Best Golf Irons on the Market
One of the biggest problems facing many golfers is how to choose the best golf irons for personalized technique and swing. The decision is not that easy and requires dedication and the right information for the best choice. In many cases, players start looking for features that would fit their playing style. But the decision is also affected by other factors such as manufacturing quality, materials, design, flex and size. In this article, we take you through what golf irons are and what you should be looking for when buying as well as our Golf Iron Reviews.
What Are Golf Irons?
For the new players, it might be worth noting some essential elements bout a golf iron. Since the name might confuse you, there is a simple way to approach this category. Golf irons are a type of golf clubs which are specifically made to maximize the length you can reach towards the hole. Recognizing one is even easier as they come with a shorter shaft than regular clubs. They also come with a smaller head and this is the main differentiator. The iron`s head is smaller when compared to other types of clubs. The design of the head is made with a flat face or area of impact with different pattern grooves. This makes the iron very specific but also the best option for certain gameplay situations.
There are different types of irons players can choose from. When you take into consideration the 14 clubs which can be carried, most of them are irons. These irons are usually made for a specific purpose. For example, the 20-degree loft can help you keep the ball closer to the ground.
Types of golf irons
Since the game has evolved so did the golf irons. There are now three main categories of irons and the good news is that once you get used to their characteristics it will be easier for you to choose the best one for your own style. The three types are: blades, cavity-backs and game improvement irons.
Blades offer the most precise ball hitting results. As you may expect, having precise results means the iron offers very little forgiveness. This makes them recommended for the advanced player with enough experience to hit the ball with the sweet spot every time. The design of the clubs allows them to have an evenly distributed weight across the head. This geometrically aligns the sweet spot right in the center of the head which is why advanced players really need to focus on getting precise shots every time.
Cavity-backs offer good levels of playability and are used by most players looking for some forgiveness. Off-center hits are not as important with this type of iron making them the best choice for the average player which like enjoy a game of golf. These types of irons get their name from the cavity from the back and have distributed weight on the edges. The face of the head is always thin and acts like a trampoline, especially with off-center shots against the blades irons.
Game improvement irons are perfect for the new players. The iron can come with a hollow body and a wider sole which will improve the ball strike while launching the ball. These types of irons are perfect for the new player which needs to experiment with longer distance shots.
There are two types of construction techniques which define golf irons. Although one is not necessarily better than the other, they both have their purpose and might serve you at some point. You can choose between forged or cast irons.
Forged irons use a complex technology which from steel billets which are then stamped under pressure to form the club head. Although the technology seems more complicated, it is believed the final head come with a better fit.
Casting irons are made by melting hot steel into molds and massively reduces inexactitudes in the manufacturing process. This old-school approach has progressed massively through the years and is still preferred by many players.
Although there is a huge debate on which type of manufacturing process is better, there is little evidence to give a major advantage to one of the two. Even forged irons are based on a modern approach to a traditional technique as it resembles the role of the blacksmith.
Since there is a lot of discussion regarding the heads of the irons it might be a good idea to look into the shafts also. They play an essential role in the overall performance and fell if the iron and this is why major manufacturers patent different technologies. There are three main shafts to choose from: steel shaft, graphite shafts and hybrid shafts.
Steel shafts are loved by golfers due to their impact and lower price of construction. Steel is heavier that other shaft materials and provides a stiffer experience with less flex. Stainless steel and carbon steel are durable materials which can balance the head of the iron for the perfect golfing experience.
Graphite shafts are usually lighter since the material is not as heavy when compared to steel. Since the lighter material can benefit players in maximizing their distance such shafts are a solid option for many golfers. One of the biggest drawbacks of graphite shafts is the price and reduced durability.
Hybrid shafts use a combination of materials and come in unique ratios of graphite and steel. This is why so many manufacturers try to find the right combination of materials to deliver the balance of stiffness and portability.
What to consider with golf irons
Since you will be making an investment into a quality golf iron, it may be worth noting that some tips might help you with your purchase and even with future purchases.
