A golfer is only as good as his clubs, and even the pros dedicate plenty of time to finding a set that fits them perfectly. You might tee off with a driver, but your irons and wedges are what get your ball safely into the hole. Whether you're a beginner looking for a reasonably priced set to help you learn the ropes, or a seasoned pro after something with a little more lift or distance, it pays to ensure your irons are the best they can be.
This buying guide will discuss everything you need to know about buying the best golf irons, from swing weight to shaft flexibility. We'll then count down ten of our favourite sets, including irons from popular brands like Mizuno and, of course, Callaway's Apex series, all of which can be purchased online from Amazon and Decathlon. With options to suit every budget, from affordable to luxury, there's something here for every golfer.
For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:
For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of golf irons available and understand how our ranking was determined.
This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.
JPX921 Forged Irons Set
D9 Irons Set
Apex Pitching Wedge
Rogue X Irons Set
Set of 9 Single Length Irons
900 Irons Set
Unbeatable Chromoly Clubs for Advanced Players With a Need for Speed
Mid-Range Irons With Built-in Speed Pockets for Those Looking to Improve Their Game
An Affordable Set With a High Level of Forgiveness That’s Perfect for Beginners
Premium Clubs With Incredible Accuracy and Plenty of Feel and Forgiveness
High-Performing Irons With an Excellent Flight Speed Without the Premium Price Tag
A Modern Update of a Legendary Set of Irons With an Impressive Feel and a Stunning Look
An Affordable and Forgiving Set of Clubs That’ll Inspire Confidence in Beginners
Maximise Your Shot Distance and Improve Your Accuracy With These Elongated Irons
A Reasonably-Priced Set for Beginners With a Particularly Large Sweet Spot
A Forgiving Set With Superb Feel That Competes With the Top Brands
|Clubs Included||4-GW||5-PW||5-SW (also includes hybrid)||4-PW||5-SW (5-PW also available)||3-AW (sold individually)||5-SW||4-GW||4-SW||5-PW|
|Flexibility||Stiff (regular also available)||Regular (ladies also available)||Regular||Regular||Uni-flex (senior and regular also available)||Regular (extra stiff, stiff, and ladies also available)||Regular||Regular (women's also available)||Regular (stiff and senior also available)||Regular (women's and senior's also available)|
A set of irons usually includes a wide range of clubs, but it's extremely unlikely to have every iron available. This is okay - you don't need to fill every gap, and even the pros aren't allowed to carry more than 14 clubs. Besides, a complete set of irons would be much too heavy to carry! Still, it's wise to know what clubs a set includes to ensure you get a range that fits your play style.
Manufacturers will usually use ranges to inform you of what clubs you get in their set. A set listed as '5-PW', for example, will include 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 irons and a pitching wedge, while a more comprehensive 4-GW set will also include a 4-iron and gap wedge. The trick is to pick a range of clubs that suit your play style, but for the most part, the majority of sets will cover most bases.
Some brands (particularly premium ones) prefer to sell their irons individually, requiring you to select which one you would like. Mimicking the ranges offered by popular sets is a safe bet, and the 5-PW range is always a good choice. That is, of course, unless you're a pro who knows exactly what they want, or you're simply looking to upgrade a single club in your bag.
That bag full of clubs can get a little heavy. Why not take a look at the Best Golf Trolleys?
Why is it that two golf clubs can look exactly the same but feel completely different? The answer is swing weight. Swing weight considers four attributes - the clubhead's weight, grip and shaft, and the club length. This offers a general indication of how heavy a club feels when you swing it. Every golfer has preferences, hence why you feel instantly 'at home' when using certain clubs.
The measuring of swing weight isn't an exact science, and the first machine to measure swing weight was invented only a century ago by clubmaker Robert Adams. It records swing weight using letters ranging from A to F, with numbers from 0 to 9 giving even more exact measurements. For reference, the average men's club is around D1, while the average women's club is around C6.
Finding the perfect swing weight requires looking back at your previous golfing experience. If you frequently get tired when swinging, go for something lighter. On the other hand, if you struggle to control the club or keep it on the proper swing path, go for something heavier. If you're a beginner with little to no experience, start with an average swing weight and see how you go from there.
Did you know that a golf glove can increase your grip and improve your swing? Take a look at the Best Golf Gloves.
Clubmakers can use one of several different materials when creating iron shafts. The material used will significantly alter how a club feels, affecting club weight and, perhaps most importantly, flexibility. Two of the most common material are steel and aluminium, with the latter being considerably more flexible than the former.
Manufacturers often indicate a club's flexibility by assigning it one of five categories: extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior and ladies. Senior and Ladies' clubs are the most flexible, and, despite their name, golfers of all ages and genders can take advantage of their ability to add power to your swing. There's also 'uni-flex', a unique blend of stiff and regular shafts.
The ideal shaft flexibility for you all depends on your swing speed. If you have a slow swing and require some extra power, a flexible shaft will help you achieve extra distance. However, a flexible shaft is likely to overpower the shots of stronger golfers, leaving them prone to slicing. Here, a stiffer shaft is the better choice.
Every golfer knows what the 'sweet spot' is. It's that elusive part of the clubface that, when it makes contact with the ball, sends it hurtling effortlessly through the air with a perfect trajectory. Essentially, every shot is an attempt to hit the ball with the sweet spot, although this can be especially difficult for beginners.
Fortunately, many manufacturers attempt to combat this problem by making the sweet spot more accessible to players. This is called increasing the 'forgiveness' of a club. Essentially, they try and make the sweet spot as large as possible, meaning a higher chance of straight, powerful shots and less chance of slicing and mishits.
It goes without saying that forgiving clubs are worth seeking out—they're not a handicap, and even some pros use them. Unfortunately, forgiveness is not measurable and isn't given as a specification. Manufacturers will mention how forgiving their clubs are in the product description, but your best bet is to consult reviews written by golfers who have hands-on experience with just how forgiving a club is.
Looking for the perfect way to tee off? Check out our list of the best Golf Drivers!
This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
|Flexibility||Stiff (regular also available)|
|Flexibility||Regular (ladies also available)|
|Clubs Included||5-SW (also includes hybrid)|
|Clubs Included||5-SW (5-PW also available)|
|Flexibility||Uni-flex (senior and regular also available)|
|Clubs Included||3-AW (sold individually)|
|Flexibility||Regular (extra stiff, stiff, and ladies also available)|
|Flexibility||Regular (women's also available)|
|Flexibility||Regular (stiff and senior also available)|
|Flexibility||Regular (women's and senior's also available)|
PC and cameras
Home appliances and electronics
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones