What Irons Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide (2023 update)

Golfing Focus infographic of the number of the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour playing different brands of irons

I’ve been planning to change my irons for a while now after a number of years but before going straight to a club fitter to test out all the latest and greatest models I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the iron setups of the best players on the PGA Tour to see what they are playing with.

So we took a look at all the irons the top 100 PGA Tour players are using, discovered the most used iron brand and most popular individual set of irons, found out how many of the pros are using cavity backs or blades before finally seeing what has changed since we last carried out this analysis a couple of years ago.

Titleist are the most played irons by the top 100 on the PGA Tour with 29 using them. Callaway, PING and Srixon irons are each used by 14 with TaylorMade played by 13. PXG irons are chosen by 5 with Wilson used by 4. Ignoring utility irons the most common set up played by 42% of this elite group is 4-iron to pitching wedge.

What is very clear after analyzing in detail the iron setups of the best players on the PGA Tour however is that there is now no such thing as a ‘standard’ set of irons.

Because the world’s best players are always aiming to find whatever advantage they can to help them gain an edge on their competitors they are constantly experimenting with those options to find the best combination that suits their individual game and the particular course they are playing at on any given week.

The days of every pro having a 3-iron to pitching wedge as ‘standard’ are certainly long gone and what is very apparent in the modern game is that the top pros on Tour are seemingly getting closer and closer to almost choosing each iron individually and not as a set.

A Titleist T100 7-iron
Titleist’s T100 irons are the most used irons by the top 100 PGA Tour players. Check them out at the PGA Tour Superstore

Most Popular Irons Used on the PGA Tour. Titleist Win Again!

Analyzing the iron setups of the pros is not as straightforward a task as it used to be.

And the simple reason for that is that there are now so many more options for golfers when it comes to making up their set of irons and clubs in general.

Many of the top PGA Tour players are now carrying hybrids or 5-woods or 7-woods in preference to long irons while others are opting for utility/driving irons. So for a good number of pros today their ‘standard’ iron set is starting with a 5-iron or even a 6-iron in the case of Brian Harman!

Irrespective of this though we were still able to put together a complete breakdown of the irons used by the top 100 golfers on the PGA Tour to find out what are the most played irons among this elite group.

Titleist’s T100 irons are the most used irons by the top 100 PGA Tour pros with 20 playing them. Titleist’s 620 CB are the next most popular with 9 using them. Srixon’s ZX7 irons are chosen by 8 pros with Callaway’s Apex TCB model played by 7. PING’s iBlade’s and TaylorMade’s P7TW irons are those brands most used models.

When we did this analysis a couple of years ago Titleist was again the dominant iron brand and given now in 2023 their sets occupy the top two most popular iron slots among the top 100 ahead of all other irons suggests a lot of the top players on the PGA Tour consider them to be the best golf irons.

PGA Tour pros are of course very particular about the irons they play and are forever tinkering in an effort to find that little bit extra that will help them score lower.

We therefore found the top 100 PGA players using 12 different brands and 55 different models of irons from all the top manufacturers including Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, Srixon/Cleveland, and PING to newer and smaller golf brands such as PXG, Wilson, Mizuno, Cobra, and Miura.

Some of the top 100 we also found unwilling to give up irons made by Nike even though they pulled out of the irons market and stopped making golf clubs a few years back.

The top pros are very particular when it comes to their irons but for now it seems there is a bit of consensus among them that Titleist irons are a bit better than the rest.

(inc. Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Max Homa, Jordan Speith, Billy Horschel, Cam Smith)
Check eBay
(inc. Xander Schauffele, Sam Burns, Jon Rahm, Adam Hadwin, Chris Kirk, K.H.Lee, Si Woo Kim)
Apex TCB
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(inc. Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Corey Conners, Sahith Theegala, Corey Conners, Seamus Power, Tyrell Hatton)
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(inc. Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry, Brooks Koepka, Sepp Straka, Keegan Bradley, J.J Spaun, Matt Kuchar)
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(inc. Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Aaron Wise, Denny McCarthy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lucas Herbert)
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(inc Joel Dahmen, Luke List, Jason Kokrak)
0311 ST GEN4
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(inc. Kevin Kisner, Trey Mullinax, Kevin Streelman)
Staff Model CB
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(inc. Tony Finau, Maverick McNealy, Brooks Koepka)
Vapor Fly Pro
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(Gary Woodland, Justin Rose)
King MB
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(Adam Scott, Abraham Ancer)
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(Keith Mitchell, Paul Casey)
Pro 221
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New Level1
(Chez Reavie)
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[Note – Top 100 rankings based on money list at the end of the 2022 season. No data for Adam Shenk]

[Note – Just so you know, and we are upfront as an affiliate program participant, Golfing Focus, at no cost to you, earns from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.]

