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Golf Clubs Reviews

Top 3 Irons For Average Golfers

There is more to a club than its age. Many people think you should only update your set after a certain time has passed. Although that’s true, there is so much more to consider. 

When buying an iron, you have to look at its forgiveness, weight, distance, and more. Once you understand how these qualities work, you’ll be able to find an iron that not only improves your game but also your skills.

Today, we will explain how to identify if you are an “average golfer,” what features you should be looking for and how to find them in your next iron. Of course, we will also show you the best irons for an average golfer too. If you don’t have the time to read our research, then check out our quick list instead.

If you were a casual golfer or someone with a high handicap, then these are the types of irons you should be looking at.

All three are forgiving and give you a lot of distance, but they also offer different features. To learn more about each club, continue reading!

Quick comparison

Our Top Pick
TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons
$699.99
Pros:
  • Regular Stiffness
  • Large Sweet Spot – Very Forgiving
  • Long Distance
  • Less Slices
  • Cavity Back
Cons:
  • Less Shaping Control
  • Expensive
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/17/2022 06:45 am GMT
Best Value
TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons Cleveland Launcher UHX Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg
$685.68
Pros:
  • Forgiving
  • Cheapest
  • Good Distance
  • Great Hight
  • Enough Control To Spin
Cons:
  • Less Forgiving Than The Other Two
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/16/2022 12:03 am GMT
Editors Choice
TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg
$684.99
Pros:
  • Very Large Sweet Spot – Very Forgiving
  • Regular Stiffness
  • Cavity Back
  • Heavy Sole
Cons:
  • Cannot Shape Control
  • Cannot Spin
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/16/2022 02:48 am GMT

Our Top Pick

TaylorMade SIM MAX

The average player’s main aim is to gain distance. The TaylorMade franchise is amazing at achieving this. However, the SIM MAX is the perfect choice out of their collection when you have mid to high handicappers in mind. They have a good-sized sweet spot and can give you amazing distance without forgoing too much control.

The best of both worlds, the TaylorMade SIM MAX was designed for players who still need help but already have a level of skill. As your ability improves, you can still use these irons when you create the low handicap score of 80.

If you’re a fan of the TaylorMade franchise, then you’ll notice that we haven’t picked the newest or most daring model in their lineup. That’s because the average player needs an iron with a cavity back. Although TaylorMade has other irons which can help you travel further, they won’t be as forgiving as the SIM MAX.

The best thing about this model is its wide sole. This helps you hit the ball, prevents slices, and gives you great distances. That being said, you will have little to no shaping control with this model. That means curving the ball down the fairway will be tricky.

Still, at this point in your progress, aiming for a controlled curve may not be realistic. 

Our Top Pick
TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons
$699.99

Speed Bridge Revolutionary Speed Bridge technology strategically supports the topline of the iron to unlock explosive distance and forgiveness with improved sound and feel. ECHO Damping System Designed with energy channeling geometry to quickly eliminate harsh vibrations at impact delivering better feel without sacrificing face flexibility.

Pros:
  • Regular Stiffness
  • Large Sweet Spot – Very Forgiving
  • Long Distance
  • Less Slices
  • Cavity Back
Cons:
  • Less Shaping Control
  • Expensive
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/17/2022 06:45 am GMT

Also available on TaylorMade.

Editors Choice

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo (Hybrid)

If you are shooting at 91 or higher, you should be focusing on forgiving irons. The most forgiving irons are actually hybrids. These are clubs that have elements of irons and drivers. Due to their rounded head, you will be able to hit higher and longer than a normal iron. It’s the added weight that gives this extra power, and with the weight comes a larger head shape.

As we said before, the size of your head shape is what will determine its forgiveness ability. The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo is no exception to this phenomenon. In fact, they utilize it to create an easy-to-fit clubface, which easily gets your ball into the air.

Most people refuse to use a hybrid, thinking the club is less pure or because they simply don’t like the look of it. But if it helps you get over the hump, you should know that many pros use hybrid irons. The fact it is, they are the best of both clubs.

So why not utilize their strengths! The Cleveland has a regular stiffness, a large sweet spot with a heavy sole. This means that you can hit far, accurately, and on target.

However, with so much weight behind the sole, it can be hard to spin a ball with the Turbo. In fact, shaping it is almost impossible. If you are close to the green, you shouldn’t pick up the Turbo to edge closer. Instead, use something more delicate.

