Many golfers keep their irons for an extended period, between 6 and 8 years, while assessing new releases every year to determine whether there is any innovative technology that will make golf easier and more fun.
Golf irons are generally split into four categories that will be discussed in this article:
- Players irons
- Players distance irons
- Game improvement irons
- Super game improvement irons
As there are many articles available on our website detailing the key factors to consider when purchasing a new golf club set, this article will briefly touch on the factors but focus on the features of the best golf irons in various categories.
- The Composition of Iron Sets
- The Best Irons Buying Guide – Iron Types
- Choosing the Right Shaft
- The 7 Best Golf Irons
- 1. Best Value Players’ Irons – Srixon Z 585
- 2. Best Blade Irons – Wilson Staff Model Blade Irons
- 3. Most Forgiving Super Game-Improvement Irons – Callaway Apex Irons
- 4. Best for Low Handicappers – TaylorMade P790
- 5. Best for Distance – Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
- 6. Titleist Men’s T300ii Golf Iron Set
- 7. Callaway Mavrik Pro
- Best Irons 2022 FAQs
- Final Thoughts
The Composition of Iron Sets
Most sets of irons consist of:
- Long irons
- Mid irons
- Short irons
Long irons have low lofts with longer shafts making them amongst the most difficult to hit. Initially, long irons ranged from a 1-iron to a 5-iron. Occasionally, golfers regard the 6-iron as one of the long irons.
Over the last decade, more brands changed the set makeup to start from a 3-iron. With the popularity of hybrid clubs growing and being sold separately, many brands have started excluding the 3-iron.
These include a 6-iron and 7-iron aimed at longer approach shots with a higher ball flight.
The 8-iron and 9-iron are categorized as short irons to enhance accuracy on short approach shots with a high ball flight for stopping the ball on the green.
Most sets include a Pitching Wedge (PW) and Sand Wedge (SW) as standard but there are a variety of lofts available to suit your requirements ranging from 50 degrees up to 64 degrees and even higher lofts.
High handicap golfers and beginners require more forgiveness and therefore a clubhead that offers forgiveness on a larger part of the face.
The Best Irons Buying Guide – Iron Types
When choosing the right set of irons for you, there are a few designs to consider.
Cavity Backed Clubs – Available in Most Iron Sets
Cavity-backed clubs have a lower center of gravity that sits further back for forgiveness and to increase the launch angle. These clubs have become extremely popular and some professional golfers use clubs with some level of a cavity.
Blades – Best for Professionals
Blades are extremely unforgiving on any off-center strike and are mostly used by professional and highly experienced golfers that find the center of the face with every shot.
Players’ Irons – Best for Elite Golfers
Players’ irons are ideal for the top one percent of golfers. That is golfers with a single-digit handicap. These are mostly available as blades or with a minimal cavity back. Although they are some of the best-looking clubs available, it is only recommended for quality ball-strikers since the clubheads are generally small and unforgiving.
Center strikes travel further and provides an exceptional good feel and feedback making these clubs ideal if you want to shape shots.
Players’ Distance Irons – Best for Forgiveness and Distance
Unlike players’ irons, players’ distance irons are suitable for a wider range of golfers. Aesthetically and the clubhead size are similar to players’ irons while offering more forgiveness and distance.
Game-Improvement Irons – Most Used
Game improvement irons are the most used category covering golfers between 10 and 14 handicaps.
These clubs provide more forgiveness than players’ clubs offering a larger clubhead, lighter shaft, thinner clubface, and a more prominent cavity back.
The thinner face provides improved ball speeds and carry distance, even on some mishits.
Super Game-Improvement Irons – Best for Beginners and High Handicappers
Super game-improvement irons are aimed at golfers with a handicap of 15 or higher.
These clubs are generally not the best looking on the market due to the large clubhead. Their forgiving nature make them easier for beginners and high handicap golfers though.
This is quite a long video but it will give you some valuable information in terms of selecting irons as well as the hybrid alternatives for longer irons.
Choosing the Right Shaft
There are two main options for iron shafts these are:
- Alloy steel
Graphite shafts are lighter and can therefore offer greater swing speed but are also more costly. To be truthful, many won’t notice a difference between the overall distance of their full power shots, unless the lighter weight significantly affects that individual’s swing speed significantly.
The 7 Best Golf Irons
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for The Best Golf Irons
|Srixon Z 585||
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|WILSON Staff Model Blades||
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|Callaway Golf 2019 Apex Irons Set||
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|Titleist Men’s T300ii Golf Iron Set||
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|Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo||
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|Callaway Mavrik Pro||
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Srixon’s Z785v forged irons will make you fall in love with this great-looking set of players’ irons.
