9 Best Golf Irons In 2020: Top Buyer’s Guide

Jordan FullerEdited by: Jordan Fuller
John MarshallReviewed by: John Marshall

Last Update:

Irons are one of the most important clubs next to the putter. On almost every hole on the course, golfers will be required to pull an iron out of the bag. 

This means the iron set selection is incredibly important to lowering a golfer’s score. Material, ease of use, and club face design are critical to golfers’ growth and use of irons over the long term. 

After reading this guide, you will be able to select the perfect set of irons that fit your needs and make your game better. This guide walks through different iron sets and answers questions around the different designs and what each set can help you improve your game.

Sources researched
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18,547
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
14
Hours spent testing
Products tested
9
Products tested
Product Name
Best Overall Golf Iron
Best Premium Option
Best Cheap Pick
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Callaway Golf 2018 Men's Rogue X Irons Set (Set of 8 Total Clubs: 4-PW, AW, Right Hand, Steel, Regular Flex)
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's Launcher HB Iron Set (Set of 7 total clubs: Graphite, Regular, Right Hand, 4-PW)
LAZRUS Premium Golf Irons Individual or Golf Irons Set for Men (4,5,6,7,8,9) Driving Irons (2&3) Right Hand Steel Shaft Regular Flex Golf Clubs - Best Golf Iron Set - Great Golf Gift (4 Iron)
Our Grade
Rating 90.5 / 100
Rating 88.8 / 100
Rating 86.3 / 100
Feature 1
Rogue technology to maximize distance and increase accuracy
Hybrid inspired design unlike other iron sets
Unbeatable price tag especially for a second set or vacation set
Feature 2
Sounds incredible with every swing, even mishits
High launch angle and very forgiving set of irons
Easy to play out of the bag without a lot of training
Customer Rating
Best Overall Golf Iron
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Callaway Golf 2018 Men's Rogue X Irons Set (Set of 8 Total Clubs: 4-PW, AW, Right Hand, Steel, Regular Flex)
Our Grade
Rating 90.5 / 100
Feature 1
Rogue technology to maximize distance and increase accuracy
Feature 2
Sounds incredible with every swing, even mishits
Customer Rating
Best Premium Option
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's Launcher HB Iron Set (Set of 7 total clubs: Graphite, Regular, Right Hand, 4-PW)
Our Grade
Rating 88.8 / 100
Feature 1
Hybrid inspired design unlike other iron sets
Feature 2
High launch angle and very forgiving set of irons
Customer Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
LAZRUS Premium Golf Irons Individual or Golf Irons Set for Men (4,5,6,7,8,9) Driving Irons (2&3) Right Hand Steel Shaft Regular Flex Golf Clubs - Best Golf Iron Set - Great Golf Gift (4 Iron)
Our Grade
Rating 86.3 / 100
Feature 1
Unbeatable price tag especially for a second set or vacation set
Feature 2
Easy to play out of the bag without a lot of training
Customer Rating

Last updated on 2020-08-15. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

9 Best Golf Irons

Callaway Golf Men’s Rogue X Irons Set

Best Golf Iron Overall: All that Callaway has to Offer in a Single Set of Irons

Callaway Golf 2018 Men's Rogue X Irons Set (Set of 8 Total Clubs: 4-PW, AW, Right Hand, Steel, Regular Flex)
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Overall Grade90.5%
Price83%
Game Improvement90%

Club Head Design97%
Club and Material Construction92%

PROS

  • Rogue technology to maximize distance and increase accuracy 
  • Sounds incredible with every swing, even mishits
  • Cup 360 design for better ball compression and energy transfer

CONS

  • For more experienced players, beginners may not need all the enhancements

Golfers looking for maximum distance should consider the Rogue X Iron set from Callaway. A total overhaul of previous year iron packages resulted in an explosion of power and distance in golfers hands. Part of the Rogue line of clubs, this iron set includes all the best technology Callaway has designed over the years.