Editors Choice
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg
$684.99

The Launcher HB Turbo Irons deliver maximum forgiveness and a higher trajectory for game improvement players seeking more accurate, longer shots. Get hybrid technology in every iron and start hitting it higher, straighter, and farther today with the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Irons.

Pros:
  • Very Large Sweet Spot – Very Forgiving
  • Regular Stiffness
  • Cavity Back
  • Heavy Sole
Cons:
  • Cannot Shape Control
  • Cannot Spin
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/16/2022 02:48 am GMT

Also available on Golf Digest and Cleveland Golf.

Best Value

Cleveland Launcher UHX

If both the Cleveland and the TaylorMade sound great, but their price range gives you an anxiety attack, then check out the Launcher UHX. Still from the Cleveland range, this iron is a fantastic choice for the average player, but at a more affordable price. They were created for mid to high handicap players and are many people’s favorites.

The sole of the UHX has a prominent V shape, which, as we know, means you can glide through the swing easier, creating a more confident hit. This added weight also means you can reach higher propulsion and further distance. Unlike the other two irons, this forgiving club can guide you through the fairway while still allowing you to spin the ball. This added control comes from the thick wedge and thin top.

Of course, there has to be a catch somewhere, and it comes from forgiveness. Although you are still more likely to hit with this iron, the chances are lower than with the ones above. Instead, you would be choosing spin control over saved fumbles.

Best Value
Cleveland Launcher UHX Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg Cleveland Launcher UHX Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg
$685.68

The Launcher UHX Irons deliver the perfect blend of distance and accuracy. Featuring hollow long irons for explosive distance and cavity back short irons for ultimate control, launch it with the new Cleveland Launcher UHX Irons. Get distance, precision and everything in between with the Launcher UHX Irons from Cleveland Golf. Launcher UHX Irons feature hollow long irons for more forgiveness with cavity back short irons that provide pinpoint control. It all comes together to form one complete, unifying iron set.

Pros:
  • Forgiving
  • Cheapest
  • Good Distance
  • Great Hight
  • Enough Control To Spin
Cons:
  • Less Forgiving Than The Other Two
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/16/2022 12:03 am GMT

Also available on Golf Digest and Cleveland Golf.

The Average Golfer’s Shooting Score

On a 72 par golf course, an average golfer will shoot 91. However, not everyone records their handicap, so realistically the average should be 100. The average golfer’s handicap is normally above 20. 10 or under is considered a low handicap, 11 – 19 is middle range, while 20 and above is a high handicap.

If you find yourself shooting 91 to 100 on a 72 par course, then you will be considered a high handicap player. It doesn’t matter if you have been playing for decades or just starting. These scores teach you where your skill level lands in comparison to other players. If you find yourself tittering between the brackets, then it might be time for you to upgrade your irons. A different set could be all you need to stay firmly in the mid or low handicap zone.

When Should You Upgrade Your Irons?

If your irons are 20 years old or more, then you are definitely due for an upgrade. Although we said that age isn’t the main factor for upgrading your club, it is still an important one.In the last few years alone, the golfing industry has had a boom around club improvements.

You don’t need to buy a new club as soon as a further advancement has been made, but if you’re playing with decade-old gear, you will be one step behind everyone else.

Top 3 Irons For Average Golfers

How Long Can I Keep My Irons Before Upgrading Them?

Since 2015, the golf club manufacturing industry has had a technological expansion. Thanks to advancements in AI technology, scientific studies around aerodynamics, and improvements in lightweight materials, the whole industry has started to create clubs that are leagues above their older counterparts. Today’s irons can hit the golf ball for a longer distance, have wonderfully forgiving features and make it easier to create height.

For all of these reasons, you should upgrade any club created before 2015. If your clubs were all created after 2015, then you should consider their age next. The newest clubs aren’t always the best, so there is no need to upgrade them every year. Instead, you should wait 5 years to upgrade your irons. This is due to the ever-advancing technology behind each club.

Should I Upgrade My Irons When My Skills Have Grown?

Yes. You should upgrade your irons when you move from high handicap status to mid and when you change from min to low. This is because you no longer need an iron which is so forgiving. Instead, you should be looking for clubs that give you more accuracy and control. If you don’t understand how these features are different in each iron, don’t worry. We will explain about the importance of forgiveness later on in this article.

Although it is possible to move from 100 points to 90, and even to 80 without ever changing your irons, it is a more difficult road. If you upgrade your set as you improve, then you will be able to control the ball with more precision – honing in your skills and giving yourself more flexibility with your hits.

