When you first start playing golf, the number of things that you will need to learn becomes exceptionally overwhelming. There is terminology, scoring, equipment, handicapping, people screaming "fore" at you, it's just a lot to take in.
Choosing a set of irons from a list of hundreds can seem like a terrible project. The good news is that we have done the work for you. These are the absolute best iron sets for beginners, and when you keep reading, you will see why. Each of these sets has been carefully tested and proven to provide the results that beginners need in their game.
Our Best Golf Irons for Beginners in 2021
- Callaway Mavrik (Best Overall)
"The Callaway Mavrik Iron Set uses artificial intelligence to craft the easiest to hit and the longest iron that Callaway has ever released. No other iron on the market will be this technologically advanced."
- Taylormade M6 (Best on a Budget)
"The M6 Irons are not the latest release from TaylorMade, but they have tremendous distance and forgiveness offered at an incredible price."
- Taylormade P790 (Upgrade Pick)
"The P790 Iron Set gives you a forged feel with a tremendous amount of distance and forgiveness."
- Taylormade SIM Max (Best for Distance)
- Cobra King Speedzone (Best for Forgiveness)
- Our Best Golf Irons for Beginners in 2021
- Best Golf Irons For Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- As A Beginner How Do I Choose the Right Flex Golf Shaft?
- Should A Beginner Golfer Play with Graphite Or Steel Shafts?
- Should A Beginner Buy A Complete Set Or Just An Iron Set?
- What Should A Beginner Spend On A Set Of Irons?
- How Many Golf Clubs Does A Beginner Need?
- Should A Beginner Use Long Irons?
- When Is the Best Time Of Year To Buy A New Set Of Irons?
Best Golf Irons For Beginners
This year Callaway released the Mavrik Iron set as an improvement to the Rogue set of last year. Although we liked the Rogue irons, the Mavrik brings this set of golf clubs to an entirely new level. The Rogue had some feel issues, and the Mavrik has changed that entirely. As a beginner golfer, this is a premium set of golf clubs that will get you on your way to becoming a mid handicapper before you know it.
For the first time in golf history, a manufacturer used Artificial Intelligence to create a set of irons. The artificial intelligence allowed Callaway to know precisely where to place the weights in this club to make it both high launching and forgiving.
The 360 Face Cup technology actually allows the face of the golf club to flex and release. This creates a ton of extra distance and forgiveness as well. When you compare the Mavrik to other irons on the market, it is tough to find a set that has ball speeds quite this high.
One of our favorite things about this Callaway Mavrik irons is the way Callaway produced them. In years past, companies make club heads, change the lie, and put a different number on it. With the Mavrik, each clubhead is manufactured not just with the lie changed but with the weights moved and the club optimized for ball flight, distance, and control.
In other words, an eight iron is made to work exactly as an eight iron should. This may seem rather simple, but it is not how golf clubs have been made in the past.
If you remember, we mentioned that the Rogue irons did not feel quite as good as some other clubs on the market. With the Mavrik, Callaway continued their use of the urethane microspheres to help absorb any vibration at impact. Absorbing these vibrations gives the irons a great feel.
As a beginner, you are going to want a club that provides the most forgiveness and distance. These two factors are going to be lacking when you first pick up the game of golf. If, however, you can get a set of irons that have a great feel as well, then you are winning.
The Callaway Mavrik irons are available in a wide range of shaft flexes. Most beginners will be more than fine using the stock shafts provided in either the steel or graphite material. A bit further down in our guide, we will help you determine which shaft you need as a beginner golfer.
Our Pick: The P790 Iron Set gives you a forged feel with a tremendous amount of distance and forgiveness.
Best on a Budget
The TaylorMade M6 irons have not always been considered a value set of golf clubs. When these clubs were first released, they were some of the more expensive options on the market. Since they are no longer the newest release, their pricing has dropped.
The good news is that even though their pricing dropped their playability, feel and distance-enhancing technology has not dropped at all. If you have been thinking about the M6 irons at all, now is the time to get them.
These clubs were built for players of moderate swing speed. You can get the M6 in either the graphite shafts or steel shafts. They come in stiff flex, regular flex, and senior flex as well. The best thing about the TaylorMade M6 irons is the speed and distance.
TaylorMade incorporated their speed pocket technology to make sure that you could get some incredible launch from the clubface. If you are a young player looking to get out there and compete with your buddies, this is one of the best golf clubs you could buy.
The M6 irons also feature the twist face technology that allows a bit of extra forgiveness on those shots that miss the sweet spot. TaylorMade did extensive research to find the areas where amateur golfers tend to miss the ball most often. They made the irons that are much more forgiving in those areas.
If you are a beginner golfer looking for the best iron in golf, regardless of the price, then the P790 is a great option for you. Most irons for beginners are cavity back irons. Cavity back irons are going to be the most forgiving irons on the market.
The fact that the P790 is not cavity back should not scare the beginner away. These irons were correctly structured to give the forgiveness of the cavity back while allowing the feel of a forged golf club. This iron is popular among beginners, but it is an excellent club for the mid handicapper as well.
