10 Best Golf Irons for Beginners & High Handicappers in 2021

High handicappers and beginners always get put into the same group when it comes to categorizing golf clubs. This is done because there are a few common features that both beginners and high handicappers need in a golf club. 

The most critical factor is forgiveness, and the second is consistency.  As a golf professional, one of my favorite things to do is introduce a new player to the game. The joy of becoming a golfer is something that can last a lifetime. 

In this review of best irons for beginners and high handicappers, we tried to not only give you the best overall picks but also break them down into some specific categories. This guide will help you find exactly what you need to help your game.

Best Irons For Beginners 2021




Best Irons for Beginners: Cobra T Rail Combo Set



PROS

  • High ball speeds
  • Easy to hit out of the rough 
  • E9 technology for fast club face 
  • Incorporates Baffler technology 

CONS

  • Short irons in the Hybrid are difficult to get used to

Years ago Cobra introduced the Baffler T Rail Hybrid. It was different than anything on the market at the time.

There were two small bars (rails) on the bottom of the club that were supposed to help the club pull through even the most difficult lies. At first, I was skeptical thinking the rails would decrease solid turf interaction on fairway shots. I was wrong.

The T Rail Hybrids were amazingly easy to hit and one of the best clubs that Cobra put out. When I first saw this 2020 Cobra T Rail Combo set released I was interested in seeing if they kept similar technology.

Fortunately, they used the same design but created an incredible, easy to hit set of hybrid irons.

The Cleveland Launcher HB set has been leading the way with Hybrid Irons for several years and it’s about time they get some solid competition. If you never saw yourself playing with a hybrid iron you may want to reconsider.

The T Rail Combo set is a hollow body iron set. It’s a progressive set where the clubs move to a full hybrid. They are considered to be hybrid Irons however they have the feel of traditional irons with the distance of a hybrid. The black finish on the entire iron set makes them quite appealing and sleek looking.

As a beginner or high handicapper golfer, you are likely not in the fairway as often as you would like to be. That will come in time.

In the meantime having a club that cuts through rough (without incredibly fast swing speeds) is incredibly important. The rails on the bottom of these clubs will give you the confidence you need out of a divot, or rough or even a fairway bunker!

Cobra used their E9 technology on this iron, to give it variable face thickness. The variable face helps to ensure maximum distance, even on off-center hits.

It takes time and practice to continually hit the ball in the center of the clubface, choosing an iron set with a larger sweet spot is a smart move for a beginner or high handicapper.

Being this T Rail set is a distance and forgiveness set it comes stock with a graphite shaft. Remember that when you see the pricing of this set. Most sets are advertised at the steel price and then have an upcharge for graphite.

The stock graphite shaft is the Cobra Ultralite. It is available in stiff, regular and senior flex. Each shaft is about 55 grams, they are high launch and high spin shafts.




Runner Up 1: Callaway Mavrik Irons



PROS

  • Perfectly positioned center of gravity
  • Created using artificial intelligence 
  • Great feel for beginner irons 

CONS

  • Thicker top down line 

If a hybrid set of irons is not your cup of tea then you need to take a look at this Callaway Mavrik Iron that was just released.

The Rogue Iron was the new release for Callaway in 2019 and they proved to be one of the best selling golf irons of the year. There were a few small issues, mostly feel and sound but overall an impressive club.

Callaway came back with the Mavrik and addressed the feel and sound issues to put out a set of irons that beginners are going to have a hard time complaining about.

For the first time in the history of golf Callaway has used Artificial Intelligence to craft each club of the set individually.

In the past, the only difference between a 7 and 8 iron was the loft. That is no longer the case with the Mavrik irons. The tungsten weight has been moved in each club to increase launch and accuracy and get the center of gravity to the perfect location.

The Mavrik Iron comes equipped with the 360 face cup technology that the Rogue had. The difference is that Callaway also used their flash face in this iron.

The flash face has been very effective on Drivers and Woods in the last few years and they were able to incorporate them into an iron for the first time.

Beginners and high handicappers will have the option to go with the Mavrik or the Mavrik Max irons. Callaway states that the Mavrik is longer (lower lofts) and Max (higher lofts).

Technically because of the lower lofts the standard Mavrik model will be longer and the ball flight will be lower. If you struggle with getting the ball in the air and need a slightly bigger sweet spot the max is the way to go.

Keep in mind that the lofts on these clubs are still lower than they were years ago, don’t let the higher lofts on the Max steer you away. They are a tremendous set of irons for beginners.