Following the ever-popular Z565 irons, the Z785 offers the same forged construction combined and forgiveness with a few tweaks to enhance the feel and add some speed off the clubface.
The clubhead remains compact to provide the look and feel of a players’ iron with a slight offset and a generous top line. It is manufactured from Forged 1020 Carbon Steel
Mass distribution to behind the center of the clubface offers a bigger sweet spot and more power. Moving the muscle portion of the back lower and toward the toe enables Srixon to move weight across the head and improve the MOI.
By thinning out the Speed Groove in the SUP10 face insert, Srixon was able to create more flex in the face.
Srixon’s VT sole technology provides excellent turf interaction. The wider sole of the Z585 minimizes turf interaction for consistently solid contact.
The hollow sound produced by short irons may not be appreciated by better players. However, the buttery feel may allow a compromise for the sound.
The confidence-inspiring looks of the Srixon Z585 irons with matching performance are almost certain to enable you to play better golf.
The blade irons from Wilson Staff are a strong lofted set of irons to add distance to its excellent feel.
Although it is aimed at the better golfer in the players’ category, the clubhead size is comparable to game improvement irons. This makes the blade forged irons suitable for a variety of handicaps.
The narrow top edge and the minimal offset make it pleasing to the eye for better strikers of the golf ball. A forged clubhead manufactured from soft 8620 Carbon steel. With a hollow Power Chamber head filled with Urethane combined with the Power Hole technology, Wilsons D Forged irons offer a more flexible clubface while reducing vibration.
Penetrating ball flight is a result of the lower spin generated from the thin-soled clubface.
Stronger lofts add to the distance generated by the Blade Forged irons. Furthermore, the strong lofts enable the Wilson Staff Forged Irons to compete with most game improvement irons in the ball speed, spin, and carry distance categories.
The set comprises a 4-iron to a pitching wedge.
It is a competitively priced set of irons offering good value for money to mid to low handicap golfers.
Apex Irons have a hollow body design that enables them to offer forgiveness within a desirable head shape and size making them one of the outstanding super game-improvement irons.
Unlike most other popular irons, the Apex series comes with a black coating with chrome.
A sleek top edge on top of the precision-machined maraging steel face, combined with the hollow body constructions, provides an irresistible look, and feel. In addition to looks, you can expect a trampoline effect thus generating faster ball speed and penetrating ball trajectory.
The weight distribution of the tungsten weights in the 17-4 stainless-steel body is targeted in the toe and heel areas offering maximum forgiveness.
The sound off the clubface is quite impressive and supplements the good looks.
Although in the upper half of the price spectrum, these irons offers great value for money as super game improvement irons.
TaylorMade is renowned for producing some of the best irons in the industry. The release of the P790 irons has placed them at the top and is arguably the best-looking and performing irons to date.
It comes with a clean look and a forged design and is loaded with technology. Although aimed at the mid to low handicap golfers, they will entice golfers of any handicap level to put them in the bag.
The technology incorporated into the P790 includes SpeedFoam injected into the clubhead to dampen the blow for an incredible feel. SpeedFoam is lightweight and thus should not have any influence on your ability to generate clubhead speed.
The original TaylorMade P790 released in 2017 did not have a forged clubhead but only the clubface. This did not stop it from becoming TaylorMade’s best-selling forged iron ever. The 2017 P790 was the first iron to introduce a hollow body iron market which has become an industry standard for top irons.
In 2019 TaylorMade released the P790 with a thinner clubface and extra tungsten weight. Furthermore, the offset was reduced in the long irons while the short irons’ clubface was made more compact.
Performance-wise the P790s match the aesthetics and offer loads of distance at standard lofts. A combination of workability and forgiveness that was not envisaged by most golfers.
Dynamic Gold S300 shafts replace the KBS Tour shafts previously used in TaylorMade irons. The S300 offers a mid-spin and mid-launch ball trajectory. Optionally you can select UST Recoil graphite shafts.
The set comprises irons ranging from a 3-iron to a Pitching Wedge. No Sand Wedge is included in the standard set.
Although forged irons are generally aimed at better golfers, TaylorMade has produced forged irons that offer feel and workability with the forgiveness of a cavity-backed iron.
Although it is not the cheapest set of irons on the market, it is well worth the price if you can afford it.
Alternatives in the TaylorMade stable include the P760, SIM Max for Game Improvement irons, and the Sim Max OS in the Super Game Improvement category.
Cleveland’s Launcher HB (Hi-Bore) Turbo is one of the most exciting super game improvement irons that offer a complete set including a selection of wedges.
