The Most Forgiving Irons in 2020 [MUST READ]

Golf is a complex game and requires every crumb of assistance that you can get. Even the best of the best have days where they cannot control the circumstances.

Did you know that Tiger Woods has shot a few rounds in the ’80s as a professional golfer? Many golfers aspire to reach the milestone of breaking 90 and then 80 but struggle even though they spend hours on the driving range trying to sort out their swing and build confidence.

Acquiring a new set of clubs to replace the worn-out ones you are struggling along with or the set of clubs you inherited from a friend or family member, is not as easy as you may think. There are too many styles and set-ups to just walk into the pro shop and walk out with a set of clubs that suits your requirements.

We will attempt to provide you with sufficient information to remove the stress from the selection process and provide some tips on how you can optimize the assembling of the set of clubs.

The Most Forgiving Irons Are:

What Qualifies As a Forgiving Or Game-Improvement Set of Irons?

Although there are many definitions for game improvement irons we will look at the compilation of the set of irons as a whole to identify what can be extracted from your bag to be replaced with more forgiving clubs.

Irons that are cavity backed and have an offset hosel to fight the slice is very common in the game improvement range. However, not all sets have the same characteristics and you should do your due diligence when deciding what you require.

Several manufacturers have removed the 3-iron from their sets as it is a difficult club to master. In addition to removing the 3-iron, you could easily remove the 4-iron and replace these two clubs with hybrids. They are easier to hit and far more forgiving than the standard 3-iron and 4-iron.

Forged or Cast Irons

You may have seen your favorite golfer strike the ball beautifully and working it in all directions. Then you find that he/she is playing with forged irons and that’s what you want! Arriving at the pro shop you find that the forged clubs are more expensive than the cast irons and you get second thoughts.

The forged irons have a tremendous feeling when the ball strikes the face and produces excellent shots when struck on the sweet spot. Cast irons deliver a different feeling but still produce excellent shots.

Let’s look at the process required for both options and what would suit you best. Forged irons are manufactured from a single piece of pure metal. Cast irons use a cheaper process blending iron and other metals and then pouring it into a mold to cool down.

Blade vs. Cavity Back vs Hybrid

The same favorite golfer as described under the forged vs cast irons plays with these great looking irons with a small head and almost no back. Now, why would that be you wonder?

You will find that there is a very thin face and thin top line on the blade irons. They have a very small sweet spot. This is made for golfers that have mastered the art of hitting the sweet spot more often than not and can shape the ball to draw or fade on demand. Keep on working on your game and you will get there.

Cast irons normally have more of a cavity back moving the weight to the bottom of the club for a lower center of gravity. This allows manufacturers to produce a bigger sweet spot and is more forgiving on your off-center shots. This is the category called Game Improvement Irons that the majority of golfers need to raise the level of their game and eventually play with blades.

A hybrid is where engineers took the best design aspects found in irons and combined it with the best design aspects from woods resulting in the iron swing mechanics and forgiveness and distance provided by a wood.

Steel or Graphite Shaft?

Steel shafts are the most commonly used across all iron sets. This is strong and provides the flexibility that will withstand even the highest swing speed creating more consistency. On the budget side, it is cheaper to produce.

Graphite shafts are more flexible and lightweight by nature. You will in all probability pay a much higher price for graphite.

It will be crucial for you to test both steel and graphite shafts before making your final decision as this forms a big part of your swing. It is advisable to seek professional assistance if you cannot decide on which shaft suits your requirements.

The Most Forgiving Irons Are:

1. Cleveland Launcher HB Irons

Pros:

  • Confidence-inspiring look and feel
  • Magnificent launch angle
  • Forgiving and accurate
  • Magnificent looks with chrome finished face and black badge.
  • Well priced

Cons:

  • Not ideal for some low handicap golfers
  • Some players might not like the full hybrid concept

The Cleveland Launcher HB Irons identified that the hybrid design is a good fit for game improvement sets and kept the concept throughout the set. As the iron number increases and the loft increases, the head becomes slightly smaller and the face takes on the appearance of an iron.

With the forgiveness promoted by the bulk and feel of the wood-like head, there is no sacrifice in distance.

Clubhead

The face of the clubs is manufactured from high-strength steel face that produces excellent ball speed and the Cleveland HB (HiBore) Crown that creates a high launch without sacrificing distance.

Shaft

You have a choice of either the Dynamic Gold 98 Steel Shaft or the Miyazaki C.Kua Graphite Shaft and both work extremely well depending on your swing speed.

Sound and Feel

You can expect a slightly hollow sound but this will in no way distract your attention and detract from the awesome feeling that is provided through the clubface.

