Best game improvement irons 2015 test

Forgiveness, accuracy, length, looks - something for everyone here.

Golfmagic Staff's picture
Thu, 5 Feb 2015
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NEW: Game Improvement Irons Test 2016

WATCH: Game Improvement Irons Test 2015

Looking for a new set of game-improvement irons for 2015? We have tested some of the hottest on the market, just for you.

GolfMagic loaded up with 10 of the current crop, targeted at the vast majority of amateur handicaps, and gave them a thorough workout at World of Golf in New Malden, Surrey. 

Some score on forgiveness, others add length, some look outright cool.  

Several do it all. Here's our verdict:  

Callaway Big Bertha

Receiving our BRONZE award, the Big Bertha proved the longest in the test by some considerable margin and produced superb levels of forgiveness for the majority of testers. The chunky looks and very loud sound at impact kept it from top spot. Full review.

Callaway XR 

Nicer sounding, softer and much sleeker than the Big Bertha, but half a club behind it in the distance stakes. There is a little more workability to this one and that will likely appeal to fast improving players but testers found it to be not quite as forgiving. Full review.

Looking for the greatest game improvement irons on the market for 2015? Well you have arrived at the right place.

It is no secret the majority of us want to play sleek, sexy and beautifully forged irons like the Tour professionals, but in essence, 95% of us who play this finicky game are better suited to playing a game improvement iron.

GolfMagic rounded up five golfers with handicaps ranging between eight and 21 and headed to World of Golf in New Malden armed with 10 of the latest game improvement irons.

How we tested the irons

Although "game-improvement iron" is a broad category and any ability of golfer is suited to playing one, we believe the irons featured in this test will likely fit anyone between the handicaps of three and 28.

TrackMan shot data was used to measure each tester's carry distance, ball speed, spin rate, offline dispersion and launch angle, and we provided marking sheets to allow testers to score the irons on looks, feel and performance. 

After the test, each golfer was asked to name their favourite three irons and then we chose a composite three based on this feedback. 

Irons tested (click name to view)

Callaway Big Bertha

Receiving our BRONZE award, the Big Bertha proved the longest in the test by some considerable margin and produced superb levels of forgiveness for the majority of testers. The chunky looks and very loud sound at impact denied it from top spot. 

Callaway XR 

Nicer sounding, softer and much sleeker than the Big Bertha, but half a club behind it in the distance stakes. There is a little more workability to this one and that will likely appeal to fast improving players but testers found it to be not quite as forgiving. 

Cobra Fly-Z

Small, sleek head gives it an eye-catching look, coupled with solid forgiveness. Not one of the longest on test. Better suited in the hands of fast improving players given the minimal topline. Compact look to the toe appealed. 

Cobra Fly-Z XL

Superb value for money at £399 and the ideal game-improvement iron for someone in the high teens or a senior player above the age of 50. Very easy to pop up in the air with the dual cavity design aiding a low, deep centre of gravity. It also packs a punch in terms of distance.

Mizuno JPX 850

Left on the lip for a place on our podium. Looks were not for everyone but the feeling was a revelation. Perhaps no surprise from these "feel specialists". Although not the longest in our test, JPX 850 proved easy to get airborne and was very forgiving. Great value for money at £499.

Nike Vapor Speed

The snazziest iron in the test. Not the longest but certainly one of the easiest to get in the air thanks to the low, deep centre of gravity. Very forgiving on bladed hits but sound and "sticky" grip less appealing. Terrific value for money at £500.

Srixon Z 545 

Great to see Srixon back with a Bang. Thin topline may put a few game improvers off but it looks superb at address. There is also a pleasant feel at impact and decent forgiveness. Fast improving players will love this one, especially at £599.

TaylorMade RSi 1

Our GOLD medal winner. Testers received superb forgiveness on mis-hits, ease of launch and distance control. RSi 1 was also one of the softest feeling. Hard to fault other than the £700 price tag, but you cannot put a price on lower scores. Get involved. 

TaylorMade RSi 2

Narrowly pipped by its brother but RSi 2 takes SILVER. Much more workability to be had and it looks a little sleeker, but RSi 1 generated more firepower. Just as forgiving and very easy to launch. An iron suited to the slightly better player. £829 seems pricey, but this is one very classy iron.

Wilson Staff D200

If you are not willing to splash big cash on new game-improvement irons but want something that provides added distance, good forgiveness and slightly larger looks at address, the Wilson Staff D200 represents terrific value for money at £349.

Have you hit any of these irons? Do you agree with our testers?

Share your views in the forum below, tweet us @GolfMagic or visit our Facebook page

Cobra Fly-Z

Small, sleek head gives it an eye-catching look, coupled with solid forgiveness. Not one of the longest on test, and probably better suited in the hands of fast improving players given the minimal topline. Compact look to the toe appealed. Full review.

Cobra Fly-Z XL

Superb value for money at £399 and the ideal game-improvement iron for someone with a handicap in the high teens or a senior player. Very easy to pop up in the air with the dual cavity design aiding a low, deep centre of gravity. It also packs a punch in terms of distance. Full review.

Mizuno JPX 850

Left on the lip for a place on our podium. Looks were not for everyone but the feeling was a revelation, perhaps no surprise from these "feel specialists". Although not the longest in our test, JPX 850 proved easy to get airborne and was very forgiving. Great value for money at £499. Full review.

Nike Vapor Speed

The snazziest iron in the test. Not the longest but certainly one of the easiest to get in the air thanks to the low, deep centre of gravity. Very forgiving on bladed hits but "thudding" sound and "sticky" grip might deter some. Terrific value for money at £500. Full review.

Srixon Z 545 

Great to see Srixon back with a bang. Thin topline may put a few game improvers off but it looks superb at address. There is also a pleasant feel at impact and decent forgiveness. Fast improving players will love this one, especially at £599. Full review.

TaylorMade RSi 1

Our GOLD medal winner. Testers received superb forgiveness on mis-hits, ease of launch and distance control. RSi 1 was also one of the softest feeling. Hard to fault other than the £700 price tag, but you cannot put a price on lower scores. Get involved. Full review.

TaylorMade RSi 2

Pipped to top spot by its stable-mate, but RSi 2 takes SILVER. More workable and looks a touch sleeker, but RSi 1 packed more punch. Just as forgiving and very easy to launch. An iron suited to the slightly better player. £829 seems pricey, but this is one classy iron. Full review.

Wilson Staff D200

If you are not willing to splash big cash on new game-improvement irons but want something that provides added distance, good forgiveness and slightly larger looks at address, the Wilson Staff D200 represents terrific value for money at £349. Full review.

Have you hit any of these irons? What did you make of them? 

Share your views in the forum below, tweet us @GolfMagic or visit our Facebook page.

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