I know, amateur golfers, like us, we all have a tough time with our iron shots. Watching the pros launch a long straight 3-iron 240 yards towards the green, makes us all green with envy, so we’ve got to get it right when selecting clubs and the best golf irons for our skill level is key to that!
Small heads and long shafts combine to make iron shots the most difficult golf clubs to master. However, we must master the irons – if you can’t hit the green after a superb monster drive then it is wasted! Solid iron play is essential.
- 1 Hybrids
- 2 Cavity backs
- 3 Blades
- 4 Shaft flex
- 5 Best Golf Iron Sets
- 6 #1 TaylorMade Golf – Aeroburner HL Irons (8 iron set)
- 7 #2 Wilson Golf – Staff D200 irons (8 iron set)
- 8 #3 Callaway Golf Men’s X-Series 2018 8 Irons Set
- 9 #4 Titleist 716 AP2 Iron Set Right 4-PW
- 10 #5 PING G400 Black Dot Irons
- 11 #6 Cobra 2017 Golf Men’s KING F7 Single Length Iron Set
Over the last few years, hybrids have become more popular than long irons, being more forgiving, especially for mid to high handicappers. A couple of hybrids might replace your longest irons, but you’ll still need the short irons for close shots.
We probably all started out with cavity back irons as they are more forgiving, they’re actually the most forgiving irons and are much easier to hit. They have been around for 50 years now but still carry the stigma of “amateur, game improvement”. That’s okay, most golfers are in that bracket. And they need a larger sweet spot.
Today though, with each new design year, the lines between cavity back and blades is blurring. Most of today’s blades have some perimeter weighting features and most cavity backs are being built so that players who know how to can more easily shape their shots.
Blades were used by the “better” players offering more control and feedback. Besides the ability to hit on-demand draws and fades, blades have long held a certain cachet as being for the “more serious golfer.” Using a blade iron, it is much tougher to find the sweet spot, there is less margin for error.
Flex refers to the ability of the golf club shaft to bend as forces are applied to it during the golf swing. Golf shafts are sometimes referred to as the engine of the golf club. That’s because the shaft provides the power that is transferred to the clubhead and ultimately to the golf ball. Shaft flex directly facilitates this power transfer and having the incorrect flex can really hurt your game.
To determine how stiff or flexible your irons should be, you first need to determine your “honest” swing speed. Then simply put, work out which iron you regularly use to hit the ball 150 yards – the shorter the iron, the stiffer the flex you’ll need. For example, if you would use a 7-iron, then a regular flex should suit you.
Best Golf Iron Sets
Below we have selected a few of the best golf irons on the market. Quick techie help, MOI means Moment of Inertia, CG means Center of Gravity and CT means Characteristics Time. See what you think.
#1 TaylorMade Golf – Aeroburner HL Irons (8 iron set)
These clubs are about speed and forgiveness with large clubheads. As you go down through the set, the offset reduces from 7mm in the 4-iron to 2.5mm in the short irons and this helps the looks throughout.
Like the RSi, the AeroBurner irons come with a SpeedPocket in the sole to maintain ball speed on those low centre strikes from 4 to 7 iron. From 8-iron down there is no pocket as apparently it does not add as much benefit here.
Crucially the feel remains pretty much the same whether there is a slot or not and that makes the set feel more consistent. The feel at impact is solid with a decent level of feedback for such a large cavity back and even minor mis-hits felt like they were coming out of the middle.
- Thin, fast face plus low CG for increased distance and high trajectory
- High MOI head design and larger head shape
- Optimized lofts, consistent shots
Great value for money, large heads, forgiving
#2 Wilson Golf – Staff D200 irons (8 iron set)
The new game-improvement irons feature a new technology called Speed Sole, which is a thin, face-to-sole transition that increases the spring-like effect off the face creating an average ball speed increase of more than 2mph compared with the D100 irons.
Wilson’s Right Light technology allows golfers to swing the club faster with the same amount of effort for more distance. Weight saved from the face and sole is redistributed to heel and toe pods for a larger sweet spot and a 5% higher MOI than its predecessor.
The D200 irons feature the same large undercut cavity as before, but Wilson has made the bottom of the cavity where it joins the face thinner in order to let the face flex faster. They claim the CT is over 230, which is very high for an iron and almost the same as a driver.
