The best of the best! We roundup the most forgiving 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 most forgiving golf irons in 2023 to suit your game.
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 most forgiving golf irons 2023.
And there’s more where that came from! Before we answer the question of what are the most forgiving golf irons ever made, we’ll also discuss the most forgiving golf irons for high handicappers too.
Anyway, let’s have a look at the best and most forgiving irons in golf.
The most forgiving golf irons 2023
Wilson Dynapower Irons
The Dynapower irons look really simple and stylish from the back. It is clear Wilson have cleaned up the graphics since the previous D9, and I think the red and black colourway works really nicely.
Over the ball, these have your typical game improvement shaping. The top-line is fairly thick, the head size generous, and there is plenty of offset. At address, these are confidence-inspiring for that mid-handicap golfer.
In terms of distance, I think these have to be some of the longest on the market. Some of my shots with the 5-iron carried over 200 yards. These are not numbers I have ever seen with an iron before. If you are looking for a club to give you all out distance, look no further.
Despite being long, I also found these really easy to hit. The Dyanpower irons are undoubtedly one of the best and most forgiving golf irons on the market this year. They are also high launching, easy to strike, and consistently go in the right direction. These are some of the highest-launching game improvement irons I have tested this year so perfect for people who struggle to get enough height on their shots and want to get more hang time.
- Extremely long irons
- Great consistency
- High launching
- Big profile, especially in long irons
- RELATED: Read the full Wilson Dynapower Game Improvement Irons Review
Stock shafts: KBS Max Ultralite & Mamiya UST Recoil Dart 65
More information: Wilson Website
TaylorMade Stealth HD Irons
These look as much like a hybrid as an iron, but I think that oversized design is really comforting and confidence-inspiring for a higher handicap golfer. I really like the design continuity from the original Stealth irons to these.
Straight away, once I started hitting these, it was easy to see how effortless it was to get high-launching shots across the set. They also felt a lot better than I expected. Yet off-centre strikes feel slightly harsh but the tech in the head to dampen vibrations certainly made those centre strikes feel nice and soft.
My longest shot carried up at 184.7 yards which is pretty impressive for me with a 5-iron. I think the longer you used these and the more you got used to the size and shot shape the more distance you would get out of these
The whole point of this club is to have something easy to launch and just really easy to hit, this was clear throughout the range. These have to be some of the easiest-to-hit products on the market.
- Super forgiving on off-centre strikes
- Very hard to hit heavy
- Improve consistency
- Draw Bias
- Easier to hit than other models
- Big-looking club head
- RELATED: Read our full TaylorMade Stealth HD irons review
Stock shafts: KBS Max 85 MT (steel) & Fujikura NX Red/Silver (graphite
Grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red 47g 0.600 Ribbed
More information: Taylormade Website
Ping G430 Irons
This club almost looks unrecognisable. Although it has that typical high square-toe Ping shaping, the back of the club head is really different. I love how they have designed the Pwrflex in the back of the club head to give this product a completely new more modern feel.
The most important thing about game improvement clubs is that they are easy to hit. These definitely tick all the boxes in this area. They are high launching, easy to strike and consistently go in the right direction.
I really like the fact these are fairly neutral down the target line and balance forgiveness with a decently high spin rate and launch so you can still control the golf ball.
Overall these are some of the most consistent game-improvement irons I have tested this year. Ping has done it again and produced an exceptional game improvement iron that will only aid performance.
- Extremely consistent irons
- Easy to launch
- Not as long as other models on the market
- RELATED: Read our full Ping G430 irons review
Lofts: 4i-19°, 5i-22°, 6i-25.5°, 7i-29°, 8i-33°, 9i-37°, PW-41° (power loft and retro loft options available.
Ping stock shafts: 11 stock shafts available
More information: Ping Website
Srixon ZX4 MKII Irons
The first strike of the ZX4 MKII blew me away. I was expecting the fairly common feeling of an explosive, low-spinning strike but I was surprised by a feeling of a forged player’s iron in my hands that left me wondering whether I’d picked up the right clubs or not.
These irons were bonkers long but I do wonder how well I or another player who naturally hits the ball low would find the long irons.
I do think that these irons have a great potential to help short hitters gain some much-needed distance, or for a mid to low handicapper to play in a split set. They look so similar to the ZX5 MKII and ZX7 MKII irons that you could seamlessly blend them into a split set for more control with the short irons and more forgiveness with the longer clubs.
- Forged face feels so soft
- Crazy long ball speeds
- Forgiving on off-centre strikes
- Super strong lofts produced a pretty low flight for me which may not suit everyone
- RELATED: Read our full Srixon ZX4 MKII irons review
Lofts: PW 43°, 9i 39°, 8i 33°, 7i 28.5°, 6i 25.5°, 5i 23°, 4i 21°
Shafts: KBS Tour Lite (steel) Diamana ZX Graphite (graphite)
More information: Srixon Website
Cobra Aerojet irons
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
- RELATED: Read our full Cobra Aerojet irons review
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
Callaway Paradym irons
These irons are so attractive. Callaway have done such a great job with the styling. When you look at them on a shelf they really stand out. I love the navy and gold colourway and think the whole club looks premium and smart.
These irons are extremely hot from the centre of the club face and I had long carry distances throughout the bag. The 162-yard carry distance with a 7-iron is over 7 yards longer than with my current irons.
The average spin rate with the 7-iron was 5434. This is clearly lower than the 7000 rpm that you might expect from a blade or smaller players 7-iron. But the height was high enough to get the ball to stop on the green with a good level of control.
Overall these are a really impressive set of irons. They are exceptionally long, so they are perfect for players who have lost distance or who want to hit the golf ball further. But the big thing that impressed me is just how well Callaway has balanced having more ball speed and distance without losing control. I think Callaway have nailed it with the Callaway Paradym irons
- Long carry distances
- Fast ball speeds across the face
- Forgiving on off centre strikes
- Not as workable as other models
- RELATED: Read our full Callaway Paradym irons review
Lofts: 4 20°, 5 23°, 6 26°, 7 29°, 8 33°, 9 37°, PW 42°, AW 47°, 52 52°
Stock shafts: MCA Aldila Ascent PL Blue, Project X Hzrdus Silver, True Temper Elevate MPH 95
Grip: Callaway Universal
More information: Callaway website
The Most Forgiving 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 club fitting or trying different options with your local pro can really improve the performance of your new driver.
The most forgiving golf irons 2023: FAQ’s
What is a forgiving iron?
Forgiving irons are generally irons that fall into the game improvement iron category and are designed to help players hit the ball straighter, higher and further. They are cavity back irons and can be 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 forgiving 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 benefit most 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.
What brand produce the best forgiving irons?
All of the products in this most forgiving golf irons 2023 article are picked from the brands that offer the best-performing game improvement irons.
Do any pros use game forgiving irons on tour?
Unsurprisingly, most PGA Tour pros don’t opt for the most forgiving golf 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 forgiving clubs with a wider sole in as longer irons or driving irons for a more forgiving option off the tee.
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