Game Improvement irons test 2018

Game improvement irons test 2018: which are the best irons for mid to high handicappers this year?

Sam Mellor's picture
Fri, 18 May 2018
Game Improvement irons test 2018



Game improvement irons – the club most of us should be using! The design needs to offer distance and forgiveness, and hopefuly good looks and a forged feel.

"But which are the best game improvement irons for 2018", we hear you cry? Are the most expensive irons the best, or are there cheaper alternatives?

Alas, dear reader, we have pooled our resources and tested the best game improvement irons for 2018 head-to-head, to see who sinks and who swims.

We went to Hadley Wood in north London, armed with our Skytrak launch monitor to get some numbers.

Callaway Rogue

A bit chunky sat behind the ball, but it makes up for it in the forgiveness stakes. From all over the face you’ll be getting a helping hand, and ball speeds as well as distance are good. The feel is on the hard side.

Key technology: 360 Face Cup and VFT, Tungsten weighting, urethane microspheres

Loft: 30 degrees

Price: £849 (7 irons)

Cleveland CBX Launcher

We like the simple aesthetic. Launches high, and is effortless to hit. Forgiveness is impressive, while the feel is fairly soft and cultured. Didn’t quite have the distance compared to some of the others.

Key technology: laser milled Tour Zip grooves, progressive shaping, Launcher Cup Face, progressive Dual V sole, feel balancing technology

Loft: 30 degrees

Price: £570 (5 irons)

Cobra KING F8

Superb aesthetics - the carbon on the backside ticks the box. A great looking iron overall. Middle of the pack in terms of distance and forgiveness. We did get consistent numbers from it, which is important.

Key technology: Forged PWRSHELL with E9 Face, Carbon Feel Technology, Cobra Connect, Tecflo, Optimised CG, milled grooves, one length

Loft: 29.5 degrees

Price: £649 (7 irons)

Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal

As you would expect from Mizuno, this has a pure, soft feel. There’s a huge amount of forgiveness packed in as well. Numbers were incredibly consistent - distance, ball speeds and launch. A superb iron.

Key technology: Chromoly 4140M, X30 steel, thin face

Loft: 31 degrees

Price: £735 (7 irons)


Lots of weight down low, and that makes it incredibly easy to get this high and travelling. Loads of forgiveness, from all over the face, and impressive in the distance stakes too. Aesthetics are OK - some of the others look better.

Key technology: COR-eye, Hydropearl finish, toprail undercut cavity

Loft: 30 degrees

Price: £770 (7 irons)


TaylorMade M4 iron

Packs some serious distance - the longest in the test. We also got impressive consistency regarding dispersion, and there’s a load of forgiveness to boot. On the chunkier side, but nothing too offensive. The feel is powerful, and full bodied. A serious contender.

Key technology: Ribcor, face slots, speed pocket, low CG

Loft: 28.5 degrees

Price: £749 (7 irons)

Titleist 718 AP3

A real stunner. Simple, classy aesthetic. This is a sophisticated game improvement iron, with a soft, responsive feel. Numbers were consistent and long, while we got a decent dollop of forgiveness.

Key technology: L-face insert, tungsten, hollow blade construction, 

Loft: 31 degrees

Price: £805 (7 irons)

Wilson Staff D300

Loads of forgiveness, and you can feel a trampoline effect thanks to the Power Holes. Not the most consistent when it came to distances, and some may have issues with the Power Holes on the topline. Lots of forgiveness in there, and really easy to hit.

Key technology: FLX-face technology, power holes, heel-toe weighting

Loft: 29.5 degrees

Price: £599 (7 irons)