Do Any Pros Use Cavity Back Irons? More and More

Because the best pros in the world are so good many amateurs often assume that the vast majority must use blade irons.

For as long as I can remember blade irons were often seen as a right of passage for better players and once a golfer had reached a certain standard they would graduate from cavity back irons to blades.

Looking in detail at the iron set ups of the top 100 players on the PGA Tour it is clear however that such views are a long way from reality.

65 of the top 100 PGA Tour pros use cavity backs and that number rises to 88 when taking into account the players who use at least one cavity back iron in their mixed set. Just 12 of the top 100 only use blades with 35 in total using one blade or more in their set. None of this elite group uses a blade lower than a 4-iron.

Analysing these numbers therefore it is clear that the majority of even the best players in the world choose the extra forgiveness and distance which is afforded to golfers using cavity back irons.

And compared to the numbers we found the last time we did this analysis 2 years ago even fewer pros are using blades with the number of players only playing blades dropping from 20 to 12 over that period.

“I joke around, ‘I’m not good enough to play the blades,’ but in reality, I think we’re just being smarter. I think we’re just like, ‘Oh, we can actually hit every shot that a blade can hit.’ But that chance that we mishit them – which we’re going to mishit a few shots in a round, even in a great round, the idea that it does carry that bunker and you make birdie on a hole where someone has to get up-and-down for par – I mean, it could be the difference in a tournament.”

Jordan Speith, 3-time major champion

In addition when it comes to the blades being used by the top pros today modern iron technology means that these irons are a far cry from the ‘blades’ of years past which would look no thicker than a knife and give your hands a ‘sting’ on a cold day when not hit correctly out of the middle of the face.

Huge advancements in golf tech have meant that many of today’s ‘blade’ irons are more forgiving and closer to a cavity back iron than they used to be with the result that the distinction between the two club types is no longer as clear as it once was.

By putting more metal behind the hitting zone golf club designers are now creating ‘blades’ which have picked up the nickname of ‘muscle back’ irons.

So when you hear people talking about ‘blades’ nowadays it is likely that they are talking about ‘muscle back’ irons which are a bit away from the thin pieces of metal that were called ‘blades’ back in the day.

That is not to say that there are not still some very traditional blades around today being used by some of the best iron players on Tour – Taylor Made’s P7TW’s being played by Tiger Woods and Scottie Scheffler are a great example.

It is just that they are not used by a lot of players and when it comes to the longest irons in particular not one of the top 100 pros on Tour today is prepared to use blades.

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler for example may use very unforgiving P7TW blade irons for the main part of his set from 5-iron to pitching wedge but when it comes to his 3-iron and 4-iron he is more than happy to go with the much greater forgiveness offered by Srixon’s Z U85 cavity backed driving iron!

And he’s not doing too badly as a result!

Blades12Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood, Keith Mitchell, Joel Dahmen, Lucas Herbert, Gary Woodland
Cavity Backs65Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Sam Burns, Matt Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm, Jordan Speith, Viktor Hovland, Kevin Kisner, Shane Lowry, Rickie Fowler
Cavity Backs + Blades
(Mixed set)
23Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Tony Finau, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Collin Morikawa, Sahith Theegala, Justin Rose
Golfing Focus infographic of the number of top 100 PGA Tour pros using cavity backs and blades in 2021 compared to 2023

Combo Iron Sets Are Increasingly Popular on the PGA Tour

Our 2023 analysis of which pros are using cavity backs and which are using blades again also threw up a clear trend amongst the top 100 on the PGA Tour.

And that is the ‘mixed set’ of irons that many are now choosing to use.

Long gone are the days when the pros would have a consistent iron set from a 2 or 3-iron all the way through to a pitching wedge and today it seems clear that the best players in the world are looking at almost every individual iron to see if there is a better alternative.

We found 42 of the top 100 PGA Tour pros (up from 27 a couple of years ago!) are opting for a ‘mixed set’ of irons where they use more than one iron model and indeed some of them are actually using 3 separate models of irons.

Cameron Young for example uses a cavity back Titleist T200 4-iron and 620 CB 5-iron before choosing 620 MB blade irons from 6-iron through to 9-iron.

