Best Golf Irons 2022

Our ultimate guide to the very best golf irons on the market, from game improvement clubs to players' irons

best golf irons 2022
(Image credit: Future)

Best Golf Irons

Getting the best golf irons to suit your game could make all the difference to your on-course performance. Good iron play will give you scoring opportunities and the potential to knock strokes off your handicap. If you’re an improving player, you should probably look towards the best game improvement irons, or some of the most forgiving irons on the market to help your iron play.

VIDEO: Watch Joel Tadman test nine of the latest players' distance irons

Alternatively if you have a slightly lower handicap then the best compact mid-handicap irons (opens in new tab) might give you a variety of models to consider because they give a blend of consistency and feel. Whatever style you’re looking for, you want to feel comfortable and confident with the irons you choose. A set of irons is one of the most expensive purchases in golf and it can be a minefield trying to make the right decision. We are here to help. Here we’re looking at the best of the best – what we consider to be the best golf irons currently on the market.

Best Golf Irons - Best Golf Iron Sets

Best All Round Irons

Mizuno jpx 921 forged iron, mizuno golf iron, mid-handicap iron

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Best Aesthetics

Reasons to buy

+
Thin face and fast ball speeds
+
High spin provides stopping power

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as easily workable as some may want

The JPX921 Forged iron integrates the power of Chromoly into a full body Forged iron for the very first time. Initially applied in Mizuno's Hot Metal irons - Chromoly has made the cross over to Mizuno's forgings with excellent results. Testing shows the fastest ball speeds Mizuno has ever produced from a fully Forged iron.

Grain Flow Forged HD in Mizuno’s legendary facility in Hiroshima Japan, the JPX921 Forged irons offer an identifiable and unsurpassed Mizuno feel. Despite this, the JPX921 Forged irons offer a sleeker, compact profile – a shorter blade length throughout, a beveled leading edge and reduced offset. The feel is that of a traditional forged iron as the JPX921 Forged gets noticeably sleeker through the set and is undoubtedly one of the best Mizuno irons (opens in new tab) our right now.

Callaway Apex 21 iron

(Image credit: Future)
Aimed at the club golfer seeking a blend of distance, feel and control

Reasons to buy

+
Appealing balance of feel and distance
+
Stunning looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Not much difference between this and DCB model

Some of the best Callaway irons ever made are models that cover a wide range of abilities, and this Apex design does just that. Not only will it deliver for those who want distance and forgiveness, but it also delivers for those who want more feel and feedback too.

There are a number of alterations to the Apex 19's to talk about here. For example the Apex 21 design is the first forged iron with a Flash Face Cup designed with Artificial Intelligence for faster ball speeds. Second it has a new Tungsten Energy Core which is five times heavier than the tungsten weight in the Apex 19 irons to promote higher and more consistent launch and spin.

Finally, like the other models below, the Apex has been forged from 1025 carbon steel for soft feel which really differentiates this iron from most. In testing, we found the Apex to be soft in feel yet powerful, producing good distance. This is a club that really rewards good ball-striking and it will suit aspiring players looking for a blend of power and feel.

Wilson D9 Forged Iron ReviewEditors Choice 2022

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A versatile iron that will appeal to a wide range of golfers

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional aesthetics
+
Softer feel than other irons in this category

Reasons to avoid

-
Low launch might be an issue for slower swingers

The Wilson D9 Forged irons fall into the players distance iron category and as such will suit a wide array of golfers. The D9 Forged irons, which are replacing the D7 Forged irons in Wilson’s lineup, offer players the compact, classic shaping and soft, forged feel that they want but with an influx of ball speed and forgiveness that makes them more playable than a traditional blade or smaller forged cavity back.

Keying the quick ball speeds and expanded sweet spot that the D9s offers are power holes that have been positioned along the sole of the club of the long and mid irons to help the face flex more at impact to provide consistently fast speeds from across the face. In terms of their look, the D9 forged irons would qualify as quite compact in the players distance iron category, including a shorter blade length and relatively thin topline, and the 8620 carbon steel that has been used to forge the face provides a soft yet responsive impact sound and feel.

honma tw757 vx iron reviewEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)
A fantastic performer with stunning looks

Reasons to buy

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Stunning looks
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Buttery soft feel
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Surprisingly forgiving for its size

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may want a livelier feel

For 2022, Japanese brand, Honma, has continued to produce some of the finest looking irons that money can buy, with the release of the TW757 Vx (opens in new tab) only enhancing the company’s reputation as makers of some of the best equipment in the world. Along with its sleek handcrafted looks, the irons are crammed with technology, with a forged cavity back design emphasising feel, distance and forgiveness.

