Best Golf Irons Buying Guide

Irons are arguably the most vital part of your golf bag, if not the most. They are critical for approach play which goes a long way in winning tournaments, lowering your handicap, and eventually becoming a scratch golfer. Therefore, most golfers look for the best golf irons that can help them improve their game. 

However, buying irons is a lot more complicated than other golf clubs. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that irons represent a class of golf clubs rather than a single club. Iron sets usually include 6 golf clubs, beginning from 3 or 4-iron and ending with pitching or a sand wedge. 

Irons can also be classified into several types based on different criteria. Other factors like shaft material, brand, and price also play a crucial role in determining the best golf irons for you. That is why, before you go out to purchase the best golf irons, you must educate yourself about certain aspects. 

We have compiled the most important factors about buying the best golf irons into a comprehensive buying guide. 

PRICE

Golf is a rich man’s sport; however, many of us are often on a tight budget. Generally, if you go for a lower-priced golf iron, chances are you’ll compromise on many exciting features. Don’t worry; we have mentioned a few golf irons that are affordable and lower-priced than other more expensive irons. Despite this, these best golf irons come with a host of sophisticated features and technological enhancements that ensure consistent and reliable performance. 

Still, you should create a budget for your golf irons and jot down all the options that fall within that range. We suggest choosing the best golf irons that offer maximum features at the lowest price. You should check out our best value option above. 

FORGIVENESS

Whether you’re buying the best golf irons or any other golf club like a driver or a putter, forgiveness will always play a critical role in your purchase decision. The most commonly agreed-upon definition of forgiveness in the golfing community is the golf club’s ability to enable high-quality shots even if the contact is improper. In other words, a forgiving golf club will “forgive” badly hit shots and help improve your game. 

All golf clubs, including the best golf irons, come with a built-in sweet spot. Your aim should be to make contact at this sweet spot when you swing. This will ensure maximum ball speed, distance, a high launch and a desirable flight path. Forgiving golf irons will have a broader sweet spot that covers a significantly larger clubface area. This dramatically reduces the chances of mishits, even on low-face and off-center hits. 

That is why, you should always look for golf irons that offer maximum forgiveness, even if they don’t provide much speed or distance. In general, more expensive golf irons with cutting-edge features are more forgiving than others. 

FEATURES AND TECHNOLOGY

Corporate competition is something that you’ll notice in every industry, and golf is no different. The golf club industry is full of notable brands owned by gargantuan multinational conglomerates. These corporations are driven by profit and are always looking for ways to beat their competitors.

Modern golf companies including Srixon, Callaway, TaylorMade, and others bolster their golf irons with state of the art features and technology. Technology has proven to be an effective means for golf brands to get ahead of their competitors. Ultimately, golfers are the winners as they get to play with some of the most technologically advanced golf clubs. 

We recommend you read all the features of these best golf irons carefully and choose those that suit you. If you’re looking for more forgiveness, you should look for the best golf irons with a bigger sweet spot instead of one that focuses on speed. 

SHAFT MATERIAL AND FLEX

Shaft material and flex are two factors you cannot overlook when looking for the best golf irons. Graphite and steel are the two most common choices for material, and each one comes with different benefits. Your final decision should be based on whether you’re looking for precision or want to improve your slow swing speed.  

If you want more precision and accuracy, steel shafts will suit you. Steel is a stiffer and heavier material than graphite, which causes it to flex less. This less flexibility and high stiffness ensure high accuracy in your shots. your shots are more stable and accurate. 

In contrast, graphite shafts are a better option if you’re focusing on speed and distance. Graphite is a lighter and more flexible material than steel, causing it to flex more and is ideal for golfers who need help with slow swing speed. However, you should keep in mind that graphite shafts will provide additional speed but compromise the shot accuracy. 

Shaft material is another important aspect you should keep in mind while purchasing the best golf irons. The general rule of thumb is to choose a stiffer flex if you swing fast and vice versa. Most people are comfortable with a regular flex, but you should try stiff or extra stiff flex if you swing fast to have more distance control. 

