Best Players’ Irons 2024: Our data-backed picks for skilled golfers seeking workability and control

Among the best golf irons are players’ irons, typically aimed at low handicaps to elite-level golfers. Whilst players’ irons aren’t quite as intimidating as blade irons, they’re not far off, but do offer a little more forgiveness. Lots of tour pros including Major winners Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, and Shane Lowry opt for irons in the players’ category, appreciating the blend of control, workability, and forgiveness.

If you strike your irons consistently well but want a little more distance, the best players’ distance irons might be a better fit for you, whereas if your consistency from the fairways is lacking, we strongly recommend checking out the excellent options available in our best mid-handicap irons guide.

Best At A Glance

Best overall players’ iron: TaylorMade P770 irons | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Best players’ irons for distance: PXG 0317 CB irons | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Best shaped players’ iron: Ping Blueprint S irons | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Best players’ iron for feel: Srixon ZX7 MKII irons | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Best for control and workability: Mizuno Pro 243 irons | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Most forgiving players’ iron: Titleist T150 irons | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Let’s take a look at the models of players’ irons we believe are the best of the bunch in 2024.

Best Players’ Irons 2024:

A modern beauty that stands up to the best on offer in 2024.

Best all round players' iron
Price: $185 / £165 RRP per club
With 25 different models within the category, it could be said the players’ iron market is burgeoning with talent. That’s more models than we’ve ever tested, and it’s models like the P770 that are challenging the category's boundaries. It wasn’t that long ago some thought players’ irons couldn’t have thin fast faces or hollow body constructions. Anything other than traditional lofts were frowned upon, and if the profile wasn’t sleek, slender, and classy, models were instantly laughed out of the room. Things have changed significantly today.
In previous years the P770 has been tough to categorize, but thanks to its players' profile (and weak 33° 7-iron loft), which TaylorMade crams with ball speed and forgiveness-enhancing tech, this is clearly a modern-day players’ iron. And if you’re happy to accept tech within the players’ iron arena the P770 is just about as good as they come.
For those who question what hollow body constructions and thin fast faces bring to the party, comparing the P770 to TaylorMade’s P7MC gives a great explanation of what tech does for the category. Thanks to tungsten weighting inside and a hollow body construction the P770 has a slightly higher MOI. Which is good for golfers who hit lots of straight shots, but less attractive for golfers who like shaping shots onto a flag.
In our 2024 test, the P770 produced a ball speed 2.8 mph faster than the 1° weaker loft P7MC. Thanks to the hollow body and thin face shots launched with a fraction less spin, yet peaked out higher, and hit the green at a steeper angle (0.4deg), while adding 6 yards of additional 7-iron carry distance. In my book, those are all seriously impressive stats that will help decent club golfers score a fraction lower, more often. Whichever way you want to look at it the P770 is a modern beauty, and even if they are due to be replaced later in the year I still regard them as one of the best players’ irons of 2024.

Read our full TaylorMade P770 irons review.


  • High ball flight apex and steep descent angles.
  • Packed with ball speed and forgiveness-enhancing tech.


  • Not ideal for those who like to shape shots.
Availability 3-PW
Stock shaft KBS Tour
7-iron loft 33°

One of the best-performing players' irons of 2024.