A lower center of gravity and specialty tungsten metal used in the cup face gives this cirons extra bounce. Callaway goes the extra mile and adds urethane balls into the cup face to create TV worthy contact sounds. Callaway balances all the best technology with a playable set of irons.

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A Unique Face Design

Callaway’s patented Cup 360 technology works to transfer as much energy from club to ball. The face is designed to transfer energy from club face to ball. Unlike blades, the 360 Face Cup technology is employs a cushion to delivery fast ball speed and energy even on mishits.

The irons are also designed with a wider sole and balanced center of gravity for ultimate spin speed. Other versions of the Rogue iron set, the X is lighter and has proven distance differences than the other clubs in its class. The face is more balanced with tungsten to give a higher bounce factor and maximize iron distances. 

Balanced Distance from Design Excellence

Tungsten is a rare metal that gives golf clubs more pop. The increased COR yields explosive distances out of the fairway while maintaining control. Part of the enhanced control comes from the Cup 360 technology designed face translate control and distance to the ball.

A low center of gravity launches the ball and creates more back spin for approach and fairway shots. The Rogue X iron set was built to maximize distance. An emphasis on energy translation from club to ball makes this iron set best for any golfer looking to increase distance without sacrificing to much control.

Cleveland Golf Men’s Launcher HB Iron Set

Best Premium Option: Hybrid design for the entire Golf Iron set

Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's Launcher HB Iron Set (Set of 7 total clubs: Graphite, Regular, Right Hand, 4-PW)
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Overall Grade88.8%
Price87%
Game Improvement90%
Club Head Design88%
Club and Material Construction90%

PROS

  • Hybrid inspired design unlike other iron sets
  • High launch angle and very forgiving set of irons
  • Large selection of club availabilities for the set

CONS

  • Hybrid design may be difficult for some golfers 
  • Heavy club head may alter swing approach and tempo

The Cleveland Golf HB Iron set is for golfers looking for immediate game improvement. The unique design of hybrid style throughout the entire set gives golfers an immediate boost in performance. Touted as one of the most forgiving iron sets available on the market, the deeper cavity makes mishits much less sporadic and creates a high launch angle.

Both of these characteristics are traditionally linked to better play for golfers struggling with left-right control. With iron sets available from 4-DW with other options like 5-PW, golfers with wedges or a favorite  20 degree fairway club can save on some cost by choosing a different set of clubs. 

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Immediate Game Improvement

Cleveland dedicated the design of these irons to general game improvement. They highlight the hybrid technology on all irons and there are many upsides to this design methodology. Deeper cavities on all irons limit yards off line. The irons won’t completely remove mishits but they will help control shots.

In addition to the larger than normal cavity across all irons, Cleveland specifically targeted the location of the club weights. By pushing the weight closer to the bottom of the iron and spreading it out more evenly across the bottom of the face, the Launcher HB iron set drives a higher launch angle for more total control. 

Heavy Irons for Some

The trade off of putting more material at the bottom of the club has an adjustment period for golfers going from a smaller cavity set of clubs. Weight is one of the hardest components to adjust for in a swing because it affects tempo, club head speed, and approach angle.

The weight dispersion will take some time to get used to. Also, since the irons have a deeper than normal cavity, some distance will be taken off the ball. In addition, to the cavity reducing the impact inertia, the lower center of gravity on the iron heads creates a higher launch angle. Naturally, a high launch can reduce overall distance.

LAZRUS Premium Forged Golf Wedge Set for Men

Best Cheap Pick: Rock Bottom Price and Simple Iron Set

LAZRUS Premium Golf Irons Individual or Golf Irons Set for Men (4,5,6,7,8,9) Driving Irons (2&3) Right Hand Steel Shaft Regular Flex Golf Clubs - Best Golf Iron Set - Great Golf Gift (4 Iron)
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Overall Grade86.3%
Price100%
Game Improvement83%
Club Head Design80%
Club and Material Construction82%

PROS

  • Unbeatable price tag especially for a second set or vacation set
  • Basic set of golf clubs meaning any skill level of player can easily use
  • Easy to play out of the bag without a lot of training

CONS

  • Fewer available options in club and shaft stiffness
  • Outdated technology compared to other big name brands

For golfers not interested in the premium label or a second set to store a vacation house, these will fit the mold. Lazarus claims of manufacturing their clubs using the same manufacturers as the Callaway’s and Titlelist’s without the price tag. These irons don’t have all the over engineering and design dollars that larger brands spend and make their money on.

