Best Irons For High Handicap Golfers (2020 Guide)

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    Need irons that can help minimize those mis-hits 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.

    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.

    CLICK HERE to check availability on Amazon or CLICK HERE for custom orders on TGW.

    Best Golf Irons For High Handicappers (2020 List)

    Click the links below for custom options available.

    7 iron/PW LoftStock
    Shaft
    Callaway Big Bertha Combo30°/43°Recoil ESX, Recoil ZT9,
    KBS Max 90
    Best Overall
    Cleveland Launcher HB30°/44°True Temper DG 98,
    Miyazaki C Kua (graphite)
    Runner Up
    Taylor Made M428.5°/43.5°KBS Max 85,
    Fujikura Atmos RED
    Best Value
    Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo31.5°/45°KBS TT Superlite,
    Cobra Superlite 55 (graphite)
    Best For Slower Swings
    Wilson D728°/43°KBS Tour 80,
    UST Recoil (graphite)

    Best Irons For High Handicap Players

    Best Overall

    Callaway Big Bertha Combo Irons

    High handicap golfers need all the help they can get. The Callaway Big Bertha 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.

    Since then, Callaway has been the leader in the super game-improvement category of irons. The Big Bertha Combo Irons are the latest model that delivers the forgiveness that you need and want from this type of club.

    Best Overall For High Handicappers

    Callaway Big Bertha Combo Irons

    The Callaway Big Bertha 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.

    The bottom line with these clubs is that they will give high handicap players the best chance to hit the ball straight and far.

    The 2019 version of the Big Bertha Irons are actually slimmer than the OS 2016 version. Despite the slimming down of the club, they managed to add more game improvement technology to these clubs.

    Typically, good looks and game improvement technology usually do not go together. But Callaway has actually done a great job doing so with these clubs. This is one of the main reasons they made it to our top pick.

    The main feature to talk about in these clubs is the “Suspended Energy Core.” I’m no engineer, but Callaway describes this as a tungsten core suspended in urethane spheres. Urethane is the same material that is used for the cover of premium golf balls.

    This core is designed to deliver long-distance, great feel, and a straight ball flight.

    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.

    The matte black finish is one of my favorite parts of this club. As a high handicapper, having cool looking clubs might be just as important as clubs that help your shots. The finish on these clubs looks great and is sure to capture the attention of other golfers.

    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 Irons

    The Cleveland Launcher HB 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.

    Cleveland says that these are, “forgiving, easiest iron sets to hit in golf.”

    Runner Up

    Cleveland Launcher HB Irons

    The Cleveland Launcher HB Irons are a blend of irons and hybrids that are perfect for high handicap players that need the help of the hybrid style throughout the set.

    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 Cleveland Launcher HB 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, but as a high handicap player, this is exactly what you need.

    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

    Best Value For The Money

    Taylor Made M4 Irons

    Best Value For High Handicappers

    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.

    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

    Additional Great Options For High Handicappers

    Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Irons

    The Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Irons 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 light weight of this club will help you get the club through the ball faster and therefore generate more distance.

    Cobra F-Max Superlite Combo Irons

    High handicap players with slower swing speeds will find the Cobra F-Max Superlite set to be useful in helping them generate more clubhead speed.

    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

    Wilson D7 Irons

    The Wilso D7 irons round out the list. 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.

    Wilson D7 Irons

    If you are a mid handicapper who strikes your irons well and are looking to transition into a player’s iron but still want some forgiveness, then the Titleist T300 is perfect for you.

    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. One of the best places you can get clubs from is The Golf Warehouse because of their Mulligan 30-day Club Playability Guarantee.

    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.

    You can also rent different types of clubs before you buy, just to be certain.

    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.

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