Ten of the Best: Game Improvement Irons 2014

In the first of our 2014 Club Test Series, we survey ten of the latest top-end game improvement irons in the UK designed to help you get better


Posted: 25 November 2013
by Andy Roberts

Golfmagic equipment writer Andy Roberts on the range
Golfmagic staff writer Charlie Lemay in the practice studio with Flightscope data

NEW! Game Improvement Irons Test 2014 - Over £400

NEW! Game Improvement Irons Test 2014 - Under £400

About the test

The test was carried out over a single day at Mannings Heath GC by myself, equipment writer Andy Roberts - a seven handicapper - and staff writer Charlie Lemay - off 12.

We selected our ten brands and used a steel-shafted 6-iron to hit ten shots with each on the range. Srixon Z Star XV balls were used for the test.

We also used Flightscope data inside the practice studio under the watchful eye of former European Tour pro Carl Watts, who made sure both Charlie and I were compressing the balls to our best abilities.

We then marked each out of five for appearance and out of ten for both feel and performance. (Andy and Charlie both scored separately without consultation and the score presented for each iron is an average of the two.) This generated an overall score out of 25 and the overall scores and conclusion can be found on the final page of the feature.

With each iron, we have provided details of set price, loft, lie angle (angle between centre of shaft and sole), length, swing weight (measure of how the weight of the club feels when you swing it), shaft and grip.

We've also provided our shot data to give you some idea how the clubs perform against each other in terms of carry distance (yards), spin rate (rpm) and launch angle (degree) - N.B. Charlie creates a little more spin and a higher launch angle with his irons than I do because of his shallower swing plane.

The test was carried out in alphabetical order.

What is a game improvement iron?

The game improvement iron, a concept that originated in the mid-1980s, has the sole purpose of combining forgiveness with playability, enabling us to hit the ball further, straighter, higher and more consistently than ever. 

Game improvement irons feature a larger head profile than irons designed for better players with the goal of achieving solid contact at impact. The addition of perimeter weighting creates a larger effective hitting area for the golfer, minimising loss of distance and accuracy on those dreaded mis-hits.

All the irons tested in this feature comprise offset (how much the neck or hosel is positioned in front of the face) to reduce pushed and sliced shots. The more offset, the further the head’s centre of gravity is back from the shaft and therefore the lower the centre of gravity, the higher the trajectory off the face.

Secondly, the more offset you have in the clubhead, effectively the greater time you have in the downswing to square the face at impact as the face arrives at the ball a split-second later than a club without offset.

Click on this link to view our Game Improvement Irons Test 2014

(If you would like to skip straight to the results page, click here)

Click on this link to view our Game Improvement Irons Test 2013


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Discuss this story

toz
I have to say I never quite get this "game Improvement, why you ask?, well its like this, Obviously as the name suggests these kind of clubs are aimed at the higher end of the handicap range, but then with a price tag that literally would see a 5% divorce rate increase if there were purchased, :), you see were I'm coming from I hope.
Stunning Calla way irons, that I for one would die for, but could never ever afford such luxuries.

Great clubs though.

Posted: 21/11/2013 at 17:28

I've had the JPX-EZ for a few months now, but with the TT DG SL R300 shafts & was custom fit, (very important point), must say they are a joy to hit, you'll struggle at first gauging distances as the lofts are cranked, but that depends which irons you had before, I had Wilson's Di9's, so it was pretty much the same loft specs, but these seem a cut above in terms of quality, sound & feeling of the ball strike, I have much more confidence hitting with these irons, I'm 24hcp now, was 27 when I bought them, so I can honestly say they have helped my game, they're not that cheap, but I would recommend that if you are looking to buy irons that will last, these are a great option, look hard on the internet & play one site against the other for the best price and I'm sure that you'll get them for much cheaper than quoted. Hope this helps?

Posted: 21/11/2013 at 19:35

Great feedback Osgood. They're very special clubs. EZ sums them up nicely.

Posted: 21/11/2013 at 21:08

I think a large portion of the H/capper target audience is actually the single-tons out there.

The number of single graduates for example just coming into their first pay checks after uni each year (if they are lucky) that blow their first wage on some new shiny stuff is quite high (as long as they like golf of course) and I can almost guarantee that if they did any degree worth doing they will be a high capper; they will have had hardly any time to play and will now suck as a result.

btw i just described myself... minus the first wage, new clubs and being single (but she wouldn't care if i bought them). Just wait until i do get my first wage... Apex look nice don't they?... 

plenty of people from my uni have already done so. There is clearly a market for these products.

The design of the clubs is also a hint at this... not exactly classic for the most part. more youthful and eye catching for the younger audience. 

not liking that 799 price for the cally's though. Whether you have the dough or not that is a hefty wack.

Posted: 22/11/2013 at 00:29

Who were the high handicappers testing these irons? The Callaways may appeal to you but I reckon many High handicappers will want something that looks like it will get the ball up in the air. E.g looks more like the cobra baffler.
Also you are way early as we will have the x hot 2 and a new nike covert( not yet announced but the pics are about). You also need to rate value for money particularly as a high
handicapper will most likely hit the lowest scoring of these irons as well as he hits
the highest scoring .

Posted: 05/12/2013 at 21:31

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