Best Golf Irons 2020


What were the best golf irons in 2020?

The best golf irons for you will depend on the individual strengths and weaknesses in your golf game, the kind of feel and sound you prefer from your irons, and what you like to look down on at address.

RELATED: Best Irons 2021

To help simplify your selection process, we have split the best golf irons of 2020 into four categories: 

► Best Better Player Irons 2020

► Best Game Improvement Irons 2020  

► Best Super Game Improvement Irons 2020

► Best Hybrid Irons

Alternatively, if you have a particular model already in mind, you can jump straight to its review in our full list of the best golf irons of 2020: 

► Ben Hogan PTX Pro

► Callaway Apex 19

► Callaway Apex Pro 19

► Callaway Mavrik

► Callaway Mavrik Max

► Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

► Cobra King Forged Tec

► Cobra King Speedzone

► Honma T//World 747 P

► Honma T//World 747 Vx

► Honma T//World XP-1

► Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal

► Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro

► Mizuno MP-20 HMB

► Mizuno MP-20 MMC

► Ping G410

► Ping G710

► Ping i210

► PXG 0311 P Gen3

► Srixon Z585

► TaylorMade P760

► TaylorMade P790

► TaylorMade P790 Ti

► TaylorMade SIM Max

► TaylorMade SIM Max OS

► Wilson D7

► Wilson D7 Forged

► Wilson Launch Pad


Players’ irons: who are they for?

Handicap range: 10 and under

Better player irons are a thing of beauty that should only really be entertained by accomplished ball-strikers. Why? Because better player irons tend to have a smaller head size, a smaller cavity, a heavier shaft and weaker loft – all leading to a club that is less forgiving to hit.

Even if you are good enough to use players’ irons, there’s nothing to say you have to. But, as your game improves and confidence grows, many golfers feel the need to announce their arrival with a set of irons worthy of a decent player. For those blessed with a good degree of ball-striking, these irons tend to feel softer, sound crisper and give more feedback than game-improvement and super-game-improvement irons.

Plus, because of the smaller head, weight positioned around the perimeter is closer to the centre of gravity, making players’ irons easier to shape (but also less forgiving).

RELATED: Best Ladies’ Irons

Features of a typical players' iron.

TaylorMade P790

Price: £1,299

7-iron loft: 30.5°

Stock shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 (with VSS Pro) (steel), UST Recoil (graphite)

TaylorMade P790 golf iron.

The P790 transformed TaylorMade’s iron business. The original TaylorMade P790 was not only the brand’s best-selling forged iron ever (the face was forged); it was also the iron that ignited the whole hollow body iron market back in 2017.

Related: TaylorMade P7MB, P7MC and P770 reviewed

Last year, though, TaylorMade revealed this new thinner-faced 2019 P790 iron with extra internal tungsten weighting, reduced offset in the long irons and more compact short irons. And, believe us, they nudge the bar upwards in terms of what’s expected of a players’ distance iron. These are all-round beauties. They’re our second longest players’ iron of 2020 (without the strongest loft), and, thanks to heads filled with SpeedFoam, they sound and feel great, while creating plenty of face flex and ball speed. They also control drop-offs on mishits nicely, too.

For the third year in a row, the TaylorMade P790 are right at the cutting edge of the very best players’ and hollow body irons available.

Related: Full TaylorMade P790 iron review

Buy it now: Get the TaylorMade P790 irons from Scottsdale Golf

Honma T//World 747 Vx

Price: £969 (steel) / £1,249 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 30°

Stock shafts: Nippon NS Pro Modus 3

Honma T//World 747 Vx golf iron

With the exception of the Cobra King Forged Tec, the Honma T//World 747 Vx was the strongest lofted 7-iron in our players’ iron category. That means it should be fast and long. But our data has the Honma Vx down as not only more than capable of competing with any forged iron (it was our longest fully-forged model by three yards from the Srixon Z785), it holds its own against fast-faced, hollow body models, too.