The stock shaft in the steel is True Temper Elevate 95, a 90-gram shaft available in regular and stiff flex. The graphite stock shaft is the Project X Catalyst. All of the shafts are high spin, high loft, exactly what beginners golf clubs should have in them.

Since the Mavrik is a brand new option they are still available with many custom choices. My advice to beginners is to stick with the stock options unless you are very tall or short and need length taken on or off the club.

Read our Callaway Mavrik Irons review.




Runner Up 2: Cleveland Launcher CBX Iron Set



PROS

  • Clean classic looking golf iron 
  • Fair value 
  • Plenty of distance
  • Tour Zip grooves for better spin

CONS

  • Limited availability for custom shaft options

The Cleveland CBX Iron Set is one of the best golf clubs for a beginners because of all the features it offers at such fair value. If you are looking for a club you can stick with for years to come this is the one.

The CBX iron has a progressive v-shaped sole, cavity back design, laser milling, and Tour Zip Grooves. All of this for a very affordable price!

If you are looking to improve ball speed and distance these irons are a perfect option. They are lower lofted clubs with a high launching high spinning stock shaft in them.

As you move from the short irons to the long irons you will see the size of the sole increase, helping to improve launch and forgiveness.

The Tour Zip Grooves installed in the wedges give this set some of the best feeling beginner irons for around the greens.

Many of the irons for beginners are pure distance and forgiveness and feel is pushed to the side. This is fine when you first begin the game but as you get better you need a club that rewards you for good shots. Feel around the greens is imperative on the short irons when it comes time to score.

One of the key features of this iron that is not talked about enough is the look of the club. Beginner irons can look and feel bulky.

They look like they have lots of technology but don’t resemble a golf club of the past in any way. The CBX is one of the most classic looking beginner and high handicapper irons on the market.

The combination of weight, sole shape and increased speed and distance make this set of irons a perfect option not just when your handicap is high but as you improve as well.

Something to seriously consider if you are going to be working to lower your scores.




Cobra F Max Iron Set

Best Low Price Irons for Beginners



PROS

  • Extremely forgiving
  • Increased control around the greens
  • Great wedges in the set
  • Pairs well with any Cobra hybrid

CONS

  • Not the best for transitioning into the low handicap irons

Why does Cobra end up on the best low price option so often?

It’s simply because when they release their golf irons they release them at a fair value. As the season goes on, they continue to drop and then when the next model is released the price drops even more.

They follow this cycle almost every year. The key is that they are almost always a fair value to begin with.

The Cobra F Max Iron set is no exception.

5-PW is a great value for beginners.

It’s important to note that if you have a faster swing speed this is not the set for you. This Cobra F Max set has an ultralight configuration designed to get the slowest swingers more speed.

Like many of the best golf clubs for beginners, the Cobra F Max is also an offset design, helping to square up the clubface and promote a draw.

Most beginner clubs are going to have quite a bit of offset, some are more visible than others. The Cobra F Max is pretty visible. This is a look that some beginners like, they combine it with a slight forward press and use it to control ball flight.

Similar to the CBX Irons with the Tour Zip Grooves the wedges in the F MAX set are designed to help with control around the greens.

Distance and speed do not help when it comes to feel and finesse around the greens. Cobra considered that and made sure the weight and the groves on the pitching wedge, and gap wedge were designed properly.

The Cobra F Max iron set also comes in a combo version that includes Hybrids. For a beginner golfer who has never played the game this option is much better than the majority of complete sets on the market.

Investing in this set is something you won’t regret a few years down the road.




Callaway Big Bertha REVA Women’s Iron Set

Best Irons for Women Beginner



PROS

  • Complete design just for women 
  • High launch 
  • Lots of distance
  • Extremely forgiving

CONS

  • New release is priced quite a bit higher

Women golfers that are just starting out tend to have the most trouble with the irons. When looking down at an iron shot, the club does not look nearly as forgiving or easy to hit as most women golfers would like.

herefore the women beginner players need to be very careful about the iron selection they make. 

The Callaway Big Bertha REVA irons are a brand new release that will help female golfers get better distance and higher launch. With the side sole on the Reva, women golfers should have no trouble launching the ball properly into the air. 

The center of gravity in the Callaway Big Bertha Irons Reva irons is low, therefore making them quite a bit more forgiving. The Reva irons look very much like a traditional Big Bertha that won the hearts of so many beginner golfers years ago. 

With the combination of urethane microspheres, Flash Face Cup, and a custom tungsten weighting, this is a set of clubs that is going to make your introduction into the game of golf a much smoother one. 