Crafted from a soft S20 steel, the TW757 Vx features a single seven-gram tungsten weight that is positioned in the toe, thus allowing for an extension in the club’s centre of gravity. As a result, the face at address appears large, providing users with confidence for cleaner strikes. In fact at address, it is surprisingly inviting to look down on while still being compact and refined - clearly no metal has been wasted in creating the clubhead.

Most Forgiving Irons

ping g425 iron

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An inviting iron that well help amateur golfers find more greens

Reasons to buy

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Large blade length boosts confidence
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Arccos sensors embedded into the grip for performance tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
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.

Cobra King LTDx Iron Review

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)
A distance-orientated, smart iron for the high handicapper

Reasons to buy

+
Long and consistently so
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Very user friendly for golfers that utilise a lot of the face area

Reasons to avoid

-
Flat ball flight and low spin limits stopping power

The design of the LTDx looks similarly complex. In fact, it has a floating steel bar completely separate from the body and face suspended in a lightweight polymer to get the centre of gravity right behind the preferred striking area. This is said to encourage the face to flex more while also aiding the feel and sound.

Down at address, you’ll notice the cut out section from the topline we saw in Radspeed has gone, which will please the traditionalists. It certainly looks inviting to hit although the rear of the sole is visible in the playing position from 7-iron and down, which we’d rather not see. This is likely a product of the fact the lofts have got even stronger here - the 7-iron is 26.5°.

For golfers that want to hit longer, straighter iron shots, the LTDx from Cobra delivers. The number on the bottom of irons has never meant so little, with lofts here getting even stronger to produce a penetrating flight, which could limit playability for those golfers that struggle to launch the ball. Comes with Arccos Smart Sensors and is available in One Length.

PXG 0211 DC Iron review new

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An excellent value offering given the distance and forged-like feel

Reasons to buy

+
Forged like soft feel
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Consistent distances

Reasons to avoid

-
Lower trajectory than most

This iron is built around the DualCor (DC) system that comprises two types os polymer inside the hollow head. The inner core polymer provides energy return while the outer core high COR polymer provides increased structural stability to support the thin steel face.

The standard 7-iron loft is 28°, so clearly this is a distance-orientated iron but through custom it can be built two degrees stronger or weaker. Our testing told us that this is a cast game improvement iron that sounds and somewhat feels like a forged club. The ball flat is quite low but the spin is high, which creates a balance of distance, a strong trajectory and stopping power that golfers of all abilities look for but especially the higher handicapper.

The longer shaft length also helps with generating distance, as does the extremely thin face that makes shots come off fast and consistently so. Looks wise, PXG has done a good job of hiding the sizeable chassis at address through topline masking although the back of the sole is visible in the longer irons. That said, for just £75 a club in the stock True Temper Elevate steel shaft, there is excellent value for money on offer here.

Titleist T300 IronsEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
A traditional shape with modern day distance

Reasons to buy

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Hot feel and high ball speeds
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Classic Titleist look

Reasons to avoid

-
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 remains and has been improved aesthetically because Titleist has taken the extra tungsten weighting and hidden it. This technology allows the face to be thinner, thereby improving launch, speed and feel.

The gentle offset means this player will appeal to a wide spectrum players seeking forgiveness and distance but from an iron that isn’t obviously geared towards higher handicappers. In testing we found it produced a noticeable jump in distance compared to the Titleist T200 and the dispersion was excellent too. Additionally they are very easy to hit.

This is a great option for improving players seeking a little more distance and consistency – A distance machine with a classic look, and one of the best game improvement irons out there just now.

Callaway ironsEditors Choice 2022

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A compact, hollow distance iron that features improved feel and consistency

Reasons to buy

+
Soft yet powerful feel
+
Surprisingly forgiving for its size

Reasons to avoid

-
Mirror chrome finish will split opinion

The Rogue ST Pro is a beautiful hollow body iron with slightly more traditional lofts than the other Rogue ST models in a compact, players shape. It’s the most workable model among the best Callaway irons (opens in new tab) with a thin top-line and reduced offset.