If game maintenance is your ultimate goal this set will work nicely. The shafts are made of stepped stainless steel and currently only offered in regular stiffness. A club head that is designed to maximize spin and control works for most golfers looking to maintain their game. 

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Unbeatable Cost

Because Lazarus is less known golf club manufacturer, they don’t have to compete with top name brands. By manufacturing clubs in the same location and using similar manufacturers, they are able to cut cost and compete solely on price.

These won’t ever have the top technology from premium brand manufacturers but for a second set at a vacation house, they perform well. A serviceable set with most of the previous years technology to maintain performance. The regular set goes from a 4-9 irons but for an extra hundred dollar or so Lazarus adds three of their manufactured wedges to complete the set. 

Basic Iron Set

Because these are the best budget clubs available, the design won’t make waves on new technology. A single regular stiffness shaft availability makes this set unusable by golfers with faster or slow swing speeds. A smaller selection of irons (4-9) on the base set may have some golfers looking to more complete sets that include wedges.

The customer golf grips are good for most golfers unless a larger diameter grip is needed. A point of focus from Lazarus in the design was the deeper grooves on the club head face to create more spin and control. The irons come in standard lengths and standard loft. 

Cobra Men’s F-Max One Length Golf Iron Set

Runner Up: Single Length Clubs for a Consistent Swing

Cobra Men's 2018 F-Max One Length Iron Set, Black/Gold Regular Graphite Right Hand
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Overall Grade90.8%
Price85%
Game Improvement93%
Club Head Design93%
Club and Material Construction92%

PROS

  • Multiple material design for better approach and spin control
  • Single length clubs mean easier swing plane training
  • Well designed club head and center of gravity location

CONS

  • Single club length not for all golfers

For golfers with moderate swing speeds, Cobra has designed the perfect set of clubs. The F-Max one length iron set checks all the boxes for golfers wanting to gain distance without adding on pounds at the gym. To help golfers gain yardage, Cobra designed and overall lighter club from the head to the grip.

A lighter shaft allows golfers to powerfully swing through the contact zone without having to over rotate or swing out of their shoes. The single length clubs allow for golfers to get more distance on higher lofted irons without having to redesign or engineer their swing. Cobra also changes the material used in the club head design to create more control and feel on approach irons and wedges. 

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Material Balance for More Control

Traditional long irons (4-7) feature a thinner stainless steel to create lighter swing weights while maintaining high quality construction and design. Longer irons are built with a softer stainless steel to yield increased control and a softer touch. With approach irons and wedges, spin and distance control are most important for game improvement and comfort with attacking the pin.

A softer material creates more ball compression and longer contact times. This means golfers can expect more spin, control, and touch with the softer material. A small but incredibly important aspect of any golfers game but shows up in a major way on the scorecard.

Deep Cuts for Better Launch

Cobra went extra deep on the cavity for this iron set. By cutting very deep into the cavity of the club head, they were able to move the center of gravity further back in the club face creating more bounce and a higher launch angle. Also, the club face has a center of gravity closer to the heel creating straighter mishits.

On top of the excellent club face design, Cobra changed the loft. A lower loft angle helps golfers with less swing speed make up distance with a more advantageous loft profile from 4 iron to wedge. A nickel chrome finish means this iron set is incredibly durable and will last for decades.

