Choosing golf clubs for a golf set usually requires careful decisions about which clubs to choose for the long and short game, whether you need any of the wedges, and of course which type of driver and putter to choose.
Variable clubs include golf irons, which are an essential part of golf equipment, in addition to woods and hybrids. Golf irons are designed for the short and very short game and are mainly used for hitting balls from the fairway to the green – they are usually used at distances of less than 170 m.
Types of golf irons
Golf irons, like woods, are divided by size. Standard irons are recognized as sizes 1-9, which are complemented by the pitching wedge, which was originally designed as a size 10 iron. Irons number 1-2 are not usually used nowadays and are replaced by either hybrids or woods of higher numbers.
Irons with numbers 3-5 or 6 are designed for longer swings, while golf irons with higher numbers are designed for very short swings. Golf irons also include all four types of wedges, which are selected and fitted separately. A golf set is usually put together to cover the full range of stroke characteristics, with higher number woods, hybrids and lower number irons alternating with each other.
Characteristics of golf irons
The main characteristic of iron-type clubs is the shape of the head – compared to hybrid and wood clubs, irons have small and narrow heads, and likewise the shafts of the clubs are generally shorter. The specifics of golf irons thus include mainly:
- head shape and material
- shaft characteristics
Golf iron head technology
Golf irons are manufactured in two variants, with regard to shape and technological design. Depending on the production method, golf iron heads are either forged or cast. The processing technology mainly influences the shaping options and the use of a combination of materials and composites.
Forged heads are typically machined into uniform, narrow forgings with small sweetspots and a compact, well-balanced shape. Special molds are used for cast heads to provide greater shape variation and integration of other features that enhance overall playability and performance.
Materials for the manufacture of golf iron heads include primarily stainless steel, but can also be made from a variety of alloys. The most common alloys are aluminium, zinc or tungsten.
A very important aspect is then the specific shape of the golf iron head, which defines the application mainly with regard to the player's ability and handicap. According to the head shape, golf irons are divided into:
- blades (blade)
- cavity back
The difference between these two types is precisely the manufacturing process. Narrow razorback irons are made mainly as forgings and are intended for advanced players precisely because they have a very limited striking area, including the sweetspot, and also a narrow top of the head.
Strikes made with razor irons require high accuracy.
Hollow irons have larger heads with higher volume and greater articulation, can be fitted with additional balancing elements, and have a larger striking surface and sweetspot. These irons are preferable for beginners as they are more forgiving of hitting errors.
Golf iron head shapes
There are also other elements specific to both types of heads that shape them and affect the characteristics of the game. Apart from the top edge, which allows for greater forgiveness of error the wider it is, these are mainly offset (deviation from the vertical plane), loft (deviation of the striking surface or club face) and bounce (deviation from the ground).
Each of these elements has an effect on the shape of the stroke and thus on the overall flight path. The head of golf irons can be fixed or adjustable through appropriate types of weights.
Material and shaft stiffness
Similar to other types of golf clubs, golf irons can be fitted with different types of shafts. Standard shafts are made of two materials, namely steel and graphite.
The material of the shaft has quite a big influence on the playability of the club, mainly because of its weight and also because of its stiffness. Steel shafts are stiffer and heavier and are especially suitable for more advanced players, while graphite shafts are lighter and more flexible and are therefore characterized by easier handling.
The stiffness or flexibility of the shaft itself, which is generally referred to as flex, divides golf irons into several categories. Choosing a shaft of the appropriate stiffness/flexibility depends primarily on the player's ability – the swing speed they are able to achieve at impact.
Players with a high swing speed should prefer stiffer shafts, while players with a low swing speed should prefer more flexible shafts.
For this reason, shafts are classified according to flex into two categories: flexible shafts (L-R) and stiff shafts (S). The complete breakdown then includes:
- L (ladies)
- A (senior)
- R (regular)
- S (stiff)
- XS-XXXS (extra stiff)
How to choose the right golf iron
When selecting a golf iron, fitting is especially necessary with the shaft and head type, which are related to the player's playing ability. If you are selecting individual irons, it is necessary to focus on the numbering in the first place, as they are usually part of a set that may already contain alternative irons of lower numbers in the form of higher woods or hybrids.
