2015 Players Irons Guide

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Golf Discount’s 2015 Players Irons Guide

author-bob-gomavitz
By Bob Gomavitz

Being an absolute equipment junkie, I was approached by GolfDiscount.com to write reviews and share my findings with you. Having been chosen to write a number of Taylormade product reviews for GolfWRX.com I felt that this would be an excellent opportunity put my knowledge to use.

Blades are timeless pieces of art, that will be forever a part of the golf industry. Growing up in a blade era (the ‘70s), I have a good sense of how a blade should look, feel and play, even though I have not played a set of players irons for many years. No matter what OEM’s head I put in my hands at address, it reminded me of my old Wilson Staff’s, but with minor differences. Blades have evolved over the years by redistributing the weight or adding weight to certain areas of the head to increase forgiveness without hindering the feel and workability. The majority of the head designs that I tested had the muscle-cavity design to them.

No one drools over shovels (Cavity Backs), but put a classic looking blade in front of their eyes and watch what happens! Blades are used by more “want to be’s” than any other type of golf club out there, and deservedly so based on their superior feel and looks over casted cavity back heads. The 2015 class of players irons are flat out gorgeous when it comes to looks. I mainly tested 6 irons with a few 7 irons sprinkled in, with the majority of these clubs being from fitting carts, so I was able test the current shaft that I play, the KBS Tour Iron shaft.

It’s quite clear that players irons are for touring pros, club pros, aspiring amateurs and traditionalists, therefore on their individual review pages the “Who’s it for?” section will look very similar from club to club.

Testing was done at Newcastle Golf Course, along with Maplewood Golf Course, which is my home track.

Check out the NEW 2016 Players Irons Guide!



Cobra Fly-Z Pro Irons

Cobra Fly-Z Pro Irons

  • 5 Step Forging Process
  • Tungsten Toe Weighted
  • Tour Compact Head Shape
  • Dynamic Gold Shaft


Read The Review


Mizuno MP-4 Irons

Mizuno MP-4 Forged Irons

  • Pure Muscle Design
  • Double Nickel Mirror Chrome
  • Grain Flow Forged
  • KBS Tour C Taper Lite Shaft


Read The Review



Mizuno MP-15 Irons

Mizuno MP-15 Forged Irons

  • Ti Muscle
  • Tour Sole and Compact Head
  • Grain Flow Forged
  • PX 5.5 Shaft


Read The Review


Nike Vapor Pro Irons

Nike Vapor Pro Forged Irons

  • Modern Muscle Geometry
  • Machine Milled X3X Grooves
  • Forged 1025 Carbon Steel
  • Dynamic Gold Shaft


Read The Review


Srixon Z 745

Srixon Z 745 Forged Irons

  • Tour V.T. Sole
  • Tungsten Toe Weight
  • Forged 1020 Carbon Steel
  • Dynamic Gold Shaft


Read The Review



Titleist 714 CB Irons

Titleist 714 CB Forged Irons

  • Minimal Progressive Offset
  • Shallow Cavity & Inner Muscle
  • Forged 1025 Carbon Steel
  • Dynamic Gold Steel Shaft


Read The Review

Bridgestone J15 MB Irons

Club Tested: 6-Iron; Shaft: Dynamic Gold Pro S300; Loft: 31°

The Takeaway

One of the few true traditional blades on the market, the Bridgestone J15 MB is truly a thing of beauty. It features a thin sole design to help with turf interaction, and provides consistent contact. The compact blade design provides workability and versatility desired by the more demanding player.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

I loved how Bridgestone chose to finish off the J15s with an all-satin head and mirrored backside, just a stunning combo. I found the stock Dynamic Gold Pro shafts interesting to say the least. Basically a flighted set of shafts that provided me with the highest ball flight of any of the 6 irons that I tested. This really made the low profile J15’s easy to launch and with a nice soft, controlled landing! The feel was nothing but pure to me and had incredible feedback. Truly a players iron with a thin top line, minimal offset, compact head, and that buttery feel.

