If you’re new to golf, you should invest in the right equipment to improve your performance. While it’s normal for you to have more off-center shots than on-center ones, you can save time and energy if you acquire golf clubs that complement your play style and current handicap level. Thus, let’s take a look at the best irons for beginners and high handicappers.
The first thing you must know is the purpose of irons. Among all of the golf clubs, irons grant you with a variety of shots. Whether you want short-distance shots or long and high-angle shots from rough lies, the right iron should do the job. This is why half of a set of golf clubs will be made up of different irons.
Compared to woods, irons have shafts that are shorter in length. Also, the irons have clubheads that are made of iron or steel. These clubheads are also quite large and are designed with grooves to help players with the ball spin. Now, let’s look at the various types of irons.
There are only two short irons in an iron set. Known as the 8-iron and the 9-iron, these types are for steep-angle shots that you’d want to accomplish to get out of tight lies. To help you in getting the ball high in the air, short irons are designed with a very short shaft and the highest lofts. Usually, you can switch from short irons with the high-loft wedges.
The next three irons that are numbered lower than the short irons are the mid irons. While their loft is not as high as short irons, they can still help you have high-angle shots. One advantage of mid irons 5, 6, and 7, however, is that you can curve your shots with them. If there are slopes at the path of the ball, the sizable and forgiving clubheads of mid irons can help you get the ball past these obstacles.
The third type is the long iron, which is composed of the irons numbered from 1 to 4. Instead of steep or curved shots, these irons are primarily for long-distance shots with a flat trajectory. Thus, long irons are what you rely on to put the ball as near as possible to the green from the fairway.
Here’s a video discussing the irons typically found in a set:
Before you get yourself a good set of irons, here are some of the features that you need to be acquainted with. Knowing these aspects will help you spend your money on the right equipment.
When it comes to the back of an iron clubhead, you can pick between a cavityback and a muscleback. The former is what beginners should use. In fact, even professionals can benefit from cavityback players. Simply put, cavityback irons have great forgiveness compared to muscleback irons.
You see, a muscleback is characterized by the bulky back of the iron clubhead. This design gives the iron a high center of gravity (CG), which is great for advanced golfers who want low-trajectory shots. On the other hand, the cavityback has a hollow back. This clubhead back has a low CG, which is what high handicappers need to improve the ball flight. Furthermore, cavityback irons help make off-center shots less disastrous.
Since the back section is hollow, the mass of the iron clubhead is shifted to the perimeter. Otherwise known as perimeter weighting, this characteristic increases the moment of inertia (MOI) to reduce the amount of ball distance loss during mishits. While cavityback irons won’t completely prevent you from committing off-center shots, these faulty moves will have less drastic effects on your overall performance.
While other golf clubs are meant for maximizing power and distance, irons are primarily built to give you a good amount of control and feedback. With the right material, you could quickly discern whether you had an on-center shot or a mishit. While there are other clubhead materials such as composites or titanium, you can always rely on steel. Not only is it extremely durable and less expensive than titanium, but steel clubheads give a satisfying feedback.
Apart from the clubhead, you need to specifically check the clubface. Look for an iron with a relatively large clubface. This enhances the likelihood of hitting the sweet spot instead of having off-center shots. Having perfect on-center shots is not a realistic expectation, so a large clubface should at least make your off-center shots better in terms of distance and direction.
If the sole of your irons is wide enough, the clubs will go through the grass smoother to sustain the speed and power. When your swing has no obstructions, it becomes easier to perform high-angle shots. You’ll often hit a good amount of grass with your swings as a beginner, so a wide sole should remedy that problem.
Finally, you should consider the type of shaft. You can pick between a steel shaft and a graphite shaft. Take note that the material significantly affects the flexibility of your golf club. If you have a slow swing speed, you should choose a graphite shaft. Thus, the lightweight shaft can readily bend a considerable amount and improve the ball distance.
If you have a normal or fast swing speed, you are better off using a steel shaft that has a low amount of flexibility. Since you already have no problem with the speed, the stiff steel shaft will help you in terms of accuracy. Also, a steel shaft provides good feedback to inform you of your off-center and on-center shots.
Our first set of irons comes in variants for both left-handed and right-handed high handicappers. You can pick between a regular flex and a stiff flex depending on your swing speed. Speaking of speed, Adams Golf has the Velocity Slot Technology, which improves both flex and ball speed no matter where the ball comes in contact with the clubface.