TaylorMade M4 Iron Set

Best Club Designs: Well balanced and Complete

TaylorMade M4 Iron Set 4-PW GW SW LW Fujikura Atmos 6 Red Graphite Regular Right Handed 38.5in
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Overall Grade92%
Price83%
Game Improvement95%
Club Head Design96%
Club and Material Construction94%

PROS

  • Unique club face flexing for higher COR and more distance
  • Well balanced club head weight for minimizing mishits
  • Overall top to bottom well balanced iron set

CONS

  • On the pricier side in comparison to similar manufacturer

Looking to upgrade your current set, the M4 irons are some of the most balanced clubs available on the market. Designed by legendary TaylorMade master craftsmen, the M4 balances performance with feel. The M4 employs TaylorMade’s RIBCOR technology that maximizes the transfer of energy from club face to ball generating higher ball speeds than other sets.

This set has one of the most complete and simplistic club face designs. Taking extra care on the grooves helps golfers control spin even on mishits. With multiple shaft stiffnesses and material types available, the M4 can be tailored to fit a golfers game with a few minor tweaks. 

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Design to Maximize Face Flex

Club face flexing is when the club head is moving at speeds to bend the material. A more rigid club does not benefit from the whipping effect of a flexible face. TaylorMade employs its RIBCOR and face flex technology to maximize the COR value and gives golfers and extra boost in distance.

Additional face slots emphasize more club face flexure providing more whipping of the club head translating to measurable distance. TaylorMade went to the next level and made sure mishits have a fair amount of energy transfer from, face flexing. Considering the emphasis on the club face, the M4 is usable by golfers of all skill levels to increase their distance.

Balanced Club Head

In the previous section, the emphasis was on face flexure to increase the COR and add yards to iron shots. Many readers may be asking if the face is whipping it could translate to more exaggerated mishits when missing the sweet spot. TaylorMade accounted for this concern with a weight balanced club head.

To avoid club whipping throwing shots all over the fairway, the irons center of gravity is lowered and balanced to expand the sweet spot. In an effort to corral errant shots, the balanced club weight makes the M4 irons some of the most hittable on the market. The low center of gravity translates to a higher launch angle and better backspin control.

Mazel Single Length Golf Club Irons Set

Best for Beginners looking for More Control

MAZEL Single Length Golf Club Irons Set 4-SW(9 Pieces) (Right, Graphite, Middle(SR))
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Overall Grade87.8%
Price87%
Game Improvement88%
Club Head Design90%
Club and Material Construction86%

PROS

  • Easy to use for beginners with height and control alterations
  • Single length helps beginners focus on one swing plane
  • High launch angle for better control and spin results

CONS

  • Awkward sound made upon contact
  • Single length clubs may have adjustment period

Best for new golfers looking to manage control and have a single swing to work on. Single length clubs popularized recently by Bryson DeChambeau make it easy for golfers to learn one swing with one length of club. Mazel emphasizes making golf fun for beginners.

A low center of gravity and evenly distributed club face weight help inexperienced golfers stay on or near the fairway from the first round to the last. The single length clubs help new golfers repeat a swing over and over without having to adjust stance or compensate for club length. Mazel makes it easy to play these irons right out of the box or bag.

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Beginners Best Friend Iron Set

The combination of the single length irons and face design are great for beginners. Allowing golfers to focus on enhancing a single swing plane and type makes the game more enjoyable for those will little or no experience or training. Mazel made these for some of the most inexperienced golfers to hit straight and avoid astray mishits.

Instead of putting a lot of bells and whistles into the design of the iron face, Mazel instead balanced the weight on the clubs to make it easy to swing. An emphasis putting the center of gravity low in the club face gives a higher launch angle without requiring adjustments to the swing. 

Simple Design with a Sound Flaw

Single length clubs and a simply designed club face mean golfers have the ability to get a good set of clubs without breaking the bank. With available graphite and stainless steel shafts, golfers are able to have some customization based on their swing speed.

The one major drawback is an odd sound the clubs make on contact. This doesn’t have much to do with the performance of the clubs but somewhat disheartening when you hit a great iron shot and the sounds doesn’t give that perfect ping. An emphasis on ease of use makes the Mazel very important for new golfers.