It’s not just all about power, either. Our data has the Honma T//World 747 Vx beating our test average (5.7% vs 6.49%) for carry drop-off, which should make it a consideration for golfers looking for a degree of forgiveness from their forged irons.

We love the head’s straight lines and typical Japanese high toe shaping. The Honma 747 Vx is a brilliantly powerful forged iron from a brand that’s making some big waves for the consistent quality of its products.

Related: Full Honma T//World 747 Vx iron review

Mizuno MP-20 HMB

Price: £180 per club

7-iron loft: 32°

Stock shafts: choose from 18 premium options

Mizuno MP-20 HMB golf irons.

We’re big fans of hollow irons at TG – they bring something new and different to the iron party, filling a gap between players’ and game-improvement irons that was really difficult to bridge a few years ago. All the top brands now have at least one hollow-headed, fast-faced iron in their line-up, so if you’re looking at TaylorMade’s P790, Ping’s i500 or Titleist’s T200 you really should be trying the Mizuno MP-20 HMB, too.

How do you choose between Mizuno’s cavity back MMC and the HMB? We see it like this. Some golfers struggle to love hollow irons, as they feel shot consistency (spin and distance control) is compromised, which makes it difficult to score. We reckon the tech has moved on, but if you’re that type of player, MMC should be your choice.

If, though, you want fast-faced irons to add speed and distance to your game, we’re fans of the HMB’s profile, sound and feel. Unlike some strong-lofted distance irons, the Mizuno MP20 HMB don’t suffer from low launch or low spin, either.

Related: Full Mizuno MP-20 HMB iron review

Buy it now: Get the Mizuno MP-20 HMB from Scottsdale Golf


 Callaway Apex Pro 19

Price: £1,299 (steel) / £1,399 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 33°

Stock shafts: True Temper Elevate Tour 115 (steel), Project X Catalyst 100 (graphite)

Callaway Apex Pro 19 golf irons.

Based on the success of Callaway’s Mavrik driver, many would expect the Mavrik Pro irons to feature among our favourite player irons, too. But we feel the Apex Pro irons are tough to beat, especially if you really are a “player”.

We don’t often endorse “Pro” models, but we reckon Apex Pro will suit up to a six handicapper as long as you’re a confident ball striker. And we’d put money on more Apex Pros being in tour player bags this season than Mavrik Pro (Mavrik Pro is not forged).

RELATED: Callaway Apex 21 Irons and Hybrids

If you’re in any doubt choosing between the Pro or standard Apex 19 or Mavrik Pro, our latest data suggests you put six yards (7-iron carry) on the line by choosing the Pro over the standard Apex, and eight yards choosing the Apex Pro instead of the Mavrik Pro, which will be significant to some.

Related: Full Callaway Apex Pro 19 iron review

Buy it now: Get the Callaway Apex Pro 19 irons from Scottsdale Golf

Cobra King Forged Tec

Price: £899 (steel) / £999 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 29.5°

Stock shafts: KBS $-Taper Lite (steel), Project X Catalyst (graphite) 

Cobra King Forged Tec irons.

It took us an age to get hold of a Cobra Forged Tec sample but, based on this performance, it was well worth the wait. The Cobra Forged Tec was the fastest and longest player irons in our test, which is impressive when you realise they’re Cobra’s first stab at a hollow players’ iron. Inevitably, many will point to the strong loft (29.5° 7-iron), but that’s a sign of the times, as brands know consumers buy from launch monitor numbers.

Related: Cobra’s RADSPEED 2021 range

The really important question is whether you can stop shots on a green, especially moving into the longer irons. Only you can answer that. Based on our experience, backspin is 22% lower than our test average, but launch angle, shot height and descent angle are all very tight to our test averages. So for some it will be touch and go while for others, particularly those who replace long irons with hybrids, it will be workable. Try before you buy.