Key Factors Of An Iron

Generally speaking, there are 6 factors you need to consider when buying an iron. This information is true no matter your handicap. Our next subheading will explain how to use these details for average golfers specifically, but we want to explain the background information for now.

Distance

The whole point of an iron is to give you control as you propel it towards the green. Although drives are designed for long distances, irons should still be able to move you far down the fairway. If you only use a driver to move you towards the flag, then you could very easily fly right past it.

Instead, the iron should still give you some distance while allowing you more control. Ideally, a 7 iron should be able to hit 10 yards.

Forgiveness

We have been throwing this word around a lot, so if you have no idea what it means, this is your time to learn. If a club is forgiving, it means that it can still give you good distance and adequate accuracy even if you hit the ball poorly. They do this by having a larger hitting area which is weighted. This is also known as the “sweet spot.”

When people try to reduce their handicap, their aim is to make their bad days better. That way, their overall average won’t be so detrimental. Using a forgiving club can help these players reach their goals, as it corrects their bad hits seamlessly.

Distance Control

We have already talked about irons that give a good distance, but when you have a level of comfort around your reach, you’ll need an iron that can help you control that distance. This means reducing your forgiveness level to allow yourself more moveability.

At a certain point, you will be able to hit very far, so distance won’t be a problem. The next thing you have to consider won’t be “can I reach the green” but “how hard should I hit.”

Choosing an iron will less forgiveness will help you gain a better level of control.

Shot Shaping

The more skilled you become, the more control you’ll want from your iron. This time we are speaking about shot shaping. Shot shaping is when you can project and influence the movements of your ball. To do this it requires a lot of technique and practice, but your iron can still help you out.

Again you will want less forgiveness to help you achieve these delicate maneuvers. If your distance isn’t great, but you are good at shaping your shots, then you might need two different iron sets for your game. One to help you down the fairway; the other to give you control.

Consistent Misses

Knowing what you’re bad at can help you learn what to avoid. For example, if you constantly struggle with slicing, you should buy an iron with a lot of forgiveness and a bigger iron face. Also known as the offset, this can help you create better hits, creating less slicing. Take a moment to figure out what you cannot do well, then use that information to learn how to improve.

Ball Flight

If you find the ball is going up in the air instead of traveling across the fairway, then you might have an iron that is too forgiving. Breaking it down, your swing is putting too much weight on the bottom of the ball. The iron then amplifies this error, creating a bigger arch than you need.

Although you’ll have less stability with a low forgiving iron, you should be able to travel further. This is a problem you’ll have to weigh up yourself. What do you need more – distance or stability?

What To Look For In An Average Golfer’s Iron?

Now you know what every golfer should be aware of when it comes to buying an iron, it’s time to narrow down that broad scope. This time we are looking at the average golfer with a high handicap.

Specifically, you will need to focus on these three features:

  1. High Forgiveness
  2. High Ball Flight
  3. Long Distance

The first thing you’ll need to focus on is a very forgiving iron. If you’re unsure what that means, look at our description above. The average golfer hardly ever hits the sweet spot because their accuracy isn’t that great. So to help you get an accurate and strong hit, you need the largest sweet spot you can find.

While on your search, look for an iron that specifically advertises their large forgiveness. Next, you want an iron that can produce height. It doesn’t matter how far you can hit your ball if you cannot get it over a hump. Most courses aren’t flat and the average golfer doesn’t have the control needed to produce height naturally. Luckily, most forgiving clubs also offer good height. Lastly, you need a club which can give you the distance. Accuracy is normally more important than distance, as a long shot in the wrong direction can cost you more strikes than a slow and steady player. Still, you don’t want to put to the green.

To create a good distance, you need a fast swing. Unfortunately, most average players don’t excel in this area, so instead, you want an iron that makes hitting easier.

Identifying A High, Mid And Low Handicap Iron

So you know what to look for, but how do you know which iron has which features? Ignoring the manufacturers specifications, you can tell what an iron can do just by looking at it.There are four areas to consider:

  1. Head Shape
  2. Weight Location
  3. Width of the Sole
  4. Offset

The Head Shape Of An Iron

There are three typical shapes to an iron head. These are the “Blades,” “Cavity Backs,” and “Muscle Backs.” Blade iron heads have a thin face with a thin top line. The weight is meant to be distributed evenly, and their sweet spot is small. They are great for shaping shots but aren’t forgiving.

Low handicap players should use this head shape. Cavity Backs have a gap or a cavity in the back of the head. This moves the weight to the edges, creating a bigger sweet spot. A bigger sweet spot means more forgiveness, which is why they are ideal for high handicap players.