Japan WaZaki WLIIs Hybrid Iron Golf Club Set

Best Golf Iron Set for Distance and Accuracy

Japan WaZaki Black Oil Finish WL-IIs 4-SW Mx Steel Hybrid Irons Golf Club Set with Headcover,Regular Flex,65g Pro Graphite Shaft,Plus Half Inch Length,RH,Limited Edition,Pack of 16
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Overall Score94.3%
Price92%
Game Improvement93%
Club Head Design94%
Club and Material Construction98%

PROS

  • Hybrid design for all clubs means more control 
  • Bushikadna shaft is unique in design and incredibly durable
  • Finish and color scheme is the most visually appealing set

CONS

  • All hybrid set may be difficult to hit for some golfers

This hybrid iron set brings Japanese design and precision to the golf course. Hybrids naturally make hitting irons out of the fairway cleaner. The design of this all hybrid set is top in the class of irons available. A unique shaft material design makes these clubs incredibly durable with a long life.

A unique hybrid shape only made by this club manufacturer delivery both distance and accuracy rivaled only by few. On top of world class performance, the irons are incredibly easy to look at with a unique color scheme. The major drawback is the all hybrid set can be unappealing to some. If you struggle with hitting hybrids, this is not a set for you.

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Unrivaled Shaft Performance and Design

These irons are designed with one of the best performing shafts available on the market, the Bushikadna shaft. A unique blend of titanium and carbon generates incredible power and durability. Titanium is a nearly indestructible material and the interweaving of carbon yields appropriate flexibility.

The shaft comes in three different stiffnesses to meet the needs of each golfer depending on swing speed. A black oil finish makes these clubs look almost like a black samurai sword as they come out of your bag glinting in the sun. The hosel is specifically designed to translate energy from the high performing shaft into the hybrid club heads. 

Hybrid Performance and Control

A major benefit of hybrid club heads is the size. The Wazaki iron heads are designed to be larger than the average cavity backed irons on the market. A hybrid club head helps control shots by keeping the weight evenly distributed throughout the club.

Wazaki used superior manufacturing knowledge and capabilities to create a razor thin club face to move the center of gravity forward and lower on the face of the club. This works to lower spin and create a higher launch angle. One of the major drawbacks for these irons is the amount of spin generated by a hybrid design. Golfers looking to generate more spin should consider a traditional iron design

Mizuno Hot Metal Irons

Best Forged Iron for most Golfers

Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal Iron Set (Men's, Right Hand, Steel, Stiff, 4-GW)
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Overall Grade91%
Price83%
Game Improvement92%
Club Head Design93%
Club and Material Construction96%

PROS

  • Pop off the club from strong unique Chromoly 4140M shaft and head design
  • Grooves designed to create spin and control 
  • Re-designed acoustics for great sounding swings

CONS

  • Pricy compared to similar models and brands

For golfers that have a naturally low shot trajectory and want more shots to pop, the Hot Metals are perfect. A low shot trajectory can be beneficial when the wind is howling but for any other round, golfers will sacrifice distance. The JPX hot metals are designed to lift the shot trajectory and stabilize the flight path.

Mizuno, well known for their forged irons, has found a way to bring the strength creating from the forging process to the same cast hot metal irons. From the first swing through the hundredth round, these irons have the quintessential ping delivering excellent acoustics and satisfaction.

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Forged Strength without the Price Tag

Mizuno is known for its incredibly well designed forged and tour irons. The forging process creates a stronger metal giving the bottom of the swing more pop. The Mizuno JPX919 hot metal cast irons deliver the pop of the club face without the price tag of forged or tour irons.

The Chromoly 4140M metal is strong and durable lending itself has more pop off the face than regular stainless steel. In this revamped model, Mizuno designed specific ribs on their irons to have better acoustics and deliver on performance. The hot metal irons combine the best strength characteristics of forged irons with the ease and price of cast irons. 

