Best Irons For High Handicap Golfers

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Updated January 2021

Need irons that can help minimize those mishits and let you enjoy a day out on the course with your friends?

Golf should be fun, no matter what your skill level. Not every golfer wants to spend hours at the range perfecting their swing.

Top Pick

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Combo

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Runner-Up

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

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Budget Pick

TaylorMade M4

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You can also check out our guide to the best fairway woods for high handicappers to round out your bag.

The great part about this game is that golf club technology has improved to the point that the best irons for high handicap golfers can let you have fun and enjoy the game even if you’re just a weekend warrior that plays for enjoyment rather than competition (although they can give you an edge over your other high handicap friends too!).

If you want to know our top pick right now, we chose the Callaway Big Bertha Combo Irons. Callaway has been focusing on game improvement technology for many years and these irons are no exception.

Before you go chasing all those distance claims though, check the lofts of the clubs. Manufacturers have been jacking up the lofts on irons to make you think you’re hitting that “7 iron” farther when in fact you were really just hitting a 6 iron that says 7 iron on it.

Irons are for hitting targets, not winning long drive competitions. So forget about the distance when it comes to irons. If you’re a high handicap golfer, you need forgiveness and a clubface that will help you get the ball up in the air even when you mishit it.

For more, keep reading…

Best Overall | Callaway Big Bertha B21 Combo Irons

The Callaway Big Bertha B21 Combo Irons have all the game improvement technology a beginner needs and the inclusion of matching hybrids with the set work well as a combination.

Click below to compare pricing and customization options…

High handicap golfers need all the help they can get. The Callaway Big Bertha B21 Combo Irons deliver on exactly that. Callaway as a club manufacturer was one of the first major brands to focus on giving the high handicap weekend warrior as much help to enjoy the game as possible.

The B21 irons contain all the same tech as the Mavrik Irons including the Flash Face and Jailbreak technology. This results in ball speeds near the same as the Mavrik Irons when you hit the center of the clubface.

The difference is that the B21 Irons are designed to give you a higher launch with less spin. This means more distance with the same swing speed compared to other irons.

Keep in mind though, that the Big Bertha B21 Irons are stronger lofted than many other models out there. For example, the 7 irons has 29 degrees of loft (the prior Big Bertha 7 irons had 30 degrees). So if you compared them head to head, the B21 should go farther on loft alone.

But irons aren’t all about maximizing distance, its about consistent distance. This is where the low center of gravity and wide sole really helps high handicappers. The low CG helps you get the ball launched up in the air even on thin hits. The wide sole will help the club resist digging into the ground if you hit the ball a little fat, instead causing the sole to glide along the ground and get the sweet spot to the ball.

The bottom line with these clubs is that they will give high handicap players the best chance to hit the ball straight without much lost distance for off center hits.

In addition to the core that is the “engine” of this club, Callaway has also added the 360 Face Cup. This face is designed to increase ball speed on mishits. This is designed to be particularly effective on hits lower on the face.

Pros

Lots Of Game Improvement Tech
High Ball Flight
Farther Than Most Irons
Black matte finish looks cool

Cons

Expensive
Less bulky than others in this category
Black matte finish not for everyone

Runner-Up | Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Irons

The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Irons are distinctly super game-improvement irons and they look it. The entire iron set is a little bit of a blend between irons and hybrids. This is exactly what makes them perfect for high handicap players. This blended design is perfect for high handicap players that need the help of the hybrid style throughout the set.

Click below to compare pricing and customization options…

These irons pack hybrid forgiveness into the entire set of irons. The wider body hybrid heads offer a lot of extra forgiveness over traditional irons.

The easiest to hit irons we’ve ever made.

Cleveland Golf

The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Irons use a hollow construction that is popular in woods and hybrids is becoming more and more and popular in game-improvement irons.

The size and shape of the head will give you confidence at address. They just make you feel like you can hit the ball well. Confidence at address is an important but underrated aspect of golf irons.

The thick sole is great for those of you that tend to hit irons a little fat. A thick sole like this helps the club glide along the turf rather than dig into it. It may seem like a tiny thing but a few millimeters less fat can be the difference between getting the ball all the way to the green and leaving it short.

