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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Irons  »  Our Readers Test the Newest 2009 Irons
Our Readers Test the Newest 2009 Irons
By Tom Landers | Published  10/5/2009 | Irons | Unrated
Our Players Test The Newst Irons

Know Your Game to Find the Best Irons

Know thyself. The ancient Greeks gave us that saying, and as golfers, it’s important that we heed it well. Outside of the professional ranks, where golfers have an entire support system that includes a caddie, strength coach, mental coach, and nutritionist, the other 99.9% of us have no one to rely on but ourselves. We must be true to ourselves on the course, resisting the urge to improve our lie or shave a stroke or two off the scorecard. To fully enjoy and appreciate the game, we must be honest with ourselves, especially when it comes to investing in a new set of irons.
The golf equipment landscape is constantly changing. Every passing year gives golfers new and improved options that may or may not be good for you. How can a golfer tell what clubs to buy? Know thyself. Be honest about the level you are capable of playing at. We have divided all of the irons this year into three categories: player’s irons (for scratch golfers and single-digit handicaps), game improvement irons (for mid-level golfers), and super game improvement irons (for high handicaps and beginners). If you’re just getting started, for instance, don’t go buying a set of player’s irons. These clubs are designed to reward superior play. They have smaller sweet spots and require more skill to use. Conversely, there’s no need for a good golfer to buy a super game improvement iron. These clubs are designed to get the ball airborne even on mis-hits, but this comes at the expense of shot-shaping ability, which is something a low-handicap golfer most likely possesses.
Every golfer wants to get better. That’s the great thing about this game—even Tiger Woods spends hours on the range trying to improve, and he is quite possibly the greatest golfer in history. The first step to improving is finding the right clubs. Find the right set of irons by accepting your current skill level and matching that to the benefits these clubs can provide. Be sure to try as many irons as you can before settling on the right ones for you. You’ll know yourself, know your clubs, and be playing comfortably and enjoying the game more than ever before





$899 (steel), $1099 (graphite)
Adams Idea Pro Gold

Unique Features: Designed for better players, the Idea Pro Gold Hybrid Iron set features two shallow Boxer hybrids with six 8620 carbon steel forged cavity-back irons finished with mirror-chrome plating that have grooves with more volume than the original Idea Pro. The mirror-chrome plating and the constant offset provide a traditional look.
Tester Comments: Love the look & feel of these irons … Easiest clubs to be consistent with … The hybrids are fantastic. They have been very accurate for me when I put a good swing on them.

$799 (steel)
Bridgestone J36 Combo

Unique Features: Bridgestone’s new J36 combo set is exactly what mid-handicappers have been looking for. No longer must golfers choose between forgiveness and playability. This progressive set is forgiving on longer shots and workable on shorter shots. With its tapered sole
design, these clubs will turn you into a shotmaker with every club.
Tester Comments: Best irons I have ever played period! … These are very solid feeling clubs and very workable … All clubs in set are consistent and easy to hit.

$899 (steel)
Callaway X-Forged ‘09

Unique Features: The X-Forged iron set was made with considerable input from Callaway’s Tour pros, and it shows. Forged from soft, responsive carbon steel, the X-Forged features a thin topline, narrow sole, and short blade length for maximum workability. The club’sProgressive Dual Notch Weighting and Flighted CG Design creates a lower, Tour-favored trajectory..
Tester Comments: … The looks and feel of the club is excellent … I hit em’ high and can easily work the ball left or right. I would definitely put these on your list to try if you’re in the market for a player’s iron.

$599 (steel), $699 (graphite)
Cleveland CG7

Unique Features: Building upon last year’s CG Gold iron, Cleveland has made the CG7 even better. Cleveland’s 360° Gelback Technology produces superior feel across the face with its injection molded insert in the cavity and base of the club. Dynamic Microcavity Technology progressively optimizes the CG from club to club, stressing distance and ball speed in longer irons and accuracy in shorter irons.
Tester Comments: Thin topline and less-offset make for confident setup at address ... The irons are very workable, have a solid feel … Best Cleveland irons yet.