Customized by Pros

Mizuno golf is known for its ability to customize and club or set of clubs to meet golfers need. They have developed some of their own testing technology that feeds directly into their custom fitting process. Each part of the club is crafted to enhance the current game of a user.

With a wide array of shaft, hosel, grip, and club head selections, there is no shortage of options available for golfers. The customization process is built to maximize not only the golfers scorecard but also the performance of the club. A custom build takes roughly an hour with a Mizuno or local golf shop pro, your measurements and needs are sent to the manufacturer and you will receive your clubs a week or two later.

TaylorMade Golf MCGB Men’s Iron Set

Best Swing Speed Enhancer

TaylorMade Golf MCGB Men's Iron Set (Set of 8 total clubs: Graphite Regular Flex 4-PW AW Iron Set, Right Hand)
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Overall Grade90%
Price86%
Game Improvement94%
Club Head Design91%
Club and Material Construction89%

PROS

  • Unique weighting design to balance distance and control 
  • Club head design for all range of skill levels
  • Durable shaft that doubles as a trajectory enhancing element

CONS

  • Weighting may throw of golf swing without adjusting

Great for players looking for additional swing speed with irons. Taylormade consistently designs and engineers premium irons and clubs. This set is specially designed for golfers that want faster swing speeds with their irons. These irons focus on speed by changing the center of gravity towards the bottom of the iron face.

Even the hosel, which connects the shaft to the club head, is fluted to maximize aerodynamics. The design goes far add milled titanium coins near the bottom of the club to increase the trajectory height and balance power and control. Designed for speed and power, this Taylormade iron set pushes the limits of club head speed and distance. 

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Forgiveness without Sacrificing Distance

Many iron sets that focus on control by balancing the weight throughout the bottom of the club typically see losses in distance and ball spin. TaylorMade goes the extra mile on this iron set with the titanium coins at the bottom of the iron heads. Titanium have a higher bounce factor than regular stainless steel.

Even though the weight is distributed across the bottom of the club head, the extra bounce of the titanium coins benefits golfers distance off the tee. The location of the coins pushes the center of gravity lower giving a better trajectory and more control without sacrificing distance. 

Created for Higher Club Head and Ball Speed

In addition to a low center of gravity to maximize launch angle and trajectory, TaylorMade designed every aspect of these irons to increase energy transfer at the point of attack. The hosel is fluted for more aerodynamics and faster club head speed. Additionally, TaylorMade designed the material combination to increase the coefficient of restitution which translates to more ball compression and more ball speed.

Although the cushion typically means a heavier club head and slower club head speeds, TaylorMade has made a more slim design to increase speed through the swing zone. The more balanced weight means golfers will experience balance of distance and control.


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Price

Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on custom fitting sessions and custom built clubs. For most casual to semi-serious golfers off the shelf or out of the box clubs are perfect and will fit most needs. Golfers can get a high quality series of irons without breaking the bank or spending hours in simulators getting fitted for clubs.

An important consideration and factor into the price of iron sets, is the number of irons in the set.  Some iron sets go from 4 – PW or 4 – SW. Material is another consideration. Any iron set with titanium will normally carry a higher price tag because of the value of the metal. Many other premium brands have invested millions in the technology and the more they add the higher the price tag

Game Improvement

Golfers don’t typically buy things unless they will help improve their game. Especially on a major purchase like an iron set. Many premium brands have been able to manipulate some of their top performing tour irons into a cavity back designed clubs to be more forgiving. The recent spike in golf technology means manufacturers are able to make minor improvements that go a long way for improvement.

One of the biggest game improvement aspects is control. The review looks at each of the control aspects and assigns a better rating for more control features. Conversly, if the control elements go to far, then distance is sacrificed which brings overall game improvement score down. Another important aspect of game improvement is how the manufacturers are able to have options available to golfers of all skill levels.

Club Head Design

This is where the swing transfers all the energy of a swing into the ball. Manufacturers that focus on increasing the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) which is essentially how fast the ball can bounce off the club face. Many different factors go into the COR calculation including material type, cavity depth, and balance of weight in the club head.