Featuring Callaway’s new A.I. Face Optimization unique for each club in the set to create spin rate consistency across the face. Precision weighting features up to 48g of high-density tungsten, a 188 percent increase over the Mavrik, for improved launch conditions and maximized speed across the face. Because of all of this technology, it features in Golf Monthly's Editor's Choice for 2022. (opens in new tab)

With a 7-iron loft of 30.5°, this iron is clearly still built to offer good distance but in a refined, elegant manner that will please the low handicapper. The size is appealing without being clunky and we really enjoyed the ball striking experience on offer. For our money, it’s the best all-round model within the Rogue ST range.

Players Distance Irons

TaylorMade P790 Irons

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
A slimline distance iron that will suit a wide range of abilities

Reasons to buy

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Great distance 
+
Exceptional forgiveness in small package

Reasons to avoid

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Thick topline won't suit everyone's eye

The TaylorMade P790 irons will appeal to a broad range of players. They offer a great blend of distance and forgiveness in a compact clubhead. The Speed Pocket in the clubhead helps to create greater forgiveness and consistency while the use of SpeedFoam dampens vibration, creating quite an unusual sound and feel at impact.

But the results are impressive with consistently long and straight ball flights. The use of tungsten weighting helps to further assist forgiveness, as does the inverted cone face. The ball is extremely fast off the face of these irons, like you would expect from a hollow club, and we like the slimline compact package. You can also make it look more sleek too with the P790 Black version which looks absolutely stunning. Overall, it’s a strong performer that will suit a range of handicaps.

Mizuno Pro 225 iron reviewEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)
Provides that signature Mizuno feel in a powerful package

Reasons to buy

+
Significantly improvement over prior model
+
Visually appealing from all angles
+
Fast and forgiving

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may want to look down on a larger head

As underwhelming as the previous version of this club was, Mizuno has really stepped up the performance with Pro 225 iron. It feels infinitely hotter off the face and will really suit those mid-to-low handicappers that want to play a slim, players-looking iron without giving up distance.

The hollow head provides the spring in the step of this club while tungsten weighting provides the off-centre stability and it does it from a chassis that looks like a blade and sits compactly behind the ball. Manufacturers are able to cram in an awful lot of forgiveness into small iron heads these days and the Mizuno Pro 225 is arguably one of the very best examples.

Ping i525 Iron ReviewEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)
A compact distance iron suitable for a broad spectrum of abilities

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful looking iron
+
Strong ball speeds and distance

Reasons to avoid

-
Not especially easy to align

The i525 iron replaces the i500 occupies the space between the G425 iron and the old i210 as a hollow, distance-orientated iron in a slimline chassis. In i525 this theme continues but Ping claims that changes inside the head should elevate the distance, forgiveness and feel to new heights. Notably, there are tungsten toe and hosel weights, a new maraging steel face for ball speed, four extra grooves to minimize fliers from the rough and an EVA polymer inside the head to provide a softer feel.

It may be one of the best compact mid-handicap irons (opens in new tab) out there, but it’s built for speed and power too. For those seeking a classic looking club with modern performance, this could be the iron for you.

PXG 0311P Gen5 iron reviewEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Scott Kramer)
Updated premium range

Reasons to buy

+
Generously-sized sweetspot
+
Forged-like feel
+
Weights can be tuned to your needs

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price tag may cause golfers to look elsewhere

For 2022, PXG has upgraded its premium range with the launch of the 0311P Gen5 (opens in new tab), which features a XCOR2 material inside the clubhead that makes it light and fast. Essentially, the material immediately behind the ultra-thin clubface, that also extends into the sole, is one of the thinnest face in golf, the company claims. What is XCOR2? Well, it has a lighter density and higher COR than in past models and saves between five and seven grams of mass from the core, which is then moved to increase the perimeter weighting and boost MOI. It also works in conjunction with the clubface to increase face deflection, energy transfer and ball speed. 

Along with material, it has an internal power channel that helps the iron become longer and more forgiving. The feel and crisp impact sound are very satisfying, too, which can can be attributed, in part, to the iron body being forged five times over. As a result of all of this technology and performance, the 0311P Gen5's have secured a spot in our Editor's Choice for 2022. (opens in new tab)

Better Player Irons

Srixon ZX7 Iron

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Soft, solid feel and ample workability
+
More distance than most other forged clubs.

