Golfers have fallen in love with the pristine feels and consistent sounds of premium forged irons. Forged irons are often luxuriously soft and made to the tightest tolerances possible. Many top-of-the-line forged iron sets are created by molds that have been handcrafted for precision shapes and smooth finishes. Modern practices have incorporated all the benefits of this forging process and combined it with perimeter weighting for better forgiveness2 and more performance for every golfer.
Regardless of your skill level, forged irons offer you a chance to hit golf shots that are longer, more accurate, and excellent in feel and response. Many of the irons in our list rival larger iron shapes in terms of distance and forgiveness. It is possible to get the best of both worlds and we explain how continuing in this guide.
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Top 6 Forged Irons of 2019
- High-density tungsten weights ensure solid contact
- Excels in terms of distance and performance
- Shaped from tour feedback
- MP-18 SC is luxury made stronger with a larger cavity back shape
- Perfect distance with the right amount of spin from 3 to pitching wedge
- Ultra-soft and more forgiving
- Tungsten weights in the heel and toe to give players more ball speed on off-center strikes
- Similar feel to single-piece muscleback irons without demanding your best swing every time
- Allows for consistent distances even on mishits
- Leverage tungsten weights in the heel and toe to provide more forgiveness across the club face
- Gives players more distance and a softer feel even in the long irons
- Greater trampoline effect for more distance no matter your club head speeds.
- Larger area of minimum face thickness for consistently increased ball speeds
- Open at the heel portion to enhance stability and launch
- Density in the impact area for the ultimate soft, solid, consistent feel
- Both speed and MOI have been maximized to provide total control
- Refined leading edge for more efficient turf interaction
- Greater forgiveness and stability are achieved through precise perimeter tungsten weighting
When Do You Use an Iron?
Irons are used from a variety of lies all around golf courses. Your ideal iron set will help you balance how you attack par-3 holes and your approach play on par-4’s and par-5’s. The versatility of irons cannot be overstated and must be accounted for when deciding which model you should purchase.
Finding the Best Irons for Your Golf Game
Your choice of iron must fit your eye behind the golf ball. Many irons can be altered to fit your performance needs after finding a club head, shaft, and grip combination that feels great through your entire swing and leads to the best impact conditions. Forged irons often offer the maximum feedback and consistency throughout iron sets.
Iron sets are often the most expensive item you will buy for your golf bag. Premium forged irons can be even more expensive. Golfers that want to save money can often find iron sets in great condition either used on the second-hand market or brand new, prior generation offerings. Paying less will not mean getting less if you can find the right needs for your swing.
Top Iron Features
Modern iron sets all use multi-material designs and advanced engineering to help give players more performance and more consistency. Regardless of which iron model you select, each club in that set will be made from either forged, casting, or both processes. Blade irons or cavity back designs offer different advantages and disadvantages depending on your golf swing. Outfitting your club heads with the proper shafts help create a more fluid and less stressful golf swing.
Golfers in the market for forged irons are often seeking ultra-soft irons that perform consistently through their entire bag. Forged irons are created by carving away the iron from a solid sheet of metal. This process helps build each club to tighter tolerances and gives better performance through a more precise build.
Cast irons are produced by pouring metals into pre-made molds that house the skeleton of the golf iron. The casting process is very quick and companies can use it to make iron sets at a lower cost. The disadvantage of casting irons comes from the inconsistencies of the drying metals. While making cast irons, engineers have a greater ability to move weight and make larger, more forgiving club heads.
Designs of Irons
Blade irons are forged, often one-piece iron that offer players ultimate control and versatility. Typically very short in the length of the club head and thin in the presentation of a topline, blade irons are often recommended for highly skilled golfers. Golfers that enjoy playing blades often take advantage of the consistency and distance control obtained by these sleek iron profiles.
