Beginner golfers tend to struggle a lot when it comes to maintaining a consistent swing and hitting a ball with the sweet spot of their club heads. And these are no easy skills to master taking significant effort and practice.
But since we are talking about a leisure activity here, people should be having fun too, right?!
This is the whole reason why we have golf club sets designed specifically for the beginner-amateur crowd, who are probably the dominant demographic in the golf enthusiast community.
Today we will be looking at the top 5 most forgiving iron sets out there right now. In our view, they include:
Most Forgiving Iron Sets
But before we get around to taking an in-depth look at these iron sets, lets briefly examine what the difference, if any, between a good iron set and a “forgiving” iron set.
The Novice Golfer’s Iron Sets Guide
Irons sets: A refresher
Golf, has its own lingo like any other hard core sport and it is easy to get overwhelmed by all these new terms as a beginner. If you are having a hard time recalling what an iron set is, fret not, here is a small intro just for you.
The irons are the most common clubs you will have in your club set. A standard 14 club golf set will have anywhere from 7-11 irons. The more flashy drivers and putters may get all the attention since they start and finish your game respectively, but it is the humble iron that is the true versatile workhorse of your golf set.
Simply put, these are the clubs that you put to use for the slog on the course, between your driver on the tee and your putter in the green. Irons can go all the way from 1-10, though in most modern sets you will find numbers 3-9.
For beginners, irons 1-4 (long irons) are too tough to use owing to longer shafts, lower lofts and very small sweet spots on their club heads.
Irons 5-7 (mid irons) and 8-9 (short irons) are progressively easier for novices owing to their shorter shafts, higher loft angles and progressively larger club-heads and “sweet spots”. Short irons also include “wedges”, which are specialized irons with higher loft angles like the sand wedge. Basically the irons are a highly versatile family of clubs which you use for most situations between your first and last shots on a hole.
The Difference Between a “Good Iron” and a “Forgiving Iron”
There are several designs of irons. They can either be forged by hammering and shaping metal, usually steel, or cast using different materials and composite designs. Based on design, irons can either be “blade irons” or “cavity-back” irons.
Blade irons have smaller sweet spots while cavity-backs are specially designed to be more “forgiving”, having much larger club heads and sweet spots.
Both are types of good irons when well designed and properly manufactured. But in the hands of a pro player, a forged blade iron can win a match or even the Tour, but a novice player would not be able to properly wield this highly specialized club.
Conversely while a novice player can play a decent round on course with a very “forgiving” cast cavity-back iron, a pro player might actually have his game hampered by the properties of the club.
Hybrid Sets – Most Forgiving Irons
If you are a high handicapper looking for a set of irons to improve your score, what you need are hybrid sets. A typical hybrid set of irons consists of the following:
- Part long iron/part wood hybrids, combining the distance advantage of a fairway driver with the control of a default long iron, ideal for improving your long distance play on a long par 4 or above courses.
- Mid Irons (Hollow-back or reduced cavity-back) have the center of gravity moved down the club head towards the back. They make it easier for novices to hit higher mid iron shots.
- Short Irons (Cavity-back), with very large sweet spots and shortest shafts for easy controlled shots into the greens from a short distance.
Hybrid iron sets are also called game improvement or oversize sets. If you are in the market for the most forgiving irons, these are the keywords to look out for.
Which Shafts to Look For
In irons, steel shafts are more common and provide more accuracy and feedback from the shots. It is also more affordable. Having an all steel set also means that you have a consistent experience all throughout the set, regardless of which iron you use.
Graphite shafts are rarer, more expensive and provide the sole advantage of increased swing speed and distance while sacrificing accuracy and feel. These shafts are preferable only for junior and senior players as well as lady golfers who prefer lighter clubs.
Irons to Add to a Set to Make it More Forgiving
While more experienced players opt for irons 3-9 along with more specialized wedges, beginner players looking to improve their game should realistically be looking at 5 iron and upwards, all the way up to a sand wedge, along with long iron-wood hybrids to improve their long distance game.
The basic idea is to replace the traditionally more hard to hit clubs (the ones with longer shafts and smaller sweet spots) with hybrid clubs that have larger heads and are more forgiving.
