Is This The Most Underrated Iron Of 2023?
Joel Tadman considers if this latest iron from Yonex could be the most underrated iron launch of 2023
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A solid, stable, powerful and consistent iron that offers pleasing looks, easy launch and a sensational feel at impact, through the turf and during the swing if you opt for the excellent stock graphite shaft. Exceptional value for money.
Inviting look at address
Fast, stable feel off the face
Easy to launch
Limited shelf appeal
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Yonex Ezone GS i-Tech Iron Review
Yonex is a brand arguably with a greater reputation in racket sports like Badminton than it has in golf, where it struggles for a share of voice among the major brands. But the Japanese graphite specialist has always made quality golf products and the Ezone GS i-tech iron is yet another example of this.
VIDEO: See how the Yonex iron compares with the best 2023 game improvement irons
This model is the brand's ‘premium, custom fit’ option for 2023 and there are woods in the range too, including the Ezone GS i-tech driver, fairway wood and hybrid. It sits alongside the Ezone Elite 4 iron, which is aimed at high handicappers and beginners. Despite being the premium offering, the Ezone GS i-tech comes in at a mere £749 for a six-piece set in any steel or graphite shaft included in the fitting matrix, which got me wondering - what's the catch?
In truth, there isn’t one. The Ezone GS i-tech may not have the wow factor on the shelf of some of its game improvement irons competitors, but there’s nothing to dislike about how this iron sets up behind the ball. Generous in size but traditional in shape, its profile will appeal to the average golfer, as will the slight offset. The other thing you’ll notice when taking hold for the first time is the tacky Yonex 360 polymer grip, which takes some getting used to but certainly helps prevent the club from twisting excessively in your hands as you swing.
The 7-iron in the Ezone i-tech set is 29° in loft, which makes this a strong performer in terms of distance potential. Testing both outdoors and on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor, I noticed how easily this club gets the ball into the air. It has a generous sole, which helps add launch and also makes this iron forgiving through the turf. It generated plenty of ball speed and low spin, combining to average 177 yards of carry but I got it going over 180 yards when swinging on full tilt and striking the sweet spot. This seemed easy to achieve because the sweet spot felt quite large, such is the forgiveness on offer. This is a really playable, user-friendly iron that does a good job of masking your swing deficiencies and producing consistent results from a varied strike pattern.
What really struck a chord with me hitting shots with this iron was the feel. This four-piece iron has a really solid, stable feel to it at impact but offers up a fairly quiet, muted sound, which is really pleasing on the senses. This could well be down to the graphite insert that dampens vibrations - I certainly didn’t get any harsh vibrations coming up into my hands when unintentionally catching the bottom groove.
I tested this iron in the Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 shaft but I have also tried the stock EX-GO2 graphite shaft, which comes in weights ranging from 45-52g. The lightweight design makes it feel easy to swing yet I felt in complete control, producing towering ball flights on a tight dispersion. Yonex makes its own graphite shafts and clearly has the know-how to match up its graphite tech with the head design to create a blend of distance and accuracy.
In summary, my experience with the Ezone GS i-tech iron was an overwhelmingly positive one. My jaw dropped when I saw the modest price tag given the distance and consistency on offer. It’s right up as one of, if not the most, underrated and best golf iron launches in 2023 and I’d urge you to consider it if you’re a mid-to-high handicapper seeking an affordable upgrade to your current irons.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: Ping i230 4-UW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x
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