Here we take a look at clubs that could help you find increased consistency and improve your scoring.
Most Forgiving Irons
For many, iron play is one of the most difficult elements of the golfing test. Making a clean contact with the ball and achieving a consistent strike and distance can be quite a challenge. But some of the best golf irons on the market have been specifically designed to make the task considerably easier.
The most forgiving irons out at the moment all look to help you achieve greater consistency and find more confidence when you’re striking iron shots of the turf or out of the rough.
But what exactly makes an iron forgiving? Well these clubs have designs and technology created to minimise the effects of a poor swing or a poor contact. They ‘forgive’ the mistakes of the player if you will.
For example many of these clubs have larger heads and weighting allocated around the head. Some brands implement hybrid technology into irons too to help players make better contact and get the ball into the air easier. Most have cavity backs and also feature thicker toplines and wider soles as well.
If you are the type of player who values something else over forgiveness, you might want to take a look at our posts on the best distance irons, best golf blade irons, or even the best compact mid-handicap irons.
Here though we’re focusing on the most forgiving irons on the market.
Most Forgiving Irons
Titleist T400 Irons
+ Long and effortless to hit
+ Gets the ball in the air easily
– Not the best looking iron out there
The Titleist T400 is one of the most forgiving irons on the market let alone in Titleist’s popular T series.
It has the strongest lofts in the Titleist range, but the launch is not compromised with a strong, high ball flight produced.
The split sole design delivers smooth turf interaction, while super-thin face and hollow head are fortified by high-density tungsten weighting making this a powerful and supremely forgiving iron.
The set is progressive with blade lengths, sole widths and hosel lengths decreasing towards the shorter irons.
Overall, we think the T400 is a top-performing iron that could really help higher handicappers get the most from their games.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS Irons
Best Oversized Head Irons
+ Great distance
+ Better looking than previous SIM Max OS iron
– Not the greatest for feel players
The SIM2 Max OS is a TaylorMade iron built to be as forgiving as possible, designed to offer maximum assistance to those who need it on iron shots.
Admittedly the performance difference between the SIM2 Max OS and the previous model is arguable, but it still offers distance and forgiveness in a newly designed head.
Speaking of which the overall look of the iron is a significant improvement on the previous model. The Speed Bridge design has been replaced with a polymer cap, which makes the iron much more pleasing to the eye. The carbon fibre detail also adds a premium detail too.
At address the iron inspires confidence thanks to the overall size of the head, sole width, offset and chunky topline. It just looks like a powerful iron down by the ball, not to mention one that seems impossible to hit badly.
Overall we think it is definitely one of the best golf irons for beginners looking to get into the game because it is so forgiving.
Callaway Mavrik Max Irons
Best For Higher Launch
+ Extremely forgiving
+ High launch
– Slightly less distance than standard Mavrik model
This oversize club has been designed to help players get the ball airborne and it does that very successfully.
The irons feature Flash Faces designed by a super-computer. The result is a sophisticated face architecture for every loft delivering a significant boost in ball speed and optimised spin.
In the long irons, the faces are designed for launch and speed, while in the mid-irons the faces are engineered for a combination of speed and spin consistency. The short irons have a face construction designed to optimise precision for shot-making.
Tungsten weights have been precisely positioned to deliver the best possible launch and trajectory.
But, the focus in the Max model is launch and we found they produced a consistent high flight. These are definitely some of the best Callaway irons the brand currently makes and will suit improving players looking to get the ball flying straighter and higher.
Srixon ZX4 Irons
Best Looking Forgiving Iron
+ Top turf interaction
+ Clean looks
– Hollow construction not the best for feel
To go along with the ZX5 and ZX7 irons, Srixon also introduced the more forgiving ZX4’s in 2021 as well.
They have a fully hollow construction which is designed to aid forgiveness whilst also maintaining the clean look and forged feel that has become synonymous with Srixon irons.
Srixon’s new MainFrame technology is also part of the design. This technology is a variable thickness pattern made up of grooves, channels and cavities, and is milled into the backside of each ZX4 face. The result is an iron offering increased ball speed and therefore good distance.
Another particular piece of technology to note is the Tour V.T. Sole. All too often higher handicap players strike shots heavy because they make contact with the ground too soon. Well the sole design helps improve turf interaction by helping the club glide through turf rather than dig down.
Ping G710 Irons
+ Striking black finish
+ High ball flight with good distance
– Marginal gains over previous G700 model
Ping has been designing some of the most forgiving irons in golf for a while now and the G710’s are no exception.
With its black PVD coating and flexible maraging steel face, the design is intended to replicate the feel of a fairway metal and the speed and power produced by the G710 is impressive.
The addition of high density tungsten toe and heel weights further increases Moment of Inertia and helps maximise club head and ball speed.
