Golfers are always on the lookout for the best golf irons they can find. The market is flooded with different types of irons, each claiming to be better than the last. So how do you know which ones are really worth your time and money?
We’ll cover the best golf irons in 2023, and why they’re so great. However, if you want the best performing irons for you, use this guide as a start point, then go get fitted! Buying off-the-shelf equipment means you’re potentially leaving an extra 10-15% of performance on the table.
Each section links to a full review article for each category. We also answer some of your commonly asked questions when buying irons at the end of this piece.
- Overall winner – Mizuno MP225
- Worthy mentions – Ping G425, TaylorMade Stealth
- Best irons for elite players – Mizuno MP221, Titliest T100.S
- Best players irons – Mizuno MP223
- Best player distance irons – TaylorMade P790
- Mid handicap irons – Ping G425
- Game improvement irons – TaylorMade Stealth, Callaway Rogue ST Max OS
- Best golf irons high handicappers – Titleist T-300 irons
- Best golf irons for seniors – Callaway Rogue ST Max Lite
- Best value golf irons – Wilson D7
Best golf irons – Mizuno MP225
We are real nerds when it comes to golf performance and equipment – we’re not easily swayed when it comes to fancy marketing and gimmicks, but our testing of the Mizuno Pro irons really did impress us.
If you’re clueless about where to start with buying irons, and you don’t know which category you fit into we know you’ll have a great experience with the Mizuno Pro 225 irons. These are positioned more towards the 15 handicap and below, but we were amazed with how forgiving they were given the sleek head size.
The Mizuno MP225 irons give you great distance, forgiveness, and a whole lot of feel – it’s the complete package, making them our top choice for the best irons in 2023. The long irons are powerful and forgiving, the mid-irons deliver great control and the short irons are just a delight to use for full shots and when chipping and putting.
These Mizuno irons have been designed with feedback from some of the world’s best players along with the latest principles in design. They’ve managed to create an iron that offers better distance and forgiveness without sacrificing looks or feel.
If you are not sure where to start in your quest for the best irons, the Mizuno MP225s are a great option and should definitely be on your radar.
Read our full Mizuno Pro irons review
Worthy mention – Ping G425
The Ping G-range is Ping’s attempt at making the best possible iron for everyday club golfers. We have to say, they’ve done a stunning job. Great distance, incredible forgiveness, and great control all packed into a great looking club.
This is the forgiving/game improvement club for those golfers who don’t want to look down at a shovel. The only thing we could fault was the feel of the G425, Ping promised a lot on this front, but we don’t feel the G425s have noticeably developed from the G410 irons.
Don’t take this as a major criticism, if you are upgrading from big, chunky irons or dated clubs these will feel excellent – they just don’t sing in the same way the Mizuno Pro irons do. Feel aside, the Ping G425 perform incredibly well and are the most competitively priced new iron on the market from the big brands – great work Ping.
The Ping G425s are one of the best golf irons on the market today. With consistent results from every club and consistency in distance control, these irons are perfect for any golfer who is looking for a great playing experience with every shot.
Read our full Ping G425 iron review here.
Worthy mention – TaylorMade Stealth
TaylorMade have been on a charge lately, and their new Stealth irons are no exception. These are long, super forgiving, and have a great look to them. The cap back design makes these look like a thick blade rather than a high handicapper cavity back irons, but don’t be fooled – they are designed to keep your shots straight wherever you strike on the clubface.
The cut-away toe design, thinner face and some new materials have allowed TaylorMade to move the centre of gravity even lower down and away from the face compared to the previous SIM 2 Max iron. Any avoid golfer will know this is the secret sauce behind better club stability, straighter shots and higher ball speed for off-centre hits.
The Stealth iron doesn’t feel like they are re-inventing the game of golf, but it’s such a great option for any golfer who is looking to pick up some extra distance and forgiveness with a new set of irons. These don’t match the Mizuno Pro irons for feels, but there are very few irons on the market that match the TaylorMade Stealth irons for distance and forgiveness.
If you are looking for one of the best golf irons for forgiveness and distance, then look no further than the TaylorMade Stealth.
Best irons for elite players – Mizuno MP 221
Elite golfers are looking for irons that offer incredible control and feel whilst still maintaining good levels of forgiveness and control. They want to be able to shape shots and control trajectory, with a club that looks and feels great in their hands.
For elite players, we highly recommend the Mizuno MP 221 irons. These are powerful enough for most elite players and offer surprising levels of forgiveness, given their head size. However, the forged MP 221 irons feel, control and looks are unmatched in everything we’ve tested this year.