For example, a softer metal translates to a lower COR factor and translates to less distance. Other factors important to a high quality club head is how the weight is distributed in the face. Different center of gravity locations translates to higher or lower launch angles which moves the distance of each club. Also, the grooving and face design is a factor in how it translates to on course performance.

Club and Material Construction

Many of the premium manufacturers have perfected their club construction. The weak points are the hosel which connects the iron head to the shaft. Any manufacturers that have a weakness at this junction point will see club heads fly off down range. A critical characteristic is in the manufacturing process of the materials.

Many clubs use standard stainless steel which is a high quality material but not as good or usable for golf clubs, there are many other metals usable in golf club design. A harder metal is more advantageous to distance and pushing the higher COR value.  Manufacturers that use more durable materials in their club head and shaft design are more desirable for golfers that don’t have thousands to spend each year on a new set of clubs. 


Questions & Answers

What characteristics should I look for in great golf irons?

Great golf irons are only as good as the comfort golfers have when swinging with them. You will want to visit a local pro shop or free professional demo center to see if the clubs you are swinging are comfortable. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to purchase custom length or shaft stiffness irons, golf stores with demo areas can give golfers multiple options.

You will want to look for clubs made of good materials like stainless steel, carbon fiber, or titanium. Great irons will also suit your skill level and style of play. Iron club heads need to be similar material to the shafts. Avoid club heads that have iron in them as they tend to be more brittle. 

Don’t worry too much about the grips, most golf shops can easily replace the grips with something that fits your hands for a small fee. 

What are the different types of irons available?

There are three different types of irons typically made by golf manufacturers. Tour, forged, and cast. Tour irons are made for the pros and are the least forgiving irons since they are able to hit a smaller sweet spot consistently there isn’t a need for weight distribution or cavities. 

Forged irons are great for advanced skill players because they are made from a single piece of steel and typically have stronger properties born from the forging process. 

Cast irons are poured into a mold. They are best for add-ons like perimeter weighting or screw ins to move the weight around in the club. Most clubs in the non-professional market are going to be cast. It is easier to adjust the weight and maker a club more forgiving. 

What is the difference between blade and cavity design?

The nickname of blades comes from the thickness of the iron near the bottom of the club. Several years ago, club designers figured out they could more weight near the bottom center of the club. This gives golfers more control and better feedback of shots when they him them well. On the converse, inexperienced or lower skill golfers will have trouble hitting blades. The focused center of gravity means mishits are more likely to go further of the current path. Less experienced golfers should avoid buying blades because their game will suffer.

Cavity backed designed clubs work almost the opposite. They are more forgiving for lower skilled players. The cavity spreads out the weight more evenly throughout the head of the irons. This translates into less sporadically fired shots but reduces the feedback and ability to shape shots like the pros. For golfers that don’t have the luxury of hitting a thousand golf balls every day or professional trainers perfecting their swing, opt for a cavity backed designed club. 

What shaft should I pick for my iron set?

The shaft will depend on your club head speed. A stiffer shaft will lend to give stronger players more club speed and whip through the contact zone of their golf swing. A stronger golfer wouldn’t benefit from a less stiff shaft because the over rotation and speed of the swing would work against them as the club head will always lag behind the hands causing the club head to remain open through contact.

Consider making a trip to your local golf pro or store and ask the local shop pro to measure your club head speed. They will be able to point you in the right direction of club shaft stiffness. The stiffness is measured as the flex and ranges from Extra Stiff (XS) to Ladies (L). To give a better idea of what each of these means, a golfer that can hit a 6 iron 175+ yards would need and extra stiff. A golfer that hits with a 6 iron between 130 and 155 yards requires a stiff shaft. 

Weight is also a factor in an iron set, especially if you are getting custom clubs. The biggest affect weight will have is on swing tempo. Too light, club head speed increase but accuracy decreases greatly. Too heavy, club head speed decreases and ball shape changes greatly.