2015 Buyer’s Guide Irons

Big Sticks: Some of the hottest irons we saw at the PGA show

Bridgestone Golf

J15 Cast | $799
bridgestonegolf.com

Key Features: A cast design for the player who wants an iron that's easy to hit and exceptionally forgiving. The oversized shape sports a 360˚ undercut channel for extreme perimeter weighting behind the face.
Wow Factor: A huge design for serious distance and forgiveness, not to mention a high launch. We also like the Nippon shafts for a quick boost in clubhead speed through the ball.
Specs: 4-iron, 5-AW, with Nippon N.S. Pro 950GH shafts.

J15DF | $879
bridgestonegolf.com

Key Features: Two-piece forged construction and a hidden cavity make these irons much more forgiving than you would expect from a forged design. The Flex Action Speed Tech makes the face incredibly hot (almost like a wood!), which means long iron shots through the bag.
Wow Factor: Don't be fooled, these are powerful irons with a healthy dose of forgiveness. But judging by their looks, you'd assume they're hard to hit. Trust us, they're not.
Specs: 3-iron, 4-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold DG Pro steel shafts.

J15MB / J15CB | $879
bridgestonegolf.com

Key Features: Clean lines and compact shapes in two models: a forged muscleback and a cavity-back. The MB has a slightly narrower sole than the CB for slightly more shot-shaping capabilities. Still, both are designed for the better player. By the way, you can try and get yourself some MBs, but good luck with that. There are only 113 sets being made, and a handful are going to Tour players.
Wow Factor: Precision forged at the highest quality. What's not to like? They look like works of art.
Specs: 3-iron, 4-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold DG Pro steel shafts.

J15DPF | $879
bridgestonegolf.com

Key Features: A Turbo Rubber Design, which means the two rear cavities of the iron are filled with a rubber compound for a high MOI and tremendous feel. The midsized head design is just big enough for added forgiveness without losing the needed shotmaking maneuverability better players want.
Wow Factor: Awesome aesthetics and a tremendous feel. Tour players likely will be using them because they're just so darn fun and easy to hit. (And you can still work the ball just fine.)
Specs: 3-iron, 4-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold DG Pro steel shafts.


Ben Hogan Golf

Ft. Worth 15 | $Varies
clevelandgolf.com

Key Features: Forged of carbon steel, each iron in the set has a CG optimized for precision ballflight control. And check this out—forged as they may be, these irons are technically a perimeter-weighted iron; not a cavity-back in the purest sense, but mass has been removed from behind the center of the face for added forgiveness. So call them an "almost cavity-back."
Wow Factor: Can we say…everything? They look, sound and feel incredible, and the V-Sole design (thank you, Eidolon) makes hitting these irons from not-so-ideal conditions a lot easier. Ben Hogan irons have never been better, and that's saying a helluva lot.
Specs: Comes in 28 different lofts, varied by one each. A wide variety of shafts and grips are available.

Cleveland Golf

CG Black | $699
clevelandgolf.com

Key Features: Developed for seniors and women primarily, these irons are designed specifically for more distance and a higher launch. The MOI is as low as it goes, and the clubface boasts a 0.825 COR, which is the limit.
Wow Factor: If there's an iron set that unabashedly helps golfers with sub-90 mph swing speeds, it's this one. The ball shoots high and far, even on breezy-easy golf swings. They're also amazingly forgiving.
Specs: 4-SW, in steel or graphite shafts.

Callaway Golf

Big Bertha Alpha 815 | $299
callawaygolf.com

Key Features: A forged cavity-back with a Carpenter Steel face; the longer irons have tungsten sole inserts for a lower CG and a higher launch. All irons have polymer inserts for enhanced feel.
Wow Factor: They feel like blades when you hit them solid, and they still feel like blades when you miss the sweet spot. We really like how easy the long irons are to hit—the mixed-material design is the best we've seen from Callaway—and that's saying a lot.
Specs: 3-SW, with True Temper XP steel or UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts.