Best players' irons for distance
Price: $219 / £189 RRP per club
PXG appears to have come full circle with the launch of their ‘sharpshooters’ elite players 0317 iron family. It was only back in 2015 when the company first sprung onto the scene that the brand championed how hollow-body iron constructions allowed the brand to combine the looks of a blade with the forgiveness of a cavity back. Since then we’ve tested their iron models diligently and seen some cracking results, yet in 2024 it’s the brand's new ‘traditional’ forged cavity back model hitting the headlines.       
Through working with their ‘elite’ players PXG has come to understand that a majority of very good players just want a forged compact cavity back iron to play on tour. As good as hollow body constructions are, with their fast faces, many of the best players in the world just want consistency from their irons. So, fair play to PXG for listening to their team and creating a 0317 family just for elite players.
In typical PXG style, there are three 0317 irons calling out for the attention of golfers looking within the players’ iron category (0317 ST, 0317 CB, 0317 T) in 2024. Incredibly the T and CB both fly high at the top of our data sheet in the Players’ Iron category this year.
While both are lovely looking, feeling, and sounding irons I’ve plumped for the 0317 CB as picking within this category really shouldn’t come down to speed and distance. Yes, the slightly stronger lofted, hollow body 0317 T was 2.2mph faster on ball speed, it also produced three more yards of 7-iron carry distance, but our test pro still just felt the CB is a better choice for low single-digit handicappers looking for maximum control and shot to shot consistency.
From a 7-iron loft bang on our test average the one-piece forged CB head produced a ball speed faster than the test average, yet launched and flighted shots higher, with a steeper descent angle so hitting shots into a green will be much like throwing darts at a board. Combine that performance with a smaller carry distance drop-off and tighter shot area than our test averages and you have one of the best-performing players’ irons of 2024 on your hands. Great work, with congratulations being due to PXG for their first forged cavity back iron endeavor.     


  • Excellent control and shot consistency.
  • High flights with steep decent angles.
  • Strong carry distances.


  • Not the fast ball speeds within the 0317 family.
Availability 3-PW
Stock shaft True Temper Elevate 95 (s), KBS Tour Lite (s), Mitsubishi MMT (g), Project X Cypher (g), UST Recoil Dart (g)
7-iron loft 33°

A stunning iron with all the hallmarks of being a timeless classic

Best shaped players' iron
Price: $240 / £200 RRP per club
It’s taken the new Blueprint S no time at all to establish itself and get its feet under the table out on tour, appearing in both Ping staff and uncontracted players' bags since first being revealed in July 2023. Forged Ping irons just aren’t all that common and when a very good one like the S comes along players literally fall over themselves to put the model in play. The i230 might still be Ping’s most-played tour iron but the Blueprint S will surely run it close for its crown once its first full year out on tour is complete.
I’ve been testing Ping irons for 15+ years and I can confidently say I’ve never been so excited by any of the brand's previous player-focused models. The Blueprint S has a beautifully simple head shape, gone completely is the ‘boxy’ or longer blade length shape that critics used to put the brand's better player models down for. In my mind, the S is right there alongside the Mizuno Pro 243 and Srixon ZX 7 MK II as one of the very best-shaped players’ irons of the year.
Our test pro loved the forged feel, and sound, preferring the impact sensation to his own set of cast i230’s, a model he’s played for nearly 18 months. Comparing the two sets the pair are almost identical in terms of data bar the four yards carry distance gain in favor of the S. Just remember choosing players’ irons should be more about shape, feel, ball flight, and consistency, so if ball speed and distance creep into your thinking, you really should be looking at players distance irons instead.
In terms of distance, the S carried shots comfortably above our test average (3 yards), with the carry distance drop-off and shot area being just below and above the test averages respectively. That sort of performance says to me the model is well decked out to perform across the board for consistent ball strikers.      
Any decision between the S and i230 is likely to come down to how much premium you put on playing forged irons. Out on tour, this is huge, hence why the Blueprint S is seeing such success in the hands of the best players in the world. For decent club golfers price is also likely to be a factor as a 7-piece steel shafted set will set you back £140 more by opting for the forged S. When you’re making your decision don’t forget to factor in the new pocket cavity tech in the S long irons, which will offer up a little more forgiveness.
In my book, the Blueprint S is a stunning set of irons, thanks to being forged and deliciously well shaped they have all the hallmarks of being a timeless classic set, hence why they’re among my five best players’ irons of 2024.      

Read our full Ping Blueprint S iron review.


  • This is Ping's first forged cavity back iron in a decade.
  • An excellent blend of sound, feel, and forgiveness within the chassis of a tour iron. 
  • Toe and shaft tip weights cleverly up MOI.


  • Ping forged irons always represent a sizeable investment. 
Availability 3-PW
Stock shaft True Temper Dynamic Gold 120
7-iron loft 33°

An absolute beast of a tour-level forged iron.

