Best Golf Irons 2017 Review – Our Expert Guide!

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I’m pretty set in my ways when it comes to irons. A Mizuno man through and through, with a very low rate of churn, my faithful and loyal eyes have seldom strayed.

But towards the back end of 2016, there was a growing stir with respect to advancements in iron technology, and I couldn’t help but be pulled in all directions from one big release to the next.

For the truth is that there are some pretty exciting things going on within this realm, and it’s fascinating to see these mainstay brands pushing each other to new heights.

One of the big talking points was the audacious launch on the part of Titleist, and, more specifically, their C16 Concept limited edition range. Talk about raising the roof! More on this below.

But the C16 Concepts were by no means the only set of irons to make waves this past year, and selecting the best five of the bunch was no easy task.

Yet such pressure is what we thrive on here at Golf Assessor, and, having ventured far and wide to sample these various products of ingenuity for you, we’ve zeroed in on the quintet which we believe to be top of the pops.

Let’s jump into our Best Golf Irons 2017 Review.

See what came out tops in our Best Golf Irons 2016 Review.

Don’t have Time to Read On?

Our Editor’s Choice for the Best Golf Irons for 2017 are the Mizuno JPX 900 Forged. Mizuno are known for their irons in particular and they truly are a world-class product, guaranteed to improve distance and forgiveness. Well worth giving these irons a test drive.

Best Golf Irons 2017

Use the quicklinks to navigate our Best Golf Irons 2017 Review.

Score Methodology

All irons were put to the test against our standard assessment model, where we looked at 4 key aspects: Build Quality, Control & Performance, Design & Appearance and Value for Money. Individual scores of each of these aspects was then aggregated to give an overall assessment score, as follows:

Overall Mark Score Description
Excellent A+ 9.6 – 10 Stop the clock and buy now. This piece of equipment will change your game.
Excellent A 9.0 – 9.5 Superb piece of gear. Amazing quality, performance and value for money.
Great B+ 8.6 – 8.9 Great offering. This piece of gear won’t let you down.
Good B 8.0 – 8.5 Solid piece of gear with only minor issues to criticize.
Average C+ 7.6 – 7.9 Adequate offering, but not the best value for money.
Average C 7.0 – 7.5 Not the most exciting piece of gear, seek alternatives.
Weak D+ 6.6 – 6.9 Leaves lots to be desired. You can do a lot better.
Weak D 6.0 – 6.5 Steer well clear of this gear. Not worth the money!

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Key Considerations

Build Quality

You don’t have to be an equipment nerd to appreciate how the bar is being raised in terms of manufacturing quality. We’re seeing all sorts of experimentation with materials: everything from tungsten to lighter forms of carbon are being thrown into the melting pot.

Different face inserts and designs are findings ways to add strength to the clubhead in the absence of bulk, and it’s releasing the shackles in terms of both distance and consistency as a result.

Whether forged or cast iron is your bag, there is much to contemplate (and admire) when it comes to quality control. Luckily, you’re in good hands with us.

Control and Performance

It’s pretty safe to say that there is a dividing line when it comes to golfers of different abilities. Leisure golfers seek forgiveness (and more forgiveness) in their irons, whereas better players, generally speaking, thrive on blades which could cut diamonds, and which provide ample feedback on bad shots.

For manufacturers, this has often resulted in a trade-off, depending on which type of golfer they seek to target. But this once mutually-exclusive relationship between forgiveness and slimness is diminishing, and we golfers really are starting to get the best of both worlds.

The question is, which brand marries these two elements best?

Design and Appearance

There is nothing quite like putting an iron down on the ground, and having a top line that suits your eye. It just gives you that priceless extra bit of confidence at address, and I firmly believe that a set of irons you’re proud to own takes shots off your score. But there’s a lot more to it than just the top line.

Offset, badging and thickness of the blade are just a few of the aesthetics which matter, while the type of material used will play a crucial role in the look and feel.

Ultimately, these are fairly subjective things to assess, but there’s no doubting that when you come across a club which looks the part, you’ll just know it.

Value for Money

Within the world of golf equipment, you’re probably not going to find greater scope for variance in terms of price than with irons. True, that’s partly because you’re going to be purchasing eight separate clubs – or more! But it’s also because the difference in quality between the best and the worst is so vastly polarized.

So a lot of it depends on what you’re after, and your ability isn’t necessarily a determinant in this regard either. There is cutting-edge stuff out there for those hunting down game-improvement irons; in much the same way that paying for the finest of fine blades comes at a price.

But, as ever, if you are being asked to pay a lot of money for something, you need to understand why. Only with this in hand can you make meaningful comparisons with cheaper – or pricier – alternatives.

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Side-by-Side Comparison of all Irons

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the 5 irons we assessed in our Best Golf Irons 2017 Review. To read our detailed individual reviews just click on your irons of choice!

Image DescriptionScore Offers
Srixon Z 765 Irons Review

Srixon Z 765 Irons Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed assessment of the Srixon Z 765 Irons, the pros and cons, and a side-by-side ...

