Ten of the Best: Game improvement irons 2013

We test ten sets of irons in the market designed to help you get better


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In the first of a new monthly Club Test series, Golfmagic surveys ten top-end game improvement irons launched within the last 12 months.

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.


About the test

The test was carried out over a single afternoon at the World of Golf driving range in Wimbledon by products writer Andy Roberts and associate editor Alex Perry.

We selected our ten brands, within the price range of £200 and £600, and used a steel-shafted 6-iron to hit ten shots with each. We then marked each out of ten for appearance, feel and performance. (Andy and Alex 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 30 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.

The test is carried out in no particular order - other than the order in which we tested them, which was completely at random.

Click here to see how our testing went...

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

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Nice review, those cobra irons are damn ugly doesn't matter how good they perform I would never put a set in my bag.

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 11:34

Liking the prospect of seeing more of this type of thing.

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 11:40

Excellent article, way way better than the magazine iron tests, well done guys

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 11:43

+1. Well done, useful info guys. 

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 11:44

Question for the writer of the article - whay do you not show the top line of some of the clubs? If you're doing a comparison article surely it makes sense to show all the clubs from the same angles??

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 12:00

I agree with MW, I_D and Jimbow, really interesting article and hope there'll be lots more. Not jealous of their jobs at all....

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 13:12

Loved it, a proper aticle interesting and informative and the guys got to hit golf balls in work time... Wish there was a way back to 'latest posts' from the far end of the article..

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 14:42


You mean it's not on your bookmarks bar, MTP?

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 15:50

Any plans for drivers or wedge reviews AP?

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 16:04

Any chance of answering my question Alex?

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 16:17

Jimbow - The next piece planned is for players irons. Drivers, wedges, putters and balls will follow in the coming months.

Scoopa - Apologies, missed it. Thanks for your feedback and completely appreciate where you are coming from so the topline shots have now been added into the two or three pages where it was missing.

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 16:57

Interesting they say that the Ping has the highest loft in the test at 29°.  My Mizuno MX-900 6 iron loft is 30°.

The TM 6 iron loft of 26.5° is left than the loft on my 5 iron of 27°.

It does say a lot about how the manufacturers are tricking us with the numbers.

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 19:52

Nicely on plane at the back of your backswing there alex! Was that posed or were you in full flow? =)

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 01:32

Full flow, just impressive photography skills ;)

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 11:45

great article like this style of head to head review. Be nice to see a final table of specs too - ie - all lenghts lofts distance together

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 13:03

Thanks for the feedback; will look to put that together in the next club test.

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 18:38

tom-333 wrote (see)
Nicely on plane at the back of your backswing there alex! Was that posed or were you in full flow? =)

Have to get at least a couple right, eh? Just pleased Andy snapped the shot at exactly the right moment.

Posted: 10/02/2013 at 19:13

Brilliant article guys! Exactly what I like to see when checking new toys out. Look forward to more of these.

Posted: 16/02/2013 at 06:58

Brilliant article and what I would like to see more of on the site. Whilst I don't always need new things I'm always tempted,but can never find decent, unbiased reviews anywhere.

I often watch Mark Crossfields videos on YouTube,but still get the feeling that he never wants to say the absolute truth about a club as he gets kick backs from suppliers.

I know GM has more tests planned in the future, but is there anywhere else that has plenty of reviews that are done objectively?

Posted: 16/02/2013 at 08:08

Finally pulled the trigger on the V4 hybrid & forged iron set. So far so good. the shaft is very very light indeed. I got it in a stiff though and i have to say its very accurate. Im not a high ball hitter so was loving the flight off the irons. Soft when struck well and quite forgiving too. Hybrids are very long and very forgiving (light as well)
that was just a range session though so will have to see now they fair out on the course today

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 13:35

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