We take a look at some of the best game improvement irons - irons that could help you find more greens, attack more pins and shoot lower scores
Best Game Improvement Irons
Outside your annual membership fees, your irons are probably the most expensive golf purchase you are likely to make, so it’s worth spending a little bit of extra time researching some of these models to make sure you get the best golf irons for your swing and budget.
Within this particular category – the best game improvement irons – you’ll find clubs designed to get the ball up in the air quickly to give you longer carries. To stop the ball ballooning, stronger lofts are common to keep your trajectories on a piercing flight.
Game improvement irons also tend to be larger to be more forgiving, which is why mid-to-high handicappers tend to favour them.
So what are the best current models in this category of iron? Well below we have taken a look.
Best Game Improvement Irons
Ping G425 Irons
Powerful And Forgiving
+ Classy, neutral styling
+ Arccos sensors embedded into the grip
– Not the most workable iron in the Ping range
Ping irons that don the ‘G’ moniker are known for being a forgiving distance iron that is well built and stylish.
The Ping G425 delivers on all these fronts and has a classy and understated look compared to the bolder red colours featured on the G410. Of course the look is completely subjective, but we think this new design gives the G425 an altogether more premium look. The overall size of the blade is slightly smaller than the G410 too, creating a slightly more compact look at address, but the shape has pretty much stayed the same.
Off the face, the G425 feels fast, making a nice loud sound without being too clicky. It is very stable off the face too, with toe and heel strikes maintaining a strong line through the air. The strong descent angle through most of the set also means it’s nice and easy to control these irons when approaching greens.
Arccos sensors are now embedded in the grips throughout the G425 family and the premium shot tracking technology is another way these irons can directly improve your game. By resisting changing the lofts for even more distance, Ping has evolved the G425 into a forgiving, controllable and classy looking iron suited to a wide-range of golfers.
Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro Irons
Best For Looks
+ Fast ball speed
+ Compact looks
– Not quite as forgiving as Hot Metal model
The JPX921 Hot Metal Pro features the same technologies as the Hot Metal model in a slightly more compact package with less offset.
The JPX921 Hot Metal is the longest iron in the JPX range, thanks to the use of Chromoly 4140M and a re-engineered Cortech face, now 0.2mm thinner across the centre point, creating faster ball speeds.
These are assisted by a Seamless Cup Face featuring a variable thickness sole design that allows the leading edge to act as a hinge, generating more face flex.
Three additional sound ribs produce a more solid sensation at impact while extreme perimeter weighting and toe bias in Mizuno’s Stability Frame help to deliver greater consistency from off-centre strikes.
But we think one of its greatest assets is the combination of the game improvement performance and the looks. The irons appear compact at address and really look like a premium product in the bag.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max Irons
Confidence Inspiring Model
+ Good distance and forgiveness
+ Nice soft sound
– Minor performance differences on the last model
One of the best TaylorMade irons the brand makes, the SIM2 Max is the smaller of the brand’s two game-improvement irons for 2021.
This year’s TaylorMade game improvement iron does what all good cavity back irons should do: go far and offer forgiveness. While the SIM2 Max arguably offers little in performance difference from last year’s SIM Max, it still does a very good job at offering distance and forgiveness, all in a good looking iron head.
There were some fairly significant design changes made to the SIM2 Max irons over last year’s SIM Max with the Speed Bridge removed in place of a polymer cap. Aesthetically, this has created a much more pleasing look from the back and the subtle carbon fibre details have created a hollow cavity back effect from the future.
From address, the SIM2 Max has a generous sole width with a confidence inspiring amount of offset and a thick topline. This is ideal for the higher handicap golfer who needs a bit of extra help from the club.
The SIM2 Max OS is an even larger head with more offset if you’re looking for a club that is even more confidence inspiring.
Cobra Radspeed Irons
Highly Technological Construction
+ Strong flight with low spin
+ Increased distance
– Not everyone will like look of carbon fibre top line
The Radspeed irons from Cobra are a fantastic upgrade on last year’s Speedzone iron and the subtle improvements have made a marked difference to this excellent game improvement offering.
Cobra have kept the lofts on the Radspeed the same as the Speedzone, but during our testing we found the 7 iron went five yards further on average. This is very impressive considering the lofts have not changed and it is a credit to Cobra’s clever design in the Radspeed.
What has changed however is the look of this club at address and it is much more appealing to the eye. The sole shape is smaller – playing narrower and with a little less camber – which means you can’t see the back of the sole at address. The carbon fibre effect on the top line has been made a little darker, which also tricks the eye into thinking this is a thinner club that it really is.
The Radspeed has a soft feel to it too, thanks to the 3D printed medallion sitting behind the face, but still offers plenty of zing off the face that provides that excellent overall distance. With Cobra Connect grips as standard – and a One Length option available – the Radspeed irons offer some of the best pound for pound performance and value in the iron market.