Best players' iron for feel
Price: $1199.99
Srixon has been making seriously good irons for years, but it’s only in recent times they’ve started to really get the recognition they deserve. The ZX7 was among my favorite players’ irons last year, and even though it’s heading into its second year on the shelf, a time when lots of products drop from our radar, this particular model is still well worth a place among our top performing players’ irons of 2024.        
Why do we like it so much? Well, it’s got natural elegance, with a super straight topline, compact shape, and a lack of offset, all features that many decent players just adore. Importantly it also has a timeless classic design which isn’t going to feel old hat next year either.
Throw into the mix a third-best ball speed performance in the players’ iron category in 2024. A fourth-best carry distance, plus a 23.2% smaller carry distance drop-off and 67.1% smaller shot area than our test averages and you can see in the right hands the ZX7 is an absolute beast of a tour-level forged iron
On top of everything else, our test pro thought the feel and feedback from the ZX7 was out of this world good, and right up there alongside the Mizunos of this world. If you find yourself dithering on the line between this model and its more speed and distance-focused sibling the ZX5 our data shows you’ll give three up yards or so distance but gain 500 RPM of backspin to play the ZX7. For proper players’ you’ll probably want the additional control brought by that extra spin.

Read our full Srixon ZX7 MKII irons review.


  • Exceptional feel.
  • Brilliant all-round performance.
  • Fantastic looking with its timeless design.


  • Slightly more speed and distance to be found in the ZX5.
Availability 3-PW
Stock shaft Nippon NS Pro Modus3 Tour
7-iron loft 32°

Quick and powerful with excellent control and workability.

Best for control and workability
Price: $200 / £215 RRP per club
No best players’ iron feature would be complete without a set of Mizuno’s, and today thanks to owning the JPX and Pro franchises the company has two bites at the cherry.
I’m no Mizuno knocker but there’s no getting away from how the brand's iron launches over the last few years have become a bit predictable. Within the JPX family, I’ve seen the 919, 921, and 923 families covered over the last six years. We’re also now into the 2nd generation of Pro irons which by the time they’re retired will have spanned an additional 4 years too.
Hand on heart if I bought an original set of either franchise, I’d really struggle to say any subsequent generation, bar the introduction of springy chromoly steel, has been a huge step forward in terms of performance. That’s not a slight on the most recent updates but if you own previous models I reckon you don’t have to keep updating to the latest and greatest. However, if you’re new to Mizuno or just looking for a great set of players’ irons in 2024 the Pro 243s represent a very solid choice in 2024.
Cast your eye over our test data and you won’t find the Mizuno Pro 243 on the podium for any single metric. Yet our test pro was adamant the model felt quick and powerful (it produced a faster-than-average ball speed) and offered him the ball flight, control and look he wanted from a forged cavity back tour-level iron. To back up his thinking, compared to the 2° weaker Mizuno JPX923 Tour iron the Pro 243 hit shots higher, with a steeper decent angle and additional spin, features lots of decent players will appreciate. Factor in top draw levels of feel and you have an iron that’s well worth a position among our favorite five players’ irons of 2024.
If you’re looking at this category in 2024 it’s really hard to make a bad choice, as there are so many good irons within the players’ iron arena. I’d be drawn to the Mizuno Pro 243 not only because it’s a very solid performer across the board, but because there’s also a two life expectancy ahead of it. If though you’re the type of person who likes to have the very latest model in their bag, bear in mind the JPX family is also due for replacement later this summer.     

Read our full Mizuno Pro 243 irons review.


  • Expect beautifully shaped heads.
  • Guaranteed great feel and feedback. 
  • Lots of shaft options at zero upcharge.


  • All the Mizuno Pro irons are seriously costly options in 2024 compared to other brands
Availability 4-PW
Stock shaft Dynamic Gold Mid 115
7-iron loft 32°

A low-flying iron with exceptional sound and feel.