Reasons to avoid

-
Updated Tour V.T. Sole design is arguably too aggressive

The Srixon ZX7 irons offer the more accomplished golfer a beautiful, compact head as well as great playability across the set. It feels very soft when striking the ball, giving you lots of feedback when you strike the ball off centre. They also have a quiet impact sound, another desirable feature in an iron aimed at lower handicappers.

The lofts of the ZX7 aren’t especially traditional (32° in the 7-iron) so these irons will likely go further than most other forged irons on the market. There is certainly scope to create a mixed set with the ZX5 model in the longer irons for forgiveness, given the precision and consistency the ZX7 irons provide on well-struck shots more commonly associated with mid and short iron shots.

Titleist T100 iron

(Image credit: Future)
A surprisingly forgiving players iron given its modest size

Reasons to buy

+
Classic shape and look 
+
Great blend of attributes

Reasons to avoid

-
Won’t suit purists or high handicappers

One of the best Titleist irons (opens in new tab) out right now, the T100 irons have been designed to appeal to better players seeking a classic compact shape whilst still benefiting from a degree of forgiveness. They feature traditional players’ iron lofts in a forged cavity construction. The face is thin and responsive, while the use of tungsten weighting in the 3-7 irons boosts off-centre strike forgiveness.

It looks like the old Titileist 718 CB model at address thanks to being a bit more compact on the top rail, but has even more forgiveness on offer to rescue a poor strike. It feels noticeably solid and soft at impact and the extra camber on the sole helps it glide through the turf a little more easily. We enjoyed the T100s in testing and particularly found the longer irons easy to hit with good launch, consistent ball speeds and tight dispersion. This is a good, compact iron for better players looking for a blend of control and consistency.

Cobra 2022 King Forged Tec Iron Review

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Reasons to buy

+
Sensational feel
+
Consistently long
+
Near faultless looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Nervy players may not appreciate the slimmed down size

The previous King Tec irons were an impressive addition to the Cobra brand, offering excellent distance, stopping power and control. Their latest edition, the Cobra 2022 King Forged Tec Irons are an upgrade on that, and while they are a more streamlined offering, we loved the user experience we had with these clubs. 

Visually, this is one of the best-looking clubs on the market. With a crisp and elegant finish, it looks like a club that can add a lot of distance to your game. We were amazed at the power this iron offered, giving a metallic sound on impact and seemed to be more gentle compared to other brands. That also felt like it helped with club stability through impact, with your hands feeling fewer vibrations on the club, resulting in better ball flights and fuller shots. Ultimately this is a fantastic, five-star golf club that we think will benefit any low handicapper (opens in new tab) looking for more distance, control and power on their golf shots. 

Callaway Apex Pro 21 iron

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
More workability than Apex
+
Soft feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may prefer a cleaner look

The Apex Pro 21 model which is for those who want a slightly more compact profile at address. It has the same A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup and urethane microspheres present in other Apex models, but in an all-new forged 1025 hollow body construction. Additionally Callaway has added a Tungsten Energy Core to the Pro for the first time which is to improve launch characteristics and forgiveness.

As we progressed through the Apex range during testing, we found the Apex Pro iron easier to manipulate than the standard Apex. It’s great for shot shaping, and although not as long, it produced a solid and penetrating ball flight. The look down behind the ball will clearly suit those who strike the ball well quite often, but want a little bit of extra forgiveness compared to the Apex MB.

Ping i59 Iron Review

(Image credit: Future)
A compact, traditional-looking iron for the better player

Reasons to buy

+
Surprisingly forgiving for its size
+
Delivers a controlled, consistent ball flight

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't feel as soft as some golfers may want

The i59 replaces the iBlade and the design has evolved significantly - we’re now seeing a hollow head with an aluminum core that improves feel and moves more weight to the edges for added forgiveness.

With the i59, Ping has created a faster feeling and more playable better player iron over iBlade that delivers improved consistency across the face that in testing produced more accurate approach shots. Shot making is still encouraged with a greater margin for error that will be received by all.

Best Irons For Distance

TaylorMade Stealth Iron ReviewEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)
A stunning game-improvement iron that offers unparalleled accuracy

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly accurate
+
Noticeably longer than outgoing SIM2 Max
+
Lively but pleasant sound and feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Considerably low spin limits stopping power