Out of a total of 14 golf clubs in your bag, six or seven of them are typically golf irons. This is a large percentage of your total set and a major reason why the decision about which golf irons to purchase is so important.
That’s where we come in! We have tested and tried all of the new golf irons on the market in 2023 and hand-picked the best irons for high handicappers.
In addition, we threw in a few choices that we think would be some of the best irons for beginners as well.
The TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS irons are the best golf irons for high handicappers. The SIM 2 Max OS are offset, have a massive sweet spot, feel great, and help make golf fun regardless of what you shoot.
Here are our top pics, as well as some information to help you break down these options and select the best set of golf irons for your game.
No Time? Here’s Our Rundown
- Maximum distance due to impressive speed pocket technology
- Some of the best feeling super game improvement clubs on the market
- Perimeter weighting
- Made with premium materials
- Lower center of gravity
- Variable face thickness for increased accuracy and performance
- Impressive feel when considering the fact that they were built for high handicappers
- Great distance technology, especially for moderate swing speeds
- 3D printed medallion is the first of its kind
- Advanced shaping to provide more forgiveness
- High launch even for average swing speed players
- Use of AI technology to make the game easier for high handicappers
- Much easier to hit hybrids than hitting long irons
- Hollow construction for extra ball speed
- It comes in both steel shafts and graphite shafts
- Great feel from the forged clubhead face
- CNC milling helps give higher handicappers good ball speed and trajectory
- Lower center of gravity
- Better feeling than other game improvement irons
- It helps golfers to achieve higher clubhead speed
- Lower center of gravity
- Has the feel of players irons
- Extremely high ball speed from the titanium face
- An impressive set of irons for any handicap golfer
- It Will lasts a long time for a beginner, relevant technology and forgiveness
- It helps golfers to get the golf ball in the air
- The very hot clubface for extra ball speed
- It comes with a premium golf shaft option
- Much easier to get high ball flight than with the Rouge golf irons
- Plenty forgiving for the women high handicappers
- Baffler rail technology for improved turf interaction
- Forged E9 face
- Hollow construction to help with higher launch and distance
- Some of the best game improvement irons for the money
- Longer irons have wide soles and are easy to hit
- The very responsive clubface for extra launch of the club
1) Best Overall: TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS irons are the best golf irons for high handicappers. The SIM 2 Max OS are considered super game improvement irons because of their ability to make the game more enjoyable for high handicappers.
Whether you struggle with distance, launch, or forgivenessm (or all three), the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS can help you improve your game.
The SIM Max 2 OS has come a long way from the original SIM Max irons released several years ago. Although the SIM Max game improvement irons were long and forgiving, the SIM 2 Max OS has a greater carry distance and better feel.
The new Echo Damping system is partially responsible for the improved feel. When you make contact with the SIM 2 Max, there is a very soft polymer blend that makes the cavity back iron feel almost like a forged golf club.
The brand new Cap Back design on the SIM 2 Max OS also help to ensure a bit more stability at impact with these irons.
With minimal sidespin, forged-like feel, and higher forgiveness, these are some of the best golf clubs that beginners and high handicappers can find.
TaylorMade prides themselves on their ability to make a distance iron that has all-around performance.
With the SIM 2 Max OS, the clubhead will be offset, and the sweet spot will be large. For the golfer that needs protection from off-center hits, this is a club that can get it done.
With the SIM 2 Max OS being one of the newest releases on the market, these TaylorMade irons will last for years to come.
Related: Best Irons From TaylorMade
2) Runner Up: Ping G425 Irons
The PingG425 irons are some of the best golf clubs for high handicappers. The G425 just narrowly missed the position at the top of our list.
Although these may appear to be traditional cavity back irons, we are extremely impressed by how this set has packed in all of the modern technology.
The first big improvement on the G425 irons is the metal wood style face put into the iron. Think about the concept of hitting a golf iron shot with the face of a fairway wood.
When you want long distance, this is a pretty powerful combination.
In addition, the G425 has a more compact head that makes this one of the best golf irons for longevity. Not all high handicappers remain high handicappers.
If you plan to move into the mid handicapper scoring range, the G425 irons will work with you the entire way.
The Ping G425 irons have a higher MOI than the 410 and a much tighter dispersion. Essentially you will be able to hit these clubs further and closer to your target than ever before.