2020 USPGA and 2021 British Open Champion Collin Morikawa meanwhile uses a Taylor Made P770 4-iron but then switches to TaylorMade P7MC irons for his 5 and 6-irons before opting for the P730’s from his 7-iron to pitching wedge.

This trend of opting for more forgiving cavity or ‘hollow head’ irons for longer irons before choosing blades for shorter irons seems to be a clear one in the pro ranks and as such we can again see that the question about which irons the pros use is not as clear cut as it once was.

Indeed pros including Tony Finau, Maverick McNealy, Daniel Berger, and Brooks Koepka even mix the brands of irons they use in their combo sets.

[Editor’s note – ‘hollow’ head/body irons have an ‘internal cavity’ to remove inefficient weight and therefore increase forgiveness without the need to make the club head the size of a large cavity back.]

When you add ‘driving’ or ‘utility’ irons into the picture also the idea of the ‘mixed/combo’ set becomes even more evident as in addition to the 42 pros we noted who have an identifiable mixed set amongst their standard irons a further 22 players, add a 2, 3, 4 or even 5 utility iron to their bag.

So if we consider driving irons as ‘standard’ irons we can see close to two-thirds of the top 100 players on the PGA Tour opt for a ‘mixed set’ of irons.

We put utility irons in a comparative bucket with hybrids and high-numbered fairway woods – and you can see what individual driving irons the top 100 are using here – but what is also fascinating to see among the best players on tour is the multiple different combinations of numbers of irons that they carry in their bag.

While 10% of the top 100 on Tour stick with the traditional 3-iron to pitching wedge iron setup, including Tony Finau and Billy Horschel and Brooks Koepka, there are two more popular setups within this elite group.

42% of the best 100 on the PGA Tour prefer to start their iron set with a 4-iron and carry irons all the way through to a pitching wedge while 28% choose instead to use only a 4-iron through to 9-iron before switching to specialist wedges.

These percentages are again up on a couple of years ago, when we found 29% chose 4-iron to pitching wedge and 22% played 4-iron to 9-iron, so it seems an increasing number of the best pros on the PGA Tour are settling on one of these two iron set ups.

The chart below shows the full range of iron set ups currently being used by the top 100 which interestingly also include a few anomalies.

Golfing Focus infographic of the iron set ups of the top 100 PGA Tour pros

Brian Harman for example doesn’t start his traditional iron set until a 6-iron choosing a 4 and 5-iron Titleist U-500 driving iron while Lucas Herbert doesn’t use a 5-iron at all playing with a 4-iron and then a 6-iron to pitching wedge.

Hudson Swafford meanwhile has two different 5-irons in his bag – one Titleist T200 and one Titleist 620 CB.

Taking all this into account one thing seems crystal clear therefore when it looking at the iron set ups of the top 100 players on the PGA Tour.

There is no longer such a thing as a ‘standard’ set of irons.

Breakdown of Irons Used on the PGA Tour

When looking at your clubs it is always natural to wonder what the best pros in the world are using by comparison.

Discussions about which tour players are using the latest PING or Callaway or Mizuno or PXG irons for example are common throughout the golfing world and knowing some pros are using the same Titleist T200 or Srixon ZX7 or TaylorMade P770 irons as you is a good feeling.

So to satisfy that curiosity we’ve listed below the complete breakdown of all the irons being used by the top 100 PGA Tour players, including golfers who only use one individual iron of a particular model.

