In a golfer's bag, no one type of club dominates the setup quite like the iron set. Generally, golfers will have six to eight irons in the bag, and having the right set can be the difference between being forced to play toward the middle of the green and feeling confident enough to step up to a shot and throw an absolute dart at the pin. When looking at irons, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Being able to understand your current skill level and the equipment necessary to elevate your game is crucial. Those blades may look cool on TV, but the golfers wielding them are infinitely better than most of the mid and high handicap golfers watching every weekend. There are two main groups of irons—player's and game improvement—and understanding your handicap, or being honest about your average score, will decide which iron style is best for you!
Player's irons are broken down into two different subcategories: player's distance and player's performance. Distance irons are hollow-body constructions that are forgiving and lower the center of gravity (CG) of the clubface as much as possible. Performance clubs are designed for pure control of the golf ball. Both categories are great for low to mid handicappers and could be blended into a nice combo set as well.
Game Improvement Irons
These irons break down into a super game improvement category as well. Both styles are designed to help the higher handicap golfers get the ball up and moving without penalizing off-center shots as much as player's irons will. Some super game improvement sets are designed as a whole set of hybrid-style iron heads to provide maximum forgiveness and inspire higher launch.
Another important aspect to consider when buying a set of irons is whether or not to get them fitted to your style. The easy answer is yes, everyone should do this, but finding a good fitter that knows their stuff can be difficult and, in some cases, expensive. However, having your irons fit to your swing can mean shots that start on-line more often and provide the very best results possible.
When you go to get yourself fitted for clubs, you should consider the grip size, shaft style and length, clubhead style, and your budget and experience.
The fitter is going to start by determining what length you need in a shaft. Taller individuals usually require an extra half inch or so depending on their arm length and their wrist-to-floor measurement. Getting this figured out first is the easiest way to make a fitting go faster and be more accurate
After determining the shaft length increase or decrease, you will get fit for the lie angle. This impacts the ability to start the ball on your intended line. Too flat and your ball starts to the left, too upright and it will start to the right.
Shaft Style and Flex
Determining what flex and material a golfer wants on their irons is important because it can cause the weight of the iron to change. Graphite shafts are usually lighter which can be nice for a golfer who struggles to create club speed. Steel shafts tend to be heavier and stiffer which allows the faster swing speed golfer to have a more stable clubhead throughout the swing. As a general rule, the more your swing speed increases, the stiffer the shaft you should use.
While looking at this, the fitter will also consider the descent angle of your ball and may mess with the kick point of your irons. A higher kick point on the shaft will lead to a lower, more penetrating ball flight. Likewise, a lower kick point creates a higher ball flight.
Having the right grip size may sound trivial, but it allows the golfer to be able to comfortably release the clubhead through the hitting area. Too small of a grip causes problems right from the start, as would too large of a grip. Test out a few different styles and find the one you are most comfortable with!
Since your performance is also taken into account, dust off the rust, get yourself to a range, and get your swing a little more dialed in pre-fitting. Remember with fitting, you can have input into your game. If you feel like you are getting good distance and want a higher ball flight, let the fitter know, don't just go with what they want. It's your game on the line!
Talk with an Expert
If you are in the market for irons but don't know which type is best for you, head on over to Curated and chat with one of the many Golf Experts who can get you squared away for all your golf needs. Your Expert will be able to ask all of the essential questions to fine-tune your golf experience, as well as answer all of the burning questions that you may have! The difference between Curated and any other golf retailer is that when you are paired with an Expert, they will do everything they can to establish a relationship with you and make sure that everything is 5 stars or above!