Best Golf Sets Under $500 – How To Choose With a Budget

Even though golf has an elitist label to it, there are golf sets available on the market for under $500 that empowers everyone, no matter their means, that intend to join the game to acquire the minimum gear needed.

This piece is intended to prepare you in your pursuit of a good quality set at a reasonably inexpensive price and techniques that you can implement to optimize the money spent on a set.

Whether you choose to purchase specific irons, or you want to purchase a set of irons, it will demonstrate the importance of thinking about some fundamental qualities regardless of the design. In the present competitive market, the quality of the set will play a significant role.

In your pursuit of the top money-for-value package, you should not disregard preceding versions that are trading at a rebate compared to the latest models. You can conserve a considerable sum while the loss of technology will not influence your scoring substantially.

Every golfer possesses his or her distinctive traits and that makes golf such a remarkable sport. Manufacturers have done their research to fulfill as many different combinations as feasible and the diversity of clubs offered indicates that you are virtually guaranteed to find a set that will fulfill your distinctive needs.

The clubs most frequently used in your set of clubs will be the irons as they will be utilized on par 3 holes, off the tee on shorter par 4 and then for approach shots on nearly all holes.

Choosing The Best Golf Irons Under $500

Irons are split into 3 key classifications, beginner or high handicap golfers, Intermediate or mid-handicap golfers and the advanced or single handicap golfers.

Even though there are these distinct categories to guide you in the style of club you ought to decide on, it is not restrictive in that gifted beginners can play with clubs designed for better golfers without experiencing any consequences.

Type of Irons

Exploring the type of irons, you will stumble upon many catchphrases that could be rather bewildering, but we will attempt to highlight the generally used phrases and words.

Most clubs are manufactured from either steel, graphite or tungsten or combination of materials. Composite materials have increased distance vastly over the years and golf clubs have resorted to lengthening the courses to counteract the increase in distances.

Blade irons, for the single handicap golfers, generally have smaller clubheads than other clubs and a thin face with a small sweet spot. The blades are more conducive for shaping your shots in a draw or a fade.

Cavity back, for beginners and advanced golfers, irons, on the other hand, focuses the weight towards the back of the head for an increased Moment of Inertia (MoI).

Hybrid clubs, for all level of golfers, is the result of engineers merging the best characteristics of irons and best features from woods thereby creating a club with the iron swing mechanics and forgiveness and distance offered by a wood.

The two most common type of irons are:

Forged Irons

These are produced from a single piece of pure metal which is pounded into the preferred form. It involves appropriate refining and buffing to attain a solid look.

They have an incredible feeling when the ball is struck on the sweet spot providing more workability and therefore results in the ball being shaped according to the golfer’s requirements.

Cast Irons

These are produced through a less expensive method combining iron and other metals and then pouring it into a mold to cool down. This enables the manufacture to do more sophisticated and precise work.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both processes and they are designed for distinct markets. Where forged irons are aimed at the more advanced and single handicap golfers, cast irons are targeted at the beginner to advanced golfers.

There will be an overlap where golfers will compete with the cast iron but still be capable to play either one. Only you can decide which is the best fit for your game.

Avoid Foreign and Buy US

You will be well advised to purchase from local sellers or even making your online purchases from local sellers. It’s prudent to avoid foreign vendors as the probability of receiving counterfeit gear is less and you will have more recourse against local vendors.

Shopping intelligently will allow you to pocket sizable savings without the risk of dealing with international sellers.

Buy Astutely

Manufacturers have cycles in creating and releasing newer models with the hottest technology. Some do it every year and others have longer running cycles.

At the time, or just before the release of the latest version, the existing stock of the older version is put on sale at a markdown to prepare the way for the latest model.

Not to worry about purchasing older technology as it will still be fairly new and provide you with all the bang for your buck at a price that will have you laughing all the way to the bank

Second Hand Is Not Taboo

Be prepared to buy pre-loved clubs but confirm that they are in decent condition.

Some golfers have big bucks to consume and like the hottest equipment in their bags. This combined with the rapid release cycles set by manufacturers has established a market where there are pre-loved clubs that are still in good condition to be had at superb prices.

After you have played a few rounds with the brand-new model, they too are second hand but came at a premium.

Consider Non-Premium Brands

The premium brand manufacturers are referred to as premium for a reason. They have been around for an extended period and have built quality products that golfers know they can depend on. They also tend to spend a massive amount on marketing to strengthen their brand.

For that reason, they can command a premium price for their products. There are newer brands such as Hireko and Benross that might not have the premium standing yet but still produce outstanding quality products, at a much lower price. You will be pleasantly surprised by what they offer.