Callaway Apex TCB7
(inc. Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Sam Burns)
Callaway Apex MB4
(inc. Maverick McNealy, Chris Kirk, Talor Gooch)
Callaway X Forged CB3
(inc. Si Woo Kim, K.H Lee – 5-iron to PW)
Callaway Apex Pro2
(Chris Kirk – Apex Pro 21 – 4-iron,
Alex Noren – Apex Pro 19)
Callaway Apex2
(K.H.Lee – Apex 19 – 4-iron,
Christiaan Bezuidenhout – Apex 21 – 3-iron)
Callaway Apex CF 161
(Daniel Berger – 3-iron)
Cobra King MB2
(Gary Woodland, Justin Rose – 7-iron to PW)
Cobra King CB1
(Justin Rose – 5-iron, 6-iron)
Cobra King Tour1
(Justin Rose – 4-iron)
Miura TC-2011
(Abraham Ancer)
Miura AS-11
(Adam Scott)
Mizuno Pro 2211
(Keith Mitchell)
Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal Pro1
(Paul Casey – 3-iron, 4-iron)
Mizuno MP-51
(Paul Casey – 5-iron to PW)
New Level 623-CB1
(Chez Reavie)
Nike Vapor Fly Pro2
(Tony Finau – 3-iron, Brooks Koepka – 3-iron)
Nike VR Pro MB1
(Maverick McNealy – 3-iron to 6-iron)
PING iBlade6
(inc. Corey Conners- 5-iron to PW, Sahith Theegala – 4-iron to 7-iron, Seamus Power – 4-iron)
PING i2105
(inc. Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick – 4-iron)
(inc. Matt Fitzpatrick – 5-iron to PW)
PING Blueprint3
(inc. Tony Finau – 4-iron to PW, Sahith Theegala – 8-iron to 9-iron, Seamus Power – 5-iron to PW)
PING i2302
(inc. Tyrell Hatton, Taylor Moore – 4-iron)
PXG 0311 ST GEN43
(inc. Luke List, Cameron Tringale)
PXG 0311 ST GEN31
(Hudson Swafford – 4-iron to 5-iron)
PXG 0311 T GEN41
(Jason Kokrak)
PXG 0211 ST1
(Joel Dahmen)
Srixon ZX78
(inc. Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry – 6-iron to PW, Keegan Bradley – 6-iron to PW)
Srixon ZX7 Mk II3
(Matt Kuchar, Lucas Glover – 5-iron to PW, Brooks Koepka – 4-iron to 9-iron)
Srixon Z-Forged2
(Hideki Matsuyama, Matthew NeSmith)
Srixon ZX52
(Shane Lowry – 4-iron to 5-iron, Keegan Bradley – 3-iron to 5-iron)
Srixon ZX5 Mk II1
(Lucas Glover – 4-iron)
Srixon Z9451
(Anirban Lahiri)
TaylorMade P7TW4
(inc. Scottie Scheffler, Tommy Fleetwood)
TaylorMade P7703
(inc. Collin Morikawa – 4-iron, Denny McCarthy – 5-iron to 6-iron)
TaylorMade P7303
(Rory McIlroy – 5-iron to PW prototype, Collin Morikawa – 7-iron to PW, Denny McCarthy – 7-iron to PW)
TaylorMade P7MC3
(inc. Collin Morikawa – 5-iron to 6-iron, Kurt Kitayama – 4-iron to 6-iron)
TaylorMade P7602
(Rory McIlroy – 4-iron, Adam Long – 5-iron to PW)
TaylorMade P7501
(Aaron Wise)
TaylorMade P7901
(Adam Long – 4-iron)
TaylorMade P7MB1
(Kurt Kitayama – 7-iron to PW)
TaylorMade MC 20111
(Daniel Berger)
Titleist T10020
(inc. Will Zalatoris, Jordan Speith, Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Scott Stallings, Sungjae Im)
Titleist 620 CB9
(inc. Cameron Young – 5-iron, Billy Horschel – 3-iron, Tom Hoge – 4-iron, Brian Harman)
Titleist T2007
(inc. Wyndham Clark – 3-iron, Cameron Young – 4-iron, Scott Stallings – 4-iron)
Titleist 620 MB5
(inc. Cameron Young – 6-iron to 9-iron, Max Homa – 6-iron to 9-iron, Billy Horschel – 4-iron to 9-iron)
Titleist 621 JT1
(Justin Thomas)
Titleist T100S1
(Max Homa – 4-iron)
Titleist 712 MB1
(Matt Jones)
Titleist 718 AP21
(Patrick Cantlay)
Titleist 718 CB1
(Brendan Todd – 6-iron to 9-iron)
Titleist 718 T-MB1
(Brendon Todd – 5-iron)
Wilson Staff Model CB2
(Kevin Kisner, Trey Mullinax)
Wilson Staff FG Tour V41
(Brendan Steele – 4-iron)
Wilson Staff FG Tour V61
(Kevin Streelman)
Wilson Staff Model1
(Brendan Steele – 5-iron to PW)
[Note – Top 100 rankings based on money list at the end of the 2022 season. No data for Adam Shenk]

Before you go …

Ever wondered how far the pros hit their irons compared to amateurs and how your own iron distances stack up against other regular players?

Read our next article to find out how far you should hit your irons according to your handicap, age, and swingspeed!

How Far Should I Hit My Irons? By Handicap, Age & Swingspeed

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