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2021 Upcoming Players Iron Releases - Heavyweight Bout


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Who else is planning on buying players irons this year? I am looking for more forgiveness at the top end of my bag than my Cobra CBs provide in a still-smallish package, and lately I find myself scanning the interwebs daily for any/all information re: the newly released and upcoming releases. With Ping, Titleist and Mizuno coming off of super successful respective offerings to launch new lines this year, I think we are in for an epic battle. With the recently-released lines, it seems like the ZX7 is the "buzz" winner, with Cobra also getting strong, if less frequent reviews. Taylormade seemingly is selling the gorgeous 770 like hotcakes as well. Hard to tell with Callaway IMO, their lines are a bit confusing/oddly positioned, but their stock price would indicate they are having no trouble moving any of their products so they must be doing something right.

I will of course get a fitting when the time comes; as of now I am planning to test the below 6 against each other. I have ruled out Callaway (Apex Pros based on clacky feel in a demo, and TCBs because they don't seem to offer additional forgiveness from my Cobras), New Level & Sub 70 (open to changing my mind but neither seems to strike me as having a super compelling tech/tungsten-packed players iron (which for me means more forgiving than a basic CB and less chunky than the 699 pro) & Hogan Ptx pro (weak shaft selection).

  1. Titleist's upcoming t100 update 
  2. Ping's new i59 (the leaked pics are 🤩 but curious to see how demanding these are)
  3. Mizuno's upcoming mp-22 line (mainly the MMC which seems more forgiving than JPX Tour but also curious if the HMB gets slimmed down for better blending)
  4. Additional longer term reviews on the Cobra King Tour (I have hit this and it is my current leader). H/t @chisag for the best one I have read thus far
  5. Additional longer term reviews on Srixon ZX7 (I have hit this and it is in the running but behind Cobra)
  6. Additional longer term reviews on the P770 (This is also in the running but behind Cobra)

Any other spies formulating a players iron plan for later this year? What are you looking for, and what am I missing?! 

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Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi 2 15* w/ Graphite Design AD IX 7X

Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSi2* 17* w/ Atmos Blue 85x  

Utility: :ping-small: i500 3i (19*) w/ MMT 125tx

Irons: :cobra-small: King Forged CB w/ KBS $ Taper 130

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 54 S, 58 M w/ Modus 125

Putter:  :cameron-small:  California Hollywood 34" Circle H

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Who else is planning on buying players irons this year? I am looking for more forgiveness at the top end of my bag than my Cobra CBs provide in a still-smallish package, and lately I find myself scann

Been testing players irons the past few weeks and some of my favorites are:  ZX7, Titleist 620 CB, Sub 70 TAIII, Wilson Staff CB, and Honma T20V.    In general most everything in this category is good

Ah, lefty adds an annoying wrinkle I'm sure. I am not a Modus 120 guy and disliked both the King Tour and the ZX7 when I demoed with that shaft, but liked the feel of both heads A LOT more with other

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Players irons have been on my eye lately as well but at the opposite end of the day. I love my I500s but feel something with a bit more of a players cavity in the lower irons say 7 through PW would be worth a try. Am I good enough for that level of irons maybe, but they look great.

Because of where I live not really able to hit most of these but love the love and reviews on the Cobra King Tour irons and the Srixons like great. Also have been thinking maybe some older models like Z785s or Ping I210s. Though would love to see a 210 replacement but that does not seem to be coming anytime soon.

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I'll likely be in the market later this year/next year.  Will be moving from my Mizuno MP 18 SC.  On the fence since I'm a Lefty, I don't think Mizuno offers the split cavity any longer which I really enjoy.  I'll do the club champion fitting most likely to have all shafts/heads available and do my best to diary everything afterwards.

I hit the ZX7's for the first time yesterday and was a bit underwhelmed by the feel compared to my current gamers.  The shaft was not the right fit either with a modus 120 stiff, my numbers were not optimal.  I'll give them another run, but through about 20 shots, I didn't think, "I have to have these".   I actually liked the Callaway irons I hit the other day at a demo day a bit better.

