How to Choose Golf Irons – Complete Guide
With hundreds of different golf irons on the market, it can be difficult to find information on how to choose golf irons and the best golf irons to buy for your game.
Golf manufacturers will design top-rated golf irons that are targeted at different ability levels, and put their own marketing spin on some of the technological features to differentiate from their competitors.
If you are interested in the technological side, here is some basic information. Bearing in mind that if your main interest is to improve and lower your scores you can read this, but don’t worry about it too much as the act of getting the ball in the hole is always up to the individual.
Companies have spent a lot of money on research and design to create some of the best-rated golf irons that are targeted to a specific ability level.
There are two ways in which golf irons are designed. Golf irons are either going to be a cast cavity back or forged.
Here is some information on How to Choose Golf Irons.
Cast Cavity Back Golf Irons
All cast irons are stainless steel. Cast irons generally have more weight on the perimeter, which gives the club a larger sweet spot.
Cast cavity back golf irons are a type of golf club designed to provide forgiveness and enhance playability for golfers, especially beginners and high-handicap players. Here’s a breakdown of the key features and benefits of cast cavity back irons
These irons are created by liquid metal being poured into a premade mould and allowed to cool. The premade mould creates the ideal shape the designer wants.
The advantage of a cast golf iron is that designers have the ability to add extra components, which make them the most forgiving golf irons for a targeted golfer. When you hear of a golf club being forgiving, this means they are generally a cast cavity back club and perimeter weighted, which increases the sweet spot.
This design redistributes the weight to the perimeter of the clubhead, creating a larger sweet spot. The weight distribution helps to stabilize off-centre hits and reduce the effects of mishits, providing more forgiveness and improving consistency.
The larger sweet spot and perimeter weighting of cavity back irons make them more forgiving than other types of irons, such as blades. When you strike the ball slightly off-center, the weight distribution helps to prevent excessive twisting or turning of the clubhead, reducing the loss of distance and accuracy.
Cast cavity back irons are available in a wide range of designs, lofts, and shaft options, allowing golfers to find the right set that suits their swing characteristics and preferences. Custom fitting with a golf professional can optimize the performance of these irons by ensuring the correct shaft length, lie angle, and grip size for your individual needs.
Forged Golf Irons
Forged irons are made through a forging process where a solid piece of metal, typically carbon steel, is heated and then shaped using high-pressure hammers or presses. This process creates a dense and consistent grain structure within the clubhead, resulting in a solid and precise feel.
One of the main advantages of forged irons is the exceptional feel and feedback they provide. The softer carbon steel used in the forging process tends to produce a more responsive sensation at impact. Skilled players often appreciate the ability to feel the ball strike on the clubface, allowing for better control and shot shaping.
Forged irons maintain more weight in the centre of the club. This means they are more consistent for a better player who consistently hits out of the middle of the clubface.
These irons are one piece of metal, and heated into shape by a large pressing machine.
Design variations are limited, and the production process of forged irons is rather expensive compared to casting. They do however, offer a very soft feel when making contact with the golf ball which a lot of golfers prefer.
Forged irons also feature a thinner top line and soleplate, which will make for a smaller looking clubhead. Most of the blade golf irons will generally be forged.
Forged irons are generally preferred by low-handicap players and professionals due to their ability to shape shots. The design of forged irons, with a compact head profile and less perimeter weighting, allows for more precise shot control. Skilled golfers can manipulate the clubface and create different shot shapes, providing greater versatility on the course.
It is important to note that technology has advanced, and there are now forged cavity back irons available that combine the benefits of both designs. These irons offer the forged feel and feedback while incorporating forgiveness and playability features through a cavity design.
Ultimately, the choice between forged and cavity back irons depends on your skill level, playing style, and personal preference. It’s recommended to try different options and, if possible, get fitted by a professional to determine the best iron type for your game.
When on the market for golf clubs you will hear a lot of terms in regards to technology of specific golf irons. These are general terms so companies can differentiate from their competitors and put their own marketing spin on their products. I will not go into detail about all the different terms but remember golf manufacturers have spent a lot of money on designing these golf clubs. Their main aim is to make them as forgiving as possible and give consumers a selection of the best golf irons to buy for each individual.
