If you’re new to the game of golf, then your score is probably more than a little discouraging, especially your first few months on the green. However, you may have noticed that your score has gradually improved and you’re starting to get the hang of it, yet you want a surefire, faster way to lower your score, and one that won’t take several weeks of golf lessons and practice sessions at the range.
Did you know that the best irons for a beginner can actually have a major impact on how you play, how far you can knock a ball, and can even help shave off some strokes?
Of course, nothing can really replace the hours you spend on the course practicing, but if you don’t have the time, or you don’t have the money for expensive golf lessons, then using the right tool for the job can make all the difference in the world.
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Choosing a Club that Matters
There are many different types of golf clubs to choose from, but the right club for you should work with your skill level and help you focus on any weak areas in your game. Additionally, while high-quality irons have many of the features you need to improve your golf game, even the styles of these specialty clubs can vary from brand to brand.
Before you start ordering every iron online that claims it can improve your score, put some thought into the types of features a club should possess that will help improve your golf game the most. As a beginner, you probably struggle at times to get the ball in the air, while experienced golfers will usually have issues with precision and getting enough distance.
I’ve reviewed several of the leading iron sets and individual clubs that are designed to help you learn how to score in golf. I somehow managed to narrow down my choices to a total of five individual clubs and one set of irons. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists what each club can do for your golf game, in addition to cost, their rating, and more.
Golf Irons Comparison Chart
Best Overall-MAZEL Golf Individual Iron for Men
If you’ve ever played golf, then you are probably aware of how invaluable the seven-iron is and you may even rely on it often. But if your game is struggling, then it makes sense to upgrade your seven-iron with a club that has a reputation for being beginner-friendly and one that can instantly improve your club control, ball speed, and distance. This model by Mazel is one of their top-selling clubs. It features a larger clubhead, not to mention a bigger sweet spot, making this one of the most forgiving irons on the market. The club will boost your distance and improve ball speed. The club’s one-piece face design will increase your shot accuracy and striking precision, instantly improving your performance.
Basically, this is a club that can take your game to a whole new level. If you’re embarrassed to practice on the green when low handicappers are around, the club’s low key design, and its performance-boosting features will give you the confidence you need to get back on the course and put your skills to the test.
Top Choice for Distance-Callaway Golf 2018 Men’s Rogue Individual Iron
Introducing the Rogue, one of Callaway’s best-selling irons and a club that can take your game to new heights. This club is very golf-tech heavy. It features 360 face cup technology, variable face thickness, and is designed to improve distance and ball speed. The design utilizes urethane microspheres in the clubhead, which can improve the feel of the club, how it sounds upon impact, and also works to absorb vibrations. This can give the player better feedback and more confidence with each swing.
The manufacturer claims that this club can add some serious yardage to your game, while boosting ball speed, and offering ultimate playability and forgiveness. It’s the type of club that you’ll find yourself using more often than your seven-iron, simply because it’s specifically designed with the beginner in mind and provides the type of characteristics you need in order to experience some real progress on the course.
Improves Ball Speed-Callaway Men’s Big Bertha Individual Iron
This club by Callaway earned a perfect score for many reasons and it’s considered by many players to be the best iron on the market. The club’s design offers maximum forgiveness and is designed to improve distance and ball speed. The club itself will feel good in your hands, featuring a sleek, modern design that’s very eye-catching on the green. The club’s design allows for a higher launch thanks to its lower center of gravity. The innovative face design sets you up for success, giving you the distance and shot precision you need to improve your overall performance.
This club can be used by players of all skill levels, even though it was designed with the beginner in mind. Overall, you’ll fall in love with the club’s softer feel, stellar performance, and a design that will improve how you play the game.
Most Forgiving-Cobra Golf Men’s King Utility One Length Iron
This club by Cobra is designed to give you an edge on the course. It comes loaded with many benefits that can improve distance and ball speed, giving you the confidence on the course to keep at it. The one length design makes the club more forgiving and can give your shots the consistency you’re looking for.
The club’s tungsten weight placement and the hollow club design will instantly boost distance, trajectory, and consistency. This club focuses heavily on playability and forgiveness, which is the way it should be with clubs that are designed for the beginner. Using irons in general can be very intimidating for new players, but Cobra’s innovative club design will give players confidence in their striking ability and encourage them to get back out on the green to improve their shot consistency and precision.
Hands down, the King Utility is a club that’s a total game-changer. While some beginners may be hesitant to invest in a single iron, this is a club you should definitely consider if you’re serious about lowering your score and adding yardage to your shots.
Best Iron Set-RAM Golf EZ3 Men’s Iron Set 5-6-7-8-9-PW
If you’d rather invest in an entire set of irons designed for beginners, as opposed to an individual iron, then this set by Ram can suit your needs out on the course. While the clubs are pretty forgiving and easier to use than a standard set of irons, they don’t come loaded with the type of golf tech you can expect to find in specialized single irons. However, they can change your game for the better, especially if you’ve found yourself struggling with traditional clubs. This set comes with irons from five up to nine and includes a hybrid club in place of a three and four-iron.
