Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)



Hot List

Best Players Irons of 2024

Choosing new irons is like picking your soulmate: You’re going to be with them for a long time. Most research on buying cycles estimates that players stick with their irons for approximately five years (or longer than some marriages). That might be particularly true of irons in the Players category. These irons need to have a certain look and enough forgiveness to mask the occasional mis-hit. But before saying, “I do,” go on some dates with irons from our Hot List Players-iron category to determine the best long-term fit for you. It might not be for life, but for the next few years you’ll be glad you did.

Callaway Apex CB
$215 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$215 per iron

With its effective mix of classic looks and contemporary technology, the Apex CB is made for the demands of elite players. This is an iron that gets the details right, especially the features better golfers appreciate, like an improved sole design for more effective turf interaction, tweaked centers of gravity via the use of tungsten weights that are dialed in for each individual iron, and hitting the trifecta of shape, sound and feel that better players require.

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Callaway Apex Pro
$215 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$215 per iron

For close to a decade now, driver technology has trickled down into irons, particularly springy faces. The problem is that irons are smaller than drivers, making it a more difficult task. To achieve optimal performance in the Apex Pro, engineers used a hollow-body construction with a thinner, more flexible cupface (in which the face wraps around part of the sole and topline) on the 3- through 5-iron to provide more ball speed and a higher launch to enhance distance. The remaining irons have a 1025 forged-carbon-steel face insert designed for precision, accuracy and repeatability in the clubs where distance isn’t as crucial.

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Cobra King Tour
$185 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$185 per iron

Most traditional irons use a two- or three-step forging process, but these irons use a five-step process that more effectively aligns the grain structure of the metal and reduces the number of voids. This process allows for tighter control of the weight specs and reduces the amount of hand polishing, leading to a more precise clubhead. The grooves are milled into the face so they can be manufactured closer to the USGA limit. A channel behind the hitting area is filled with a thermoplastic urethane to keep the feel just right.

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Mizuno JPX923 Tour
$188 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$188 per iron

This is the epitome of a modern iron for better players. The blade length was shortened in the 6-iron through pitching wedge from the JPX921, and the topline is trimmer. On the sole, a more rounded trailing edge increases shot-making ability and makes it easier to get through the turf. As with most Mizuno irons, its “grain-flow forging” process tightens the carbon steel’s grain structure to produce a beyond-pleasant feel at impact—a reminder that you don’t have to play for pay to enjoy benefits normally reserved for tour players.

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Mizuno Mizuno Pro 243
$200 per iron | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$200 per iron

Of all the irons in the Mizuno Pro line, the 243 offers the most dramatic change from the previous version. Engineers set out to make the club smaller to appeal to better players yet still add speed. Designing such an iron meant thinning the face, as thin as 2.1 millimeters on the long irons, with those irons having a “microslot” that is wider and deeper than the one used on the 6- and 7-irons to produce the desired distance boost.

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Ping Blueprint S
$230 per iron | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$230 per iron

Manufacturing a soft, forgiving players iron with an undercut shape is a difficult engineering challenge. Ping took five years to develop the Blueprint S, which replaces the i59 model. The forged irons are essentially two sets in one: The 3- through 5-irons have a pocket-cavity design in which an elastomer insert saves 10 grams of weight that is redistributed to assist launch and forgiveness in the clubs where it is needed most. The shorter irons are single-piece forgings that encourage more ball-flight control.

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Ping i230
$205 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$205 per iron

The company famous for forgiveness keeps pushing the limits of how to make a golfer’s worst misses more playable, even in an iron designed for better players. The i230’s elastomer insert saves 21 grams that is repositioned low and toward the perimeter to make it easier to get the ball in the air and foster forgiveness. The elastomer also helps support the face, providing a pleasing feel, even when shots hit slightly off-center. For those particularly severe mis-hits, tungsten toe and tip weights help mitigate loss of ball speed.

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PXG 0317 T
$180 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$180 per iron

Forget for a minute that this iron almost looks like a muscle-back blade. It plays anything but. The compact head shape has a slightly larger profile for enhanced stability and mis-hit forgiveness. PXG also has taken what it has learned over the years from previous hollow-body designs and brought it to an iron targeted to elite players. However, instead of using the hollow area and the polymer that fills it to enhance distance, polymer is used to stabilize the face. That improves distance and spin consistency, which is what you want when you’re pin-hunting.