As a rule, irons are selected from number 3 or 4 onwards and are complemented by two wedges. Individual irons should then be selected according to the flex of the shaft, which can greatly affect the overall playability. For beginners and intermediate players, it is preferable to select irons with a more flexible graphite shaft, which is lightweight and provides a high degree of error forgiveness even at low swing speeds.
For these players, the flexible shaft should be complemented by a cast cavity back, which is more variable and provides a larger hitting head. For advanced players, the choice of shaft should be more towards stiffer types that allow for high ball striking accuracy.
The shaft should be fitted with a narrow and forged razor head (blade) with low error forgiveness, through which the stroke can be shaped very well.
Golf irons are manufactured by a number of companies that either sell a full range of golf equipment and tools or specialize in the production of clubs or irons only.
The solutions for these clubs undergo constant research and development, which focuses primarily on the accuracy and balance of the heads, which are subject to manufacturing and testing procedures based on detailed study of the striking parameters, material design and the shaping and weight of the individual components of the clubs.
Golf irons can be purchased in various quality levels and brands, which also determine the basic prices of the individual models. Among the most famous and largest manufacturers of golf irons are the following companies:
The price variance of golf irons is slightly higher in comparison with other types of clubs. The cheapest products in average in price up to 1000 CZK, the most expensive reach the value of around 12 000 CZK. Golf irons of average quality are at a price level of around 3 000 CZK.
Parameter table for golf irons
|Hole type||long iron/short iron/ wedge|
|Head material||mild steel/alloy|
|Manufacturing technology (head shape)||forged (blade) / cast (cavity back)|
|Shaft material||steel /graphite|
|Flex||L / A / R / S / XS / XXS / XXXS|
|Player Dominance||right/left side|
Most popular golf woods according to consumers
Golf irons are purchased in bulk mainly as an addition to a golf set (primarily the addition of some type of wedge) or to replace a damaged club already in the bag.
Fitting depends primarily on ability and swing speed so that the handling and overall design of the golf iron fully meets the needs of the player, while covering the full range of clubs according to the types of swings. Here are the 10 most popular current golf iron models according to consumers.
Mizuno MP-18 Review
Mizuno's MP-18 blade-type golf iron is designed exclusively for advanced players. The compact head with small hitting area allows for very precise swings, it is fitted in a standard stiffness shaft in a special design with increased efficiency. The club can be purchased in up to 8 sizes (7 irons and pitching wedge), in variable loft and offset.
Reasons to get the Mizuno MP-18 golf iron
- Quality and sophisticated blade head design designed for advanced players
- Large selection with consideration for size, loft and lie
Reasons not to get the Mizuno MP-18 golf iron
- Not suitable for beginners
CALLAWAY Mavrik Standard Men's Iron Set 5-9, PW, SW – Review
The Mavrik Standard golf iron from Callaway can be purchased in a set of 7 clubs – 5 irons plus a pitching and sand wedge. These golf irons are created in a special design with a cavity head allowing for center of gravity adjustment via tungsten weights and a hitting surface treatment for higher swing speeds.
The head is mounted in a graphite or steel shaft depending on the player's ability.
Reasons to buy the CALLAWAY Mavrik Standard golf iron
- high quality set of golf irons for beginners and advanced players
- sophisticated adjustable head design with a striking surface designed based on intelligent testing
- variable club flex for easy fitting
Reasons not to get the CALLAWAY Mavrik Standard golf iron
- higher price
Slazenger V300 Irons – Review
The No. 7 V300 golf iron from Slazenger is designed primarily for male players. The club is designed for beginners and has a head with a large cut-out to allow for greater forgiveness of errant strokes. The head has an adjustable centre of gravity through which very good fitting of the club can be made.
Reasons to get the Slazenger V300 Irons
- suitable for beginners and intermediate players
- adjustable head with modified hitting head for greater forgiveness
- very affordable price
Reasons not to get a Slazenger V300 Irons golf iron
- not suitable for advanced players
Callaway Rogue – Review
The Rogue men's iron from Callaway is designed especially for beginners and intermediate players with right-handed dominance. The club head is cavity shaped and adjustable with tungsten weights. The adjustability of the head allows for a variable increase in the striking area with a suitable finish to increase swing speed.
