Game improvement irons are designed to launch the ball farther, with more precision and loft.
Sounds simple, right? But, aren’t all clubs designed to optimize your shots?
The short answer: yes and no.
Game improvement irons are designed for the non-professional golfer. They’re built for the journeyman who has developed healthy golf habits, but who has plateaued on their path to lower scores.
Standard clubs are designed to perform best when the player holding them truly knows how to use them.
A pro golfer with impeccable fundamentals is going to hit the ball farther with his 7-iron than you ever will with your game improvement 7-iron. But if you’re not squaring up against guys like Woods, Koepka, or Spieth, these irons can give you a serious edge against your competition.
Game improvement irons feature special designs that forgive imperfect fundamentals and swing mechanics. Lots of these clubs will have a lower center of gravity to help sharpen the launch angle.
It’s also common for them to displace the weight of the club head by removing a bulk of the metal. This balances the weight of the head more around the perimeter than the center, resulting in less erratic movement if you miss the sweet spot.
Improvement irons are a great way to boost your stats on the course, while helping you get a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. But, don’t grab any old set off the rack and start swinging.
Let’s look at some of the best game improvement irons golfers are using in 2020.
How Did We Choose?
We looked at a variety of factors to help you choose the best irons for your style of play. We examined elements like product specs, price, popularity, user reviews, and performance statistics.
Don’t just take it from us; check out these sets on Amazon to find killer reviews and a wealth of individualized experiences. Our top list is limited to those iron sets that we felt had a true impact on the casual golfing community at-large.
Feels like you have total control
Mizuno’s JPX 919 improvement iron is a performance-focused set with an unconventional aesthetic.
The thick-but-lightweight club heads create a smooth & frictionless motion as you swing through the ball.
No discussion of great game improvement irons can exist without a shoutout to Mizuno. The JPX 919 Hot Metal irons, in particular, are the most user-friendly, boasting highly forgiving accuracy and excellent distance.
The Hot Metal set features ultra-high smash factors, meaning the ball will hang high and travel far even if you shoot a bit off-center. And, you’ll feel like you have total control; the weight distribution is perfect, and, the sound and feel of the impact tells you a lot about how well you’re swinging. The irons have a slightly unconventional aesthetic, but that’s because the design is focused on performance first.
The club head itself is thick, but not too heavy. It’s easy to shoot smoothly through difficult lies and get the ball off the ground. Even low level golfers will see marked improvements to their shots out of the rough.
High performance even in the toughest lies
The CBX launcher irons will boost your short game with beautiful lofty shots and clean launch angles.
This competitively-priced set has a slick look, a satisfying feel, and a crisp sound. A perfect beginner’s club.
Plenty of game improvement irons are built for long shots and better-controlled aim. What separates the CBX irons apart is their high-performance in a variety of lies, giving even the gnarliest shots a chance at recovery.
You’ll be surprised at the improvements to your short game. The irons are incredibly lofty, with high, straight launch angles that give you excellent control over your accuracy. The laser-milled pattern on the club face (the Tour Zip Grooves) help the club put better spin on the ball, even in the rough. This is aided further by the V-shape connecting the sole and wedge up to the shaft, helping the club glide effortlessly across any surface.
The CBX irons have a great feel and a sleek, traditional look to give your bag a classic aesthetic. The sound of the ball off the club is crisp and satisfying; few game improvement irons are as beginner-friendly. While this set doesn’t offer quite as much extra distance as, say, the Ping 400 series, the control and adaptability is second to none.
For long-shots and precise aim
This upgrade to Taylormade’s prior M4 and M5 series is a game improvement iron truly meant for the neophyte hacker.
These clubs are jam-packed with features that make them a unique creation among improvement irons.
This upgrade to Taylormade’s prior M4 and M5 series is a game improvement iron truly meant for the neophyte hacker. These clubs are jam-packed with features that make them a unique creation among improvement irons.
Just like the M4, they feature a speed pocket in the sole and face, giving the club face more flexibility to give the ball a better launch speed. The M6’s upgrade is the 360° undercut, which helps lower the center of gravity and lift the launch angle. You’ll see improved lift even with poor contact, making this truly one of the most forgiving irons available today.
Another hot new feature in the M6 irons is what Taylormade calls their HYBRAR technology. Like their earlier RIBCOR design, this “compression damper” is a bar along the hollow side of the club face. It’s there for shock absorption, keeping the impact soft (but solid) and allowing for better aim through an imperfect swing.
An innovative iron for beginners and pros alike
The G400 improvement irons were built with advanced technology to launch your ball farther and faster.
It delivers excellent performance and, fittingly, a hearty ping sound with every shot.
