As you start to play the game of golf, you will quickly learn that the ability to hit quality approach shots with your irons is critical to your scorecard. You can improve quickly by being able to consistently hit greens from 175 yards and in. There are two critical components to achieving this result; 1) you will need to practice and 2) you need the correct equipment.
What is the best set of irons for a beginner golfer? It will be the same as for high handicappers – the primary feature you are searching for is forgiveness. What irons do you play with now? If they are an older set, potentially that you acquired from a friend, you are probably missing out on new technology and design that could help your game.
Getting new iron sets will most likely be the largest investment you make in your golf game, so it is important you consider all your options. You can spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand. Searching for the best golf irons for a high handicapper or beginner can be overwhelming – we have reviewed 7 different options below for you to consider. All great products – you should make your choice based on personal preference and budget.
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Best Set of Irons for a Beginner Golfer
- Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Iron Set
- Wilson Staff Launch Pad Golf Irons
- Cobra F-Max Airspeed
- Ping G410
- PowerBilt Men’s EX-550 Hybrid Iron Golf Set
- TaylorMade M4 Irons
- Cleveland LAUNCHER HB TURBO IRONS
- Lazrus Premium Golf Irons Set for Men
- Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set
- Ram Golf EZ3 Mens Right Hand Iron
1. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Iron Set
Callaway engineered the Mavrik Max irons to help the high handicapper play his best golf game with a design that promotes forgiveness and distance.
Talk about high tech, Callaway golf irons uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) in its elite design, and they were built specifically for golfers with handicaps of 18 and above, with key features that include Flash 360 Face Cup Technology, a Tungsten Energy Core, a large sweet spot, and Urethane Microspheres.
The face design and the energy core creates a lower center-of gravity that will help you consistently launch the golf ball into the air and altogether allows for additional ball flight control, ball speed, and distance while offering a pleasant feel and sound. Finally, the microspheres absorb vibration at impact, giving these clubs tremendous feel.
The oversized heads give the golfer maximum confidence that they can find the sweet spot. This iron set come with stock premium shaft options (KBS or Project X) and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 Soft grips.
- Award winning clubs – the Callaway Mavrik Max irons won Gold on the 2020 Golf Digest Hot List for game improvement that included ingenious use of the Flash 360 Face Cup Technology
- Beautiful design – clubs are visually stunning – will look great in your bag
- Easy launch – most beginners and high handicappers struggle to hit their irons in the air – Callaway has made this easier with their creative design, with improved feel and sound to boot
- Respected brand – Callaway is well-known in the golf industry for creating high quality and high performing clubs
- Not cheap – while not the most expensive on our list and will certainly provide value for money, these irons are a significant investment in your game
- Oversized head – we feel the larger head on the irons will be helpful for most golfers, some may want a smaller profile
- Due to unprecedented demand across the industry, causing a shortage of shafts and grip, we may need to substitute for an equivalent premium shaft/grip.
2. Wilson Staff Launch Pad Golf Irons
The Wilson Staff Launch Pad irons have a unique design that was focused on helping the struggling golfer. The first thing you will notice about these clubs is the sole – it was built to use the turf to the players’ advantage and prevent fat or chunked shots. The longer the iron, the thicker the sole. The idea is to help you when hitting long irons but keep the best golf irons that are short a bit smaller.
Another interesting concept, the golf clubs are hollow, which creates a thin face for the ball to easily launch into the air. The golf iron set also has a midsize grip and lightweight shaft material to help you create more ball speed and distance without changing your swing.
- Hybrid feel throughout the set – these clubs perform like hybrids – standard long irons are thicker, but the best golf irons (short ones), give you a solid feel unlike other options
- Prevents the Chunk – if you struggle with hitting shots fat or hitting behind the ball, this may be the set for you. The soles prevent the turf from grabbing.
- Launch the ball into the air – one of the best sets of irons for beginners – especially if getting the ball in the air is a challenge
- Solid feel – ball jumps off face for added distance
- Do you have an open mind? They look different – unusual shape – may be too bulky looking for some players
- It may be wrong to even suggest short golf irons for beginners as the best golf irons for short game – the large sole could work against you around the greens, depending on the types of shots you like to play
- Hollow construction supports an incredibly thin face for maximum ball speed and increased distance.