The clubhead is a hollow body construction that helps to give the golf club a ton of distance. It features a very thin face that will help the ball jump at impact. Inside that hollow clubhead is a speed foam that is injected to help promote a slightly better feeling.
With the P790, you will also get some low profile tungsten weighting. The weighting is designed to lower the center of gravity and significantly improve launch. As a beginner, you are going to want this technology. Getting the ball up off the ground is no easy task as a new golfer, and the P790 will make it much easier for you.
The P790 Irons are a progressive design. You will hear this often as a beginner, and it's a good thing to understand. This simply means that the long irons in your golf set will be built with a bit more forgiveness than your short irons.
You may question why you would want this, but you want the feel and playability in your short irons and forgiveness and distance in your long irons. The P790 does this for you. You may notice that the longer irons will have a bit of a wider sole. This will improve turf interaction and allow you to enjoy all parts of the game.
As you know, this is our premium pick, and honestly the only downside to the P790 irons is the price. This is a costly set of irons, but there is no question that the ball speed and distance are going to be premium as well.
Taylormade SIM Max
Best for Distance
COMPARE PRICES AT:
We have mentioned this before, and it's probably not the last time we will say it. If your swing speed is a bit slow and you struggle to get the ball out there as far as you want, the TaylorMade products are an excellent fit for you.
TaylorMade focuses very heavily on distance when they produce their golf clubs. These SIM Max irons feature the Speed Bridge technology that will help you launch your irons a very long way. The thin face on the SIM Max gives that extra jump to get the ball flying as well.
What makes these irons some of the best golf clubs for beginners is that they also have a fantastic feel. Feel is what teaches us how to play this game. When you hit a bad shot, it should feel a little bad. This is how your body and brain learn to work together and hit good shots.
The TaylorMade SIM Max is one of the few cavity back irons that have a forged feel to them. This is not an easy task for a golf manufacturer to accomplish, so we give them quite a bit of credit.
The sweet spot on this iron is the perfect size for a beginner. Using their Inverted Cone Technology, the sidespin will be minimized as well. For instance, if you miss the center of the clubface and the ball starts heading right, it won't head as far right as it would with other golf clubs.
The TaylorMade SIM Max irons come in a variety of shafts because they are a brand new release. The best shaft for a beginner is likely going to be the steel or graphite regular shaft. If you purchase this set because they are some of the best irons for beginners, you will not need to replace them as your handicap improves. This is a set of irons that will stay with you for many years, even as your scores start to drop.
The TaylorMade SIM Max offer more speed than potentially any other iron ever has.
Cobra King Speedzone
Best for Forgiveness
When Cobra developed the Speedzone iron, they focused on making things more stable, reliable, and powerful. They did a great job increasing the feel and forgiveness from their release last year of the F9.
One of the things we love most about the Speedzone irons is the Cobra Connect technology. Having the Cobra Connect technology is like having a caddy with you at all times. Many people think they hit a golf club 150 yards, but in reality, it is only 145. This makes a large difference when you talk about making a one-foot putt compared to a 16-foot putt.
The ability to pull up an app on your phone and determine the exact club you need for a particular shot is a tremendous benefit. It ultimately makes the Cobra Speedzone irons more forgiving because they are more accurate.
When it comes to distance and ball speed, the carbon fiber inserts on the clubhead have made this iron much lighter. The lighter weight makes it easier to swing faster.
As far as feel is concerned, there is a Co-Mold Medallion that helps to dampen the vibration at impact. You will notice that every company has their version of this type of technology. The Cobra Speedzone irons are great for a golfer that wants ultimate forgiveness without having to sacrifice feel.
One other thing worth mentioning about this set is that Cobra always releases their clubs at a fair value. The pricing usually continues to drop even after they are released. We love that they keep the budget of the golfer in mind while still making a quality product.
Cobra has been making some of the best irons for beginners for many years, the incredible distance, feel, and forgiveness on this set of irons make them a great new release.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
As A Beginner How Do I Choose the Right Flex Golf Shaft?
Potentially the most frequently asked question is about choosing a golf shaft. In today's golf world, the only true way to know which shaft is correct for you is to go for a custom fitting.
The trouble with a custom fitting is that the majority of beginner golfers do not need them, and will waste some money by going to a fitting.
Most beginner golfers will need a standard golf shaft offered in the stock club. When you go for a fitting, it is very easy to get upsold on a product that you may or may not really need.
The best way to determine what shaft you need as a beginner is to consider shot length, age, and strength. As an example, let's take a 30-year-old man who works out at the gym five days a week.
This man takes a seven iron to the range and without ever playing before his shots are going about 160 yards. Now, these shots are not all in the same general area, but that is the distance he is getting.
This person needs a stiff shaft. If you then take a 52-year-old man who has never seen a piece of gym equipment in his life and he hits a seven iron about 135. This is where you need a regular shaft. You must, however, take into account all three factors.
There are plenty of older people that work out and plenty of younger people that are taking up golf because they have no other form of exercise in their life. The general rule of thumb is that if you can hit a seven iron more than 160 yards, you should use a stiff shaft. Anything less than 135 or so should be a senior/light shaft, and the regular shaft will fill in the middle.