Your opening port of call should be top-ranked merchants as they should have a well-known record of content clients. Be thorough in your due diligence and scrutinize negative commentary but recognize that there will always be some dissatisfied client that will offer negative comment. Look at whether the positives outnumber the negatives by a wide margin. If they are close, be vigilant.

Online purchases are very prevalent and quite a new way of doing business so you will find good and bad players in this domain. Do not be fearful of raising questions concerning the equipment.

Ask about the serial numbers, motivation for selling, the number of times it was used, how many transactions the seller has done, etc. Responses (or absence thereof) will provide you with a good sense of the transaction. If in doubt, don’t be reluctant to walk away.

You are more likely to be deceived online as you will only see the article when it is delivered to your home. Counterfeit equipment or equipment that is in poor condition will be complicated to return once you have paid over your money. Be alert and make sure that the vendor has a reputation for delivering the correct gear.

Look For Package Deals

Clubs come it sets and frequently many fairway woods, hybrids, and wedges are bundled jointly with the irons. You gain by paying a better price for the package and the vendor benefits by not having to pay shipping costs for every club.

A Few Notable Terms To Look Out For

Center of gravity

For clubs that will launch the ball higher and longer, you will require a Center of Gravity (CoG) that is located lower and more near the back of the club. This merely indicates that the weight distribution within the club has been pushed as low and far back as feasible.

This is regularly accomplished by applying various materials of which Tungsten is highly fashionable. Tungsten is heavier than steel and by adding it to the sole, the manufacturers generate a lower CoG. The broader soles will likewise facilitate the push backward of the weight for a superior CoG.

The lower and rear based CoG will aid in launching your lengthier shots higher and create a bigger likelihood of the ball remaining on the green instead of running off the back.

Shaft

When determining the shaft of a club there are a few areas to take into consideration such as material, loft, length, flex and tipping point. Shafts most frequently come in either steel or graphite.

Graphite is used on effectively all drivers and woods while steel shafts are more commonplace on irons and wedges. Seniors and people with slow swing speeds also benefit by employing graphite shafts on all clubs in their bag.

Loft

The loft of your club is related to your swing speed. Higher swing speeds will need less loft to get the ball into the air than lower swing speeds. On drivers, fast swing speeds typically need lofts of 10 degrees or lower while slow swing speeds will cope better with lofts above 10 degrees.

Lofts on your irons may possibly fluctuate between sets and the upshot of this is that certain sets attain lengthier distances with the identical club as others. An example of this is that a 6 iron with a 31-degree loft will likely attain more distance than a 6 iron with a 33-degree loft

Stiffness

As with many aspects of your clubs, the shaft stiffness is associated with your swing speed. Very fast swing speeds require and Extra-stiff shaft (X) while slightly slower swing speeds will require a stiff (S) shaft.

The most common use shaft that is appropriate for most golfers is an aptly called a regular (R) shaft. Lower swing speeds will use either the senior (S) or ladies (L) shaft.

The most used shafts on irons are steel shafts as they are heavier and firmer hence highly endorsed as the benchmark.

Design

Clubs come in all sorts of designs to accommodate virtually every possibility. Some clubs are designed solely for distance, or advanced players while there are clubs that are designed for forgiveness that will offer assistance and self-confidence to golfers that are starting out

This video sheds some light on shaft selections.

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Best Golf Sets Under 500

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
OUR RATING: 4.5/5gstbl-table__imageCallaway X2 Hot Iron Set
  • Quality design and technology
  • Decent shaft from a trusted brand
  • Very reasonably priced
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 4.5/5gstbl-table__imageCallaway X-20 Irons
  • Remarkable consistency all the way through the set
  • Terrific value for money
  • Great look and colors
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 4.4/5gstbl-table__imageCleveland CG Gold Irons
  • Ideal for anybody craving playability and forgiveness
  • Effortless to launch
  • Great look and colors
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 4.3/5gstbl-table__imagePing G10 Irons
  • Unsurpassed consistency
  • Very forgiving
  • Astonishing distance
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 4.1/5gstbl-table__imageMizuno JPX 850 Forged Iron
  • Mizuno’s thinnest cup face ever
  • Sticking to the greens will not be a worry
  • Triple cut sole
VIEW ON AMAZON →

The Best Golf Sets Under $500 Our Reviews

1. Callaway X2 Hot Iron Set

Pros

  • Very reasonably priced
  • Quality design and technology
  • Decent shaft
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • The shafts might be too light for some

The Callaway X2 Hot Iron was released in 2013 and is the second generation of a distance iron.  This generation got a nice trim, particularly when looking at the depth of the club while it provides game-improvement forgiveness and distance. The X2 irons are the most precise distance iron from the Callaway stable.