There is no complaint about the looks of the HB Launcher set of irons. The chrome finish clubface makes you feel comfortable that you are hitting an iron yet the black of the back will give you the confidence that you have the most forgiving club on the market in your hands.

Technology

The hollow construction created through the use of hybrid technology combined with the increased flex created by the thin face promotes high ball speed off the face and ultimately the extra yards that every golfer yearns for. The hollow head not only generates extra distance but with the lower center of gravity it delivers a better launch angle and more forgiveness.

Another benefit obtained from using the hollow head is that the weight saved was moved to the perimeter creating extra stability and a smaller dispersion in your shots.

Performance

You will gain the benefits from the hybrid construction without sacrificing on either distance or accuracy. This is a set that will provide all the forgiveness required from forgiving irons. You can select any club in your bag, yes even your 3-iron or 4-iron, and be confident that you will be able to play the shot that is required.

Verdict

Forgiveness, accuracy and the looks to go with it makes this a must-try set of clubs and should be high on your list of potentials to try out. It will be highly unlikely that you will get buyer’s remorse after playing your first round with the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons.

2. Ping G700 Irons

Pros:

  • Extremely forgiveness
  • Excellent distance
  • Accuracy is not a concern
  • Great Hydro pearl chrome finish

Cons:

  • Does not provide the best feedback,

When Ping decided to replace the G-Max irons with the G700 irons, they decided that ultimate forgiveness and extra length is what their customers will want in the new range.  Most golfers agree they achieved it perfectly.

Clubhead

The result is a bigger head that shouts out that it is the most forgiving and longest club. Even though there is an offset, you get the feeling that it’s shouting “You can trust me”. Yes, you can trust the G700 irons to provide the forgiveness and the extra length you always wanted.

The G700’s machined C300 maraging steel face has undergone a two-step heat treatment process to add strength allowing it to flex twice as much as its predecessor, creating more of a trampoline effect and the extra distance.

An awesome Hydropearl finish look ensures that you will be the envy of many of your golfing partners seeing that you have managed to combine such an excellent shot producing iron that looks immaculate.

Despite the stronger lofts, you will experience extremely high launching shots that will land softly on the greens. The unbelievable combination of high launch angle of stronger lofts will make your playing partners stare in amazement.

A very generous sweet spot that the Ping engineers produced on the hollow head will just make you believe the shout of “you can trust me” shouted by the G700.

Shaft

The Ping AWT 2,0 steel shaft and the Ping Alta GB Graphite Shaft come in regular, stiff and X Stiff Flex.

Sound and Feel

The Ping G 700 irons have a chunky look with a reasonable offset with strong lofts throughout the range, will make sure your pride is intact when your partners compare the looks of all the irons.

Technology

Ping opted for the hollow body construction with a face flexing steel face to ensure maximum forgiveness and distance. Moreover, a forgiving sole is also placed with a hydro pearl finish to reduce the friction and improve the turf play to a considerable level.

Performance

This club delivers on all aspects of distance, forgiveness, and accuracy. A combination you would expect from such a forgiving club.

Verdict

Good looks, strong lofts, long-distance and easy on your swing, a combination that makes the G700 a club to be reckoned with. Add this on your list to try out and you will find it high on your finale decision-making matrix.

Ping G700 Irons Review

3. Wilson Staff D300 Irons

Pros:

  • Forgiveness and distance in one club.
  • Good looks
  • Consistently long and accurate.
  • Awesome feel and sound.
  • Inexpensive
  • Cavity Back Design.
  • High ball flight

Cons:

  • There is not much to dislike about the D300

Wilson Staff has produced great looking clubs that perform extremely well in the forgiving clubs category for many years and the D300 is no exception.

Clubhead

The D399 is a cavity back iron with built-in FLX Face Technology presenting the full face open at impact resulting in high launch and distance.

Shaft

There is a selection of a Matrix Ruiz A-Type Graphite Shaft or KBS Tour 80 Steel Shaft. Both have been around for many years and are tried and tested.

On the grip front, you can rely on the trusted Wilson Staff Tour Traction Grip for great contact between hands and grip for improved feel on every shot.

Look and feel

You will probably be extremely happy with the look of the D300. There is a thick top line with sufficient offset that is very pleasing on the eye at address. The shiny silver clubhead with a red Wilson Staff badge completes the look and will satisfy most visual golfers.

Technology

In addition to the FLX Face Technology, there are urethane filled power holes that present incredible flex to on the face. The evenly distributed perimeter weighting across from heel to toe provides a lower center of gravity and increased forgiveness.

Performance

Apart from the forgiveness that the club offers it holds to the D in the D300 by providing excellent distance required on forgiving clubs. In the accuracy front, the D300 does stand its ground against heavy competition and will not let you down.