Probably our favorite feature of the Ping G425 irons is the water-repellent hydropearl chrome finish. So many high handicappers and amateur golfers will lose accuracy and distance because their golf clubs have water or dirt blocking the grooves on the face.
With the G425, you won’t have to worry about this; you can always get the spin and performance you need.
Related: Best Ping Irons Ever
3) Best For Distance: Cobra Radspeed Iron Set
Cobra has worked long and hard to add more distance to their golf irons. For so many years, high handicappers relied on Cobra to give them forgiveness and easy launch.
However, Cobra can now be your partner in crime when it comes to speed. The new Radial Weighting technology in the Cobra Radspeed iron set has changed this considerably.
The new weight placement helps to increase both speed and forgiveness in the golf irons. The extreme heel-toe weighting also makes the RadSpeed really stable at impact.
The stability can produce a high launch but also a lot more ball speed.
Some of the golf club sets from Cobra have had a bit of a funky or unique clubhead shape in the last few years.
Although this was all done for aerodynamic purposes, some high handicappers were not thrilled with the overall look. The Radspeed looks a bit more like a traditional golf iron from Cobra.
Although this is a cavity back iron, a forged face insert is made with a 17-4 stainless steel material. The forged material increases the flex at impact (that trampoline-like feel), and it also provides a better overall feel.
Last but certainly not least is the use of 3D printing when putting these Cobra irons together. Callaway was the first to bring AI to the market; Cobra is the first to head down the 3D printing route.
The lattice medallion in the back of the clubhead helps save weight, and it will also optimize feel and sound. All of that was achieved through 3D printing.
4) Best For Forgiveness: Big Bertha B21
High handicappers need forgiveness.
There is no debating the fact that forgiveness is key in irons for higher handicap players. Without forgiveness, the mishits and the trouble that golfers can get into are a bit too much.
For straighter ball flight, higher launch, and more distance, the Big Bertha B21 is the way to go.
We are impressed with how Callaway was able to bring the Big Bertha B21 irons up to current technical specifications but still have them look and perform like the original Big Bertha irons.
If you remember what made Callaway famous, to begin with, the B21 will appeal to you.
Big Bertha B21 irons are best for the slower swing speed player interested in getting more clubhead speed.
These are excellent irons for beginners that struggle to get around the golf course because of their ability to launch the ball.
Hitting the ball up in the air is hard, but the Tungsten Energy Core delivers the launch when golfers need it. When you combine the Tungsten Energy Core with the Flash Face Cup technology, distance is attainable.
If you wonder how Callaway could achieve all of this in a golf iron, chances are artificial intelligence had a lot to do with it.
AI has completely changed the abilities that golf manufacturers have, and Callaway takes full advantage of it. If you own irons before the release of artificial intelligence, it is likely time for an upgrade.
Related: The Most Forgiving Irons On The Market
5) Best Hybrid Irons For High Handicappers: Cleveland Launcher HB Irons
For high handicappers, switching to a hybrid iron can be a tough decision. The most difficult part comes down to whether or not the shorter irons will be good enough on a hybrid set.
Can you really hit a pitching wedge hybrid within a few feet of the pin?
Although we can’t speak for all hybrid irons on the market, there is no debating that the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons will allow for tremendous performance from the deep rough, long carry distance and just enough feel around the greens.
Cleveland has paved the way for hybrid golf irons for many years, and in our opinion, they still lead the way.
Many golfers are more hesitant about hybrid golf irons than they should be. When you hit these Cleveland Launcher irons well, you can shape shots, hit the ball straight, and get a very high launch.
To understand, part of what makes the Cleveland HB irons so much easier to swing is the hollow shape of the iron.
A hollow shape is quite a bit lighter and therefore makes it easier to get faster ball speed. In addition, the HiBore crown on these irons lowers the center of gravity and increases performance from difficult lies.
Not only do we love the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons for high handicap golfers, but they are also a great choice for seniors.
Seniors tend to struggle with a lack of distance and strength, especially from a tough lie. The HB irons make it much easier to get the ball high and start enjoying the game again.
6) Best Value: Cobra King F9 Speedback Irons
There is a difference between a cheap golf iron and a golf iron that has a good value. Cheap golf irons are typically well below market value and offer materials that may not be as premium.
However, irons that come at a great value are often just a year or two older and have simply dropped in price.
These clubs still have lots of great technology; they are just not the latest release. One of our favorite golf irons for the high handicapper on a budget is the King F9 Speedback Irons.
