'A bad workman blames his tools'. We've all heard that one when we look to upgrade equipment in life. I always like to tell the naysayers 'a master craftsman knows when they need replacing'.
Now you might not be a master craftsman just yet, but maybe you're upgrading from a set that doesn't suit you or a used set your buddy gave you from his dad's garage. Maybe, like me, you're looking for something a little more forgiving to get that confidence back up by hitting some greens!
Whatever your situation, it's an exciting adventure and finding that set of irons that gives you an extra club in distance or the confidence to have a good whack at the ball is so rewarding. If you're looking for forgiving irons, keep reading below.
Getting a new set of clubs is one of the best investments you can make in yourself as a golfer. The clubs nowadays have been designed to make golf easier and more fun without any stress when you're standing over the ball. Get a new set of clubs when you feel your clubs are holding you back. The difference will be amazing when you hit that ball and think you've hit it badly but it still gets to the green!
My best friend, Harvey, has just dropped his handicap from 10 to 4 in three months after his clubs went missing on a recent trip to Italy. He got himself some more forgiving irons than the muscle backs he was playing with and instantly he started finding the sweet spot again and now he has to give me shots on the course for a change!
If you're a beginner golfer, another option is to investigate getting a complete set of golf clubs.
It's practically impossible to hit a bad shot with these clubs. They're a hybrid style set that have massive sweet spots and only know one direction: STRAIGHT. A perfect set for you if you struggle to hit high handsome iron shots as a mid to high handicapper.
The most forgiving irons:
The basic idea is to find the easiest clubs to hit and cavity backs are the right choice.
Taylormade have gone the extra mile with the M2 Super Game Improvement irons. They’ve created a hollow Speed Pocket behind the face to make the face flex and give you more distance anywhere you hit it on the face.
The sweet spot is so wide; it extends almost the entire groove area so when you mishit the ball it still goes a long way and straight as an arrow..
Taylormade's M2 set has been specially designed to increase the height of your shots. The short irons get up quickly and mid irons are so forgiving, you'll think they're wedges. With that increase in height, the ball comes down soft to stay on the green and give you more birdie and par putts.
Balls launch high when you hit them and the wide soles help to get under the ball especially in deep rough to get your golf ball moving toward the green and out of the weeds. The heavy perimeter weighting means you can swing it and trust the club to do the work for you. There's no stress wondering what's going to happen next.
Taylormade has designed the M2 iron set with forgiveness in mind. They're extremely accurate irons and with the offset hosel, cavity back design, they tick all our boxes. I recommend the 5 iron to PW or the 4 iron to PW set as one of the most forgiving irons today.
The new M4 irons from Taylormade have a large sweet spot and very forgiving on both toe and heel mishits make these clubs a mid-handicappers dream. The extra forgiveness away from the sweet spot is from the slots cut out on either side of the grooves.
At address, the clubs look very strong and feedback from each shot is consistent with the clubs having a crisp reverberation at impact. For game improvement irons, they have a good degree of workability and so are even a good choice for players of mid to mid-low handicap.
These are great clubs to pair with one of the Taylormade hybrids to complete the set. Add a forgiving fairway wood to that and you'll have a set you can use for a long time.
Summary is that the M4’s are a real go to club for both good players and those looking to improve their game.
The HB (Hi Bore) irons are the new Super Game Improvement clubs from Cleveland designed to help you hit more consistent shots with ease. We're talking straight to the target and way up in the air. They're almost impossible to mishit.
It's not the first time Cleveland have produced these weird looking clubs. The older Cleveland Altitudes won over a lot of golfers with their extreme forgiveness and consistent ball flight. This style of progressive hybrid and iron combination set's really easy to hit and the only thing stopping most golfers from switching over to them is ego. A lot of golfers want to look like the pros with standard looking irons in their bag.
But if you're struggling to get the ball to fly decent distances with standard irons, these clubs could revolutionize your entire golf experience.
The set starts with a 4 iron shaped exactly like a hybrid and as the set progresses toward pitching wedge, the hybrid back of the club gets smaller until you can't see it on the pitching wedge. The thick sole created by the hybrid design of the irons makes them easy to hit out of any lie. It just can't be stated enough how easy they are to hit.
Cleveland have colored the hybrid back of the irons black to calm down the appearance to give it a more streamlined look because it can be distracting if you're used to standard irons.
Do yourself a favor and try these clubs. You might find they're the most forgiving irons you've ever hit.
The Rogue irons make golf a hell of a lot easier and far more fun!
While the Cleveland Hi Bore irons in this guide might scare you because of the beginner-ish looks, Callaway took your exact worries and created the Callaway Rogue irons. These clubs look good, like old-school-Ping-iron good. Even though they don't look like Max Game Improvement irons, they are.
We all need help with hitting a golf ball and these fit the bill. If you need some help getting it in the air and keeping it there, the Rogue irons have been designed to solve that problem. They've also put urethane inside the wedges for a softer feel with a more muted sound.
I highly recommend any set starting with 4 iron and ending in PW or SW depending if you own your own Sand Wedge. Check out my guide on the best sand wedges for bunkers.
In the bag, you won't notice the huge cavity back and extra wide sole which makes your golf bag look more like a pro's and less like a handicap golfer. When swinging the club, you'll notice the extra weight in the sole gets more weight under and behind the ball for superior shots that fly high and far, landing softly at your target.