We found the G710 produced a satisfyingly high ball flight and some good distances, even on the off-centre strikes.
The addition of Arccos shot-tracking sensors embedded in the grips as standard bolsters the appeal.
This is a great option for an improving golfer looking to improve consistency and distance.
Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Irons
Thin Topline Looks With Forgiveness
+ Fast ball speed
+ Greater consistency from off-centre strikes
– Not as workable as Pro option
The JPX921 Hot Metal is the longest iron in the JPX range, and definitely fits into that ‘best Mizuno irons‘ category, which is praise indeed given the brands history of high quality irons.
Thanks to the use of Chromoly 4140M and a re-engineered Cortech face, now 0.2mm thinner across the centre point, creating faster ball speeds.
These are assisted by a Seamless Cup Face featuring a variable thickness sole design that allows the leading edge to act as a hinge, generating more face flex.
Three additional sound ribs produce a more solid sensation at impact while extreme perimeter weighting and toe bias in Mizuno’s Stability Frame help to deliver greater consistency from off-centre strikes.
Wilson Staff D9 Irons
Best For Distance
+ Suited to wide range of players
+ Explosive distance
– Lightweight feel may take a bit of time getting used to
An iron that recently made our Editors Choice list for 2021, the Wilson D9 is one of the longest irons we’ve tested. For example when we tested the 7-iron we were finding it carried consistently over the 190 yard mark which was a considerable yardage.
It offers a superb blend of forgiveness and distance thanks to several design elements which are also a marked improvement on the D7 irons from 2018. For example the Power Hole technology is present but in the longer irons there has been a reduction from three layers to two, which produces a cleaner and more appealing look.
These holes are important for the forgiveness on offer here because the size, shape and arrangement of the urethane-filled Power Holes 2.0 increase deflection and allow more energy to transfer to the ball across the entire face.
The irons also have a new ultra-thin face which incorporates a larger sweet spot for more forgiveness too.
Honma T//World GS Irons
Distance And Looks
+ Long performance on offer
+ Subtle, good-looking irons
– Perhaps not as forgiving as other models on this list
The Honma T//World GS irons are all about gaining speed across the face to create more distance with less effort. They certainly provide that and with decent forgiveness too, they are an ideal iron for the golfer looking for as much help as possible when it comes to striking the golf ball.
The irons feature an L-Cup structured face which helps enlarge the sweet spot whilst a deep cavity and wide soles help inspire greater confidence at address.
Overall we think there are clear performance gains to be had here and we are also fans of the look of these irons because they are not hugely chunky, and the red and black accents in the cavity look good in the bag too.
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Irons
Best For Slicers
+ Looks inviting to hit
+ Strong, high draw bias trajectory
– Performance crossover with cheaper Callaway Mavrik Max iron
The Callaway Big Bertha B21 irons are the first Big Bertha irons to be designed using Artificial Intelligence.
The irons feature a generous offset, wide soles and a thick topline to inspire confidence.
Flash face technology delivers high ball speeds and a strong ball flight and tungsten toe weighting moves the centre of gravity to the middle of the score-lines for extra forgiveness.
Callaway’s urethane microspheres provide a soft feel. These are over one million tiny air pockets that absorb unwanted vibration without slowing the face.
Overall, after testing, we thought the Big Bertha B21 iron to be ideal for high-handicap golfers who struggle with launch and strike. There is a good deal of technology to help you get the ball up with more speed, while the feel off the face is also pleasing on the senses.
Yonex Ezone Elite 3.0 Irons
+ Large margin for error
+ Pleasing sound compared to other ‘tinny’ models
– Perhaps lacks some shelf appeal compared to others
To go along with the Ezone Elite 3.0 woods, Yonex also unveiled the 3.0 irons earlier this year too. Importantly, given the range is all about distance and forgiveness, the irons have several similar technoligical design features as the woods.
For example In-Core Groove technology is present, which is designed to improve the flex of the face, crown and sole of the golf club, creating faster ball speeds across the face with lower spin rates.
Then there is Octoforce technology which helps lower the centre of gravity to make a more forgiving head, and help produce a high launch.
That being said, it still has a classic, pleasing look too.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Irons
Hybrid Forgiveness With Iron-Like Launch
+ Easy launch
+ Fast face
– Not all will like the chunky looks
Comprising a fully hollow construction along with internal stabilizing ribs to provide maximum forgiveness, each iron head within Cleveland’s Launcher HB Turbo set features a turbocharged, high strength steel face that is thinner and hotter for increased ball speeds and distance.
Each iron head within the set features a turbocharged, high strength steel face that is thinner and hotter for increased ball speeds and distance.
A redesigned HiBore Crown features low, deep weighting to produce an easy to hit, high ball flight while progressive shaping provides a smooth transition from hybrid-like long irons to iron-like short irons.
