Modern-day golf irons have always fallen into one of two categories; forged blade style or cavity back style. As golf club manufacturers have been pushing for and engineering the next generation of clubs, they have created an almost hybrid style of iron the focuses more on feel and workability with great forgiveness. These irons, usually called Game Improvement Irons, have the look and feel of a blade style of iron while still having much of the forgiveness of a cavity back iron.
So in today’s article, we will be reviewing the 12 best game improvement irons on the market. We’ll be taking a look at iron sets from some of the biggest names in golf like Callaway. TaylorMade, and Cobra. Each iron set will have its own mini-review that will cover the set’s most important features and technologies.
Best Game Improvement Irons
Callaway 2020 Mavrik Max
- With MAVRIK, we’re using Artificial Intelligence for the first time in an iron. Ball speed is further enhanced by our 360 Face Cup that flexes and releases at impact.
- We’ve created a sophisticated face architecture that’s unique to every loft, so we can create a significant boost in ball speed and increased spin robustness off of every iron.
- The custom tungsten-infused weights in each iron allow us to locate the position of the CG in each iron with extraordinary precision while still maintaining ball speed in the Flash Face Cup.
- This is how we can provide optimum launch and ball flight through the set.
By embracing Artificial Intelligence, Callaway has created the Mavrik Max irons with truly cutting edge technology.
- 360 Face Cup
- I. Face Architecture
- Tungsten Infused Weights
Callaway has really gone all-in on Artificial Intelligence this year and has some great clubs to prove it works. In the case of the Callaway Mavrik Max, A.I. was used to create a variable thickness face that creates the highest ball speed possible from anywhere on the clubface. This technology is very similar to that found on Callaway’s newest drivers.
Also included with the Mavrik Max irons is 360 Face Cup Technology. With this technology, golfers will get less side spin and more forgiveness on shots that are just outside of the sweet spot. To add to the overall forgiveness of the clubs are special Tungsten Infused Weights. These weights make it super easy to have a square face at impact, allowing for consistently high launch angles.
Callaway has in recent years been offering its clubs in a variety of configurations. In the case of Mavrik Max, golfers can choose between two shaft materials, three flexes, and 13 club configurations. There is a club configuration for every golfer!
- Easy To Hit
- Great Feel & Forgiveness
- Lots of Club Configurations
By generating extreme ball speed while still providing exceptional forgiveness, the Callaway Mavrik Max irons lead the game improvement category.
TaylorMade M6 Set
- Package quantity: 1
- Country of Origin: China
- No batteries required
- Product Type: GOLF CLUB
TaylorMade’s latest and greatest M6 Irons are an absolute hit!
- Speed Bridge
- Speed Pocket
- Fluted Hosel
Ever since the introduction of the M Series of irons, TaylorMade has been moving towards a cleaner “Game Improvement” iron design. In the case of the M6 irons, it seems TaylorMade has created super game improvement irons! With so many new features and improved technology, it’s hard to beat the M6 Irons.
By refining the clubhead shape for a shallower cavity TaylorMade was also able to add a new Speed Bridge for added distance and improved sound. Other changes to the M6 are a larger and deeper Speed Pocket that helps generate a bit more swing speed compared to the older M Series irons. Even a Fluted Hosel was included to reduce weight and increase speed.
Golfers can find the M6 Irons available in both left and right-hand configurations. Steel or graphite shafts are available in both regular and senior flexes. A full iron set from 5-PW,AW comes in at just under $600.
- Great Distance
- Solid Forgiveness
- Pleasing Sound
Game improvement irons never sounded or performed as well as the TaylorMade M6 irons do!
Srixon Z 585 Set
- Speed Groove A new internal channel on the SUP10 face insert allows for more face-flex, enhancing speed and distance.
- Updated Tour V.T. Sole Get consistent ball strikes with smooth turf interaction. Plus, long irons feature wider soles for extra forgiveness.
- Forged Construction A body forged from soft 1020 carbon steel offers less vibration and a better feel through impact.
Get outstanding feel and solid performance in Srixon’s well-performing Z 585 irons.
- 1020 Carbon Steel Construction
- Internal Speed Channel
- Tour V.T. Sole
Srixon isn’t super well known when it comes to golf clubs. But Srixon certainly outdid itself with the Z 585 Irons. Not only do they feel like blade-style irons, but they also have all the distance and forgiveness of cavity back irons. These irons really are the purest form of game improvement irons.
To get the best feel possible, Srixon forges each club with a soft 1020 Carbon Steel. For comparison, this is the same type of steel used in most high-end wedges. Srixon also adds an Internal Speed Channel that allows for more face flex and clubhead speed. A special Tour V.T. Sole creates perfect turf interactions across a variety of different turf types.