The Ping series has been around for a long time, and they’ve always been big on technology. If you’ve ever swung a Ping iron, you’ve probably heard terms like COR-Eye and Ascending Weight Technology. The G400 irons are definitely built with game improvement in mind, but Ping’s body of proprietary technology makes these clubs suitable even for competitive players shooting in the single digits.
The COR-Eye face gives the ball greater launch speed, and thus greater distance. However, it’s a thin-faced club, which deadens the sound and dulls the impact. This means it’s harder for you to measure the success of your shot on the feel of it. Ping’s solution? A hearty aluminum plate and a flexible elastic piece to reinforce the COR-Eye face. These elements give your swing the satisfying feel & sound you’re looking for.
A smooth, consistent swing on every shot
The premiere name in golf brings you one of the longest-shooting improvement irons on the market.
Callaway’s Rogue set has a perfect center of gravity, providing a balanced feel to swing easily and consistently.
Callaway’s popular Rogue series is a top choice if your priority is the long game. They’re as forgiving as any game improvement irons… plus, these clubs also improve your distance. The irons have a fairly standard look, but don’t let that fool you. Callaway is known for their top-of-the-line engineering.
The club heads are smaller than their counterparts, the Rogue Pro and Rogue X. However, they’re thicker along the top and slightly longer, giving you an easier look when you address the ball. The faces of the irons are made with a spherical flexi-plastic panel (sort of similar to COR-Eye) that gives them the weight and power needed to launch long balls, while emulating the smooth sound and feel of narrow-faced irons. This helps you understand each shot better; the prettier it sounds, the better your shot.
They’re carefully weighted with tungsten, giving the irons a balanced center of gravity that’s consistent from club to club. This contributes to a smooth and consistent swing on each and every shot, giving you the utmost control over these state-of-the-art irons.
An advancement in distance and ball speed
The Staff C300 employs unique engineering to give your ball a speed boost off the fairway like you’ve never seen.
Don’t let the low price on this set from Wilson make you think twice – the power is in your hands.
The key technology behind this upgrade to the popular C200 series comes in the form of the ten urethane slots around the perimeter of the club face. These “power holes” allow the club face to strengthen your shot, launching your ball farther than you’ve ever seen.
The ultra-hard surface of the face combined with its flex converts your swing into a powerhouse. But, like its predecessors, it’s more hollow in the center, allowing for a more forgiving surface if your shot isn’t precisely aligned.
The C300 irons best their predecessors in distance and ball speed, with less spin and a slightly higher loft. According to GolfALot, this is a direct result of the low-contact club face and the increased power hole count.
This set gives you big boost in power, while helping you keep your shots straighter. As Wilson likes to say, “THE POWER IS IN YOUR HANDS!”
A nice, big, forgiving sweet spot
This good-looking set features plenty of loft and a healthy bit of extra distance to your shot.
A highly-forgiving iron by one of the most trusted names in the game.
These irons are an upgraded iteration of their 2008 counterparts, the Titleist 716 AP1. One of the key differences in the update is that this newer model uses a fully hollowed-out club head rather than a hollow covered back.
High-density tungsten in the toe helps to stretch the center of gravity, giving these irons a larger center of gravity and thus a much more forgiving sweet spot. The stainless steel design is sleek and attractive, but also makes the clubs durable and long-lasting. For the price, you won’t have to be replacing them as often as cheaper irons.
The 718 set also adds as much as 15-20 yards and even more ball speed. They also have a slightly higher loft than the 716s, with the gap wedge measuring at 53°. This makes them extra forgiving for players who have trouble getting their shots up into the sky. Goodbye rolling hills, hello blue skies!
Sometimes, bigger just means better.
This plus-sized monster by Cobra is perimeter weighted for awesome stability, boasting a massive sweet spot.
This set is a great choice for newer hackers looking to quickly correct frustrating shortcomings.
Sometimes, bigger simply means better. That’s the philosophy behind Cobra’s King Oversize set.
The face of the club is stronger, but also thinner. Its larger size gives it a much more generous sweet spot. The sole of the club is also redesigned to give your swing more speed. As a result, the PWRShell Face technology boosts both your distance and your accuracy.
The club faces are cut with a circular pattern in the sweet spot to serve as a visual aid when you address the ball. Lining up your shot is easier than ever when the club face tells you exactly where to strike the ball. They’re also hollowed out to help distribute weight around the perimeter of the club head. The toe is reinforced with tungsten to help pull the center of gravity down towards the center of the club, making it easier to keep your swing on its line.
The massive size of these irons, combined with their fine-tuned design, makes them forgiving, comfortable clubs that even a lower level player will get a lot of help from.
We’ll keep this simple. The best choice for you depends on your priorities and your skill.
Are you a new golfer, still learning your fundamentals? Go with the Taylormade M6 irons.
Got power, but need better control? You can’t go wrong with the Titleist 718 AP1.
Get out there, get hacking, and get yourself some clubs that you can shoot with!