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Best Golf Irons

Choosing a set of irons can be one of the most important, yet most challenging decisions any player faces. There are hundreds of options, and dozens of variations of nearly the exact same product. You have clubs for high-handicaps, others for low-handicaps. Some golf club sets cater to the average golfer who doesn’t look for a lot of individuality. Others accommodate particular issues within the swing and work to target those who are working to improve those particular parts of their game.

The decision can be even more challenging for those who have just picked up the game, or have a high-handicap. There are a few areas to look at when identifying the best set of irons to help beginning players build upon their game.

First, these sets offer forgiveness, either through a large face, or a low center of gravity. Second, these irons will accommodate your game by helping eliminate long irons that are challenging to hit, and replacing them with hybrid fairway woods. And third, these golf sets accommodate all aspects of the game, whether getting the most length out of long and middle irons, or having short irons that generate spin.

Adams Golf Men's New Idea Iron Set

The Adams Idea Hybrid Irons set is one of the best on the market for a lot of reasons, but mainly due to the fact the clubs accommodate individuals who’ve just picked up the game or have a higher handicap. Adams may be the first golf club manufacturer with a configuration pattern setting it apart from the competition.  

Called the ABC Set Configuration, Adams replaces long irons which are typically harder to hit with three high quality hybrid fairway woods featuring Cut-Thru Slot technology to mitigate the damage of off-center shots. Transitional irons or the mid-irons are considered the wedges bridging the distance gap into cavity-back scoring clubs. Adams has created this hard to beat ABC categorization of their hybrid set combining the latest golfing technology with high-quality clubs.

Callaway Men's X2 Hot ProCombo Set Graphite Hybrids

The Callaway X2 Hot Pro Combo set is a set that finishes in a very close-second position to the Idea irons in this category. The long irons are once again replaced by hybrid fairway woods featuring Hyper Speed Face Cup technology with a thinner, lighter, and more aggressive face design than anything previously seen before in a hybrid fairway wood.

The hybrid woods are great on a standalone basis as well as when they’re sold individually. The distance gained with these hybrids is immense, and they’ll even have beginners feeling like they’re getting the most out of challenging long iron shots. However, that doesn’t mean that the set has skimped at all when it comes to the irons themselves.

The irons feature a central mass bar featured in a low position within the club head of the iron, ensuring the clubs have a low center of gravity. These irons won’t feel like poorly-designed, bulky golf clubs that scream “beginner”. The clubs are physically designed with a tour player in mind but still offer the benefits of being a diverse golf set at the same time.

TaylorMade Men's SpeedBlade Rescue Golf Complete Set

The SpeedBlade Iron and Rescue set features Speed Pocket technology, giving the clubs the lowest center of gravity ever seen in a TaylorMade golf club. Individually engineered heads ensure no club is forgotten in the design process so you know everything you’re getting in this set is high-quality.

There are JetSpeed Rescue clubs included which allow the player to really unleash on their approach shots ordinarily requiring a long iron. The shafts on this set are also individually weighted and ensured to reach standard across the board. The build of this set is really focused on strength, distance, accuracy, all while helping beginners build a strong, confident game.

Nike Golf Men's VRS Covert 2.0 Cast Golf Irons Set

This beginner’s golf iron set is unique because it’s the only set not featuring any hybrid irons or fairway woods. The irons are manufactured with unique features making this one of the most versatile sets on the list, even though they don’t feature any replacements to the long irons.

The irons are designed with NexCOR technology and a high-speed cavity back design for fast ball speeds and the longest shots on the golf course. These irons also generate a massive amount of spin as well. For someone just picking up the game  or someone who has had challenges improving their game this is incredible beneficial. This set that really can grow with the player through their playing career at any level.