Cavity Back Irons
Cavity back irons attempt to give golfers more aid during their iron play by using weight to help reinforce the club head. Cavity back irons vary in size all the way from compact to oversized. Cavity back irons commonly feature heel and toe sections with additional tungsten weights that help improve forgiveness and ball speed factors during strikes away from the center of the club face.
Sets of Irons
Irons are typically bought in sets. Although available as individual clubs, irons are generally sold in 6, 7, or 8 piece units. Sets can range from 3 to pitching wedge and include any number of irons in between. The number of hybrids, fairway woods, and wedges that flank your irons will determine how many can fit into your golf bag.
Hybrid Sets of Irons
Hybrid iron sets include brand and loft matched hybrids alongside traditional iron head shapes. These sets simplify the buying process for golfers that want to replace all of their long irons with friendlier hybrid style golf clubs.
Golf Iron Shafts
Steel shafts are the most common shaft in iron sets. These steel shafts come in a variety of weights, flex ratings, and bend profiles that can be matched to your swing. Steel shafts provide golfers with exceptional control, feedback, and fewer costs than graphite shaft options.
Graphite shafts have become increasingly more popular in iron sets. Graphite has replaced heavier steel shafts without reducing the strength of the shaft. Players can now get lighter, easier to swing shafts without sacrificing control or performance. These shafts are especially beneficial to golfers that struggle with slower swing speed or who struggle with the shock of impact in injuries or through the entire golfing season.
Multi-material shafts are made by combining graphite and steel materials into one shaft. The advantage of these shafts is the weight manipulation of graphite with the traditional feel and control of steel. Although these are less common, multi-material shafts should not be overlooked during your next iron fitting.
Iron shafts come in a variety of flex ratings that help them fit the needs of each golfer individually. It is recommended that the more quickly you swing the golf club the stiffer your shaft should be. More force on the golf shaft can cause inconsistencies when the shaft is too flexible. It is always best to get fit for your iron shafts as it can be difficult to judge which ones are best for you. Shaft flexes ranges between amateur and extra-stiff depending on the shaft manufacturer and composition.
How to Hit Golf Irons Video
Frequently Asked Questions
Beyond which iron set to buy, other questions about iron sets often arise. We have provided some of those questions and brief answer below.
Q: How long do golf irons last?
A: An iron set will often last golfers between 5 and 10 years. Depending on how much you play, how often you practice, and how you care for your irons between rounds the life of your iron sets will vary. You will know it is time to replace your irons once the faces have begun to brown or their performance begins to decline.
Q: Where is the sweet spot on irons?
A: Each golf club is built with an internal center of gravity. Hitting the golf ball with this part of the club face will result in the highest performing golf shots. This center is often referred to as the sweet spot and for most golf clubs will be in the exact middle of the club face.
Q: What are game improvement irons?
A: Game-improvement irons are larger, more forgiving golf irons that help players get more from their swing. These larger profile irons can offer players higher launches, more stability, and more distance regardless of their swing speed. High handicap golfers, beginners, and slow swing speed players can often benefit from these more friendly golf clubs.
Q: How do you clean golf irons?
A: Cleaning golf iron club faces is essential for maximizing performance and extening the life of your clubs. After each shot, wipe your iron club face with a towel and club brush to remove all the dirt and grass from the previous shot. Between rounds, be sure to clean each iron with warm, soapy water and a brush. Dry the irons fully and store them in a cool, dry place.
Top 10 Forged Golf Irons of 2019
1. Callaway Apex Pro 2019 Iron Set
The 2019 Apex Pro irons are the newest tour-performance iron from Callaway. The Callaway Apex Pro 19 irons are one of the most complete irons in this year’s tests. The Apex Pro irons excel in terms of distance and performance and do so in a shape that suits the eyes of almost every golfer. 360 Face Cup and Variable Face Technology help make the Apex Pro play similarly to much larger style iron heads. However, each club head is shaped from tour feedback and retains the visual aesthetics of a player’s profile. The Apex Pro irons are made soft by the forging of 1025 carbon steel and reinforced with high-density tungsten weights int eh heel and toe. Urethane microspheres are infused to ensure that you always know exactly where you are striking the golf ball without the harsh vibrations that occur when your impact misses the sweet spot.
