Sure, the newest high-tech irons are thought to be better, but we wanted to put them to the test. For example: Could a current 6-iron beat a 5-iron from a decade ago? Our research says yes. Although the loft of a new 6-iron is slightly weaker than the loft of yesterday's 5-iron, our player test showed that shots hit with the 6-iron flew farther and higher. That means those shots that hit the green will land softer. In raw numbers, the new 6-iron was seven yards longer than the old 5-iron and flew four yards higher with a steeper descent. The eight new irons shown here are more than hot faces. They provide consistent distances for your mis-hits, too. That means fewer bunkers and water hazards, and more greens, especially the kind you find in your buddy's wallet.
__CALLAWAY APEX (Pictured above, from top) __
A forged frame enhances feel, and a heat-treated steel face wraps around the topline and sole to promote more distance and a higher trajectory.
The wide sole's thinner structure helps the thin face flex for more distance. It also keeps weight in the head low and back for a higher flight and forgiveness.
Distance comes from two slots in front and one in the sole, plus a face thinner than a nickel. A special compound in the cavity helps dampen unwanted vibration.
The deep cavity frees up the face for more distance and higher flight. Tungsten in the toe (more than past models) makes mis-hits fly closer to on-center hits.
WILSON FG TOUR F5 (pictured above, from top)
Even better players want more distance in the long and middle irons. That's why the transition between face and sole is thinned to create a more flexible face.
COBRA KING FORGED TEC
Here's a compact players-iron shape with a bonus: A thin high-strength-steel face insert adds distance, and tungsten in the heel and toe improves off-center strikes.
TOUR EDGE EXOTICS EXI
Flexible-face iron design doesn't require large, oversize heads. This traditional, less-offset look gets its horsepower from a deep cavity, a thin face and a sole slot.
MIZUNO JPX-EZ FORGED
To get more distance from a forged iron, Mizuno infuses boron into the steel to make the face thinner and stronger and the cavity deeper for more forgiveness.