$750 (steel), $850 (graphite)
Cobra Pro CB

Unique Features: With a soft, forged carbon steel clubhead, a thin topline, and minimal offset, the King Cobra Pro CB feels great at impact and even better when the ball lands pin-high. The Pro CB’s short hosel encourages a higher ball flight and soft landing. The round cambered sole improves contact from any lie. This set is ideally suited to improving mid-handicap players that want to take the next step.
Tester Comments: it has been a joy to adjust to the increased distance I get from these clubs … If you want a blade iron with the feel of a cavity back, this is it … Ball feels solid coming off clubace.

$1249 (steel)
KZG Forged Tour Evolution

Unique Features: With its new Forged Tour Evolution irons, KZG has taken everything that was good about its Evolution irons and optimized it for the serious player. The clubhead has been reduced in size and has been given a thinner sole and a minimal progressive offset to give golfers the freedom to work every shot. The cambered sole reduces spin for a more penetrating ball flight and increased shot control.
Tester Comments: Quality materials and designed with playable specifications… The forged, thin lines help set up the shot in the purest form … I HIGHLY recommend these irons for anyone.

$899 (steel)
Mizuno MP-52

Unique Features: Dual Muscle Technology is the secret behind Mizuno’s MP-52 irons. The technology’s outer muscle pad enables Mizuno to place the club’s CG lower and deeper in the club for a better launch angle, and an inner muscle pad that provides tremendous feel and feedback.The MP-52_s rolled leading edge and beveled trailing edge even make hitting out of bad lies a breeze..
Tester Comments: Way better than any iron I have ever played … I am now a devoted life-long Mizuno iron buyer … The feel, balance and feedback from each shot has to be experienced.

$899 (steel)
Mizuno MP-62

Unique Features: Mizuno’s MP-62 iron takes the Dual Muscle Technology of the MP-52 and optimizes it for the elite player. The tour-preferred look of the MP-62’s thin top line, minimal offset, and Dual Muscle Player’s Cavity is razor sharp, and the playability these features afford is unparalleled. Forged carbon steel transfers a super-soft feel to the player, while the club’s modified U-grooves create enough spin to stop any shot on a dime.
Tester Comments: Really easy to hit and so solid feeling, that you have to try yourself … Best Mizuno clubs I have ever hit … How these irons be any better, I cannot imagine.

$799 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Nickent 4DX Pro

Unique Features: Nickent’s 4DX Pro is as striking to look at as it is to hit. The company’s eye-catching green XW Insert sits just behind the face to increase forgiveness, but otherwise the 4DX Pro has the look of a traditional blade. Minimally offset, this set will really appeal to better golfers that want the look of a classic iron with a helpful dash of today’s mordern technology thrown in.
Tester Comments: Without a doubt, a great design, great feel, a large sweet spot and great feel … For the mid handicap golfer looking to work their way up easily to a top level of control they are a perfect set.

$899 (steel)
Nike Victory Red Forged TW

Unique Features: You would think that all Nike needs to say about its new Victory Red Forged TW Blade is Tiger plays these, and golfers would come running. Nike has really tailored these blades towards exceptional golfers, with a soft feel that only comes from forged carbon steel and a clean look at address that inspires confidence. A thicker toe keeps the clubhead square at impact, letting golfers attack the ball.
Tester Comments: The feel is great and there is enough forgiveness as well as playability to make them a great iron .. The new Victory Red golf clubs are an incredible set of sticks … Best address position irons you will find

$899 (steel)
Ping S 57

Unique Features:Ping’s S 57 is a player’s iron that won’t turn off mid-handicappers. The rear stabilizing bars and thermoplastic urethane insert produce a consistently soft feel from shot to shot. The narrow cambered sole and thin topline encourage aggressive play from all lies. The S 57’s brushed silver chrome finish add a touch of style to these extremely workable irons.
Tester Comments: Not the prettiest, but golf is not a fashion show – these clubs rock … Enough cavity back to allow for solid feel on minor errors but not as forgiving if you have a clunky shot … Great set of irons