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Srixon ZX7 Mk II
$1200 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$1200

What’s different in this model is the “PureFrame” design in which mass is forged into the clubhead behind the hitting area. That added thickness, determined by studying the iron impact patterns of the company’s tour staff, reduces face flex by 12 percent, providing the distance control of a muscle-back blade iron with more than a hint of forgiveness. A shorter blade height enhances control, allowing players the ability to flight short-iron shots lower. Turf interaction—always a priority for Srixon with irons—is enhanced with notches on the heel and toe areas of the sole that reduce resistance when exiting the turf.

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TaylorMade P·770
$186 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$186 per iron

Yes, tour players use this iron, but even average players can enjoy many benefits. Tungsten, for example, is used in the longer irons to make it easier to get shots airborne. Despite its classic looks, this is a hollow-body iron with a face as thin as 1.55 millimeters. The thin face and TaylorMade’s “speed-pocket slot” produce plenty of spring-like effect at impact.

Titleist T100
$200 per iron | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$200 per iron

A proven performer has little need to make drastic changes. This does not mean the latest T100 hasn’t undergone any improvements. The dual-cavity design uses super dense D18 tungsten (which weighs about 1.5 times more than lead), allowing for precise center-of-gravity placement in each iron without sacrificing the premium forged feel and pleasing shape the T100 is known for. Engineers worked with tour pros and the grind experts in its wedge department to smooth and soften the trail edge of the sole to allow the club to move faster through the turf.

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Titleist T150
$200 per iron | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$200 per iron

The secret sauce that makes this players iron pack plenty of power is not just stronger lofts than the Titleist T100. A channel behind the face adds the kind of extra zip that is sure to excite better recreational players. Sacrificing feel and forgiveness, however, was not an option: The use of dense tungsten and a slightly thicker topline and sole bolster stability. Also, the lower portion of the face is a shade thicker than the T100 to enhance feel.

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Cobra King CB
$186 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$186 per iron

To improve on feel, Cobra had its carbon-steel heads undergo a five-step forging process (in which the force is increased with each hit). This led to a clubhead with better grain alignment that achieves the type of soft, crisp feel better players seek. Although clearly a club designed for single-digit players, the weight placed in the toe area provides the kind of stability that allows slight mis-hits to still have distance to carry that front bunker instead of landing in it.

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Edel SMS Pro
$250 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$250 per iron

Low-handicap contrarians who revel in others peeking in their bag and asking, “What is that you’re playing?” might consider these. Immediately noticeable are the movable weights on the back of the clubhead. The weights on the three ports include two two-gram screws and an eight-gram screw. When placed in the optimal position for each individual, these weight screws can promote a better swing path. The milled tri-sole uses different geometries in the leading edge, middle and trailing edge to bolster turf interaction.

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PXG 0317 CB
$180 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$180 per iron

Unlike the 0317 T, which has a hollow-body construction, the 0317 CB is a more traditional single-piece forging. With a longer blade length, thicker topline and wider sole, the CB provides a higher moment of inertia that reduces ball-speed loss on shots that fail to find the center of the face. The large weight in the back of the club can be adjusted during the fitting process (something PXG encourages) to achieve the optimal swingweight. The face is milled to ensure flatness and a precise control on thickness.

TaylorMade P·7MC
$185 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$185 per iron

This iron is likely the least complex in TaylorMade’s lineup, but it still offers golfers shopping in this category what they need. The club’s primary features are made for those with ball-striking skills, like a thin topline, minimal offset and a narrow sole that allows golfers to shape their shot. The face and grooves are machined as well for consistency on every shot. Given all of that, it’s no wonder this is the company’s most-played iron on tour.

Wilson Staff Model CB
$171 per iron | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$171 per iron

At first blush this iron would appear to be little more than old-school cool with nothing transformative about the design, but this isn’t your grandfather’s Staff Model. The classic “fluid-feel hosel” doesn’t just pay homage to this iron’s storied past. It also saves 6.4 grams that is moved to the toe area to help keep the clubface from shutting too fast at impact. The mill pattern on the face is designed to allow the ball to stay in contact with the face longer, leading to more consistent spin.

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