How we rate irons

Irons are a large investment so they are a serious matter. We have gone through a detailed process to rate golf irons and pass on that information to you.

We use the following criteria to rate a golf iron:

  • Manufacturer details
  • Quality of materials and build
  • Forgiveness factors
  • Aesthetic factors
  • Hitting the irons
  • Matching ability to above factors

Manufacturer details

We use the manufacturer information regarding the product as a starting point. The manufacturer will classify their ranges into the following categories:

  • Super Game Improvement
  • Game improvement
  • Players irons or musclebacks/blades

Claims the manufacturers make are important to assess the iron. Will it deliver what is promised?

The tech that the manufacturer is including in the iron is also taken into consideration. How much of it is marketing and how much helps the golfer that the club is aimed at? These are all important factors to consider.

Quality of materials and build

Once we understand what the new products can and cannot do, we look at the materials. Are they high quality? Is the construction congruent with what the manufacturer is advertising, by way of delivering what they promise through the construction of the club. Does it match up?

What metals are used? Is there a range of shafts on offer? Are the clubs a good improvement on the prior model?

Forgiveness factors

This site is mainly aimed at the double digit handicapper and so forgiveness is a large criterion for assessing irons. Maintaining distance and direction on a mis-hit and consistency of distance and direction on center strikes is key to a good iron for most amateur golfers.

How easy is the iron to hit straighter or to correct a slice? In what way does the sole interact with the turf? Is it a thick sole or a specially shaped sole? How much offset does the club display? How big is the sweet spot? Is the perimeter weighting assisting most golfers?

All things considered, is the iron forgiving or not? If it is less forgiving we want better ball strikers to be interested in them. If they are super forgiving, we want higher handicappers and newer players to see them.

Aesthetic factors

Aesthetics or the look of the club is important. Recommending and rating clubs for different skill levels requires a nuanced approach for the looks of a club. A big chunky forgiving beginner club is not going to be rated highly for a mid handicapper trying to break into the low 80s.

We use a few questions when we analyze the aesthetics:

  1. How thick is the top line?
  2. How big is the club face?
  3. How long is the blade of the club?
  4. Is there a big back end sticking out?
  5. How heavy is the club?
  6. How much offset is there?
  7. How does the club look in the bag?

Hitting the irons

Hitting the irons is an important part of the process but is also very subjective. What is appealing and good for one person is not for another but in general, a club that is forgiving is forgiving for everyone and one that is punishing is punishing for even the better players.

  1. How easy is it to get the ball airborne?
  2. How does the ball feel off the face?
  3. How does the ball flight compare to a baseline?
  4. How does the iron interact with the ground at impact and beyond?
  5. Is the club as forgiving as it looks?
  6. Is there a draw or fade tendency?
  7. On mis-hits, did the ball go in the intended direction?
  8. How much distance gain?
  9. How much distance loss on mis-hits?

Matching the irons to the above

It’s important to recommend and rate clubs for the ability of player that the clubs suit. There are a lot of golf blogs which recommend irons completely inappropriate for the players they claim they are for. We always endeavor to match up the club to your skill level so you can make an informed decision.