Editor choice
2 Mizuno JPX 900 Forged Irons Review

Mizuno JPX 900 Forged Irons Review

Like many people, I’ve got a bit of an eclectic bag. I always wonder why some of my mates set out their stall, ...

3 Titleist C16 Irons Review

Titleist C16 Irons Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed assessment of the Titleist C16 Irons, the pros and cons, and a side-by-side ...

Best value
4 Callaway Steelhead XR Irons Review

Callaway Steelhead XR Irons Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed assessment of the Callaway Steelhead XR Irons, the pros and cons, and a ...

$599 $799 See Offer
5 Ping iBlade Irons Review

Ping iBlade Irons Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed assessment of the Ping iBlade Irons, the pros and cons, and a side-by-side ...

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Overview of 5 Best Golf Irons 2017

Mizuno JPX 900 Forged Irons

We wouldn’t say that Mizuno have reinvented the wheel when you compare the JPX-900 Forged with their JPX-850 predecessors. But out of all the tweaks and improvements that have been made, the most impressive is the variable face thickness design, which encompasses the benefits of weight redistribution you associate more with top-of-the-range drivers. All in all, it’s a truly world-class product, guaranteed to improve distance and forgiveness. Well worth giving these puppies a test drive.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Variable face thickness underpins cutting-edge design
  • Tangible differences in ball speeds and distance when compared with JPX-850s, and excellent flight/trajectory
  • Unmistakable forged feel, and sound is very pleasing
  • Redistribution of weight as a result of thinner face to corners of the PowerFrame noticeably enhances forgiveness

CONS:
  • A step in the right direction for reaching out to beginners/high handicappers, but not quite the silver bullet


Srixon Z 765 Irons

We don’t like reinvention of the wheel for the sake of it, and it’s clear that Srixon have built on the strengths of the Z 745 range; in particular, the Z 745s. That means you’re effectively guaranteeing yourself extra consistency, and a good deal of precision and control with these. That’s amplified by the Tour V.T. Sole, which minimizes friction with the turf at impact. The Z 765s are undoubtedly targeted at better players, but, that said, the muscle cavity provides a decent amount of forgiveness, and that extra bit of cushion will open the door to the average weekly golfer too. And then there’s the design… just, wow!

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Very clean look: thin top line, thin sole, minimal offset and understated design
  • 1020 carbon steel makes for a delightfully soft feel, but with good feedback on bad shots too
  • The price is reasonable
  • A quality player’s club with well-disguised forgiveness

CONS:
  • The only reason not to go down this road is if you already have a set of Z 745s. Not quite enough differentiation to warrant an upgrade


titleist-c16-irons-review

Titleist C16 Irons

The C16 Concept irons are state of the art in every way, and the mix of high-quality materials is almost futuristic. Where to even begin? The slim, but immensely robust K301 Cup Face in the longer irons which produce unrivalled carry and distance? The precision of the short irons, underpinned by the 1RK95 High-Strength Steel Face insert? Or how about their sleek design? Perhaps these irons aren’t geared towards the lowest of low handicappers, but, if you don’t fall into that category, we can assure you that they’re simply out of this world. It’s just the price tag you need to contend with.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • It’s an eclectic mix of everything cutting edge in iron technology
  • Steel (K301) Cup Face yields tremendous carry and distance in long irons
  • 1RK95 High-Strength Steel Face in the shorter irons gives you plenty of control
  • Forgiveness to the nth degree from 4 to PW

CONS:
  • It’s eye-wateringly expensive. This one’s for the big dogs
  • These are game improvement technologies at work, so probably won’t appeal to low handicappers



Callaway Steelhead XR Irons

At first glance there doesn’t really seem to be much difference between these and the good-old X-14s. But there are actually a ton of enhancements here, and these clubs really do set the bar at a whole new level in terms of forgiveness, launch, and, to a lesser extent, distance. Is this going to be the set of choice for low single-figure players? Doubtful. But in terms of game improvement, these irons are right up there, and we think there’s a good chance the Steelhead XRs could float your boat – and at an affordable price too.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Callaway’s Face Cup technology enhances distance and feel
  • Variable CG from long to short irons works effectively
  • Forgiveness in the extreme
  • A wallet-friendly price tag

CONS:
  • The lowest of low single-figure players won’t be interested


ping-iblade-irons-review

Ping iBlade Irons

For us, we felt the most notable improvement in the iBlade when compared with the S55 irons was forgiveness. Not in the sense that they are dramatically easier to hit, but with the slenderer ‘bladey’ look, at first glance you might think your bad shot could sting a little. Not so – the ball gets away beautifully. These are surely the most stylish irons Ping have produced to date too, and it’s a good modern blade. But does $1,200 represent good value here? We’re not so sure…

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Forgiveness enhanced by extra tungsten plug in the toe
  • Clean, compact design with minimal offset
  • Very easy to hit, with excellent sound and feel
  • Good feedback on mishits, despite impressive levels of forgiveness

CONS:
  • Lower spin and less penetration in ball flights
  • On the pricey side of average

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