3. Cobra F-Max Airspeed
The Cobra F-Max Airspeed irons were constructed to help you improve your game, especially if you fight the slice. The irons have been weighted differently than most, pushing the mass of the club low and towards the heel. This change will help you hit straighter iron shots.
Instead of one size fits all, Cobra has gone with a progressive hosel approach. This means the long irons are easier to hit, while the irons are designed for scoring. If you still are afraid of the long iron, the F-Max Airspeed are offered as “combo set” of hybrids and irons.
These irons are designed to work best with a moderate swing, so most people insist that these types are the best irons for beginners or high handicappers.
- Award winning irons – picked as Gold winner on Golf Digest Hot List (2020)
- Slice prevention – most struggling golfers fight the slice – love how these irons are weighted to help cure the most common miss
- Progressive hosel approach – cool idea from Cobra – help you where you need it (longer clubs), without sacrificing the feel of your short irons and wedges
- Combo Set – a great option – if you like hybrids, you can order the set with them included
- Economically Priced – you get a lot of value for money technology and design without the large price tag – middle of the road cost based on the rest of our list
- Offset design means this will help slicers, but if you tend to hook the ball, probably not the right set for you
- Short irons are designed for playability – great if you are comfortable with short irons, but other options offer more “help” in this part of your game
- A lightweight iron design helps you create effortless speed, launch and distance.
4. Ping G410
It is hard to have a list of best irons for high handicappers or beginners without providing a great option from Ping. Some key features of the G410 set include a Larger Flexing Zone, Toe/Hosel Weighting, and a Co-molded Cavity Badge.
The larger flexing zone produces an iron that will go further and higher. The unique approach to weighting provides an increase in MOI (moment of inertia), making the irons much easier to hit the ball with. Finally, the cavity badge reduces vibrations, providing a club that feels and sounds great.
Ping decided to go a different way with the G410 irons. The majority of game improvement irons use size to provide forgiveness, but Ping was able to build an iron set that are easy to hit but are not bulky.
- High Quality Brand – PING has been producing great products for years and the G410 irons are no exception
- Size – if you want a set of game improvement irons that are not oversized, you should strongly consider these clubs
- Shaft Options – if you decide to purchase these clubs, Ping provides you with numerous options for shaft – make sure you make the right selection, but it is great to have so many choices
- Toe Weight – the toe weight and how it impacts the performance of the club is the true differentiator – a unique design that golfers will love
- Premium Price – this is a premium golf iron set, so they come with that sort of price tag
- If you are more comfortable with a larger head or hybrid style – which are the safest, if not the best, irons for beginners – you may like the smaller size of these clubs
5. PowerBilt Men’s EX-550 Hybrid Iron Golf Set
PowerBilt designed these irons with one thought in mind. Build an affordable golf iron set that are easy to hit and can work for any golfer. The hybrid design progresses through the entire set, with longer irons having a larger sole and your shorter irons being smaller. The sand wedge is the only club that has a true iron style construction.
A hollow cavity design helps you hit these clubs farther and higher and the entire set comes with lightweight graphite mids to help you increase the speed of your swing.
- Very affordable – the most economically priced set of clubs on our list
- Easy to hit – these clubs were designed with the beginner and high handicapper in mind – all focus on making approach shots easier to hit
- Graphite shafts – can really help slower swing speeds – less weight means you can deliver the club to the ball with more pop
- Hollow cavity design creates a thinner face, helping the player gain more distance
- PowerBilt is not a well-known golf brand – if that is important to you, select a different option
- All hybrid design can be challenging on shorter irons – 6-iron–9-iron
- Right Handed. Senior Flex Graphite Shaft
6. TaylorMade M4 Irons
The TaylorMade M4 irons were designed to provide the golfer with straightness, distance, and forgiveness. Sound good? The irons were constructed with a speed pocket using “RIBCOR” technology, which transfers more energy to the ball at contact, creating longer and straighter shots. They also feature Inverted Cone Technology for side-spin corrections and balanced ball speeds across the club head.
