Best Golf Irons 2023: Expert reviews & buying guide for beginners and improvers

GolfMagic reveals everything you need to know about the best golf irons in 2023. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 21 Sep 2023
Best Golf Irons 2023: guide for better players, game improvers and beginners

In the market for some new golf irons but want all the inside information before splashing the cash? Well you have arrived at the right place as we have been getting our hands dirty testing out all the latest sets to hit the shelves in 2023. 

There are hundreds of new irons out there for better players, mid-to-high handicap players and even golf beginners, and each of them achieve very different things when it comes to helping us hit a golf ball. 

The same can be said when it comes to the best golf drivers, which we've tested out. 

With so many different golf iron sets to choose from in pro shops and retailers such as American Golf, that all-important purchasing decision can prove something of a minefield. 

But fear not, because here at GolfMagic we have crunched all the numbers in both the studio and on the golf course to reveal the irons we think you need to be taking a very close look at this season. 

We have divided all of the irons we have tested out into five key categories:

To break these iron categories down further, we encourage the mid to high handicap golfers among you to scroll down to our 'Most Forgiving' and 'Best Distance' categories. 

If you consider yourself a better player with a single-digit handicap, or someone striving to get there soon, then we recommend you go straight to our 'Better Player' and 'Best Player Distance' iron categories, which are featured in the middle of this guide. 

Our final iron category caters for you higher handicap golfers and golf beginners out there who are looking for a bit of value in 2023. These iron sets are ideal if you want to hit the course and have some fun with your pals, but maybe want to spend the extra bit of cash on getting some golf lessons. 

Okay without further ado let's get stuck into our test, starting with what we consider to be the 'Most Forgiving Irons' currently on the shelves for mid to high handicap golfers. 

As always, if you do take the plunge on any of the irons below, we highly recommend you opt for a custom fitting to get the most out of your game. Right, here goes... 

Best Golf Irons 2023

Most Forgiving Irons 2023







£774 / $949



£599 / $734



£689 / $845



£900 / $1100



£999 / $1225

1. TaylorMade Stealth HD Irons

Key Features: 

  • These irons feature an ultra-low centre of gravity that progressively shifts higher throughout the set for easier launch.
  • The Cap Back Design eclipses the performance of traditional cavity backs as the multi-material construction promotes better forgiveness, distance and feel.
  • The ECHO Damoing System is fully enclosed by the Cap Back Design stretches from the heel to toe and absorbs unwanted vibrations.

Price: £774 / $949


  • The most forgiving iron on the market
  • The heads are extremely large with loads of mass behind the ball, making shots incredibly easy to get up in the air


  • The heads are huge, which may put some off
  • Top end price for game-improvement irons

If you're a mid to high handicap golfer and need urgent help with your ball striking, look no further than these awesome TaylorMade Stealth HD irons this season. 

They are so easy to hit, and this was TaylorMade's goal all along here. 

You want consistency with an ultra low CG iron such as the Stealth HD, and thankfully you get exactly that. 

The first thing to note is that these are extremely forgiving and high launching irons. 

Yes you lose things somewhat in the appearance stakes, but what you get in performance and forgiveness completely makes up for it. 

The main reason the Stealth HD irons narrowly edge the Wilson Launch Pad irons into second place is because they are just much nicer feeling irons, and that is why they cost the extra bit of cash. 

Without question the most forgiving iron that money can buy right now, so well done TaylorMade. 


2. Wilson Launch Pad 2 Irons

Key Features: 

  • Hollow Construction maximises face flex for increased ball speed performance
  • Launch Pad Soles are wide and offer extreme forgiveness and high launch 
  • The lightweight construction and shafts in these irons make it easy to generate more club speed with minimum effort

Price: £599 / $734


  • Extremely forgiving
  • So easy to get up in the air quickly
  • Fairly priced given performance


  • The heads are gigantic, which may put some off
  • Feel lets them down compared to Stealth HD

These Wilson Launch Pad 2 irons are just as forgiving as the Stealth HD irons. 

As we've highlighted above though, they are only let down by the feel you receive. 

It's really because they are just huge clubheads. Wilson has placed all of the weight and CG in each iron at the bottom of the club.

While looks and feel is somewhat compromised, the performance more than makes amends with some of the most forgiving irons we have ever used here at GolfMagic.

These are the perfect set of irons for the higher handicap golfer, or even the golf beginner. Senior golfers will also love them as they are just so easy to get airborne without putting a great deal of effort into the swing. There's so much forgiveness on offer here. 