Related: Full Cobra King Forged Tec iron review

Buy it now: Get the Cobra King Forged Tec irons from Scottsdale Golf

Best Player Iron 2020 – How they compare in data

Best Player Iron data


Ping i210

Price: £126 per club (steel) / £136 per club (graphite)

7-iron loft: 33°

Ping i210 golf iron.

The Ping i210 may be two years old come July, but it’s still an excellent players’ iron. The i210 is Ping’s most played iron on tour and while they can’t boast of out-gunning the competition (their extra loft really dictates that), they are a seriously solid and reliable custom fit option. Our test pro ditched his Ping iBlades for the i210s after our test last year, and he swears i210 is still one of the best player irons on the market. Ping i210 players Lee Westwood and Tyrrell Hatton would agree…

Related: Full Ping i210 iron review

Buy it now: Get the Ping i210 irons from Scottsdale Golf

Mizuno MP-20 MMC

Price: £165 per club

7-iron loft: 32°

Mizuno MP-20 MMC golf irons.

Unless you’re hell-bent on playing blades, we’d say club golfers are much more likely to see success with the MMC compared to Mizuno’s MP-20 MB (at least if you think with your head instead of your heart). If you need further confirmation of our thinking, our pro said this would be the set he’d choose from Mizuno’s three-model MP-20 family.

We love how the top edge is just 1mm thicker than the MB iron, which means you give up virtually nothing in terms of looks. But you gain in playability, which should be enough to convince smart golfers of the benefits the Mizuno MMC bring to the party.

Related: Full Mizuno MP-20 MMC iron review

Buy it now: Get the Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons from Scottsdale Golf

Ben Hogan PTX Pro

Price: £606.45 (plus taxes)

7-iron loft: 34°

Ben Hogan PTX Pro irons.

Historically, forged irons have cost golfers a pretty penny, and in today’s market you won’t find many sets for less than £1,000. Ben Hogan are an exception. Because they only trade online, you won’t find the PTx Pro in golf shops, so prices are cheaper.

Compared to the competition, the Pro has very regular lofts, and a 34° 7-iron will always struggle to compete in terms of ball speed and carry with a 30° model. According to our data, that difference means trading off seven yards of carry. But not all golfers just want distance, certainly not within the players’ iron category anyway.

If you’re not overly concerned about power, the Ben Hogan PTx Pro is an absolute delight. Beautiful head shapes are paired with decent shaft choices and an excellent sound and feel to create a fantastic all-round package.

Related: Full Ben Hogan PTx Pro iron review

PXG 0311 P Gen3

Price: £440 per iron

7-iron loft: 31°

PXG 0311 P Gen3 golf irons.

PXG isn’t a brand for everyone – the prices ensure that. But we’ve got to give PXG a big thumbs up for their engineering endeavours with the new Gen3 irons.

A new “DualCor” filling in each head is said to enhance ball speed, forgiveness and acoustics and lets the face flex more than twice as much as previous models. It’s seriously clever stuff.

But throw in the beautiful CNC milled backs and robotic polishing, as well as MOI enhancing tungsten weighting (which you won’t find on any other iron) and the PXG 0311 P Gen3 is an absolutely stunning club, which is also very powerful, judging by our data.

Related: Full PXG 0311 P Gen3 iron review

Buy it now: Get the PXG 0311 P Gen3 irons from Scottsdale Golf

TaylorMade P760

Price: £1,299

7-iron loft: 33°

TaylorMade P760 golf irons.

We’re massive fans of TaylorMade’s P790 irons, and the P760s are a more compact version of them. It’s forged (P790 are cast with forged faces) with hollow bodies in the mid and long irons (3-7) and one-piece forged heads in the short irons.

BLACK FRIDAY: Get the TaylorMade P760 irons for just £649!

