Best Men's Irons

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best men’s irons

Last Updated September 2020

Golfers have a lot of gear to carry around the golf course. Among all that gear, most golfers have one item that they love above all else: the driver or the putter. You won’t find too many golfers saying they love their irons the most, yet the irons are the clubs you use on every hole — and maybe three or four times if things aren’t going as well as you’d like. Depending on how well you hit your irons, you may dread using them, or you may find them to be reliable clubs.

If you’re someone who dreads using the irons, it’s possible that you don’t have the right types to fit your game. Sure, most irons look alike at first glance, but they have significant differences in design that affect how you use them on the course.

Our buying guide can help clarify the primary differences between individual men’s irons, and we’ve included several of our favorites to make your shopping even easier.

A single set of irons from one manufacturer has the same design from club to club, which can help you maintain a consistent swing.

Key considerations

Irons are a specific type of golf club that has an angled, flat club face. Each iron has a different angle, which generates a certain loft on the ball. Depending on the loft, each club has a different designation printed on it. With practice and repetition, you can determine the typical distance you get from each iron, and you’ll then be able to have more success when playing.

Types of irons

When purchasing a set of irons, it helps to understand how you use them on the course.

Long irons: These are the 2-, 3-, and 4-irons. These clubs have the longest shaft and the lowest loft, which means they can generate more distance than other irons in the bag. However, they are also far more difficult to control than other irons. Some sets of men’s irons have only a 4-iron or no long iron because of the difficulty in controlling them.

Mid-irons: These are the 5-, 6-, and 7-irons. These irons have an average distance and loft on the ball. For most golfers, the 7-iron is one of the easiest clubs to use successfully.

Short irons: These are the 8- and 9-irons. These clubs have a short shaft and an extremely lofted club face, allowing you to hit the ball high on an approach shot to the green, but they don’t have much distance.

Wedges: Wedges have short shafts and the sharpest angle in the club face, creating the greatest height on the ball and allowing for the most accuracy and control. Some wedges have the degree of loft printed on the club. Other wedges have a P for pitching wedge or an S for sand wedge on the club.

Sets of irons

A typical set of men’s irons includes seven or eight clubs. You can also find full sets with up to ten clubs. A set of irons for beginners or children may only have four or five clubs. Here are some typical sets:

Four-piece set: 3-iron, 5-iron, 7-iron, and 9-iron

Standard eight-piece set: 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron, pitching wedge, and sand wedge

Ten-piece set: 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron, pitching wedge, sand wedge, and gap wedge

Your set of irons should match your skill level, whether that’s beginner or advanced.

Features

The design of the club face on men’s irons comes in a few different configurations. Pick the design that best fits your style of play and your experience level.

Forged

A forged iron is a one-piece club. The forged iron works best for a low-handicap player who strikes the ball squarely most of the time. This type of iron has a simpler design, so it doesn’t have some of the advanced features of the cast iron design.

Cast iron

The club head on these irons is made by pouring molten metal into a form. This process enables the designer to create detailed heads, allowing for a larger sweet spot on the face. This type of club is more forgiving when a high-handicap player mishits the ball.

Blade

A blade iron has a very thin, often forged club head. The blade is a simple design that’s made for low-handicap players. This iron allows precise control, providing the maximum feel for the player at the moment of contact with the ball. The blade iron has a small sweet spot, so it isn’t for players who struggle to square up the ball on the club face.

Cavity back

Many cavity back irons are cast iron. These clubs have multiple features aimed at helping high-handicap players improve their ability to make shots, including a larger sweet spot that forgives mishits. The ball travels farther after a mishit with a cavity back iron than with a blade iron.

Accessories

In addition to men’s golf irons, you’ll need some other pieces of gear to begin playing golf. We suggest the following.

Driver: TaylorMade M2 Driver
A driver is an oversized wood, and it’s a club you’ll use off the tee to deliver the greatest level of distance. We like this sleek iron from TaylorMade.

Woods: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood
Woods are the longest golf clubs that you’ll use from the fairway, and they deliver more distance than the irons. Callaways awesome wood is available for righties and lefties.

Hybrids: WaZaki Steel Hybrid Irons Set
A hybrid is a cross between woods and irons, and some players find them easier to hit than long irons. This set from WaZaki is a bestseller.

Putter: Scotty Cameron Select Newport Putter
The putter is a club with a flat face that you’ll use to putt the ball on and around the greens. This one is engineered to give you top performance.

Golf bag: Callaway Chev Stand Bag
The golf bag has compartments and pockets where you’ll carry all of your clubs and other gear. We love this one from Callaway because it’s sturdy, functional, and has quality written all over it.

Golf shoes: Nike Golf Lunar Command 2
Golf shoes have slight nubs or spikes on the bottom, allowing the player to maintain a solid footing while swinging the club. These shoes from Nike are available in a cool array of colors.

DID YOU KNOW?

The shaft on irons may be graphite, steel, or a combination of both.

DID YOU KNOW?

Irons are available in either a left- or right-handed configuration.

Men’s irons prices

The price you pay for a set of irons depends on a few different criteria, including the number of clubs in the set, the material in the shaft, and the design of the head.

Inexpensive: The least expensive men’s irons have a steel shaft with a cast iron club head and cost about $20 to $40 each.

Mid-range: These irons cost about $40 to $75 each. Some of these have a steel shaft and some have graphite. Some have a forged club head, while others have a cast iron head.

Expensive: The most expensive men’s irons cost $75 to $150 each. These irons have a high-quality graphite shaft, a forged club head, and precise grooves for controlling spin on the ball.

Tips

  • Position: For most players, position of the ball directly between your feet and between your shoulders. Some players like to play the ball just a little farther forward than between the feet. However, one of the biggest mistakes golfers make is playing the ball too far forward on an iron shot, almost even with the left heel for a right-handed golfer.
  • Strike: Strike the lower third of the ball with the club face just before making contact with the turf. If you contact the turf first, you’re going to lose distance. If you strike the upper two-thirds of the ball first, you’re not going to get the loft you want on the ball.
  • Spin: Advanced golfers use the irons to put backspin on the ball. When the ball lands, it remains closer to where it initially struck the green, rather than bouncing all the way over the green. Spin is a difficult skill to master, so beginning golfers should focus on striking the ball consistently before worrying about putting backspin on the ball.
Over the past several years, the design of irons has improved significantly, yielding greater distance, accuracy, and mishit forgiveness.

FAQ

Q. Do I need a 3- or 4-iron in my set?
A.
Not necessarily. Many high-handicap golfers struggle to hit the 3- and 4-irons accurately. They may prefer a hybrid club, which offers a similar distance to the long irons but is easier to hit properly. Experienced golfers may still want a 3- or 4-iron, but some men’s iron sets don’t include these clubs.
 

Q. Do I have to buy the same brand of irons as my driver, hybrids, or woods?
A.
No. Quite a few players prefer to have one brand for all of the clubs in the bag, but it’s not required.
 

Q. Is there any way to buy a set of irons that includes the woods and putter, too?
A.
Yes, but you’ll be buying a full set of golf clubs instead of a set of irons. The set of golf clubs includes woods and irons. Some full sets even ship with hybrid clubs, putter, bag, and wood covers, giving you everything you need to start playing.
 

Q. How do men’s irons differ from women’s irons?
A.
The primary difference between the two is the length of the shaft. A shorter man could use women’s irons comfortably, and a taller woman could use men’s irons. Nothing in the game’s rules says men must use men’s clubs and women must use women’s clubs.

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