Golfers of all levels look for forgiveness in their irons.
In this review of the most forgiving irons available on the market, we are going to address the irons that are truly the most forgiving. The clubs that make this game easier, hopefully without sacrificing distance or feel.
If iron shots are not your strong point this is for you.
If you struggle to get any kind of consistency with an iron, this is also for you.
Finally, if you want an unbiased opinion about what to look for in a forgiving iron, keep reading.
Our Most Forgiving Irons In 2021
- Cleveland Launcher HB Iron Set (Most Forgiving Irons)
- Callaway Mavrik Max Irons (Runner Up 1)
- Cobra F Max Irons (Runner Up 2)
- Wilson D350 Iron Set (Best Affordable Irons for Game Forgiveness)
- TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons (Most Forgiving Irons for Seniors)
- Callaway Epic Forged Star Irons (Best Irons for Forgiveness if Price Doesn’t Matter)
Most Forgiving Irons: Cleveland Launcher HB
- A progressive set of irons
- Very little vibration at impact
- Easy to get out of the rough
- Higher launching
- Large sweet spot
- It does not have the same feel in the shorter irons
Before I get into the features and benefits of this great set of irons I need to first tell a story.
My grandfather had been playing the game for 45 years and had finally reached the point where his swing speed was seriously affecting distance.
The game became frustrating. Par fours were too long to realistically par. The fun was gone. In all seriousness, he stopped playing.
One weekend I managed to get him to come with me to a golf shop to try out the newly released Cleveland irons.
Although they were not the new Cleveland Launcher HB, they were a version of the early model that eventually led to the design of the HB. A man who played ping blades his entire life he rolled his eyes and agreed to at least swing one.
He bought a set of these irons that afternoon and the following week he played golf four times.
These irons help people of all ages get the ball in the air and on the green. They make the game fun and exciting again because they are extremely forgiving.
Why is it the most forgiving iron set?
If you aren’t familiar with the Cleveland Launcher HB set, they are a progressive set of irons that look very similar to a hybrid design.
As you move up in the irons the clubhead gets large and more and more like a hybrid. They are one of the best irons for high handicapper golfers because of this built-in hybrid technology.
Also unique about the Launcher HB irons is that they feature a fully hollow construction. With all the speed injection and urethane microspheres that other companies are advertising, they chose to keep things simple by just letting the head be hollow.
The concern with this would be sound and vibration but because of the thickness of the club neither seem to be an issue.
The hollow construction allows weight to be redistributed low and deep in the clubhead, as well as to the perimeter, to maximize forgiveness. You will not find another 8-iron on the market as forgiving as the HB Launcher.
As you move towards the irons and wedges in this set the top line does get thinner. Although they won’t play like a traditional iron they have more spin and a cleaner look than the 7,6,5 iron do.
Cleveland has just released their newest version of the Cleveland HB Launcher irons and this line is called the Launcher Turbo.
There are not too many differences between these sets. Each new release gets a little longer and a little more forgiving. However, as far as a hybrid set of irons is concerned Cleveland has been leading the way for years.
I prefer a more traditional, thinner blade style of clubs but when I hit these irons, its hard not to fall in love with the extra performance and forgiveness that they give. I can see why they have made the game fun again for those that need game improvement irons.
Runner Up 1: Callaway Mavrik Max Irons
- Created with artificial intelligence
- 360 Face Cup
- Strategically placed center of gravity
- High ball speeds
- The top-down look is a bit thick
Callaway has stepped up their manufacturing game and started producing clubs using Artificial Intelligence. With the use of artificial intelligence the center of gravity of the iron can be strategically positioned to the ideal location to promote success.
For golfers that struggle with launch and distance, the Mavrik Max is perfectly designed to help.
Each of the Mavrik Max irons feature the Flash Face Cup technology which helps golfers to get a lot more ball speed off the face of the club. With this extra ball speed, it is easier for the higher handicap and beginner golfers to get distance. Using a driving iron also might be a solution to getting more distance into your iron shots.
The other thing the Mavrik Max does is help players to get some extra spin on their short irons into the green. You will always want the ability to stop a short iron in its tracks, and the Mavrik Max allows for that.
These irons are not quite as delofted as some of the competitors, so they will allow for extra distance when necessary.
Runner Up 2: Cobra F Max
- Same setup each time
- Built for slower swing speeds
- Extra offset of the club head
- Great for golfers that tend to slice the ball
- Doesn’t have the feel of a forged golf club
Some of the most forgiving irons ever made have been put out by Cobra.
