Welcome to my review of the most forgiving irons in 2024.

I’m an avid golfer, an 8ish handicap on my way to a 2 (been a 5.6), and frequent tester of golf clubs and equipment since 2015.

  • I’ve included only the most forgiving irons I’ve tested over the last couple of seasons.
  • My advice is for you to pick one or two sets that appeal to you and test them before you put your money down.

In this comparison of the most forgiving irons for beginners & handicaps, I discuss my experience with the clubs, unique features and benefits, and my recommendations.

Our Top 3 Recommendations for 2024

Editor's Pick
Runner Up
Best Value
5.0
4.7
5.0
~$200/club
~$157/club
~$137/ club
Description:

The T350s have the best combination of forgiveness, distance, and high launch in our testing. Add to that a touch of refinement and killer looks.

Description:

Similar forgiveness, distance, and launch as the T350s. But don't have the feel and refinement of the T350s.

Description:

Best feeling irons eva! Tons of forgiveness, distance & launch easily. Just not the most forgiving. These are excellent irons to grow with.

Editor's Pick
5.0
~$200/club
Description:

The T350s have the best combination of forgiveness, distance, and high launch in our testing. Add to that a touch of refinement and killer looks.

Runner Up
4.7
~$157/club
Description:

Similar forgiveness, distance, and launch as the T350s. But don't have the feel and refinement of the T350s.

Best Value
5.0
~$137/ club
Description:

Best feeling irons eva! Tons of forgiveness, distance & launch easily. Just not the most forgiving. These are excellent irons to grow with.

Most Forgiving Irons for Beginners & High Handicappers 2024 – Full List

  1. Titleist T350 Irons (Best All Around)
  2. Ping G430 (Former Editor’s Pick)
  3. Ping G425 Irons (Former Editor’s Pick)
  4. Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal Irons (Best Feeling Irons in Golf)
  5. Taylormade Stealth Irons
  6. Ping G410 Irons

Most Forgiving Irons Reviewed

Titleist T350 Irons

Best for 13-ish Handicaps to Beginners
Titleist T350 Irons
5.0
Pros:
  • Launch the ball High & Straight
  • Forgiving & Long
  • Beautiful Clubs
Cons:
  • Pricey
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The new Titleist T350 irons are our new #1 recommendation for the most forgiving irons.

  • We recommend them for 13-ish handicaps up to beginners.

What we like:

  • Easy to launch and elevate. (crucial for high handicappers)
  • Loads of forgiveness and help with distance.
  • Great-looking irons. Large forgiving clubheads without being cartoonish or awkward-looking.

What we don’t like:

  • The price – Very expensive for beginner and high handicapper irons.

I’m always worried when I test game improvement or super game improvement irons like the T350s.

They usually come with light whippy shafts because they cater to higher handicaps with slower swing speeds. The T350s come with a host of good shaft options that will serve you well as your game progresses.

The clubheads are large, but their design blends this in well. They’re about as sleek as you’ll see in this iron category. (Titleist knows how to build attractive irons)

They feel and sound “clicky” with solid contact, but have zero harshness. The ball flies off the face – without needing great contact.

Conclusion: Excellent irons for beginners or high handicappers.

Recommendation – They’ll cost you a pretty penny, but they perform like a Titleist-built game improvement iron – exceptional.

Ping G430 Irons

Recommended
Ping G430 Iron Set
4.7
Pros:
  • Easy to hit & Elevate
  • High trajectory & Straight Ball Flight
  • Great distance & forgiveness
  • Can shape & flight the ball as well
Cons:
  • Looks, not the best
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Ping G430s are our former #1 recommendation for most forgiving irons.

What we like:

  • The large clubheads are confidence builders for higher handicaps at address.
  • They elevate the ball easily with or without great contact.
  • Hot all over the face with distance to burn.
  • They want to fly high and straight.
  • You can still work them left or right, flight them down, or take off distance if that’s part of your game.
    • Good playability attributes for when your game matures.

What we don’t like:

  • Looks…not so good.