The King F9 Speedback has a unique clubhead style with the forged E9 Pwrshell Face. The face is designed for a very fastball speed and reduced vibrations at impact. This equates to more distance with a better feel.
Cobra continues with the CNC Milled Face on these irons to help increase the trajectory that higher handicappers can get.
If you worry about the ball flight you are getting with your irons, the F9 will help to increase it.
A very cool feature that the F9 irons have is the Cobra Connect technology. You will track your performance with your irons and see if you are getting the distances and the ball speed that you think you are getting.
It’s one thing to hit a seven iron 150 yards, it’s another to think you hit it 150 yards, and you are only hitting it 140 yards.
7) Best For Feel: Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal
The Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Irons are some of the best feeling on the market, whether you are a high handicapper or not!
Mizuno is known for using premium materials in their golf irons to help ensure that they have the best feel around.
The Mizuno JPX 921 features Chromoly technology to help ensure that the golfers with a slower swing speed will still get plenty of distance coming off these irons.
A Mizuno is not typically a golf iron that is considered one of the best irons for beginners.
Many people think that Mizuno is made for the advanced player. Although there are some things that advanced players will enjoy about these clubs, the Mizuno is just as good for beginners and high handicappers.
One of the technologies that make this club stand out is the Seamless Cup Face. With the Seamless Cup Face, technology players get higher ball speeds and some of the most forgiving irons around.
The technology that really brings out this impressive feel is the Harmonic Impact technology. This will help decrease the vibration that you feel from your clubs at impact, which brings up a bigger point of whether or not feel matters for the higher handicap player.
Our opinion on this is that the sooner you can start to feel what you are doing wrong in your swing, the sooner you can fix it.
If you are a higher handicapper that wants to move towards a lower handicap, choosing an iron with a great feel is essential.
Related: The Best Irons From Mizunos
8) Best Premium: P790Ti Irons
When you shoot high round after high round, it can become extremely frustrating. Frustrating enough to make you want to spend a few thousand dollars to fix the problem.
If money is not an issue, the P790Ti are some of the best irons for high handicappers.
If you haven’t heard about the P790 technology, you may want to start paying closer attention. The P790 irons are hollow body irons with a urethane foam injection.
TaylorMade realized the popularity of these irons (across all handicap levels) and decided to make things even better with the addition of titanium.
The machined titanium face on the P790Ti makes the head even lighter, but the jump off the clubface even more extreme.
The P790Ti irons have the same urethane injected foam inside the clubface, and they have incredible forgiveness.
The visible Tungsten Weighting on the club head is just more proof the P790Ti will help with the launch, distance, and forgiveness.
Many high handicappers have to realize that blade irons will never be a club they can play with. However, this does not mean that you have to play with a club that doesn’t look and feel great. The P790Ti may be your best shot at playing a premium, feel-good iron.
Related: The Best TaylorMade Irons On The Market
9) Best For Newer Player: Wilson Staff D9 Irons
New golfers almost always start as high handicappers. This is why the equipment for new players and high handicappers is almost always grouped together.
If you find yourself in this category, the Wilson Staff D9 could be a good choice.
This is a very classic-looking set of cavity back irons that comes in at a fair price. Although these may not be the best golf clubs ever developed, they will absolutely fill the need for a new player.
Some golfers make the mistake of choosing a very cheap golf club as their first set. They think that because their scores are so high, it doesn’t matter what equipment they play with. However, this is not the case.
The equipment has a major impact on your abilities. SO many golfers quit the game each year simply because they didn’t give themselves a fair chance.
Like the speed pocket technology you see in the TaylorMade golf clubs, Wilson has Power Holes. The new Power Holes 2.0 in the Wilson staff D9 are built to help d a lower swing speed golfer get extra power in their game.
In addition to the distance-enhancing capabilities, the Wilson D9 also has a low center of gravity to create plenty of launch and spin for the high handicappers.
As soon as you start to hit your golf irons well, the D9 will allow you to start working the ball. This makes this a set that will last you your first 5-8 years as a beginner.
10) Best For Women: Callaway Mavrik Max Ladies Combo Set
Women with high handicappers will have a much easier finding iron than a low handicapper. Some of the best golf clubs for women will be designed for the player that struggles to break 100 or 90.
If you find yourself in this category, you will have all the technology you need.
