The best of the best! We round up the best budget golf irons that have been released for the 2023 season.

Eight of golf’s most significant brands introduced us to a whopping sixteen new iron sets for the 2023 season, and our team has tested them all to let you know which ones are the best budget golf irons in 2023.

We’ve hit them in the sun, in the rain, abroad, at home, in the heat, in the snow, on the course and in a simulator room with TaylorMade TP5 golf balls using TrackMan to create honest reviews you can actually trust.

We have scoured through all the shot data we’ve collected and dove deep into the new technology to assemble our list of the best budget golf irons 2023.

Oh, and there’s more where that came from. Not only will we be taking a closer look at the best budget golf irons sets, we’ll be discussing the best budget golf improvement irons and best budget golf irons for high handicappers.

Anyway, what are the best budget irons in golf? Let’s go!

Best budget golf irons 2023

Callaway Rogue ST Max Irons

4.5 star review

Reviewed by Jack Backhouse

There’s no getting away from how big these irons are. At address the Rogue ST Max irons almost make the ball look small, which is good as these clubs are designed for a player who wants maximum forgiveness and distance. They sit with the classic Callaway iron style and have the strongest lofts in the Rogue ST family.

The results do not disappoint, these irons are crazy long. From what I would consider being fairly average club head speed averages, I was able to hit a 9 iron that carried 149, a 7 iron that carried 180 and my longest 5 iron went 204 CARRY. This was easily the longest Rogue ST iron model.

The Rogue ST Max are not only long but also incredibly forgiving. Strikes from places other than the centre also flew extremely far and felt really solid. I even had mishits with the Rogue ST Max irons that fly further than a good strike on my current irons. Not a good look for the old blades.


  • Long
  • Consistent ball speeds across the face
  • Strikes feel powerful


  • Chunky heads won’t suit the eye of all players
  • Low spin makes distance control hard inside 150 yards

  • Read the full Callaway Rogue ST Max irons review HERE

Lofts: 4i: 18.5 – 5i: 21.5 – 6i: 24.5 – 7i: 27.5 – 8i: 32 – 9i: 36.5 – PW: 41

Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65 Graphite: Regular
Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 75 Graphite: Stiff
Project X Cypher Black 50: Light
True Temper Elevate 95 Steel: Regular, Stiff

More information: Callaway Website

Ram Golf FX77 Irons

4 star review
best budget golf irons 2023

Reviewed by Jack Backhouse

Ram Golf have created something really good here. The FX77s have strong lofts and a lot of offset so you really feel like the club is going to work for and help you, but they have a thin enough top line to make you feel like you are still using players’ clubs.

I was blown away after just one shot as the ball seemed to rocket off the face. I knew that the FX77 irons had strong lofts, but they’re no stronger than similar clubs on the market, so I was pretty surprised to see the 9-iron shots carrying near to 150 yards, with one landing at 156.

I was really pleased with how solid the FX77 irons felt on off-centre hits though. This is an important factor for the player’s distance irons as the golfer they’re aimed at probably doesn’t find the centre every time. It was noticeable however that the clubs seemed to mark or scuff up quite quickly with my strike pattern starting to show up after just 10 or so shots.

These are a brilliant set of irons that I recommend to anyone who needs more distance but is shopping on a budget. These may be the best value irons out in the market right now, and probably the longest I’ve hit all year so be sure to check them out!


  • Long
  • Very forgiving irons on off-centre hits
  • Strikes feel powerful
  • Arguably the best golf irons on a budget


  • A lot of offset won’t suit the eye of all players
  • Crazy ball speeds make distance control hard with short irons

Lofts: 4i: 20.5 – 5i: 23 – 6i: 26 – 7i: 30 – 8i: 34 – 9i: 39 – PW: 44

KBS Tour 90 steel – regular, stiff
UST Recoil graphite – lite, regular, stiff

More information: Ram Golf website

Wilson Launch Pad 2 Irons

4 star review
best budget golf irons 2023

Reviewed by Jack Backhouse

The Wilson Launch Pad irons are massive. Every iron in the set looks half like a hybrid so you really get the feeling that the ball is going to get airborne regardless of the swing you make. I really like that although the head is big, Wilson haven’t overcrowded the space with branding or funky designs keeping the head looking clean.