As you would expect, they are significantly more forgiving than TaylorMade’s P7-TW blades, but with a 7-iron loft 2.5° weaker than the P790 don’t expect the P760 to compete like-for-like on ball speed or carry numbers. Our latest data has 10 yards of 7-iron carry distance difference between the pair, which means most category two golfers will be better suited to the P790.

Related: Full TaylorMade P760 iron review

Buy it now: Get the TaylorMade P760 irons from Scottsdale Golf

How forgiving is each Players’ Iron on mishits?

Our drop off data shows the difference between our test pro’s fastest and slowest Ball Speeds. Highest to lowest Backspin rates and longest to shortest Carry Distances.

Best Player Iron 2020 forgiveness data

Related: Best GPS Golf Watch 2020

Jump to: Best Super Game Improvement Irons 2020


Game-improvement irons: who are they for?

Handicap range: 10+

A game-improvement iron is designed to deliver if your game needs a litte bit of help – and let’s face it, that’s most of us. With a slighter larger profile, a lighter shaft, stronger lofts and a slightly thinner face, game-improvement irons are a more forgiving club that is designed to improve ball speeds and carry distance – even when shots aren’t hit in the centre of the face.

Game-improvement irons typically make up 80% of a brand’s sales and with the average UK handicap around 14, the market for them is huge. So it’s important for manufacturers to do game-improvement irons really well, with a design that blends good looks, excellent off-centre hit forgiveness and strong carry distance.

Typically they have a larger head with more offset (distance from the hosel to the leading edge), which positions the centre of gravity further back. The extra offset and wider sole positions more weight beneath and further back from the ball’s equator to help shots get airborne. A cavity or hollow head positions more mass around the perimeter to improve forgiveness.

Some of the best mid-handicap irons fall into this category.

Features of a typical game-improvement iron.

Ping G410

Price: £126 per club (steel) / £136 per club (graphite)

7-iron loft: 30°

Stock shafts: Choose from seven premium options

Ping G410 golf iron.

You won’t often hear brands say they’ve improved forgiveness by making a club smaller, as reduced head size usually means less MOI. But Ping’s hierarchy in the US insisted the G410 be sleeker and slimmer than any of the nine previous Ping G irons.

The Ping G410 has a shorter blade length and 10% less hosel offset, which positions the G iron, looks-wise at least, closer to a players’ iron than ever before. Yet, magically, because the custom tuning port has moved to the toe, forgiveness has increased by 8%.

Related: Tested – Ping’s G425 range

This is a great option for lots of club golfers, and particularly those who don’t overly stress about gaining distance (look at the Ping G710 if that’s you) with their irons. Despite their position as a game-improvement iron, we’d say the Ping G410 will suit golfers from an eight handicap upwards.

Related: Full Ping G410 irons review

Buy it now: Get the Ping G410 irons from Scottsdale Golf

Honma T//World 747 P

Price: £969

7-iron loft: 28.5°

Stock shafts: Nippon NS Pro 950 GH (steel) / Honma Vizard for 747 50 (graphite)

Honma T//World 747 P golf iron.

Since signing Justin Rose last year, the perception of Honma, particularly their forged irons, has changed fast. Lots of golfers now have Honma at the centre of discussions about their next set of forged clubs. And it’s irons like the Honma T//World 747 P which are causing the rethink. We were hugely impressed with the T//World 747 P last year, and that hasn’t changed in 2020.

A lack of offset and a narrow top line means the Honma T//World 747 P have the same slender look you’ll find in most players’ irons. If your game sits on the fence between game-improvement and player models, and you put a premium on distance (these were our third longest in the category), the Honma T//World 747 P are an excellent choice.

And our recommendation doesn’t just boil down to pure power, either. The Honma T//World 747 P ranked third for protecting ball speed and carry in our test, which in a 16-strong field of bigger, wider irons, is seriously impressive. A very good game-improvement iron for 2020.

Related: Should you be playing the Honma TR21X iron?