The head is mounted in a steel shaft with relatively good stiffness. The basic set includes 5 sizes of irons and pitching and sand wedges, which can be further supplemented with longer irons and approach wedges.
Reasons to buy the Callaway Rogue golf iron
- A quality club with advanced head design and modified hitting surface
- designed for beginners and intermediate golfers
- adjustable loft for better fit
- rigid steel shaft
- favorable price
Reasons not to get a Callaway Rogue golf iron
- low accuracy at high swing speeds – not suitable for advanced players
Callaway X Hot Iron – Review
The X Hot men's iron from Callaway is designed primarily for beginner and intermediate players. The club can be purchased in 5 sizes and in pitching wedge and sand wedge variants with variable loft. The club head is mounted in a graphite shaft with high flexibility.
Reasons to get the Callaway X Hot golf iron
- especially suited for beginners with fit head and flexible flex
- available in 7 size variations
- suitable for both male and female players
Reasons not to get a Callaway X Hot golf iron
- high price
Cobra King Irons – Review
Cobra's King brand golf irons are a model with adjustable head via tungsten weights (allowing adjustment between clubs with characteristic size 2 and 3).
The club head is designed to be very compact, achieving high loft through the cavities, which makes it easier to handle and increases forgiveness of error. The loft of the head is also adjustable. The head is mounted in a steel shaft with reasonable stiffness.
Reasons to get the Cobra King Irons
- technologically sophisticated cavity back head with hollow construction for easy handling
- suitable for male and female advanced players
- adjustable loft allowing highly variable fit
- steel shaft with good stiffness
Reasons not to get a Cobra King Irons golf iron
- not suitable for beginners
Cobra King Utility – Review
TaylorMade's M6 D-Type utility wood in particular can also be purchased in a higher fairway size (5). The head of the wood features a special face geometry that allows for a very accurate shot due to the limitation of lateral rotation, which is supported by speedpocket technology.
The graphite shaft with normal flexibility and the head design predestine the club especially for use by beginners and intermediate players.
Reasons to get the Cobra King Utility golf iron
- Advanced head technology with modified face and speedpocket technology
- flexible shaft suitable for beginners and intermediates
Reasons not to get a Cobra King Utility golf iron
- Only for players with right-handed dominance
- high price
Mizuno set MP-18 SC – review
The MP-18 SC golf iron set from Mizuno allows you to conveniently get 5 clubs ranging from size 4 to pitching wedge. The clubs are designed for male players with right-handed dominance.
The club features a cavity head with narrow top edge on a rigid shaft, making it the ideal iron for advanced players. The clubs in the set can be purchased individually or as a complete set.
Reasons to get the Mizuno MP-18 SC golf iron set
- The hole can be purchased in a set covering the basic needs in the range of shorter irons
- steel shaft and razor head for very accurate shots for advanced players
Reasons not to get the Mizuno MP-18 SC golf iron set
- not suitable for beginners
- suitable only for men with right-handed dominance
INESIS Kids Iron 9/PW 11-13 years – review
The INESIS Kids Iron is designed for beginning players aged 11-13. The shape and size of the golf club is adapted to the needs of children's players, i.e. the club head is smaller with a large striking surface and the shaft is shorter than in adult clubs.
Reasons to buy the INESIS Kids Golf Iron 9/PW 11-13 years
- high quality beginner iron for children between the ages of 11 and 13
- favorable price
Reasons not to buy the INESIS Kids 9/PW Golf Iron for 11-13 years
- not suitable for adult players
Cleveland Launcher UHX Iron, True Temper Dynamic Gold, 5 iron – review
The Launcher UHX men's golf iron from Cleveland is designed primarily for more advanced players with right-handed dominance. The golf club has a blade type head set in a high stiffness (R-S) steel shaft in a special True Temper Dynamic Gold finish.
The club head is variably shaped for better dynamic properties and more accurate swings. The club is available in a set of 5 higher number irons and a pitching wedge.
Reasons to get the Cleveland Launcher UHX golf iron
- Designed for advanced players with customized razor head shape and stiff shaft
- advanced shaft design for better handling
Reasons not to get the Cleveland Launcher UHX golf iron
- unsuitable for beginners
- only for players with right-handed dominance