What clubs are best? Most golfers know that this sort of question is just about as opinionated as asking which color is best. However, we are still asked several times a day what new driver is best, what new irons are the best game improvement set, what’s the best putter on the market, etc. So we are going to set out to answer this question for someone in the market for new irons in 2016.
There are several key factors you should focus on anytime you shop golf clubs. These include feel, look, forgiveness, distance, consistency, and price. We are going to identify the 3 best sets, for a variety of different games, in each price range. What is the best set of irons for your budget?
We get that new players that don’t play a ton may have a budget of under $300 for their irons, while players that play daily may be willing to write a blank check for their irons. We will get into best game improvement irons a little later, but for now let’s focus on best clubs in each price category.
Best Irons Priced Between $100-$300
It can be tough to get quality new clubs in this price category. Our recommendation is to check out these used sets on Global Golf. We have bought dozens of used clubs from Global Golf and have never been let down. It’s a great way to get a great set at an entry level price.
Ping i15 Irons
These are the last set of Ping irons that we truly loved. We consider them to be one of the 5 best game improvement player irons ever created. They manage to be very workable while still packing a punch and a great deal of forgiveness. Global Golf has around 10 sets for $199, just make sure you check this chart to determine what color Ping dot you need.
We’re talking irons in this article, so prepare to see Mizuno pop up early and often. We are making the assumption that if you are in this price category you are new to golf or only play once or twice per month. The 2013 JPX-EZ’s are a super-game-improving iron, meaning the entire face is a sweet spot, and it packs a ton of muscle to help increase your distance by up to 20%.
Mizuno MP 33
We had to include a players iron in this category. If feel and feedback are the most important factors of a golf club and you want to play blades, the classic MP 33’s may still be the best blades ever made and you can find great sets on eBay for under $200. While these are amongst the most forgiving blades ever made, you have to be a great ball striker to consistently play well with these irons.
Best Irons Piced Between $300-$700
Callaway Apex Forged
These are last season’s Callaway Apex model, which means you get the forged set for less than 1/2 the cost of the 2016 Callaway Apex CF 16’s which you will find at the top of this list. Many good golfers will tell you that the look of your irons is often underrated, but extremely important. These clubs are beautiful. They have that nice forged feel, including a decent amount of feedback. They aren’t the most workable on this list, but are workable for a club that is very forgiving, and really gets the ball up in the air.
Mizuno JPX-EZ Forged
We warned you… Mizuno, Mizuno, Mizuno. While we love the look of the Apex forged irons, nothing compares to the JPX-EZ forged. Mizuno used Grain Flow forged 1025 Boron to make these irons long and forgiving, while keeping a thin face and near blade appearance. In addition to their length, consistency, and forgiveness, you will notice that these clubs sound extremely pure thanks to Mizuno’s Harmonic Impact Technology. You can get a like new set of JPX-EZ Forged irons from $589 at Global Golf.
TaylorMade RSI 1
It’s hard to argue against including the RSI 1’s on this list… After all, they are still used by several players on the tour. A round with these makes it clear TaylorMade focused on making sure these irons were long and forgiving. The feel, look, and sound are a step below the Apex and JPX-EZ, however thanks to their popularity, you can find a like-new set on Global Golf starting at just $309.99.
Best Irons Priced over $700
Wilson Staff FG Tour V4
We don’t get paid to say this… We have never sold a single set of Wilson Staff FG Tour V4 irons. However, we have people stop to hit irons daily (we have every set on this page plus another 100+ sets of irons), and probably 7 out of 10 will tell you these are the best new irons on the market in 2016. We had to get in touch with a Wilson rep after hitting these the first day we received them. His response was that they completely reworked the club face. Sure it has a tungsten sole, but what we were feeling was a reworked sole camber and bounce, which drastically improved the control and workability of the club. The feel is just wow… go hit this club.
Callaway Apex CF16
This club has plenty of hype around it, and rightfully so. These irons have an industry leading feel, distance, forgiveness, while maintaining workability once thought reserved for blades. We have already discussed in great detail the cup face technology, other clubs claim to have toe-to-heel forgiveness, but the cup face on Apex CF16 is the only club to actually produce it. Despite all of the forgiveness, this club still plays like a player’s forged iron. Game changer.
The H5’s are a well thought out game improving iron set from Mizuno. Many golfers crave the distance and forgiveness that GI irons provide in their 3, 4, 5 and 6 irons, but want increased feel and workability in their 7, 8, 9 and PW. With this in mind, Mizuno designed the long irons with a low sweet spot and hollow cavity to provide more distance and forgiveness. When you transition into the 7-PW, you get more of a player’s cavity which makes the clubs more workable and gives them a better overall feel. The result is our favorite game improvement iron of 2016.
This is another set that vastly outperformed our expectations. The Srixon Z-545’s are beautiful… undoubtedly one of the best looking clubs on the market in 2016. These clubs have a great looking thin top line forged from ultra-soft 1020 carbon steel, but at the bottom of the club you will find plenty of muscle. They also make this in a 745, which is a bit thinner, less forgiving, and a 945 which is a pure blade. All three clubs look, sound, and feel sleek and modern.
Other Iron Sets Worth Considering
Just wanted to shout out a few other sets of irons worth considering: Mizuno MP 53, Titleist 716 CB, Ping G25, and Ping G15 are just a few additional sets that narrowly missed out being included on this list. If you don’t have the time to get somewhere to demo these and don’t want to purchase a whole set, try out an individual iron. You can always sell it on eBay, keep it around, trade it in at Global Golf or locally.
If you aren’t happy with the results you are currently getting out of your irons, let this article guide you through finding a set that best fits your game.