Buy it now: Get the Honma T//World 747 P irons from Scottsdale Golf

Callaway Apex 19

Price: £1,299 (steel) / £1,399 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 30.5°

Stock shafts: True Temper Elevate (steel) / True Temper Catalyst (graphite)

Callaway Apex 19 golf iron.

Callaway Apex irons had a reputation for being really, really good even before the ’19 models arrived, so it’s no surprise this was among our favourite irons of last year. By fine-tuning sound, feel and looks, plus including a new Elevate shaft that flights shots higher to drop and stop approaches on to a green, they’re just as good this year.

The Callaway Apex 19 is a beautiful iron, and for us at least we’d have its nose just out in front of the Mavrik (even though they give up five yards of carry) for anybody who feels a benefit from forged models.

Essentially, the Mavrik has a 3.5° stronger loft (almost a club difference between the 7-iron lofts), so it’s unfair to compare them head-to-head, as they’re not really aimed at the same player. But if you don’t feel the need for forged irons, the seriously powerful Mavrik should be pinging your radar instead.

Related: Full Callaway Apex 19 iron review

Buy it now: Get the Callaway Apex 19 irons from Scottsdale Golf

TaylorMade SIM Max

Price: £899 (steel) / £1,049 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 28.5°

Stock shafts: KBS Max 85 (steel) / Fujikura Ventus Blue (graphite)

TaylorMade SIM Max golf iron.

This is the year when brands are talking more than ever about dialling clubs into the particular sound and feel frequencies that golfers love. If you lay the impact sound of the SIM Max over TaylorMade’s forged tour-level P760 iron, the pair are almost indistinguishable. For golfers, that means SIM Max is a cast iron that sounds like a forged model, and that is why the SIM will be a huge success in 2020. They offer something most cast irons struggle to match.

In our eyes the SIM Max doesn’t have a ridiculously wide top edge or tall face height (to improve face flex), or masses of offset, so they’re a really good-looking game-improvement model.

Without the strongest lofts they might struggle to compete on pure launch monitor numbers (the SIM Max OS will), but for sensible golfers who know the importance of optimal numbers for launching, flighting and descending shots on to a green, we reckon the TaylorMade SIM Max is a very reliable and consistent iron to have in your golf bag.

Related: Full TaylorMade SIM Max iron review

Buy it now: Get the TaylorMade SIM Max irons from Scottsdale Golf

Best Game Improvement Iron 2020 – How they compare in data

Best game-improvement golf iron test data.


Wilson D7 Forged

Price: £599 (steel) / £699 (graphite) 

7-iron loft: 30.5°

Wilson D7 Forged golf iron.

The Wilson D7 Forged is brand new for 2020, and it could easily be argued it slides into the players’ iron category. For us, though, the head size and sole width are very similar to some of our game-improvement models, which means it suits a large audience. Less offset and a narrower top edge tailor the iron down to more confident ball strikers.

But while the 30.5° loft doesn’t give the strongest carry performance, the Wilson D7 Forged was the only game-improvement iron to feature among all three of our drop-off categories (ball speed, backspin and carry).

Related: Full Wilson D7 Forged iron review

Related: Full Wilson Staff Model CB iron review

 TaylorMade P790 Ti

Price: £2,699 (steel) / £2,899 (graphite) 

7-iron loft: 28.5°

TaylorMade P790 Ti golf iron.

The TaylorMade P790 Ti’s price alone means that most golfers won’t give it a second glance. But for those willing to spend the money, it’s an absolute delight.

TaylorMade say the P790 Ti offers super game-improvement performance in a players’ iron shape, which is only possible thanks to a lightweight titanium chassis.

For golfers who need forgiveness and don’t want to struggle launching a strong-lofted iron from the turf, the P790 Ti delivers in spades. Shots launch high, spin lots (thanks to the high launch, high-spin shafts) and keep plenty of peak height, which is just the sort of magic most strong loft haters can’t accept!