Well struck shots sound pure to the ears and feedback from the clubface is sufficient to tell you when you've hit it flush and when you've mishit it. The best part for you is the mishit isn't going to be 30 yards short of a well struck shot. These clubs are forgiving, and give you maximum distance for your efforts.
Wilson may have fallen out of favor in recent years but Arnold Palmer put them on the map all those years ago. These D200 irons are an excellent budget option for mid to high handicappers. The D means Distance so expect the focal point of this club to be power and not finesse while the shafts are all Uniflex. If you're a super fast swinger (100 mph+ with the driver), you want to check out other options with stiffer shafts.
Despite the low price, the D200's pack a punch. They offer great feel when you make contact with the ball with excellent control and forgiveness so you know the ball is going in the direction you intend. Picking the right ball to pair with these clubs will improve your game tremendously if you're a 16+ handicapper.
The raised section on the sole of the club is narrower than the D100 model and is designed in this way to allow the club to skip through the turf and get under the ball without digging into the ground. That's a major help for getting the ball airborne.
It's easy to be convinced by all the marketing of the big brands but there are some value sleeper sets out there and this one made the list because the clubs are quality and can give most of these clubs in this category a run for the money.
From an aesthetics point of view, I believe these Launcher CBX irons are the most beautiful in the category. They also added a nice touch of putting the lofts of your clubs on the sole. I like that. The lofts are stronger than most sets so you'll see an increase in distance.
The stock shaft in the club is very light and allows you to generate quite a bit of clubhead speed which of course means more distance. Couple that with the fat top line of the club and it's like you're swinging Thor's hammer onto the ball.
Longer irons in the set are setup with a dual shaped cavity back and strong looking top line meaning the focal point here is distance and power with less waywardness. The short clubs (8 iron and down) are designed for more precision and spin than 7 iron up.
By including a cavity near the hosel of the club, Cleveland have moved the sweet spot more toward the center and toe of the club. As a toe-y ball striker, I like this feature.
Overall, a beautiful looking club with a strong top line and sweet spot to give you forgiveness and make it easier to hit the sweet spot. A milled face with precision grooves mean you get the benefits of a game improvement iron without the loss of back spin usually associated with that.
When you hit more greens and hit straighter shots with confidence, you're gonna enjoy golf. When you know where the ball is gonna go, you'll love golf. A set of forgiving irons designed for your skill level can get you there.
To do this, golf clubs need to:
Like with drivers and fairway woods, iron sets need to be very forgiving. It’s very common to miss the sweet spot quite often. Forgiving irons are designed with huge sweet spots so even your mishits find the sweet spot! You still end up around the green on a mishit, instead of in the deep stuff or 40 yards short.
Buying a set of irons is a big investment but the improvement in your game with a set of Max or Super Game Improvement irons will be dramatic. While your swing naturally develops, the game improvement irons you use will enhance your results by giving you extreme confidence regardless of how you’re swinging.
Two things: shafts and club head design create the most forgiving irons.
There are two types of shaft in irons – steel and graphite. Graphite is very popular in drivers and hybrids. For irons, the extra weight offered by steel gives golfers a better “feel” than graphite.
Graphite can help with distance and should be looked at if your swing speed is very low. The reduced weight of the shaft can help you pick up a few more mph in swing speed and with that, more distance.
As a general rule, steel shafts are the best option for the vast majority of golfers and a Regular flex is going to be the best for most golfers based on swing speeds.
It's always best to go get tested and get advice from a fitter or a local pro to truly maximize your purchase to your requirements.
There are 2 club head designs:
Cavity back irons usually have perimeter weighting, which is just a jargon term to mean they hollow out the back of a muscle back iron and put that spare metal around the border of the back of the club.
The perimeter weighting thus adds more weight behind the ball on off-centre strikes.
A muscle back iron the pros use has the majority of its weight mainly behind the TINY sweet spot. If you miss the sweet spot on a muscleback, the pain that shoots up the club into your fingers is stunning!
The cavity back iron with perimeter weighting has a massive sweet spot for forgiveness.
The wider sole lowers the clubs center of gravity which means more weight can get under and behind the golf ball on your shots. This produces an arching high ball flight even on mishits.
The extra beef on the sole will improve shots where you hit the ground before the ball too. That extra weight will “bounce” off the ground instead of digging into the earth like a thin sole would.
Additionally, newer golfers and high handicappers hit more balls in the rough and a wider sole will move through long or thick grass easily, allowing for good contact with the ball. The most forgiving irons out there will get you out of every lie: rough, sand, hard-pan and yes the fairways!
According to club designer Tom Wishon, “Offset is a design in clubheads in which the neck or hosel of the head is positioned in front of the face of the clubhead, so that the clubface appears to be set back a little from the neck of the club.”
“The more offset, the farther the head's center of gravity is back from the shaft. And the farther the CG is back from the shaft, the higher the trajectory will be for any given loft on the face. More offset can help increase the height of the shot for golfers who have a difficult time getting the ball well up in the air.”
The most forgiving irons on the market are going to have offset hosels. The low handicappers playing blades or muscle backs have such skill to square the club face at impact, they don't need the offset. The offset encourages a draw and reduces workability of the club to hit fades. Highly skilled players want to hit the ball both ways.
These are for low handicap and professional players. You'll get there one day but for now they wouldn't be a wise investment. It would be like starting a video game on Expert setting from the beginning. These 'Tour' clubs are not the most forgiving irons as you can imagine.