The Cobra F Max and Cobra F Max One Length are no exception.
These irons have a traditional lower profile design. If the Hybrid set makeup like the Launcher HB does not appeal to you, this could be a great option to consider.
The Cobra F Max Irons are without a doubt designed for a player with a slower swing speed. It can be hard to create an extremely long iron without sacrificing feel. Cobra managed to get that done with the F Max.
If you tend to hit the ball to the right, it’s essential to look for a clubhead with extra offset. The Cobra F Max is noticeably offset, providing players a little extra help at impact with squaring up the face.
This design will not appeal to everyone, but if it is pure forgiveness you are in search of, this will do the trick.
The F Max Iron is also offered in the One Length option. Until about two years ago, the idea of all the irons being the same length was rather revolutionary. Now with the help of a few tour players, it’s become quite commonplace.
The benefit of swinging irons that are all the same length is that the setup is the same for all of your shots.
Ask any of the pros, and they will tell you that setup, stance, and grip are the most critical part of hitting a solid shot. When your setup and stance can change from one club to the next, it came make it overwhelming and difficult for the average golfer.
Originally I was concerned that there would be a decrease in the distance on the 6 and 5 iron with this set. It’s been proven that because of the solid contact players are making with this technology; they are losing no distance.
Cobra put our two very solid sets here between the Cobra F Max and One Length; you can’t go wrong when looking for a forgiving iron. The best news is that because these irons are a few years old, the prices have been dropping considerably.
Best Affordable Golf Irons for Game Forgiveness
- Very large sweet spot
- Plenty of weight in the clubhead
- Mostly sold as a combo set
- Top down look is a bit thick
Wilson Irons are often found in the affordable category but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some amazing benefits. The Wilson D350 Iron set is one of the most affordable and forgiving sets around, especially if you struggle with distance.
The wide sole and low center of gravity are built to promote better launch and forgiveness. This is a club that is built with the higher handicapper in mind.
With the large clubface you are going to get some extra weight in the club head and that can be a great benefit for those that occasionally top the golf ball.
The Speed Sole technology helps golfers to increase distance and hit the ball closer to the sweet spot.
You will notice that the Wilson D350 iron set is mostly sold as a combo set to help golfers stay away from the long irons that make the game much more difficult.
For a fairly priced set of irons with lots of forgiveness, the D350 is worth considering.
Most Forgiving Golf Irons For Seniors
- Improved speed pocket technology
- Echo damping system
- Ultra thin face
- Increase the sweet spot
- Promotes a straight ball flight
- With senior graphite shafts, the price will be a bit high
The TaylorMade SIM Max Irons is the best choice for the senior golfer. These irons feature the Speed Bridget technology that is built to help get players more speed and height on their golf shots.
One of the things that will stand out the most about the TaylorMade SIM Max irons is their feel as opposed to its sibling the P790.
This is the closest that TaylorMade has come to, making a club feel as though it is forged while it is still a cavity back iron. The new ECHO Damping system is what sets the club apart as it eliminates almost all of the harsh vibrations at impact.
The face of the TaylorMade Sim Max irons is very thin. Golf manufacturers have been working with new technologies to try and decrease the thickness of the face of the iron.
The concept is to provide a more trampoline-type effect coming off of the face of the club. The great thing about the SIM Max is that even when you miss the sweet spot slightly, you are still going to get plenty of speed coming off the club face.
Best Golf Irons for Forgiveness If Price Does Not Matter
- Very high ball speed
- Tungsten Core
- 360 Face Cup Technology
- Very expensive irons
For some players, money is not an issue when it comes to finding a forgiving iron that helps you hit the sweet spot every time. As we all know, golf equipment has a large range of prices.
The Epic Forged Star irons are an excellent set of irons, but they are also one of the most expensive products available today.
One of the individual graphite irons of this set can cost more than a full set of beginner irons. There are some good things to be said about the ultra-lightweight design and the ball speed that it can produce.
Golfers can get distance and ball flight that they didn’t think was possible in the past.
The Callaway Epic Forged Star is a forged design and this means that they will have great feel as well. It can be hard to find a forged iron that has forgiveness, but Callaway was able to do it with the Epic Forged Star.
If you want increased distance, top of the line 360 Face Cup Technology, and more, the Callaway Epic Forged Star can be a great choice.
What to look for when Picking a Forgiving Set of Irons?
Now that we have discussed some of the most forgiving irons in the golf world. Let’s look at the important factors to consider when choosing a forgiving set of irons.