3. Cobra AeroJet Irons

Key Features:

  • PWR-Bridge Weighting features a soft polymer that improves the sound and feel
  • PWRSHELL Face insert delivers more flexibility across a larger area of the face for faster ball speed and higher launch.
  • H.O.T Face Technology has strategic thicknesses to enhance speed and spin, over a greater area of the face for improved consistency.

Price: £689 / $845


  • Incredibly powerful irons 
  • Consistent forgiveness through the bag 
  • Very fairly priced given performance


  • They struggle to slam on the breaks 

While not quite as forgiving as the max game-improvement Stealth HD iron for this year, which topped our most forgiving irons category for 2023, there is still plenty of help to straighten you up with the Cobra AeroJet iron. 

Even when you don't quite strike these irons out the middle of the club, they still give you a boost. When comparing some of our worst strikes with our best strikes with both a 7 and 8-iron, all our shots finished within 10 yards of each other, which we will take. 

The best part about these irons though is distance. As the name suggests, this really is an AeroJet.

The only slight niggle would be the iron's ability to slam on the breaks once hitting the dancefloor. The spin rate with these irons is fairly low, or at least a little lower than ideal. 

These irons are the ideal set for anyone with a handicap between 10 and 20. 


4. PING G430 Irons

Key Features: 

  • PurFlex Cavity Bridge features seven flex zones to increase the ball speed across the face; this also aids its sound and feel
  • Tungsten weights in the toe make this a very forgiving iron and its sole design gives you a cleaner turf interaction
  • Hydropearl 2.0 Chrome finish offers less resistance in rough or wet conditions to improve the launch and spin

Price: £900 / $1100


  • Offline dispersion pattern was very tight 
  • Crisp sound and nice feel makes you want to come back for more


  • Very expensive irons 
  • Not the sexiest looking PING iron out there

The new PING G430 irons represent a significant improvement in sound and feel when compared with the older G425 irons. The brand has made technological changes and refinements to create this improvement, and we applaud the work they have done here. 

These irons are aimed at a wide spectrum of golfers who want straighter shots and a range of distance options across the bag.

Although they are game-improvement irons as such, they can still suit better players because of the quality of dispersion and ball-striking they offer.

The looks will likely detract single-figure handicappers though, as these irons are quite thick. But game improvers will no doubt like a bit of that. 

Like the Cobra AeroJet irons above, these irons will not only get you tighter to the pin but they will also get you out there. 

On the whole, very good dispersion and consistent forgiveness through the bag, especially with the longer irons which is always a big plus given these irons are so much harder to hit straight than short irons. 

Mid-handicap golfers will want to take a very close look at the G430 irons if they can stomach the hefty price tag. 


5. Srixon ZX4 Irons

Key Features: 

  • MainFrame construction maximises flex at impact creating faster ball speeds as well as improved consistency and forgiveness
  • Tour V.T Sole helps maintain clubhead speed through contact and improves turf interaction
  • Progressive Grooves for long and short irons designed to optimise spin rates for different length shots

Price: £999 / $1225


  • Very forgiving on off-centre strikes
  • Refined topline looks great behind ball


  • Top end for price in this iron category
  • While distance and ball speed were retained on off-centre hits, you really feel it when you hit a bad shot with more unwanted feedback that you would expect from a game-improvement iron

Srixon has made these irons incredibly easy to hit and the strong lofts produce excellent carry distances for those who need help getting the ball to the target.

Although we noticed a drop off in feel from off-centre strikes, the performance more than made up for it.

These game-improvement irons are some of the best we have tested in their category and they should sit right at the top of your list for consideration if you’re looking to upgrade your irons this season.

If you are seeking a super game-improvement iron this season, then we would have to point you in the direction of the new TaylorMade Stealth HD irons, which as we already say finish in top spot for 'Most Forgiving' iron of 2023. 

Another positive for us is that Srixon has also blended all of its irons so well that the ZX4s can easily be combined with the ZX5s for those golfers looking for a bit more feel with their shorter irons.

If you’re looking for premium performance in a compact and good looking iron, then make sure you check out the Srixon ZX4 MK II irons when you next get custom fit. 


Okay, now for the power irons in the game-improvement iron category...

Best Distance Irons 2023







£689 / $845



£769 / $946



£999 / $1225



£900 / $1100



£1100 / $1355

You will notice three of the irons here featured in our 'Most Forgiving' category. These include the Cobra AeroJet, Srixon ZX4 and PING G430. 

The only newcomers to our Top 5 irons for Best Distance are the original TaylorMade Stealth and Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal. 

Here are all the reviews you need: 

1. Cobra AeroJet Irons

2. TaylorMade Stealth Irons

3. Srixon ZX4 Irons

4. PING G430 Irons

5. Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal Irons

Okay, now for you better player out there...