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Driver:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngMavrik Sub Zero 9* (Set to 10) Ventus Blue 6X

2 Hybrid: :titelist-small: 818 H2 Hybrid Tensei Blue 80 X

3 Hybrid: :titelist-small: 818H2 Fujikura Atmos TS Blue 8X

4 Iron - Srixon ZX 23* Recoil F5

Irons 5-PW: :mizuno-small: MP 18 SC Dynamic Gold AMT X

Gap/Sand Wedge:  :titelist-small: Vokey SM6 49*  SM8 54* 

Lob Wedge:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngJaws 5 Wedge 58* DG Tour Issue Stiff

Putter:  image.png.cca2328f4144a299c795aa9b8f3bf677.png Inovai 6.0              :scotty-small: Pro Platinum Newport 2 35"  

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I got fit a couple of weeks ago for new irons (currently play the Ping IE1's). Going into the fitting I wanted the P770's/P790's but after hitting both was a little underwhelmed with dispersion (my fault not clubs). Then I tried the Callaway Apex Pros and didn't like the clicky hard feel although I hit them better than the TM's. Finally tried the Srixon ZX7's and OH MY GOODNESS. Felt like butter even on toe/heel strikes. My dispersion was head and shoulders above the rest and my distance was very consistent even with a few miss-hits. Didn't take long for me to decide on Srixon! Now I gotta wait for them to come in... 

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2 hours ago, juspoole said:

I'll likely be in the market later this year/next year.  Will be moving from my Mizuno MP 18 SC.  On the fence since I'm a Lefty, I don't think Mizuno offers the split cavity any longer which I really enjoy.  I'll do the club champion fitting most likely to have all shafts/heads available and do my best to diary everything afterwards.

I hit the ZX7's for the first time yesterday and was a bit underwhelmed by the feel compared to my current gamers.  The shaft was not the right fit either with a modus 120 stiff, my numbers were not optimal.  I'll give them another run, but through about 20 shots, I didn't think, "I have to have these".   I actually liked the Callaway irons I hit the other day at a demo day a bit better.

Ah, lefty adds an annoying wrinkle I'm sure. I am not a Modus 120 guy and disliked both the King Tour and the ZX7 when I demoed with that shaft, but liked the feel of both heads A LOT more with other shafts FWIW. I don't know enough to say exactly why, but in the Modus family the 125 line seems much better-suited to my swing than the 120.

@SlikHands Nice! It's great to have a clear winner coming out of a fitting. I played the iE1s before my Cobras but I never got fitted for them so unfortunately never gave them their best chance to stick in my bag (bought on eBay in my pre-MGS enlightenment days). Now I am looking for a goldilocks between the tiny Cobras and the more forgiving iE1s.

@ejgaudette I don't know anything for sure but would agree the i210 seems likely to stick around as the i59s look like more of an iBlade replacement:

image.png.6d4a6acaa6ec5828587af905c2631c12.png

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Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi 2 15* w/ Graphite Design AD IX 7X

Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSi2* 17* w/ Atmos Blue 85x  

Utility: :ping-small: i500 3i (19*) w/ MMT 125tx

Irons: :cobra-small: King Forged CB w/ KBS $ Taper 130

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 54 S, 58 M w/ Modus 125

Putter:  :cameron-small:  California Hollywood 34" Circle H

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9 minutes ago, hartrick11 said:

Ah, lefty adds an annoying wrinkle I'm sure. I am not a Modus 120 guy and disliked both the King Tour and the ZX7 when I demoed with that shaft, but liked the feel of both heads A LOT more with other shafts FWIW. I don't know enough to say exactly why, but in the Modus family the 125 line seems much better-suited to my swing than the 120.