The lofts are stronger in the G430s and they’ve added more tech for distance. Well-struck shots were about half a club longer for me on the course and I got a couple of crazy-long numbers on my launch monitor.

As with the G425s, center contact is stellar, but slight mishits will get you good results too. I was on or around the greens all day. 

Conclusion: We like the larger appearing clubhead for the beginner or high-handicap golfer. But, they’re not a significant improvement over the G425s. I don’t think that would be realistic. The G425s are too good.

Recommendation: The G430s should be on your list if you’re a beginner or high-handicap golfer.

Ping G425 Irons

Former Editor's Pick
Ping G425 Iron Set
4.9
Pros:
  • So... so easy to hit
  • High trajectory
  • Great distance & forgiveness
Cons:
  • Nada
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Ping G425 irons are high on our list of most forgiving irons for a few reasons:

  1. Supremely easy to hit and elevate
  2. All the distance you need 
  3. Can hit good shots all day long without needing perfect contact
  4. Awesome feel and sound for a mid handicap iron
  5. You can play any shot you want if you’ve got the game

I was not expecting the G425s to perform as well as they did. I play soft carbon-steel low handicap irons and I thought the 425s would feel harsh and wooden. No sir. I’m a low handicap ball striker with my irons and these did anything I wanted. 

Center contact feels great and slight mishits feel about the same, with no very little loss of distance. There’s a ton of forgiveness built into these irons.

The lofts are already jacked, but Ping offers even stronger lofts if that suits your game.  

Conclusion: The G425s are one of the best irons for beginners or average golfers I’ve tested this year. 

Recommendation: You’re going to want to at least test these. My money is on you keeping them if you do. 

Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal Irons

Editor's Pick
Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal Irons
5.0
Pros:
  • Exceptionally Soft & Solid Feel
  • Loads of Distance & Forgiveness
  • Absolute Eye Candy
  • Great Price
Cons:
  • Nada
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Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal irons aren’t made specifically for high handicap golfers. But we believe they’re too forgiving and easy to hit to leave off this list.

A few of the attributes we love:

  1. Buttery, marshmellowy, unbelievably soft (yet solid) feel.
  2. Incredibly forgiving and easy to hit. Great contact is not needed for good results.
  3. Exceptional distance.
  4. You can play any shot you want if you’ve got the game.

For this year’s JPX 923s, Mizuno combined Chromoly and Nickel to form Nickel Chromoly which allowed them to make the clubface 8% thinner, yet 35% stronger than last year’s JPX 921s.

So, the sweet spot is bigger for more forgiveness and distance over a larger portion of the face.

ALLL the good things I had to say about the 921s apply to the 923s.

Conclusion: Continued exceptional feel, performance, forgiveness, and distance out of the JPX line. (Surprisingly forgiving)

Recommendation: Just try them. You’ll thank me. 

Taylormade Stealth Irons

1st Runner Up
Taylormade Stealth Irons
4.7
Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Good Sound & Feel
  • Elevates ball easily
  • Easy to hit
Cons:
  • Looks...not the best
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Again, Taylormade Stealths irons aren’t made to be super game-improvement irons.

But, they are forgiving enough and have beaucoup game improvement features that make them a good option for the beginner or high handicap golfer.

They’re just not quite as good looking as the G425s. Yes, that’s a silly thing, but it’s the only differentiating factor from my testing. 

I first fell in love with Taylormade irons when I tested the M5s. These are them, but newer and even better… maybe. The M5s were and are awesome game-improvement irons. 

Stealth irons feel great in my hands. Look great at address. And, hit the ball a ton. You can hit ’em high. You can flight them down. You can play any shot you want with these irons. 

Taylormade Stealth irons are money and exactly what you want out of game improvement irons. They happen to be better looking than the SIM or SIM2 irons too. 

Conclusion: Neck and neck with the G425s. Ever so slightly behind in feel and looks.

Recommendation: Need to be on your shortlist if you’re in the market for game improvement irons. 

