What Are The Different Types Of Golf Irons?

what are the different types of golf irons and to explain why are they so usefull to play the game

In the world of golf gear, one type of golf club is undoubtedly the most important – the iron. Whether it’s for a tee shot, an approach shot, or a shorter chip, golf irons can be used for pretty much every shot in the game. 

The reason for this is that they’re so versatile, which in itself is a result of the wide variety of irons there are, ranging from a high lofted 9 iron to driver-like 2 iron. In this article, we will uncover which different types of irons there are, and which ones you should have in your bag based on your golfing level.

what are the different types of golf irons and to explain why are they so usefull to play the game

Golf Irons Explained – Why Are They So Useful?


what are the different types of golf irons and how to choose the right irons for your game

Golf irons are the most used clubs in golf and can be used for all types of scenarios. They usually have shorter shafts and smaller heads than woods, and the head is made of iron or steel. 

Irons are used for many different types of shots, but the majority of the time, they’re going to be used for approach shots into greens. A set of clubs usually include 6-7 different irons, each with a different loft. The 9 iron has the highest loft, thereby going the shortest while also delivering the highest apex of all the irons. Then, the irons go down all the way to a 2 iron, with every lower number having a lower loft. 

The reason for carrying so many irons in the bag is because each iron comes with a different carry distance.

While the distance varies greatly between golfers, a broad range is essential to fit all yardage gaps you’ll encounter on the golf course.

If you hit your 8 iron 140 yards, and the approach to the green is only 130, most amateur golfers will have a hard time taking a few yards off the club. Instead, you use your 9 iron, which, when you’re hitting an 8 iron 140, will go about the desired 130 yards. 

Irons are used for many different types of shots, but the majority of the time, they’re going to be used for approach shots into greens. When watching the PGA Tour, you’ll see that almost all pros have about a 10-15 yardage difference between each iron, but that’s usually not the case in the normal world.

Each club will play very differently since beginners and intermediates don’t have perfect swings like the pros. Someone with a particular swing might find their 6 iron going further than their 5, simply because the length of the shaft and loft of the club suit their swing better. That’s why it’s crucial to get your carry distances checked, so you know exactly which club to pick when approaching a green and, hopefully, getting that green in regulation. 

A lower iron, like a 3 or 4, can also be used for tee shots. You might want a safer alternative when there’s water in play, or maybe you don’t want to reach the fairway bunker with your driver. In either of those cases, a long iron tee shot can be an excellent option.

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what are the different types of golf irons and what is the difference between short irons

So we’ve laid out that irons are very important, but which ones should you pick? When talking about different types of iron sets, the following are very popular: Super game improvement irons, game improvement irons, and players irons.

Super game improvement irons are, as the name suggests, made to improve your game as much as possible. What sets them apart from other irons is that they often come in combo sets. The long irons (3-5) are hybrids instead, and the mid to short irons (6-9) come with big cavity backs (something we will cover later in this article). 

The reason for this combo is to make off-center hits more forgiving, while also making it easier to get the golf ball up in the air – something many beginners struggle with. But a more seasoned golfer probably won’t benefit from these irons, as the big head and reduced spin will make distance control and holding the greens more difficult.

Game improvement irons are pretty similar to super game improvement irons, with the difference being that the entire set comes as regular irons. They also have smaller cavity backs, making them more aesthetically pleasing while the forgiveness also slightly decreases.

It may come as a surprise, but game improvement irons can be found in a low handicapper’s or even pro’s bag. This is because players irons’ margin of error is very small, with miss-hits resulting in poor shots. While forgiving, they also offer excellent distance control and decent workability, making them a good choice for every type of golfer out there. 

Players irons are forged irons, giving them a nice feel and great workability. But as a downside, they are not very forgiving, and poor strikes will lead to poor shots. The reason for choosing a players iron is because of its spectacular ability to shape the ball – a must for pros. On the other hand, the amateur golfer usually doesn’t need to shape shots on demand, making these irons’ downsides bigger than their upsides. If you have a slower swing speed, consider opting for a hybrid instead of the long irons, as you’ll have a much easier time getting the ball up in the air, resulting in better shots.

