What Irons Does A Beginner Need? — First Time Golfer

what irons does a beginner need and what irons do i need as a first time golfer

Who said you need a complete set of golf clubs to get you started on your golfing adventures? Certainly not us.

As a newbie golfer, you don’t need a full set of irons; you only need about 8 to 10 clubs to get you started. The lower the driver count, the easier the selection becomes, and the more you get to build your skill level.

Join our experienced TellMeMoreGolf team of golfers as they give you loads of helpful pointers to pick the right equipment for your game. We have a lot to explore, so sit back, relax, and prepare to learn about the best irons for beginners!

what irons does a beginner need and what irons do i need as a first time golfer

Best Irons for Beginners

This is probably the first question on every beginner’s mind. We recommend that you use equipment that will secure your progress as a beginner. Here’s a quick round-up of four of the best irons you should include in your starter set:

1. TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Iron Set

Best Quality
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Iron Set Mens Right Hand Steel Stiff 5-PW, AW

The Benefits:

The TaylorMade SIM 2 Max is an upgrade from 2020’s SIM MAX series. It consists of a decreased cavity-back with exceptional forgiveness. We recommend this TaylorMade Iron Set specifically for beginners since it corrects mis-hits and offers exceptional forgiveness.

With better forgiveness gives you greater confidence while out on the course with your friends.


  • Extremely high-launching and forgiving irons.
  • Advanced ECHO Damping System eliminates unwanted vibrations.
  • The large sweet spot encompasses vital impact points.
  • Cap Back Design enhances sound, feel, and distance.


  • The strong lofts require you to modify your wedges to gap.

2. Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set (Set of 8 Clubs: 4IR - PW, AW, Right, Steel, Regular), Silver

The Benefits:

What makes Big Bertha B21 stand out from all the other irons on this list is the strong use of Artificial Intelligence. The A.I-enhanced Flash Face Cup increases ball speed while the tungsten weighting offers additional forgiveness on off-center strikes.


  • Enhanced A.I. technology for faster ball speeds
  • Added offset for extra forgiveness.
  • Deeper CG and tungsten weighting for faster swings.
  • Extremely scuff-resistant for a brand new aesthetic.


  • Minimal workability

3. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Iron Set

Best Budget
Cleveland Golf Launcher Turbo HB Iron Set 4-P GR R RH, Silver/Black

The Benefits:

Beginners often struggle with height and distance. With that in mind, the Launcher HB Turbo by Cleveland bears certain features to help with your swing. The high-accuracy graphite shaft makes it relatively easy to hit and control. The clubhead’s hollow construction allows you to launch your shots higher and with little ease.


  • Exceptional game improvement irons.
  • Internal forgiving hybrid technology.
  • Turbocharged clubface for added ball speed.
  • The HiBore Crown ensures the ball gets airborne fast.
  • Hollow construction for fewer mis-hits.


  • Some golfers may find it too light.

4. Cleveland Launcher XL Halo

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Iron Set RH 5-DW Graph Reg

The Benefits:

Based on our experience with the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo, we can rank it highest in terms of forgiveness. They’re larger, good on distance, and easy to hit. These hybrid performance irons feature a large head design with a hollow construction for added distance. The end of the driver’s grip is fitted with an advanced Action Mass CB weighting that maximizes control on each shot.


  • Steel or graphite shafts are available.
  • Changeable sole designs to boost performance.
  • Mainframe technology boosts forgiveness.
  • Grooves are loft-specific.
  • Accuracy design for maximum control.


  • Some experienced players may struggle with the fairly large head design.

What Clubs Should A High Handicapper Carry?

