Skip to content

Choosing the Right Iron Set: A Comprehensive Guide to Find Your Perfect Match

Putting a new set of irons in your golf bag will always attract the attention of those you play with regularly. You'll get asked how much they cost, what shafts...

Putting a new set of irons in your golf bag will always attract the attention of those you play with regularly. You'll get asked how much they cost, what shafts are in them, where you got them, and whether they are custom golf irons built specifically for your game.

There is a wealth of choice in the golf irons market, and there are many great models and innovations in iron design. This is crucial for manufacturers and golfers since not every golfer is precisely the same, and we want different things from any purchase we make. Irons also come in at different price points, which can be a key consideration when taking the plunge on a new purchase.

We are in the season when manufacturers release their new golf clubs for the year ahead. This is always an exciting time for golfers, especially if you are considering making changes. But getting to grips with all the technology, designs, and materials can make us confused about what is best for us.

Our celebration of everything related to irons will help you decide what is most beneficial for your game.

We'll help you understand:

  • The Different Types of Irons Available
  • Combo Sets
  • How Does Technology Impact Iron Design
  • Testing and Custom-Fitting
Titleist Golf Clubs

The Different Types of Irons Available

The first way to pinpoint which golf iron is best suited to which type of golfer is to consider the basic style of head available, which falls into three brackets:

  • Bladed Irons
  • Performance/Hollow Body Irons
  • Cavity Back Irons

Bladed Irons

Blades are the hero irons; deep down, lots of us would like to emulate the best players in the world and have them in our golf bags. Many golfers would agree that blades are the best-looking irons with their clean, minimalist designs. They are built by some of the finest craftspeople in the business, especially if you are looking at models produced by Miura or Mizuno.

Bladed irons offer little in the way of technology, but they offer the best feel as they are forged from the softest steel. Better players gravitate towards blades because they want the feel, feedback, and workability blades offer. Better players also don't need help with their ball striking, so the lack of forgiveness on off-centre hits won't be a huge issue for them, either.

Miura KM700 Golf Irons

Performance/Hollow Body Irons

TaylorMade pioneered this new segment in the iron market when it launched its original P790 series in 2017. The P790 range is still going strong and has been joined by the likes of the Titleist T200, Mizuno P245, and Callaway Ai Smoke Irons, to name just a few in this growing segment.

Performance or hollow body irons form a bridge from traditional blades in their looks but pack lots of technology that we will cover in more detail. This makes these irons attractive to a wide variety of golfers.

Callaway Ai Smoke Golf Irons

Cavity Back Irons

Cavity back irons cover a wide variety of golfers, from player cavity models to high handicap and new golfers. A player's cavity back will feature a small cavity in the rear of the iron head, which adds an element of forgiveness. Still, the overall look of the iron will be similar to that of the blade, with features such as a narrow top line and thin sole. This is best highlighted in irons like the ProtoConcept CO3TC or Srixon ZX7 Mark 2 irons.

Cavities get progressively bigger moving towards the high handicap golfers, which increases the sweet spot and reduces the centre of gravity, helping off-centre hits and getting the ball airborne. One trend we have seen develop over the years from the professional game is a mix of irons in their bags. Handicap golfers can also take advantage of this, adding to the rise of what is known as the combo set.

Srixon ZX7 MK II Golf Irons

Combo Sets

With a combo set, you will likely see the longest irons in the bag being of a more forgiving nature with cavity backs or hollow designs, which help golfers not only with off-centre strikes but also get the ball airborne to provide more stopping power into greens.

The mid to short irons could be more of a blade design where golfers may not struggle so much with ball striking but need accuracy and workability to create good scoring chances on the course. Combination options are available for any golfer, and finding the best setup for your game comes from a custom-fitting option.

Custom fitting is crucial to getting your combo set of golf irons right because there needs to be consistency in the loft gapping of each golf iron, leading to consistent distance gaping between your irons.

For example, opt for a six-iron with a stronger loft from a different set to your seven-iron with a more traditional loft. You may find a big gap between how far each club goes, causing problems in your shot selection out on the course.

Another advantage to a combo set is maintaining a consistent look across all your irons. As an example, performance irons like the TaylorMade P790s have the look of a more traditional iron, which means they could blend well with either the TaylorMade P7MC or TaylorMade P7MB irons also available in the TaylorMade range.