Shop Bridgestone J15 MB Irons


Callaway Apex Pro Irons

Club Tested: 6-Iron; Shaft: KBS Tour V; Loft: 29°

The Takeaway

The 1020 Carbon Steel forging provides that soft, responsive feel that I love and expect from a forged iron. The longer irons feature tungsten-weighted inserts in the soles that make them easier to hit. Tour-type launch conditions provide that drop and stop ability for maximum distance control.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

The all-satin head appeared to have a slightly thicker top line and a touch more offset to my trained eyes. This cavity design head features a little more weight towards the heel area than the toe. The KBS Tour V shaft, as advertised, delivered a more mid-high launch angle with the 6 iron, which was lower than what I was seeing from the KBS Tour shaft.

This was the first time that I tried a head with the Tour V shaft, and I found the ball flight to be an excellent fit and very trustworthy in the slight side wind that was present the day of testing. The feel was dead solid, the laser-like ball flight and the playability were impressive. An excellent choice for those that prefer a forged head with some forgiveness to it.

Shop Callaway Apex Pro Forged Irons


Cobra Fly-Z Pro Irons

Club Tested: 7-Iron; Shaft: KBS Tour V; Loft: 34°

The Takeaway

The new Fly-Z Pro has a flow set composition which means the 3-6 irons have a dual cavity, the 7-8 irons have a single cavity, and the 9 and PW are a full muscle back design. The tungsten toe weight design re-positions the CG to a low-center area behind the impact zone for greater precision. The head goes through a 5 step forging process to make sure that a soft, yet solid feel is delivered to your hands.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

The Fly-Z Pro Irons offer a stunning satin finish on the face and sole, and Cobra finishes it off with a really eye appealing mirrored finish on the backside. The muscle cavity is very similar to other heads that I tested, where the main concentration of weight is low and behind the center of the face to increase feel and improve on slight mishits. Classic lines throughout the head give these irons a very traditional players look. The feel was solid and the ball flight was very consistent in my testing.

Shop Cobra Fly-Z Pro Irons


Mizuno MP-4 Forged Irons

Club Tested: 6-Iron; Shaft: KBS Tour C Taper Lite; Loft: 30°

The Takeaway

This pure muscle back design is a grain flow forged from 1025E pure select mild carbon steel billet to enhance the feel that Mizuno is famous for. The muscle back design incorporates a Variable Muscle Bulge which puts more of a bulge on the short irons for trajectory control. The thin top line and a reduced offset finish off this timeless piece of art.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

First and foremost, the Mizuno MP-4 is what comes to mind when you hear muscle back irons. Mizuno has been a leader in the forged iron market for years, and will always be there. The MP-4 head is the club that make all types of player giddy with excitement, which I saw first hand when testing it. Its like a magnet for people when they were looking at the clubs I was testing. Personally, beyond the glamor, I saw tradition in my hands with its compact, clean lines. These irons have an excellent shape, the round toe transitions nicely into a thin top line. A soft neck line from the hosel leading into the top line gives a less offset look. Feel-wise, the MP-4s are super solid. Many swear that these irons are the best feeling irons made and I tend to agree. Shot-wise I had some issues of slightly thin shots, which felt a bit clunky as they should. My dispersion was top notch even when I bottom grooved it, and the ball flight was plenty high enough, consistently landing softly.

Shop Mizuno MP-4 Irons


Mizuno MP-15 Forged Irons

Club Tested: 6-Iron; Shaft: PX 5.5; Loft: 30°

The Takeaway

Like the MP-4, the MP-15 are grain flow forged with 1025E pure select mild carbon steel to deliver that sensational feel Mizuno is famous for. The MP-15 is what Mizuno calls a Ti Muscle head for increased forgiveness and a very solid feel. They do this by replacing 38 grams of steel with 10 grams of multiple materials, including Titanium, which will still maintain the solid feel while freeing up discretionary weight for increased MOI.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

The increased forgiveness from the Ti Muscle head was clearly effective in my testing as my mishits felt greatly improved, along with the ball flight and some added distance. The muscular back side was not present at address, so you still have that classic, clean look of a traditional MB head. The ball flight was tight and slightly high with the PX 5.5 shaft. The offset was minimal, but not the least in the business. An excellent choice for those that feel that the MP-4 is just too demanding for their game, but want that classic Mizuno feel with some forgiveness to the head.