However, even with all the great choices on the market, the best irons for women, high handicappers are the Callaway Mavrik irons.
Like the SIM Max irons that stole our top spot, Callaway incorporated a tremendous amount of technology and great feel into the Mavrik Max Ladies combo set.
The urethane microsphere technology has been hanging around for a few years now. High handicappers who don’t want to feel vibration when they contact the ball will enjoy the Mavrik irons.
Hitting the golf ball feels great, even if you miss the sweet spot a bit.
A unique thing about the Mavrik Max is the center of gravity positioning. Each clubhead has the center of gravity in perfect placement for that loft.
This is a new concept and something that really changes the forgiveness factor.
Even though many people don’t believe this, women golfers want to hit it as far as possible. The desire for more distance is a strong one, and the Callaway Mavrik Max Ladies Combo set will deliver.
The clubs have a lightweight shaft, Flash Face Cup Technology, and the Tungsten Energy Core to push distance limits in a women’s golf iron.
Don’t let the clean, simplistic look of this iron fool you; a lot is going on in that clubhead!
Related: The Best Irons For Women
11) Best For Senior: Cobra T Rail Golf Iron Set
Cobra makes yet another appearance on our list of the best golf clubs for high handicappers. We love the Cobra RadSpeed irons for the distance they provide, but for a senior golfer, it’s hard to compete with the advantages of the T Rail Iron set.
Cobra T Rail irons are hybrid golf irons with hollow construction. These clubs are very similar to the Cleveland Launch HB Irons; however, they take advantage of the Cobra Baffler Rail technology.
When the Baffler Rail technology was first released, it shocked golfers how easy it suddenly was to hit the ball out of the rough.
Through the years, the Baffler technology has only gotten better, to the point that now this set of irons can really change the way players perform with their irons as well.
When you swing with a T Rail, you will feel as though you are getting power that is only possible with fairway woods and your drive; however, the T Rail proves this can happen with irons as well.
One of the things that helps the distance for seniors is the Forged E9 face. When the club’s face is forged, the feel, precision, and jump off the clubface will be considerably better.
The TRail set is a progressive design, so as the clubs get longer, they also look more and more like hybrids.
For senior golfers losing their patience with their equipment and their golf game, the T Rail is the way to go.
Related: Best Irons For Seniors & Best Irons From Cleveland
12) Best Cheap Irons For High Handicappers: Tour Edge Hot Launch C521
High handicappers and low handicappers will have to spend quite a bit of money on their next set of golf irons.
Golf irons cost quite a bit, partly due to the manufacturing process and the marketing and inflation. One company that really does a great job of keeping its prices in check is Tour Edge.
Tour Edge does not skimp on technology; instead, they market a little less, and therefore the pricing of the club is considerably lower.
With these brand new Hot Launch C521 irons, high handicappers can get a set that performs for almost half the price of other irons in this category.
Like all other super game improvement type irons, the C521 has a large sweet spot, wide sole, and a lower center of gravity.
There is also some advanced toe weighting technology incorporated into these clubs for extra stability.
Almost all golf irons for high handicappers are going to have strong lofts. This means that when you look at the lof of the club, it may be stronger than the loft of a player’s iron. The result is that players can get more distance out of their shots but still get the ball high.
It took a lot of innovation and low centers of gravity for golf manufacturers to figure this out.
Even though we call this one of the cheap golf irons on our list, there is nothing cheap about how the club feels or performs.
The Tour Edges are a great addition to your golf bag and something you should seriously consider if you are looking to save money.
Related: The Best Irons For The Money & The Best Irons Under $400
How To Choose A Great Set of High Handicap Irons
Our list features twelve of the best irons for high handicappers and beginners. This is narrowed down from the dozens of options on the market; however, you still have a difficult decision in front of you.
Most golfers are left choosing between three or four really great sets of golf clubs.
We have put together some criteria to help you choose which sets could be the best for your game. Pay close attention to this material as it could end up saving you a great deal of money.
Golf Iron Type
You will hear golf irons referred to as game improvement, super game improvements, players irons, and even sometimes players distance irons.
High handicap golfers need to choose a club that is either game improvement or super game improvement.
These clubs are typically more forgiving, offset, high launching, and the best irons for beginners and high handicappers.
All of the irons on our list are going to qualify in these categories.
When choosing a golf shaft, you need to decide the material and the flex.