Should A Beginner Golfer Play with Graphite Or Steel Shafts?
Now that we gave you a general idea of the flex of the shaft you may need, you have to figure out the shaft material. Many beginner golfers get confused and think that graphite is a flex shaft. There is no such thing as a flex shaft, graphite, and steel come in different flexes.
Graphite shafts benefit players that are looking to increase distance. Steel shafts benefit players looking for forgiveness and feel. It can be hard to tell for beginners which of these options will be of the highest benefit.
The best advice we have to offer about shaft material is directly related to what type of golfer you plan to be. If this is going to be a weekend sport where you play twice a month, go with the graphite shafts. The graphite will be more forgiving, easier to launch, and make the game a bit easier on you.
If you are planning on taking up golf so that you can get good and compete and learn to lower your handicap, steel is the way to go. You will still be able to get plenty of distance, but you will want the playability and control of steel long term.
From a pricing standpoint, the steel shafted irons are much more affordable than the graphite shafted irons. Graphite is simply a more expensive product.
Should A Beginner Buy A Complete Set Or Just An Iron Set?
The complete golf sets are very heavily marketed to the beginner golfers. These sets come as an inclusive package, and they have everything from wedges to irons to woods. Some of these sets are actually quite nice, and they can be a perfect fit for some beginners.
There are, however, a few downfalls and a few golfers that this type of set will not work for. Players with slightly faster swing speeds will struggle with the beginner sets. The complete sets usually come with clubs that are made a bit cheaper, and the shaft material is not quite as strong.
The other problem with the complete set (not all but most) is that they are usually B grade technology. Manufacturers do not put their top of the line high performing clubs into the beginner complete set. If they did, the pricing would be several thousand dollars.
When deciding between a complete set or an iron set, you must choose something that fits your budget and your goals for the game. If you are going to take this game seriously and want to make an investment in your bag for many years, go for a set of irons instead of the complete beginners set.
What Should A Beginner Spend On A Set Of Irons?
The price you pay for a set of irons will mostly be a personal decision. It is a good idea for beginners to have a general idea of what golf irons cost. Many new golfers go into this process and get blown away by the pricing.
It's an unfortunate truth that golf clubs are expensive; however, they should also last you a very long time. There is no reason that a good set of irons will not last about eight years.
Beginners should expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a complete set of golf irons. The pricing will change based on shaft material, set makeup, and the quality of the club you choose.
Most beginner sets will probably end up right around that $799 mark. If you find something right around here (or a bit higher if you like graphite), than you are in the right ballpark. It can help to know these numbers before setting out to purchase, so you don't get caught off guard when you see the sticker price on a set of golf clubs.
How Many Golf Clubs Does A Beginner Need?
When it comes to set makeup of a beginner set of golf irons, you have quite a few options you can choose from. The standard set of golf clubs has always been a four-iron through to a pitching wedge.
In recent years this has changed considerably, and the more standard set for beginners is a five iron down to a gap wedge (approach wedge). This change has happened as the lofts have been adjusted on golf clubs and with the introduction of the hybrid golf club.
Hybrids are much easier to hit than a standard five iron or four iron, so many beginners and mid handicappers are taking the long irons out and putting in the hybrids. We think that the five iron to pitching wedge or gap wedge is a great iron set makeup for the new golfers.
You will also want to add in a sand wedge at some point as well. The sand wedge does not need to match the rest of the irons, but you need a club that helps get the ball in the air out of a bunker.
Should A Beginner Use Long Irons?
No, a beginner should not use a long iron. Getting the ball in the air with a golf iron is very difficult for a beginner golfer. When the club has a very little loft and is physically longer than the other clubs in the bag, this problem gets even more difficult.
Hybrids have a larger sweet spot, and their club head is much more forgiving. Especially those players that have slower swing speeds should put the long irons away and put a hybrid in the golf bag.
When Is the Best Time Of Year To Buy A New Set Of Irons?
With the price of golf irons, many people look for deals when they are available. There are no real times that are better than others for purchasing a set of irons, but we do have a few tips if you are looking for a deal.
Golf clubs are traditionally released at the beginning of the year. When they are first released, the pricing will be the highest, and as the season goes on, the pricing will drop. Usually, by the fall, prices have lowered considerably on the brand new sets.
If you are ok with technology that is a year or so old, when new irons are released, their previous models drop significantly. You may have noticed that with our M6 suggestion that the pricing on those has dropped tremendously now that the SIM Max has been released.
For a beginner golfer technology that is a year old will be completely fine to get your game to the level that you want it.
Hopefully, our review of the best irons for beginners has helped to narrow down the list of options and make this a more straightforward project for you. We want you to understand that these golf sets are not your typical cheap beginner's irons that will only last a year or so and have to be put on a shelf. These are golf clubs that will last year for many years and help you as your game improves as well.
The Callaway Mavrik Iron Set stands out as the best possible set of irons for a beginner because of the distance and ball flight benefits that they can give to a golfer. These are highly advanced clubs that will last year for many years. If you want to give yourself the best possible chance at success in this game, the Mavrik irons can do that for you.