Titleist T300 Irons
Classic Looks And Distance
+ Hot feel and high ball speeds
+ Classic look
– Slow swingers may not see benefit of distance and carry gains
The Titleist T300 iron is a game improvement club that offers a good combination of forgiveness and feel.
Max impact technology allows the face to be thinner, thereby improving launch, speed and feel through the inclusion of a silicone polymer insert.
A dampener behind the face also helps soften the feel, while a sole with more camber is designed to improve turf interaction and maximise forgiveness.
In testing, we found the ball to come off the clubface faster than the old 718 AP1 (which the T300 effectively replaced) but we also enjoyed the sound – not so clicky as some game improvement irons tend to be.
It’s relatively low spinning and produces a nice rainbow flight. This is a great option for improving players seeking a little more distance and consistency – A distance machine with a classic look.
Callaway Mavrik Irons
Super Forgiving Irons
+ Good distance
– Not as workable as Pro model
There’s some complex technology contained within the Callaway Mavrik Iron.
The irons feature Flash Faces designed by a super-computer. The result is a sophisticated face architecture for every loft delivering a significant boost in ball speed and optimised spin.
In the long irons, the faces are designed for launch and speed, while in the mid-irons the faces are engineered for a combination of speed and spin consistency. The short irons have a face construction designed to optimise precision for shot-making.
Tungsten weights have been precisely positioned to deliver the best possible launch and trajectory.
In testing, we found the standard Mavrik Iron to be the longest of the three in the range – compared to the Mavrik Max and Mavrik Pro models. If you’re looking to gain maximum distance from iron shots, this super-forgiving set could be the way to go.
If you want more information on the Mavrik range, take a look at our guide on the best Callaway irons.
Wilson Staff D9 Irons
Outstanding Value Given Performance
+ Supreme distance with good ball flight
+ Aesthetically appealing and competitively priced
– Not as workable as other Wilson irons
The Wilson Staff D9 irons offer a clean, classic look with top distance performance in a competitively priced package.
Wilson works in two-year product cycles so this is its first game improvement iron since 2018’s impressive D7 iron. There have been some significant improvements made to the D9 and the most noticeable is the reduction of the Power Holes from three layers to two on the longer irons. This has produced a cleaner look from the sole and produces the most efficient design in terms of the length they provide.
While the sole is visible on this iron up to the 7-iron, this isn’t too off putting and it ultimately offers good forgiveness through the turf. The D9 also has an incredibly lightweight feel, ideal for those with a moderate to slow swing speed as it is easy to swing this club fast. This lightweightness contributes to a high launch, which we found surprising considering the strong loft on the 7-iron.
The D in D9 stands for distance and this club certainly delivers on that front too. When we tested the 7-iron we were finding it carried consistently over the 190 yard mark which was a considerable distance more than the other game-improvement, distance irons launched this year. Competitively priced and clearly the longest club on the market in 2021, the D9 is as close to the perfect game improvement iron as you can find.
Honma T//World GS Irons
+ Powerful feel with soft sound
+ Great forgiveness on low face impacts
– Premium price
The Honma T//World GS irons are all about gaining speed across the face to create more distance with less effort. They certainly provide that and with decent forgiveness too, they are an ideal iron for the golfer looking for as much help as possible in improving their game.
Both the men’s and women’s irons feature L-Cup structured faced which enlarge the sweet spot area. Furthermore, the variable ribs on the inside of the clubface reduce weight, improve ball speed and maintain spin control.
Overall, we like the blend of power and forgiveness with a soft sound in a relatively compact package. A great option for the improving golfers and in our opinion, one of the best game improvement irons out there just now.
How To Choose The Best Game Improvement Irons?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself when looking for the best game improvement irons. Importantly there are some important variables to consider within that too.
First things first what level of golfer are you? Game improvement irons tend to have larger heads, more offset and are designed to help players who struggle with strike and distance. They tend to have large cavities and different pieces of technology to help in this regard. As such if you are a player who values greater feel and workability then we recommend looking elsewhere – at the best golf blades or best compact mid-handicap irons for example. Whereas if you think you need as much help as possible then the game improvement category is for you.
The next step to this is actually going and hitting some game improvement irons so you have an idea on which models you like in terms of feel, sound, performance and looks.
Price is also an important factor to consider. Most of the models above come in at different price points so there will be a model for everyone.
What Is The Best Game Improvement Iron?
Linking with the above question, this section is of course down to personal preference and personal testing somewhat.
As such it is important to acknowledge what you are looking for in terms of a game improvement iron.
For example if you want a model to be as helpful as possible in terms of consistency of strike, and boost your distance, then the Ping G425 or Callaway Mavrik irons are two top designs.
Whereas if you want a game improvement iron that doesn’t look like one, then something like the Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro is a model to consider given its compact design.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on the best game improvement irons.