Better Player Irons 2023







£989 / $1218



£999 / $1229



£1080 / $1329



£1109 / $1504



£1099 / $1400

1. TaylorMade P7MC Irons

Key Features:

  • Thin topline and progressive offset for a clean look at address
  • Narrow sole and tight leading edge to ensure consistency through the turf
  • Forged using a 2,000-ton press ensuring a more sole and consistent feel
  • Machined face and grooves provide you a player iron able to hit all different types of shot

Price: £989 / $1218


  • The best feeling player iron in the game
  • Fantastic workability, this iron has all the shots
  • There's also a lot of forgiveness, too


  • Improvements could be seen as small and not significant enough to invest in an upgrade 
  • No distance gain on previous iteration 

The new TaylorMade P7MCs are extremely impressive. The smoothness of connection you receive from out the middle of the club face is very satisfying indeed. 

They are very workable irons and so we would 100% recommend them to better players.

We would also recommend these irons as an upgrade if you still possess the old P7MCs.

It is clear to us that the Compact Grain Forging has helped to produce an iron which feels consistently solid from the middle of the club face. Feel is certainly a buzzword with these irons and a feature that excels here. 

Although they don't deliver an increase in distance, they do possess a surprising amount of forgiveness, and their workability will impress better players who are confident shaping their golf ball. 

Well deserving of top spot. 


2. Cobra Forged Tec Irons

Key Features:

  • Hollow Cavity delivers low CG and helps to maximise the distance, forgiveness and playability
  • Flexible foam in the cavity generates a powerful rebound effect that also fine-tunes the sound and feel
  • PWRSHELL face increases ball speed and its large sweet spot adds forgiveness and high launch
  • Tungsten weight in the toe centres the CG to help you on off-centre hits

Price: £999 / $1229


  • One of the most forgiving better player irons
  • Above average distance
  • Very consistent numbers throughout bag
  • Lovely sound and feel on centre strikes


  • Minor improvements on last Forged Tec line

The Cobra Forged Tec irons are extremely forgiving for a better player iron. 

These clubs aren't blades and so that makes them suitable for a large number of golfers regardless of their ability and experience.

They aren't anywhere near as long as the Cobra AeroJet irons for game improvers, but their strong lofts still deliver plenty of distance. 

Cobra Forged Tec irons are aesthetically pleasing to look down on at address with a moderate topline, but we narrowly preferred the looks of the P7MC.

We noted a pleasing sound and feel with every club in the bag, testament to the flexible foam placed in the cavity design. 

They are also available in Cobra Forged Tec One Length irons, which we simply adore. One Length will take some getting used to, but after a bit of practice it can make a world of difference to your game with every iron being the same size in length. 

These irons could very well have finished in top spot simply because of their forgiveness, but we just preferred the overall looks and feel of the TaylorMade P7MC and that edged it. 


3. PING i230 Irons

Key Features: 

  • 5-piece construction with made with a 431 stainless steel body, tungsten weights, a concealed activated elastomer insert, and a multi-part cavity badge
  • Milled MicroMax Grooves reduce fliers in the short irons and preserve spin in the long irons
  • Tungsten toe / tip weight screw increases MOI due to mass savings from the new face geometry and expanded perimeter weighting
  • Durable Hydropearl 2.0 Chrome water-repelling finish ensures better turf interaction

Price: £1080 / $1329


  • Consistent numbers across the board
  • Very good forgiveness
  • Superb feel and crisp sound


  • Minimal improvement on the i210 irons
  • Towards the top end in price for player irons

The new PING i230 irons represent a significant investment in your golf game at more than £1k, but we believe they guarantee improvement across the board for better players. 

We were mightily impressed with their consistency in delivering distance and a superb feel through the bag. Ball-striking really does become a pleasure with these irons.

We believe the i230s are an improvement over the former i210s, but we have to question whether there is enough of an improvement for you to switch if you are currently gaming those right now. 

One thing you should note is that the long irons in the i230 are more compact than the i210, while the mid-short irons are the same blade length.

Nonetheless, these PING irons showed us consistent spin rates and very good forgiveness across the club face no matter the strike. 

The forged feel and thick offset will also instil plenty of confidence in your game.

These are worth a look at in 2023. 


4. Callaway Apex Pro Irons 

Key Features: 

  • Urethane Microspheres dampen sound and deliver a premium, ultra soft feel
  • Forged hollow body construction delivers excellent forgiveness with premium workability
  • Dynamic sole design, engineered to improve turf interaction with a pre-worn leading and trailing edge

Price: £1,109


  • Satin finish looks stunning
  • Excellent forgiveness for a better player's iron


  • Noticeable wear on the face and back after only a few rounds

The Apex Pro irons offer the most forgiveness in Callaway's new 2023 Apex Pro range. They boast a distinctive hollow body construction that combines a forged face with a body made of forged 1025 carbon steel. The outcome is an iron that delivers an exceptionally soft feel upon impact while offering a touch more forgiveness compared to its counterparts, the CB and MB models.

