Best Iron for High Handicappers: 5 Forgiving Choices

If you’re new to golf, the chances are your handicap is pretty high. Or maybe you played a long time ago and have only recently got back into the sport. If so, your handicap probably needs a bit of work. Golf looks like a slow and easy sport but, in reality, it takes a lot of skill, focus, and talent.

With a high handicap, you need an iron that will up your game and lower your handicap. This means that you need something with features that will enhance your game, but that doesn’t mean you need something super complicated.

If you’re a true beginner, you might wonder how such a simple-looking piece of equipment as a golf iron can have many features or be complicated at all.

But, there are a lot of manufacturers that are dedicated to perfecting the golf iron and to make golf the best possible game it can be. There are also manufacturers who claim to do that too, so there’s a lot to look out for.

To lower your handicap, you need an iron that best suits your abilities. Irons can vary greatly in weight, angle, length, and flex, all of which can impact your play. You need to find the perfect iron that will work with you to improve your handicap.

To help you impress the next time you’re on the course, we’ve put together a list of the best irons for high handicappers. Read on to find the iron you need to lower your handicap and get that score down. 

Top 5 Best Irons for High Handicappers


M6 5-PW, AW Iron Set, Right Hand, Regular Flex

Our top pick for the best iron for high handicappers is this TaylorMade M6 iron. M6 irons are forgiving and this particular iron has been specifically designed to optimize forgiveness and playability. 

The fluted hosel will lower the iron’s center of gravity which works with the 360° undercut to increase the launch angle. This will also increase the ball speed, lowering your score and your handicap.

One feature of this iron that is surprisingly unique is that it is available in both left and right-hand orientations. It isn’t impossible to find left-hand oriented irons, but they aren’t as prevalent as right-handed irons.

This iron is also available in regular, senior, or stiff flex. The ability to choose the perfect iron for you is one of the reasons this is our top pick. There are several reasons why your handicap is high and all will be personal to you. This iron allows you to choose the best fit for your style and technique and also choose the best features that will help lower your handicap. 

Despite its high price, this is our top pick for the best iron for high handicappers. It is forgiving and specifically designed to improve your game and lower your handicap. It is also of high quality and will be an investment as you won’t find yourself replacing it anytime soon.


  • Available in right or left orientation
  • Multiple flex options
  • Forgiving


  • Expensive


LAZRUS Premium Golf Irons Individual or Golf Irons Set for Men (4,5,6,7,8,9) Driving Irons (2&3) Right Hand Steel Shaft Regular Flex Golf Clubs - Best Golf Iron Set - Great Golf Gift (5 Iron)

If you’re just starting out playing golf, it can be shocking how expensive golf club sets can be.

People will invest thousands of dollars in the most high-end golf clubs, which is fine if you’re a regular player and golf is a hobby that you already love the game. But, there are quite a few people who buy expensive golf clubs just to have them or to look good.

If your handicap is high, this is probably because you’re either new to the game or don’t play that often. If that is the case, then you don’t need to buy an expensive set, or a set at all. 

This iron is available to buy individually, or with others to make a set that will suit you best. 5 irons are the most forgiving and so the best for improving your game and lowering your handicap. 

Unfortunately, this iron is only available for right-handed people, so is not appropriate if you’re left-handed. If you are left-handed and have only been able to access right-handed clubs or ones that aren’t appropriate for a left-handed player, then that might be the reason for you high handicap - or it’s a good excuse to use as least.

The lengths and degrees of loft vary across the irons. For this 5 iron, the length is 38” and the loft degree is 27.


  • Affordable
  • Available individually or in a set
  • 5 iron


  • Left-hand orientation not available


Callaway Golf 2018 Men's Rogue X Individual Iron, Right Hand, Synergy, 60G Shaft, Regular Flex, Sand Wedge

This Callaway Rogue X iron is a great choice for lowering your handicap. Although it is a 7 iron, that doesn’t mean it isn’t suitable for a high handicap.

5 irons are said to be the best for a player with a high handicap but within the USGA Handicap System, a “high” handicap is anything over 20. This means a high handicap can range from 20 to 36 (for men) or 40 (for women).  

This is a big difference. So just because your handicap is considered high, that doesn’t mean you have to use a 5 iron. A 7 iron won’t be as forgiving as a 5 iron, but will be a step up if you want to improve your handicap, but aren’t a complete beginner. 

This is a great iron as you can choose exactly what is right for you and Callaway is a great brand that you can guarantee quality from. 

But, with that big brand name comes big brand prices and this is a little expensive for an iron. This iron is best for someone who has a small amount of experience and is looking to improve. 