Cobra Men's Fly-Z XL Golf Iron Combo Set

This set of clubs has given Cobra one of the most diverse sets in the game, especially at an incredibly affordable price given the golfing technology in this set. A Speed Channel Face is featured in all of the clubs which is a trench engineered to sit behind the face area to minimize face thickness and deliver increased distance. The long and mid irons are built with a dual cavity design ensuring the lowest center of gravity the club could physically have given its design structure. This club set also features hybrid woods that launch high and far while offering one of the most forgiving faces in the game.

Callaway Men's X2 Hot Pro 7 Piece Iron Set

These clubs are great for anyone trying to develop their game because they’re a step up from the traditional finds. These clubs employ a large sweet spot, but feature a thinner and hotter face than other Callaway irons. That means they’re easier to hit, but don’t necessarily handicap the player as their game develops.

Hybrid woods are great because they are easy to hit  but irons offer the most versatility and that’s what this set focuses on. The central mass bar found in this particular set creates an incredibly low center of gravity directly in the middle of the head. However, that puts the clubs weight in a place ensuring shots hit off-center are still controlled and sent in the right direction.

TaylorMade Men's SpeedBlade Golf Complete Set,

This set incorporates TaylorMade Speed Pocket technology, meaning these irons are geared towards being scoring irons throughout the set. The SpeedBlades feature a lower center of gravity, faster face for promoting high-launch angles, and increased ball speed at moment of impact. The clubs also have a lowered, widened sweet spot since many amateur players hit the ball lower on the face where shots are often missed. With other iron sets you’ll find the sweet spot is neither as large, nor as low as it is with this set and that sets it apart from the competitors. With this set you have the assurance of playing with one of the greatest brands in golf.

Nike Golf Vapor Speed Iron Set

These irons are not going to be anyone’s first thought when it comes to selecting a forgiving, and user-friendly set of golf clubs since they’re brand new to the world of golf. This set though is tailored for a player looking for a forgiving, and distance-eccentric set.

The irons are weighted with a low center of gravity, allowing boosted stability to promote higher launch and lower spin while simultaneously promoting high-flying shots. FlyBeam cavities in the irons ensure long-irons are hit with authority and enable stability on off-center shots.

The RZN cavities in the short irons promote more precise approach shots with maximum forgiveness. This set also features deeper and closer grooves meaning greater spin, and spin control for golfers looking to get a little extra out of their game.

Cleveland Golf 588 Men's MT Iron Set

This is the middle set of irons Cleveland built within the 588 series. Set right in the middle between the tour select irons and the hybrid combination set, this is the perfect middle ground options offering forgiveness and feel.

Its Mid Trajectory (MT) technology takes a forged face and combines it with Full Hollow Construction which promotes incredible effortless distance, consistency, and forgiveness.The result is a lower and deeper center of gravity for a higher launch angle, something any golfer wants on the course.

While these clubs aren’t engineered to have the absolute highest launch angle, this does makes the set far more versatile than ordinary sets. The shorter irons in this set are more traditional than longer irons in other sets which are ordinarily more challenging to hit.

Cobra Men's Baffler XL Golf Iron Set

This set focuses on improving any player’s game by making some of the most difficult clubs in the bag to hit entirely hittable and easy to work with around the course. Cobras unique Deep Undercut Cavity behind the face of the club provides a trampoline effect to boast ball speed from the moment of impact.

The massively oversized club face helps account for miscalculations or inconsistent swings while a Wide Rail Sole is very clear at the bottom of the club. It will give the player comfort getting through the rough, or turf of the fairway by allowing the player to create a faster swing. Faster swings mean greater distance and with a face as large as this, it’s really hard to compare against competitors.

Callaway Womens X2 Hot 8-Piece Set

The Lady X2 Hot Combo set features hybrids which have one of the hottest faces in golf. They allow for maximum distance, accuracy, and forgiveness through the face design while the irons have a New Deep Central Undercut exclusive to Callaway and allow the face to flex and rebound at point of impact. This flexing action is like a trampoline and boosts distance by increasing the ball speed at moment you connect.

