The best irons for 2017

Golf Equipment

Equipment editor James Savage is joined by editor Dan Murphy to test all the new irons on the market. So which do they like best and why?

Our best irons 2017 test has been ongoing for a number of months now.

Our equipment editor James Savage (handicap 17) has been tinkering around with his bag for the last few months and in that time he has tried and tested a number of new irons to the market.

Editor Dan Murphy (handicap 3) is a Ping loyalist and has had the i200s in his bag this year.

In December 2016 we were invited over to Florida to have a first look at the new TaylorMade M1 and M2 irons.

Since each launch we have conducted a number of individual reviews and comparison tests and have been using each set of irons out on the course as often as we can.

Best irons 2017 – The methodology

When it came to putting a conclusion together, James and Dan spent a day at Moor Allerton in Leeds hitting each iron without using Trackman.

We felt we had gathered enough launch monitor data on these products so wanted to think about more about how much confidence they gave us at address, what they sounded and felt like and how much fun we had hitting them.

We set up 150 yards away from the pin and hit each iron a number of times to get a sense of the feel and performance.

Each iron we hit had been custom-fitted for Dan or James with exception to the TaylorMade P770’s.

Here are the findings from James and Dan,  presented in alphabetical order…

 

Callaway Steelhead XR/Epic Pro irons

James:

Very long, very forgiving,and very easy to use. Does everything you’d want it to but perhaps just lacking a little bit from a style point of view.

Dan:

There’s obviously a phenomenal amount of tech in the club to justify its super-premium price point but you can’t see any of it at address. It’s a very clean and simple look. The feel off the face is pure.

SRP: (7 irons, steel) £649/£1,749

For more information check out our full reviews below.

Callaway Steelhead irons video review

Callaway Epic Pro irons video review

 

Cobra King F7/Forged One

James:

A marked improvement on the F6 model and for me this is one of the most stylish chunky irons around. The longer irons are really easy to hit and overall the consistency levels are superb.

Dan:

I associate Cobra more with the game-improvement market so it’s easy to forget they make some really stylish irons. This company knows how to make classic forged irons.

SRP: £549/£849

For more information check out our full reviews below.

Cobra King F7, Forged Tour and One Length irons video review

 

Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal/Forged

James:

Probably the best all-rounder for looks, feel and performance. The long irons are very powerful and you still get some precision with the shorter irons. More people should be playing these.

Dan:

I don’t know how they do it but Mizuno always make irons just the way you want them to look at address. Whichever iron it is, it always does exactly what you want it to. Superb.

SRP: £105/£120 per iron

For more information check out our full reviews below.

Mizuno JPX900 irons video review

 

PING iBlade/i200

Dan:

The iBlades don’t look out of place with the forged irons I’ve tested in terms of their proportions. Ping have done a great job. Looks-wise, you’d have to go with iBlade. But for me, the i200s are more consistent. a little bit longer and my dispersion is tighter. As much as I’d like to, I can’t personally make a case for using iBlades. The i200s just do the job slightly better for me.

SRP: £1,040/£840

For more information check out our full reviews below.

Ping iBlade irons video review

Ping i200 iron video review

 

Srixon Z565/Z765

James: 

I wouldn’t really class the Z565 as a game-improvement iron, I see it more as an aspirational iron for someone looking to improve. The forged feel is fantastic and it actually gave me more control hitting into the wind.

Dan:

These are the sleepers in this test. Beautifully constructed irons which arguably are the best for putting a combo set together. High quality.

SRP: £770

 

TaylorMade M2/P770

James:

These are all about power and forgiveness. It’s not a pleasing sound off the face but it’s one that tells you the ball has been smashed a long way. Try if you want more yards.

Dan: 

These look really good. One of the more compact heads that I have tested. It’s about as close to a blade as it got. I’d like to get properly dialled into these as with a proper forged blade getting the right shaft is crucial.

SRP: £699/£1,049

For more information check out our full reviews below.

TaylorMade M2 irons first hit video review

 

Titleist 716 AP1/AP2

James:

These were the stars of the 716 launch for me and by all accounts they have been just as popular with the consumer. Stylish looks, easy to use, forgiving and consistent. These take some beating.

Dan:

Lovely looking- a stylish, sleek, compact head. There are two models beneath them (CB and MB) and many tour player sort for AP2 which tells you everything you need to know.

SRP: £93/£117 per iron

For more information check out our full reviews below.

Titleist 716 AP1 irons video review

Titleist 716 AP2 irons video review

NCG verdicts

James Savage

Current irons: Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal

It’s always hard to pick out favourites because the custom-fitting process when it comes to irons is crucial.

From our fitting and testing experience we know how tricky it can be to get the right head and shaft combination. There wasn’t a game-improvement iron here that made me think I shouldn’t be using the JPX900 Hot Metal as it is ticking all the boxes for me.

If you want something sleeker then check out the Srixon Z565 which offered the best feel and control of any iron I tested here.

Dan Murphy

Current irons: Ping i200

Irons are often based on feel and you can only get that feel by pairing the right head with the right shaft.

It would be a crying shame to invest several hundreds of pounds in a set and not get them properly dialled in. If I wasn’t allowed to use my Ping i200s, I’d be heading straight for the Mizuno JPX900 Forged.

They are beautiful. The look and the finish is exactly what I want. When you hit a good shot, there’s something pure about the ball flight.

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