Best Golf Irons (Set) for Beginners and High Handicappers 2018: Complete Guide

As a beginner or high handicapper, your golf bag should always include a set of irons, especially as you can’t complete a hole in just two strokes using only a driver and a fairway wood every single time. We have chosen three sets of irons  and sent to battle until only one of them emerges victorious.

However, if you’re not a beginner anymore, read best irons for mid handicappers article instead.

P.S. Read our best cheap rangefinders article too if you want to take another step towards lowering your scores.

When Should a Beginner or High Handicapper Use a Set of Irons?

Regardless if you’re playing on a par-3, -4, -5, or even a -6 hole, you would need to have a set of irons in your golf bag in case a driver or a fairway wood isn’t enough to make the ball shoot.

  • You should only use your set of irons when you’re less than 200 yards from where the green is.
  • Like fairway woods, irons also have a number from 3 up to 9 stamped on the bottom of their heads for identification purposes.
  • While there are also irons stamped with the numbers 1 and 2, they aren’t that commonly used anymore.
  • The less distance between you and the green, the higher the number of iron you should use.
  • If you’re less than 130 yards from the green, you should make shots not with any of your numbered irons but with a special subclass of irons known as wedges.
  • The three types of wedges that should also be part of your set of irons are the pitching, sand and gap wedges.
  • The pitching wedge is useful for making short shots if your ball landed on the barren ground, pavement, or humid turf of a course.
  • The sand wedge, on the other hand, is used to get the ball out of sand hazards as evident in its name, though you can also use it to take shots from soaking wet grass as long as your distance from the green is between 70 and 80 yards.
  • Lastly, the gap wedge is specially designed for it to be used to fill the gap between the respective yardages allowed for pitching and sand wedges as its name states.
  • Unlike numbered irons, wedges are stamped with the first letter of their respective names – that is, P for pitching, G for gap, and S for sand.
 
 

 

What Should Beginners and High Handicappers Look Out for When Buying a Set of Irons?

You shouldn’t just pick up a set of irons based on its popularity alone or just because a better-playing golf buddy of yours is using it which is why it’s especially important for you as a beginner or high handicapper to check these features first before buying one.

You might also like: Best Hybrid Golf Clubs 

Head type

There are two types of iron heads, namely forged and cast iron.

  • As you would want your iron head to be larger, you should pick up a set of irons whose heads are made of cast iron.
  • Cast iron heads are also less expensive which makes them more worth buying.


Shaft material

As you would be carrying your set of irons with you, it’s essential to consider the kind of material that their shafts are made of.

  • But since you’re not a professional golfer just yet, you would want to avoid irons with steel shafts.
  • You should go for irons with shafts made of graphite instead as they’re lighter to carry and easier to swing.


Loft

To very simply put it, the loft of a golf club refers to the angle formed between its shaft and face.

  • The higher the loft of the club, the shorter its shaft length is.
  • Irons have a higher loft compared to both drivers and fairway woods, thus making them some of the shortest clubs in your arsenal.
  • The 3-iron has a loft of 21 to 24 degrees, but you might want to replace it instead with a 5-wood since it has almost exactly the same loft.
  • Meanwhile, the 4-iron has a loft of 25 to 28 degrees which interestingly enough is very much the same loft that a 7-wood has.
  • However, since a 7-wood is very rarely used by most golfers, you would have to include a 4-iron in your golf bag at the very least.
  • All the other irons numbered 5 to 9 have lofts ranging from 28 to 48 degrees.
  • Wedges though have even shorter shafts and higher lofts reaching up to 58 degrees compared to all the numbered irons in your set.

 

Which Set of Irons Should a Beginner or High Handicapper Buy in 2018?

While you can buy each numbered iron and wedge individually, you wouldn’t want to do that for now with your beginner or high handicapper skill level. To save yourself some money and time, you should opt for now to buy a set of irons and to help you choose the right one suited for your needs, three sets of irons have been reviewed as follows.