Cobra SpeedZone Irons

Best Irons for Slice



PROS

  • Helps to correct shots that are headed off center
  • Easy to setup and use 
  • Confidence inducing design 
  • Cobra Connect Technology

CONS

  • Not quite as long as the RadSpeed Cobra Irons 

Here comes Cobra again with another win in the beginner golf club category. This iron is not just for beginners and high handicappers it is also a great mid handicapper option as well.

The brand new Speedzone iron is the first iron by Cobra to feature a carbon fiber top line. The carbon fiber topline has decreased overall weight, allowing the center of gravity to be lowered as well. With the center of gravity lowered the ball speed increases.

The heel and toe weighting is done in such a way to create a very stable clubface. This is important for off-center hits. As a beginner or high handicapper, you can’t expect to hit the ball on the clubface every time. The last thing you need is an iron that twists and sends the ball spinning in the wrong direction.

One of my favorite things about the Cobra SpeedZone irons is the Cobra Connect technology. There are sensors in the grips of these irons that will record how you are hitting them. This may seem a little advanced for beginners but I believe that beginners will benefit from this more than a lower handicap player will.

As a beginner, your swing will change quite a bit. A buddy might give you a tip on a Thursday, you may take a lesson on a Saturday and watch golf on Sunday.

All of this information will be coming in and as you process it you will make tweaks in your swing. These irons may be able to help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. (FYI the old “Keep your head down” is not the best tip out there!)

Cobra did not disappoint with this new SZ iron set. With the steel stock shaft in it, you will be spending a fairly good price for the 4-PW. The set is available in both the regular and stiff flex. It’s a high launch, high spin, forgiving set of clubs that will last you for many years.

Don’t forget to look into the Cobra Speedzone One Length option as well. All clubs will be the same length as your 7 iron, making setup and stance much less complicated. Cobra has offered a one length version of many recent sets.

One concern that people have with going to the one length is a lack of distance. Due to ease of setup, confidence in a repeated swing and the correct loft on the club most players are saying they have seen increased distance.

Read our Cobra Speedzone Irons review.




TaylorMade SiM 2 Max OS Iron Set

Best Premium Irons for Beginners



PROS

  • Oversized design and forgiveness
  • Slightly draw bias
  • Echo Damping System for less vibration 

CONS

  • Brand new release is priced quite high

Most of the time, beginner golfers will look for a deal or a bargain on a net set. This is not a bad idea as long as the technology is kept fairly recent.

However, if you are very serious about taking up the game of golf and you want the products that will give you the greatest advantage, the Sim 2 Max OS from TaylorMade is an excellent option to consider. 

With the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS, you will get a high performing and forgiving oversized head shape. This makes the sweet spot much larger and the ability for the new players to get the performance that they need. 

One of our favorite features on the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS is the Echo Damping System. The Echo Damping helps to make it so that there are less vibrations for a golfer at impact.

Most cavity back irons have a bit of vibration when the ball is hit. With the installation of the Echo Damping, the Sim 2 Max feel a bit like a forged iron. 

Overall this is a great set of irons for anyone from mid handicap level up to a beginner. You will get lots of technology with these irons sets, and the technology will be relevant for years to come. 




TaylorMade P790 Irons Set

Best Irons For Feel



PROS

  • Looks like a players club but performs well for beginners
  • Hollow club head design for extra distance and speed
  • Optimized center of gravity 

CONS

  • Not quite as forgiving as some other beginner irons

The TaylorMade P790 Irons are irons that will work for beginners, mid handicappers and with the right shaft, they will work for low handicappers as well. That says a lot about a single set of irons.

There isn’t much that the TaylorMade P790 iron set doesn’t have. The feel is there, the speed is there, the launch is there, the look is there. They pretty much checked all the boxes with this set of irons.

This wouldn’t be a typical set of irons for beginners but the forgiveness is still there. Beginners need added forgiveness and the great looking clubs don’t normally pack as much forgiveness as this set.

In addition to the speed pocket technology, the P790 set also uses Speedfoam and tungsten weights for improved Center of Gravity performance.

The TaylorMade P790 has been around for a few years now. The 2019 irons have changed slightly in the shape of the clubhead. The change is not significant if you can find a set of these for a lower price that is a 2017 model.

Read our TaylorMade P790 Irons review.




Pinemeadow Men’s PGX Golf Set

Best Cheap Golf Iron Set For Beginners



PROS

  • Very low pricing
  • Also includes driver, wood and hybrid
  • Great choice for those that are not overly serious about the game 

CONS

  • Not a good choice for fast swinging players

If you are not sure that golf will be the game for you, it makes sense to choose a club that will fit within your budget. The Pinemeadow Men’s PGX Golf set is a great choice to consider because of its very fair value. 

