Updated March 2022
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.
So I tried out a bunch of the current irons designed for high handicappers like you and here are the ones I think will give you the best chance to level the playing field.
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. They were good enough to make our overall best irons list too.
Callaway Big Bertha B21
Familiar Big Bertha name, forgiveness, and distance with all new modern tech built in.
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.
|Stock Shafts||Recoil ESX, Recoil ZT9, |
KBS Max 90
|Available Irons||4i (19°) through LW (60°)|
But irons aren’t all about maximizing distance, it’s 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 of 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.
Lots of game improvement tech
High ball flight
Flies farther than most irons
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.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
Hybrid style design throughout the set is perfect for those of you that tend to miss with thin and fat shots.
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.
|Stock Shafts||True Temper DG 98, |
Miyazaki C Kua (graphite)
|Available Irons||4i (20°) through SW (54°)|
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.
LOts of forgiveness throughout the set
Wide sole helps minimize fat shots
Less trajectory control on short irons
Hybrid style not for everyone
Taylor Made M4 Irons
Even though the Taylor 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.
Prior generation design will save you some dough but still give you a lot of help getting the ball to the green.
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.
|Stock Shafts||KBS Max 85,|
Fujikura Atmos RED
|Available Irons||4i (19°) through SW (54°)|
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.
Good game improvement tech
Available as an iron/hybrid combo set
Prior generation club
Fewer custom options available now
Best Irons For A 30 Handicap | Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Irons
The Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Irons will help you increase your swing speed as well as being extremely forgiving for golfers in the 30 handicap and up range.
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.
Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Set
Light design and forgiving clubhead can be a big help to those that need extra assistance.
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.
|Stock Shafts||KBS TT Superlite,|
Cobra Superlite 55 (graphite)
|Available Irons||4i (20°) through SW (55°)|
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.
Iron/Hybrid Combo Set
Light weight is great for slower swingers
Not ideal for fast swing speeds
Bulky design not for everyone
Traditional Look Option | Wilson D7 Irons
The Wilson 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.
Low-cost option with classic looks but a lot of game-improvement tech built-in.
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.
|Stock Shafts||KBS Tour 80,|
UST Recoil (graphite)
|Available Irons||4i (19°) through SW (54°)|
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.
Good ball speed off the face
Classic look without sacrificing much forgiveness
Not great for slow swing speeds
High Handicap Irons Comparison Table
What High Handicappers Need To Know When Choosing Irons
Here are a few things you should be aware of when choosing the right irons for your game, especially when you’re a high handicapper.
Iron Choice Can Affect Distance
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!).
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.
This is counteracted by the lower center of gravity in these types of irons that launch the ball higher. So you end up with shots that fly higher with less spin which means they will go farther. The increased height helps you stop the ball on harder greens even with less spin.
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.
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 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, have a 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.
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 club 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.
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.
What Is The Easiest Iron To Hit?
The easiest irons to hit are generally those with more loft such as an 8/9 iron or pitching wedge because they are shorter, easier to control, and the added backspin will reduce sidespin and help you hit the ball straighter.
However, when you get to the extremes of loft with a club like a lob wedge (58° to 60°) the added loft can make it more difficult to make solid contact.
What Are The Most Forgiving Irons?
The most forgiving irons are any set that is designed similar to hybrids or those that include hybrid-style irons commonly referred to as game-improvement or super game-improvement irons.
The lower center of gravity and additional mass behind the face of the club makes them much easier to hit well and minimize distance loss on miss-hits.
Fitting Irons To Your Swing
Even when your swing is inconsistent, there are still some factors that you need to take into consideration when choosing the right specs for your iron set. In general, most amateurs will be ok buying clubs online or off the rack, but you may need to get some things adjusted, like the lie angle once you have them.
Here are a couple of things to be aware of when buying them.
Choosing the right shaft flex can be based on a combination of your swing speed and a more subjective “feel” factor.
Your swing speed with irons will vary based on what club you’re swinging, so it can be helpful to make the choice based on your driver swing speed. More players know that number than their swing speed with their irons.
Here’s a chart that will give you a general guideline for choosing a shaft flex.
|100+ mph||Stiff or X-stiff Flex|
|90-100mph||Regular or Stiff Flex|
|80-90 mph||Regular Flex|
|Under 80 mph||Senior or Women’s Flax|
These are general guidelines though. Some fast swing speed players like the feel of softer shafts and vice versa.
Also, as a high handicap player, it is generally a good idea to stay away from X-still shafts. They can cause more harm than good.
Choosing a club/shaft weight that fits your swing can have a positive effect on your game.
A lighter club will help increase swing speed. This is a good idea for slower swing speed players to help them add a little distance.
A heavier club can help give you more control of the clubhead. This can have a positive effect on your consistency. It may cost you a little swing speed, but the added consistency can improve your game.