High handicappers should use clubs that feature a cavity back clubhead, an offset hosel, and a broad, forgiving sole. Clubs with these features encourage smooth ball launches, help to act against off-center strikes, and generally promote better outcomes for players who consistently struggle to find the center of the clubface. The following are detailed explanations of the features of a high handicapper golf club:

  • Cavity back clubhead: Contrary to muscle backs, cavity back irons are structured to get rid of the excess weight that lies behind the clubhead center by distributing it toward the perimeter/edges. This helps increase the clubface’s ‘sweet spot,’ thereby lessening the chances of a mishit.
  • Offset hosel: When the clubface is moved back a little from the hosel, you’ll need minimal forward shaft lean to square the leading edge upon impact. An offset hosel also makes it relatively difficult to slice the golf ball, which is a prevalent miss among most high handicap golfers.
  • Broad, forgiving sole: The broader the iron sole, the lower the clubhead mass. This makes it easier for the club to glide across the grass. The weight distributed at the bottom contributes to a lower COG (center of gravity), which further translates into increased distance and a high ball flight.

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What’s the Ideal Bag Setup For High Handicappers?

We recommend including any/all of the following equipment. Read more about the different types of wedges here:

  • Mallet putter
  • Lob wedge
  • Sand wedge
  • Pitching wedge
  • 4, 5, and 6 hybrids
  • 7-, 8-, and 9-irons

As a high handicapper, your focus should mainly be on distance and forgiveness. Instead of stuffing long irons in your golf bag, you should plan to rely heavily on fairway woods for times when you’re playing off the tee.

Because you’re on a mission to become a mid handicapper, you’ll obviously need to learn the basics of releasing a driver and hitting it straight across the fairway. We, therefore, recommend that you have a driver in your bag for that sole purpose.

Ensure you equip yourself adequately for the short game; here’s where all the scoring shots take place. You’re better off having more than just a pitching wedge in your golf bag.

Which are Some of the Best Golf Clubs for High Handicappers?

We recommend the following golf clubs for high handicappers:

TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Iron Set
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Iron Set
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo

FAQ Section

What Golf Clubs Do I Need In My Bag?

Although the average golfer is required to adhere to the 14-club rule, there’s no telling if you’ll use all 14 of the clubs in your bag. That’s why we’ve compiled these must-haves that will certainly boost your performance on the golf course:

  • Putter
  • Log Wedge
  • Sand Wedge
  • Gap Wedge/Approach Wedge
  • Pitching Wedge
  • 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 iron
  • 4 Hybrid
  • 3 and 5 Wood
  • Driver

What Golf Clubs Do I Need As A Beginner

As a beginner, your first set of golf clubs should be limited to anything less than 14. Never feel pressured to carry all 14 clubs on your first days on the golf course. Ensure to include a putter, a wedge, three irons and a hybrid to tee off all your long shots down the fairway.

In our expert opinion, these are a lot to work with up until you notice an improvement in your game. Why? When starting out, you’re bound to hit all clubs in similar distances. It therefore doesn’t matter if you carry all 14 clubs with you – they’re all the same to a beginner.

What Should You Consider When Buying Irons As A Beginner?

New golfers should have the following factors in mind when purchasing their first set of irons:

  1. Price – If the iron price exceeds your original budget, it’s not worth your hard-earned dough. If you can afford it though, by all means; go for it!
  2. Custom fitting – This ensures that you buy an iron that matches your swing speed, skill set, and height. It’s cost-free in most golf stores and overseen by qualified PGA experts.
  3. Shaft material – Determine the right shaft material between steel and graphite. Buying the wrong shaft could negatively affect your distance.
  4. New or used? – We strongly recommend buying pre-owned irons. Not only are they affordable, but they give you an opportunity to hone your skills before settling for newer, more expensive options.
  5. Aesthetics – You need to have the highest level of confidence in the iron you’re looking down on. Be clear on what you want appearance-wise and settle for nothing less.
  6. Forgiveness – As an amateur golfer, you need an iron set that provides maximum forgiveness. High-forgiveness irons help you improve your less-than-perfect hits and bring them closer to target.

How Many Irons Does A Beginner Need?

Newbie golfers should have approximately 8 to 10 irons to start them off. The low number of golf clubs narrows down your selection process and gives you a valuable chance to gradually improve your skill level.

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Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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