Stock shaft: Choose from four premium options
7-iron loft: Choose from 32° / 33° / 34° / 35°

Iron forgiveness rating

Ben Hogan PTx iron

Ben Hogan PTx iron verdict:

The old adage of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, doesn’t quite ring true with the PTx. Hogan is a premium brand, with an amazing heritage, yet because their business model now cuts out retailers (it’s online only) you can buy a set of these brilliant clubs for £580 (plus shipping). That, in anyone’s book, is amazing value.

The head shaping is second to none, there’s a lovely technology story with a titanium core removing mass to improve perimeter weighting and no matter whether you want, strong or weak lofts there’s a launch profile to suit everyone. Not the fastest or longest, but just gorgeous.  

TESTED: Titleist Pro v1 vs TaylorMade TP5 golf balls

Mizuno MP-18 MMC iron review

RRP: £150 per club
Availability: 3 - PW, GW
Stock shaft: Choose from 16 premium options
7-iron loft: 32°

Iron forgiveness rating

Mizuno MP-18 MMC iron

Mizuno MP-18 MMC iron verdict:

Never did we think an iron which looks as beautiful as the MMC could offer similar levels of forgiveness as the deep cavity back Ping Eye 2 iron from the ’80s.

Make no bones about it the MMC’s sole width is narrow, so we reckon you need to be a decent ball striker to get the best out of them. Our test pro recorded a carry distance just two yards short of his longest with the 2.5 forgiveness rated irons, which says they’re no slouch when it comes to power.

There’s a definite increase in playability over the MP-18 SC, so you can probably see the MMC’s forgiveness in line with the TaylorMade P790. Suitable for up to a 10-12 handicapper.

Titleist 718 AP2 iron review

RRP: £150 (s) £175 (g) per club

Availability: 3 - PW, W
Stock shaft: True Temper AMT Tour White
7-iron loft: 34°
Iron forgiveness rating

Titleist 718 AP2 iron

Titleist 718 AP2 iron verdict

Our test pro really liked the AP2, as for him they generated reliable and consistent distance numbers. With traditional lofts the AP2s aren’t built for speed or distance; if that’s your bag you really need to look at the 718 AP3 instead.

Anyone buying a set really must take advantage of Titleist’s excellent fitting service. It’s worth remembering come September 2019 the 718 range will be two years old so are likely to revamped or replaced.

And the other irons we tested in this category

Callaway X-Forged / Wilson Staff FG Tour V6 / Lynx Prowler Forged / Mizuno JPX919 Tour / Ping iBlade