Perfecting the Approach: The Most Popular Irons on LPGA Tour (2024)

Jessica Korda watching on of her iron shots from the fairway

When it comes to selecting your next set of irons you are likely better seeing what can be learned from the choices of the top LPGA Tour players rather than their male colleagues on the PGA Tour or Champions Tour.

The 93.4mph average swingspeed of the average male golfer is close to the 96 mph average swingspeed of LPGA Tour pros.

And as a result, Golfing Focus undertook an in-depth study to uncover the most popular irons on the LPGA Tour.

Because although there is little in common between the average male golfer and the top women pros from a skill perspective, there is plenty to learn from the iron choices of LPGA players.

Of the 51 iron models used by the top 100 players Callaway are the most popular irons on the LPGA Tour with 23% using them including Alison Lee and Georgia Hall. PING is the next most used brand chosen by 19% with PING’s i210 irons being the most popular individual irons played by 10 of the top 100 including Linn Grant.

Titleist is the third most common brand of irons with their T100 iron the second most popular iron model.

The number of different brands and iron models used by some of the best players in the women’s game highlights how precise each player clearly is when it comes to choosing their equipment.

Each player is determined to find the best iron set-up that suits their swing and delivers the desired ball flight they are looking for.

Despite this variety however when Golfing Focus looked in detail at the irons used by the top 100 LPGA Tour pros – including the shafts and forgiveness category of iron they choose – some general trends do emerge which we believe every average player can learn from.

It is also fascinating to see what has changed since the last time we did this analysis a couple of years back and further the comparison between the iron choices of the best LPGA players with their colleagues on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

PING i210 7-iron
PING’s i210 irons are still the most popular model among the best LPGA players. Click image for the latest price on eBay

Comparing iron sets between different players is not as easy as it used to be.

Not that long ago the top players in both the women’s and the men’s game would be choosing a 3-iron to pitching wedge iron set with the occasional player adding a 1-iron or 2-iron into the mix.

With the development of iron tech and the advent of driving/utility irons and especially hybrids however, there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ set of irons today as different LPGA players now choose to start their iron set with either a 5-iron, 6-iron or even 7-iron in the case of Azahara Munoz.

And that is before we even consider the quarter out of the top 100 LPGA pros, including Lilia Vu and Lydia Ko, who use two different types and models of irons in their set of clubs.

In spite of these trends however (and the sometimes patchy club data which is available for LPGA pros – complete irons data was not available on 17 of the top 100), the Golfing Focus research team managed to pull together an in-depth analysis of the irons used by the top 100 pros to discover what the most popular irons on the LPGA Tour are.

Golfing Focus infographic detailing the percentages of the top 100 LPGA golf pros using different brands of irons

As we have already noted Callaway and PING irons dominate the choices of the best LPGA pros with over 40% of the top 100 choosing one of their models. The percentage shares of the other manufacturers are shown in the infographic above.

But what did we find when it came to the question of the most popular individual irons used on the LPGA Tour?

PING’s i210 irons are the most popular irons among the top 100 LPGA players. 10 pros use them including Leona Maguire and Linn Grant. 7 players, including Allisen Corpuz, use PING’s i230 irons which are the 2nd most used irons among this elite group alongside Titleist’s T100 irons. Callaway’s Apex Pro ’21 irons are the next most used by 6 pros.

Srixon’s and TaylorMade’s most popular irons, played by 5 players each are their ZX7 Mk II and P7MC models respectively.

When we last carried out this research a couple of years back PING’s i210 irons were again the most popular irons we found so it seems that PING’s dominance when it comes to iron choices of the top LPGA pros remains in place.

However while the most used iron brand on the PGA Tour, Titleist is only used by 14% of the best pros on the LPGA Tour.

I played the 716 CBs for seven years. I tested the T100s recently and absolutely love them. Titleist put a custom grind on each iron to create better feel through the ground. I wanted higher trajectory to get the ball to stop faster on the greens.

Danielle Kang – 4-time Solheim Cup player and Major Champion

The increase in popularity of the newer PING i230 irons since their launch in 2022 however suggests that they may in time rise to the top of the pile in the future. But, for now, more players such as Jennifer Kupcho and her Solheim Cup teammate Ally Ewing are sticking with PING’s previous model ‘players irons’ – i210’s.

Our detailed research also uncovered a few additional interesting niche iron selections.

Lexi Thompson for example remains the only player we found to use Cobra irons (her S2 Forged set was released all the way back in 2009!) as she continues her long-term affiliation with that manufacturer

However, with her announcing her retirement at the end of the 2024 season it will be interesting to see whether that means the end of any use of Cobra irons on the LPGA Tour.

Two-time major champion and former world no.1 Lydia Ko meanwhile has opted to play a 5-iron to 9-iron set of Proto Concept irons since 2022 alongside her Titleist T200 4-iron.

And what about the irons played by the world no.1 and undoubted current star of LPGA golf Nelly Korda? She is one of only 7% of the top 100 LPGA Tour pros who chooses TaylorMade irons with her use of a P770 5-iron alongside P7MC 6-iron to pitching wedge.

The complete breakdown of which irons are used by the top 100 players on the LPGA Tour, including golfers who only use one individual iron of a particular model, is as follows:

LPGA Irons

Cavity Backs vs. Blades on the LPGA Tour

There are probably not many areas where the average golfer would assume the best LPGA players in the world have led the way but when it comes to iron-type selection they have.

I remember years ago having the privilege to caddie for a Ladies European Tour player when one of their events was hosted at my home club. And I always remember being struck by her bag not containing one blade iron.

