Game Improvement Irons vs. Super Game Improvement Irons: Which is Best for Your Golf Game?Published on 09/21/2023 · 11 min readIn this article, Golf Expert Reid Graber goes over game improvement irons vs super game improvement irons to explain which type of forgiving irons best fit your game and your swing.
Callaway Big Bertha irons. Photo by Callaway
Golf is a game that is easy to pick up, remarkably addicting, but incredibly hard to master. Learning about clubs like game improvement vs super game improvement clubs would help out to get the right clubs for your game. Every facet of the game can be challenging, including making shots with a pitching wedge. Some of the hardest shots to execute are from the fairway or rough and approaching the green. Even when the ball is teed up on a par 3, hitting a high, accurate approach shot can be a daunting task, especially if your golf clubs aren't helping you as much as they could be. Anyone who has ever picked up a set of clubs or played 18 holes can attest to this. Striking the ball in the proper part of the clubface is hard, and it’s a skill that can take years of practice and thousands of shots to be comfortable with.
Even at the highest level of play—the PGA and LPGA Tour—professional players won’t always find that the center hits the ball every time. They’ve been playing golf for most (if not all) of their lives, practice religiously, and are some of the best players on the planet. Knowing that, what are beginner, high handicappers, and amateur golfers to do for some consistency in their irons? Let's look at game improvement vs super game improvement irons.
Modern Iron Technology
In recent years, game improvement vs super game improvement club technology has advanced to help high-handicap golfers hit the ball straighter, higher, and farther with the help of new irons. These players are more worried about straight flight, a large sweet spot, higher MOI (Moment of Inertia or, in other words, resistance to twisting), and distance, as opposed to workability and turf interaction. These irons are a far cry from the thin blades of yesteryear and are often referred to as “game improvement” clubs. Thicker toplines, more exotic materials like tungsten weights, graphite shafts, cavity-back constructions, strong lofts, face cup technology, and perimeter weighting in these club heads all contribute to making approach play easier.
There has been another development in the last few years for high handicap golfers—the creation of the “super game improvement” iron. These irons are about as helpful as possible, these are not blade irons. They are packing technology into each head and emphasizing higher launch, low spin, distance, flexibility, and forgiveness. They often include a shaft with more flex to help with launch and loading the shaft. They can look like oversized irons, and some manufacturers have even looked to create sets that incorporate hybrid iron technology, hollowed-out head shapes, and a hotter club face. So, how can the average golfer know which kind of iron is right for them (besides reaching out to a Curated Golf Expert like me, of course)?
As with most things in golf, there is no one option that will work best for every player. Even if there was, what fun would that be? For most players, the look of the club—both in the bag and behind the ball—is vital. There are differences of game improvement vs super game improvement clubs. The thought of looking down at a club that is thicker and more forgiving could fill a newer player with confidence but be off-putting to someone who prefers the look of a thinner iron. The turf conditions and courses you typically play are also a factor, and how you take divots and interact with the ground are all part of the equation for your approach game. Understanding the launch conditions, lofts, and offset of a set of irons is essential in order to play better golf.
Naturally, this seems like a lot of information and could be overwhelming to someone looking to make an equipment upgrade. However, I’m here to help! As a Curated Expert, I have plenty of experience in determining how different types of clubs can help different types of players. In this article, I’m going to explain the difference between game improvement vs super game improvement irons and describe how they can help make games easier and more enjoyable! Golf is meant to be fun, and modern technology should be as helpful for your game as possible.
Super Game Improvement Irons
When it's game improvement vs super game improvement clubs, there is a difference. Super game improvement clubs are built with a large amount of topline thickness and look like they will launch the ball into the air without much effort. They will likely have plenty of offset to help avoid the dreaded slice and will look inviting and forgiving to hit. If you miss toward the toe or heel, the ball won't lose as much distance as it would with a thinner iron. For the longer irons, you will likely be able to see a lot of weight and structure out of the back of the club, which is meant to help the ball get in the air quickly and with speed, even with less loft.
Super game improvement clubs are perfect for new players or for players who struggle with their approach play into the greens and could benefit from high launch ball flights. Another huge market for super game improvement irons are senior golfers who have lost some of their swing speed. These irons would be a phenomenal option to help regain some of the height and distance that may be fading from your play as you get older. They help with accuracy and distance by creating less spin than blades, focusing on hitting the ball straighter with maximum forgiveness.
When you are looking to hit the green, easy launch and height are vital to playing better golf. Options like the Cleveland Launcher XL irons, TaylorMade SIM Max OS irons, Wilson Launch Pad, and Callaway Big Bertha B21 fall into the super game improvement category.
