3 Thoughts To Help You Choose Your Next Set Of Irons
You may drive for show and putt for dough, but your irons are the workhorses in your golf bag. They may not get the glory, but they produce a far more varied array of shots over the course of a round and a season than your woods or flatstick. That's why you need to do your due diligence as you look for your next set.
Here's what you need to do to make sure your next irons will serve you well:
Be honest with yourself. If you don't play often, pay no attention to what irons are in the bags of your favorite pros. They're not for you. If your handicap is 15 or more, you should look for so-called “game improvement” irons, which usually have generous perimeter weighting, a good amount of offset and fairly hefty soles. The perimeter weighting will make for a larger sweet spot, which is important if solid contact sometimes eludes you. Offset will help you square up the clubface at impact and is crucial if you tend to fade or slice the ball.
A thicker sole creates a lower center of gravity and will help bail you out if you tend not to launch the ball high or generate much shot-stopping spin. If you're buying clubs when you're on the verge of taking your game to another level, by all means consider irons with smaller heads, less offset and thinner soles. Just know that you'll have to grow into them a bit as a golfer.
Forged or cast? This is a particularly intriguing dilemma if you are a mid- or low-handicap player, and this decision is largely an aesthetic one, but not entirely. If you generally make solid contact and enjoy working the ball from left to right or right to left, mixing in some low punch shots and high soft ones, forged irons will give you the most joy. But if you feel as though you're a below-average ball-striker for your handicap, cast clubs will give you a little more room for error. And don't feel bad about going in this direction—you'd be surprised how many PGA Tour pros carry cast irons because they prefer the feel and consistency they offer.
Do it right. Whatever you do, get fitted for your irons. Do not merely buy them “off the rack” and expect them to make any significant difference in your game. You don't buy pants without looking at the size, do you? At the very least, make sure the lengths, lofts, lie angles and shaft stiffness match up with your height, hand position at address and swing speed. Before you drop $800 on a new set of irons, consider investing the $50 for a proper fitting.