$799 (steel)
Powerbilt Citation FZ1

Unique Features: Powerbilt’s Citation FZ1 Forged irons are a player’s iron set that doesn’t skimp on forgiveness. The clubs have a minimal progressive offset and a low, biting trajectory. Weight has been relocated to the back of the club by placing tungsten in the heel and the toe, increasing the MOI for less twisting on mis-hits. The FZ1’s two-level radius sole reduces turf drag for cleaner contact.
Tester Comments: Not what I thought of from Powerbilt , great looking and feeling players iron … Solid feel and great look at address … Well designed and easy to hit, forgiving on mishits and pure on solid hits.

$899 (steel)
TaylorMade Tour Preferred

Unique Features: Take a shallow cavity, heel and toe weight pockets, and Inverted Cone Technology and put them in a classically shaped iron and what do you get? A player’s iron with all the benefits of a game improvement iron. The Tour Preferred irons from TaylorMade are razor thin, with a Tour-configured sole to reduce digging. A vibration dampening sound badge produces a satisfying sound on each shot.
Tester Comments: These irons look great when you set up to the ball … You can work these irons and they feel like a forged blade … You owe it to yourself to try these if you like a blade with a little more forgiveness.

$999 (steel)
Titleist AP2

Unique Features: Titleist’s AP2 iron is short for Advanced Performance, and after playing them, you’ll see why. A tungsten nickel box is laser welded to a carbon steel body, optimizing CG and dampening vibration for improved feel. The AP2’s dual cavity design extends weight to the perimeter of the club, making the head twist-resistant on off-center hits.
Tester Comments: Perform up to the standards of a low handicaper who plays every day, but they can also be used by a low handicaper who plays only once a month … Solid shots have a great feel to them, and a nice trajectory.

$799 (steel)
Tour Edge Exotics Forged

Unique Features: Tour Edge’s top-of-the-line player’s iron is a purist’s dream. Forged from 1025 CNC-milled carbon steel, the Exotics Forged gives low handicappers just what they need—tremendous feel, the ability to shape every shot, and the spin control of a precisely milled clubface—and nothing they don’t. The clean, uncluttered look these irons present at address is nothing short of beautiful.
Tester Comments: Great solid feel and longer than most I tried … Fantastic address, amazing how the club goes through surface, straight as an arrow … If you want accurate irons, you need to try these.

$899 (steel)
Wilson Staff Fg59 Forged

Unique Features: You’ll probably never win one major, let alone 59, but Wilson has. The company whose irons have been in the bags for the most major championship victories has released the new Fg59 irons to celebrate. The Fg59 has a minimal offset that is great for shaping shots, and a mild-cambered sole that resists digging. With such a pretty look to boot, these irons are a modern classic.
Tester Comments: These are like the Wilson clubs of old, great look and great feel … Great feel, good distance, great feedback … Blade iron with the feel of a cavity back

$799 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Adams Idea Tech a4

Unique Features: Adams Golf developed this club set to meet the needs of better players wanting premium, forged irons and tour-proven hybrids. This is a combination set that includes a pair of hybrids and six soft 8620 carbon steel forged irons. The irons feature a stabilizer bar designed to provide feedback at impact and improve feel. The cavity-back design pushes weight to the perimeter for forgiveness.
Tester Comments: By far the most playable, responsive and consistent I’ve tried … Long story short, these are just as easy to play with a little more on the performance side … So easy to hit. Improved my distance

$699 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Callaway X-22

Unique Features: The X-22 from Callaway utilizes S2H2 Technology, which takes weight from the hosel and repositions it in the perimeter of the clubhead, increasing MOI for more forgiveness on off-center hits. The X-22’s feel is enhanced by a modified Tru-Bore polycarbonate tip plug at the end of the shaft. The club’s Tour-inspired head shape has the look of a player’s iron with the technology of a game improvement club.
Tester Comments: Excellent feel … Good feel; short irons great; not enough distance w/ long irons … I am hitting higher, straighter, and with more finesse than ever before. These irons are for real.