Sometimes the right set of irons will come down to preference but there are certain characteristics that all-forgiving sets have.
Club Head Size and Weight
Generally speaking the clubhead side will be larger for a more forgiving iron. For a manufacturer to pack the most performance technology and the largest sweet spot into the clubhead they need some space. As golfers improve and more toward irons the pros play the clubhead will get smaller.
You will likely hear things about a low center of gravity, located in the heel and some tungsten weighting. These are all good things for performance and forgiveness.
As a golfer who does not hit the center of the club head all that often you will need that low center of gravity.
If distance is your main concern, go with a graphite shaft. The lighter shaft is going to help you launch the ball higher and swing the club faster. Your shots will likely go higher but you will be hitting them further.
If swing speed is not a concern but accuracy is, go with the steel shafts. Steel shafts are going to be a little heavier and help you control the ball flight and shot shape quite a bit more.
When looking at steel shafts look for something with mid launch and mid kick. Some good options are Dynamic Gold or KBS.
You will not have much say in the lofts on a set of forgiving irons. Almost all of the current options are going to be lower lofts than the clubs that were available 5-10 years ago.
Manufacturers have found ways to lower the lofts without decreasing forgiveness.
You can now have less loft than in the past but still hit the golf ball with enough of a launch angle to get the ball to stop on a green. Even within the group of best irons for mid handicapper, some will have more loft than others.
An example is the Rogue and Rogue X Set. The Rogue X is 1-2 degrees lower lofted than the Rogue. This is an excellent option for those looking for more penetrating shots that tend to go quite a bit longer. Rogue X are not a great option for those who struggle to get the ball in the air.
I always find it interesting when an amateur golfer explains to me that the best club in their bag is a 3 iron. They struggle to hit their 7 iron but that 3 is solid. My questions usually is, what does solid mean?
The 3 iron should go further than the 7 but are you hitting it at the right launch angle?
Are you hitting it as far as you should?
Is it consistent?
Most times an amateur player looking for a forgiving set of irons likely does not have the clubhead speed nor the control to hit a 3 iron solid, consistently.
The best set makeup if you’re looking for forgiveness is something that incorporates both irons and hybrids. Most players are getting away from 3 and 4 irons and going to hybrids. The sole is wider, they are easier to hit out of the rough and the golf ball just jumps off of them much easier.
Lately, there has been a trend to replace the 5 iron with a hybrid as well. This decision will be largely personal based on what time of golf shots you are trying to hit. The one thing to add here is that some of the best irons 2019 have a 6 iron loft that is very similar to that of a 5 iron of the past.
With a true forgiving iron, you are usually going to find am offset cavity back with a large sole. This design is to help offer the maximum amount of forgiveness. Be prepared to see more of a thicker look from the top down and a club that can appear almost bulky.
Some amateur golfers prefer this look and feel as though it gives them more confidence as to where the ball will end up. Most pros are going to want a thin top-down look.
In the years past the most forgiving irons would often feel hard and sound hollow. Much has been done to improve both sound and feel while still providing an extremely forgiving golf club. The hit feels softer and the aesthetics have changed to help improve the visual appeal of a forgiving club.
What to avoid when looking for Irons with maximum forgiveness?
There are a few key things that you want to avoid when shopping for maximum forgiveness for your golf game.
- Stay away from anything that says “Tour” on it, those are for the pros.
- Forged irons can be ok as far as forgiveness is concerned but know they won’t be as forgiving as the cavity back irons
- Blade irons offer little to no forgiveness
- Irons with heavy shafts can be excellent for fast swing speeds but very few people searching for forgiveness can handle these heavy shafts.
- Keep the technology current, forgiveness does change from year to year.
Our hands-down winner for the easiest to hit golf iron on the market is the Cleveland HB Launcher set. The club does all the things needed to give it more forgiveness, extra launch, extra distance, and less dispersion.
This Hybrid type iron is not for everyone. The biggest transition is switching to hybrids in the short irons. They certainly don’t feel the same but after a bit of time and adjusting they can do wonders for your game.
Keep in mind that the wedges in this set have extra technology put into place so they don’t roll out like a typical hybrid would. Don’t think that these are going to hit like your 3 or 4 hybrid.
The ease of use is the most important takeaway. The confidence you have over your hybrid will be the same way you now feel standing over your 6, 7, 8 iron.
If you should have any questions about any of our options or would like to ask if a specific set is right or wrong for your game, please don’t hesitate to reach out.