Golf irons are one of the subsets that make up a "set" of golf clubs (Woods, Irons, Wedges, Putter). Generally, irons vary in degrees of loft, which makes the ball travel on a higher trajectory or a lower trajectory. They are used from the fairway, which is the space between the tee-box and the green. They are also the clubs you will use most during a round of golf, so it is important to choose the best set for you.
In choosing golf irons, golfers must consider:
- Their body (height and build).
- Skill level.
- Swing speed.
- Personal preference (aesthetically pleasing clubs).
There are other factors that may be considered, but a golf professional will fill you in on those during one of the steps described below.
As you begin your search for the right golf irons, you'll likely be overwhelmed by the number of different iron sets available. That being the case, there are a few steps to follow to avoid making the wrong decision.
- Visit a golf pro-shop or other retailer with a large selection of golf clubs. Take a look at the different sets, just to see which ones "fit your eye." Decide which irons you think look good. It sounds simple, but later on, if you don't like the way they look, you won't have confidence in them or you simply won't like them. It's also a good idea to visit multiple golf pro-shops (golf retailers generally located at public and private golf courses) or golf retail stores. Decide which ones you like, which ones have the best prices and which ones have the most knowledgeable staff. Most importantly, if possible find a golf retailer that employs someone who will work with you to help you decide on the right fit. Which leads to step two.
- Call a respected golf pro. Chances are, wherever you may live, there's a golf course or club within driving distance that has one or more staff professionals (You may also find that staff members of most larger retail chains can provide the help you need). Part of the job description of a golf professional is to assist people with all facets of their game, including finding the right golf irons. Tell the pro that you are in the market for golf clubs and you need help finding the best irons for your particular skill level. The pro will likely ask you general questions about the considerations listed above (height, skill level, etc.). He or she will then either ask you to come in for a fitting or give you his or her recommendations.
- Get a club-fitting session. With any luck, a golf pro or trained retail associate will ask you to stop by for a club-fitting session as you go through step #2. If they don't, then find one that does. Club-fitting can be as simple as the pro taking your measurements and possibly watching you hit a few balls at the driving range or indoor practice facility, or as technologically advanced as having you tested on a launch-monitor (a machine that measures everything from swing speed, to ball spin-rate, launch angle, everything imaginable about your particular swing). Whatever method is used, a competent professional can then point you to the type of clubs to best suit you.
- Purchase your clubs. Unless a professional is "pushing" a certain brand of clubs, they should give you at least three or four possibilities. Golf irons fall into one of two general categories: Game improvement irons or performance irons. The game improvement irons are also referred to as "investment cast," or "cast" irons. Performance irons are often called "blades" or "forged" irons. Most recreational golfers will get the most enjoyment and success from a set of investment cast irons. Price is always a consideration and most new, good-quality iron sets can be found in the range of $600 to $1,000.
Just as with anything else, due diligence will pay big dividends. The variety and number of golf irons make choosing and buying them an overwhelming process, without a game-plan. Following these steps will take most of the guess-work out of an otherwise confusing process.