There's also a stabilizing arch that reinforces the weighting and the feel of the irons to ensure a great playing experience. The short irons are incredibly forgiving and workable  which allow any player to nestle in shots very close to the pin, or get out of trouble around the green. This set even features graphite shafts which are a plus for anyone looking to increase swing speed by limiting the weight of the club in general.

Cobra Womens Fly-Z XL Golf Iron Combo Set

This set includes easy-to-hit hybrids designed with Speed Channel and Crown Zone Weighting which are both exclusive technologies to Cobra. Both technologies allow for a low, deep center of gravity and provide exquisite forgiveness. The speed channel provides increased ball speed and promotes greater distance with all shots.

The irons have been designed with Vibration Dampening technology which is a urethane coated insert directly behind the impact zone to ensure vibrations are greatly limited. The irons are all mildly offset allowing for more forgiveness and greater control. They also feature Hollow Cavity Construction on the mid irons to get the right blend of control and distance out of them. The short irons provide the player with the ability to really take advantage and become a pin-seeker on those approach shots.

TaylorMade Womens RSi1 Iron Set

TaylorMade has made a lot of irons that are distance-centric but this set is the absolute best. The enhanced Speed Pocket on these irons provides a larger, more spread out, and more forgiving play with each iron from long-to-short.

These irons features the lowest center of gravity of any iron the company has made to date. That translates to explosive distance, exceptional control, and high-launch angles to promote cleaner, and more effective approach shots.

The set also features some of the thinnest faces measures at just 15mm thick to promote faster ball speed. Perhaps most impressively, this set features incredibly playable wedges and a nearly blade-like design. The entire set from top-to-bottom is one of the top choices on the market right now.

Ping Serene Iron Set

Ping Serene Iron Set

This is one of the standard sets of irons from a provider of  quality golf clubs. This golf set is a good combination of easy-to-hit hybrids and really forgiving middle, and short irons. The combination gives players of all skill levels the opportunity to air-it-out on longer approach shots, and really fire with precision at pins from inside 200 yards.

The sets three hybrids have the highest launch angles Ping has available and the irons have perimeter-weighted technology inside of them. This means getting the most out of an 8-iron is as easy as it is to get the most out of a wedge, or 4-hybrid. This set really focuses on consistency by bringing a balance between distance, control, and precision throughout the bag while being very forgiving as well.

Nike Golf Vapor Pro Iron Set

These clubs are a great improvement over previous Nike models and for female golfers this set brings exactly they need to the table. Forget about your handicap because these irons are focused on power, precision, and distance. They provide longer and higher shots by giving them all a low and deep weighted center of gravity.

Modern Muscle geometry ensures the lowered center of gravity keeps the club in check while Nikes ultra-fast Spring Steel NexCOR faces and lightweight shafts generate incredible ball speed. The grooves are closer together ensuring every player can generate more useful spin depending on the shot played and the sole encompasses a very forgiving design accounting for miss-hits and off-tempo swings.

Additionally, the long-irons are designed specifically just like the short-irons are. They feature FlyBeam technology, and short irons utilize RZN cavity technology which allow lengthy long-iron shots, and precise short-iron shots.

Nike Men's VRS Covert 2.0 Forged Golf Irons Set

These forged irons have a high-speed cavity back design which at one time was something players couldn’t get. This set uses NexCOR technology which redesigns the head of the club and includes variable face thickness. Both of these pieces of technology translate to faster ball speeds and longer shots.

The feel with a forged set though is ultimately where the bread and butter lies. This set performs incredibly well with high-profile materials used to ensure the best shots are hit each and every time the player uses them. Even more impressive is these irons perform incredibly well out of the rough as well, thanks to their cavity back design.

NEW Mizuno JPX-850 Forged Golf Irons

This forged iron set generates extreme ball speeds by using a Grain Flow Forging process exclusive to Mizuno. The material used is 30 percent stronger than any previous forged product Mizuno had created in irons. This particular set features an incredibly thin face meaning greater distance through increased ball speed at moment of impact. They’ve also added a Power Frame cavity which ensures the weight of the club is in all the right places and not overly focused in one specific area. Whether you’re looking for a forged set of clubs or not, this is easily one of the best sets based on performance alone.