The two materials to choose from are graphite and steel. The flexes that golfers will have to choose from are stiff, regular, or senior flex.
The material and the flex will be based on your swing speed and your ball flight preferences. Faster swinging players need stiffer golf shafts.
They also need golf clubs that help to keep the ball from getting a little too high up in the sky on certain shots.
One of the best ways to know which shaft to buy is to go for a custom shaft fitting. Most major manufacturers have the same stock shaft options, so you can easily order the clubs custom with the shaft of your choice.
The two basic types of golf irons are cavity back and forged irons. The cavity back golf clubs are the more game improvement iron for high hanlicappers, and they are the better option.
Although some clubs have forged faces or a forged look or feel, most high handicapper irons will be cavity back.
Don’t look at this as if it is negative. In fact, the cavity back irons give golfers exactly the feel that they need to improve and get better. When you become a low handicapper or even when you shop for your first mid handicap iron, focus more on the forged/cavity back debate at that point.
Sometimes it is assumed that high handicappers don’t play as much golf as the lower handicappers. Although this can be true, it is not always the case.
The way we like to look at pricing for golf irons all comes down to the value. The more you use the golf clubs, the more sense it makes to spend money on them.
When you play golf every other day, go ahead and spend thousands of dollars. When you play golf once a month, try to keep an eye on the pricing.
Typically higher pricing means that the clubs are made with more advanced technology and tend to have some excellent feel.
Although there are some great deals out there, getting what you pay for concept certainly applies in golf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions that we get asked about the best irons for high handicappers. With irons making up the majority of your golf set, it is completely acceptable to have lots of questions about this purchase.
What Are The Best Irons For A 20 Handicapper?
Many golfers wonder what handicap truly qualifies you as a high handicapper. For the most part, the verdict seems to be right around that 20 mark.
However, what happens if you sit right at 20? What clubs work best for a 20 handicap?
Golfers that have a handicap of 20 should look at game improvement as opposed to super game improvement.
They should think about irons that feel great, like Mizuno or Ping. These are the clubs that will be necessary once that handicap makes another drop down to 15.
If, however, your handicap is trending up from the 20 and you think it could be related to physical ailments or less time spent playing the game, maybe think about the super game improvement golf clubs.
How Many Golf Irons Should A High Handicapper Carry?
High handicappers probably need about six golf irons. The clubs to consider will be the 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and PW.
A four iron should be traded out for a hybrid. Some players with lower swing speed will find that the five iron is a bit too difficult to launch and control.
If this is the case, don’t hesitate to switch to a five hybrid. There is really no right or wrong way to put together a set of golf clubs.
However, for a high handicapper, it makes sense to lean more heavily on hybrids than long irons.
What Makes A Golf Iron Forgiving?
Many high handicappers struggle with what type of technology they should look for in their golf clubs. It doesn’t help that golf manufacturers use terminology like Urethane Microspheres, Speed Foam, Speed Pocket, Flash Face, Power Holes, and more.
How are golfers to know what is good and what is bad for their game?
Here are a few keywords to look out for when trying to find forgiveness in your golf irons. . .
- Large sweet spot
- Low center of gravity
- Wide sole
- High ball speed
Can Forgiving Golf Irons Really Help Me Score Lower?
Forgiving golf irons can help you score lower if you play with a club that is the wrong fit for your game. If you are currently playing with forgiving golf irons and you are still struggling to lower your high handicap, chances are there are some swing adjustments that need to be made.
Golf manufacturers and golf shops that sell clubs will try and convince you that the latest forgiving iron on the market will help you lower your score.
For some golfers, this can be true. However, you have to be honest with yourself about your golf game and the issues you may have.
If you are three and four putting every green, don’t convince yourself that new golf irons are the answer.
Take a round or two of golf and start tracking the shots that you hit. If you are missing greens, you need more forgiving golf irons that fit your game better.
We know this was a lot of information to absorb about the best irons for high handicappers. Between having to choose the right club head, shaft flex, brand name, and price, you have a big decision ahead of you.
The great news is that with the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS, you can’t go wrong. The clubs are designed specifically with high handicappers in mind.
The SIM 2 Max gives golfers more speed, higher launch, and better protection against those shots that miss the clubface center.
If you take advantage of the technology these TaylorMade irons have to offer and you put some time into your golf game, chances are you will need to read our article about the best golf irons for mid handicappers very shortly.