- Speed Sole technology creates a thin face-to-sole transition
- Heel and toe weight pods provide a larger sweet spot and more forgiveness
- Right Light technology creates a balanced, solid feeling club
- Recoil technology in graphite shaft optimizes the spring effect
These irons will suit mid to high handicappers. If you struggle with consistency and carry distance, then these irons should help. Great value for money.
#3 Callaway Golf Men’s X-Series 2018 8 Irons Set
They will add extra yards to your game thanks to the cavity back design distance technology. The design also provides excellent forgiveness for better results across the entire face resulting in great shots even on slight miss hits. They look good, feel good and most of all will help you shoot lower scores.
Callaway have stuck with their tried and tested oversize head design. It features a thicker top line, deep undercut cavity and a face that will provide incredible speeds for improved distance.
- Long, fast and forgiving
- Designed with fast ball speed in mind for more distance
- Good feel and sound
These irons have improved feedback and sound, giving you more insight to the way you approach your game, with precise gapping and high lofting, giving you the confidence to attack the pin. These premium golf clubs are fitted with high performance shafts and grips, to give you the best possible performance.
#4 Titleist 716 AP2 Iron Set Right 4-PW
The look of the AP2 behind the ball at address is traditional and hasn’t changed much over the years. Better players will enjoy the minimal offset while mid to high handicappers will take confidence from the mid-sized top line and larger overall size.
Titleist have used over 50g of tungsten in these irons which not only improves the feel and forgiveness, but also assists the launch slightly.
- Lighter shafts
- Over 50g of tungsten used
- Consistent flight and distance
The AP2 excels in its distance consistency. Even on different strike points across the clubface, there are minimal changes in ball speed and ball carry, which means that your bad swings achieve a surprising level of distance and accuracy.
#5 PING G400 Black Dot Irons
COR-Eye Technology combines with a Toprail Undercut Cavity to expand face flexing by 18% over previous models to create blistering ball speeds and remarkable distance. A concealed Custom Tuning Port Weight expands perimeter weighting to enable even greater forgiveness and heightened launch. Hydropearl Chrome Finish minimizes friction in the rough and wet conditions for consistency.
The stand out feature is the black circle over the plastic COR-Eye which has a slightly rubberised feel to it and dampens down vibrations to refine the sound and feel.
In the cavity is the Custom Tuning Port (CTP) which you should be familiar with by now as it has been around in all Ping’s irons for a while.
Like the G iron the CTP is concealed in the trailing edge of the cavity from where it modifies the swing weight to give the right balance to the club through impact of D0 as standard in the 4 to 8 irons, before increasing up to D2 in the P and U wedges.
The G400 irons come with the same Ping AWT 2.0 steel shaft as before that uses ‘Ascending Weight Technology’, which translates as lighter shafts in the longer irons getting steadily heavier as you move to the short irons in order to maximise club head speed and accuracy.
- COR-Eye technology
- Toprail undercut cavity
- Hydropearl chrome finish
- Custom Tuning Port Weight
The G400 is a high-quality iron with a very forgiving design that produces consistently good results with better sound and feel.
#6 Cobra 2017 Golf Men’s KING F7 Single Length Iron Set
The King F7 One-Length Irons make their debut as Cobra’s first ever single-length iron set. Inspired by rising PGA Tour Professional, Bryson DeChambeau, The King F7 One utilizes the same TecFlo constructions as the King F7 along with PwrShell Faces and Precision Milled Grooves. However, the King F7 One features constant 7-iron lengths throughout the set and each head has been re-engineered for proper geometry to deliver optimized trajectory and distance gapping from long irons to wedges.
The PWRShell face and the sole are thinner than before and by increasing the ball speed across the face, Cobra claim that the sweet spot is even bigger, thus making the King F7 irons more forgiving because the drop off in ball speed will be less and certainly the margin for error is pretty good.
- PowerShell face give smore distance
- Single length set
- Zone weighting
- Progressive spin technology
- 100% CNC milled face and grooves
Shaft length apart the King F7 irons are more evolution than revolution in terms of construction. Sometimes that is a good thing and the King F7 continues the easy playing, forgiving, competitively priced mid-sized irons that Cobra do well, but in a better looking package than before.