@SlikHands Nice! It's great to have a clear winner coming out of a fitting. I played the iE1s before my Cobras but I never got fitted for them so unfortunately never gave them their best chance to stick in my bag (bought on eBay in my pre-MGS enlightenment days). Now I am looking for a goldilocks between the tiny Cobras and the more forgiving iE1s.

@ejgaudette I don't know anything for sure but would agree the i210 seems likely to stick around as the i59s look like more of an iBlade replacement:

image.png.6d4a6acaa6ec5828587af905c2631c12.png

Totally agree they look too slim for the the i210 replacement and might be a hollow body blade (is it a balde if it's hollow 🤔) to replace the iblade

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In this category there is one thing that is almost certain in this category and many don't like to hear it but it's that there probably won't be any measurable performance improvements in new players clubs from the prior generations. Player's irons are too small dimensionally for manufacturers to actually make any material improvements on design. There are no other available metals that can be used on golf manufacturing that is denser than tungsten to move weight around and if a manufacturer isn't using tungsten in their design, it is difficult for them to be maximizing forgiveness in their compact player's head designs. This is why the Titleist T100 (and prior AP2s) has done so well. They are one of the few manufactures actually trying to maximize performance for the small head profile by using tungsten in the toe and heel. Some of the hollow-head designs help but the MP20 HMB is really the only hollow design that is close to having a true player's head profile. I'm not saying the other forgings are bad but if you want maximum forgiveness for the given head profile, look for clubs using tungsten on the perimeter.

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1 hour ago, hartrick11 said:

Ah, lefty adds an annoying wrinkle I'm sure. I am not a Modus 120 guy and disliked both the King Tour and the ZX7 when I demoed with that shaft, but liked the feel of both heads A LOT more with other shafts FWIW. I don't know enough to say exactly why, but in the Modus family the 125 line seems much better-suited to my swing than the 120.

Good to know - will definitely keep that in mind.  It didn't rule them completely out for me as I really enjoyed the Z785's as well and could have easily went with those opposed to the Mizuno's I ended up with.

Driver:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngMavrik Sub Zero 9* (Set to 10) Ventus Blue 6X

2 Hybrid: :titelist-small: 818 H2 Hybrid Tensei Blue 80 X

3 Hybrid: :titelist-small: 818H2 Fujikura Atmos TS Blue 8X

4 Iron - Srixon ZX 23* Recoil F5

Irons 5-PW: :mizuno-small: MP 18 SC Dynamic Gold AMT X

Gap/Sand Wedge:  :titelist-small: Vokey SM6 49*  SM8 54* 

Lob Wedge:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngJaws 5 Wedge 58* DG Tour Issue Stiff

Putter:  image.png.cca2328f4144a299c795aa9b8f3bf677.png Inovai 6.0              :scotty-small: Pro Platinum Newport 2 35"  

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1 hour ago, Kansas King said:

In this category there is one thing that is almost certain in this category and many don't like to hear it but it's that there probably won't be any measurable performance improvements in new players clubs from the prior generations. Player's irons are too small dimensionally for manufacturers to actually make any material improvements on design. There are no other available metals that can be used on golf manufacturing that is denser than tungsten to move weight around and if a manufacturer isn't using tungsten in their design, it is difficult for them to be maximizing forgiveness in their compact player's head designs. This is why the Titleist T100 (and prior AP2s) has done so well. They are one of the few manufactures actually trying to maximize performance for the small head profile by using tungsten in the toe and heel. Some of the hollow-head designs help but the MP20 HMB is really the only hollow design that is close to having a true player's head profile. I'm not saying the other forgings are bad but if you want maximum forgiveness for the given head profile, look for clubs using tungsten on the perimeter.

Agreed, if you have a current model T100 for instance, you aren't likely to see much improvement by upgrading to the upcoming replacement. Lucky for the golf companies, that doesn't stop many of us from buying! 