Srixon currently only offers the Z 585 irons for both left and right-hand configurations with either steel or graphite shafts. Golfers can choose between either regular or stiff flex for the stock shafts. Only a single 4-PW configuration is available.
- Outstanding Feel
- Impressive Distance
- Clean Looks
- Very Expensive
At $1,000 for a set, the Srixon Z 585 irons are not cheap. But they really are the true embodiment of a game improvement iron set.
Cleveland Men's Launcher CBX
- Tour zip grooves
- Double laser milling
- Progressive V sole
Improve your game with Cleveland’s best selling iron line – the Launcher CBX!
- Launcher Cup Face
- Progressive V Sole
- Tour Zip Grooves
Cleveland’s Launcher line of clubs has a great history of helping golfers improve their game. But the Launcher CBX irons takes that game improvement to a whole new level. Featuring special forgiveness technologies, the Launcher CBX irons not only perform great but are super easy to hit.
Similar to Callaway, Cleveland has developed a special Launcher Cup Face that improves ball speed across every iron. Add in Tour Zip Grooves for increased spin and you have a set of irons that can hit it further while still being able to hold most greens. Cleveland also chooses to include a Progressive V Sole design that creates an optimized turf interaction for each club.
Configurations for the Launcher CBX are somewhat limited. Only a graphite shaft option is available but does come in either senior, regular, or stiff flex. The most popular and lowest price set configuration is the standard 4-PW.
- Excellent Forgiveness
- Great Short Iron Spin
- Clean Look
Thanks to some great performance-enhancing technologies, the Cleveland Launcher CBX irons are a great choice for upgrading your iron set.
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Set
- Big Bertha B-21 is the first Big Bertha Iron with our A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup.
- This industry-leading Flash Face Cup is in each club. We’ve created high ball speeds and increased spin robustness with a sophisticated face architecture that’s unique to every loft.
- This club profile is engineered to give you more confidence over the ball with noticeably wider soles. For easy launch, lower spin and straighter shots, we’ve added more offset.
- We’ve added a significant amount of custom tungsten weighting. So we can deepen the CG in each iron with extraordinary precision, while still maintaining ball speed in the Flash Face Cup.
- Our patented urethane microspheres comprehensively absorb unwanted vibration for exceptional feel, while also maintaining fast ball speeds.
Callaway takes its beloved Big Bertha irons and optimizes them with an all-new shape to create the Big Bertha B21.
- Flash Cup Face
- Enhanced Club Profile
- Custom Tungsten Weighting
Callaway has two of the most popular iron lines in the business with the Callaway Rogue irons and Callaway Big Bertha irons. This year’s version of the Big Bertha irons comes with all new technologies and shapes. In particular, most of the changes revolve around an Enhanced Club Profile that widens the sole and creates a bit more of an offset.
Custom Tungsten Weighting also accompanies the new club shape in areas that create a deeper CG for easier launch. Most golfers will find this weighting similar to other higher end game improvement irons. To boost ball speeds, Callaway has also included its A.I. designed Flash Cup Face.
Just like Callaway’s other offerings the Big Bertha B21 irons come with many different configuration options. Both steel and graphite shafts are offered with flexes ranging from light, regular, and stiff. To top it off there are also twelve different club configurations to choose from.
- Great Feel
- Good Forgiveness
- Lots Of Customization
Callaway’s Big Bertha B21 irons are the perfect choice for golfers who love slightly wider soles and for easier launch.
JPX921 Hot Metal
- Chromoly 4140M: With its high strength to weight ratio and malleability, Chromoly allows a for high strength face with a bendable hosel for fitting
- Harmonic Impact Technology: Fine tuned head geometry delivers ideal impact feel and feedback
- Stability Frame: Open at the heel portion to enhance stability and launch, while producing a tour preferred vibration and sound.
- Seamless Cup Face: Thinned areas revolving 360 degrees around the perimeter increase rebound area for maximum ball speed across the entire face
- CORTECH Design: Optimized face thickness distribution to maximize COR AREA
Mizuno brings the best in game improvement irons with its all-new JPX921.
- Harmonic Impact Technology
- Seamless Cup Face
- Chromoly 4140M Construction
So it’s worth starting this review by saying that the Mizuno JPX921 is more of a muscle back iron. But it still performs similarly to most game improvement irons thanks to a special design that gives it a great mix of feel and distance. So don’t be too intimidated by the shape if you are someone who isn’t sure of using a more “blade style” of iron.
To create the best feel possible, Mizuno used a Chromoly 4140M Construction that has great durability yet a reliably soft feel. This was then paired with a fine-tuned head geometry that creates some of the best feel and workability in a muscle backed iron. To round out the clubhead construction, Mizuno focused on ball speed by using a variable thickness Seamless Cup Face.
