Adams XTD Irons Review

Adams XTD Irons (16)

50 Words or Less

The Adams XTD irons are easily the most forgiving iron I have ever hit.  Unique new-age look.

Check out the new 2023 Adams IDEA irons HERE

Adams XTD Irons (4)


Adams Golf is known as one of the best equipment manufacturers in the game, but it’s still a bit shocking just how often they create a superior golf club.  In their latest game improvement iron, the XTD, Adams has implemented some new technology to produce one of the best game improvement irons I have ever tried.

Adams XTD Irons (6)


When Adams introduced the new XTD Irons, there was a strong response from a the usual suspects on the golf forums saying these irons looked terrible, they were robotic and clunky, what was Adams thinking?  Well, Adams Golf decided to respond to some of this criticism by having some of the engineers from their R&D department create a Youtube video (found HERE) where they read the comments from a particular large forum and responded to them.  The Adams engineers handled it with class and just shrugged it all off…and rightfully so.

Is the XTD an interesting looking iron?  Absolutely.  It’s important to remember that this is a modern game improvement iron and, by nature, it is going to have a different look.  Look at most of the 2014 game improvement irons with their technological advances, and they all have a newer space age look to them.  The XTD irons have a black finish, with red and silver accenting, and they are a larger head with offset.  The cross-cavity technology not only looks cool, but it puts the new technology in plain sight.  In terms of a game improvement irons, it’s a great looking club, and frankly, I think Adams really knocked it out of the park aesthetically.

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Sound & Feel

The 2014 Adams XTD irons took me by complete surprise when I first heard them, because it was like nothing I had ever heard from an iron before.  The sound is a lot more like a wood or hybrid than an iron which gives you a certain sense of confidence and forgiveness on each shot.  When I first started hitting the XTD’s, I was hitting a lot of fat shots, but the club was still getting good contact on the ball, producing the same sound rather than a thick thump you might be used to hearing when you take a massive six inch deep divot.  Once I was dialed in, the XTD irons had a nice soft ping at impact.

As with the sound, the feel of the XTD irons is a little more like a firm hybrid than your typical iron.  This creates a more forgiving and pleasant feel that will be desirable for someone looking to play a game improvement iron.  A nice little addition to the XTD iron is the face impact damper which drastically reduces vibration and softens the feel a little bit more.

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I mentioned earlier that the Adams XTD irons are the most forgiving iron I have ever hit, and I know this because I hit a lot of fat shots to start with.  Normally when I hit a fat shot, I lose significant distance.  With the Adams XTD,  somehow I wasn’t losing much distance, if any.  It seemed as long as the ball was able to find a significant portion of the face, the club did the rest of the work.  Adams has moved the center of gravity off the face of the club with their cross-cavity design and this results in corrective spin for off-center hits.  This keeps your ball on a better trajectory to help maintain your distance and accuracy.

It’s worth noting that Adams is making great efforts to generate more distance with the XTD iron using technology rather than just strengthening the lofts.  The XTD has the thinnest cast iron face to date from Adams which gives a little more pop off the face and increases the ball speed.  The increased ball speed gave me about 3/4 of a club more distance.  Also, the Adams XTD’s thinner face and placement of center of gravity promotes optimal launch angles for more distance.  Our set came with KBS C-Taper 90 shafts in them, so my ball flight was a little lower than normal and I could have had a little more distance with a shaft that gave me a bit higher launch angle throughout the set.

Adams XTD Irons (15)


When Adams introduced their first club so many years ago, the Tight Lies, they firmly established themselves as leaders in forgiveness and distance.  The Adams XTD irons are no exception to this rule and may be one of the most ideal game improvement irons in the market right now.  The added distance isn’t crazy, but it’s enough to give higher handicap players a better chance at getting down the course, and the forgiveness of the XTD’s only makes it easier for them to hit comfortable straight shots.  It’s important for a set of game improvement irons to make playing golf enjoyable, and the Adams XTD accomplishes this with flying colors.

Price & Specs

The Adams XTD irons retail for between $599 and $799 depending on set composition.

Buy the Adams XTD irons HERE

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Bill Bush
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  1. How does the XTD tour differs from the XTD oversize iron?

  2. Hi,
    Can you please give me the lofts for the XTD Tour irons (4-GW) ? Are they the same as regulas XTD or closer to the forged XTD?
    Thank you.

  3. Actually the Adams website only has lofts for the regular XTD not the ” tour”version. In fact the Adams website has no info on the XTD “tour” model at all.