Shop Mizuno MP-15 Irons


Nike Vapor Pro Forged Irons

Club Tested: 6-Iron; Shaft: KBS Tour; Loft: 31°

The Takeaway

The actual CG on most muscle back irons is slightly towards the heel due to the overall weight of the hosel. This causes slight mishits on strikes in the center of the clubface, so Nike created a head design that they call Modern Muscle. You can see a defined weight difference from heel to toe looking at the Vapor Pro. The added mass in the toe area moves the CG back to the center of the face, providing more stability on the toe side.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

The one piece 1025 Carbon Steel construction provides excellent feel and feedback. The head size is slightly taller and longer than most blades on the market, but most players will be hard pressed to notice. I saw excellent dispersion and a tour-like trajectory, though the distance was not quite at the same level as some of the other players irons I tested.

Shop Nike Vapor Pro Irons


Ping S55 Irons

Club Tested: 7-Iron; Shaft: CFS; Loft: 33°

The Takeaway

The Ping S55 irons are one of the few non-forged players heads on the market today. Ping uses a 17-4 stainless steel head with a tungsten toe weight, increasing MOI for improved accuracy, and a stabilizing bar that provides distance control from the slight cavity back design.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

The all-satin head softly transitions from the rounded toe to the top line, producing a towering ball flight that ended up being longer than most of the forged heads I tried. The feel was certainly crisper than the smooth, buttery feel of the forged irons, as it should be. One of the best looking Ping irons to date. They did their homework on this one.

Shop Ping S55 Irons


Srixon Z 745 Irons

Club Tested: 6-Iron; Shaft: Nippon 950; Loft: 28°

The Takeaway

The Srixon Z 745 incorporates a true muscle-cavity design, and is weighted more heel-to-center. Forged from soft 1020 Carbon Steel, the head offers a nice, compact shape with a defined V-cut sole, which Srixon calls a Tour V.T. Sole. The design enhances turf interaction and trajectory control. The V look comes from increasing the leading bounce and decreasing the trailing bounce, and that reduces turf resistance while tightening up shot dispersion.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

The Srixon Z 745 is one of the lowest launching 6 irons that I tried, and one look at the loft specs, I can see why. The Tour V.T. Sole is one of the widest soles of all the players clubs I tested, but it provided me with very clean, thin divots. The top line looks slightly larger than others due to the satin finish. The toe is very rounded and comes to a sharp line where it meets the top line. The offset looks minimal and the head is compact. With some nice forgiveness from the muscle-cavity design I thought the feel was excellent. The Nippon shaft was a little bit light for me, but did not produce a towering ball flight that I tend to see from shafts in this weight category.

Shop Srixon Z 745 Irons


TaylorMade RSi TP Irons

Club Tested: 7-Iron; Shaft: KBS Tour; Loft: 34°

The Takeaway

New for 2015, the RSi line up features face slot technology on the 3-7 irons. This technology provides ball speed control with off-center hits, towards both the heel and the toe areas. The speed slot technology on the sole (which is also on the 3-7 irons) results in more consistent launch conditions and ball speed protection on shots below the center of the face. The RSi TP irons have a solid, yet soft feel, and are made from a two-piece welded construction with a forged face and hosel area.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

Having tested and reviewed the RSi 1 model for Golfwrx last year, I was very interested in how the RSi TP’s would compare to the much larger game improvement RSi 1s. The high, polished head has that classic look at address you see from any MB style head. However, they also incorporate some game improvement features on the back side that provided me with a super-solid feeling and awesome feedback. The ball jumped off the face, and with consistent distances. The ball flight seemed on the high side, but still very flat and appealing. I really felt the mass behind the ball with the RSi TP cavity design, which you do not get from a MB styled head. I have to say, this club really wowed me!