Related: Full TaylorMade P790 Ti iron review

Buy it now: Get the TaylorMade P790 Ti irons from Scottsdale Golf

Cobra King Speedzone

Price: £699 (steel) / £799 (graphite) 

7-iron loft: 27.5°

Cobra King Speedzone golf irons.

There’s a defining factor with Cobra’s recent game-improvement irons: the blade length (toe to heel) is long. It gives a unique look, but also helps boost MOI and forgiveness. And our drop-off data shows just how effective that extra size really is.

Related: Cobra King RADSPEED 2021 range

The Cobra Speedzone was the best iron for protecting ball speed (4.4mph drop-off) and carry (six per cent); very impressive when some irons saw drop-offs of over 9mph in ball speed and 11 per cent in carry.

Related: Full Cobra King Speedzone iron review

Buy it now: Get the Cobra King Speedzone irons from Scottsdale Golf

Srixon Z585

Price: £799 (steel) / £899 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 31°

Srixon Z585 golf iron.

The Srixon Z585 will be two years old in 2020, so it’s likely to be replaced this summer. But we still love their simple beauty. Compared to Srixon’s Z785 irons, these have 1mm thicker springy faces and 1° less loft, which tailors them to golfers searching for distance and forgiveness.

Related: Srixon ZX4 is most forgiving ever

The two-piece construction of the Srixon Z585 means a slightly different sound than one-piece forgings like the Z785 but, as we’ve said for the last two years, these are very impressive irons. 

Related: Full Srixon Z585 iron review

Callaway Mavrik

Price: £849 (steel) / £1,049 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 27°

Callaway Mavrik golf iron.

Two years ago we were as surprised as the next man when Callaway introduced Rogue X, the strongest loft irons we’d ever seen. Today, there are more strong lofted irons than ever. Some engineers even say strong lofts are necessary to optimise ball flight, as weight tech is now so good at flighting irons higher.

Like the Rogue X, the Callaway Mavrik is big and brash, and with such strong lofts it’s no surprise this was our second longest game-improvement iron of the year, with 7-iron carry distance of 185 yards.

Related: Full Callaway Mavrik iron review

Buy it now: Get the Callaway Mavrik irons from Scottsdale Golf

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro

Price: £120 per club

7-iron loft: 30°

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro golf iron.

We love how Mizuno have given their Hot Metal and JPX919 Forged irons a very similar look at address, which means they can be mixed to create a brilliant combo set.

Related: Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal irons

Hot Metal Pro isn’t forged, but has a lovely compact head, and our data has them picking up about three to four yards over the JPX919 Forged – worth remembering if you’re looking for distance and not swayed by forged feel.

Related: Full Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro iron review

Buy it now: Get the Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro irons from Scottsdale Golf

How forgiving is each Game-Improvement Iron on mishits?

Our drop off data shows the difference between our test pro’s fastest and slowest Ball Speeds. Highest to lowest Backspin rates and longest to shortest Carry Distances.

2020 game-improvement golf iron test drop-off data.


Super game-improvement irons: who are they for?

Handicap range: 15+ 

The super game-improvement iron might not be the prettiest of clubs, but these brutes are meant to make the game easier for all of us. With the largest profiles, strong lofts and a huge amount of face-tech, these irons are for those who need plenty of forgiveness. A super game-improvement iron will mean you hit fewer bad shots and shorter clubs into greens – a win-win in our book. If you are looking for the best irons for beginners or high handicappers, this is the place to start. 

Related: Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers

Super game-improvement irons are often seen as the ugly ducklings, as their designs are never quite as sleek and appealing as other options. But they boast tonnes of tech to help anyone hit better shots. In a nutshell, super game-improvement irons are aimed at the golfer looking for ultimate distance and forgiveness, without worrying too much about looks or control.

Features of a typical super game-improvement iron.

Ping G710

Price: £169 per club (steel) / £179 per club (graphite)

7-iron loft: 29.5°

Stock shafts: Ping AWT (steel) / Ping Alta CB (graphite)

Ping G710 golf iron.