Wilson Staff Launch Pad Irons
Best For Senior Golfers
+ Extra assistance from wide sole
+ Good accuracy
– Unorthodox looks take some getting used to
One of the most forgiving irons in this list, the clubhead of the Launch Pad irons incorporates a wide, progressive sole throughout the set that prevents the sole from digging into the turf before impact. The short irons (7-SW) feature more traditional sole widths, while the longer irons (4-6) feature wider, more forgiving soles, for more consistent ball-striking and greater distance.
In testing we were impressed with the Wilson Staff Launch Pad irons. They’re not going to hit the ball for you and they’re certainly not going to save a really poor swing, especially in wet conditions, but the margin for error on the strike is definitely larger on a club like this and if you’re a beginner or high handicapper it’s certainly an option worth trying.
It also featured in our best golf irons for seniors guide so definitely consider these if that applies to you.
Cobra King T-Rail Irons
Best For Consistent Turf Interaction
+ Powerful flight
+ Easy to hit and good launch
– Hybrid looks won’t suit every eye
The T in T-Rail stands for Transitional and the irons are said to combine the forgiveness of a Cobra Baffler hybrid with the precision of an iron.
They fuse a hollow, hybrid shape with an iron face and topline, creating an iron-hybrid design that delivers a blend of distance, forgiveness and accuracy. A hollow body construction creates a lower, deeper CG than traditional cavity-back iron designs allow and makes getting the ball airborne and on the desired target line easier.
Callaway Epic Forged Irons
Best Forged Forgiving Iron
+ Very fast off the face
+ Stunning looks
– Low launch might concern slower swingers
Forged from 1025 carbon steel and constructed with a dynamic suspended tungsten core in each head, these highly engineered irons are lightweight, easy to swing and smooth through impact.
Distance is generated in the longer irons by the 360 Face Cup that promotes hight ball speeds across the face, while Callaway’s urethane microspheres provide a soft feel. These are over one million tiny air pockets that absorb unwanted vibration without slowing the face.
With a variable face thickness pattern the faces of the Epic irons are noticeably fast but also consistent – no rogue long shots.
The Epic Forged irons look fantastic with a luxurious platinum chrome sheen finish.
Featuring strong lofts, the ball flight is on the low side, but in testing we found them to be fast and one of the most forgiving irons out at the moment.
What To Look Out For In Forgiving Irons
There are several things to consider when looking at getting the most forgiving irons for you and your game, and many of these factors can be ticked off by going to test different models.
Your Handicap And Ability
When hitting, try and take note of where you are striking the golf ball with the face of the club and see if there is any performance drops. Many forgiving irons these days are designed to perform regardless of where you strike them off the face and you being able to see and understand that in person will help you be more confident with one model over another.
Next have a think about what you want in terms of feel and looks. If you want out and out forgiveness then the hybrid-like models above will suit you well whereas if you want a more classic iron that still offers good forgiveness, then other models are available. Additionally many forgiving irons these days are made from materials that make different noises so hitting shots will tell you which ones you like the sound of, and which you don’t.
Additionally price is another factor. You can quite easily go down the premium route but there are still performance gains to be had with models which come in at lower price points.
Most forgiving irons do the same job – offer forgiveness across the face in a larger, more offset iron head. While all the irons in this list do that in their own way, they ultimately have the same goal for the golfer.
With that in mind, the price differences in these forgiving irons are mostly because bigger brands can charge a bigger premium for clubs with its logo on.
The lesser known brands in this list still make high quality, forgiving golf irons, so there’s good value to be had here.
As you have seen in this list, forgiving golf irons come in a number of different, slightly unconventional shapes.
When deciding which you want to go for, think about how much forgiveness and help launching the ball you need. If you’re after lots of both, we’d recommend going for the hybrid-like irons such as the Wilson Launch Pad, Cobra T-Rail or Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo irons.
These type of irons look a lot different to conventional irons – by being chunkier at the back and resembling a hybrid club – but offer heaps and forgiveness and a higher launch.
It’s worth testing a club like this out first before committing to one, as they take a bit of getting used to.
If you’re not after masses of extra launch, a more conventional iron shape in this list will give you all the forgiveness you need from your irons.
This is probably the most essential part of the iron buying process, no matter the irons you’re after or how good you are at the game.
A custom fit session will make sure you get the right flex and length of shaft, correct lie angle and correct iron head for your game, meaning you’ll finish with a set of irons that will be as suitable as possible for you out on course.
Custom fits can be a daunting process if you’re a true beginner or you aren’t that confident hitting golf balls in front of people, but they’re a vital part of the club buying process.
We recommend having a shortlist of three or four iron heads you like the look of before entering a custom fit and then whittling them down to the best for your game during the custom fit process.
Custom fits are provided by a number of golf retailers or club professionals at your local golf club.