The longer irons offer excellent workability and control, whilst still offering good ball speed on off-centre strikes. The mid-irons and short-irons are where the benefits of forged irons really shine – these are a delight to hit.
This combined with Mizuno’s extensive shaft fitting options makes these irons something we feel every elite player should try when being custom fit for new irons.
Titleist T-Series irons T100.S
Another great option for elite players are the Titleist T-Series irons. The T100S model is especially designed for elite players, with a smaller head and thinner top line. They offer incredible feel and workability, whilst still providing good levels of forgiveness.
These irons have been designed to offer the ultimate combination of speed, distance, and forgiveness, making them perfect for elite. The S model will eek out a little extra distance over the standard 100 model and produces a more penetrating ball flight. The heel and toe tungsten weighting really does provide solid levels of forgiveness in the long irons and mid irons, whilst the smaller, more traditional head shape still offers strong levels of workability.
These weren’t on our radar as an exciting product until we tested them, but then we quickly changed our minds! If you are an elite player and are looking for new irons, the Titleist T-Series should definitely be on your shortlist.
Read our full Titleist T-Series iron review
Best golf irons in the Players category – Mizuno MP223
With a large proportion of the golfing market trying to help golfers improve and the need for an iron for the Tour Players to show off, the players’ category often gets forgotten. But it shouldn’t! Thankfully, we have an abundance of options to choose from, but the new Mizuno MP223 irons really stand out as some of the best golf irons for players.
These clubs are designed with the experienced golfer in mind and offer great feel, accuracy and control. They also have a sleek appearance that will help your iron play look as good as it feels!
These can be thought of as a progression from the MP-20 MMC irons (featured below). The classical looks in these irons should appeal to all golfers, the minimal offset and progressive head length that runs from long irons to short irons further the appeal of these irons, but also ensures golfers have incredible workability from inside 150-yards.
The one thing you can be assured about with Mizuno irons is that they feel great – and the MP223 irons are no exception. Personally, we feel this latest range is the best feeling irons Mizuno have produced to date, and that is high praise indeed.
However, the reason the Mizuno MP223 irons are sitting in top place is that with all of the above, they still offer great forgiveness. We’re not talking Stealth iron forgiveness, but enough for the odd bad shot, and an entire bad round. Given the modest clubhead size, Mizuno have worked wonders with their hidden cavity design and tungsten weighting.
If you’re in the market for the best players’ irons, add these to your testing list. If nothing else they will stand as a benchmark for how good an iron can feel. We’re pretty sure you’ll fall in love with them.
Worthy mention – Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons
Only two years old, and the predecessor to the Mizuno Pro 223, the Mizuno MMC irons are also an exceptional choice in the players category. These can still be found at some retailers at a very good price.
These irons have been designed with the needs of a player in mind and will give you maximum control over your ball flight from tee to green. Similar to the newer MP 223 irons, these offer excellent levels of distance and forgiveness in the long irons and mid irons. The levels of feel and control across the set are outstanding.
The progressive design sees offset and head length taper as you progress from the long irons towards the pitching wedge. This design ensures a neutral ball flight and the ability to hit shots of all heights and trajectories.
You can read our full review of the Mizuno MP-20 iron range here.
Best Player-distance irons – TaylorMade P790
For many years golfers were left with a choice between irons that offered great distance or great control, but not both. Thankfully, the past 5 years or so have seen a huge increase in the number of options available to golfers, and the TaylorMade P790 irons are a perfect example of this.
These clubs offer excellent forgiveness for such a small head, thanks to their hollow head design and tungsten weighting, while still providing the golfers with great feel and control.
These irons fly! In testing, these irons generated 10-15 yards more carry through the air compared to Mizuno and Ping player irons. This is due to stronger lofts and reduced levels of spin. However, thanks to the clubhead design these still launch at a similar trajectory to the comparative player irons.
Yes, reduced backspin will result in less stopping power, but the high launch and peak height created by these irons offer a great solution for distance, workability and control. We’d suggest lots of shaft testing when being custom fit to find your perfect balance of distance and control.
Mid handicap irons – Ping G425
There are no strict guidelines when it comes to handicapping, but for this review we consider mid-handicap golfers to be playing between a 9 and 20 handicap. It is a wide range that makes creating this review challenging; however, these days people have an abundance of choices!
In first place, we have the Ping G425 irons. These irons offer a great blend of forgiveness, control and feel making them perfect for mid-handicappers. They are affordable, and the performance is great making them our top choice in this category.
The Ping G425 irons deliver great performance in a club that looks and feels great. However, a key reason we’d suggest golfers add these to their shortlist is their longevity – regardless of if you stay as a mid-handicap golfer, or your charge towards single figures and scratch, these irons will still be there to cover your golfing needs.