It really wasn’t that long ago the best super-forgiving game improver irons looked like shovels, because size was the only way to maximise playability. Things have changed dramatically, and part of the switch comes down to hollow body technology.

The new Ping G710’s hollow construction makes it possible to roll together lots of forgiveness within a really attractive head shape and size, which in our book makes it one of the most desirable super game-improvement irons of 2020. Pound for pound (comparing even lofts) the Ping G710 is powerful, and part of that comes down to how the face is made from the same springy C300 steel in Ping’s fairways and hybrids.

Sound isn’t always as important at this end of the market as mid-handicap golfers (and above) are often much more interested in the results, but the Ping G710 sounds every bit as good as it looks. A brilliant super game-improvement option for a wide range of handicaps.

Related: Full Ping G710 iron review

Buy it now: Get the Ping G710 irons from Scottsdale Golf

Callaway Mavrik Max

Price: £849 (steel) / £1,049 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 30°

Stock shafts: KBS Max (steel) / Project X Catalyst (graphite)

Callaway Mavrik Max golf irons.

It could be argued that the Callaway Mavrik irons haven’t quite had the same impact as the Callaway Mavrik woods did in the respective test, but the Callaway Mavrik Max is well worthy of a place among our favourite super game-improvement irons of 2020.

It didn’t feature among our fastest or longest, but it has the joint weakest loft in the category. These slightly weaker lofts (compared to the standard Mavrik irons) mean the Max is ideal for moderate swing speeds, particularly those who tend to struggle to flight shots high enough to maximise carry.

There’s plenty of offset (which helps get shots airborne) and a very wide top line, yet the iron looks pretty compact. For moderate swing speed players, the Callaway Mavrik Max is a very solid iron.

Related: Full Callaway Mavrik Max iron review

Buy it now: Get the Callaway Mavrik Max irons from Scottsdale Golf

TaylorMade SIM Max OS

Price: £899 (steel) / £1,049 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 27°

Stock shafts: KBS Max 85 (steel) / Fujikura Ventus Blue (graphite) 

TaylorMade SIM Max OS golf iron.

Callaway have gone after strong lofts harder and faster than anyone in the last couple of years, but TaylorMade are hitting back with the SIM Max OS in 2020, saying the lofts aren’t just strong for speed and distance either.

TaylorMade reckon iron design has got to a point where strong lofts are actually necessary to stop shots from spinning up and losing distance. Our data speaks for itself. The OS was our longest super game-improvement iron (by three and four yards from the two hybrid irons), and it gave similar spin numbers to the wider and higher-lofted Wilson Launch Pad, which means shots will stop on a green.

But the SIM Max OS story isn’t just about power; it’s about ultimate forgiveness, too. Our drop-off data has the Max OS among our top three (remember it’s up against wide-body hybrids, too) at protecting ball speed, backspin and carry, which ultimately increases forgiveness. The TaylorMade SIM Max OS is a very good iron for lots of club golfers.

Related: Full TaylorMade SIM Max OS iron review

Buy it now: Get the TaylorMade SIM Max OS irons from Scottsdale Golf

Best Super Game Improvement Iron 2020 – How they compare in data

2020 super game-improvement golf iron test data.


Wilson D7

Price: £469 (steel) / £599 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 28°

Wilson D7 golf iron.

The Wilson D7 combines strong lofts with lightweight shafts and plenty of fast face tech to make sure golfers don’t drop below critical levels of height, spin and descent angle. Extra power holes in the soles of the Wilson D7 long irons give extra ball speed where golfers need it most. We’ve been fans of Wilson’s D family irons for a while, and by recording a carry of 183 yards, they’re not just good looking, but also our second most powerful super game-improvement irons of 2020 – at a great price.

Related: Full Wilson D7 iron review

Mixuno JPX 919 Hot Metal

Price: £120 per club

7-iron loft: 30°

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal golf iron.