The engineers at TaylorMade constructed these clubs with 3 additional features to help the beginner. First, the Speed Pocket provides more ball speed on off-center shots. Second, the hollow body construction and low center of gravity promotes improved launch, and third, the Face Slots allow shots hit on the toe or the heel to maintain the same ball speed and ball flight after hits in the center. If you put all of this together, the M4 irons provide you with great performance when you miss the sweet spot.
- Price – high-end clubs, but a bargain price – the M4 irons were released a couple years ago, so they are now discounted, even with the speed pocket technology and other intuitive features
- Brand – TaylorMade is known for making high quality golf clubs and is heavily represented on professional tours around the world
- Designed for forgiveness – the M4 irons are built to help the mishit shot – balls hit on the toe, center, or heel will behave the same
- Beautiful looking irons – you will be proud to place these in your bag
- On the market for a couple years – if it is important for you to have a newly released iron set, this is not the one for you
- No hybrids – this set is all irons
- RIBCOR localizes face flexibility in the hitting area, transferring more energy to the ball to increase distance and accuracy.
7. Cleveland LAUNCHER HB TURBO IRONS
Another award-winning set of clubs, the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo irons recently won Gold on the 2020 Golf Digest Hot List. These clubs are more hybrid than iron sets, with each one in the set having some hybrid-like qualities. The long irons are larger, with more forgiveness and the short golf irons for beginners have a smaller profile and provide additional playability.
The design of these golf clubs includes a turbocharged face, hollow cavity construction, and a Hibore crown. All of these will help the golfer hit the ball the more solid and promote a higher launch, to help you land the ball softly on the green.
You select if you want graphite or steel shafts and the clubs come fitted with Lamkin 360 grips.
- Great design – clubs look great and feel amazing. All players will hit these higher and straighter
- Distance – you would assume any club with the terms “Launcher” and “Turbo” in the name would be long – Cleveland delivers length positively with this set of clubs
- High-end for High handicappers – these are high technology iron sets designed specifically for the beginner or high handicap player
- Smaller Profile on Short Irons – the shorter irons are more playable than most “all hybrid” sets – gain forgiveness without losing control near the green
- Investment – high-end clubs come with a high-end price tag – great set of clubs, but will cost you more than others on our list
- All hybrids – Cleveland has done a nice job making short golf irons for beginners more playable, but all clubs in this set have hybrid technology – could be too bulky for some players
8. Lazrus Premium Golf Irons Set for Men
Lazrus recently introduced the Lazrus Premium Golf iron set for everyday golfers. Lazrus has always improved its designs of some of the best irons for beginner golfers and seniors alike. But when you’re looking for quality and durable irons for beginners, look no further.
This right-hand orientation set includes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and pitching wedge and offer fantastic value as a cheap golf clubs for beginner golfers.
With a stepped steel shaft, custom golf grip technology, and regular flex, which provides more spin and control, all of which makes this iron set a trendy choice among golfers because of its unbeatable value. It has deep grooves that ensure better spin and consistency of shots. The center of gravity is well-positioned for enhanced accuracy and spin consistency.
- Thousands of Lazrus clubs have been sold worldwide, making it a famous brand among golfers
- It is very affordable
- Lazrus offers golfers the option to return the set if they are not satisfied with it – they are that confident of their products
- Top-quality and durability
- Made in the same location as some of the top golf brands in the world
- Heavier weight makes it unsuitable for older golfers who may have back or waist issues
- Not available for left-handed golfers
- HANDS DOWN THE BEST QUALITY: This Lazrus golf irons set is made in the same place as some of today's "top" golf iron sets - For 1/4 the price!
9. Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set
Callaway’s Men’s Big Bertha Iron Set collection has some of the best irons for high handicappers and beginner golfers. The B21 is the first men’s Big Bertha Iron with a 360 AI-designed flash face cup that promotes faster ball speeds and makes swings more forgiving on mishits.