Big Bertha | $999
callawaygolf.com

Key Features: Callaway claims these irons can make you two clubs longer. Wow! It's done by having a 360˚ cupface, hollow-body design, which, frankly, turns these irons into fairway woods in iron form. Make sense?
Wow Factor: There's a lot of technology in these irons, and they're seriously among the most fun-to-hit irons on the market. You may not be able to shape shots with them, but who cares when you hit it straight and far—all the time. They also come in a mixed set (with Big Bertha hybrids).
Specs: 4-SW, with True Temper Speed Step steel or UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts.

Cobra Golf

Fly-Z | $699
cobragolf.com

Key Features: The driver and woods in the Fly-Z line have a Speed Channel around the perimeter of the clubface, and the Fly-Z XL irons have one, too, only it's on the back of the face. The hollow cavity
in the soles of the long irons effectively push the CG lower and farther back for a higher launch, and the short irons have an undercut channel for forgiveness and feel.
Wow Factor: There's a lot going on in these irons, but the net result is easy to understand: They're über-forgiving and very, very long.
Specs: 4-SW, with Fly-Z XL steel or Fly-Z XL graphite shafts.

Kick X Golf

MA-9 Series | $555-$999
kickxgolf.com.com

Key Features: We're talking two models here, the heat-treated stainless-steel MA-9 for extreme forgiveness and the MA-9 Tour Forged irons for Tour-like feel. Both irons have a lot of forgiveness and a sweet spot that's too hard to miss. Really, they're super-easy to hit—even the forged models.
Wow Factor: We love seeing new golf club companies, especially ones that innovate like Kick X does.
Specs: MA-9 available in 4-GW and MA-9 Tour Forged available in 3-PW; both shafts come with True Temper steel shafts (Dynalite and Dynamic Gold, respectively).

Miura Golf

PP-9003 | Custom
miuragolf.com

Key Features: The most "friendly" iron Miura has made, the PP-9003 ("Passing Point") have a wide sole, perimeter-weighting and a low CG to combine for an iron that's very forgiving. Even still, these are Miura irons, and despite the playability, they still feel like a warm knife in soft butter. So darn soft.
Wow Factor: Who said game improvement can't look handsome? Not Miura. We also appreciate the company's philosophy to design friendly irons that allow players to get better and use the same irons—even when they have lower handicaps. We love that.
Specs: 4-GW, in a wide variety of custom shaft options; also available in a Black Boron finish.

CB-501 | Custom
miuragolf.com

Key Features: A "sweet spot" muscleback design that has the design features better players like (compact shape, clean lines and a sole width that allows players to manipulate different shots), the CB-501 deliver the best in what many better players want. The slight offset helps make them easier to control, with a flat ballflight. These irons are destined to be Miura classics.
Wow Factor: We won't try and describe how good these irons look, feel and perform. Go find your local Miura dealer/fitter and try for yourself. Just bring your wallet. You won't want to leave them alone.
Specs: 3-PW, in a wide variety of shaft options; also available in a Black Boron finish.


Mizuno

JPX 850 | $799-$999
mizunousa.com

Key Features: A Power Frame Cavity design pushes weight to the corners for added forgiveness, the Dual Max COR Pocket increases distance, and the thin, multi-thickness face all combine in a single iron for serious performance.
Wow Factor: They're beautiful, and even though they're long and forgiving, there's still an element of shotmaking workability that these irons allow. If you want even more feel and shotmaking versatility, the JPX 850 Forged fit the bill incredibly well. Really, really well. Trust us.
Specs: 4-GW, in a wide variety of steel and graphite shaft options.

MP-H5 | $999
mizunousa.com

Key Features: A progressive, hollow-body, forged design starts with a hollow, wide sole in the long irons, a hollow midsized sole in the middle irons and "half-hollow" soles in the short irons. The result is the most forgiving set of irons in Mizuno's MP series that we've ever seen.
Wow Factor: Maybe read that last sentence again. They're the most forgiving MP irons we've ever seen, and they may be the best-looking, too. Here's the secret, though. Even though you may miss the sweet spot more than you care to admit, you can still work the ball with these irons. Cool!
Specs: 1-PW (you read that right), with KBS steel shafts; also available in a variety of custom steel and graphite options.