One notable upgrade in the latest iteration is the transition from the all-chrome appearance of 2021 to a refined, polished satin finish, a change we find to be a significant improvement. This alteration not only prevents unwanted glare but also lends a more contemporary and visually appealing aesthetic, making the design stand out both in hand and when positioned behind the ball.

Turning our attention to the rear of the club, we observe the presence of the black MIM weight, a consistent feature across the range. This addition provides a pleasing contrast against the metallic body, contributing to an overall captivating look.

Despite our admiration for the club's aesthetics, it's worth noting that after only a few uses, we observed a substantial number of markings on the clubhead. We were somewhat surprised to see the metal become scuffed so readily, given the relatively short time it had spent in our bag.

In terms of performance and feel, these irons undoubtedly rank among the finest we've ever had the privilege of testing. They exhibit a soft and responsive nature, with the added weight in the toe imparting a remarkably solid sensation that instils confidence and stability at impact.

Designed with elite ball strikers in mind, the Apex Pros may not deliver the same level of "hotness" off the face as the Callaway Paradym irons, but they compensate by offering a superior level of workability. These irons grant players the ability to manipulate the ball's flight path at will, catering to those who relish the opportunity to shape their shots in the air.

While the profile of these clubs may appear somewhat imposing when addressing the ball, the most remarkable aspect of our testing was the surprising degree of forgiveness they provide. Even when struck from the heel, toe, or high on the face—a scenario that often leads to distance and spin loss in blade-like irons—the Apex Pros impressively retained both distance and spin, demonstrating their versatility and reliability.


5. Cobra King Tour Irons

Key Features

  • Updated tour shape: a slightly shortened blade length designed to inspire improved control and workability
  • 5-Step forged: Adding an additional step to the traditional 4-step forged process provides a more uniform grain structure and precise head shape
  • CNC Milled Undercuts: placed in the back of each iron, the undercuts allow weight to be relocated for a lower CG and improved launch
  • TPU Inserts: Filling the cavity at the back of the club, the TPU material topped with an aluminium co-mold medallion reduces vibrations for improved sound and feel

Price: £1099 / $1400


  • Great consistency on distance even with mishits
  • Sleek profile looks fantastic behind the ball for players who prefer a thin top line
  • High launch allows for good stopping power on the greens


  • Excellent distance, but potentially too much for what we would ideally want from a 7 iron

The Cobra King Tour irons are highly impressive clubs that offer a blend of control, workability, forgiveness, and distance.

During testing, the Cobra King Tour irons showcased excellent carry distance with solid performance even on mishits. While the dispersion from left to right was slightly wider compared to pure game improvement irons, the clubs launched high and landed softly.

These irons are primarily targeted at low single-figure handicappers who consistently find the middle of the face at impact, but they can also suit slightly higher handicappers who desire the looks of a Tour iron along with added distance and forgiveness.

The Cobra King Tour irons feature a sleek and attractive design with minimal offset and a thin top line. The 5-step forging process contributes to a hot feel off the face and provides ample feedback.

Despite being aimed at lower handicap players, the distance achieved with these irons rivals that of players-distance irons. The CNC milled undercuts enable a lower and more forward CG, allowing for high launches and excellent stopping power on the greens. Additionally, the irons offer surprising forgiveness, with minimal loss in distance on off-centre strikes.

If you seek the aesthetic appeal of a players iron coupled with the enhanced power and forgiveness of a players-distance iron, the Cobra King Tour irons are worth serious consideration. Their combination of good looks, performance, and feel make them one of the best irons available.


6. Mizuno Pro 223 Irons

Key Features: 

  • A microlayer of copper beneath Nickel Chrome - for the purest, softest feel
  • Forged Chromoly with Flow Microslot (4-7) for improved ball speeds from a small tour-ready profile - delivers a face thickness of just 2.4mm (vs 2.6mm JPX921 Forged).
  • 1025E Pure Select Mild Carbon Steel (8-PW) for ultimate precision and control where it's most needed

Price: £1069 / $1315


  • Soft buttery feel on centre strikes
  • Fair amount of forgiveness with long irons
  • Look superb in the bag and behind the ball


  • Fairly weak lofts may put some punters off
  • At the very top end for price in this category

What we really like most about these Mizuno Pro 223 irons is they act like a combo set, which is extremely unique. The 4-7 irons come in forged chromoly with flow micro slot, while the 8-PW irons come in 1024 pure select mild carbon steel.