Titleist, with their current lineup take it a step further where golfers could be fitted with T200 long irons, T150 mid irons, and T100 short irons.

How Does Technology Impact Iron Design

Blades aren't the irons to focus on when it comes to the technology story in irons; they are hand-forged irons, and that's about it. So, if we are not in the market for a set of blades, what technologies do we commonly see in irons today?

The first style we have touched on briefly is the performance or hollow iron. Put simply, the iron head is constructed from two pieces that form the face and the back of the iron, and when they are joined together, a cavity is created between the two pieces.

As we see with TaylorMade, this cavity can be filled using "Speed Foam" in the cavity of the P790 and P770 irons to stabilise the face and provide a bigger trampoline effect, giving higher ball speeds.

Looking at the new Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke irons, they have focused more on the technology within the face, using their Ai computers to create different sweet spots around the face for enhanced performance instead of filling the hollow with any material.

Some golfers feel there is a distinctive sound at impact, which might not be to everybody's liking, which means they could look at multi-material irons as an alternative. Multi-material irons feature forged faces that match the feel you might get from a fully forged iron and give the same level of feedback and softness.

Added stability and improved Moment of Inertia (MOI) can be found in the strategic placement of tungsten, as seen in irons like the Titleist T-200s. The back of a multi-material iron is formed of more rigid steel that improves the robustness of the iron head, houses the cavity, and manages the overall weighting of the iron head.

Multi-material irons gravitate more towards golfers who need the most assistance with their iron games, with a great example of this being the new TaylorMade Qi10 HL irons. TaylorMade not only uses multiple materials in the head design but has decreased the overall weight of the iron by using the lightest components possible and weakened the lofts slightly to help newer or higher handicap golfers get the ball airborne more easily.

TaylorMade Qi 10 HL Golf Irons

Testing and Custom-Fitting

Investing in a new set of irons can require a decent financial commitment, so walking into your local retailer and buying a set off the rack or ordering irons online without knowing what they are like is a high risk to your finances and your ability to shoot better scores on the course.

Some retailers and pro shops can have trial or demo irons available to try. Not only can you get to see how the iron looks behind the ball at address, but getting to hit some shots with the demo iron will give you the following:

  • An idea of what the iron feels like at impact
  • How forgiving it is on off-centre hits
  • See what the ball flight looks like if you can hit shots outside

While this is a step in the right direction towards making an informed decision before buying, there are still some issues which mean you don't have the complete picture.

It may be just one club you get to hit, like a seven iron, so you don't get to see what ball flight and direction are like with the other irons. The shaft fitted to the demo club may not meet your requirements regarding flex and length. The club may also be at the wrong lie angle, which can cause problems if you are taller or smaller than standard.

Demo clubs tend to have a hard life, which is shown up most in the condition of the grip and, in the more extreme circumstances, in the state of the grooves, which can lead to inconsistent shots.

Custom-fitting removes any unknown areas that can hamper your decision-making process and is a wise investment in time and finances. Building an initial data set when you come for a custom-fitting session from your existing clubs lets the fitter understand key elements of your game, such as:

  • How far you hit your irons
  • What your shot dispersion is like
  • How you deliver the club face into the ball

From this, the fitter isn't just thinking about which heads could be suited to your game; they are also looking at the correct shafts, helping to add more distance and improve shot dispersion.

An experienced fitter could also build the ideal combo set if that would work well for your game, ensuring the distance gapping was consistent through each iron. The fitter can also build a combo set with consistent looks, which can be visually beneficial when you hit each iron in the bag.

If you are in the market for a new set of irons, remove the risk of buying the wrong ones for your game by booking a custom-fitting session here at Nine by Nine Golf. Our experienced fitters have helped golfers of all handicap levels make great decisions on what irons will work best for them.

Our custom-fitting process shows where improvements can be made in distance and accuracy, and we'll spend time helping you understand our recommendations, which gives you better insight into how your golf game works.

You can look at the exciting new launches for 2024 on our website and all the customisable options available, meaning you can either order online immediately or have a better idea of what you would like to try when you come in for a custom-fitting session.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..


Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options