GolfOnline’s Top 10 Golf Irons for High Handicappers

by Maura Hutchinson

At GolfOnline we are proud to stock the latest golf irons from the world’s biggest brands including Cobra, Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, Wilson Staff, Mizuno, Srixon and more. With new releases and new technology unveiled each year, it can be difficult to know which golf irons are right for your game, especially if you’re just starting to play. Read on to find out who’s won our coveted Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, as well as important info you should know before purchasing your new set of irons.

Things to Consider When Picking a High Handicap Golf Iron:

Clubhead Size
A larger oversized golf iron head will help to instil confidence when you need it most. This will be extremely beneficial to those with a higher handicap. Beginner and senior golfers can also benefit from a larger head shape, as they can struggle to get the ball in the air when using a standard club head. For golfers in one of these categories, a hybrid iron set would be the best way to go. Their unique design features weight further to the back of the club and lower on the clubface. This helps to increase launch.

How many golf irons do I need
There really isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question. The number of irons you carry will depend not only on your ability, but also on your personal preference. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t break 90, you really have no need for a 3-5 iron. Hybrids are a great option for higher handicaps, as they promote distance and forgiveness. If the set you’re looking at offers a matching gap and sand wedge, take it. They will help improve your short game by giving you proper gapping through your whole set.

Shaft
Graphite shafts are lighter than steel shafts, resulting in an increase in swing speed and distance. This can be particularly beneficial to players with slow swing tempos. Steel shafts tend to offer a golfer more feedback and feel, something appreciated by the better player. But if you are younger and pretty strong, even if you’re a beginner, a steel shaft will be more stable, and therefore will give you more consistency with the clubs.

One length golf irons all have the same length and lie of a 7-iron. This specific set configuration allows golfers to utilise one, repeatable setup and swing from their hybrids all the way through to their wedges. If you are new to the game or just don’t have a consistent swing, one length could be your best option. Variable golf irons for a high handicapper are also a good choice, as it is what most golfers are used to. If you’ve played with variable lengths before, you might find the one length awkward to use. In the end, the difference between one length and variable will come down to personal preference.

Shaft Flex
For golfers with a slower swing speed (anything under 250 yards) it is recommended you get a regular, or even a senior flex. These are usually the most suitable options for high handicappers and beginners.

Forged or Cast Irons
Cast irons are made from pouring molten metal into a mould to produce a golf club head. Whereas, a forged iron is created from a single solid piece of metal that is heated and then moulded into a club head. Because of its one piece construction, a forged iron can have a reduced sweet spot, meaning it is typically crafted with the better player in mind. One who wants better feel, more shaping options and increased control trajectory.

Blades or Cavity Back
The best golf irons are generally broken down into two categories - blades and cavity backed. Blades provide greater feel and flexibility for an experienced player, while cavity backed irons are preferred by those newer to golf, as they are generally easier to hit and provide greater control and distance.

Custom Fit
Every player, regardless of age or ability, can benefit from having their golf clubs tweaked to fit their unique swing. To ensure you’re getting the best out of your new set of irons, we recommend booking a custom fit appointment to optimise your clubs’ length, lie angle, grips and shafts. We believe this is crucial and will help to improve your short game dramatically.


10. Srixon ZX5
The ZX5 irons combine pioneering ball speed technology with a premium forged feel. They have been expertly crafted with a forgiving yet workable chassis, that’s razor sharp at address. Featuring the brand’s new MainFrame technology, a milled pattern on the backside of each iron face maximises COR for more ball speed and greater distance on every shot.

Pros:
Beautiful aesthetics. Extremely stable and forgiving. Powerful feel and great distance. Graphite or steel shaft options. Custom fit available.

Cons:
Premium price point might be too much for some golfers.

Verdict:

You won’t be disappointed in Srixon’s latest irons design. The ZX5 look amazing and offer golfers great feel, forgiveness and control. Progressive groove shapes offer solid consistency throughout the whole set, giving players great reliability. The premium price tag might be a little high for some, but we definitely recommend testing them out.

Similar Products:
Titleist T400 Irons

Product in our store and online shop: Depending on shaft preference you can purchase a 4-PW set starting at £1050.

9. Titleist T400
Titleist say the T400 offer their most forgiving experience possible, while launching it higher and further than ever before. Every aspect of these irons has been engineered to offer greater playing distance. A confidence-inducing head shape has been beautifully employed to help moderate swing speed players achieve lower scores.

Pros:
Easy to launch, great forgiveness and stability. Graphite and steel shaft options. Custom fit available.

Cons:
Premium price tag.

Verdict:
The T400 are incredible game-improvement irons. Their hollow head construction produces a high MOI and will help to maximise forgiveness on any off-centre hits. They are a great option for high handicappers who want to improve short game performance.