2. Mizuno Mp-18 Split Cavity Iron Set
Mizuno irons are celebrated for their incredible softness and classic, clean lines. The MP-18 Split Cavity irons continue that trend. Nicknamed the MP-18 SCs, the Split Cavity irons are designed for the golfer that wants the craftsmanship of Mizuno irons without sacrificing the protection of more forgiving club head styles. Forged with the same Grain Flow Forging process as the MP-18 muscleback irons, the MP-18 SC is luxury made stronger with a larger cavity back shape. YORO craftsmen have built each MP-18 SC iron to fly the perfect distance with the right amount of spin from 3 to pitching wedge. Ultra-soft and more forgiving than their MP-18 muscleback counterpart, the MP-18 SC irons are perfect for golfers who want the best of every aspect.
3. Titleist 718 AP2 Iron Set
Advanced performance irons from Titleist have been the gold standard in multi-material irons with tour-validated shapes for years. The AP2 irons remain the most popular iron set among the Titleist family of irons. The AP2 iron is player’s iron with forgiveness and workability. AP2 uses tungsten weights in the heel and toe to give players more ball speed on off-center strikes and consistent distances even on mishits. The co-forged construction of the AP2 irons retains a similar feel to single-piece muscleback irons without demanding your best swing every time. AP2 is the perfect combination of tour-inspired looks and performance that appeals to golfers of almost every skill level. Golfers from tour pros to weekend players can find performance and feel benefits in the 817 AP2 set.
4. TaylorMade P790 Iron Set
The P790 are our favorite complete TaylorMade iron. P790 finds a way to appeal to almost every golfer in terms of looks, feel, performance or all three. The P790 leverage tungsten weights in the heel and toe to provide more forgiveness across the club face. Speed Foam has been introduced to give players more distance and a softer feel even in the long irons. The ultra-thin face of the P790 irons creates a greater trampoline effect for more distance no matter your club head speeds. One of the most complete forged irons on the market, the P790 is an outstanding choice for golfers of all levels.
5. Mizuno JPX919 Forged Golf Iron Set
Mizuno’s JPX line of clubs are their more friendly iron sets. The JPX919 Forged irons are uniquely impressive for their extreme appeal to golfers of all abilities and skill levels. Mizuno builds each JPX919 Forged iron with 1025 Boron to give them 30% more strength than other forged iron sets. The Grain Flow Forging and CNC milling process create the JPX919 Forged from the sole upwards to produce tighter tolerances and a thinner, softer club face. Each iron contains a stability frame and thinner club face that gives it higher launch and more forgiveness without compromising the shape and size of this player’s profile. Players that want to include themselves in the group that owns the world’s best feeling irons can do so without sacrificing performance with the new JPX919 Forged range.
6. Srixon Z 785 Iron Set
Srixon has created a player’s profile distance iron that looks like a muscleback iron at address but is loaded with powerful technology. The Tour V.T. sole helps give the Z 785 iron more forgiveness in a variety of lies through better turf interaction. Forged and deep laser milled, the Z 785 irons across the face helps ensure ideal spin rates from each club. Forged from ultra-soft 1020 carbon steel, the Z 785 irons are a pleasure to hit. Augmented with an extra cavity directly behind the club face, the Z 785 irons help improve ball speeds for more distance and forgiveness. If you have not tried a Srixon iron before, the Z 785 irons are a wonderful initiation.
7. Callaway Apex Irons Set
The only complaint of the original Apex irons from Callaway was the higher pitched noise and harsher feel at impact. The newest release of Apex 19 irons has addressed both of those issues. Forged with 1025 carbon steel, the new 2019 Apex irons are built for feel, sound, and industry-leading distance. Made even softer and more muted by the infusion of urethane microspheres for vibration dampening and improved feedback, the Apex irons are the perfect crossover of game-improvement performance and traditional feel. 360 Face Cup technology ensures higher ball speeds and optimized launch throughout the entire iron set. The perfect iron set for golfers of almost any skill level, the Apex irons are a must try.