To learn more about some of the other options available for mid-handicap golfers you can read through our article on best irons for mid handicappers here.
Best golf irons in the game improvement category
The new Stealth models maintain the thick toplines and longer clubhead toe to heel of their predecessors. Both characteristics provide confidence as you look at these irons from behind the golf ball. These, unlike the previous SIM 2 irons, have a far more elegant appearance and feel. The Carbon cap-back design adds elegance to these clubs.
If you are looking for the best golf irons in the game improvement category, look no further than the new Taylormade Sim Stealth irons. These clubs offer distance and forgiveness with a sleek design that is sure to turn heads on the course and bring your golf game to new heights!
Thanks to the clever perimeter weighting, toe and heel strike lose little ball speed and still fly pretty straight. This technology has been further advanced in the Stealth irons where the carbon toe cap and fluted hosel allows even more weight to be distributed lower down. The result is a lower centre of gravity and sweet spot, good news for most club players, who frequently catch shots low on the clubface and end up finishing short of the target.
The weighting and face design aims to maximise ball speed across the face, and the Stealth irons really are effective in propelling your ball forward wherever you strike on the clubface. Better golfers may find the shorter irons lack control compared to the Mizuno and Ping irons we cover in this review, but otherwise it is hard to fault these irons.
Callaway Rogue ST Max OS irons
Do you want irons that send the ball a long way and are forgiving? The new Callaway Rogue ST Max OS irons are a perfect choice! These clubs offer a powerful combination of distance and forgiveness, making them one of the best golf irons in the game improvement category.
With their undercut cavity design and lower centre of gravity, these irons are ideal for golfers who want to hit the ball further and want confidence when they place the club behind the golf ball. These irons are unashamedly chunky – head size equals forgiveness and these don’t disappoint when it comes to propelling the ball forwards.
The Callaway Rogue irons follow the current trend of very strong lofts (28.5º), resulting in a high ball speed and lower launch, but unlike many other irons in this category they do still impact good levels of backspin, meaning increased stopping power and control.
This may sound like a small point, but it is quite important, more backspin means a straighter ball flight and more shots finishing closer to your target.
In our testing, we were very impressed with the tight distribution on poor swings and minimal drop-off in ball speed for miss-hits. Add these to your testing list if you are looking for a golf iron that offers great distance and forgiveness!
You can read our full Callaway Rogue Iron review here.
Best golf irons high handicappers – Titleist T-300 irons
The T300 is a beast, and there’s no denying it. It appears to have been created solely with the goal of smashing golf balls aside. A wide solid head is complemented by a longer offset than what you’ll find in the smaller versions.
The T300 is still a pretty potent weapon if you are after ball speed. Titleist have made the face thinner in the heel and toe areas which theoretically should increase face flexion on off-centre strikes and minimise the distance lost.
In distance and forgiveness, the Titleist T300 irons really excel. Titleist made bold claims about the exceptional feel of the T300 irons too, here we’d disagree, they aren’t bad feeling, but we’d suggest looking towards Mizuno, Ping and Callaway alternatives for an exceptional feel. Good, not exceptional feel aside, these offer a truckload of performance for high handicap golfers.
The chunky perimeter weighting and heel bias weighting give you every possible chance of getting the clubface square to the ball at impact if you struggle with a slice, and it’s a very forgiving golf iron. Overall, if you want maximum ball speed and forgiveness in an iron then the T300 is definitely one of the best golf irons to consider.
Cobra F-Max irons
The best irons for high-handicappers should provide a blend of forgiveness and distance, while still leaving some room for when your game progresses into a mid-handicapper category. On top of this budget is often a factor, getting into golf can be expensive, and golfers have to spend wisely.
For this reason, we’re keeping the F-Max Cobra irons in our list. These have been around for a few years now, but you can still find them online for a really good price. Compared to the latest tech you may sacrifice 5-10% in forgiveness and 4-6 yards in distance, but if you want to save $300-400 these are a great backup choice.
The Cobra F-Max are designed for high-handicappers with their forgiving design, yet they still have excellent levels of distance and good levels of feel and control for a high handicap iron. Even better…they come in at a great price meaning that you don’t have to break the bank for a good set of clubs (and have some spare money for golf coaching).
Best golf irons in the senior category – Callaway Rogue Max OS Lite
Senior golfers often want to maintain or gain some valuable distance but without compromising on feel or forgiveness. There has been a strong trend over the past decade of golf companies delofting all their irons to increase ball speed and distance. However, the trade-off is reduced control and gapping distances in the scoring clubs.