It looks and feels extremely different from the competition with its progressively increasing head size as the club gets shorter and the number on the sole higher. The look is closer to a hybrid design than pure iron.
Larger clubheads have a hollow construction with internal stabilizing ribs for the ultimate in forgiveness. Added on top of the large clubhead is the HI bore crown with the weight distributed low and deep for a high ball trajectory and adding to forgiveness.
Completing the large clubhead is the thin high strength Turbocharged steel face offering trampoline effects for increased ball speeds and distance.
Lofts are strong to add distance to the forgiveness.
The set consists of a 4-iron through a Pitching Wedge, a DW that is also known as a Gap Wedge, and a Sand Wedge.
Priced in the lower to mid-range for a set of irons makes this an attractive prospect for high handicap golfers requiring confidence-inspiring super game improvement irons.
Titleist is a premium brand that offers irons at the top end of the quality and price spectrum.
The T300 range of irons is aimed at mid-handicap golfers that are at the cusp of joining the top one percent of golfers that can boast a single-digit handicap. However, it offers forgiveness that will enable good ball strikers to reduce their scores and handicap.
This combined with the quality of construction makes this a durable set that you can carry in your bag for an extended period.
It is visually appealing with a slightly longer blade length than the Apex range.
Forgiveness is provided by the extra tungsten weight in the toe of the clubhead and a slight offset in the hosel.
Although some golfers expect a drop-off in performance from this set of irons, the distance and accuracy remain at a high level.
Overall, the lofts on the T300 range are stronger than much of the competition and this adds to the distance achieved on every club.
The set consists of a 4-iron through a Pitching Wedge; thus, no Sand Wedge is included.
Pricing is at the top end of the pricing spectrum which is expected when purchasing a Titleist product.
An alternative in the Titleist brand is the T200 in the Game Improvement category.
The Callaway Mavrik Pro iron is another good-looking iron with its light satin chrome finish combined with a profile that will suit mid and low handicap players.
The compact clubface is visually appealing to the better player when placed beyond the golf ball. A thin topline and sole complete the player profile view.
The Mavrik Pro provides the best control and feel of all the clubs in the Mavrik range.
Supercomputer technology has been used in the design of the technology incorporated into the Mavrik range. This includes the super-thin Flash Face design used on the iron clubface that offers a sophisticated face architecture for every loft thus boosting ball speed and producing optimal spin. The additional tungsten weight is positioned to deliver the best possible launch and trajectory.
Flush Face technology is geared to optimize launch angle and ball speed on the long irons, while the mid-iron clubfaces are aimed at providing optimal consistency, speed, and spin. Mavrik Pro short iron clubfaces are designed for optimal precision.
The set consists of a 4-iron through a Pitching Wedge, but no 3-iron and Sand Wedge.
Additional options in the Callaway Mavrik range are the Callaway Mavrik Game improvement Irons and the Callaway Mavrik Max Super Game-Improvement Irons.
Best Irons 2022 FAQs
What Are the Highest Rated Golf Irons?
How Do I Choose Golf Irons?
You should choose based on your handicap and swing style. If you need a little extra forgiveness, then a player’s set of blade irons is not ideal for you. If you need a little extra help with distance, you should account for that too. Something like the Cleveland Launcher series can help with both of those things.
What Irons Does Tiger Woods Use?
Tiger Woods uses a TaylorMade P7 TW Iron Set while on tour.
Do Modern Irons Go Further?
Yes they can, technology has improved over time to allow modern irons to launch the ball further. Yet, it depends on what the manufacturer has included in any particular set of irons as to how much extra distance the club can add.
How Long Do Golf Irons Last?
A good estimate for the life span of a set of golf irons is 8 to 12 years.
How Often Should I Change My Golf Irons?
You should change your irons when they are too chipped to provide the best ball flight or at around 8 to 12 years.
The constant drive to produce better irons and the ever-decreasing sales cycle will damage your budget if you attempt to buy the latest technology release from your preferred brand. Although it is awesome to boast of the latest technology in your bag, it does not automatically translate to better golf and lower scores.
Designers and manufacturers have vastly improved the technology and appearance of golf irons. If you carry irons that are more than 8 years old, you are almost certainly leaving your best game out on the course, or is it inside your bag.
Having reviewed the clubs above there is one set of irons that makes me weak at the knees and that is the Srixon Z 585. They’ve released some extremely beautiful-looking clubs over the last 18 months. As a game improvement iron for mid-handicap golfers, you will have to look long and hard to find anything that compares.
Over and above the looks, the 585 set offers excellent performance making use of the latest Srixon technology.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.