These irons aren’t built for everyone, though! They often have stronger lofts and can be detrimental to players who deloft their irons or naturally hit high balls. The offset and construction of these clubs can also worsen a hook for a player who has a tendency for left misses. As Lee Trevino famously said, “You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen.”
Game Improvement Irons
Looking at game improvement vs super game improvement irons is eye-opening since they come in all shapes and sizes. In the last few years, this type of iron has exploded in popularity and become a cornerstone of all golf equipment sales. After all, most players are likely to hit at least one iron shot on every hole during a round. If you’re like me, that number can definitely grow, and I hit a lot of iron shots per round already. That’s why I play with a set of forgiving game improvement irons! Their centralized center of gravity and cap-back design really make a big difference in my scores when I carry these inside my golf bag.
I love them, and I completely understand what they do for my game. I am nowhere near a consistent enough ball-striker to play the thin blades and cavity-back irons that are seen on professional tours. I love looking down at a set of medium-sized irons that I know will help save my shot if I miss the middle of the face. The irons have a wide sole to help avoid digging and they bounce through the turf.
These types of game improvement irons are still packed with technology and forgiveness, but they are in a more compact package as compared to a super game improvement set. I love the pop and ball speed that I get from the thin face, and I'm able to hit plenty of greens without swinging like a tour pro playing a muscle-back blade. These irons go high and far, look great, and fit my launch conditions in order for me to play better golf.
There are also plenty of options for you or me to find the perfect set, so we can enjoy a better approach game. There are cast options with great looks and a little offset, such as the TaylorMade SIM2 Max, Callaway Mavrik, and Callaway Mavrik Max irons. There are also forged options for a softer feel, such as the Callaway Apex 21 DCB and Srixon ZX4. The amount of options for most amateurs is endless and is only continuing to improve.
Which Is Best for You?
So, when it comes to game improvement vs super game improvement clubs, which set of the best game-improvement irons is right for you? It comes down to personal preference and being honest with yourself about the state of your game.
The vast majority of amateurs could use more forgiveness and launch, so I recommend game improvement sets to a lot of my customers here on Curated. Most brands are creating some type of game improvement iron these days, so even players who love the feel of their Cobra, Mizuno, or Titleist blade can more easily move into the Cobra Radspeed irons, Mizuno JPX Hot Metal series, or a Titleist T300 iron should they decide they aren't hitting their thinner golf irons like they used to and want the best game improvement irons to help. Many are upgrading older clubs that don’t have nearly as much technology as current products on the market, and they can immediately feel a difference when they hit their new clubs for the first time.
Matching your iron selection with the proper steel shafts or graphite shafts can make a world of difference compared to irons from fifteen years ago! The ball looks faster coming off the face, and many people are able to hit shorter clubs into greens. Modern club head and shaft options offer a lot of stability and improvement to amateur golfers these days. Going from hitting a long iron into a green to hitting a short iron from the same distance is a great feeling!
Game improvement sets fit the vast majority of golfers, they are among the most forgiving irons and I think most players would be very happy with an upgrade to modern game improvement irons. In fact, one of the best-selling sets on the market recently has been the Callaway Mavrik irons, a game improvement set with wider soles, a low center of gravity, and flash face cup technology to help straighten the ball flight of off-center hits when the club doesn't slot properly on the downswing.
However, there are certainly players who would be better suited for a super game improvement set. The profile of this golfer is a little less common, but there is still a market for them. I find that these types of players are always happy with the super game improvement sets I recommend! Some people will ask for the most forgiveness possible in a set of irons. They aren’t worried about the looks, they likely don’t get to play as much as they like, and they just want to hit the ball as far and straight as possible and not be worried with off-center strikes. Super game improvement irons are the perfect solution for these players! No one has ever said, “Golf is too easy.” You can quote me on that. Miss a few short irons during a round and you'll see what I mean.
As for other groups of golfers who would benefit from a set of super game improvement irons, women and seniors are prime candidates! They generally have slower swing speeds, which means that they could struggle with ball speed and launch off of the clubhead. The technology in the best super game-improvement irons will help these players hit the ball higher and farther, making their approach play simpler and ideally improving their golf experience. After all, it is a game, and we are looking to have more fun! Forgiving golf irons from Cleveland and Cobra golf can also help promote a high ball flight and combo sets can make sense to help women and seniors keep longer shots that naturally generate high ball speed compared to shorter approaches on line.
I hope this article on game improvement vs super game improvement clubs has given you a little more knowledge and has helped you distinguish the different kinds of forgiving iron sets that are on the market today, and also helped you understand what kind of player these sets typically suit. Higher handicap players aren't the only beneficiaries of game improvement clubs anymore. For more information about what kind of iron set would be best for your game, reach out to me or any other Curated Golf Expert! We would be happy to help you find the right gear, have more fun, and hit more greens. We would love to find you a great new set of irons.