$599 (steel), $699 (graphite)
Cleveland Launcher

Unique Features: Cleveland says the Launcher irons offer the highest moment of inertia (MOI) and the lowest and deepest center of gravity of any irons the company has made. Microcavities progressively decrease in size from 3-iron through pitching wedge to optimize the location of the CG horizontally and vertically, moving from a small heel bias on the long irons (to fight a slice) to the center on short irons.
Tester Comments: I knew it was time to update, I was robbing myself of 4 to 5 strokes a round by not taking advantage of the improvements that these provide … When you mishit it, they tell you that, but without undue harshness

$699 (steel), $799 (graphite)
Cobra Pro S9

Unique Features: Those looking for a boost to their games have come to the right place with Cobra’s S9 irons. The club’s urethane insert makes every shot feel buttery smooth, while also lowering the CG for a high, forgiving ball flight. That great feel doesn’t come at the expense of distance or direction, as the S9 is now longer and straighter than ever.
Tester Comments: I feel that I am hitting them longer and with more accuracy … Great balance and feel. A large sweet spot makes hitting a good shot easier and feel great … This is one of the most forgiving clubs I have swung.

$699 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Mizuno MX-200

Unique Features: Golfers that want the feel of a forged iron with the forgiveness of a cavity back will love the MX-200 from Mizuno. Mizuno’s Y-Tune Technology greatly expands the sweet spot, and when combined with a triple cut sole, guarantees solid contact from any lie. An external power bar and Y-shaped super-deep cavity make it easy to get the ball airborne.
Tester Comments: Great Feel … Perfect irons for mid to high handicapper who wants more feel … These clubs are awesome. All you have to do is take a nice balanced swing and the club does the work.

$699 (steel), $799 (graphite)
Nickent 4DX CB

Unique Features:Nickent continues to drive the insert bandwagon with its irons. The 4DX CB makes use of the company’s MOI-raising XW Insert directly behind the face, enhancing feel on well-struck shots while increasing forgiveness on the rest. The thin topline and moderate offset belies just how forgiving these clubs are, making them attractive for golfers of all levels.
Tester Comments: Irons have a good look between classic and game improvement design … I’ve gained distance and the feel is very nice on all types of shots from long irons to chips and pitches … Highly recommend this clubs for the weekend golfer.

$699 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Nike Victory Red Full Cavity

Unique Features: Everyone knows the message Tiger Woods sends when he puts on his red shirt on Sunday: I’m here to win. With its new line of Victory Red irons, Nike is hoping to instill the same confidence in golfers of all ability levels. The Full Cavity model is perimeter weighted to increase MOI and place the CG deeper and lower in the club for easily launchable, forgiving shots.
Tester Comments: A very nice finish and look good at address … Excellent feed back at impact, you know when you haven’t hit it perfect even though the ball still gets out there … My accuracy improved and I am no longer cutting my shots.

$699 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Ping G10

Unique Features:An elastomer Custom Tuning Port insert behind the Ping G10’s clubhead dampens vibration to eliminate that stinging sensation on mis-hits. Off-center shots will also fly truer than ever thanks to Ping’s extreme low toe weighting and a stable hitting area that produces a consistent ball speed from heel to toe.
Tester Comments: The long irons are noticeably easier to hit pure and the elastometer insert really adds a nice, crisp “crunch” when hitting the ball … Very easy iron to hit. Far better feel than I expected … These are the first game improvement irons I have ever played and I loved them.

$699 (steel), $899 (graphite)
TaylorMade Burner

Unique Features: Just like TaylorMade’s driver of the same name, its Burner irons can hit the ball a long way. SuperFast Technology increases clubhead speed and COR, giving golfers explosive distance that lands surprisingly soft. A multi-material cavity badge minimizes vibration and sound, creating shots that feel good and sound sweet at impact.
Tester Comments: 15+ yards per club longer, and dead on accurate … Do you know what it feel like to stand 170 yards away from the center of the green and pull out an 8 IRON. Well, NOW I DO!!... I’ve added 10 to 15 yards with every club and the playability is fantastic.