Cleveland Launcher HB Irons


Put out just this year as part of Cleveland Golf’s Launcher line of clubs, the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons are being touted as the most forgiving set of irons to ever get manufactured.

  • Unlike other irons with heads that have fuller backs, the heads of the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons have backs that are hollowed out.
  • The entire Cleveland Launcher HB Irons set has 6 numbered clubs and a pitching wedge in it.

Pros

  • The entirely hollow design of the back of the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons’ heads allows for a significantly huge amount of forgiveness.
  • The crown of each of the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons’ heads lets you launch the ball higher and make it land more softly on the green.

Cons

  • The design of the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons is a bit too clunky which might earn you some criticizing looks from other more experienced golfers.
  • Only one wedge is included as part of an entire set of Cleveland Launcher HB Irons which makes it feel somewhat incomplete.

Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Irons

More than just one of the world’s leading brands of sports shoes and apparel, Nike also used to manufacture golf clubs for much of the 2000’s up to the entire half of the current decade.

  • In 2014, Nike had put out its second iteration of irons known as the VRS Covert 2.0 which claims to target both beginners and high handicappers.
  • Unfortunately, Nike decided to stop making golf clubs just last year after sales of their different lines had tanked.


Pros

  • The entire Nike VRS Covert 2.0 set contains eight irons all in all with six of them numbered from 4 to 9, a pitching wedge, and a gap wedge.
  • All the irons included in the Nike VRS Covert 2.0 offer a considerable distance boost that its 6-iron covers a substantial yardage that only an 8-iron of another brand can do.


Cons

  • The Nike VRS Covert 2 Irons are on their way to becoming an extremely limited item so you would have to grab one as soon as you can before it becomes gone for good.

Cobra Baffler XL Irons


The latest to come out as part of the historic Baffler line, the Cobra Baffler XL Irons continues Cobra Golf’s tradition of offering maximum forgiveness for most of its clubs.

  • Aside from maximum forgiveness, the Cobra Baffler XL irons also give you increased ball speed and higher ball flight.
  • The Cobra Baffler XL set of irons with its make for an excellent starter kit that you can use to improve your golfing skills.


Pros

  • Just like the Nike VRS Covert 2.0 set of irons, the entire Cobra Baffler XL set has eight irons in it, six of which are numbered 4 to 9 with the other two being a pitching and a gap wedge.
  • The heads of the Cobra Baffler XL set of irons feature a V-skid design on their soles to avoid beginners and high handicappers accidentally picking up huge chunks of grass whenever swinging an iron and hitting the ball with it.


Cons

  • Since you aren’t likely to stay as a beginner or high handicapper forever, you might find the Cobra Baffler XL Irons more and more difficult to use as your golf skill level increases.
  • Only the irons numbered 7 to 9 are true irons as those numbered 4 to 6 are in fact hybrid clubs.

Looking for a fairway wood? Read best fairway woods for high handicappers if you’re a beginner and best fairway woods for seniors if you’re in your second (or third) youth.

So Which Set of Irons Is Best for Both Beginners and High Handicappers?

Choosing the ultimate winner among the three sets of irons featured above wasn’t easy enough as each set has its own strengths and weaknesses. But as Nike had unfortunately stopped making golf clubs, their VRS Covert 2.0 Irons might not become available in the market anymore give and take a couple of years which leaves you with only the Cleveland Launcher HB and Cobra Baffler XL sets of irons to choose from.

While the forgiveness of the Cleveland Launcher HB set of irons might sound appealing to you, its lack of gap and sand wedges is a bit of a drawback. Therefore, the best set of irons that both beginners and high handicappers should carry with them at all times goes to no other than the Cobra Baffler XL Irons.

Michael Richards

Hello there, I’m Michael and I am the person behind this website. I’ve been a golfing enthusiast for a decade now and created this website so that I could share my love for golf with like-minded people.

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