Conclusion

Consistently long and straight is what you can expect from the Wilson Staff D300 club. It will satisfy all your needs in all categories from looks, feel, accuracy, distance, etc. Make sure to put this on your list of clubs to try.

4. Cobra F Max Irons

Pros:

  • Smooth swing.
  • Easy to hit irons.
  • Excellent forgiveness
  • Good looks and feel
  • Fantastic clubhead and fast ball speeds
  • Excellent for lower swing speeds

Cons:

  • Higher swing speeds may not adjust to the F-Max
  • Some golfers may find it too lightweight

Whenever you compile your list of most forgiving irons it is imperative that you add a Cobra to the list. The company has produced magnificent game improvement clubs over the years and the F-Max is no exception to the rule.

Shafts

The Cobra Superlite Steel Shafts come as standard for both men and women although in different weights. On the top end of the shaft, you will find a magnificent midsize Lamkin REL 360 Grip.

Clubhead

The F-Max is designed for forgiveness and optimum clubhead speed. The lightweight construction combined with the deep undercut on the clubhead provides for enhanced flexibility and the swing weights create the ultimate speed for longer ball travel.

The design will assist golfers with moderate swing speed to achieve the fastest clubhead speed possible wrenching out every bit of ball speed that you can muster. The lower center of gravity assists with the launch angle for a higher trajectory and softer landing on the greens.

Technology

The club heads on the 4-iron through the 7-iron is built from a composition of Dünnerem, non-rust steel for increased velocity and distance. The club heads on the 8-iron through the sand wedge consists of 431 stainless steel that provides a softer feel on the scoring shots. The wedges have a harder nickel-chrome finish for durability.

Performance:

Many golfers will be able to perform to their optimum using the F-Max by Cobra. Distance, accuracy, and forgiveness come standard with this edition.

Verdict

Cobra has always excelled in the forgiving iron market and the F-Max is no exception. If you have a slower swing speed this could benefit your distances and accuracy tremendously.

5. TaylorMade M4 Irons

Pros:

  • Consistent and accurate.
  • Loaded with technologies.
  • Super feel with a crunchy sound.
  • Can’t ask for more forgiveness

Cons:

  • The gap between irons may be too big

Anytime golf equipment is discussed you will hear the name TaylorMade come up. This is a result of the company producing so many winners in irons, drivers, hybrids, and other clubs.

In our opinion, the M4 remains one of the most forgiving irons on the market and very few golfers will not put this ion their acquisition list.

Shafts

There are two options to select from when choosing the M4 namely the KBS Max B5 Steel Shafts and the Fujikura Atmos Red Graphite Shafts. Both are extremely flexible and supportive of the majority of swing speeds. There is a selection of regular and stiff Flex to cater for a vast range of golfers.

The comfortable TM Dual Feel Grip rounds off the desirable feel of the M4.

Clubhead

The powerful RIBCOR frame transfers maximum energy in your shots which leads to higher launch and extra forgiveness. Moreover, the speed pocket technology and face slots are also optimized by the Taylormade engineers to produce the ultimate results.

With the high MOI design and a perfect mass distribution system, you will always achieve much better ball speed and improved forgiveness.

There is not a lot you can say about the performance of the M4 other than “WOW”! It excels in every aspect providing you with distance, accuracy, and forgiveness.

Verdict

It is a difficult club for other manufacturers to compete against and sets the standard in forgiveness and excellence. This is a club that should move you up the ranks very quickly and you may not want to let go of it.

6. Callaway Rogue Irons

Pros:

  • Consistency and precision.
  • More forgiveness
  • Height and distance in one club
  • Good to look at

Cons:

  • The good looks can be spoiled by scratches
  • Sound can detract from the overall package

Callaway expects the Rogue irons to produce up to 50% of their sales due to the popularity of the club and it’s not surprising having a look at the presentation of the package and the performance that it provides on the course. There is an internal standing wave infused with tungsten, which is heavier than steel,  and the additional weight optimizes control and ball flight.

Shaft

The Callaway Rogue irons offer lightweight True Temper XP 95 Stepless and Aldila Synergy 60 shafts that are slightly longer than the standard shafts that you will find on equivalent irons. This combined with a stronger loft provides excellent distance. The shafts are finished off with a Lamkin Z5 grip.

Clubhead

Improved ball speed on center and off-center hits are generated from the VFT (Variable Face Thickness) technologies that Callaway brought into play here. Ultimate forgiveness is generated from an extra-large head with an offset and a wider sole.

Look and feel

The improved feel that you get from the irons is brought about by the use of urethane microspheres that reduces vibrations.