It has a modern and unique feel with the red lines and blue crown. This collection has the right amount of tungsten weighting, which deepens the center of gravity in each iron while maintaining ball speed in the flash face cup. It uses premium graphite mids with light flex that improves turf interaction when you swing. Callaway has lived up to and surpassed its standards to be one of the best irons for beginners and seniors as well, and its bigger sweet spot certainly does that reputation no harm.
- It has increased spin robustness and produces higher ball speed
- It has wider soles that give you more confidence over the ball
- This iron set provides for higher launch conditions and an exceptional feel
- Has long adjustable hybrids and advanced hosel
- It is lightweight and suitable for everyone
- It is quite expensive for an iron set designed for beginners
- It is not really sought after by golfers with a slice
- It does not suit golfers who hook the ball
- Big Bertha B-21 is the first Big Bertha Iron with our A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup.
10. Ram Golf EZ3 Mens Right Hand Iron
The EZ3 iron set is arguably one of the best irons for beginner golfers in the market for those looking for value. These irons are designed with enhanced forgiveness, ball flight control, consistency, and a fantastic center of gravity position, it is suitable for golfers who want to improve their game.
This set includes six irons; 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and a pitching wedge, which allows you to hit all kinds of shots and trajectories. These irons for beginners are all fitted with steel shafts, allowing better control, precision, and accuracy.
- It is easy to use and very forgiving when you mishit
- The iron set comes with a bonus #4 hybrid at no extra charge
- Has advanced technological designs and sleek appearance
- Great feel, solid grips, and the right length
- Improved center of gravity placement
- Most suited for only beginners, as senior golfers prefer a more advanced iron set
- Not so durable
- Left-hand versions are unavailable in this design
- FULL IRON SET - 5-6-7-8-9-PW. The 6 club iron set allows you to hit all sorts of different golf shots and trajectories.
Golf Iron Quick Buyer’s Guide
Main Parts of an Iron
For the most part, the grips that are offered on irons are interchangeable. If you are buying a new set of clubs, you do not need to worry too much about the grip, unless you have a strong preference of wrap vs. cord. The only exception would be if you prefer an oversize grip due to above average hand size or joint pain. If that is the case, most club manufacturers can provide a larger grip, or you can have your local pro shop do it for a reasonable price.
Choosing the correct shaft is an important part of the iron buying process. Ultimately, you will need to choose between flex and material. For flex, you are typically selecting senior, regular, or stiff. This is 100% based on your golf club’s speed of swing. As far as material goes, you will choose from steel or graphite. Typical recommendation for irons would be to stick with steel, but graphite can help the golfer who has a slow swing speed.
The sweet spot is where size and shape matters, and your personal preference plays a key role. There are 3 main types of heads for game improvement irons: 1) iron 2) oversized iron 3) hybrid style. As you have seen in our product reviews above most game improvement irons are either oversized or hybrid style and many of the sets, we discussed were a combination of these two. Hybrids are easier to hit and get in the air but are tougher to use as you get closer to the green.
Most golfers, especially beginners and high handicappers, have a tedious task choosing their clubs’ right shaft. Selecting the right shaft absolutely affects your game; it improves your accuracy and range. Shafts are generally made with different flexes, lengths, weights, and torque properties, so picking the one that suits you is a decision based on your reasons.
Golf club manufacturers design different shaft options and irons for beginners to choose from depending on their swing power. These shafts come in varying specifications. Two main shaft material choices come to mind when beginners and high handicappers think of getting one, the Graphite and Steel shafts.
Steel Vs Graphite
The Graphite shaft is a more popular choice amongst professionals and beginners alike because of its wide range of variations in colors and flexes. They are lighter and also encourage fast clubhead speed. They are also suitable for senior or older golfers and ladies who cannot produce the required swing speed when using a steel shaft. The graphite shaft is suitable for beginners and high handicappers because it makes swings easier as it is lighter to carry, and it reduces vibrations on mishits, which could cause pain to the hands.
Compared to steel shafts, graphite shafts are lighter, weighing between 50 and 85 grams – that’s half the weight of a steel shaft, about 120 grams or more. Steel shafts, however, have better control, are more durable, place more emphasis on accuracy than distance, and are less expensive. It requires faster swing speed because they don’t give as much space on a shot as the graphite ones do.