Step in the Callaway Rogue Max OS Lite irons – we are delighted to finally see some innovation in this area. The Rogue Max Lite irons have more traditional lofts combined with a lighter clubhead.
This set-up creates a higher launch, with more spin and the lighter clubhead will help slower swingers generate more clubhead speed. The result will be more carry distance, without the old fashioned trend of stamping a ‘7’ on a 6-iron clubhead.
This innovation and visible difference in testing make them our best golf iron for many seniors to go try. Please note, if you have a very fast swing speed and a high spinning ball flight, these aren’t for you. However, for many seniors, they are the ideal ticket to extra distance and improved performance.
Did we mention they’re also really forgiving…these clubs offer great distance and forgiveness while still providing control and finesse as you reach the green. If you are on the lookout for the best golf irons for seniors, the Callaway Rogue Max OS Lite should be on your testing list.
Light materials and a thin face give the Stealth irons a high ball speed, which is further enhanced by the clubface’s optimised weighting and hollow cavity. This design combines to make these irons one of the best golf irons for distance and forgiveness.
The TaylorMade Stealth irons are also super-forgiving, with a wide sole that helps you get clean contact from a variety of lies, and a chunky top line that instils confidence even when you fear a miss-hit.
If you’re looking for irons that can help you hit longer and straighter drives, then the TaylorMade Stealth might just be what you need. With their superior distance, forgiveness, and control, they are definitely one of the best golf irons out there today.
Best value irons – Wilson D7 irons
Forged irons have a soft feel, however are expensive to produce. Here we must make note of the Wilson D7 irons, which despite being forged come in at a great price and offer excellent levels of forgiveness. These irons are a great choice for golfers with mid-handicaps and offer very good levels of forgiveness.
Also worth your consideration are the Ping G25 Irons which have been designed with all the latest tech but came out at a price far below what you would expect and below rival brands.
Best golf irons buying guide
In this section, we’ll cover some top tips and explain key features when you are looking to buy the best golf irons.
The larger the clubhead, the more forgiving it will be. If you are a beginner or high handicapper, then you should look for a larger clubhead. Smaller iron heads provide more ability to shape shots and control trajectory but can be more difficult to hit.
Centre of gravity
Head size and shape affect where the centre of gravity (CG) is located. The lower the CG, the easier it will be to launch the ball into the air. For beginners and high handicappers, we recommend looking for an iron with a low CG.
For better players who want to hit more penetrating iron shots, a higher CG iron will provide more control and accuracy.
Offset is the distance between the leading edge of the clubface and the shaft. This offset helps to square up the clubface, something useful for slicers. However, if you tend to hook the golf ball, you should look for an iron without offset, or with minimal offset.
There are three main types of materials used for the faces of golf irons: stainless steel, titanium, and forged stainless steel alloys. Titanium is the lightest and most expensive option, these are rare in golf irons, while forged carbon steel is also very expensive to produce but provides the best feel. Cast stainless steel is a good middle-ground option for cost and performance.
Historically, golf irons would be injection cast into moulds or hit into shape (forged). However, we’re now seeing more and more multi-piece head construction.
The advent of tungsten screws forged faces on cast bodies and in some cases, titanium insets make for a varied array of head constructions, including some fancy terms like ‘forged hollow body construction’. Remember the key aspects for you are performance – distance, forgiveness, control and feel. In this review, we cut through the fancy marketing terms to give you the lowdown on what really matters.
This is the length from the heel to the toe of the clubhead. The longer the blade, the more surface area you have to strike your shots. However, longer club heads are also harder to square up, as the centre of gravity shifts further away from the shaft. Fortunately, you’ll find manufacturers get around this when making larger clubheads, but adding more mass to the heel and shaving weight away from the toe.
Frequently asked questions when buying irons
In this section, we’ll cover some of the questions golfers have when looking for new irons.
Should you opt for a 3-iron to pitching wedge or drop a long iron or two and opt for more wedges? For most golfers, and with modern iron lofts, I would rarely recommend a 3-iron or 4-iron for most golfers, and instead opt for hybrids, fairway woods or another wedge or two.
For more on wedge setups, loft and bounce check out this article.
Shaft options when buying golf irons
Shaft options go far beyond steel or graphite – flex, torque, kick point and weight are just a few of the important variables to consider. You’ll need a custom fitter for these, but there are different options that you can select from when purchasing new irons.
The correct shafts aren’t just about maximising distance, they can also help reduce your shot dispersion and improve the feel of your iron shots.
Should a 20 handicapper get fitted for irons?
Players of all standards can usually benefit from custom fitting. A great custom fitter can create a set of irons that suits you now, but also grow with you as your game improves.