Also do try to maintain consistency in the type of shaft used in your irons to help you better maintain your iron swings. (source)
Most Forgiving Iron Sets Reviews
With a pleasing modern bronze tinted design with matching orange accents, these are sturdy and well designed irons from Mizuno.
They are actually not the most over the top game improvement irons, yet they have decent enough head sizes and a most satisfying feel on impact with the ball.
The irons have stiff steel shafts and the clubs range from 4-7 (max pocket cavity design) and 8-PW (Deep pocket cavity).
- Sturdy with solid impact feel
- Designed to give maximum sweet spot (4-7 iron) and increased accuracy (8-PW)
- Excellent value for money
- Lighter than most other irons in this class, might not feel suitable for all
- The hand grip quality leave much to be desired
Callaway are easily one of the best known brands in the business, especially when it comes to game improvement sets designed specifically for the novice golfer.
These XR irons tick almost all the boxes when it comes their class features: wider soles, enlarged sweet spots and progressive lengths and lofts.
The longer lofts are perfect if you have slower swing speeds, as the higher launches will help you cover more distance than before.
- Numerous computations and configurations to choose from.
- Available in both graphite and steel shafts
- Not exactly the cheapest sets in the marke
This is a decently designed game improvement set of irons that shine brightest when viewed from a price perspective.
They provide solid value for money with long distances, pronounced forgiveness and a pleasing impact sound. Irons come from 4-PW along with a GW.
- Excellent value for money at a very affordable budget
- Choice between steel and graphite shafts for more or less flex
- Perfect for golfers seeking long distance shots on a consistent basis
- This D Range is not suitable for golfers challenged by a lack of swing speed.
- No major configuration options except for shaft materials.
A combination set including steel shafted irons and graphite shafted hybrids, this affordable set from Adams golf offers a fair bit of versatility for the average or below average golfer. The set has 3-4 graphite hybrids and 5-PW steel irons. T
hey are easy to swing and have custom designed heads that provide extra flex along with the usual wide soles and increased sweet spot+forgiveness.
- Great build quality and price
- Useful for not just novices/higher handicappers but also mid level players, so there is long term value to the set.
- Offers extra flex, so they are perfect for golfers who struggle with their low swing speeds.
- Head are not the biggest in the category.
- Fewer configuration options compared say, Callaways product.
This hybrid set from Cobra sounds as good as it looks sleek in black, and it does look quite good with that orange trim. This is one of the more neutral feeling iron sets that still manages to retain a very forgiving dual cavity head design on the irons.
The set includes 5-PW irons as well as 2-3 or 3-4 hybrid long irons. The heads on this irons set all feature rather busy looking grooves of different accents on the 4-6 and the 7-PW as well as GW-SW, offering distinctive performance advantages to each clubs.
- The nickel/chrome-gunmetal finish and black orange color setup makes this one of the most pleasing looking set of irons in the list.
- Distinctly designed iron sets offer progressive and specialized performance with a good degree of forgiveness
- All round performance which has a little bit of something for every kind of high handicapper out there.
- None to highlight, except may be the price which is above average.
The forgiving iron sets market is very cluttered are frankly confusing to the extreme if you are a beginner to Golf. The saturation is such that there are now ranges within the so called game-improvement/hybrid/forgiving market. In this list, we have tried to cherrypick the best performing iron sets, including all steel as well as hybrid sets.
As to choosing the best out of the top five, we feel that if there was any real competition, it was between the highly affordable Adams Golf Blue Combo and the slightly more expensive Cobra Men’s King F6 Hybrid.
These two were the pick of the lot because not only did they offer very forgiving performance with well engineered club heads, they also offered something extra and enjoyable to more advanced golfers.
This is a significant advantage, since they can still provide worthy service to golfers even after they improve their game to graduate from the oversized category.
Out of the two though, the Cobra F6’s superior finish and build quality, along with better overall performance marks it out as the clear winner.
For anybody looking for the most forgiving iron sets, the Cobra offers a fantastic value for money proposition with its longevity and excellent performance of its steel and hybrid iron sets.