After a couple of shots with the 9 iron, I immediately saw a huge change in ball flight compared to my usual gamers. I was hitting the ball so much higher than normal, with the ball seeming to stay in the air for ages with very little curve.

These irons feature a new level of flight which was definitely something I could get used to, as with higher-flighted iron shots hitting greens becomes a lot easier. In the new Launch Pad irons, Wilson have reduced weight in the head and moved the centre of gravity lower, which helps get the ball up in the air quicker and reduces spin, which is why the balls weren’t curving as much.

The ability to get the ball in the air practically every time and moving towards the hole is exactly what loads of higher handicap golfers need and if you can get past how big these irons are, they will definitely improve your scores.


  • Ridiculously easy to hit
  • Confidence inspiring behind the ball
  • Super high launching for more carry distance


  • Oversized head won’t suit everyone
  • The wedges don’t provide much feel around the greens

UST Recoil graphite – A, R
KBS Tour 80 steel – R, S

More information: Wilson website

Takomo 301 MB Irons

4.5 star review
Best budget golf irons

Reviewed by Jack Backhouse

I love the clean, simple design of these irons; they have a thin sole and minimal offset, which gives you a real player’s feel. The top line, however, isn’t super thin, so at address, you do feel like you’ve got a chance of hitting some good shots.

These irons are forged from 620C steel, which provides a really soft contact feel. When you use a blade, your primary concern is control, so you don’t want a strike that feels at all fiery from the face.

I found controlling the flight in terms of trajectory and shot shape really easy with the Takomo 301 MB irons. I love hitting it higher and lower and attempting to work shots into different flag positions on the green. This isn’t always the most sensible approach to golf, but it makes it loads of fun, and the Takomo’s amplify this.

These irons are excellent for any golfer in any condition, and they have travelled to some exciting venues with me. I took them to Sawgrass to play both the Stadium and Dye’s Valley course. I drove them over to Hillside for a game on the links and even had the game of my life at my home club Sand Moor and shot 62!


  • Out the centre, the contact feels amazingly soft
  • Really easy to manipulate flight
  • Stunning behind the ball


  • Not forgiving for inconsistent ball strikers

Lofts: 4i-23°, 5i-26°, 6i-30°, 7i-34°, 8i- 38°, 9i-42°, P-47°

Shafts: KBS Tour – R,S,X

Grip: Lamkin Crossline

More information: Takomo Website

Cobra Aerojet irons

5 star review
best budget golf irons 2023

Reviewed by Hannah Holden

These are some of the longest irons on the market, perfect for players who are looking to pick up extra yardage.

What was pleasing was I didn’t give up any dispersion in return for that distance. In fact, my 5-iron had the tightest dispersion of the test, with under 10 yards front-to-back dispersion and just over 5 yards left-to-right dispersion. All the data with this 5-iron is absolutely ridiculous.

Overall, I really enjoyed testing these irons. The stand-out factor is definitely the distance, but I think these are a real all-rounders and are contenders to be the best game-improvement irons this season.


  • Exceptionally long
  • Relatively compact shaping
  • Forgiving on off centre strikes


  • Not as workable as other models

Lofts: 18.5° 4, 20.5° 5, 23.5 ° 6, 26.5° 7, 31° 8, 36° 9, 41.5° PW, 47.5° GW, 54° SW

Stock shafts: KBS PGI 85, KBS PGI 75, KBS PGI 65, KBS Tour Lite

Grip: Lamkin Crossline

More information: Cobra website

Best Budget Golf Irons 2023

How do we test irons?