The number of golf irons
There are some sets available on the market, usually comprising of 4 golf irons But you can even purchase the golf irons separately either from a specialized store or online for the best deals. You should consider that this will probably not be your final iron and you should at least have an idea of where you want to go with your golfing equipment as the pricing can add up over the years.
Most players choose at least one type of iron from each category. So while you might purchase a forged iron now you may be tempted to add an additional cast iron over the years.
You may also want to take the shaft into consideration. As there are multiple shafts to choose from, some even custom made, it would be ideal to inform yourself on the best options for your playing style.
If you are new to the game, the shaft will not be your primary focus. This is understandable. But if you`re trying to push your limits and skills to the next level, inevitably you will be advised to move up the ladder and get the latest technologies. This means you`ll have to experiment with heavier and lighter shaft. At some point, you will also need to experiment with hybrid shafts which use a combination of steel and graphite. While many manufacturers offer different approaches to these combinations, it might be worth noting that the lighter the shaft, the easier it will be to maneuver and the more forgiveness it will have. Stiffer shafts come with less forgiveness and can even require calibration in some rare situations.
As customization is getting increasingly popular among the modern golfers it might be a good idea to see what the latest options are in this niche. While you may not consider a custom iron at the beginning, there are some instances which may negatively influence your performance with the standard products on the market.
Most golf irons are made to cater to a specific height, weight and strength of the players. If you don`t fit into the characteristics set by the manufacturer it will be difficult to find an iron to satisfy your needs. The good news is that even bigger manufacturers offer decent customization and alternative options, especially for a shaft. This is where paying more for a specific product might come in handy as it allows the manufacturers to offer a wider selection of adjustability and customization.
The light vs. heavy issue
There is a debate in the golfing community on the best performance when it comes to the weight of the iron. While there are no written rules, many manufacturers market the products with less weight and more power. Of course, there is a limit to what is physically possible to achieve with reducing weight and improving performance.
Many manufacturers have already reached this limit and look for alternatives such as moving the center of gravity and the weight around the head to offer an improved performance. This being said, there still are some amazing heavier irons which can work very well for most players. In fact, old-school players or experienced players will feel more comfortable with some of the heavier designs.
With every new release there is a learning curve and in a sport such as golf, every inch matters. Since players need to balance the center of gravity and its sweet spot, it may be required for them to learn how to properly get the best results from some of the newer designs.
Is buying second-hand an option?
Since golf irons can get quite expensive, many new players wonder on the benefit of using second-hand irons. While this may be an option for the beginner it is certainly not an option or the advanced player.
But even new irons have a break-in period. Of course, this is natural to some extent. But the advantage of new irons is that players get to experiment and use them while they adjust and learn the techniques.
So while you might be saving money at the beginning you will actually lose money in the long term. Since you will have to buy new irons in the future you will end up spending more money overall instead of making calculated financial decisions which will not only keep more money in your pocket but will also benefit your golf skills.
While many players can focus on the purchasing process itself, it might be a good idea to think of the whole experience and consider the learning curve. Not too many players think about this while considering a new purchase.
The simplest way to think about the learning curve is to compare your favorite products and decide on which product has the shortest and longest learning curve. Sure this doesn`t mean one is better than the other, but if you plan to take them straight to a tournament it might be worth looking for options with a shorter learning curve. If you have enough time to perfect your golf iron technique you can take your time looking for the perfect option which would probably also benefit you in terms of playability.
You may also want to consider storage space as you advance with your skills and you are looking for the best golf irons. While you might be tempted to think this is your last purchase, it will probably go along with other irons in the future.
One of the simplest ways of dealing with this issue is with a golf bag. There are multiple golf bags on the market which can take up to 14 clubs and irons. While they might help you carry the irons to and from the course, they may also be a good storage option. One good tip is to look for a bag which also has enough pockets to store all your needed accessories.
So which type of golf irons should you choose? While many people might advise you to choose the one which is right for you, in the end, best cast you will choose one of each design and manufacturing process. So it is better to consider best cast iron is for you and then which is the best forged iron option. Since in the future you might own a few of each there is no point in stressing on the best overall option, because in reality, they are really hard to compare as they involve different manufacturing processes.