Best for low ball flights
Price: $1505.00
Callaway repositioned the Apex franchise in 2023 to target elite golfers rather than trying to pitch the same name blanketly across the board to everyone. Consequently the Apex 24 Pro has become a modern hollow body players’ iron that has the TaylorMade P770 and PXG 0317 T firmly in its sight.
Expect a beautiful head shape, cracking satin finish as well as a very pleasing impact sound and feel, even though the Pro didn’t quite nudge its way into the higher echelons of our top-performing players’ irons this year. My thinking comes down to a significantly lower ball flight and shallower descent angle than the major competition and our test averages. Typically fast face, hollow body irons launch higher and spin less so unless you specifically want to target lower ball flight I feel there are slightly better tech-focused players’ irons like the TaylorMade P770 out there.
If lowering ball flight is your desire you’ll be pleased to hear the model produced an above-average ball speed, bang-on-average carry distance, and a smaller carry distance drop-off and shot area than the majority of the 2024 players’ irons we hit. Bingo!     

Read our full Callaway Apex 24 Pro irons review.


  • Designed with input from the world's best players.
  • Among the best-looking irons available.
  • Incredible feel.
  • Allow you to create the ultimate combo set


  • More expensive than Apex '21.
Availability 3-AW
Stock shaft Steel – True Temper Dynamic Gold Mid 115g (Reg, Stiff, X-Stiff); Graphite (custom-fit only) – Mitsubishi MMT 80g (Reg, Stiff) / 90g (X-Stiff)
7-iron loft 33°

A competitively priced players' iron that will appeal to consistent ball strikers.

Best value players' iron
Price: $170 / £143 RRP per club
Wilson has a history longer than most when it comes to forged irons and since doubling down on its Staff Model franchise the brand has seen a real resurgence among ‘players’ over recent times. Bear in mind the Staff Model has been developed with input from players like three-time major champ Padraig Harrington, so if you truly can say hand-on-heart you are a consistent ball striker who doesn’t need to keep an eye on distance the new Staff Model CB should be factored into your purchase decision in 2024.
The CBs have very traditional lofts, which means in our test the model gave up 5 yards of 7-iron carry distance to our test average but also a massive 13 yards to the very longest in the category. That’s an equation that won’t work for too many club golfers. However, it doesn’t stop this model from being a very attractive traditional forged tour-level cavity back option in the right hands.
I love the head shape, our test pro really enjoyed the feel but the super shiny high-polished finish is highly likely to split opinion. Even Padraig Harrington plays his set raw without a plated finish to maximize feel and spin control. Also don’t fall into the trap of thinking weaker lofted players’ irons launch shots higher, as that’s not always the case. Our data highlights how thanks to the lack of offset the center of gravity is further forward and thanks to a heavier lower flighted shaft this model peaked shots out lower and hit the green at a shallower angle than our test averages. Definite food for thought.  

Read our full Wilson Staff Model CB iron review.


  • The price is a lot more attractive than some of the competition.
  • Feel and feedback are right up there alongside the best.
  • Wilson has a serious pedigree in the forged iron market. 


  • A very difficult iron to fault, so long as your game warrants a modern players' model.
Availability 4 – PW (Custom Order 2 and 3 iron)
Stock shaft True Temper Dynamic Gold Mid 115
7-iron loft 34°

A stunning iron with more playability than some of its competitors.

Best looking players' iron
Price: $185 / £135 RRP per club
It was a seriously long time before the King Tour that a Cobra iron last bagged top honors in a TG players’ iron test. But the simple, elegant Tour is so good I feel it’s now worthy of featuring among our top 10 players’ iron for the second year in a row. The King Tour has helped nurse Rickie Fowler's game back into shape and it’s the sort of model the brand hasn’t really offered for a few years.   
The five-times forged heads feel super soft. There’s a tiny bit of tech built-in with variable depth milled pockets in the shallow cavity backs, which add a fraction more playability on the long irons and increased flight control on the scoring clubs. Like any good players’ iron, the head shape is really attractive, there are no awkward areas that unduly draw the eye, making this an understated model for decent players who are happy to let their golf do the talking.
Data tends to be less important within this category, as decisions are more often made on subjective hunches. The Tour does itself no harm though by producing an above average carry distance for the category, while other metrics stick stubbornly around the average mark.  
As the King Tour enters its second year I feel it’s still got a lot to offer as Cobra is now a proper player within the forged iron market. The Tour sits alongside the King MB blade and tour-level King CB plus there’s a hollow body Forged Tec and Forged Tec X, all of which can be dialed in individually to create your own perfect combo set. If you’re considering forged irons in 2024 Cobra’s cracking line-up deserves to be checked out.