Better players don’t like wide soles like this because they make it harder to control the ball flight this design is perfect for those of you that need a little assistance.

Pros

Lots of forgiveness throughout the set
Hybrid design
Wide sole helps on fat shots

Cons

Less ball control with short irons
Bulky look even on short irons

Budget Pick | Taylor Made M4 Irons

Even though the Tayloe Made M4 Irons are not the latest generation from the company, they are still very high-quality irons that are perfectly designed for high handicappers and are available at a very good price now.

Click below to compare pricing and customization options…

Compared to the M3 model, the M4 has a larger face and stronger lofts. These are two clear indicators of increased forgiveness.

The technology in these irons is called “Ribcore” by Taylor Made (all the companies make up these weird names for marketing purposes).

The Ribcore technology consists of stability bars on either side of the face that helps the clubface flex more with impact. This, along with the face slots cut into the club, helps even slower swingers generate more ball speed, even on off-center hits. More ball speed means more distance.

Taylor Made also claims that the Ribcore system gives the cub a better feel. High handicap players shouldn’t be too concerned with how the ball feels off the club, but it’s a nice feature.

In addition to the added forgiveness, the M4 also has an increased offset hosel. This means that the face is set back from the hosel, giving you a little more time in your swing to square up the clubface. An offset head is a great feature for those of you that tend to slice the ball.

Lastly, the M4 irons are going to be a low spin club. That is also ideal for high handicappers as it works to reduce slices and hooks and adds distance to your shots. Keep in mind that less spin also means it can be harder to hold the green on long iron shots, but don’t worry about that as a high handicapper. It is more important to get the ball to the green on a consistent basis at this level.

Pros

Least Expensive On This List
Good Game Improvement Tech
Combo iron/hybrid set

Cons

Older Generation Club
Less Custom Options Available Now

Lightweight Option | Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Irons

The Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Irons will help you increase your swing speed and make it into the honorable mentions here because they hit all the important features that high handicappers should be looking for.

Like their F-Max Superlite drivers, these irons are designed for high handicap players with moderate swing speeds. The lightweight of this club will help you get the club through the ball faster and therefore generate more distance.

Click below to compare pricing and customization options…

These irons feature a deep undercut cavity back design that will give you great forgiveness, especially in the mid irons. The long irons in the combo set are replaced with hybrids which is what I recommend for high handicap players.

The set makeup is dependent on which flex shaft you choose. The regular flex option includes a 4 and 5 hybrid and then has more classic irons down to the pitching wedge. The lite flex includes a 5 and 6 hybrid and then classic irons from 7 iron through to the gap wedge. This makes sense as slower swing speed players should probably be using a fairway wood rather than a 4 hybrid anyway.

Cobra also includes custom options.

Pros

Hybrid combo set makeup
Good forgiveness
Superlite is great for slower swingers

Cons

Bulky looking compared to others on this list
Not ideal for faster swing speeds

Traditional Look Option | Wilson D7 Irons

The Wilso D7 irons round out the list. The WIlson D7 Irons are a great lower-cost option for high handicap players that need a little extra help and want a sleeker profile iron.

Click below to compare pricing and customization options…

The Wilson D7 irons are the upgrade to the Wilson Staff D300 irons from 2017. They have made some great improvements this year and if you are a fan of Wilson, then you’ll probably like these.

The D7 irons have a little bit more of a cleaner look than their predecessor. Wilson removed the slots on the top of the club that were visible at address. Frankly, they were distracting and reminded you that you were using a super game improvement club. That typically doesn’t instill much confidence.

These irons actually look clean at address, which is good for a game improvement club. But despite the clean look, they deliver on high ball speed and solid forgiveness.

Pros

Less expensive
Good distance and ball speed
Game improvement tech in a classic look

Cons

Low swing speed players may not see the same benefits
Won’t get much on resale

What High Handicap Players Should Look For In An Iron Set

As a player that is starting to improve your swing and get some good results, this is a great time to think about upgrading your clubs, especially if you have been playing with clubs designed for players of a lesser skill level.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the number one necessity for high handicap players.