    • Duncan,

      We don’t have the Tour information either. We never did a review for them. If Adams doesn’t have it posted, Googling for someone that may have spec’d them out is the best shot.


  4. Hi,
    I have a natural draw and a pretty fast club head speed to my swing. I am looking to get into a new set of irons and the XTDs have caught my attention. Several other sets I have researched boast a distance boost but also promote a draw in ball flight. Im not after extra distance per say but I am certainly not looking for any extra draw to my shot. I haven’t seen any info on a draw or fade tendency with these irons. I understand that these are game improvement irons and are supposed to help with direction and some bail out on miss hits but do they have any directional tendencies?

  5. Jonathan G Cramton

    I have the Adams A4 forged irons in the standard stiff shaft and usually shoot in between 80-86. I have had these in the bag for at least 5-6 years and in the process of looking to buy a new set. I have never demoed this set. Will the Adams XTD Cross Cavitiy in the stiff shaft be a good club to continue the good play.

    • Jonathan,

      It’s hard to say how the two will compare. First, I’m not all that familiar with the a4 Forged as I’ve never played or tested it. Second, I think they’re going to be two very different clubs (nevermind what shafts are in them). From the looks of pictures, I think the a4 are going to give you a little more feel since they’re forged, and these XTD’s are going to feel closer to metal woods than they are forged irons.

      Sorry if this answer isn’t helpful enough, but I can’t really make a fair comparison of the two clubs.



  6. Mike Lengieza

    I’m considering buying a set of Adams xtd irons but they’re only available in the stiff shaft at this time. I have regular shafts now. What can I expect to be different using a stiff shaft. On average does a stiff shaft hurt or help the casual golfer. Also another golfer commented on the tour version of the irons. How many do they differ from non tour irons
    I’d appreciate a timely answer because I was planning on purchasing them today.

    • Mike,

      As we always stress around here, it’s impossible for us to really make an educated suggestion on the impact of switching shafts for any individual without data. Rule of thumb is that the stiff the shaft, the more right your shot will be. Please note that is not always the case and/or literal.

      The Tour irons are a smaller head, less offset, and less forgiving. Geared toward lower handicaps.


  7. Tyler Mick

    I used to be an avid golfer but over the past few years I’ve toned it down a lot. Went out a few times this year and I’m in need of a new set. Went to a few places and researched online about some options but, this set has caught my eye. I’m no rookie golfer but I’ve definetley lost my touch. Think I should commit and purchse the XTD set? Any information would be helpful.

  8. I’m often amused at people asking if they should try a particular club. Bill Bush provides excellent opinions and this one is right on the button, but how would one expect him to tell you whether or not to try clubs? It’s simple. If you want to know if a club will work for you, go hit the club. That said, I am 64 years old and have a 3 handicap. I began playing Callaway X forged irons in 2007 and really liked them. In 2013 I bought the new Callaway X Forged and loved them. Three months ago I hit the Adams XTD irons (not the Tour irons) and immediately sold my Callaway irons. The XTD’s took the work out of hitting the ball – extremely easy to hit. The clubs are very workable. I hit my Callaway 7 iron 150 yards. I hit the XTD 9 iron 140 to 145. Finally, everyone needs to stop turning their noses up just because an iron is in the game improvement category. Many of the PGA Tour players are playing game improvement irons (AP2, Apex,etc.). Just go hit these irons, period.

    • Tom,

      Thanks for the insightful words. Basically, yes, people need to understand the importance of testing and fitting rather than rely on totally blind advice.

      Just to clear a few things up, I do agree that there are better players out there still playing Game Improvement, but I wouldn’t put the AP2’s in the Game Improvement category. Yes, they have a cavity, but it’s not that forgiving, not thick and doesn’t have much offset. I would say the same of the Apex Pro irons. I would agree that the regular Apex is GI though.

      Like you said, go hit the clubs and make educated purchasing decisions!


  9. Michael Moeller

    Bill, I currently play with TM Burner 1.0. I am 67 and play to an 18/20. I would like to upgrade my irons with a set of used irons (price). Your review has intrigued me, since I have never considered Adams line of irons. I can’t find any golf shops that carry the xtd’s to hit. In reading other reviews on the the xtd’s, my concern is they might be to much of a players club. I have refind my search to the jpx ez, speedblades, and the xtd’s. I would welcome your opinion .


  10. Michael Moeller

    Bill would you recommend the xtd’s over the speedblades or jpx ez. Or is there another iron you feel is better then the xtd’s for someone like myself.