Ping G410 Irons

Highly Recommended
Ping G410 Irons
5.0

New & Used clubs available

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Pros:
  • Easy to hit and elevate
  • Good trajectory & playability
  • Excellent distance & forgiveness
Cons:
  • Not the best looking
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Ping G410 irons make our short list of the most forgiving irons in 2023 for a few reasons:

  1. You get great results without great contact.
  2. Ball flight defaults to high and straight.
  3. Playable and forgiving all over the face
  4. Exceptional sound and feel for a game improvement iron.

I tested the G410 irons at the same time as the G425s. They are remarkably similar in every way, except for a few cosmetic differences.

Ball flight between the two were identical. The sweet spot is generous and delivers beautiful trajectory shot after shot.

I didn’t want to stop hitting the G410s. And don’t sleep on distance, either. They have excellent carry numbers and should hold any green you’re likely to play. 

Conclusion: Play and feel EXactly like the G425s – Just different cosmetics.

Recommendation: Give them a try if you’re in the market. You won’t return them because of performance. I almost guarantee it. 

How To Choose the Most Forgiving Irons for Beginners & High Handicap Golfers

You need two things and two things only from a set of irons as a beginner or high handicap golfer…

  1. HELP getting the ball in the air.
  2. TONS of forgiveness.

Beginners and high-handicap golfers have never had it better in the game of golf. Top manufacturers have their eyes on you.

Today’s game improvement and super game improvement irons offer everything

  • Superior forgiveness
  • Great ball speed and distance
  • Playability
  • Looks
  • The ability to test irons at local golf stores before you buy

So, take your time and choose wisely. Do it right and these new sticks will be with you for a while.

Pricing your iron set

Price per club is the metric we pay attention to, not price per set of irons. 

An important distinction. Why…

The makeup for a set of irons varies WIDELY in general and especially for the beginner or high handicap golfer. 

In fact, if you are a beginner, you don’t need to have a 5-iron or a lob wedge in your bag. 

Heck, I’m a 10.5 9ish, was a 5.6 and I still had(have) issues with contact with my 5-iron sometimes. I suggest trading off your long irons (4 and 5) with hybrids to make your life much easier. 

A few options for set makeup offered by the top guys:

  • 6 iron- PW | 6-iron – AW | 6-iron – SW | 6-iron – LW
  • 5-iron- PW | 5-iron – AW | 5-iron – SW | 5-iron – LW
  • 4 iron- PW | 4-iron – AW | 4-iron – SW | 4-iron – LW
  • Etc.

More on my recommendations for your set makeup later…

Choosing the brand of irons you will play

Going to get this out of the way. All major manufacturers make great sets of irons these days…Period

  • Mizuno
  • Taylormade
  • Ping
  • Cleveland
  • Cobra
  • etc.

I’ve contended for a few years now that a lot will come down to personal preference and idiosyncrasies in your own swing and game.

Brand loyalty is a part of this. Most of us like to “go with what we know” and I ain’t here to knock that. 

My advice is to go someplace where you can get your hands on a set or irons you think you may like and start hitting them. You can also borrow a friend’s, test the floor models in the local pro shop, etc.

Should I choose a cavity back iron or a muscle back iron?

You’re going to need to choose cavity back irons.

Cavity back irons = more forgiveness

Muscle back irons = less forgiveness

There’s so much more club manufacturers can do with perimeter weighting, cup face, lower center of gravity, higher MOI, etc. that there really is no debate on this topic. Don’t think about forged irons or muscle back irons until your handicap is knocking on the door or in the single digits.

You have top pros in the world playing cavity backs

Most Forgiving Irons: Set Makeup  

Let’s face it…you won’t be making a ton of contact with the sweet spot on your irons, especially longer irons.

So, we have to maximize your set makeup.

The beginner or high handicap golfer looking for the most forgiving irons will need what I call a modified or a blended set of clubs.

You have a couple of options for your set makeup:

  • 4H, 5H, 6-iron to SW or
  • 4H, 5-iron to SW

This will be rounded out with your fairway woods, of course. The only constant will be the short irons. 