The graphite shaft is more suited and preferable among golfers, especially ladies, beginners, and seniors, because it produces better swing and range and lighter than the steel shaft. Also, the most iron set is made with graphite shafts by default. Most irons for beginners are made with graphite shafts.
However, if you have an average speed of about 90-110 mph but need a bit more control on your shot, the steel shaft may be more suitable for you.
Ensuring you have the right flex is essential because the type of flex you use determines the shaft’s ability to bend when swung. The kind of swing speed you have is also a consideration when choosing flex.
Beginners and high handicappers tend to have lesser swing than the professionals. Hence a lighter shaft with more flex is most suitable for them, while the professionals may opt for a stiffer shaft with less flex that possesses high swing speed.
Shaft flexes impact on your accuracy, trajectory, and distance of your shot, so you must use the right one for you. If you are looking for the best irons for beginners, you need to consider the flex.
There are five types of shaft flex, and you can select which one is best for you depending on your swing speed, accuracy, and distance. Most golfers who have fast swing speeds prefer the stiffer shafts, while players with slower swing speeds are more suited to use less stiff shafts. It is a significant part of the best irons for beginner golfers.
There are other factors to consider when making Flex choices besides swing speed. Factors such as length, kick point, weight, and torque are also important when picking the right iron set and flex.
The different shaft stiff types are:
Extra stiff shafts are usually made of steel and are recommendable for professional golfers or golfers who have a high swing speed of up to 110 mph or higher and can drive the ball 260 yards or more. “X” describes the extra stiff on the flex scale.
Designated as “S” on the flex chart, stiff shafts are more suited for golfers who regularly drive the ball 240 to 275 yards and have a swing speed of 95 to 110 mph. Stiff shafts are appropriate for mid-low handicaps and golfers with high clubhead speed. Stiff flex is available in graphite or steel.
Regular flex is the most common and is designated as “R” on the flex chart. If a golfer regularly drives the ball 210 to 240 yards and has a swing speed between 85 and 95 mph, the recommended choice is this. Steel and graphite shafts are available in regular flex, appropriate for beginners and high handicappers.
Designated as “A” on the flex chart, golfers who regularly drive the ball between 180 and 210 yards and have a swing speed of between 75 and 85 mph need to use shafts with senior flex. Older male golfers and some women with unusually high swing speeds should use this flex. This flex is also referred to as “A-Flex” and is available on graphite shafts.
As recommended for beginners and high handicappers, the ladies flex is designated as “L” on the flex chart. This flex is better suited for golfers who routinely drive the ball less than 200 yards and have a swing speed of 75 mph or less. Older male golfers and women who have less clubhead speed than regular golfers can use it. It is commonly available on graphite shafts.
Which shaft flex is best?
When it comes to selecting the right or best flex, it’s all about your swing speed and a few other variables. You could meet a professional fitter or visit a golf club, where a launch monitor will check your swing speed to know which is more suitable for you through the results. Or you can practice with the different types and see which one gives you the desired accuracy, speed, and distance on your swing.
What Wedges Should My Set Contain?
When selecting the best irons for beginners, golfers should always consider wedges. Wedges are very similar to irons because they look alike. However, a wedge possesses a higher loft and tends to provide higher accuracy and spin than irons. They are mostly used in golf’s scoring areas, as most important golfing shots use a wedge.
They are designed for shots from tricky spots and come in handy when you need to hit a bunker shot correctly high flop shots, or chip shots around the green. This is because wedges have “bounce,” which is the angle from the edge of the clubface to the bottom of the sole.
The idea is that the club will quickly bounce off the ground when you swing, depending on how high the bounce angle is. If your wedge has a wider bounce angle, the ball will go up in the air quickly. Wedges are developed to have light shafts, heavy heads, and the right center of gravity placements to enhance shot, control, speed, and distance.
How far the ball will fly depends on the degree of loft. If the loft is low, the ball will fly farther. If the loft is higher, the ball will travel higher in the air and land more softly and quickly.