    • I can’t speak to either of those other irons. I will say, I’m generally not a big fan of Taylormade’s GI irons in recent years.

      For my money, I’d look into anything Cobra from the past three or four generations.

  11. Michael Moeller

    Thanks Bill

  12. Dave Parish

    Have had a set of these XTD irons for over a month and played a few rounds. Have to say they are not only long and forgiving but also very consistent shot to shot. I have the ozik graphite R shaft. They replaced Mizuno slot back MX17’s which I thought were very forgiving. These XTD irons take that to a new level. I like an iron to have a classic look at address, which these have, easy to square up and look good at address, neutral balance with no draw or fade bias. Love ’em.

  13. Michael Moeller

    Bill I am looking for irons that are at least one year old to save a little money on a purchase. I took your advise on trying Cobra irons. I found some amp cells and hit them. The were deffinatley longer with a higher ball flight, but not any straighter then my TM burners. I tried to find some bio cells thinking the next generation might be a better club. but there just aren’t any in the Seattle area. The only place I can find bio cells is on e bay. So my question is, do think amp cell or bio cells are a better choice then the xtd’s.

    • Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think at this point it sounds like you’re looking for a silver bullet. Based on the pursuit you’re describing, it doesn’t sound like you’re fighting light fade or draw movements, but rather a significant bend. None of the clubs you are looking for at are going to address that issue. The Burners and Amp Cells are both plenty “easy to hit” so I wouldn’t necessarily think the clubs are major contributors, and you will likely see the exact same issues with the XTD’s. My best advice would be to stick with the clubs you have, take a few lessons to figure out specifically why your shot shape is what it is, manage the improvements to your satisfaction, and then pick the search back up for the perfect iron.

      Hope that helps.

  14. ello , I have 41 years , I’m very competitive , I started playing in June 2015 , and has had a considerable evolution since ‘m HDC 19 , but I have changed several times of clubs because of money available investment , but I have read much about Adams XTD , made ​​a Fitting and the best clubs were the ping g30 , think I’m well served with the XTD Adams , thank you

  15. After reading some of the comments, I was compelled to jump in here. I just purchased the Adams XTD Tour Limited Iron a couple weeks ago I and couldn’t be happier. The price was excellent. I actually thought it was a “too good to be true” moment, but was wrong. I’ve been hitting the Calloway X-Hot Tour Irons and liked them, but wanted something more traditional looking. These are very clean looking on the ground and really fit my eye.

    I talked to a Taylormade rep who said these clubs didn’t fit the new marketing strategy of TM/Adams, so they dumped them to the secondary market, but he did say these were a heck of a set of irons.

    Anyhow, if you’re looking for a real nice set at a really low price, you can’t go wrong with these.


    Nice review of Adam’s iron

  17. How easy are these to shape your shots? Are these a typical game improvement iron sacrificing your ability to fade/draw for distance?

    • I’ll answer by saying that if you’re playing a SGI or GI iron, you likely shouldn’t be too concerned with shaping shots. Not saying there aren’t exceptions.

      If you’re good enough to shape the ball both directions, control your trajectory, etc then you will be able to do it with any club. It’s related to swing path, not the club.

  18. Brian willis

    Can I bend my black xtd irons to tweek the lofts or lies

  19. Cliff Robinson

    I literally have never been compelled to write a review before I played with these yesterday. I’ve been through more sets of irons over the years than I care to think about, including Adams; my son has recently been playing much more than before so I gave him my set of Burner 2.0s I’d been playing and decided to give these a look. Read the reviews, “two clubs longer, blah blah” and I thought yeah, I’ve heard that before. The price I got them for worried me; I was concerned they may be forgeries. Took them to the course yesterday without having hit them period. First shot I hit with them was a 9 iron that was dead on with a baby draw that completely flew the green. After 3 or 4 more holes I realized these are no joke; for me they are literally 2 clubs longer and I had to dial it way down to hold the greens. One particular par 3 I had never been able to reach without a 3 iron I hit 6 iron and made the green. I was literally amazed; these clubs are great. Just wanted to get it out how pleased I am.

  20. I have owned the XTD irons now for 2 seasons and they are longer and ball flight is higher than my last set of older DTRs. I find that I need to set the lie, is it possible to bend these irons to be flatter.

  21. Best Game Improvement Irons 2019

    I used to be an energetic golfer yet in the course of recent years I’ve conditioned it down a great deal. Went out a couple of times this year and need another set. Went to a couple of spots and inquired about online about a few alternatives at the same time, this set has grabbed my attention.

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