MP-15 | $999
mizunousa.com

Key Features: A Grain Flow Forged (we love the sound of that) design with a titanium muscle insert, the MP-15 epitomize the type of iron better players love. All the workability and feel of a blade, but with a dose of forgiveness and added power.
Wow Factor: They look spectacular and perform as you'd expect: perfectly. They're a compact shape, but the titanium insert hides the cavity cut into the mild steel. Awesomeness.
Specs: 3-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts; also available in a variety of custom steel and graphite options.

Nike Golf

Vapor Pro Combo | $1,099
nikegolf.com

Key Features: The Vapor Pro Combo have RZN cavity-back designs in the 2-7 irons, and Vapor Pro muscleback designs in the 8-AW. Combined, you get added forgiveness in the longer clubs, while retaining the shotmaking capabilities better players want in the shorter clubs.
Wow Factor: Our favorite new Nike set this year, the Vapor Pro Combo irons look great, sound sweet and feel even better. As for performance, we're big fans of mixed sets like this, and the longer irons do what they're supposed to by adding forgiveness and distance. They're sneaky-long, too.
Specs: 2-AW, with True Temper DG Pro steel shafts.

Vapor Speed | $799
nikegolf.com

Key Features: "Modern Muscle Geometry" places the CG in the center of the face for maximum distance and forgiveness. The 3-7 irons sport a hollow-body design for added stability, and the 8-SW irons have a more traditional design for enhanced workability.
Wow Factor: The long heel-toe profile makes the Speed easy on the eyes and confidence-inspiring. The hollow-cavity irons are incredibly long and fun to hit, and the X3X grooves add spin for enhanced control. Wow! The best game-improvement iron from Nike has arrived.
Specs: 3-PW, with True Temper Dynalite steel or MRC Fubuki graphite shafts.

Vapor Pro | $999
nikegolf.com

Key Features: Designed for better players who want a piercing ballflight and all the workability they need to hit any kind of shot. The Modern Muscle design places the CG in the center of the face, right where better players want it. By the way, they're forged of a single piece of carbon steel, meaning they have that buttery feel.
Wow Factor: Okay, we admit it, they're badass-looking. Maybe our favorite as far as better player irons. But do they perform? Hell, yes, they do. Watch for them in the bags of a Major winner this year.
Specs:
3-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts.


Ping

G30 | $799
ping.com

Key Features: The undercut cavity, progressive offset (more in the longer irons) and reworked sole design lend serious playability for virtually any type of player. Also, the Custom Tuning Port insert sits low in the cavity for a lowered CG and a higher launch.
Wow Factor: The G30 irons are really easy to hit and very long. And, as with any PING iron, they're made to extremely high tolerances and quality, meaning you can always expect true lies and lofts, not to mention exquisite craftsmanship.
Specs: 4-LW, with PING CFS steel or TFC 419l graphite shafts.

i25 | $137/graphite shaft, $110/steel (each club)
ping.com

Key Features: The progressive set design—larger long irons with wider soles, more compact short irons with narrower soles—means that long irons are forgiving and short irons offer shot control. Dual-stabilizing bars are narrow in the long irons for a high trajectory and distance, and wider in the short irons for lower trajectory and more control. A high-density tungsten toe weight helps stabilize the clubhead on mis-hits. PING has a knack for leading the pack in iron design for the last billion years. This one? It's arguably our most favorite yet.
Wow Factor: We dig the custom tuning port near the sole in each clubhead, which helps shots launch effortlessly—just as you'd expect from PING irons. They feel remarkable, durable, forgivable, maneuverable and all-around unbelievable. Yes, they're that good.
Specs: 3-LW, with a PING-branded CFS steel or TFC 189I graphite shaft.

Taylormade

RSi 1 | $899/graphite, $799/steel
taylormadegolf.com

Key Features: Slots on the face? Yeah, how about two of 'em and an extra one on the sole (3-8 irons). What does that mean? Tremendous power and forgiveness in a traditional iron design. The Face Slots do what the slot does on the sole, which is to help mitigate distance and accuracy loss on mis-hits toward the heel and toe.
Wow Factor: We love seeing new innovations! The Face Slot tech makes your misses better, which is what we all need. It's not how good our shots in the center of the face are, it's how good our misses are. But with these irons, we can barely tell when we hit it good or a little off-center. That's gnarly.
Specs: 3-SW, with True Temper REAX 90 steel shafts.