If you don’t hit the sweet spot consistently, then you need irons that are going to minimize the effect of those mis-hits.

Mis-hits result not only in results that are off-target but can also create a lack of consistency. That means that if your mis-hits are significantly shorter than the well-struck shots, you never know what club to use.

Do you play for the mis-hit or play for the perfect shot?

With very forgiving irons, there will be less of a difference between the two. That will help aspects of your scoring that depend on consistency, like learning and implementing good course strategy.

Hybrids In Place Of Long Irons

High handicappers should not be playing classic 3, 4, or 5 irons. Replace them with hybrid clubs.

The sets on this list are either combo sets that replace the long irons with hybrid clubs or simply use the hybrid style in all the clubs in the set.

Hybrids are specifically designed to be lighter, larger sweet spot, and have a lower center of gravity.

This design also helps to get the ball up in the air more quickly. This is especially important with your long irons. Traditional long irons require decent club speed and a solid strike to get the ball going on the right trajectory. Slower swing speeds will result in low shots that are hard to control.

So for high handicappers, having hybrids in place of the long irons is extremely helpful. Many of the sets on this list either include hybrids as part of a combo set or all the irons in the set are hybrid style irons.

Combo sets like these are a great way to ensure your irons and hybrids are designed to work together and feel more consistent from club to club. It is also less expensive than buying the hybrids separately.

Resale Value

This may seem like an odd thing to look for when you are buying a new set of irons, but it can be important, especially for high handicap players.

Irons more than any other clubs should match your skill level. As you improve, you may want to sell or trade-in your high handicap irons for a set designed for better players. That means that picking a brand that holds its value can be an important consideration.

The big ones on this list to look for are Callaway and Taylor Made. Both of those brands will retain their value pretty well as they continue to be popular year over year.

Common Questions

Should I Buy Irons Online?

Buying online is a great way to get the best prices on a set of irons. I recommend buying from a store that has a favorable return policy in the event that the clubs turn out not to be right for you. Check out our guide to buying golf clubs online.

There are two things you want to be aware of though. First, forged irons are able to have their lie angle adjusted so you can take care of that after you get them and decide you want to keep them. Second, be sure the place you buy them has a decent return policy in case you hate them.

What is considered a high handicapper?

There is no set rule about how high your handicap has to be in order to be considered a “high handicap” player. For the purposes of this buying guide, we focused on players with a handicap 18 and above.

The focus is on golfers that need a little technology to help get the ball up in the air and on a consistent trajectory in the right direction.

When Should I Consider Buying An Iron Set For High Handicappers?

Irons designed for high handicap players are great for those of you that struggle with scoring, keeping the ball in play, and mis-hits. The wider sole and hybrid style of such irons are going to help make the game more enjoyable. Not everyone needs to or wants to spend time practicing and working on their swing. So if you just want to go out there and have some fun on the course, then high handicap irons are perfect for you.

Should I Choose Steel or Graphite Shafts For My Irons?

Most players would be better off using steel shafts in their irons. Steel shafts are a little heavier and sturdier and will allow you to have more control over the club. Because clubhead speed is less important in iron shots than drives, you’ll be better off with the steel shafts. However, if you struggle to create enough swing speed to get the ball on a good trajectory, then graphite shafts may help.

Important SpecsCompare Prices
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Combo
Lofts
7i/29°, PW/43°
Stock Shafts
Recoil ESX, Recoil ZT9,
KBS Max 90



Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
Lofts
7i/30°, PW/44°
Stock Shafts
True Temper DG 98,
Miyazaki C Kua (graphite)



Taylor Made M4
Lofts
7i/28.5°, PW/43.5°
Stock Shafts
KBS Max 85,
Fujikura Atmos RED


Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo

Lofts
7i/31.5°, PW/45°
Stock Shafts
KBS TT Superlite,
Cobra Superlite 55 (graphite)



Wilson D7

Lofts
7i/28°, PW/43°
Stock Shafts
KBS Tour 80,
UST Recoil (graphite)



Looking For More CONSISTENCY in your game?

these simple tips will help you develop a more effective and consistent way to practice…

Try our free driving range practice guide. 7 simple steps to ensure that you make the most of your time at the range.

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