This is great for players who like to mix and match irons in their bag. With the Mizuno Pro 223 irons, there is no need to do this.

As always with Mizuno, the feel is superb through the set, it's soft and buttery when catching the ball out the middle. Off-centre strikes were saved somewhat, but not quite as much as the top three irons this category.

The looks are hard to fault, another common theme when it comes to Mizuno irons. They have a similar look to the Mizuno Pro 221s. We will add that the Mizuno Pro 223s are smaller than their predecessor, the MP-20 MMC, most notably in the scoring irons. 

Players looking for added distance will likely want to look elsewhere though as the lofts in this set are fairly weak. That's not really Mizuno's fault that some brands are cranking lofts left, right and centre these days though. 

Mizuno believes these irons are aimed more at very good golfers or professional golfers, and we would go along with that assessment, however, we do think the levels of forgiveness on offer here still make them a viable option for mid to low handicap golfers out there. 


7. PXG 0317 CB Irons 

Key Features:

  • Milled face and back: a CNC milled face ensures every line, curve and angle are crafted to exact specs for enhanced performance and aesthetics
  • Precision weighting: A large single weight that can be altered during a fitting process to ensure optimal swing weight.
  • Triple forged: using 8620 soft carbon steel forged three times, produces a tight grain structure for increased strength and enhanced feel and appearance
  • Robotic polishing process: ensures consistent sole and face perimeter geometry from every club

Price: £1099 / 1400


  • Fantastic forgiveness for an elite players iron
  • Buttery soft feel
  • Subtle yet satisfying sound at impact
  • Maximum workability for better players
  • Excellent stopping power


  • Compact head could be intimidating at address
  • Large centre weight can only be changed at a custom fitting

The PXG 0317 CB irons are designed to provide elite golfers with premium feel, forgiveness, and workability. These irons deliver the sleek profile and unique feel of a blade while offering additional forgiveness from off-center strikes.

The club's low-handicap target audience will appreciate its short blade length and weak lofts, which suit premium ball strikers prioritising feel and workability over distance. The added forgiveness will really appeal to those elite players in search of a little added forgiveness.

Visually, the PXG 0317 CB irons have a traditional players' look with a thin top line, compact head length, and minimal offset. The black weight at the center and fine milled detailing add to their appealing aesthetic.

The feel of these irons is pure, similar to that of a  traditional blade. While feedback is noticeable for heel or toe strikes, the performance remains exceptional.

In terms of performance, the PXG 0317 CB irons produce satisfying sound and deliver consistent results. During testing, the 7-iron demonstrated desirable ball speeds, carry distance, and spin control, allowing for quick stops on the green. The forgiveness offered by these irons surprised us, with off-center hits resulting in less severe dispersion than expected.

For scratch to single-figure handicap golfers seeking the feel and workability of players' irons with added forgiveness, the PXG 0317 CB irons are highly recommended. They offer premium looks, feel, and performance. PXG also provides an outstanding fitting experience to ensure the correct specifications for each player's game.

Now for the better player irons that pack a serious punch...

Best Player Distance Irons 2023







£1029 / $1307



£1199 / $1475



£999 / $1229



£1080 / $1329


PXG 0311 GEN6

£1463 / $1800

1. TaylorMade P790 Irons

Key Features: 

  • SpeedFoam Air: is 69% lighter than its predecessor to save 3.5g of weight, which is then redistributed for a better launch
  • FLTD CG: a strategic design that positions the centre of gravity (CG) lowest in long irons and progressively shifts it higher throughout the set
  • Thru-Slot Speed Pocket: is engineered to maximise forgiveness and provide additional ball speed on miss-hit low strikes off the face
  • AI-optimised internal structure: ensuring every gram of weight is strategically placed to deliver the best possible result with each specific iron.

Price: £1029 / $1307


  • Sleek new design is absolutely stunning
  • Five-star power and forgiveness
  • Premium feel and sound at impact


  • Performance improvement from 2021 is minimal

TaylorMade had a tough task on its hands improving the 2021 P790s, but somehow it managed to do it.

The fourth generation of P790 irons are absolutely fantastic. Featuring an AI-engineered internal structure and FLTD CG, which strategically positions the centre of gravity differently in each club, these irons offered outstanding distance and forgiveness right through the set. 

A freshly designed aesthetic sees the irons retain the popular satin finish from 2021, with a new chrome bar that spans the length of the blade. looking superb both in hand and at address, these are without a doubt, some of the best irons we have tested this year.