Fewer options are offered by Mizuno, but most JPX921 options should fit a majority of golfers. At this time steel and graphite shafts are offered in either lite, regular, or stiff flex. Most golfers will probably choose the 4-GW but Mizuno also offers a set with a special 5 & 6 Fli-Hi iron.
- Excellent Feel
- Great Ball Speed
- Classic Look
While the $1,000 price tag is a bit much, the Mizuno JPX921 irons are still an outstanding set.
Cobra King F9 SpeedBack
|Part Number||Does Not Apply|
|Model||King F9 SpeedBack|
Power your swing with the blazing speed of the Cobra King F9 Speedback irons!
- Speedback Technology
- E9 PwrShell Face
- CNC-Milled Face
Cobra has gone all out on the F9 Speedback irons with a specific focus on speed. So it’s no surprise that the entire clubhead design is made to look sleek and fast. But this fast look hides some impressive features that make the Speedback Technology possible. One of these features is the inclusion of tungsten weighting at the toe and heel of each iron.
But Cobra goes further than just innovative weighting. Cobra also includes a special E9 PwrShell Face that uses variable thickness for better ball speeds across the entire clubface. Before each face is fitted into the clubhead, it undergoes a CNC-Milling process that ensures an optimal surface for each iron.
Sadly, Cobra only currently offers one configuration of the F9 Speedback Irons. This configuration is right-handed irons that have a steel shaft with a regular flex. The included irons range from 4-PW.
- Boosts Swing Speeds
- Vibration Dampening
- Great Spin On Short Irons
Upgrade your irons to the Cobra King F9 Speedback irons and increase your clubhead speed!
Callaway 2019 Big Bertha Set
- Easy Launch, Distance, and Incredible Sound and Feel From the Suspended Energy Core
- Long, Consistent Distance From Our 360 Face Cup
- New Suspended Energy Core
- Unforgettable look with a clean, Smoked PVD Finish
- Golf Clubs - Iron Set
The Callaway 2019 Big Bertha iron is a classic game improvement iron that is played by golfers all around the world.
- 360 Face Cup
- Suspended Energy Core
- Smoke PVD Finish
Since this Big Bertha iron set is from 2019, it doesn’t have the newest features. Despite this, it still has some great features that come very close to what the current generation Big Bertha irons offer. Most of these features are earlier versions of what now appears on the 2020 version of the Big Bertha irons.
The first important feature is Callaway’s 360 Face Cup Technology. This iteration of Face Cup still has variable thickness across the clubface. So golfers should still get great ball speed on almost every type of shot. One difference with this version of the Big Bertha Irons is the inclusion of a Suspended Energy Core. In particular, this places a “floating” tungsten weight slightly below the middle of the clubface for increased MOI and lower Center of Gravity.
There are still many different configurations and combinations available for the 2019 Big Bertha. This particular edition comes with a durable all black Smoke PVD finish.
- Excellent Distance
- Soft Feel
- Durable Black Finish
- Slightly Expensive
Save a bit of money while still getting the performance of Callaway with the Callaway 2019 Big Bertha irons.
TaylorMade Combo Set M2
- Pushing the limits in iron design
- Ultra-low CG & Max-cur
- Geocoustic engineering
Get yourself some of the best game improvement irons of all time with the TaylorMade M2 Combo Set.
- Speed Pocket
- Geocustic Technology
- Included Hybrid
This is the iron that started it all for TaylorMade. Both the M2 driver and irons were a huge step in creating exciting new golf clubs that offered outstanding forgiveness and distance. When it came to technology, the M2 irons had some of the best.
Most prominent was a new head shape that made the club slightly thinner with a smaller cavity back. This design was then paired with a large Speed Pocket on the sole of each iron. Both of these technologies enable higher swing speeds and better forgiveness across all shot types. TaylorMade also engineered the M2 irons with Geocustic Technology which creates a confidence-inspiring sound at impact.
Since TaylorMade stopped production of the M2 iron, it can sometimes be hard finding different configurations of the set. Currently, though, a combo set of irons with a hybrid are available from Amazon. The irons can be hand in either steel or graphite shafts while the hybrid comes only with a graphite shaft.
- Great Forgiveness
- Inspiring Sound At Impact
- Bonus Hybrid
- Slightly Expensive
TaylorMade really changed the game with the M2 irons and now they can change your game for the better.
Bridgestone Tour B JGR HF2
- See below for description
Bridgestone blends cavity back forgiveness with a forged iron feel in its Tour B JGR irons.
- Power Slit Face
- Polymer Insert
- Forged Construction
Bridgestone is probably more known for its golf balls rather than its irons, but that doesn’t stop the company from creating some high-quality irons. In the case of game improvement irons, Bridgestone’s Tour B JGR irons are the company’s best. Featuring a forged look and construction these irons not only look good but perform even better.