Most players will find the hybrid more forgiving than the traditional three and four-irons. The manufacturer excluded those clubs from the set since more and more players have stopped using them since they’re so hard to hit with. Instead, many players are turning to hybrids because they’re more forgiving and offer ultimate playability, especially when compared to those particular clubs.
Overall, this set includes clubs that are designed with the beginner in mind, so you’ll find that they’re more forgiving, however, they’re nowhere near as playable as the individual clubs included in my top six list.
Excellent Playability-TaylorMade Golf M6 Iron
This club by TaylorMade is for players of all skill levels, although it’s specifically designed with characteristics that the beginner will benefit from. However, considering the club’s modern, tech-heavy design, don’t be surprised to find low handicappers using this club as well. The club’s larger profile at address will boost your confidence, as will the satisfying sounds it makes upon contact.
The club offers excellent playability and forgiveness. It’s designed to improve speed, power, trajectory, and distance. It’s a great club with a modern design and it’s one that will immediately feel at home in your hands. Every golfer on the course is familiar with this manufacturer and the fact that they produce some of the best clubs on the market.
This club, in particular, has all the right features that players of every skill level will love. Despite its steep price, this is one club that’s worth investing in if you really want to see some major improvements in your game.
Golf Irons Buyer’s Guide
A newbie golfer may not realize just how much an individual iron can change how they play golf. But there are many specialty irons on the market these days that can help you hit farther, boost trajectory, increase ball speed, and give you the confidence you need to keep practicing. While it’s true that a club won’t make you a low handicapper overnight, the right club can take your game to a whole new level. However, finding the right iron isn’t exactly easy, since there are dozens of models to choose from. Price can definitely be an issue since many of the top-selling specialty clubs tend to come with a high price tag. However, if you’ve ever hit with one, then you know these clubs are worth every penny.
Choosing a Club that Will Have a Positive Impact on Your Performance
There are many golfers who spend a lot of time practicing driving fundamentals, choosing the right driver, and learning short game basics. But these same players will breeze over what type of iron to use and will stick to the ones that come in their beginner golf set or use irons they’ve been playing with for years. But consider this, you will only use your driver to make around twelve hits per round, but you’ll use your iron to make anywhere from twenty to forty-five hits per round. Because of this, it makes sense to put as much care into choosing the right irons as it does picking out a driver.
Irons come in a wide variety of styles and designs that are meant to suit different skill sets. The blades of the iron are more directed toward better strikers. These are the irons that don’t offer much forgiveness when you don’t hit the center of the clubface perfectly. Using special clubs called cavity backs can remedy this and are directed towards beginners in need of a club that offers better playability.
This means if you accidentally hit the ball off-center you won’t be punished so severely. Most irons that are designed for newbies will make it much easier for you to make that connection and can give you the confidence and motivation to keep at it.
Searching for a Better Outcome
Consider your usual outcome when you shoot with an iron. If you have noticed that you’re rarely able to get the ball in the air, and instead it takes off on a line drive or maybe it tends to run along the ground, then you may need a shorter iron.
If you usually make great contact with the ball using your traditional iron, but you often come up short or you just miss the green, then you may need an iron that targets mid handicappers, not beginners.
An iron designed to improve your performance as a beginner will curb any slice and help you get that ball into the air. These clubs will also provide a consistent and reasonable distance from club to club.
They may also be slightly more forgiving when it comes to mishits. You should look for a model that comes equipped with an oversized head. These larger heads will give you more confidence when you’re staring down at the ball.
Hybrid or Specialty Iron?
Most beginners tend to jump at the chance to use a hybrid. These hybrids are designed to combine the best features of both the fairway woods and the irons. They usually feature a shaft of the same length, but they offer more loft compared to a standard iron. This is what helps to make the clubs more forgiving.
A hybrid will also feel a lot like an iron yet they have the compact design of the fairway wood. Pretty much every major manufacturer will offer their own hybrids that are designed to substitute the three, four, and five irons. Even a high handicapper will use a hybrid or two. But many aren’t quite as forgiving as the specialty irons designed for beginners.
Shaft Material Matters
Low handicappers tend to prefer using steel shafts, while high handicappers and beginners will often benefit more from shafts that are made out of graphite. Steel shafts tend to send more vibration up the shaft, which can be uncomfortable for some and distracting for others. A stiffer shaft will provide the beginner with more control over their swing speed, which can result in a more consistent, smoother swing.
A light graphite shaft can result in a swing increase of five miles per hour, with an extra ten-yard distance. The graphite shafts feature more flex when compared to steel. It’s this extra flex that can add those yards to your swing.
Unfortunately, the real drawback with the graphite shaft is the fact that it can exaggerate a poor swing and may even end up affecting the golfer’s accuracy. Additionally, shafts that are made out of graphite also hike up the price of the clubs by as much as twenty percent, compared to steel shafts. But this is also how the manufacturer draws you in. Most beginners believe that since the clubs cost more they must play better.