It's honestly hard to find fault with these new P790s, even when put up against the third generation on Trackman there was a slight increase in carry distance, which is very impressive considering the 2021 iteration were some of the longest irons we've tested. 

In terms of feel, these irons provide a buttery soft sensation at impact. The Speed Foam Air teams up with the forged 4140 high-speed face, to provide excellent feel across the face, preventing the slightly dead feel you can sometimes experience from a pure blade.

Offering outstanding performance, feel and aesthetics, the new P790s are the ultimate player's distance irons for 2023.


2. Callaway Paradym Irons

Key Features:

  • A.I. designed Forged 455 Face is optimized for more speed
  • The irons have internal and external tungsten weights built into the construction, up to 67g positioned precisely to increase forgiveness
  • Patented urethane microspheres are strategically placed into each clubhead to absorb unwanted vibration

Price: £1199 / $1475


  • One of the longest irons out there
  • Very consistent data 
  • Superb  feel, as good as it gets 


  • Spin is a little too low 
  • Top end for price 

The Callaway Paradym Irons for 2023 are soft, stable-feeling golf clubs that produce consistent distance throughout the entire set.

These irons go a very long way, have tons of forgiveness, and they are incredibly consistent when it comes to shot data.

Our one slight niggle about these irons is that the spin is too low across the board, so you might be hoping for a few back pin positions!

You will certainly not be left short-changed when it comes to feel though, achieved by Callaway's patented urethane microspheres that absorb unwanted vibration. 

The feel is up there with the best we have experienced from a distance players' iron so far this season.

If you seek added distance, plenty of forgiveness and fantastic feel from a brand new premium iron in 2023, and you have the cash to splash, then no look no further than the Callaway Paradym irons.

They certainly offer plenty of bang for your buck. 


We recently compared the P790 with the Paradym in our latest video comparison test: 

3. Cobra Forged Tec Irons 

Key Features:

  • Hollow Cavity delivers low CG and helps to maximise the distance, forgiveness and playability
  • Flexible foam in the cavity generates a powerful rebound effect that also fine-tunes the sound and feel
  • PWRSHELL face increases ball speed and its large sweet spot adds forgiveness and high launch
  • Tungsten weight in the toe centres the CG to help you on off-centre hits

Price: £999 / $1229


  • One of the most forgiving better player irons
  • Above average distance
  • Look superb at address
  • Very consistent numbers throughout bag
  • Lovely sound and feel on centre strikes


  • Minor improvements on last Forged Tec line

The latest Cobra Forged Tec irons are so good, they make our list again! 

While we have already noted their impressive feel and forgiveness in the previous category, there is plenty of distance to get excited about with these, too. 

They aren't as long as the Cobra AeroJet irons for game improvers, but their strong lofts still deliver plenty of power for you.

Cobra Forged Tec irons are also aesthetically pleasing to look down on at address with a moderate topline that should appeal to all.

As we mentioned previously, we noted a pleasing sound and feel with every club in the bag, testament to the flexible foam placed in the cavity design. 

This iron has a bit of everything for better players. Low or mid handicap, we think you'll love these. 


4. Srixon ZX5 MK II Irons

Key Features: 

  • MainFrame variable thickness pattern of grooves, channels, and cavities is carefully milled into the back of the face to maximise flex at impact and build the distance 
  • Progressive grooves: The 3-7 irons feature wide grooves that are ideal for longer shots in all conditions. The 8-AW have deeper, closer set grooves which cut through grass and debris to enhance spin on approach shots. 
  • A slightly wider sole with moderate blade length and offset enhance distance, forgiveness, and workability while displaying a clean look at address
  • Tour V.T. Sole improves turf interaction 

Price: £1080 / $1329


  • Superb turf interaction, some of the best we've seen
  • Plenty of power thanks to the MainFrame tech 


  • Lofts are very strong so a custom fitting is advised
  • Heads are fairly large, might not be for all

If you want a distance player iron that offers the best turf interaction possible, this one should be on your list. 

We really enjoyed the feel at impact of the Srixon ZX5 irons. Everything felt so smooth off the club face, even on off-centre hits. 

Turf interaction is a feature that Srixon wanted to focus on, and they have definitely achieved it with their Tour V.T. Sole. It's like you can't even feel the golf ball on the club face because it is so soft.

The ZX5 irons are slightly larger than the ZX7 irons, and as a result of their wider soles and MainFrame tech they give you plenty of distance. 

The lofts are jacked quite a lot though, so we would recommend a custom fitting here like always. 