For those who might be coming from a GI, PD, or blade-like offering, it's a different story. In my case I have a very small players CB that, while relatively forgiving for what it is with the use of tungsten plugs in the toe and sole, is still really small! I think I can find measurable gains with a new set, at least in the 4-6 irons where a longer blade length and more liberal use of tungsten would give me a bit better dispersion when I miss the dead nuts center of the club face.

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Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi 2 15* w/ Graphite Design AD IX 7X

Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSi2* 17* w/ Atmos Blue 85x  

Utility: :ping-small: i500 3i (19*) w/ MMT 125tx

Irons: :cobra-small: King Forged CB w/ KBS $ Taper 130

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 54 S, 58 M w/ Modus 125

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1 hour ago, ejgaudette said:

Totally agree they look too slim for the the i210 replacement and might be a hollow body blade (is it a balde if it's hollow 🤔) to replace the iblade

Do you have retro specs on your i500s? Might be able to just pickup the 7-w in the i59s when they come out. I'm guessing blending would be an issue if they were power spec'd but the pics look like they would blend nicely with the i500... 

If the King Tours get released in black I will definitely just buy them in 4-6 to combo with my CBs and save some scratch. Seems unlikely since they already came out in copper, though.

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Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi 2 15* w/ Graphite Design AD IX 7X

Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSi2* 17* w/ Atmos Blue 85x  

Utility: :ping-small: i500 3i (19*) w/ MMT 125tx

Irons: :cobra-small: King Forged CB w/ KBS $ Taper 130

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 54 S, 58 M w/ Modus 125

Putter:  :cameron-small:  California Hollywood 34" Circle H

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9 minutes ago, hartrick11 said:

Agreed, if you have a current model T100 for instance, you aren't likely to see much improvement by upgrading to the upcoming replacement. Lucky for the golf companies, that doesn't stop many of us from buying! 

For those who might be coming from a GI, PD, or blade-like offering, it's a different story. In my case I have a very small players CB that, while relatively forgiving for what it is with the use of tungsten plugs in the toe and sole, is still really small! I think I can find measurable gains with a new set, at least in the 4-6 irons where a longer blade length and more liberal use of tungsten would give me a bit better dispersion when I miss the dead nuts center of the club face.

Yeah, I'm not saying people shouldn't buy new stuff. I'm just saying there isn't much to be gained in the player's iron category. I think almost everyone that has a handicap above zero could probably use more forgiving irons, especially above the 7-iron. I like the idea of blended sets to help with this. Sets played on tour continue to include more forgiving iron designs and continue to shy away from blades. I'm honestly surprised every time I see a pro with a set of i200s because those are chunky. Many PGA bags these days appear to use a basic cavity back design but I would say that I don't see a lot of blended sets probably because pros want absolute consistency. You will find some GI or utility long irons replacing the 3 and 4 irons but I don't seem to see many blended sets that start at the 6 or 7 iron. 

I don't want to overly beat the drum of Maltby, but if you want some more forgiving blade designs, Maltby is one of the few manufactures that really tries to hide GI traits like longer blade lengths and lower COGs in a player's iron profile. 

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Couldn't agree more re: combo sets. I love that blended sets are getting to be more standardized beyond the old cb/mb combo, too. Srixon seems to have executed this the best so far, in my view, but you have basically all the big OEMs creating combo-able iron sets that have a similar aesthetic and an offset/size progression that makes sense, vs. just a couple of years ago when you had a hard time creating a combo set due to loft differences and/or major differences in topline/offset/aesthetics.

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Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi 2 15* w/ Graphite Design AD IX 7X

Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSi2* 17* w/ Atmos Blue 85x  

Utility: :ping-small: i500 3i (19*) w/ MMT 125tx

Irons: :cobra-small: King Forged CB w/ KBS $ Taper 130

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 54 S, 58 M w/ Modus 125

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23 minutes ago, hartrick11 said:

Do you have retro specs on your i500s? Might be able to just pickup the 7-w in the i59s when they come out. I'm guessing blending would be an issue if they were power spec'd but the pics look like they would blend nicely with the i500... 