Similar Products:
Srixon ZX5 Irons

Product in our store and online shop: The T400 Iron options range from £160 - £1109.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Best irons i have ever hit, the distance i am achieving is by far the better than from my previous set of irons” – Leslie (October 2020)

8. Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal
Improve your on-course performance with the JPX 921 Hot Metal Irons. These incredible golf clubs combine Mizuno’s fastest ever ball speed with a piercingly straight ball flight and controllable landing angles. They are the 3rd generation of Mizuno irons to utilise the resilience of Chromoly, offering players the most complex face geometry to date for additional energy from the clubface.

Pros:
Enhanced forgiveness. Better feel and sound. Easy to hit and excellent distance.

Cons:
Not huge gains from the previous model.

Verdict:
The JPX 921 Hot Metal is a great option for higher handicap players. Those with a slower swing speed will find they can achieve great launch and better distance. Its higher mid-range price point makes it appealing to any golfer serious about improving their short game strategy.

Similar Products:
Callaway Mavrik Max Irons

Product in our store and online shop: The JPX 921 Hot Metal irons range from £115-£805.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Wow. These things are HOT. Impressive distance. Game changer” – Stephen (November 2020)

7. Wilson Staff Launch Pad Offset
The Launch Pad Offset feature a unique sole design that effectively floats above the turf, resulting in a higher launching ball flight. It’s hollow construction supports an incredibly thin face for maximum ball speed and increased distance.

Pros:
Larger head shape design is more like a hybrid. Great distance, forgiveness and confidence. Steel and graphite shaft options. Custom fitting available.

Cons:
Large head shape might not appeal to all golfers.

Verdict:
The Launch Pad Offset are a great set of irons for those needing extra forgiveness and more distance. They are the perfect choice for high handicappers and seniors who struggle to launch the ball. Its lower price point only adds to the many benefits we see of the Launch Pad Offset.

Similar Products:
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Irons

Product in our store and online shop: Depending on your set and shaft preferences, the Launch Pad Offset Irons range from £75 - £519.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I bought this as I was struggling to reach long par 3s with my 5 iron and woods too long. This fits that gap, forgiving and accurate. Not the prettiest looking club but really does give me the distance I need” – Nigel (July 2020)

6. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
The Launcher HB Turbo Irons deliver maximum forgiveness and a higher trajectory for game improvement players seeking more accurate, longer shots. A fully hollow construction combines with internal stabilising ribs to provide the ultimate forgiveness. A redesigned HiBore Crown features low, deep weighting to produce an easy-to-hit, high ball flight.

Pros:
Looks good, feels good. Great for high handicappers and seniors who struggle to launch the ball. Very forgiving. Steel and graphite shafts available. Can be custom fit.

Cons:
Head shape and look at address might not be every player’s cup of tea.

Verdict:
The Launcher HB Turbo are a great set of irons for higher handicap players and those who have trouble launching the ball. Senior golfers will definitely benefit from the hybrid shape design. Progressive shaping throughout the set means there’s a seamless changeover with forgiveness when and where you need it most. We love these irons!

Similar Products:
Wilson Staff Launch Pad Offset Irons

Product in our store and online shop: Prices range from £91 – £499 based on set and shaft preferences.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I haven’t played for 2 years, these are so easy to hit, and the best thing I’ve bought to enjoy golf again and make it ‘easier’” – Jon (June 2020)

5. Callaway Big Bertha B21
The Big Bertha B21 Irons feature generous offset, wide soles and thick toplines to inspire confidence. For the first time ever, Callaway have used their A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup in a Big Bertha Iron. These clubs have been specifically engineered for players that want fast ball speed, high launch, straight shots and a new level of confidence.

Pros:
Bigger face = more forgiveness. Confidence inspiring at address. Higher launch. Classic and sleek design. Steel and graphite shaft options. Custom fit available.

Cons:
Higher price point might be too much for some golfers, especially those just starting out.

Verdict:
You can expect high ball speeds and increased spin robustness off every club in this set. If you’re new to golf, in the higher handicap category, or an older golfer who’s looking for more distance and forgiveness, these are your irons.

Similar Products:
Callaway Mavrik Max Irons

Product in our store and online shop: Prices range from £114 - £1024 depending on set and shaft preferences.

4. Cobra F-Max Airspeed
Cobra believes faster begins with lighter. The F-Max Airspeed boasts a shaft that is 5 grams lighter, making it easier than ever to generate more club speed and distance, without sacrificing stability. An offset design works to reduce your slice and helps you to hit straighter shots. By utilising a progressive hosel design, Cobra have perfected CG locations throughout the set, optimising performance for every type of shot into the green.