Clubhead

The reshaped sole and rear of the clubhead improved the MoI and the contact between the clubhead and the grass for improved reliability.

Shaft

The X2 has standard shafts for either steel or graphite shafts. The preferred steel shaft is the lightweight True Temper Speed Step 85g and the standard graphite shaft is the Aldila Tour Blue.

Technology

The perimeter weight allows for an expanded sweet spot while there is a steadying arch that bolsters the face leading to superior sound and feel.

Performance

The X2 performs to the standards that are expected from a Callaway club and easy enough to hit by beginners and advanced golfers.

Verdict

This is a versatile club that can be utilized by beginners and they can develop into it while advanced golfers will derive the benefit as well.

2. Callaway X-20 Irons

Pros

  • Remarkable consistency all the way through the set
  • Fairly forgiving
  • Terrific value for money
  • Exceedingly accurate
  • Good balance and feel
  • Consistent impact throughout the face
  • Effortless to launch

Cons

  • Lacks Callaway Tru-Bore® Technology
  • Not as forgiving as rival irons
  • High launch angle for long irons

The durability of the Callaway X-20 irons and the terrific looks will enable a golfer to make use of them for numerous years to come without feeling left out or receive looks in disgust due to the clubs looking cheap.

Even though they are promoted as game improvement clubs for mid- to high handicap golfers, they will be just as easily accepted by low handicap golfers.

The set comprises a 2-iron, 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron and a 9-iron manufactured from steel while the PW, GW, SW, LW can be acquired independently.

Shafts are available in either graphite or steel and come in Uniflex flexibility.

Technology

The foremost technology applied to the X20 is the Variable Face Technology (VFT) for exploiting ball speed, S2H2 which increases flexible weight by moving it from the hosel and transposition it in the edge of the club by this means increasing the sweet spot and lastly the progressive wall reduction system.

Performance

The sole is thin, and the head is quite small making the clubhead ideal for problematic lies. To comfort the golfer the topline is thick and will inspire significant confidence when standing over the club.

Verdict

Game improvement irons that may well suit all handicaps delivering consist and accurate ball flight with a high launch angle. Great set of irons and terrific value for money.

3. Cleveland CG Gold Irons

Pros:

  • Ideal for anybody craving playability and forgiveness
  • Effortless to launch

Cons

  • The looks do not appeal to all golfers

As a premium producer of golfing equipment, Cleveland has produced some of the finest irons over the years and the CG Gold irons are no exception to the rule. Although a producer of some of the finest irons, they are not receiving the recognition that they deserve.

The CG Gold is classified as game improvement irons but is more at home with mid-handicap golfers and unlikely to be appreciated to the fullest extent by beginners and high handicap golfers.

Technology

The “gelback” viscoelastic, vibration dampening material situated right behind the contact area is the only obvious technology on the CG Gold. This enhances the stability and forgiveness of the irons.

Performance

As the CG Gold floats somewhere between a blade and a cavity back iron, there is more than ample forgiveness blended with workability to keep mid-handicap golfers enthusiastic. A well-struck shot will produce tremendous results while mishits will deliver the feedback to your hands without ending up too far astray from the target.

Verdict

The CG will provide feedback on how you strike the ball without penalizing you unreasonably. As a premium manufacturer with many years of excellence in its arsenal, you can depend on the superiority of the set.

4. Ping G10 Irons

Pros

  • Unsurpassed consistency
  • Very forgiving
  • Astonishing distance

Cons

  • Advanced golfers will battle to manipulate their shots

Being game improvement irons aimed at high handicap golfers, the G10 irons have great appeal and have previously been named as a Gold Medal winner on the Golf Digest hotlist.

Shaft

The number of offset increases as the clubs grow longer to increase the forgiveness on the longer irons for straighter shots.

Technology

Forgiveness in the Ping G10 is a product of the perimeter weighting in the cavity back and the expanded sweet spot creating a higher MOI. The elastomer Custom Tuning Port (CTP) curbs vibrations giving the irons a truly solid feel. Contact with the turf is enhanced through the wider sole.

Performance

Extreme consistency is achieved through the ascending weight technology, having light shafts in the long irons encouraging faster swing speeds and heavy shafts for the short irons promoting more control.

However, with the short irons, they have reduced the offsets to increase playability. This means more workability i.e. you have more control over your shots.

Verdict

An extremely consistent and forgiving set that is ideally aimed at the higher handicap golfers.

There will be no disappointment if you are looking for some extra distance

5. Mizuno JPX 850 Forged Iron

Pros

  • Mizuno’s thinnest cup face ever
  • Stratospheric high ball flight.
  • Sticking to the greens will not be a worry
  • Triple cut sole
  • Consistency

Cons

  • Not for high handicap golfers

Intended for the mid-handicap golfer, Mizuno has certainly hit the mark with its variety of JPX 900 Irons. Golfers on both sides of the mid-handicap category will not derive any benefit from the set but then again it is designed for a specific category.