With this set, you are going to get a driver, hybrid, and the 5-PW. You won’t get a golf bag like the complete beginner sets on the market, but this is a very good start for a golfer that is new to the game.

The clubs are built to be easy to hit, and they will not require much swing speed in order to get the ball up in the air. 

The Pinmeadow comes in a lightweight steel shaft that will help to get the ball a bit higher in the air and give golfers impressive success right off the bat.

The game of golf can be extremely frustrating, and investing in the proper beginner equipment is one of the only ways to ensure that you are going to be successful with your results. This Pinemeadow iron set has everything you need to get started on the golf course today. 




Cobra Golf 2021 Men’s Radspeed Iron Set

Best Looking Golf Iron Set For Beginners



PROS

  • Impressive and clean looking design 
  • Top of the line PowerShell Face technology 
  • Created using 3D printing
  • Long distance

CONS

  • Some have felt the clubs are a bit too lightweight

When it comes to game improvement irons, not all of the choices on the market are all that great looking. Beginners need all of the benefits that game improvement irons offer, yet the club’s overall look can be a bit clunky and unappealing. I

f you think that your golf shots will be affected by the look and your overall confidence in the club, you’re right. Finding the best irons for your game has quite a bit to do with how they look. 

The brand new Cobra Radspeed Iron Set is a game improvement iron, but it has a very clean look to it that will appeal to a wide range of players. In addition, these irons are capable of some very impressive ball speeds. 

The Forged PowerShell Face on the Radspeed irons is partly what makes the sweet spot so responsive. If you hit the ball near the center, you will see some really great results. This is an essential feature for higher handicap golfers and beginners. 

For the first time, Cobra has implemented a 3D printing technology that allowed them to make a lighter and faster club head body construction.

Even when playing with these irons for high handicappers in the steel shafts, you will be impressed with how lightweight they feel. 

Cobra is a golf iron that is going to help take you from the beginner level of the game to the mid handicapper. This is one of the highest performing irons that they have put on the market, and you will see why as soon as you hit one. 




What to look for when Picking a great set of Irons for a Beginner?

Now that you have a better understanding of the best golf irons for beginners, we can start to look at how to pick the proper one for your game.

With all of the choices on the market, it can be really hard to break down which is going to be the best choice. With these simple questions, you should be able to narrow things down quite a bit. 

Do Beginners Need A Cavity Back Iron? 

Beginner golfers should look to play with a cavity back golf iron. With a cavity back iron, beginners are able to get the low center of gravity, extra forgiveness, and high launch that they need.

Cavity back irons tend to lack a bit when it comes to feel, but that will take time for a beginner to develop. 

For beginners that attempt to play with their grandfather’s old golf blades, the game just continues to get more and more frustrating. This can be avoided by simply using the game improvement gear and equipment that is designed for the beginner golfer. 

Does It Make Sense For Beginners To Use Long Irons? 

Most of the golf sets sold for beginners will come with a 5 iron and go down to the pitching wedge. This is because the four iron and three iron are not an intelligent choice for a beginner to have in the bag. 

The four and three iron have a very low loft, and it causes the shots to be much more difficult to hit. Beginners that decide to use a hybrid instead of a long iron tend to have much more success early on in their game. 

Hybrids are designed to be easier to launch and get the ball out of the rough with considerably less effort. Some beginner sets are sold as complete hybrid golf iron sets, and that is another great option for beginners.

Try to analyze your swing speed and whether or not your overall playing ability justifies having a long iron. For most beginners, it is not warranted. 

What Golf Club Should A Beginner Start With? 

A beginner does not need a complete set of golf clubs when they first start the game. Having a few irons, a wood, a wedge, and a putter should be more than enough. If you are not sure which golf iron is the best to start with, we would recommend the seven or eight iron. 

The seven and eight iron have the perfect amount of loft and distance. As a beginner, when you hit a great shot with a seven iron, it will have some good distance and trajectory as well.

This certainly helps give players confidence and get them moving towards the direction of becoming a true golfer. 

If you don’t think you need a complete set of irons, to begin with, it’s entirely acceptable to purchase just a few. 

Conclusion

Taking up the game of golf is incredibly fun. There are also times when it can be stressful and overwhelming. Finding the right equipment is a big part of the process.

Since the irons will make up the majority of your golf set, it’s great to go with something like the Callaway Mavrik.

These golf irons will work with you as you learn the game and continue to stand out as you become a great golfer. The Mavrik offers the perfect combination of distance and forgiveness for the beginner player. 

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