At National Club Golfer we are passionate about producing accurate and thorough reviews and make sure our testing process is rigorous so we get a good understanding of how each club performs.

Each iron is hit with Pro V1 golf balls to allow us to collect launch monitor data with our in-house TrackMan and Flightscope. After this it is time to head out onto the golf course and test the clubs in practice and competition play. We do this across a variety of golf clubs in our base of Yorkshire.

What is important when buying a new iron?

When buying a new set of irons it is important to know what you want from that club to help you improve.

Most people are looking for more distance, each iron model is optimised for different things. Depending on your swing and your impact conditions, you may not actually hit the model that is advertised as the longest, the furthest. So if you want more distance it is always worth giving different models a hit before you make a decision.

For most golfers, especially high handicappers, something that is more forgiving is going to yield the best performance. Most forgiving golf irons have a slightly bigger club head with perimeter weighting for high MOI. They also have a center of gravity that is further back to help players get more height on their shots.

Do you want something that is draw bias? There are so many models out there to help with slice correction, it would be silly not to take a look if you see your ball disappearing into the right trees too often. A closed face and draw bias weighting can get you hitting straighter shots in no time at all.

Don’t forget about the shaft either. Getting the correct shaft can help dial in your spin, launch angle and can also give you some extra distance. Having a custom fitting or trying different options with your local pro can really improve the performance of your new driver.

Best Budget Golf Irons 2023: FAQ’s

What irons are best suited for high handicappers?

High handicappers will often be best suited to game improvement irons as they are designed to help players hit the ball straighter, higher and further.

They’re also the most forgiving of any type of irons available, whilst even including some of the longest irons you can get your hands on. This is generally achieved with a lower centre of gravity and stronger lofts. Distance AND forgiveness? Yes, please.

What handicap are game improvement irons best suited for?

These type of irons are ideal if you’re a high handicap golfer. Typically, if you’re shooting above 85 or only occasionally hitting a shot in the sweet spot then they’re also the go-to. Handicap-wise, mid-to low handicappers will also benefit from these clubs. And as we know, the average handicap is between 14 and 20, hence why they’re so popular on the shelves!

They are also great for players with slower swing speeds as they can help with higher launch, which these golfers can struggle with, especially in longer irons.

best budget golf irons 2023

What brand produces the best irons for high handicappers?

All of the products in this best irons for high handicappers 2023 article are picked from the brands that offer the best-performing game improvement irons.

Do any pros use game improvement irons on tour?

Unsurprisingly, most PGA Tour pros don’t opt for game-improvement irons. As we covered earlier, the sort of irons are best suited for mid-handicap golfers looking to – quite literally – improve their game.

The most elite golfers in the world tend to game players’ irons or blades. These forged irons are thinner, have a smaller sweet spot and therefore are much harder to hit consistently than game improvement irons. From time to time some pros do add game improvement clubs in for long irons or as driving irons for a more forgiving option off the tee.

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Jack Backhouse

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching. He also loves his golf equipment and getting into the data of the latest clubs on the market. Jack has quickly become a go-to for expertise on a wide range of golf products but specialises in reviewing hardware. If you are looking for some new golf clubs make sure you have checked out his latest driver, fairway wood or iron reviews. He previously worked in wealth management, all of this means that number crunching and launch monitors are his favourite thing in the world. Jack is a member at Sandmoor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to maintain his scratch handicap.

Hannah Holden

Equipment and Instruction Editor

Hannah Holden is the Equipment and Instruction Editor here at National Club Golfer. If you’re looking to improve your game, by changing your golf swing or upgrading your golf equipment she’ll have the answers. As well as writing lots of features and reviews you can find her on our YouTube channel giving you insights on the latest rules, clubs and tips to improve your golf game. Hannah is a member at both Huddersfield and Alwoodley golf clubs. You will either find her here or driving up and down the country playing in a variety of elite amateur events.

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