If you are a 20 handicap golfer, we recommend going to a custom fitter and getting fitted for clubs that suit your current level of play as your main priority. You have been previously fitted, however, if there have been some major changes in your swing over time then this may be an indication that you need to go through a revamped fitting process.
Is custom golf club fitting worth it?
I’m likely biased as a golf pro, however, in many cases, custom fitting is worth the investment.
The best golfers are always looking for any edge they can get by finding a suit of clubs that perfectly complements their games and swings. After all, it’s your game right? Why not spend some time getting fitted with irons that will give you maximum benefits on every shot.
Even if you end up with a standard set up at least you’ll have the confidence when playing that the irons are perfectly suited for you.
What are the best golf irons for a 10 handicapper?
- Ping G425 (all-round performance)
- Mizuno HMB (great feel & forgiveness)
- Ping i500 (great distance, high launch)
- TaylorMade P770 (exceptional distance)
- Mizuno MP-20 MMC (looks & feel)
As a 10 handicapper, you best fit into the mid handicap player range. Check out our article on the best mid handicap golf irons for more information.
The Ping G425 was our top pick in this category due to its excellent balance of forgiveness and control, along with fantastic feedback from players who rated it highly. The Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons were also a great option if you want an iron that provides an exceptional feel and a neutral ball flight.
What are the best irons for a 20 handicapper?
- TaylorMade Sim Max (Best all-round performance)
- Mizuno HMB (Best for forgiveness and feel)
- Ping G410 (Best control and performance)
- Wilson D7 (Best value)
- Callaway Mavrik (Great for distance)
- Mizuno JPX 921 (Great for feel)
As a 20 handicap golfer, you best fit into our game improvement range. The top pick in this category is the TaylorMade Sim Max for its forgiving design, excellent distance and feel. The Mizuno HMB irons were also a great option if you want an iron that provides forgiveness without sacrificing control or feel.
Who makes the best golf irons?
The best golf irons depend on your individual game and needs. For some golfers, they need the most forgiving and longest iron to help them get the ball in the air and on the green. Others might prefer a smaller clubhead for more control and workability.
These days all manufacturers create a wide range of options to suit a variety of needs and budgets, including Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Ping, Cobra, and others.
Who makes the best-looking golf irons?
Looks are a personal preference, however for a classical design, Mizuno are regarded as the benchmark. For a more colourful and brash look, Callaway and TaylorMade both have ranges which will turn heads on the course.
What golf irons are best for me?
We hope this article gives you a great insight into the best golf irons in various categories. However, go test them yourself and get fitted! If you are not getting fitted you are likely leaving 5-10% of potential performance gains out there.
What irons are the easiest golf irons to hit?
The best golf irons for easy hitting are going to have a few key characteristics. They will likely have a wide sole, deep cavity back design, and large sweet spot. This combination of factors will help the golfer get the ball in the air with ease and also promote more forgiveness on off-centre hits.
What are the most accurate irons?
The most accurate golf irons are the clubs that will allow you to hit near the centre of the face and square up the clubface to your swing path. For this reason, there is no one iron that will be most accurate, rather you’ll need to find a club head and shaft combination that best suits your golf swing and impact factors.
How much should I spend on irons?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on your individual circumstances. A new set of blades might cost you $2000 while beginner irons could be as little as $500.
What we would suggest is that you consult with a qualified club fitter who can help you understand what type of iron will suit your game and how much you should be spending. Ultimately, getting properly fitted for new irons can help you improve your game and make the most out of your investment. So don’t hesitate to spend a bit more if it means getting better performance on the course!
Are oversized irons easier to hit?
Oversized irons are easier to hit, as larger clubheads result in a larger sweet spot, which helps to reduce the risk of off-centre shots. However, oversized irons may not be the right choice for all golfers, so it’s important to consult with a qualified club fitter who can help you find the best clubs for your game and swing.
How often should you change your golf irons?
Every 3 – 5 years is a general rule of thumb. However, you should look to change your golf irons when technology or your golf game sees a considerable shift. Either factor will result in some easy performance gains and make the game more fun!
What’s the difference between irons for mid-handicap and low handicap?
Mid handicappers are golfers who have handicaps in the range of 8 or 18. So you’re gonna break 90 shots frequently. It covers a broad spectrum but a constant objective is to beat 91 consistently or easily beat 80 recurringly. It’s impossible for us to know where the difference falls on a scale from high to low.
That wraps up our article on the top best golf irons available. We covered everything from iron sets for 20 handicappers to game improvement irons for pros, so you’ll have no problem finding the perfect set of clubs that suit your needs and level of play.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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