Callaway Men's Apex Golf Iron Set

These Apex irons live up to their name by providing one of the best forged iron experiences. These irons are specifically designed with distance in mind and are accommodating to almost all handicaps and swing types. This set even accommodates higher handicaps by providing high launch angles, giving players a better opportunity to air it out.

The ultra-hot face on this set was made thinner than Callaway has ever made before, equating to greater ball speed. The forged carbon steel body ensure players experience exceptional feel and responsiveness from the clubs. The tungsten sole inserts at the bottom of the club ensures they have a lower center of gravity than traditional forged clubs as well as maximum forgiveness.

Taylor Made Tour Preferred MB Iron Set

While this set is labeled “tour preferred”, that shouldn’t scare off any golfer just wanting a well-crafted set of forged irons. These are some of the most-responsive irons on the market, designed with a soft 1025 carbon steel allowing for incredible feel especially with middle to short irons. These irons are also milled to precise specifications to ensure a classic but effective design.

The irons are compact, but have one of the largest sweet spots on the market The bottom half of the club is designed with a more full and muscled back, while the top of the club is designed with a thinner, more compact look and feel. These clubs carry an incredibly long way, but are best-known for their precision around the fairway and rough with approach shots.

Tour Edge Exotics CB Xtreme Forged Irons

This set is one of the most advanced and adaptive sets of irons in the forged category. It combines the design of a blade with the forgiveness of a cavity back iron in addition to a really large sweet spot.

Like many of the other sets, this one is forged from 1025 carbon steel along with a low center of gravity, and a deeply cut cavity. That means getting out of tough lies is a breeze, as well as taking approach shots from the fairway directly at the pin no matter the distance out.

This set even provides excellent forgiveness for shots coming off-center and require a little extra help. That said, the sole is designed with a beveled edge to ensure the interaction between the ground and the club head is minimal at the very least.

TaylorMade Golf Men's RocketBladez High Polish Iron Set

This set features Speed Pocket technology in the irons which ensures the greatest ball speed possible is created at the moment of impact. The Speed Pocket is also filled with polyurethane which creates a really forgiving shot. Poorly hit shots are handled really well by this set as well. These irons are exceptional at creating carry and distance, but offer a really fine-tuned design that promotes precision with approach shots.

The launch angles are incredibly high, and the rest of the technology included in the set is comparable with the rest of the competing Taylormade sets deliver. Additionally, the club design promotes less drop-off in ball speed when a player strikes the ball off-center, particularly for shots hit on the lower-half of the club face.

Nike VR-S Covert 2.0

This budget set from Nike is definitely a game developing set of irons but the included technology and the fact it’s made by one of the best names in golf make for a “can’t miss” set of clubs. Nikes signature NexCOR technology ensures precise face thickness which promotes longer, higher, and straighter shots along with  accommodating fast swing speeds. This is an incredibly versatile set of clubs utilizing progressive sole design so players of all skill levels get a well-balanced golfing experience. It also means more forgiveness and less interaction with the ground which is a plus for any golfer looking to reduce the friction they create at the moment of impact.

Cobra Men's Bio Cell Silver Golf Iron Set

This set of clubs is great for anyone looking to get extreme power out of their irons. The E9 Face Technology allows for greater distribution of weight through the bottom of the irons and provides a lighter, hotter face that doesn’t sacrifice feel.These irons feature a tungsten cell which provides additional weighting and stability behind the face of the irons. Even with the lightweight design, that promotes ball speed and speed of the club at moment of impact for more distance and control.

If that’s not enough in terms of technology, the set also features Perimeter Undercut Design which is exclusive to Cobra; it's basically a disconnected face which creates more bounce at the moment of impact. The set is very responsive and will accommodate players at any skill level, something very important to players as they get into the shorter irons specifically tailored to accommodate success in the long term. Overall, this set of irons provides value, as well as specific technology that won’t make you feel as though you’re cutting any corners.