Choosing the right number or types of wedges to include in your iron set could be quite confusing, especially as a beginner, but you should endeavor to have a Pitching and a Sand wedge at least. Most times, the pitching wedge comes with your iron set, while you can get the sand wedge separately.
Some senior golfers carry as many as 3 or 4 wedges, including the lob wedge and the gap wedge. These wedges have their different uses and specifications as follows:
- Pitching Wedge: This wedge is part of your iron set and is sometimes even considered an iron than a wedge. It is the highest lofted club in an iron set and usually comes in 46 to 48 degrees in loft. It is considered one of the basic clubs for golfers.
- Sand Wedge: The sand wedge is used for sand bunker shots and chips around the green. It is also suitable for any environment, contrary to its name. It can be used in soft or firm lies and can hit a distance of about 90 yards. The sand wedge comes in a 56 degrees loft.
- Lob Wedge: A lob wedge is mostly used for short distance lobs, as the name implies. It is useful in situations where you need to get the ball up in the air with many spins. It is a 60 degrees loft angled wedge that can hit about 70 yards. It is included in some iron set, even though stores commonly sell them separately.
- Gap Wedge: This wedge comes in a 52 degrees loft and is commonly used to fill the loft gap between the Pitching and Sand wedge. Its shot can travel about 90 to 110 yards making for a better distance coverage than the other wedges. Having a Pitching wedge and Sand wedge should do for beginners and high handicappers, but you can have as many as you require in your iron set. And that’s an offer you shouldn’t resist.
Key Features of an Iron for Beginner Golfers
The beginner golfer is going to struggle with consistency in his or her iron game. Typical struggles include lack of distance, off-center shots, curving shots, and difficult getting the ball in the air/holding the green.
When you consider features in an iron, think about your typical mistakes. If you tend to slice the ball, look for irons that include an offset that will help you square the clubface. There’s also an emphasis on center of gravity that you should pay attention to, as there’s no panacea for all golfers. If you mishit a lot of shots, find the best irons for beginners and seniors is one that provides quality performance throughout the clubface (from heel to toe). If you need your ball to travel higher and farther, look for clubs that offer distance and improve launch. Whether you’re intending to get the golf men’s launcher HB iron set for its improved ball speed and distance offer, or you’re interested in the face cup technology of the Callaway Golf 2020, there’s an iron set for every golfer.
The design of game improvement irons has improved a great deal over the last five years – they will certainly help your scores.
Will a new set of irons make me a better player?
You will not suddenly join the PGA tour because you invest in new irons, but game improvement clubs make the game easier. They allow you to miss the center of the clubface and still hit a quality golf shot. If your irons are more than 5 years old or not designed for a high handicapper, you will see improvement from an equipment upgrade.
How many clubs do I get if I buy a set of irons? What does 4-PW mean?
4-PW means you are getting 7 clubs. 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron, and Pitching Wedge. Read the description of the clubs you are buying to determine the number of clubs. The standard is between 7 and 9 clubs per set.
What is a hybrid golf club?
Hybrid clubs have become very popular over the last 10 years – most frequently used to replace long irons (3, 4, 5 irons). They are called hybrids because they are a design combination of woods and irons. They often look like small woods and the benefit is they help you get the ball in the air and are easier to hit from bad lies.
If they are easier to hit, why wouldn’t all players (even professionals) play with game improvement irons?
Several of the design features in-game improvement irons would impact a scratch golfer or professional in a negative way. The larger club profiles of hybrids are harder to manipulate. A pro wants the ability to manipulate the ball on purpose (fade or draw), but these clubs make that more difficult. Expert players are more about control and precision, while a beginner or high handicapper is focused on hitting the ball solidly.
Final thoughts on the best set of irons for a beginner golfer
There is no one best irons for a beginner, because not all beginners have the same issues, but there is a best set for your game. The key is to analyze your mistakes and determine the features that will help you the most. Take this analysis, factor in your budget, and make a selection that excites you.
The clubs we have reviewed above provide you with some different options, regardless if you love hybrids or prefer a more conventional looking iron. Improving your approach shots will not only reduce your scores but will also increase your enjoyment on the course. Who does not love hitting more greens and making more birdies?