CONSIDER OFFSET IRONS

Generating a higher launch angle is a problem that several golfers face during their careers. Offset irons are a unique way to achieve steeper launches and higher speed without modifying your swing drastically. There are various other ways offset irons can be a decent choice for you. Here are the three important ones. 

  • Help In Fixing The Slice

The primary advantage of offset irons is they are beneficial in fixing the slice. Players who slice the ball more often should consider switching to offset irons. Offset irons come with a natural draw bias position, which minimizes the side spin and keeps the ball path straight. 

  • Keeps the Clubface Square 

By using offset irons regularly, you will develop a habit of leading with your hands instead of the clubhead. The goal is to maintain a square clubface upon impact, ensuring straighter shots. As you lead with your hands, the likelihood of a square clubface increases dramatically.  

  • Increases The Launch Angle

Ball flight is among the primary concerns of manufacturers while designing golf clubs. Mainly, it depends on the spin rate and launch conditions. Offsetting is among the most reliable techniques that help in optimizing the spin conditions, causing a higher launch angle. 

BLADE OR CAVITY BACK

Before choosing the best golf irons, you should have some prerequisite knowledge about cavity back irons and blade irons

Blade irons were the original irons and have a rich and profound history. They had no competition before cavity back irons hit the market in the 1980s.

Blade irons are appropriately named as they have a blade-like construction and design. These are sleek and more compact. Manufacturers use a single piece of metal to make a blade iron, creating a compact and clubhead design.  

In contrast, Cavity back irons are more recent and arguably more advanced than blade irons as they came out a few decades ago in the 1980s. They were introduced as an alternative to the traditional muscle-back irons or blade irons. The original blade iron design had a heavy mass at the clubhead’s backside.

However, golf club companies explored new avenues and created a new design with cavity back irons by making the backside hollow. This novel and innovative design made the golf irons far more forgiving without compromising the ball speed and long distances of blade irons.

How Many Irons Should You Have

Beginners and amateurs are often unsure how many irons they should keep in their golf bags. There’s almost no debate in the case of short irons, as very few golfers omit short irons from their bags. Nearly everyone agrees it is a better option to always carry short irons. 

The dilemma arises when long irons are concerned. Long irons are complicated for many golfers because of their complex structure. People struggle with long irons as the technique to hit long irons can take several months to masater, if not years. This is the one of the main reasons many beginners and high handicappers are not the biggest fans of long irons. Rather, they’re better off with a hybrid where they would generally use a long iron. 

If maximizing your distance is your main goal, long irons won’t be of much help to you. Our advice is that you consolidate your grasp of short irons first before you move on to long irons. 

Should You Include A Hybrid

As we mentioned above, long irons are extremely challenging and can overwhelm beginners who have recently embarked on their golf journeys. These players can get the best result by replacing their long irons with a hybrid golf club. Hybrids are very versatile and can be used in multiple situations on the golf course.

Here are a few reasons you should include hybrids in your golf bag. 

  • The primary differentiating feature of hybrids is their large clubhead than irons. This larger clubhead has a deeper center of gravity (CG) than irons. 
  • This low center of gravity makes hybrid golf clubs are more forgiving than long irons, leading to consistent and reliable shot quality on a more extensive area on the entire clubface. 
  • On the other hand, long irons could be the toughest golf clubs to hit. Even the smallest mistake in the swing posture or technique can cause you to slice or hook the ball.
  • It can take months or years for players to get the hang of long irons. In contrast, you can be an expert at hitting hybrid golf clubs in only a few months.
  • The low COG also deserves huge credit for the higher launch and ball flight thace delivers a longer carry distance than long irons.  
  • Hybrids are more versatile and give you more control and stopping power on the green. 

Should You Buy Wedges

Many experts view wedges are often as a part of the irons family, and many brands offer these as part of the irons sets. Most irons sets come with sand and a gap wedge, so you don’t need to worry about buying these separately. Some beginners and high handicappers decide to skip these wedges, hoping to serve the same purpose with their hybrid or fairway woods. 

However, this can backfire baldy and turn out to be a huge mistake. Sand and gap wedges are designed for particular purposes on the golf course that no other club can fulfill. For example, the sand wedge is among the golf clubs with the highest lofts and can come in handy when you’re stuck in a bunker and want to reach the green in a single stroke.