Best New Game-Improvement Irons
Golf Digest editors E. Michael Johnson and Ashley Mayo discuss the award-winning game-improvement irons on the 2017 Hot List.
Released on 1/30/2017
Mike everyone's looking for distance even in their irons.
How do game improvement irons offer that?
Well for starters I think the easiest thing to say is
realize that the six iron today goes about as far as
the five iron of a decade ago except with the height
and trajectory that you would expect out of the six iron.
[Ashley] How do they do that?
So what they've done is a lot of them are using
multiple materials and it's a weighting game.
You want to put weight where you need it without
increasing the overall weight of the club.
So what a lot of companies are doing, they're using
They're putting weight slugs either in the bottom
sole of the club, maybe out on the toe area to help
increase the stability and better performance on the
Because again, someone in the game improvement category,
they're not striking the center all the time.
They have a fair number of miss hits.
So you want to mitigate the miss hits while
still keeping the ball going up in the air
an exceptable distance.
It seems like among irons this category
has the widest range of look.
So how should a golfer approach buying one kind of
game improvement iron over another, one with a
thinner top line, thinner, smaller sole versus
a bigger game improvement iron.
Sure I mean you hit it right on the head.
The breadth of offerings is enormous.
There's kind of something for everybody here.
As far as the look goes, that's important.
As golfers we know how important look is.
You put something down.
You kind of either go, Wow, I really like that.
Or you go, Ah, maybe not for me.
If it's the latter you kind of move on
until you find something.
Again, that confidence level that you want.
So we have everything from something really bordering
on a players iron to something bordering on the
game improvement iron.
It's really personal choice.
But there may come a point where you're saying,
You know what, the height and the distance
I'm getting with something, I can get past that look.
How do I know if I can graduate from a players iron
to game improvement or if I should graduate
from a players iron to game improvement
or whether I can go from super game to game?
I think a lot of it has to do with trajectory
If you're distance challenged even though the players
irons have gotten better in distance, they're not
delivering what they are in the game improvement iron.
The game improvement irons actually has started
to benefit from some of the driver technology
You're seeing things such as a cup face which is where
the face of the club wraps around the top line and
around the sole a little bit.
That provides a little better trampoline effect,
so you're seeing that in some of the irons
you get tremendous distance because of that.
If you need a little more height, you're looking for
something with that wider sole that you're not getting
in a players iron because more weight on the bottom,
more height you're gonna get on the shot there.
Those are two hints for you in terms of whether
you belong in the game improvement or say the
The super game improvement category, you know
you're gonna know.
If you're a pretty good golfer you're probably
gonna shy away from those clubs.
So it seems like among the three iron
categories, game improvement irons really kind
of offer that kind of best marriage of distance
Exactly, they don't offer as much workability
as say players irons and they don't offer as much
forgiveness as super game improvement,
but they give you a lot in between.