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Different Design Styles and Which One You Should Pick


When it comes to golf iron design styles, there are muscle-back irons, blade irons, or cavity-back irons to choose from. While the cavity-back irons are the most popular, they each have different capabilities and suit different kinds of golfers.

Muscle-back irons are forged and have a traditional look. The club’s top is narrow while the base is thicker, giving them more forgiveness than a blade. The sweet stop is bigger than what you’ll find in a blade, while still not nearly as big as cavity-back irons. Muscle-back irons have a great feel and workability, but they are definitely targeted at the better golf players out there. 

Like muscle-back irons, blade irons are forged, meaning they have a great feel and workability while not being so forgiving. The sweet spot on these irons is almost ridiculously small, but no other clubs offer greater workability or more feedback at impact.

According to Titleist, about 30% of professional golfers have blades in their bag. Cavity-back irons are bulkier than blades and muscle-backs, and are far more forgiving. They have a very large sweet spot, and have a lot of their weight distributed to the back of the club to make it easier to launch the golf ball in the air. Cavity backs are undoubtedly the easiest clubs to hit, and since even most professionals use them, they’re most often the obvious choice for amateurs.

What Is the Difference Between Short, Mid And Long Irons?


As previously mentioned, golf irons are the most versatile clubs in the bag, and the reason for that is the wide range they come in. They are usually divided into short, mid, and long irons, with the difference being the loft of the club and the length of the shaft. 

The short irons are the pitching wedge, 9 iron, and 8 iron. While the pitching wedge is technically a wedge, it’s usually counted as a short iron as it comes in the set. These irons have the shortest shafts and the highest lofts of all the irons. They have the highest ball flights but also the shortest distance, and you’ll usually be hitting these irons into a green. 

Used for both approach shots and some longer tee shots, the mid irons consist of the 7 iron, 6 iron, and 5 iron. They have longer shafts than the short irons and also lower lofts. This makes them go further, as the loft is lower, and the longer shaft generates more clubhead speed. The mid irons are used for scenarios like longer par 3s, long approach shots, and safe par 4 or par 5 tee shots. 

The long irons are the hardest to hit, but also the ones that go the furthest. The 4 iron, 3 iron, and the 2 iron are all long irons, but the one you’ll find in most amateurs’ bags is the 4 iron. The long shafts make it harder to square the clubface, but combined with the low loft, they deliver great yardage. The average golfer might be better off with hybrid clubs as they’re easier to hit, but a fast swinger will appreciate the long irons’ consistency, workability, and considerable carry distance.

Frequently Asked Questions:


What are the different types of golf irons?

Golf irons can be divided into short, mid, and long irons, each with different capabilities. The short irons range from pitching wedge to the 8 iron, and they are most often used for approach shots or short par 3s. 

Mid irons are the 7 iron, 6 iron, and 5 iron. Depending on the distance you hit your clubs, they are usually used for tee shots on longer par 3s or approach shots into longer par 4s. 

Long irons have the longest shafts and lowest lofts of all irons, consisting of 4 iron, 3 iron, and 2 iron. They’re the hardest to hit and the ones that go the furthest. 

What are the 3 types of irons?

There are three types of irons: Super game improvement irons, game improvement irons, and players irons, each suiting different types of golfers.

Super game improvement irons are usually combo sets of irons and hybrids. They are easy to hit and very forgiving. The limited workability and distance control makes them suit beginners more than intermediates.

Game improvement irons are also easy to hit, but they’re slightly less forgiving. The sweet spot is still significant, and you can shape the ball well with them. Game improvement irons are the most popular in golf and fit a wide range of golfers.

Players’ irons are the most challenging to hit, but allow you to shape the ball very well. They have a great response at impact, but only really scratch golfers or pros benefit from them since they’re so tricky to use.

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

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There are many different types of irons and many different design styles. After reading this article, you hopefully have a better idea of which types of irons there are and which ones suit you, based on your golfing level. The team at TellMeMoreGolf.com appreciates you for reading this article, and we hope to see you here again soon!

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