These 2024 irons improve toe misses, according to robot testing

Ping i530 irons back

Ping's i530 led the way with the smallest carry delta on toe misses.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Golf Laboratories’ swing robot has produced a wealth of gear insights for GOLF’s 2024 ClubTest, many of which we’ve shared in our testing insight reports over the last few months. The goal is always to inform and make golfers more knowledgeable about the current offerings in the marketplace. It’s also to highlight performance attributes that help negate some of the most penalizing spots on the face.

In this case, we’re talking about a toe miss on the 7-iron.

Robotic swing data revealed that carry distance decreased by 12.5 yards across all models tested on a common toe strike. That’s roughly one less club. Unless you’re playing at a course where the greens are the size of Texas and have nary a hazard in sight, losing 10-plus yards could lead to some big numbers.

So, how do you regain some of that lost distance? You could work on your game and shore up impact consistency, or you could seek out an iron that mitigates distance loss on toe misses. Which is exactly what we’re highlighting in our most recent insights report.

If there’s one thing we noticed, it’s that you don’t need a super game-improvement iron to see performance gains on toe strikes. The list below is an eclectic mix of better-player, player’s distance and game-improvement offerings, which means there are options for everyone.

(Methodology: All testing was conducted with a 7-iron at 80 mph — using the same shaft and attack angle — with six shots recorded from the geometric center and toe. The carry numbers below compare center and toe distances to achieve a carry delta.)

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Ping i530 | 7 yards of distance loss

PING i530 Custom Irons

$186
For the accomplished golfer who relies on control and precision, Blueprint T delivers a single-piece, 8620 carbon steel forging that puts a premium on workability, trajectory control and superb feel. SHORTER HEEL-FACE Allows the hosel transition to blend smoothly into the top rail, creating a clean, distraction-free appearance at address. The narrow soles enable consistent turf interaction from all conditions. MOI BOOSTED Save for the slight MOI boost from tungsten toe screw and tip weights, it’s a purely forged iron, concentrating mass through the impact zone to ensure a pleasing sound and feel with the workability to take on any shot. Jockey Tip: The lofts match the Blueprint S and i230 irons to allow golfers to create blended sets within PING’s precision iron offerings.
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Cleveland ZipCore XL | 7.5 yards

Cleveland ZipCore XL Custom Irons

$128.57
Go big and get it close? Yes, please. With all-new ZipCore XL Irons, you get both. AI-designed MainFrame faces and weighting, along with our legendary ZipCore technology, combine to deliver all of the power, control, and confidence you need to hit it far and stick it close without fail. MAINFRAME Designed with the help of AI, MainFrame uses a variable network of grooves, channels, and cavities milled into the backside of the club face on ZipCore XL’s 4i–7i. This pattern helps maximize flex at impact for better COR. ZIPCORE In 8i–SW lofts, ZipCore replaces heavy steel in the hosel and heel with an extremely lightweight yet strong, vibration dampening material. This sets the Center of Gravity right where you strike the ball, giving you more consistent launch, spin, and distance. XL HEAD DESIGN Cleveland’s XL Head Design features a large, cavity back profile with enhanced shaping and weighting throughout the entire lineup.
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Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast | 8 yards

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast Custom Irons

$142.86
Distance irons are obviously long, but discerning players also want an exceptionally high level of feel. So why not have both in one club? Our Paradym Shift Construction combines a Forged 455 Face with the all-new Speed Frame, giving you get the best of both worlds.The Paradym iron is designed for golfers who are looking for a players’ distance iron with a refined shape and premium forging OUR MOST POWERFUL A.I. DESIGNED FORGED 455 FACE Industry-leading A.I. face technology is applied to a high-strength Forged 455 face, creating our most powerful forged iron face ever. Each face is uniquely optimized for more speed, higher launch, and increased spin consistency. FAST BALL SPEEDS FROM FORGED 455 FACE CUP AND HOLLOW BODY WITH SPEED FRAME CONSTRUCTION The all-new Hollow Body design features Speed Frame construction for added stiffness to the body and support for the high-strength Forged 455 Face Cup. This unique construction is the catalyst that stabilizes a thinner face for incredibly fast ball speeds. EXCEPTIONAL FEEL FROM A FORGED FACE AND PATENTED URETHANE MICROSPHERES A forged face and patented Urethane Microspheres deliver the ultra-soft feel and premium sound that discerning players demand. IMPROVED LAUNCH VIA DUAL TUNGSTEN WEIGHTING Up to 67g of external and internal tungsten weights are placed precisely to enhance launch conditions and improve speed on miss-hits. This increase in forgiveness is the difference between hitting the green and coming up short. REFINED PLAYERS SHAPING The Paradym iron features a players look in a forgiving package. A pre-worn leading edge is designed to cut through the turf more efficiently for even more forgiveness.
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Cobra Air-X | 8.5 yards

Cobra Air-X Custom Irons

$99.99
Lighter. Faster. Longer. AIR-X Engineered to be ultra-lightweight – unlock your ability to generate faster clubhead speeds and discover the true potential of your power. Reliably Straight Heel weighting and an offset hosel will correct your slice and keep your shots flying as straight as possible. Effective & Efficient A.I. Designed H.O.T. Face delivers more power on mis-hits to ensure you get the most out of each swing.
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PXG 0317 T | 9.1 yards

PXG 0317 T Custom Irons

$189.99
Meet the ultimate tour performance players iron. PXG 0317 T Irons are built for highly skilled golfers craving workability with a boost of forgiveness. With a hollow-bodied design and stabilizing S COR™ polymer core, these irons increase spin performance, improve distance control and overall consistency. The compact head shape has a slightly larger profile for enhanced MOI and mishit forgiveness.  XTREME SHOT MAKING Small workable club head design increases the player’s control over the clubface. HIGH SPIN PERFORMANCE Proprietary S COR™ material increases stability and limits face movement during impact which produces higher spin rate performance. SUPERIOR DISTANCE CONTROL Thin face hollow bodied construction delivers very consistent distance control for highly skilled players. EXCELLENT SOUND AND FEEL 3X Forged 8620 soft carbon steel
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Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

JWall

Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.