5. PXG 0311 GEN6 Irons

Key Features:

  • PXG patented XCOR2 inner core and 15% thinner face fuels the added distance 
  • Improved mass positioning in the top rail for exceptional forgivenesss

Price: £1463 / $1800


  • Offers incredible forgiveness for a blade-looking iron
  • With the right custom fitting, these irons can give explosive distance whilst maintaining optimal numbers
  • Feel is very good for a hollow body iron


  • Very pricey but you get a good deal on them
  • Not the most durable irons in the world

Better players looking for a blade-like iron that offer a surprising amount of forgiveness and improved distance will want to get involved with these brand new PXG GEN6 irons. 

These irons come in at a fairly steep $250 per iron, so around the £209 per iron mark for UK golfers, but the brand does offer a discount if you purchase seven irons so it's worth taking full advantage of that deal. 

Forgiveness is really the most impressive asset with these irons. To have such a small club that offers so much forgiveness is hard to come by, and these do just that. 

There is also plenty of distance to excite us here, too, and we'll go as far to say these are the longest irons PXG have so far produced. 

The one takeaway from our custom fitting with PXG is that with the right custom fitting you can receive some explosive distance from them whilst also maintaining optimal numbers. 


Best Newcomer 

That honour goes to Takomo and their 101 iron for game improvers, and 301 CBs for better players. 

Never heard of the brand? Neither had we, but that all changed this season.


Okay, now for your higher handicappers and golf beinners.

These have got your name on it: 

Best Value Irons for Higher Handicappers and Golf Beginners

HiPPO H120 Irons

Key Features: 

  • Set comes with eight clubs from 4-iron to sand wedge
  • H compression dampener: situated just behind the clubface and reduces unwanted vibration, this provides an improved, more comfortable and solid feel on every shot.
  • Speed Technology: The additional strength provided by construction behind the face provides greater ball speed across the entire face.

Price: £194.99


  • Unbeatable value
  • Outstanding performance
  • Lovely feel at impact


  • Lack of shelf appeal compared to more recognisable brands

The HiPPO H120 irons offer unbeatable value and incredibly impressive performance, making them, without a doubt, one of the best value sets for high-handicappers and beginner golfers.

The traditional cavity back shape looks great sat behind the ball, with the relatively thick topline and additional offset providing a really confidence-inspiring look at address.

The irons pack a real punch, delivering excellent distance throughout the set, and the level of forgiveness on offer is also fantastic. Even on slight miss-strikes, we found our ball was able to hold its line and distance remarkably well, which pays testament to the excellent build quality of the clubs.

Coming in at just under £200 for a set of eight irons, you won't find a better combination of quality and value anywhere else on the market.


Benross Delta X and Aero X Irons

Delta X Irons - Key Features:

  • Satin Plated 431 Stainless Steel which adds a far superior feel at impact 
  • A heat treatment process is used on the face that produces a Characteristic of Time (CT) value as close to the R&A legal limit of 239 μs (micro seconds) as possible.
  • New weight distribution design pushes more weight towards the toe, increasing the sweet spot.

Aero X Irons - Key Features:

  • Faster ball speed as a result of its 431 Stainless Steel heat treated CT Face design.
  • Optimum CG (centre of gravity) position produces a higher launch angle, which is futher aided by the low kick shafts
  • Forgiving face profile and offset angle provides improved ball striking

Price: £299 (Aero X); £399 (Delta X)

Delta X and Aero X represent the very best value for a set of irons in 2023. Delta is aimed more at the mid to high handicappers among you, while Aero is for the higher handicappers and golf beginners. 

These irons are both available to purchase over at American Golf

The Delta X irons were not the longest irons we have tested this season, at least not compared to the Cobra AeroJet irons, but they certainly pack a punch for distance. 

While the Delta X irons were also pretty forgiving, it was the Aero X irons that really excelled in this category. 

The ease of launch with the Aero X really impressed us, too. Higher handicappers and beginner golfers will really enjoy these irons. 

If you're a mid-handicap golfer who is looking to take your game to the next level then we believe you'll enjoy the Delta X irons a bit more, just because of the added feel and distance, but if you're fairly new to the game then the Aero X is definitely the way to go here. 


Other considerations: 

We would also highly recommend these RAM FX77 irons for mid-to-high handicap players looking for some value.

For just £300, these irons are a steal. 

A complete beginner and want a package set? 

You definitely need to check out the MacGregor CG3000 Package Set.

Another great option is the Cleveland Golf Package Set, but that's a little more expensive. 

How we test golf irons

GolfMagic tests irons both indoors and outdoors.

All testing is led by our Equipment Editor Alex Lodge, a single-figure handicap golfer.  

To test irons in both settings is very important because one provides us with statistical data and one provides a real-life experience on the golf course.