Read our full Cobra King Tour irons review.


  • An understated and attrcatively shaped players' iron.
  • A solid all round performance package.
  • Can mix and match with other models for a Cobra combo set.


  • Doesn't excel in one particular area.
Availability 4-PW (3-iron and GW available via custom-fitting order)
Stock shaft Stiff or regular flex steel KBS $-Taper 120
7-iron loft 33°

An excellent option for high-level golfers seeking added forgiveness.

Most forgiving players' iron
It’s only when you carry out proper side-by-side testing like we do here at TG that you get to see the performance data differences between various models within a single brand's line-up. And there are not two models out there that better highlight the differences than the Titleist T100 and  T150. Both models are aimed at high-level players, and the T100 is extremely popular on tour, yet its 7-iron loft is 2° weaker than the T150. Despite seeing such success in the bags of some of the best players in the world my experience says the majority of club golfers though will struggle to see past the T150.
For our test pro, the T150 produced 4.5mph more ball speed than the T100. It launched and flighted shots higher than our test average and despite the stronger loft shots hit the green at a steeper angle too. Performance which Titleist will say comes from the head now having its own identity (with a wider sole etc) rather than just being a 2° stronger version of the T100. Throw in 8 yards more carry distance with a 7-iron and very few club golfers in their right mind will feel the T100 is their better option.
That sort of performance puts the T150 among our top 10 performing players’ irons of 2024. If you find yourself drawn to a set you’ll be delighted to hear at just 4 yards the model clocked up our second smallest carry distance drop-off and third smallest shot area of the entire 25 model line-up. Impressive stuff.   

Read our full Titleist T150 irons review.


  • A top performer for dispersion and carry distance drop-off.
  • Can be combined with the T100s for a combo set with a blend of distance and control.
  • Slightly more powerful and confidence-inspiring than the T100.


  • Sacrifices a touch of precision for ball speed.
Availability 4-PW
Stock shaft True Temper Project X LZ (Low Launch, Low Spin steel) or Mitsubishi Tensei White AM2 (Low Launch, Low Spin graphite)
7-iron loft 32°

Offering outstanding value and a competitive performance package.

Best value players' iron
Price: $92 / £92 RRP per club
Takomo has plundered our players’ iron category for two years in a row now, as their two lovely-looking models (the 301 CB and 201), both turned in outstanding performances considering their price tag.
Between them, the pair produced carry distance drop-offs and shot areas smaller than our test average which will go some way to making the models playable on the golf course. Value for money isn’t something we see a lot of in the players' iron category but if I had a sub £500 budget to shop in the category in 2024 Takomo would certainly be my first port of call.
Choosing between the two models I’d plump for the slightly sleeker, less angular, and more traditional satin-clad 301 CB, it's 2° weaker in the 7-iron, which means at 170 yards carry distance it was 6 yards back from the slightly more powerful 201. The only slight drawback is you will need to order online without a fitting, since seeing greater success in Europe though you can now order in GBP.   


  • Excellent value for money.
  • Sleek and clean looks.
  • A solid all-round performance package.


  • No custom fitting options.
Availability 4-PW
Stock shaft KBS Tour Regular
7-iron loft 34°

Best Players’ Irons: The Data

Below is the data from our independent testing of the best golf players’ irons available in 2024. You can read about all the other models that didn’t make our shortlist above in our golf club review pages or category-specific irons pages.

Test Pro data:

Iron7-Iron LoftBall SpeedLaunch AngleBackspinHeightDescent AngleCarry DistanceCarry Distance Drop OffShot Area
PXG 0317 T32°125 MPH (1)15.6°5343 RPM32 YDS45.1°182 YDS (1)6 YDS118.2 SQ YDS
PXG 0317 CB33°122.8 MPH16.6°5568 RPM32 YDS45.7°179 YDS (T2)7 YDS142.1 SQ YDS
Vega VDC31°124.4 MPH (2)14.8°5703 RPM30 YDS44.4°179 YDS (T2)8 YDS236.8 SQ YDS
Srixon ZX7 MK II32°122.9 MPH (3)16.7°5757 RPM32 YDS46.1°178 YDS7 YDS57.4 SQ YDS
Sub 70 659 CB32°122.8 MPH15.3°5683 RPM30 YDS44.2°178 YDS8 YDS70.4 SQ YDS
More MOD 132°121.5 MPH15.9°5370 RPM30 YDS44.1°178 YDS2 YDS (1)48.4 SQ YDS (2)
Ping Blueprint S33°121.3 MPH16.7°5498 RPM31 YDS45.1°177 YDS9 YDS188.1 SQ YDS
Titleist T15032°122.6 MPH17.5°5686 RPM34 YDS46.8°177 YDS4 YDS (2)53.6 SQ YDS (3)
Takomo 20132°122.6 MPH15.7°6070 RPM31 YDS45°176 YDS9 YDS119.7 SQ YDS
Cobra King Tour32°120.9 MPH15.4°5534 RPM29 YDS43.1°176 YDS9 YDS253.8 SQ YDS
TaylorMade P77033°122.3 MPH17.8°6143 RPM34 YDS47.5°175 YDS9 YDS200.7 SQ YDS
Mizuno JPX923 Tour34°121 MPH16.2°5704 RPM30 YDS44.6°175 YDS9 YDS171 SQ YDS
Vega VSC31°121.7 MPH15.2°5943 RPM29 YDS43.8°175 YDS14 YDS387.8 SQ YDS
Callaway Apex 24 Pro33°122.4 MPH16.2°6026 RPM27 YDS43.3°174 YDS7 YDS128.1 SQ YDS
Callaway Apex TCB34°121.9 MPH16.6°5189 RPM32 YDS46.1°174 YDS5 YDS (3)46 SQ YDS (1)
Mizuno Pro 24332°122.2 MPH16.6°6035 RPM32 YDS46.3°174 YDS18 YDS387 SQ YDS
Ping i23033°121.3 MPH16.4°5821 RPM31 YDS45.7°173 YDS19 YDS248.9 SQ YDS
Sub 70 639 CB32°122.3 MPH15.4°6584 RPM30 YDS45.4°173 YDS13 YDS266.5 SQ YDS
Callaway Apex 24 CB34°120.6 MPH16.7°6235 RPM31 YDS46.2°170 YDS9 YDS151.2 SQ YDS
Takomo 301 CB34°120 MPH17.3°6410 RPM32 YDS46.4°170 YDS7 YDS152.6 SQ YDS
TaylorMade P7MC34°119.5 MPH18°6226 RPM33 YDS47.2°169 YDS11 YDS135.3 SQ YDS
Wilson Staff Model CB34°118.6 MPH16.3°6221 RPM29 YDS44.8°169 YDS6 YDS76.8 SQ YDS
Titleist T10034°118.1 MPH17.3°5677 RPM31 YDS45.4°169 YDS8 YDS107.2 SQ YDS
Ben Hogan PTX Tour33.5°117.9 MPH16°5767 RPM28 YDS43.5°169 YDS11 YDS335.5 SQ YDS
Titleist 620 CB34°117.9 MPH17.9°6127 RPM32 YDS46.5°167 YDS13 YDS274.3 SQ YDS
Average121.4 MPH16.4°5853 RPM30.9 YDS45.3°174.2 YDS9.1 YDS174.3 SQ YDS

How we tested the best players’ irons

We asked the leading brands to send us their 2024 players’ irons in our test Pro Neil Wain’s specs.

We created an indoor test lab at Keele Golf Centre to ensure a controlled environment, which meant we could use premium Titleist Pro V1x golf balls and a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor to create the most reliable data possible. We rejected major misses but recorded how shots launched, span, peaked out, and how far they flew in which direction.

See more about how TG tests golf clubs and other equipment.

Neil Wain is the Today's Golfer golf test professional.

Best Players’ Irons: Buying Guide

Choosing a new set of irons is a decision not to be rushed, irrespective of your handicap. It’s critical for all clubs, but particularly as a new set of irons will likely be the biggest investment you make in your game and shouldn’t need upgrading for several years. Here are the key things to prioritize when it comes to selecting a new set of players’ irons.