Everybody knows that Mizuno irons are top quality, and even though the Hot Metal isn’t forged, or among our longest on test, it’s still a brilliant option for golfers looking for forgiveness. That’s because they don’t have big and chunky heads with masses of offset, which for some players is really important.

The Mizuno JPX 919 range was replaced midway through 2020 (see our Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal iron review here), which is worth remembering if owning the latest model is important to you. Butt the Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal stands out as an excellent super game-improvement model.

Related: Full Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal review

Buy it now: Get the Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal irons from Scottsdale Golf

Honma T//World XP-1

Price: £969

7-iron loft: 28.5°

Honma T//World XP-1 golf iron.

Honma probably aren’t the first name that springs to mind when we think about super game-improvement irons, but the Honma XP-1 should be on the radar of golfers who put a premium on how their irons look.

Our pro was impressed not only by how the Honma XP-1 looked behind the ball, but also by how much they felt like a Honma forged iron (even though they’re not forged). The Honma XP-1’s strong lofts lowered launch and peak height a little, but crucially backspin stayed high, which will help shots stop on the green. All in all the Honma XP-1 is a very impressive package.

Buy it now: Get the Honma XP-1 irons from Scottsdale Golf


Hybrid irons: who are they for?

Handicap range: 18+

Hybrid irons are built to be both powerful and incredibly forgiving. Despite that, very few sets are sold each year. 

The explanation for the lack of sales is, quite simply, ego. In many people’s eyes, hybrid-irons label you as an ‘average’ golfer at best. And nobody wants that label.

The new breed of hybrid irons, though, is much more cleverly designed (with blacked out crowns and top lines that look like an iron) to disguise the extra body size, and shaped more towards what’s expected of an iron. And if you can turn a blind eye to the cosmetics and leave your ego at the fitting room door, you like us might well be surprised by the performance on offer.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

Price: £599 (steel) / £649 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 30°

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo hybrid iron.

We’ve tested the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo a few times now, and each session has ended with our pro smiling from ear to ear. Hybrid irons are really fun to use as they’re so easy to hit.

The difference between the Cleveland Turbo and Wilson’s Launch Pad is how the Cleveland is likely to be more at home in the hands of golfers who already like hybrids. They look more like a traditional hybrid, whereas the Wilson Launch Pad has the appearance of an iron with the addition of a body on the back.

The numbers speak for themselves. If you need any confirmation hybrid irons are more forgiving than traditional cavity back irons, the Cleveland Launcher gave the smallest drop-off in ball speed (3.4mph) and carry (5.6%) on mishits, with the Wilson Launch Pad coming in a very close second.

If you want the most fun and enjoyment when you play, the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo gets a big thumbs up from us.

Related: Full Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo iron review

Wilson Launch Pad

Price: £549 (steel) / £645 (graphite)

7-iron loft: 30°

Wilson Launch Pad golf hybrid iron.

We’re really impressed with the thinking behind the Wilson Launch Pad, which is based on lots of shots from ordinary golfers. It goes without saying that to play hybrid irons you have to turn a blind eye to bulging backs and wide bodies, and focus instead on the Launch Pad’s shiny chrome face and topline, which really is very much like a traditional oversized Wilson iron.

Our data has the Wilson Launch Pad down as our third longest super game-improvement iron (182 yards) of 2020, but it’s how the wide body delivers that distance that’s really impressive. Shots launched high (among our highest of all the irons in our test), peaked out higher than any other super game-improvement iron and descended on to the green at a very steep angle, all without giving up backspin, making them extremely playable.

Related: Full Wilson Launch Pad iron review

How forgiving is each Super Game-Improvement Iron on mishits?

Our drop off data shows the difference between our test pro’s fastest and slowest Ball Speeds. Highest to lowest Backspin rates and longest to shortest Carry Distances.

2020 super game-improvement golf iron test drop-off data.

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