Clubhead

The Power Frame enveloping the perimeter of the head offers firmness where it is needed to boost forgiveness. The face is manufactured from Chromoly 4140M which was introduced into golf club manufacturing not so long ago.

This aided the Mizuno engineers to generate an ultra-thin face that facilitates the ball to trampoline off the face and deliver that extra distance.

Shaft

The lightweight True Temper Project X LZ Shaft comes to a Standard shaft on the JPX 900 range.

Sound and Feel

The urethane microspheres engender a comforting effect and lessen the vibrations and also helps in crafting a silky sound.

Technology

The engineers have been extremely successful in increasing the ball speed through the 360-face cup and VFT (Variable Face Thickness) technologies.

The structure is 15 percent stronger than the hitherto used 17-4 pH stainless steel by applying Chromoly 4140M. The CORTECH multiple thickness design generated a super-thin face that optimized the distance achieved.

Performance

It is implausible that a well-struck shot will end up anywhere other than on the green and improbable to be short of the green.

Verdict

The JPX is a truly forgiving iron that produces speed and distance without sacrificing accuracy.

6. TaylorMade Aeroburner HL Combo Set

Pros

  • Reasonably priced for 7 irons
  • A dark matte finish produces less sun glare
  • The High MOI head design allows more stability and forgiveness
  • High launch from the low CoG
  • Speed Pocket

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • It can provide more feedback

The TaylorMade AeroBurner HL is a less expensive version of the RSi and M1/2/3/4/5/6 series irons. Although a very forgiving club, it does not incorporate the face slots found on other clubs.

Clubhead

There is an enormous amount of forgiveness and confidence as a consequence of the high MoI on the larger head design. A low CoG and a thin face with a high-speed trampoline impact generate more than adequate distance.

Technology

Although TaylorMade based the Aeroburner on the speed pocket technology the face slots found on the RSi TaylorMade irons have been excluded from the AeroBurner range.

Performance

You can expect to attain huge distances and a high trajectory from the AeroBurner HL as a result of the COR face design’s capacity to maximize ball speed. The high launch is created by the low CoG and the head is stable and very forgiving. Golfers will find that they have more confidence looking at more offset on the shaft and thicker top line with a longer blade.

There is ample feedback from good contact between face and ball and even on mishits.

Verdict

The TaylorMade AeroBurner HL offers Speed Pocket technology and is configured for a higher launch angle and increased speed. Definitely, a set for golfers to evaluate in the under $500 category. The AeroBurner HL delivers supreme forgiveness and belief that you will attain adequate distance regardless of the connection between club and ball.

7. Wilson Staff Men’s D200 Golf Iron Set

Pros

  • Forgiveness and distance in one club
  • Exceptionally reasonably priced
  • Terrific looks
  • Consistently long and accurate
  • Remarkable feel and sound
  • Cavity Back Design
  • High ball trajectory

Cons

  • There have been reports of equipment breakdown

Wilson Staff has produced wonderful looking clubs that work exceptionally well for numerous years and the D200 is no different. Playing from the rough will be less demanding and performance will be more predictable when using the D200.

Clubhead

The FLX Face Technology presents the full face open at contact thus promoting a high launch and increased distance.

Shaft

You can choose either of the tried and tested a Matrix Ruiz A-Type Graphite Shaft or the KBS Tour 80 Steel Shaft and the trusted Wilson Staff Tour Traction Grip makes contact between hand and club an absolute pleasure.

Sound and Feel

You will be exceedingly delighted with the look of the D200. There is a thick top line with adequate offset and the elegant brushed chrome finish that is characteristic of Wilson that is especially attractive at address while the customary red Wilson Staff badge completes the look.

Technology

The urethane filled power holes combined with the FLX Face Technology present phenomenal flex on the face. The evenly distributed weighting on the perimeter throughout heel to toe delivers a lower center of gravity and heightened forgiveness.

Verdict

Consistency in length and direction are features to be expected from Wilson Staff. Golfers will not regret assessing the Wilson Staff Clubs.

Final Thoughts

We certainly hope that you found this piece valuable and enlightening and that there is something that will aid you in reaching the appropriate conclusion.

There are numerous sets on the market offered under $500 and each one has its specific benefits and drawbacks. Some are from earlier releases but still relevant in this market that will help you move in the appropriate direction.

Ultimately the selection that you make has to be the right fit for you. While these are all great options, the Callaway X2 Hot Iron Set stood out as the winner in this category. They are top quality clubs at a great price and feature leading Callaway technology.

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