As the name suggests, players’ irons are aimed at high-level golfers who strike the ball consistently well from the fairway and off the tee. With smaller head profiles and weaker lofts than many models aimed at the mid-handicap market, players’ irons are less confidence-inspiring and will do little to support those chasing added distance. Ensure you have sufficient swing speed and confidence in your ball-striking ability before committing to purchasing a traditional players’ iron.


The feel of a golf shot is integral, allowing you to learn from the interaction experienced between the ball and the club at impact. Feel is determined by the vibrations traveling up the shaft of the club, as well as the sound of the impact. Every iron will have its own unique ‘feel’, and it’s therefore imperative to make sure you select a model that encourages this feedback to best control ball flights and ultimately help you to shoot lower scores.


The ability to draw and fade a ball into awkward pins is a key skill for better players, and players’ irons are designed to enhance this shot-shaping ability. Consider your natural ball flight and which shot shape you struggle with most before heading to the range with a few different options to see which model provides you with the workability you desire.


Players’ irons are designed with workability and control in mind as opposed to distance, as high-level players are typically able to generate sufficient levels of ball speeds to hit their ideal yardages with each club. For those who feel they have the ball-striking ability to benefit from this type of iron, yet lack a touch of ball speed, we suggest checking out our guide to the best players’ distance irons which pack in a bit more distance-boosting technology.

Custom fitting

Often overlooked, but dialing in your optimal set-up through a custom fitting session will likely be of more benefit than the slight performance edge you hope to achieve by selecting one set of irons over another. If you’re not sure where to start, we suggest nipping down to your club Pro, or nearest golf retailer to explore the shaft, flex, lie angle, and a whole host of other variables that will help you extract the most value from your chosen model.


As with most things in the golf world, prices for irons can vary considerably. Value for money is subjective and therefore you should spend however much you feel comfortable with, be it a premium set, or one with a more competitive price point.

If you’re ready to upgrade in 2024 but can’t justify the dizzying price tags of the games’s powerhouse brands, check out our pick of the best players’ irons from 2023. Many of these recently replaced models are now available at reduced prices and still deliver a modern and competitive performance package.

Tyrrell Hatton plays with Ping i230 long irons

Best Players’ Irons: FAQs

What are players’ irons?

Players’ irons are typically aimed at low handicappers to elite golfers, with many tour pros choosing to use models from this category. They have many similar characteristics to blades (small heads, weak lofts, nice looks) but often have a little more technology packed in to boost distance and/or forgiveness slightly.

Who are players’ irons for?

Golfers who strike their irons consistently well and don’t need much help with distance or forgiveness should look to the players’ irons category. For those golfers wanting ultimate workability and control, then blade irons could also be worth considering. Both players’ irons and blade irons are considerably less forgiving than models aimed at mid and high-handicap golfers.

What is the difference between players’ irons and players’ distance irons?

Players’ distance irons will typically create more speed and distance than blades or players’ irons, and while they may not generate quite as much spin, the high launch helps with stopping power on the greens. TaylorMade P790 irons are one of the best players’ distance irons and have set the standard in this category for a number of years.

What irons do Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy use?

Both Tiger and Rory game TaylorMade irons. Tiger uses TaylorMade P7TW irons (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Golf Tour Issue X100 shafts, whereas Rory opts for the brands’ P760 4-iron and P730 Rors Proto irons (5-9) with Project X Rifle 7.0 shafts. Bear in mind, however, that these are two of the best ball strikers of all time, and you should consider which TaylorMade iron is best for you before splashing the cash on your idol’s exact model.

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About the author

Simon Daddow

Simon Daddow – Today’s Golfer Equipment Editor

Having tested and played more than 10,000 clubs in his life, what Simon doesn’t know about golf clubs isn’t worth knowing.

He spent a large part of his career as a golf club maker and product development manager, and has worked in the golf industry for more than 30 years. He joined EMAP Active (now Bauer Media) as Equipment Editor in 2006 and has worked for both Today’s Golfer and Golf World.

You can contact Simon via email and follow him on Twitter for loads more golf equipment insight.

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