Likewise, the low and back CG could help you get the ball high up in the air. Similarly, the SlimTech Shaft ensures that ball launch should not be problematic. Using the Adams Golf Blue Combo Irons, a high handicapper could get 10 or so yards more of ball distance. One factor to this is the forgiving graphite shaft. Another notable feature is the white lines that you can use for aligning your shots.
Up next, we have the irons set from Callaway that also offers a graphite shaft, two flex options, and variations for left-handed and right-handed golfers. To help you get the right shot even if precision needs improvements, Callaway used the Variable Face Thickness (VFT) and the Hyperbolic Face Technology. These give a sizable clubface that ensures a big sweet spot.
Even if you commit off-center shots, ball speed and distance should still have some degree of consistency with the Speed Frame Face. This technology was first applied to the Callaway drivers, but this also works to sustain ball speed and power when you are using irons. In addition, the Callaway X Hot Iron Set features a deep clubface that’s been designed to keep a low CG.
Furthermore, the Callaway X Hot Iron Set has the Feel Management Technology, which uses a dual-material medallion. Through this innovation, the irons could give you a better and more satisfying feedback, especially when you conduct fast swings.
Our third irons come from Cobra King, which provides both the regular flex and the stiff flex. Perhaps the most notable technology of the F6 Iron Set is the TecFlo construction. This preserves the sleek and iconic look of the progressive irons. Also, the TecFlo design utilizes progressive hosel lengths and wide soles to support beginners hoping to improve their ball launch.
Moreover, Cobra King uses an aluminum cap instead of a steel cap for the dual-cavity hollow irons. This allows the irons to have as much as five grams of discretionary weight for a low and back CG. Thus, you could improve the ball flight with whatever angle you choose.
To have the right ball spin, the irons are designed with V-grooves, U-grooves, or wedges-spaced grooves. Consequently, these irons get an impressive visual look along with sheer durability thanks to the nickel chrome plating and the gunmetal PVD coating.
This is quite possibly the first iron set from Titleist that is specifically built for high handicappers. For one, the clubface has thin walls and is large enough to reduce the number of off-center shots. Likewise, the cavityback is massive enough to keep a low CG.
While the feedback isn’t spectacular, it’s good enough for you to detect when you made an on-center shot or not. If you do have off-center shots, the direction and distance of the ball won’t be severely affected due to the tungsten weighting that is located at the heel and toe section of the irons.
Finally, we have the forged irons from Mizuno. Just with one look, any golfer would appreciate the sleek and professional design of the Mizuno JPX EZ Forged Irons Set. In fact, the appearance does not affect your performance due to the anti-glare property of the irons.
As for forgiveness, Mizuno shifted the weight of their forged irons around the corners of the cavity. This should give a low CG for high-angle shots. In addition, the Triple Cut Sole could help keep your swings smooth and fast no matter which lie you are playing from. This is due to the beveled leading edge and the hard-cut trailing edge.
In addition, the JPX EZ forged irons utilize the 1025 Boron material to create clubfaces with very thin walls. This construction could improve the ball distance and the feeling of handling the irons. On the other hand, the short irons have relatively thick clubfaces to support high-trajectory shots.
Overall, our favorite irons for beginners and high handicappers have got to be the Callaway X Hot Iron Set. This is an extremely forgiving set of irons due to the large sweet spot. Thanks to the Variable Face Thickness and the Hyperbolic Face Technology, you have irons that can flex better inward upon impact when you commit off-center shots.
These innovations improve the swing speed and lead to better ball distances. Furthermore, the feedback is excellent due to the Feel Management Technology. Thus, you have a set of irons that looks great and is also very forgiving in terms of ball flight, control, speed, and distance.
In addition, we also think that the Cobra King F6 Iron Set is the perfect mix of irons for beginners. Depending on the iron type, you can expect to notice different groove designs that provide the right amount of ball spin. The set is a good investment due to the well-designed irons and wedges included. Also, the Cobra King irons look sleek and are proven to be durable.
Overall, we hope that you learned a lot from our guide. As long as you know the elements that make an iron forgiving, you should be able to hone your skills in no time. If you have any queries, feel free to give us a comment.
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