If the King Tours get released in black I will definitely just buy them in 4-6 to combo with my CBs and save some scratch. Seems unlikely since they already came out in copper, though.

They are normal spec, which in the short irons is reasonable at 45 for pitching wedge, 40 for 9, 35 for 8, but from there the 7 keeps the jump to 30.5 and 6 at 27. Though Could easily get the 6 a bit weak to 28 or 29 and get some decent gapping as long as the PW is not 47. Still likely not to happen as I really need a new 3 wood more, but we all know that does not stop me from dreaming.

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I thought about doing the mixed ZX5/ZX7 but stayed with the more forgiving GI's that look like a Players Iron 😉.  

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Been testing players irons the past few weeks and some of my favorites are:  ZX7, Titleist 620 CB, Sub 70 TAIII, Wilson Staff CB, and Honma T20V.    In general most everything in this category is good and I would game any of them as the differences are subtle.  Some have a little better look, some sound a little better, etc.   

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Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  Bellum Winmore 787

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I wouldn’t overlook the Sub70 stuff, their equipment seems really solid

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16 hours ago, cnosil said:

Been testing players irons the past few weeks and some of my favorites are:  ZX7, Titleist 620 CB, Sub 70 TAIII, Wilson Staff CB, and Honma T20V.    In general most everything in this category is good and I would game any of them as the differences are subtle.  Some have a little better look, some sound a little better, etc.   

Did any of them surprise you with their forgiveness level? In my mind the 620 CB & TAIII are more demanding than I would be looking for (I.E. no more forgiving than my Cobras), but admittedly haven't hit the TAIII, Wilson, or Honma.

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Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi 2 15* w/ Graphite Design AD IX 7X

Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSi2* 17* w/ Atmos Blue 85x  

Utility: :ping-small: i500 3i (19*) w/ MMT 125tx

Irons: :cobra-small: King Forged CB w/ KBS $ Taper 130

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 54 S, 58 M w/ Modus 125

Putter:  :cameron-small:  California Hollywood 34" Circle H

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9 hours ago, hartrick11 said:

Did any of them surprise you with their forgiveness level? In my mind the 620 CB & TAIII are more demanding than I would be looking for (I.E. no more forgiving than my Cobras), but admittedly haven't hit the TAIII, Wilson, or Honma.

TAIII was very forgiving.  ZX7 wasn't too bad.   I play the Honma's and think they are relatively forgiving.  

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Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  Bellum Winmore 787

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On 5/20/2021 at 11:39 AM, hartrick11 said:

Ah, lefty adds an annoying wrinkle I'm sure. I am not a Modus 120 guy and disliked both the King Tour and the ZX7 when I demoed with that shaft, but liked the feel of both heads A LOT more with other shafts FWIW. I don't know enough to say exactly why, but in the Modus family the 125 line seems much better-suited to my swing than the 120.

@SlikHands Nice! It's great to have a clear winner coming out of a fitting. I played the iE1s before my Cobras but I never got fitted for them so unfortunately never gave them their best chance to stick in my bag (bought on eBay in my pre-MGS enlightenment days). Now I am looking for a goldilocks between the tiny Cobras and the more forgiving iE1s.

@ejgaudette I don't know anything for sure but would agree the i210 seems likely to stick around as the i59s look like more of an iBlade replacement:

image.png.6d4a6acaa6ec5828587af905c2631c12.png

So the unconfirmed rumors are that i59 is the iblade replace the and the i525 to be released later in the year is the replacement for i210 and i500. The i210 has or will be discontinued soon

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Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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16 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

So the unconfirmed rumors are that i59 is the iblade replace the and the i525 to be released later in the year is the replacement for i210 and i500. The i210 has or will be discontinued soon

That's intriguing as the i210 is that traditional cavity back and the i500 is that hollow body distance iron. Just add it to the list I want to try.

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