Pros:
Offset achieves great accuracy and forgiveness. Perfect for slower swing speeds and high handicap players. Great price point. Steel and graphite shaft options. Custom fit available.

Cons:
Blue and black colour scheme might not appeal to some golfers.

Verdict:
Overall, these are a terrific set of irons for a higher handicap player. They look, sound and feel great and have been specifically crafted to help you achieve effortless speed and distance. The incredible price tag only adds to its appeal. If you’re new to the game we definitely think these irons are worth looking at.

Similar Products:
Cobra T-Rail Hybrid Combo Set

Product in our store and online shop: Prices range from £469 - £649 depending on your shaft and set options.

3. Cobra King SpeedZone One Length (Bronze Award)
Golf Instore manager Kevin has given the SpeedZone One Length the bronze award,

“These irons have a bigger head and will be very forgiving. They will launch the ball higher and land softer on the greens.”

The King SpeedZone One Length Irons offer the incredible SpeedZone technology in a set design that promotes one repeatable setup and swing. This can help to give golfers more consistency and accuracy. The use of fine-tuned angles and progressive shaft weighting, optimises high launch and forgiveness in the long irons and low launch, with more control, in the scoring irons and wedges.

Pros:
Great distance and forgiveness, even on mishits. Amazing price point. Steel and graphite shaft options. Custom fit available.

Cons:
Chunky SpeedBack shaping distracting for some golfers. One length option doesn’t suit all players. (But variable lengths are available)

Verdict:
The Cobra SpeedZone One Length Irons are a great choice for higher handicappers and those who are new to the game. If you want to be able to utilise one repeatable setup and swing, these are definitely worth trying out.

Similar Products:
Cobra King Forged Tec One Length Irons

Product in our store and online shop: Prices range from £99 - £799 depending on shaft and set preferences.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Very easy to use these irons I love the one length aspect especially the 4 and 5 irons so easy to hit and I am getting great distance with them . Honestly there [is] nothing bad about these clubs worth every penny and value for money” – Brendan (October 2020)

2. Callaway Mavrik Max (Silver Award)
Kevin’s next pick are the Mavrik Max irons,

“The bigger head on the Mavrik Max irons will add more confidence for the golfer, making them easy and forgiving to use. They tend to launch the ball a little higher, which gives you a little further carry distance, and the shorter irons will land softer on the greens.”

The Mavrik Max Irons have been specifically built for total distance. Featuring a larger body and a deeper CG, you can expect increased forgiveness and easy launch. A sophisticated face architecture, that’s unique to every loft, helps to create a significant boost in ball speed and increased spin robustness off every iron. Ball speed is further enhanced by the incredible 360 Face Cup that flexes and releases at impact.

Pros:
Super sleek design. Great feel and sound. Optimal launch and great distance achieved. Steel and graphite shaft options. Custom fit available.

Cons:
Not a huge difference from the standard model.

Verdict:
The Mavrik Max are definitely at the top end of the game improvement iron ranges. They look, feel and sound great. If you are a player who struggles to launch the ball in the air, these will be a great help.

Similar Products:
TaylorMade SIM Max Irons

Product in our store and online shop: Prices range from £110 - £899 based on set and shaft preferences.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Great club no complaints. A little on the large size for my personal preference but as a whole a really nice club” – Jonathan (August 2020)

1. TaylorMade SIM Max (Gold Award)
Kevin’s top pick for forgiving irons goes to the amazing TaylorMade SIM Max,

“The SIM Max are easy and forgiving to use. Off centre shots are much better, shot dispersion is better and distances are up around 5-10 yards as they will launch higher.”

With an improved Speed Bridge and ECHO Damping System for better sound and feel, the SIM Max Irons offer higher handicaps explosive distance, enhanced feel and a sweet sound. Progressive inverted cone technology has been used to optimise accuracy with each iron in the set. The overall result is the delivery of forged-like feel in a distance iron.

Pros:
Incredible feel and sound. Inspires confidence at address. Great distance and forgiveness. Steel and graphite shaft options. Custom fit available.

Cons:
Not a huge step up from the M5 or M6, but if you are looking to upgrade older clubs you will see a difference.

Verdict:
The SIM Max irons check all the boxes for us in terms of being a great game improvement choice. A larger sweet spot ensures even your mishits will carry longer. In terms of overall performance, these are our current favourites.

Similar Products:
Callaway Mavrik Max Irons

Product in our store and online shop:
Prices range from £107 - £749 based on set and shaft options.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Going to take a while to adapt, but already improving my short game and approaches in to the green. Able to get good spin and control. Great feeling club. Looking forward to using the full range” – Rob (July 2020)