Testing irons in an indoor studio, such as Gray’s Golf, is important because this is how we discover the differences between old models and new models. We find out what improvements have been made and ultimately why we should spend our money on these clubs.

Whether it is launch angle, ball speed or overall distance, we use data gathered from the indoor environment to gather pros and cons about all iron sets.

But it is also important to hit the irons out on the golf course. We need to feel these new irons interact with the turf and gain a view of how they perform in real-life situations.

We hit these irons both from wooden tees and off the deck. We want to give you accurate reports on how these irons perform and which golfers they are aimed at to ensure you spend your money wisely. 

Learn more about how we test golf equipment

What is a player's iron?

Player irons, or better player irons as they are also known, are usually built with precision and feel in mind for players who want an added feature of workability in their game.

With a player's iron, they often feel and look like a blade, but they also come with a little forgiveness which helps ball-striking and accuracy.

If the aim of your game is to control your ball flight and work the ball in the air, you should definitely consider buying a set.

They suit low handicappers and confident ball strikers.

Better player irons usually feature a thin sole with a thin top line too which slightly reduces forgiveness.

Game-improvement irons are much easier to hit. But the feel is often reduced. 

What is a game-improvement iron?

A game improvement iron is suited to golfers in the early stages of their careers or higher handicappers who want to build confidence in their ball-striking and overall game.

Traditionally, the design of a game improvement iron is larger and thicker than a player’s iron.

The larger sole creates a larger sweet spot, so even if you miss the middle of the club face, you won’t be punished as heavily as a better player iron.

With a player’s iron, you will know if you’ve hit the ball from the heel or the toe. A game improvement iron increases your confidence and gives you good results with off-centre hits.

The benefits of being custom fitted for your irons

In the modern game, it is absolutely essential to be custom fitted for your irons.

Your golf clubs need to suit your swing speed, body shape and swing path.

Fittings are free at various places, so there is no extra expense on top of the clubs you are buying.

You will be fitted with the correct grips, heads and shafts based on your game.

It is now more important than ever to be custom fitted for your clubs. It is risk-free and it will serve your game better than buying your new irons off the rack.

Things to consider with your irons

Moment of Inertia (MOI)

This term refers to the behaviour of our club face and how the club resists opening and closing. It is a measurement of a club’s resistance to twisting.

A high MOI golf club will be more forgiving than a low MOI golf club because it will be less likely to twist by the time the face connects with the ball.

When your club face hits the ball from the heel and the toe, this causes the club to twist and this ends in a loss of distance in most instances.

High MOI makes the club more resistant to twisting and increases the success and quality of off-centre strikes.

Centre of gravity (CG)

This term is the point in the club head where the weight is concentrated and balanced. This is usually found in the middle of the club head.

The centre of gravity is placed lower in the club head in bladed and player’s irons which is why it is so hard to hit these clubs. This is because if the CG is off-centre, this puts more side spin on the ball.

Players with high handicaps or slower swing speeds are suited to irons with a higher CG. These details essentially summarise why it is so important to be custom fitted and in possession of all the facts.

Loft and lie 

Loft refer to the angle of each of your irons. This is fairly straightforward. For example, the most lofted club you can get your hands on is a 64-degree wedge and at the other end of the spectrum, you can buy drivers of eight or nine degrees.

The lie in an iron refers to the angle made by the line of the bottom of the shaft and the ground. A club with more lie has a shaft that points towards the ground at a steep angle.

The lie can impact how steep your swing is. A high lie angle could cause you to stand closer to the ball than an iron with a lower lie angle.

If you have a steep swing plane, you will want more lie in your irons. If you have a steep swing plane, this is suited to irons with a lower lie.

An indication of the correct feel of your irons is simple. If you look down at address and the bottom of the club is lying perfectly flat and the middle is facing the target, then this is the lie for you.

If your irons lie at an angle where the heel or the toe hits the ground before the middle of the club face, this is when your ball flights can be skewed. Once again, this is another feature that can be altered in custom fitting.

Sound and feel 

The feel of your irons is very important. Regardless of whether you find the middle of the club face, you want a buttery feel from the irons and a satisfying connection.

Many features can contribute to the feel of your irons such as the type of shaft, the grip and the materials used in the club head.

The sound of your irons might not seem like an important aspect, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on your new collection and have them sound like a frying pan.

It is a feature that can become annoying if you play a lot of golf. When you hit an iron out the middle and the ball is soaring towards the hole, the last thing you want is the echo of a horrible sound that lingers each time.

Which irons are in your bag this season? What do you make of our results? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels or come and visit us over on the GolfMagic YouTube Channel where you can check out all of our latest reviews. 

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