8. Cobra Forged Tec Black Iron Set
Cobra Golf is giving players more performance in a sleek, head-turning iron design. The Cobra Forged Tec Black iron set is finished in Diamonized Black Metal to improve durability and reduce sunlight glare. The Forged Tec irons are loaded with tungsten in the heel and toe for more forgiveness and higher ball speeds. Each iron is constructed using a lightweight medallion to dampen vibrations and deliver a more muted sound and feel without leaking ball speeds or distance. CNC milling ensures that each club head is more consistent and golfer receive more performance from each swing. The Forged Tec irons from Cobra are excellent for players looking to upgrade to a great looking player’s distance iron.
9. Mizuno MP-18 Iron Set
Although difficult to compare a traditional muscleback iron design to larger cavity back models, the Mizuno MP-18 irons could not be left off our list. These classic blade style irons are widely considered the best-looking irons in golf. Players looking for a pure feel and the industry’s highest standard of forged metal will love the MP-18 irons. The MP-18 irons feature thin toplines, a satin nickel finish, and stunning tour-inspired shapes. Produced from models shaped by hand by YORO master craftsmen, the MP-18 irons are breathtaking in terms of craftsmanship and feel. Forged from the softest 1025E steel in Mizuno’s Grain Flow Forged system, the MP-18 irons give golfers everything they want in a bladed golf club.
10. TaylorMade P760 Iron Set
TaylorMade is giving golfers more options from their complete line of golf irons this season. The P760 irons are the middle of the road option for players that want tour-inspired looks, sounds, and feel with the added protection and advantages of perimeter weights and SpeedFoam technology. P760 features SpeedFoam in the 3 through 7-irons and a single piece construction in the 8 through pitching wedge. Each iron is forged in 1025 premium carbon steel for an ultra-soft feel and enhanced feedback through impact. The P760 are an excellent choice for golfers looking for a compact player’s shape with the benefits of modern iron technology.
What Golf Iron Set Should You Buy?
Golfers are all different in their desires and what they need from their equipment. Each golf club that you add to your bag should fill you with confidence and allow you to hit effortless golf shots. Getting the right set of forged irons often means choosing a club head that looks great behind the golf ball and feels great through impact. Many times the largest difference among club models is the unique styles and responsiveness they can provide.
Once you have found a club head that fits your visual and swing preferences, matching its build to your delivery and desired performance is key. Going to see a professional club fitter can help you dial in each iron and give you proper distance gapping through your entire set. Matching the shaft and grip to your swing will ensure more consistency round-after-round.
Keep budget and the rest of your golf bag in mind as the irons become one part of your whole golf club set. Balancing your need for hybrids, fairway woods, and wedges is important. Be sure to test each iron model first before making your buying selection. Use this fitting process to learn more about your game and ways that you can improve. As always, thank you for reading and happy hacking!
- Top 6 Forged Irons of 2019
- When Do You Use an Iron?
- Finding the Best Irons for Your Golf Game
- Top Iron Features
- Designs of Irons
- Golf Iron Shafts
- How to Hit Golf Irons Video
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Top 10 Forged Golf Irons of 2019
- 1. Callaway Apex Pro 2019 Iron Set
- 2. Mizuno Mp-18 Split Cavity Iron Set
- 3. Titleist 718 AP2 Iron Set
- 4. TaylorMade P790 Iron Set
- 5. Mizuno JPX919 Forged Golf Iron Set
- 6. Srixon Z 785 Iron Set
- 7. Callaway Apex Irons Set
- 8. Cobra Forged Tec Black Iron Set
- 9. Mizuno MP-18 Iron Set
- 10. TaylorMade P760 Iron Set
- What Golf Iron Set Should You Buy?