Why have I not included a lob wedge? My reasoning is:

  1. Lob wedges aren’t that easy to hit full shots with for even more accomplished ball strikers. So you won’t be using it much.
  2. Competence around the greens with multiple wedges takes a lot more practice.
    1. Get really good with your sand wedge first (at this point your handicap will be dropping)
    2. Then consider adding a lob wedge

How To Pick The Best Shaft for my iron set

So, we have two choices in shaft material and a whole bunch of choices when it comes to shaft flex. There are also kick points, shaft length, weighting, puring, etc.

There’s a lot, but those of us without unlimited budget need only pay attention to a few variables.

If you feel the need to get DEEP into the subject of golf shafts, there’s plenty of material out there or you can get in touch with a reputable fitter.

This will not be a full treatment of the subject and I always suggest doing testing if you are up to it. 

Shaft Flexes: Weakest to Strongest


Unfortunately for us, there is no industry standard for shaft flex. It’s up to each manufacturer to categorize their shafts. This is where testing and fitting come in. 

Basically:

  • Slower swing speeds = weaker flex
  • Faster swing speeds = stiffer flex

I categorize the difference in shaft flexes below. Keep in mind, none of this is written in stone and opinions vary.

  • Ladies Flex: you can guess who this flex caters to
  • Senior Flex: see above
  • Regular Flex: the bulk of beginners and high handicappers will do fine with this flex. Even lower handicap seniors will likely find these work.
  • Stiff Flex: better players with driver swing speed approaching 100 mph are probably best served with this flex
  • Extra Stiff: get past 105 mph driver swing and I’ll allow you to start considering these.

Swing your friend’s clubs. Test out different clubs from the pro shop. Test out stuff in golf stores. Etc. There’s no substitute for putting in a little work to find the best shafts for you. 

As we stated earlier, there is no industry standard for shaft flex and manufacturers can label their shafts whatever flex they want.

How To Pick Shaft Material


Shaft materials come in two flavors…Steel or Graphite

What are the differences between steel and graphite shafts?

  • In general, graphite shafts are more flexible, lighter, less durable, and allow you to hit the ball farther.
  • In general, steel shafts are stiffer, heavier, more durable, and offer more stability and consistency. 

You can get stock graphite or steel shafts for the same price from most, if not all, golf club makers these days. You will run into premium pricing when you start picking premium shafts. 

Should I Get My Set Custom Fit?


I’ve got a simple philosophy on custom fitting that I’ve expressed in other reviews on this site. 

But…I have stronger opinions for beginners or the really high-handicapped golfers

  • No…Your swing changes so erratically from swing to swing, forget about day-to-day,  it will be a massive waste
  • Get lessons first

You would benefit from a static fitting if you are very tall or very short. This will involve only the length and possibly lie of the club. 

FAQs

What irons are most forgiving?

The most forgiving irons are the Titleist T350s.

What are the easiest irons to hit?

The easiest irons to hit are the new Titleist T350s. Generous clubhead. High MOI for excellent forgiveness and added distance. Low CG (center of gravity) for easy elevation and high launch.

What type of irons are best for high handicappers?

The best irons for high handicappers are perimeter weighted and high MOI for forgiveness and help with distance and low center of gravity for high launch and trajectory.

Our Verdict on the Most Forgiving Irons in 2023

We like all the irons on this page for the beginner to high-handicap golfer, and we’ve even got something for the mid-handicap golfer.

We really like the new Titleist T350 irons for this category.

  • They’re forgiving & long.
  • They provide ample help with launch and high trajectory.
  • They look great for irons in this category.

My #1 suggestion is to test/try before you buy. Either at your local golf store or take advantage of Global Golf’s Utry trial program. I use it and recommend it. 

Thanks for checking out our review of golf’s most forgiving irons for beginners & high handicappers in 2023.

Best for 13-ish Handicaps to Beginners
Titleist T350 Irons
5.0
Pros:
  • Launch the ball High & Straight
  • Forgiving & Long
  • Beautiful Clubs
Cons:
  • Pricey
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