Cleveland Mens 588 Mt Irons #4 - Dw Steel Right Stiff

Cleveland has quietly been producing some of the best irons in the game of golf for a number of years  but rarely gets credit for what they do. This set combines forgiveness and feel, offering what Cleveland classifies as a Mid Trajectory. This set offers consistency by increasing the height of the blade of the iron throughout the set making it easier to hit short irons which are also easier to stick close to the pin.

This set also features Clevelands exclusive Full Hollow Construction so there’s correct weighting throughout the club for constant forgiveness. This set combines a lower center of gravity to guarantee launch angles are correct and also includes vibration dampening technology preventing those miscues from vibrating the player’s hands. As an added bonus the club face is forged, adding to this thoroughly impressive set of golf clubs.

Ping G20 Black Dot Irons

Ping G20 Black Dot Irons

Ping very well may be the best name in irons as they revolutionized irons decades ago, and now have designed some of the most-effective irons in the golf world today. These irons feature a deep-cut cavity back, as well as weighting around the perimeter of the club to ensure that distance and accuracy is found with every iron on every shot.

The clubs are forgiving due to the massive face the irons have and the cavity badge providing enhancements to off-center shots, as well as enhancing distance control. These irons will make any player feel as though they can attack the pin and it’s with this confidence that these clubs will really start to work for the player.

These clubs spin well, they generate incredible amounts of bounce off the club face, and will give most players 5-10 extra yards with each club. This set is an incredible value, even though it's been on the market for a while.

Apex Muscleback Irons

This set is all about feedback and was designed with professional players in mind. Many would consider a lot of blade iron sets to be similar to tour preferred sets due to the vast number of professional players that utilize blade designed irons. These irons provide feel and shot shaping ability through a finely tuned blade and muscleback shape.

The grooves in this set are spaced out differently than in most cavity back sets to ensure the highest performance, the most spin, and the most flexibility depending on playing conditions. They also simultaneously allow players to have the most feedback they can possibly get with their irons. These forged irons miss nothing and the sole of the blade is actually built with a stabilizer to ensure consistent interaction between the club and golf ball is had throughout the set.

Mizuno Golf MP-54 Club Iron Sets

This is easily the closest thing to being the second-best set of blade irons on the market. This set from Mizuno incorporates Variable Muscle Thickness which ensures a similar feel is had with each and every club. The set ranges from having a very flat bulge in long irons to a more pronounced bulge in short irons. Ultimately, what you’re left with is a universal experience throughout the set, and the ability to shape shots incredibly well with well-crafted blades.

Mizuno calls the design of their blades with muscleback technology “Pure Muscle Design”, giving those looking to create shots the best opportunity to really capitalize on their ability. The MP-4 even incorporates the highest launch angles of any blade previously made by Mizuno, but with a thin top line of the club giving players the opportunity to really manipulate their ball flight.

Wilson Staff FG Tour 100 Irons

This set of clubs is one of the best modern/retro-sets in the game. It was inspired by the Wilson Staff Button Back model which was actually one of the first forged blades ever created. These clubs are small, have good weighting, and make you feel like you’re hitting something really solid. This set combines a Fluid Feel bore-through insert, as well as a milled face giving players a consistent feel with every club in the bag. The clubs are well-built to the point of even having a strong, premium finish to the exterior. These blades are forged and plated with a nickel-chrome finish making this set one of the best options out there.

Titleist MB 714 Forged Iron Set

This set of irons has a very compact design and combines muscleback technology with a classic build. The weighting is excellent and the clubs have an incredibly narrow sole that promotes getting through the ball quickly without too much friction. That increases club head speed which translates directly to added distance.

This set of clubs boasts shot control, as well as an improved profile that ensures players feel like they’re playing with a premium blade that can be controlled with ease. The blades are also progressively offset to guarantee players receive the best feedback from start to finish.