You can’t help but feel extremely confident when standing over the ball with the larger head and wider sole. It provides you with a feeling that you cannot mishit with such a large sweet spot.

This is truly a nicely finished off club with the chrome finish of the clubhead.

Technology:

This club comes with Face Cup and VFT technology for improved ball speed and the associated increase in distance. The high-density tungsten created a lower center of gravity for increased stability. Look and feel was improved through the use of urethane microspheres that can be found behind the face.

Our Verdict

Technology meets purpose. The technology implemented in this club fulfills the promise that it had and will provide all the distance and accuracy combined with a great look and enhanced feel.

This is not a club to ignore when finalizing your top list of game improvement irons.

7. Titleist 718 AP1 Irons

Pros:

  • improves forgiveness from Tungsten weights
  • Extra fast ball speed
  • Pleasing on the eye
  • Hardly any vibrations on impact

Cons:

  • Could hurt your budget

Titleist is renowned for producing excellent irons for golfers that have achieved a high level. However, they have produced a forgiving club to provide maximum distance and forgiveness! This is the most forgiving club ever produced by Titleist.

Shaft

The shaft selection varies from regular to stiff shafts available either as a True Temper AMT Red Steel Shaft or a Mitsubishi Tensei Graphite Shaft.

Clubhead

The heavy 56 g tungsten weights inserted in the clubhead creates enormous forgiveness while the ultra-thin clubface enhances the ball speed for extra-long shots.

Look and feel

This is not the ugly duckling in the forgiving iron category. You are presented with a shiny finish and a cavity back.

Technology

There are more than enough technology in this iron to make sure that you can join the conversation when your partners start evaluating the technical details of their clubs.

Performance

No doubt you will enjoy the result of shots that this iron can produce. Bad shots there maybe but you would not be able to blame that on the AP3 irons.

The ball launches high and there will be very few occasions that you will be short of the green and then be able to hold the green.

Verdict

Titleist created a perfect fit into the forgiving market and will not be a disappointment or a reason for you to blame the tools for poor performance. Try it out and you should reap the benefits shortly afterward.

8. Mizuno JPX 900 Forged Irons

Pros:

  • Thinnest cup face ever by Mizuno
  • Stratospheric high ball flight.
  • Holding the greens will not be a concern
  • Consistency

Cons:

  • High handicap golfers could struggle

This is a truly forgiving iron that generates speed and distance without sacrificing accuracy.

Shaft

Standard shafts on the JPX 900 are the lightweight True Temper Project X LZ Shaft.

Clubhead

This is one of the very few forgiving irons that are in the forged iron category. The Power Frame surrounding the perimeter of the head provides rigidity where it is required the most enhancing forgiveness. The face is produced from Chromoly 4140M which was only recently introduced into golf club manufacturing. This enabled the Mizuno engineers to create an ultra-thin face that enables the ball to trampoline off the face and provide that extra bit of distance.

Look and feel

Reduced vibrations from the urethane microspheres make this a club that generates a calming effect knowing that you are not going to experience a shock effect. This also helps in creating a smooth sound that will not send you to the nearest audiologist.

The clubhead is finished in Chrome with a Cavity Back Design. The hosel has an extra bend enabling you to angle your shots to perfection.

Technology

The 360-face cup and VFT (Variable Face Thickness) technologies are aimed at a single purpose and that is to increase the ball speed, and yes the engineers have succeeded in this.

The Chromoly 4140M construction is 15 percent stronger than the previously used and 17-4 pH stainless steel. Maximum distance is achieved through the super-thin face combined with the CORTECH multiple thickness design.

Performance

Should your shot end up short of the green it could only be the result of a mishit. This is not a club that will drop a reasonably well-struck shot short of the green.

Accuracy and length consistently are what you can expect from the JPX 900.

Our Verdict

You will achieve great ball trajectory, forgiveness and accuracy. This might be on the bubble as a forgiving iron but would stand you in good stead as your game improves.

Mizuno JPX 900 Irons Review

Conclusion

The forgiving iron market is extremely competitive and all manufacturers are competing in this arena. It would be extremely brave to say that we have tested all the best irons in this category but we believe it is a good sampling of the leading options available right now.

There are a few clubs that stand out and tend to be the market leaders. Our favorite has to be the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons. There are a number of reasons for this. The hybrid design of these irons make them easy to play and highly forgiving.

This is something the majority of golfers will appreciate although better golfers might want a bit more playability.  For the rest, they will give you confidence and the forgiving design should result in greater accuracy as well as distance. They look good and are affordable.

None of the clubs in this review will let you down on the course and it will come down to personal preference and eventually to brand attachment for some golfers.

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