By S. Dee Davis
Confidence, feel, contact, consistency, spin control – our iron game can pretty much be summed up by those words. If we make good contact, distance takes care of itself as high quality steel on cast urethane produces the crushing blow that launches the ball. The heavy blade makes a punishing descending blow and produces a launching ball flight. But what set to buy? How do you know which iron type is right for you? Here are a few pointers. Assuming you have some general ideal about what your handicap is the following may help (if you do not know it’s probably a 25 to 30). For obvious reasons, we do not get into recommendations for scratch golfers.
First off, if you are a beginner or very high handicap golfer you are in luck when it comes to prices for technology in today’s offerings. If you’re handicap is above a 20 you need not spend too much on a set of clubs. You will still get exceptional technological advancements in the set from what you could have purchased for the same money 20 years ago.
If you are a mid handicap golfer like the majority of golfers out there, look for a good quality steel shaft and cavity back head from a top brand name manufacture. There’s lots of competition for your money so also look at last years model when choosing.
If you are a low handicap golfer you’re probably looking at a higher priced set of clubs with a forged high quality steel head and a heavier top quality steel shaft. It will be difficult to get into some lower price points here but shopping the best brands can save you a couple hundred dollars. You’re probably going to spend over $800 though no matter what.
Iron Shaft Options
A top quality heavy steel shaft in stiff to extra stiff should be your shaft at this level giving you maximum constistency
A good quality steel shaft of regular to stiff shaft flex should be a good option for you here giving you some increased distance and pretty good control and consistency
High Handicap Senior or Low Club Head Speed
If you are a high handicap senior with a low club head speed you may want to consider a graphite shaft which is a little more forgiving and will help you generate a little more club head speed.
High Handicap with High Club Head Speed
This golfer needs a good quality steel shaft in stiff flex if available to give a little more consistency since he/she has plenty of power. It may be tricky but it’s out there.
Iron Club Head Design Choices
The low handicapper will likely look for blades but should also consider modified progressive head designed iron sets with the longer irons having more cavity and slight offset and the shorter irons being more of a blade.
The mid-handicap golfer has tons of options here depending on ball striking ability. If you are a clean ball striker you might also consider the progressive iron set mentioned above for lower handicap golfers. If your swing speed is a bit slower (106 or lower) you might use the progressive set with a regular shaft option. Otherwise, other good options include the many forgiving cavity backed slightly offset heads. I recommend you not go to a maximum offset head design unless you’re a senior if you want to improve your game. A slight offset should be good enough. Club head weighting should be slightly more concentrated toward the sole of the club head.
High handicappers should look for an iron with maximum sweet spot, a cavity backed design, and a medium to maximum offset. We recommend no more than a medium offset if you want to improve your game. The weighting of the club head should be concentrated in the sole of the club to help you stay down, and to give the ball immediate launch. Iron club heads for this category of player have improved drastically over the past 10 years so a new set can have an impact on your game immediately.
|As an avid golfer and tennis player for most of his life, he enjoys researching the latest in golf and tennis technology as well as analyzing his own game. He has been a writer and reviewer for a dozen years and his work has appeared in numerous publications including CBS, the San Fransisco Chronicle… See more about S. Dee Davis|
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