$699 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Titleist AP1

Unique Features: The AP1 from Titleist is just what the mid-handicapper needs to take the next step. The club has the sharp look of a player’s iron, with the forgiveness and high ball flight that most golfers need. Just as it does in the AP2, the tungsten nickel box shifts weight towards the back sole of the club, improving launch conditions while also dampening vibration.
Tester Comments: Awesome club, forgiving, accurate and long … can still work the ball and picked up significant forgiveness over my clubs … Sweet irons, unbelievably solid-feeling and extremely forgiving.

$599 (steel), $699 (graphite)
Tour Edge Exotics XCG

Unique Features: With its Exotics XCG irons, Tour Edge has given golfers a classically shaped iron with the bells and whistles modern golfers expect. The 3DS system dampens vibration with a dual-density elastomer cavity insert to create a feel that_s as sweet as the XCG’s look. The club’s heavy sole helps golfers keep a regular tempo and stay down through the ball.
Tester Comments: Extra forgiveness is built right in … Degree of bounce allows for mishits and chunks and still get you a lot of the shot. When you strike it flush you are rewarded nicely.

$549 (steel), $699 (graphite)
Wilson Staff DI9

Unique Features: The DI in Wilson’s latest Distance Iron is misleading. Yes, these clubs send it high and far, but they also have the feel and forgiveness golfers need. The sweet spot is tremendous, thanks to a low durometer urethane insert that spans the entire back cavity. The cavity itself is weighted towards the toe, the area where most shots are hit. With a sharp red and black look, the DI 9 is the whole package.
Tester Comments: Great feel and control. Distance is at least a club longer … I have gained extra yardage on each club compared with any I’ve tested … I love the feel and appearance of them.

$799 (steel), $899 (graphite)
Adams Idea Tech a4OS

Unique Features: Hitting the ball has never been so easy as with the Adams Idea Tech a4OS Hybrid Iron set. Featuring a wide sole and a progressive offset that increases forgiveness on longer shots, these clubs are all about making solid contact. The high launch angle helps the ball land softly on the green, while also increasing the likelihood of escaping an ugly lie.
Tester Comments: Responsive and consistent, my only concern, is that I hit the hybrids so well, there is a slight gap between the 5 hybrid and 6 iron for me … Really easy to hit, these will help my handicap.n I put a good swing on them.

$599 (steel), $799 (graphite)
Callaway Big Bertha ‘09

Unique Features: The Big Bertha is Callaway’s most accessible iron ever. Packed with features like the 360° Undercut Channel, VFT Technology, and S2H2 Technology, the Big Bertha has a huge sweet spot and a high ball flight. The club’s increased offset helps golfers close the face at contact, while the constant width sole improves turf interaction for a consistent feel at impact.
Tester Comments: …They improved my distance and, more important, my accuracy. Not to mention they are impressive looking … When you hit the sweet spot you will know it … These clubs have a great feel and have definitely would improve my game.

$599 (steel) $699 (graphite)
Cleveland HiBore XLi

Unique Features: Golfers will never have to worry about getting the ball airborne with Cleveland’s HiBore XLi irons. With a weight pad located deep in the club for a high MOI and low CG, plus special heel and toe drag relief zones that encourage solid contact, the Xli does all the work. The set transitions from long to short iron beautifully, with a progressive offset that perfectly balances control and forgiveness in each club.
Tester Comments: I have gained distance and control. I get the ball up better. I like the feel and looks at address … Played better each time I play with these, I am going to purchase … I hit more consistent shots than normal and that is unusual for me.