Part of the performance comes from a special Power Slit Face that creates an ultra-thin face for more ball speed. This technology also helps thinly hit shots get more launch height and distance. To keep that forged feel, Bridgestone made sure to include a Polymer Insert that absorbed unwanted vibration.
There are not many set configuration options available with the Tour B JGR. Most options available are only for right-handed golfers and include steel shafts. Golfers can choose between either regular or stiff flexes. The most common set offers seven clubs that cover from 5-AW.
- Great Feel
- Above Average Distance
- Clean Look
- Slightly Expensive
If you’ve wanted the look and feel of forged irons with all the forgiveness of game improvement irons then the Bridgestone Tour B JGR is for you!
Wilson Staff C300
- WITH ABSOLUTE POWER, COMES ABSOLUTE PLAYABILITY - Introducing C300 irons with double the power, double the irons and double the distance technology
- WHAT IS POWER HOLE TECHNOLOGY - - Urethane-filled through holes strategically positioned around the face of C300 series clubs, which minimize contact between the body and face while providing maximum flex and an expanded sweet spot
- HOW DOES IT POWER YOUR PLAY - Greater ball speeds, longer distances and am ore consistent performance, round after round
- DISTANCE + FEEL - C300 Forged Iron s are the first Forged Cabon Steel Iron to feature Power Hold Tecnology. Found on 3-8 Irons, C300 Forged Irons are designed with 5 Power Holes, in a double-row configuration, across the sole and 2 Power Holes on the Toe. The thin topline of the club is solid and clean at address, creating a masterpiece of accuracy, responsiveness and feel.
- Power Holes Increase Face Deflection by 27.3% for Greater Distance
Forged construction irons at a price less than $450? It has to be the Wilson Staff C300 irons!
- Forged Construction
- Power Holes
- Thin Topline
Wilson Staff has come a long way in recent years with its iron offerings. In the case of the C300 irons, it might be Wilson Staff’s best set yet. With a fully Forged Construction, the C300 irons have the quality and feel of some of the best clubs in the game.
To get the C300 irons to be as powerful as possible, Wilson chose to create holes behind each clubface and then fill them in with urethane. This feature which Wilson calls “Power Holes” creates a better trampoline effect for higher ball speeds and greater distance. Plus, the Power Holes absorb most vibrations for a pure feel at impact.
Another positive of the C300 irons are their clean look at address. This comes from a thinner topline for better shot framing. Only a couple of configuration options are available and consist mainly of steel shafts and either regular or stiff flexes.
- Great Distance
- Excellent Feel
- Super Clean Look
- Great Value
The Wilson Staff C300 irons are by far the best value forged game improvement irons on our list.
Wilson Staff D7
- Progressive Power Holes: Long irons have three rows of Power Holes for maximum distance. Shorter irons have fewer Power Holes with optimized weighting for maximum feel and precision.
- Ultra Thin Face: Hot, responsive face for longer shots and better feel.
- Performance Iron Aesthetic: With straighter lines, a cleaner top line and improved weighting, D7 combines the look of a player's iron with the benefits of Super Game Improvement Technology.
- Sold as a 7 piece set
Get an improved feel and distance from Wilson’s cavity back Wilson Staff D7.
- Ultra Thin Face
- Power Holes
- Improved Weighting
Fans of deeper cavity back designed game improvement irons will love the Wilson Staff D7. It features a more traditional cavity back design while still having great feel. Lots of this feel and forgiveness comes from improved weighting across the entire clubhead.
But to get greater distance and ball speed, Wilson turns to some tried and true technology. First is an Ultra Thin Face that delivers more flex and ball speed. Second, are Power Holes similar to what can be found on the C300 irons. In the case of D7 irons, the Power Holes are slightly smaller but still provide great amounts of face flex and distance.
There are a couple more set options available with the D7 irons compared to the C300 irons. All the same options are available with the D7 as the C300 irons, but with the addition of graphite shafts and a senior flex. The D7 irons are a bit more expensive than the C300 irons and come in around $600.
- Great Forgiveness
- Good Distance
- Clean Look
- Slightly Expensive
Improve your game while keeping the look and feel of cavity back irons when you choose the Wilson Staff D7 irons.
You’ve made it to the end of our review of the 12 best game improvement irons! We hope that this guide has helped you find the set of game improvement irons that will fit your game and budget. But if you are still on the fence about whether or not game improvement irons are for you, here is our advice.
First, determine where your skill level lies. Game improvement irons are meant for mid to low handicap golfers who want more feel and workability in their game. This means you have to be good enough to benefit from these two changes, or you might actually have more problems (more unwanted sidespin, thin shots, chunks, etc).
Next, make sure you like a thinner iron since most game improvement irons are thinner than average at the top and bottom of the clubhead. Finally, make sure you have the cash since game improvement irons are on the more expensive side. Assuming you meet all three of these conditions, you can definitely benefit from game improvement irons!