Muscle Backs are similar to blade irons, but they tend to be a little thicker. The sweet spot is small, like blade iron, but its weight is heavier. This means you can hit for a greater distance but with less shaping ability. These irons are great for mid handicap players.

Weight Location In Your Iron

The more weight an iron has around the sides or perimeter of the clubhead, the more forgiving it will be. This is because the vibrations from the hit will have less density creating that all-important sweet spot.If you cannot tell what type of head your iron has, the weight can help you figure it out.

If the weight is heavy at the bottom of the head, but there is no hollow center, then you have a muscle back. If the head is mostly thin, and you cannot see an obvious change in weight, then you have a blade iron.

When you’re picking from a line-up, you should choose the iron with the biggest cavity. That will give you the biggest forgiveness.

The Sole’s Shape

The sole is the bottom of your club, and its shape can help you learn if your ball will go high or far.Cavity back irons almost always have a wider sole and their tip. The same goes for muscle backs but isn’t true for blades. The thicker the sole, the more height your shot will have. If you are struggling to get out of the bunker, you’ll need an iron with a thick sole to truly give you height.

The Offset

A club has an offset if the shaft is tilted in front of the head. A big offset can help you line up your clubhead, creating less slices and giving you more control.

However, because of the weight distribution, a high offset will not give you a lot of power or distance. High offsets are great for the average golfer or those with high handicaps, but as you improve, you should reduce the tilt. 

Shaft Flexes For The Average Golfer 

The last thing you need to consider before purchasing an iron is its shaft flex. The flex refers to the shaft’s ability to bend as it travels through your swing. The type of shaft you need depends on your swing. The wrong type could explain why your shots are inconsistent. A bendy shaft can give you a lot of height.

However, if you don’t have a lot of control over your swing, you can find the ball going too far left (if you are right-handed) or right (if you are left-handed. Stiff shafts can make your ball travel far, but they don’t have a lot of lift. This can force your ball into stopping early due to hitting the ground.

If the shaft is too stiff for you, you can find the ball going too far right (if you are right-handed) or left (if you are left-handed).Ideally, you should go to a driving range and try out all the shifts available to see what works best for you.

Need something a little less random? Try this table instead. But remember, everyone is different, so take it with a pinch of salt.

  • Swing speed is less than 80 miles per hour, or you cannot hit further than 200 yards – use a flexible shaft.
  • Swing speed is between 80 and 90 miles per hour, or you can hit between 200 and 240 yards – use a regular shaft.
  • Swing speed is between 90 and 100 miles per hour, or you can hit a can between 240 and 275 yards – use a stiff shaft.
  • Swing speed is over 100 miles per hour, or you can hit further than 275 yards – use an extra stiff shaft.

Our Top Pick
TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons
$699.99
Pros:
  • Regular Stiffness
  • Large Sweet Spot – Very Forgiving
  • Long Distance
  • Less Slices
  • Cavity Back
Cons:
  • Less Shaping Control
  • Expensive
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/17/2022 06:45 am GMT
Best Value
TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons Cleveland Launcher UHX Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg
$685.68
Pros:
  • Forgiving
  • Cheapest
  • Good Distance
  • Great Hight
  • Enough Control To Spin
Cons:
  • Less Forgiving Than The Other Two
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/16/2022 12:03 am GMT
Editors Choice
TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Iron Set RH 5-PW Steel Reg
$684.99
Pros:
  • Very Large Sweet Spot – Very Forgiving
  • Regular Stiffness
  • Cavity Back
  • Heavy Sole
Cons:
  • Cannot Shape Control
  • Cannot Spin
Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
05/16/2022 02:48 am GMT

Summary

Each of these irons would be perfect for a beginner, but depending on your playing style, one might be calling you more than the others.

If you want a forgiving iron that can produce long distances, go with the TaylorMade SIM MAX. If you want something that prioritizes forgiveness and gives you great distances but reduces your ability to shape control, then pick the Launcher HB Turbo.

In all honesty, most average players aren’t thinking about that technique yet anyway. And lastly, if you want a forgiving iron but still want to spin the ball, then pick the Launcher UHX. It is the cheapest iron that gives you the most control while still allowing you some room for error.

As you improve your game and reduce your handicap, come back to this page to learn what your next iron would look like. As you progress, you can move from cavity backs to muscle backs to blade backs. Information like this is easily labeled in our article, and it can help you improve your game faster.

Andrew Barrett