Statistics show golfers replace their irons less often than they do drivers or putters but having the proper set of irons to fit your swing is more important than that pricey one-wood you use off the tee.
The logic is simple. A round of golf requires maybe 14 tee shots with a driver but many more iron shots from the fairway or rough plus of course those critical scoring shots from 100 yards or less. Having irons that fit your eye at address, have the potential to produce more distance at the proper trajectory with the right amount of spin gives players the best chance to lower their scores. With irons it is all about control.
Each season there are a multitude of new iron models and for 2021 California Golf has surveyed the latest so when you go for a fitting you can have an idea of what is reasonable for you. Our selection is those we consider the most significant from the most respected club manufacturers and suitable for the majority of golfers.
These new player category irons have a forged cavity back design with a narrower, shorter blade than the ZX5s and Srixon has built in a tungsten toe weight in the low and medium lofts. Grooves are progressive throughout the set and turf interaction has been improved with a V-shaped sole. At address the smaller blade with thin topline and minimal offset is what better players want. 8-piece set $1,299.99 (steel only)
Lightweight premium materials help players with slower swing speeds create more distance, straighter flight with more control in these counterbalanced irons. The face is an extremely strong titanium alloy saving grams and behind the face are two interior slots or grooves that help preserve ball speed when impact is low on the face. Turf interaction is improved from any lie with the stepped sole. 4-piece set $1,099.99
This distance iron is targeted for play by better players to mid-handicappers with a blade-like look at address and a hollow body construction. A tungsten bar (weight varies with loft) inside pushes the head’s center of gravity down low and the head is filled with foam to dampen vibration. The face is a L-cup design and lofts are strong but with high launch and lots of stability. $188 each steel shafts, $212 graphite.
This player’s distance iron is a hollow-body construction with TPU injected in two places to improve feel by dampening vibration. The L-cup face is very thin maraging steel welded to the stainless-steel body with the face shape acting as a hinge to give better ball speed. The face has 92 interwoven diamond shapes of three thicknesses giving extra forgiveness across the entire area. $142.99 each graphite shafts, $129.99 steel
A family update of the Apex 19 includes the Apex 21, Apex Pro 21, and Apex DCB. All have forged heads with an A.I.-designed face cup for individual lofts, internal tungsten weighting and urethane microspheres to absorb vibration from ball impact. DCBs are a true game-improvement model with a deep cavity back design for those wanting ball launch help in a wide sole iron. $185 each steel shafts, $200 each graphite
The face of hyper steel is constructed like that of metal woods with a variable thickness to improve impact when the ball is not struck in the face’s center while the top rail and sole allow the face to “hinge.” This improves both distance and control which along with the toe and heel weighting plus more weight around the outside of the head increase the iron’s MOI. Arccos Smart Grips. $137.50 each steel shaft; $150 each graphite shaft
Compared to previous P790s the P770 model has a shorter blade length and slightly smaller clubhead with thin topline, these players-distance irons also feature a forged hollow body foam-injected design with tungsten near the sole which has a slot for better flexing of the variable thickness of the forged face. Company says they are ideal for combining with other P-series irons. 7-piece set $1,400 steel shafts
Using a similar radius of gyration calculation to set the location of internal weighting as the Radspeed woods, Radspeed irons have a 3-gram heel weight and 10-gram toe screw in the forged head. The variable thickness face is L-shaped and the topline is carbon fiber to further push weight lower towards the sole. In an industry first, the medallion is a 3D printed latticework. 7-piece set $899 steel shafts, $999 graphite
By Ed Travis