RSi 2 | $1,199 graphite, $999/steel
taylormadegolf.com

Key Features: The same Face Slot tech of the RSi 1 irons, but this time with a nod toward better players who want a mixed-material iron that also has plenty of workability built in. Long irons have tungsten inserts in the sole for a higher launch, middle irons have a thin clubface for greater performance, and the short irons are forged for precision control.
Wow Factor: Better players will swoon over the clean look at address, not to mention the soft feel they lend. On the website, it's telling to see just how often and where TM staffers mis-hit. Yeah, even they miss the sweet spot, too, and the RSi 2 is designed to help them dial in their distance and control even when they're a little off. That's incredible.
Specs: 4-AW, with KBS Tour steel shafts.

Titleist

714 AP1 | $1,000/graphite, $800/steel
titleist.com

Key Features: Improved flight, forgiveness and feel over the previous version. The low-CG long irons launch high and get plenty of carry, while narrower-soled short irons yield a flatter, lower-launching flight.
Wow Factor: We're impressed with how great these look, especially the combination of satin and polished mirror parts. They're classy.
Specs: 3-W2, with a True Temper XP 95 steel or Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 65 graphite shaft.

714 AP2 | $1,300/graphite, $1,100/steel
titleist.com

Key Features: The low-CG long irons feature high-density tungsten low and at the extreme heel and toe edges of the sole, while the strong-lofted short irons get carry distance. The short irons boast a raised CG, thick upper face, narrow sole and stronger lofts.
Wow Factor: The looks are solid, the performance is even better, and the feel is buttery-soft. One try, and you'll immediately understand all of the PGA Tour usage of this model.
Specs: 3-W, with a True Temper Dynamic Gold steel or graphite shaft.


Tour Edge

Exotics E8 | $599
touredge.com

Key Features: The longest-hitting Exotics iron, to date? Yes, please. The deep, pocket-cavity design and tungsten weighting away from the face promote a sky-high MOI that reduces twisting and energy loss on off-center strikes. The progressive offset design and blade length make it easier to hit longer irons and easier to shape shots with the short ones.
Wow Factor: They look pretty busy from the back, but at address, they're smooth as silk. And for an iron that's designed mostly for distance and forgiveness, the short irons are exceptionally maneuverable. Well done, Tour Edge. These are our favorite Exotics irons, to date.
Specs: 3-SW, with KBS Tour 90 or UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts.

XXIO

XXIO Forged | $1,199
xxiousa.com

Key Features: This forged iron design doesn't skimp on game improvement and distance. Could it be done? According to XXIO, you bet it can. The thin-cavity design helps aid shots hit low on the face (where a lot of us miss), and the overall perimeter weighting adds to the MOI for more accuracy.
Wow Factor: Beautiful forged construction, and we really like the Nippon N.S.Pro 949GH DST steel shaft, which has a center of gravity more toward the grip—which, in simple terms, means they help increase swing speed for more distance (all without even trying).
Specs: Comes in 6-PW (additional sticks are $200/each, with the N.S.Pro 949GH DST steel shafts.

Wilson Staff

D200 | $599
wilsonstaff.com

Key Features: Speed Sole technology moves the CG farther back and enhances the perimeter-weighting, resulting in a faster ballspeed post-impact. Longer irons have a deeper CG than short irons for more forgiveness; short irons retain a little extra control, with a CG closer to the face. Even still, the "D" in D200 is all about distance, distance and a little more distance.
Wow Factor: A high COR in an iron? Yes, please, we'll take a full set of them. We also appreciate the optional mixed set that comes with hybrids. Good stuff, Wilson.
Specs: 4-SW, with True Temper steel shafts or UST Elements Chrome graphite shafts.

Yonex

EZONE XP | $699
yonex.com/sports/golf

Key Features: The EZONE XP irons feature a tungsten grip with a 4-gram heavier head and Double Undercut Cavity that increases the size of the sweet spot to maximize power, distance and forgiveness. This means the club isn't necessarily lighter, but it feels that way. And, by keeping the weight, you'll hit it farther.
Wow Factor: Yonex has been quiet in the U.S., but look for a resurgence thanks to beautiful irons like these designed for maximum forgiveness and distance.
Specs: 4-SW, with Yonex EX 300 graphite shafts.

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