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What are the best irons for beginner golfers in 2023?

Five models that offer everything beginners and high handicappers need.


One of the best ways to lower your scores is to hit more greens and the best golf irons in 2023 can help you do just that.


The most forgiving irons are designed to make it as easy as possible for golfers to launch the ball into the air, maximize distance, and reduce the effect of mishits. They tend to work well for golfers with slow swing speeds, although there’s no reason players with more power in the locker can’t use them too.


Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL Irons


If you want irons that offer plenty of help and forgiveness but still look great, the Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons are the answer. Traditionally, the most forgiving golf irons tended to have heads that were big, chunky, and not particularly attractive, but the Mizuno JPX932 Hot Metal HL packs a lot of game-improving technology into a club that looks like a better-player iron.


The Today’s Golfer best irons test saw shots land at a 48° angle, which is more than steep enough to hold greens, something that can sometimes be a problem with distance-boosting irons.


TaylorMade Stealth HD Irons


While many irons targeting beginners and high handicappers use super strong lofts in a bid to boost distance, TaylorMade feel that slower swingers need more loft, not less, if they are to flight shots properly and score successfully on the golf course.


HD stands for “high draw”, a shot lot of beginner golfers would love to hit. The lightweight shafts are designed to help golfers swinging below 75mph with a 7-iron.


The TaylorMade Stealth HD generated the second-tightest left-to-right dispersion (aka accuracy) among all the forgiving irons in the Today’s Golfer test.


Wilson Launch Pad Irons


The Wilson Launch Pad are hybrid irons and will suit those who struggle to strike their irons consistently. This is one of the best-looking hybrid irons ever made, and Today’s Golfer said it’s the easiest 180-yard shot they’ve ever hit, as the Launch Pad’s clever design provides plenty of launch and distance.


At around £600, the Wilson Launch Pad irons also constitute excellent value for money.


Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Irons


Golfers who find hybrids easier to hit than irons will love the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo. It makes it very easy to launch the ball high, generates plenty of distance, and the wide, hybrid-style body is extremely forgiving when shots are hit towards the toe or heel of the club.


Eleven Hybrid Irons


Effectively a full set of hybrids, these launch very high and with plenty of spin, which is exactly what slow swing speed players need in order to flight shots properly.


The Today’s Golfer test saw the Eleven Hybrid irons offering the smallest distance drop-off between good and bad strikes, and the tightest shot grouping, which proves just how forgiving these clubs are.


Custom fitting


Many beginner or high handicap golfers say they’re not good enough or consistent enough to make custom fitting worthwhile, but that simply isn’t the case. Your swing speed and impact conditions won’t change much from day to day, and a good fitter will be able to spot the key trends in your swing, even if you hit some dodgy shots during the fitting.


Properly fitted clubs will make the game easier for you, and avoid you having to make compensations for ill-fitting clubs which can ingrain bad habits that become hard to shake.