Golf Club Fitting
Golf club fitting is the process of customizing golf clubs to match a golfer’s unique physical characteristics, swing mechanics, and playing style. The goal of club fitting is to optimize performance, maximize distance, accuracy, and consistency, and enhance overall playability.
Club fitting needs to be considered for all ability levels when choosing golf irons. With golf irons it is very important to get the correct length of the irons and as you become a better ball striker the shaft flex and lie angle are vital.
Getting the correct grip size is also important to promote better feel. A height and wrist to floor measurement will help determine the correct length and a golf club fitting chart can help determine this. Club Fitting is an important factor when considering how to choose the right golf clubs.
Using properly fitted clubs can significantly improve your game. Off-the-shelf clubs are designed to fit a broad range of golfers, but they may not be tailored to your specific needs. Club fitting ensures that your clubs are suited to your physical attributes, swing characteristics, and preferences, allowing you to achieve better results on the course.
Golf irons will come out with a wide range of options in terms of shafts, but generally, the original shaft that is in the iron is always a good one.
Better players like to experiment with all the different shaft options. The differences are usually subtle, and benefits from this are normally only seen from elite amateurs or professionals.
If you are not a consistent ball striker and don’t break eighty regularly, going down this path will confuse you and make learning the game more difficult in the short term.
Graphite Irons vs Steel Irons
A common question that is asked is what is the difference between graphite and steel in golf irons?
Graphite shafts tend to be more flexible than steel shafts. They have a softer feel and can provide a higher launch angle, making them suitable for players seeking added distance and higher ball flight. Steel shafts offer less flex, leading to a lower trajectory and increased control, making them popular among stronger players and those who prefer a more penetrating ball flight.
Graphite is for the below average swing speeds, and steel is for the average to fast swing speeds.
Graphite iron shafts are available in ladies flex, senior flex, regular flex and stiff flex. Graphite shafts are also lighter than steel shafts in overall weight.
Steel shafts are available in regular flex, stiff flex, and extra stiff flex. A stiff golf shaft has a lower torque level and will provide greater resistance to twisting than a regular flex. Steel shafts also come in a range of different weights. They can weigh as much as 130 grams which are designed for the strong hitters.
Let us now summarize what type of golf iron each ability level should consider to get the most benefit out of their game.
As a beginner a forgiving perimeter weighted golf club with a fairly wide soleplate is an ideal starting point for a golf iron set.
There is a lot to choose from, and generally, it comes down to what you want to spend because most companies have designed a stack of different iron heads targeted at beginners.
Make sure you get the length correct, and you can use this link for that.
There are a lot of very good discontinued models and a lot of places a golfer can purchase some good quality, cheap golf irons.
One of the best models to consider would be the Callaway Big Bertha Irons.
If you have been playing golf for a while and are after some more performance, then you can look at a more workable cast iron or one of the more forgiving forged models. A golf iron that makes it a little easier to shape the golf ball would be an ideal option.
The length, grip size and shaft flex is important for an intermediate golfer when considering how to choose golf clubs. You could also consider lie angle if you feel you hit a consistent enough ball.
Callaway Golf Irons are always a good option and one of the better models to consider would be the Callaway Steelhead XR Irons.
Elite Amateur or Professional Golfer
For the better players all things should come into consideration in regards to fitting, and most top of the range golf manufacturers will bring out at least one model that is targeted at this specific ability level.
Make sure you are happy with the iron head design and the length and grip size are correct. You are a consistent ball striker so the lie angle is important. The correct shaft flex is also very important, and if you feel your game is good enough to explore custom shaft options it is entirely up to you. For a solid golf iron swing there are lots of good golf irons to choose from to help your game.
One of the better options to consider would be the Callaway Apex Pro Irons.
I hope this helps get rid of a little of the confusion in regards to choosing golf irons. There are a lot of different models to choose from, but remember each manufacturer will design a club with a specifically targeted golf ability level in mind.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them below.