Shop TaylorMade RSi TP Irons


Titleist 714 CB Forged Irons

Club Tested: 6-Iron; Shaft: KBS Tour; Loft: 31°

The Takeaway

This 1025 Carbon Steel head offers a minimal-progressive offset, and high performance sole from the increased camber and sole width progression. The main difference between the MB and the CB versions is the shallow cavity with an inner muscle design. This creates a slight increase of forgiveness through the redistribution of the weight around the club.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

One would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the MB and CB versions when looking down at address, only seeing a real difference in shape when you flip the head over. Titleist clubs are consistently clean and classic looking, and these two forged heads are truly at the head of the class, even for Titleist. Like the MB, the feel was fantastic and hard to tell the ball flight apart. Again, the head felt on the light side like the MB. My overall results were not quite as good as the MB’s which I honestly thought would have been the other way around. This is a stunning club to say the least, but give me the MB’s please!

Shop Titleist 714 CB Forged Irons


Titleist 714 CB Forged Irons

The Takeaway

Of the heads I tested, the Titleist 714 MB Forged Iron is one of the few classic muscle backs. The simple clean lines of these carbon steel heads are both traditional and breathtaking. A progressive sole width, minimal offset, straight leading edge, and compact short irons are what muscle backs are about.

Who’s It For?

Players irons are for touring and club pros, skilled amateurs and traditionalists. While they offer the greatest feel and maneuverability, with a smaller sweet spot than game improvement irons they are also the toughest to hit consistently.

Final Take

Having a small compact head like the MB style in my hands was both scary and exciting at the same time. My worry was that I would not produce the results needed to provide proper feedback, but I was excited to give it my best try! I felt these heads had that timeless look and less offset at address than some of the other players irons that I tested. In my hands, the head felt on the lighter side, but not too light, and the feel was buttery smooth. I was totally surprised by the results that I saw, this head flat out performed for me! My ball flight was higher than I expected for such a thin soled head, though the dispersion was super tight. Much like all the other clubs that Titleist offers there are endless choices for customization.

Shop Titleist 714 MB Forged Irons


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Bob Gomavitz

Bob Gomavitz Age: 59 Handicap: 4.6 Introduced to Golf: Age 10 Years Playing: 47 Hole In Ones: 2 Double Eagles: 1 Years in the Golf Industry: 14 Rounds Per Year: Over 100 Favorite PGA Tour Course Played: TPC Sawgrass Favorite Local Course Played: Royal Colwood Victoria, B.C. Most Famous Golfer that I played with: Fred Couples Most Famous Person that I played with: Kenny G (High School Teammate) Current WITB Driver: Taylormade 2016 M2 9.5 45" D-3 Graphite Design Tour Ad 60 Stiff 3 Wood: Taylormade RBZ 13 Degree TS Oban Revenge 7 Stiff 43.25” D-3 Hybrid: Taylormade R1118 Degree Matrix Altus Stiff Hybrid: Taylormade R11 Rescue 21 Degree Matrix Altus Stiff Irons: Taylormade Burner 2.0 4-PW KBS Tour Stiff Std Lie, Lofts and Lengths Wedges: Taylormade Rac Black 54 Degree TT DG Wedge Flex Wedges: Callaway X Tour 58 Degree MD TT DG Wedge Flex Putter: Odyssey Versa 90 degree #7 Super Stroke 3.0 34” Ball: Titleist Pro V1x, Srixon Z Star XV Yellow Trackman Driver Swing Info Club Head Speed: 98-101 Ball Speed: 148-151 Angle of Attack: +1.7 to +2.6 Launch Angle: 12.7 to 14.1 Spin: 2400-2750 Angle of Descent: 39.8 to 37.3 Carry: 234-242 yards Distance: 258-272 yards Path: 0.7 to 2.4

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6 Comments

  1. Although my skill level requires the game improvement irons, these player irons have a great look to them!!

  2. James Paulus on

    Nice looking irons. I would like to play with them even though they are above my level just to see what I could do with these irons.

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