Steel or Graphite?
If you’re not sure whether you should go with steel or graphite, I recommend hitting off some balls with both types of shafts and allowing your swing to determine which type will benefit your game the most. The choice should always boil down to what makes you perform better.
- If you have a swing speed of one hundred miles per hour, then you’ll hit a distance of two hundred and thirty yards, on average.
- If you have a swing speed of seventy-eight miles per hour, then you can hit the ball as far as one hundred and eighty yards, on average.
- It’s important to determine your average swing speed in order to determine what type of flex you’ll need in your next set of clubs.
- Shafts that are extra stiff are perfect for a golf swing that’s over one hundred miles per hour.
- A stiff flex club is ideal for swings that are ninety-five miles per hour or more.
- A regular flex shaft is best for swing speeds that range from eighty-five to ninety-five miles per hour.
- Amateur and senior shafts are for swing speeds of seventy-five to eighty-five miles per hour.
- The ladies flex shafts are for swing speeds of seventy-five miles or less.
Aside from swing speed, your swing quality and tempo will also be a major factor when it comes to choosing the appropriate shaft flex.
Now that you have a solid understanding of some of the irons basic features, let’s take a look at how you can find the perfect iron for your golf game. Swing quality and tempo will also play a role in terms of choosing the right type of shaft flex.
Cast Iron and Forged Irons
Both cast iron and forged iron clubs were made out of molten metal at some point in their construction. A forged iron club comes from billets of steel that is stamped using a tremendous amount of force. This stamping closely aligns the club’s structure, for a better feel. Cast iron heads are created by molten steel that’s poured into molds. These days, casting technology has come a long way. The heat treatment after the casting process, combined with the type of material used, results in a cast head that feels just like a forged head.
A wider sole often means lower down, you’ll deal with more weight. This is what helps to get your ball up in the air. A heavier low end also means that it won’t dig so much at impact. Basically, irons with a wider sole can significantly improve your game. Clubs with a narrower sole are usually found on irons designed for the pros. Some models will come with a type of beveled sole which allows for improved interaction with the turf, yet it cuts down on energy at impact.
Clubs with a large amount of offset are typically found in clubs designed for beginners. The offset is what sets the face of the club behind the hosel. This will give you more time to square the face upon impact. Seasoned players will usually have clubs with less offset since the leading edge is typically more in line with the hosel. This will make it much easier to shape the club since the center of gravity is pushed further forward.
Most manufacturers claim that you’ll get accurate gaps between every iron in a set, however, you should look at the gaps between the longest iron you’re confident hitting with and the next one you have, whether it’s a hybrid or a fairway. You don’t want to have two clubs that go the same amount of distance. It’s also important to consider the gaps between any wedges you have and your shortest iron. The goal should be standard gaps of ten to fifteen yards at the most.
What are Hollow Body Irons?
Hollow body irons seem to be growing in popularity since they’re able to deliver the same type of playability that hybrids and fairway woods do. Usually, the heads on these irons are made out of a couple of pieces and feature a springy steel face that is welded on. A hollow-body iron can be a great choice if you find hybrids easy to hit with and want an iron that improves distance and ball speed.
How to Use Your New Iron
The grip is the first area to pay close attention to when you’re using your new iron. The grip should be set before the hands are turned and the club is placed at address. Doing so will ensure that you’re using the correct grip and it doesn’t create an incorrect clubface angle at impact.
For most irons, the right type of grip involves positioning the club’s grip along the second knuckle of your index finger on your left hand. This should be just below the area where the palm and pinky finger meet. The V that forms between the palm of your hand and your thumb must be pointing towards your chin.
- For beginners, the best stance to use is one that allows them to execute a swing using the proper body mechanics, but it should also feel comfortable as well. For seasoned players, the right stance to use with the iron will involve positioning the ball directly between their feet with their head directly over the ball.
- Positioning the ball midpoint in your stance is one of the best golf grip tips you can follow, regardless of what iron you’re hitting with. Shorter irons should be positioned farther back in your stance, yet doing so can be tricky as far as determining how far forward or back to position the ball in a stance. If you’re new to the sport, always position the ball directly between your back and front foot, and move it farther away or closer depending on the length of the club. For beginners, this will be much easier to judge.
- When it comes to the right swing to use for your iron, choose one that you’re comfortable with. A good golf swing should consist of a clubface that’s square to the ball at impact, good hip and shoulder rotation, good follow-through, and a club that remains on plane throughout the duration of a swing.
This buyer’s guide and my reviews of the best irons for a beginner are designed to help you find a club that will give you the confidence and motivation you need to keep at it and not give up. This is your season. These days, club technology can completely change how you play the game for the better. Remember, by using proper body mechanics, following the right chipping techniques, and consistently practicing, you can easily take your golf game to the next level and beyond.