Having grown up assuming all top players use blades, and that cavity backs were the preserve of beginner and high handicap golfers, this took me by surprise but given the quality of her shot making I should probably have paid more attention before I wasted my money buying my next set of blades which were too difficult for me to hit consistently well.

So when it comes to the question of whether any LPGA players use blades, Golfing Focus’ extensive look at the iron setups of the top 100 LPGA players, highlights that this trend of preferring cavity back irons over blades has continued to the present.

In total only 3 of the top 100 Top LPGA players use a full set of blades while another two pros play some blade irons as part of a mixed iron set . Charley Hull uses a 4-iron to pitching wedge set of TaylorMade’s P7MB blade irons while Megan Khang and Ryann O’Toole both use a set of PXG’s 0211 ST blade irons. Chanettee Wannasaen and Minami Katsu meanwhile play Fourteen Golf’s TB-7 Forged and Srixon’s Z-Forged II blade irons respectively from 6-iron to pitching wedge alongside their cavity back longer irons.

The remainder of the top 100 use only cavity back irons. And even accounting for those minority of LPGA pros we could not find any iron data on, the debate around cavity backs vs blades on the LPGA Tour appears to be clearly settled.

When we last did a similar rigorous look at the iron setups of the top players on the PGA Tour we also found an increasing trend in that elite group of a preference for cavity backs over blade irons to the extent that blade iron players are now also very much in the minority at the top of the mens game.

In this regard therefore it would seem that the best LPGA professionals have come more quickly than their male colleagues to the conclusion that they achieve better results by choosing the extra forgiveness and distance that is afforded to golfers using cavity back irons.

Golfing Focus infographic detailing the percentages of the top 100 LPGA golf pros using cavity back or blade irons

Turning our attention then to the iron setups of the top 100 pros on the LPGA Tour we noted, after discounting driving/utility irons from the comparison, that the dominant iron set-up choice is 5-iron to pitching wedge. 41% of the top 100 LPGA players for which iron data was available chose that set-up.

24% then prefer to start their iron set with a 4-iron and carry irons all the way through to a pitching wedge with the other iron setups options proving to be much less popular.

The chart below shows the full range of iron setups being used by the top 100 LPGA players.

Golfing Focus infographic detailing the percentages of the top 100 LPGA golf pros using different irons set ups

What Iron Shafts Do LPGA Players Use? Graphite vs Steel? Regular vs Stiff?

While the LPGA pros set the trend when it came to using cavity back irons in preference to blades when we look at the iron shafts they choose they are clearly different to the shafts used by the top men pros on the PGA Tour.

And the most obvious difference is evident when it comes to whether LPGA players use graphite iron shafts or not. Because when it comes to the material of iron shafts used by the best women pros it is clear that they are much more willing to use graphite iron shafts.

35 out of the top 100 pros use graphite iron shafts according to the data available while 57 play steel iron shafts.

True Temper’s Aerotech SteelFiber shafts are the most used graphite iron shafts among the top 100 on the LPGA Tour with 12 pros choosing them including Nelly Korda and Minjee Lee. The Aerotech SteelFiber i80 S model is the most used individual graphite shaft alongside KBS’ TGI Tour Graphite Iron 80 S shaft with three players each playing them.

Nippon’s N.S.Pro 950 GH S model meanwhile is the most popular steel iron shaft with five pros using it including Danielle Kang.

And although Golfing Focus could not find detailed iron shaft data for eight of the top 100 LPGA pros the number of players choosing a graphite shaft stands in marked contrast to the PGA Tour where every one of the top 100 uses steel iron shafts with the exception of Matt Kuchar .

When it comes to flex of shafts many amateurs are also frequently most concerned with whether LPGA players use regular or stiff shafts.

And in this regard, our thorough analysis again found a contrast with the PGA Tour and indeed also with the iron shafts used by the best Champions Tour pros.

While the top men on both the PGA and Champions Tour demonstrate a clear preference for extra stiff (X) shafts in their irons the best women pros as a general rule prefer a softer flex iron shaft compared to their male colleagues partly as a result of their slower swing speed.

While again the data set on iron shafts is patchy for the LPGA Tour we uncovered 14 of the top 100 pros using either a regular or regular+ flex including Rose Zhang and Lexi Thompson.

The majority – 32 out the fifty LPGA pros we found iron shaft flex details on – did choose stiff shafts. But when compared to the Senior and main Tour – where X-stiff shafts are the dominant iron shaft flex and only Jim Furyk uses a regular flex iron shaft on either the Champions or PGA Tour according to the data available – shaft flex choices appear to be a clear point of distinction between the elite men’s and women’s game.

An LPGA golf pro hitting a graphite shafted iron from the middle of the fairway
Regular flex graphite iron shafts are used by a number of the top 100 LPGA pros

As a whole Nippon, True Temper and KBS iron shafts dominate the brands of iron shafts used by the best LPGA pros with close 90% of the 66 pros on which data was available choosing one of those three shaft brands.

And for those interested the table below provides a detailed breakdown of all the iron golf shafts Golfing Focus’s detailed research uncovered being used by the top 100 LPGA players.

LPGA Iron Shafts

Before You Go …

Now that you know what irons and iron shafts the best LPGA pros are using you may now be wondering how this compares to the models used by the top players on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

Read our next articles to find out what our similarly extensive analysis of those tours told us!

What Irons Do PGA Pros Use?

Champions’ Choice: The Most Used Irons on the Senior Tour

One response to “Perfecting the Approach: The Most Popular Irons on LPGA Tour (2024)”

  1. Graeme Hay avatar
    Graeme Hay

    What are your thoughts on the iron choices of the top LPGA Tour pros? We would love to know and especially what you think in terms of the usefulness of their choices when it comes to picking your own irons!

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