$599 (steel), $699 (graphite)
Cobra Transition-S

Unique Features: Forgiveness is the name of the game with Cobra’s Transition-S integrated hybrid iron set. From the high-MOI utility clubs to the back-weighted hybrid irons and wide-soled short irons, every club in the Transition-S set is meant to help golfers hit every shot high and straight. The clubs’ perimeter weighting and deep CG design enables solid contact, even when golfers miss the sweet spot
Tester Comments:Awesome clubs, just amazing design and performance … Durable, Well Constructed … Loved the consistency between each club … not the longest, but really easy to hit and straight.

$599 (steel), $699 (graphite)
Mizuno MX100

Unique Features: Mizuno’s MX-100 is especially made for the high handicapper who seeks extra consistency. The set replaces the longer irons with hybrids for easier contact and a more penetrating ball flight, while the mid- to short irons feature Y-Tune Technology, which extends each club’s sweet spot from heel to toe.
Tester Comments: The sweet spot seems like it cover the whole face without sacrificing any accuracy … Nothing I have ever hit is as forgiving … Nice consistent transition from hybrids to irons and consistent ball flight.

$599 (steel), $699 (graphite)
Nike Slingshot HL Hybrid

Unique Features: Golfers want clubs that are easy to hit, and Nike’s Slingshot HL Hybrid Iron set is a breeze to play. The hybrids make use of Nike’s Slingback bar, pushing weight deeper into the club for high-flying, forgiving shots. 3D Flow Weighting works together with a progressive offset and sole width to add forgiveness in long irons and control in short irons.
Tester Comments: These clubs have given me greater distance and more accuracy than any other clubs … Easy to hit hybrids and irons … These clubs set up beautifully for me, as I really dislike bulky heads and toplines and they are great to hit.

$1199 (steel), $1399 (graphite)
Ping Rapture V2

Unique Features:The Rapture V2 from Ping is the ideal club choice for golfers that want to get the ball airborne. Its cavity is extra deep, and its tungsten sole weight raises the MOI considerably for more forgiveness and a higher launch. The Rapture V2’s lightweight titanium face increases ball speed at impact, adding precious yards of distance, while also allowing for more weight to be placed lower and deeper in the club.
Tester Comments: I regained distance and accuracy … The weighting is excellent and allows you to strike the ball solidly and not just hit it … Very forgiving and allow for great shots even when the ball is not hit in the “sweet spot.”

$599 (steel), $799 (graphite)
TaylorMade Burner Plus

Unique Features: The “Plus” in TaylorMade’s Burner Plus irons are for those that need even more from their irons. An extremely high MOI and extra-deep cavity allow even beginning golfers to get the ball airborne. A strong offset helps eliminate slicing by aiding golfers in closing the clubface, and Inverted Cone Technology expands the sweet spot to encompass nearly the entire face for better consistency.
Tester Comments: 20+ yards longer than the previous version and feels great very balanced … The ball’s trajectory was so much higher with these clubs then my last. These clubs have easily added 20 yards to my game … Great feel and least 1 club longer

$299 (steel), $399 (graphite)
Tiger Shark Great White

Unique Features: For golfers that have trouble with longer irons, the Great White hybrid iron set from Tiger Shark is for you. Beginning with two easy-to-launch hybrids, the set places a premium on forgiveness, allowing players to get a high, consistent launch with every club. The 3- and 4-hybrid are generously offset, with a high MOI that will increase accuracy even on less-than-perfect shots.
Tester Comments: These were easy to hit and priced right, a good set for an occasional golfer … Solid hits felt as good as others clubs, mis-hits did not go as far as I expected …

$499 (steel), $599 (graphite)
Tour Edge QLS Combo

Unique Features: The QLS Combo perfectly intertwines the hybrids with the irons to eliminate distance gaps between clubs. The clubs feature a shallow face, wide-sole design that has a heavy sole and lower center of gravity for higher flying, more forgiving shots. The irons combine a large undercut cavity, shallow face, and super-wide sole creating a deep center of gravity and maximum stability on every shot.
Tester Comments: Nice consistent look from hybrids to irons … Very solid feel and easy to hit in the air … Surprisingly straight.