New Taylormade 2014 Tour Preferred Mb 6 Piece Iron Set

This set of blades provides some of the best balance between look, feel, sound and performance. While it has a slightly larger design than some other models, the thin topline and slight offset setup means that these irons can hang with the best of them. They’re forged from 1025 carbon steel, and are incredibly soft. These clubs play long, and are surprisingly forgiving for a blade, but are shaped individually to ensure each and every club delivers the same quality experience. This set of clubs may be for players with a lower-handicap, but are an experience every golfer should have at least once, even if just to demo temporarily!

TaylorMade Men's Rocketbladez Tour Iron Set

Say hello to the most-played set of irons on tour today. This set features Speed Pocket technology to ensure maximum speed and flight enhancements are made at the moment of impact. It also ensures off-center shots still fly where they should and even help with shots low on the club face.While these clubs will accommodate golfers of all skill levels, the tour shape of this club is ultimately what gives players the tour benefit.

The sole is tour inspired as well with a soft-bounce so there’s limited friction experienced between the club head and the ground. The sole promotes distance, premier launch angle, and even distributes vibration so golfer’s hands aren’t rattled with a poor shot. The irons are responsive, and give some of the best feedback in the game thanks to their tour design These are a great buy for anyone looking for a tour set with workability and forgiveness of a traditional set.

Mizuno Mens JPX-825 Pro Forged Irons

This might be the most modern looking and feeling set of clubs on the market carrying the pro inspired, or tour design label. They’re incredibly strong and Mizuno describes the set as being the perfect balance between forgiveness and workability, something important for any set of clubs at this level. They also feature a Grain Flow Forged build providing soft feel and incredible feedback to the golfer. The powerful feel behind these clubs is delivered through a reinforced cavity frame engineered by Mizuno specifically for this set of clubs. Another added bonus is this set takes head size, and tapers it to give players a diverse ability to play the game how they want with each club.

Callaway Men's Apex Pro Golf Iron Set

Meant for players who know their stuff, this set of forged irons present a blade design with a slightly modified look and feel. These clubs are surprisingly easy to hit because they aren’t designed in the traditional blade pattern and offer a lot of forgiveness as well.

Each club has two tungsten weighted inserts in the sole of the clubs to bring a tour-inspired launch to the table. The sole of these clubs handles incredibly well in the turf thanks to those inserts and the distance with these clubs might be the most impressive feature of them all.

These clubs play well in any condition and feature wide grooves to build on spin. They also allow the player to dictate when spin is going to be happening and on what shots the player wants to keep spin to a minimum.

Wilson Staff FG Tour 100 Irons

This set of clubs is one of the best modern/retro-sets in the game. It was inspired by the Wilson Staff Button Back model which was actually one of the first forged blades ever created. These clubs are small, have good weighting, and make you feel like you’re hitting something really solid. This set combines a Fluid Feel bore-through insert, as well as a milled face giving players a consistent feel with every club in the bag. The clubs are well-built to the point of even having a strong, premium finish to the exterior. These blades are forged and plated with a nickel-chrome finish making this set one of the best options out there.

Taylor Made Tour Preferred MB Iron Set

While this set is labeled “tour preferred”, that shouldn’t scare off any golfer just wanting a well-crafted set of forged irons. These are some of the most-responsive irons on the market, designed with a soft 1025 carbon steel allowing for incredible feel especially with middle to short irons. These irons are also milled to precise specifications to ensure a classic but effective design.

The irons are compact, but have one of the largest sweet spots on the market The bottom half of the club is designed with a more full and muscled back, while the top of the club is designed with a thinner, more compact look and feel. These clubs carry an incredibly long way, but are best-known for their precision around the fairway and rough with approach shots.

Josh Durso
Previously employed by Nike, Adidas, and Puma I am constantly testing the newest, and most popular golf equipment on the market. I've been playing for 21 years, but use my connection to the brands, as well as the industry to learn about new technology, new products, and new methods.
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