The Right ToolsAugust 22, 2017

How To Rethink Your Irons And Hit More Greens

A strategy for improving your iron game.

Only players who routinely break 80 average hitting more than 50 percent of greens in regulation, according to statistics from round-tracker Game Golf. With barely one in 20 golfers breaking 80, that leaves a lot of players who might want to re-evaluate their iron game. This includes scrutinizing your equipment. To find the best irons for you, focus on three performance attributes: distance, launch and feel. How you prioritize these will play a big part in which irons you choose. For example, if feel is critical to you, a thin-face iron is probably not the best choice. But it might be if distance is your goal. If launching the ball higher is your wish, test irons with wider soles and lighter shafts. (Fun fact: In a properly fit set with ideal distance gaps, all irons should reach the same maximum height.) Offset designs might help you launch it higher, too, especially if you have a slower clubhead speed. If you want to get serious about hitting more greens, set your priorities and find a fitter to dial in your specs. In the meantime, here are five new irons to consider.


Photo by Victor Prado

Pictured above from top

CALLAWAY EPIC PRO
This distance iron comes in a compact players shape. The complex design features a cupface as thin as one millimeter where it folds over the sole and topline. An injected tungsten alloy helps shots launch high, fast and with less spin.
Price: $1,750

COBRA FMAX
Designed for moderate and slow-swing speeds, these cavity-backs improve distance and launch in multiple ways: lighter shafts and swing weights, a low-profile head with weight low and back and an offset design that promotes a draw.
Price: $600

PING G400
Ping's flagship game-improvement iron has a stronger, thinner steel face that flexes 18 percent more than its previous model. Also helping with distance is an undercut cavity in the top rail that allows these stronger-lofted irons to launch the ball higher.
Price: $788

MIZUNO MP-18 MMC
Built on the frame of its classic MP-18 blade, this forged head adds a dose of high-tech forgiveness. Forged into the cavity-back is a titanium insert that saves weight and preserves feel. A tungsten weight in the toe increases off-center-hit stability on the long and middle irons.
Price: $1,050

CLEVELAND LAUNCHER CBX
The short and long irons are designed differently to better fit their jobs. The flexible cupface and low-profile design provide speed and height on the long irons, and a more compact short iron is key to shotmaking and trajectory control.
Price: $700


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