  • Left and right-hand orientation available 
  • Choice of regular, stiff, or senior


  • Expensive


TaylorMade M4 Irons Set (Set of 8 total clubs: 4-PW, AW, Graphite Shaft, Right Hand, Stiff Flex)

This TaylorMade M4 iron is a great choice for lowering your handicap as it is very forgiving. It has a fluted hosel that will help improve the ease of your swing and optimized heel and toe weighting that will give an increase in the moment of inertia. 

The higher the moment of inertia, the more resistance. This will decrease how much the iron will spin and will increase your accuracy and control over the iron. This also means it is more forgiving and is great for focusing on technique. 


  • Choice of materials
  • Optimized weighting
  • Fluted hosel


  • Left-hand orientation not available


Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's Launcher HB Iron Set (Set of 7 total clubs: Graphite, Regular, Right Hand, 4-PW)

The first thing you will notice about this iron is the price. Cleveland is a good brand for golf irons so the price isn’t too shocking, but it is definitely an investment.

This is the sort of club to invest in to improve your handicap and then keep for a very long time after. This isn’t something you will only use a couple of times to help lower your handicap and then move on to something else. So make sure this is the best iron for you. 

The hollow construction of this iron is great for lowering your handicap as it makes this a more forgiving iron. In addition to this, the Cleaveland Launcher has a HiBore crown which is weighted and will improve hitting. This is a great combination as you will be able to have more control and accuracy. 

The high strength steel face of this iron is another great feature for a player with a high handicap. The face is super thin so will flex a lot on impact which will allow you to hit farther and reach greater distances. 


  • Hollow construction


  • Expensive
  • Left-hand orientation not available

Best Iron for High Handicappers Buying Guide

Forgiving Irons

The best irons for a high handicap are ones that are “forgiving”. Forgiving irons help to improve your game and are easier to handle. 

They are sometimes referred to as “Sunday clubs” as they allow for a gentler, easier game and, if you swing poorly, you won’t feel the vibrations through the handle. 

The most forgiving irons usually have an offset hosel, perimeter weight, and are cavity backed. 

Iron Numbers

Irons are the most common type of golf club and a typical set will have around 7 to 11 irons.

Irons are numbered 1 to 10 or 3 to 9. These numbers refer to the loft of the club; the lower the number, the lower the loft. Read on to find out the best loft for a player with a high handicap. 


Loft is determined by the angle of the club. A high loft will give you a high launch angle. So, if you’re starting off, you should use a club with a high loft. If you’re closer to the hole, you will need something with a lower loft so that you don’t accidentally launch the ball away from the hole. 

A set of clubs will come with a range of different lofts, so you shouldn’t worry too much about finding the perfect one. The best sets will have a good variety which will help you practice and become used to different swings and distances. 

Don’t assume you need only high lofts to help you hit the ball further, otherwise you won’t be able to accurately hit the ball into the hole when you’re closer.  


The weight of golf irons doesn’t vary very much, but they can make a difference. If an iron is heavier, it will hit the ball farther. This might help in some situations, but don’t expect an iron to be able to make up for a poor swing. 

Practice makes perfect and you will improve by practicing your swing and techniques. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to cut corners and find an iron that will improve your game for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a high handicap mean?

Handicap systems vary by country and, although there is a World Handicap System, there is also a different system for the USA. 

A handicap is a numerical calculation of your abilities. Handicaps are calculated by comparing all of your most recent scores against course difficulty. 

The United States Golf Association considers a handicap above 20 to be “high” and the highest possible is 36 for men and 40 for women.

Complicated calculations aside, the better a golfer you are then the lower your handicap.

Why is my handicap so high?

If your handicap is high then it means you are regularly having low scores. This could be because you’re a beginner, out of practice, or just simply don’t have the skill. If you’re a casual player, then your handicap isn’t something to really worry about, it just means that you should play on easier courses.

Everyone starts out with a high handicap, so don’t let it bother you, especially if you’re a beginner.

How can I lower my handicap?

This is a question that is asked a lot. As a handicap is determined by how well you play on courses of differing difficulty, then the best way to lower your handicap is to simply become a better player. To lower your handicap you must first lower your score. 

Practice, practice, and more practice is what really lowers your score. But, again, if you’re just playing because you enjoy it, don’t focus too much on your handicap and just keep on playing. If you enjoy playing then you will play more which will naturally make you a better golfer which will, in turn, lower your score and handicap. So there’s no need to obsess over your handicap number.

How do I work out my handicap?

As mentioned above, a handicap is calculated by comparing your scores to the difficulty of the course. To work out your handicap, you need to keep track of your scores and the courses that you play on.

Then, the simplest option is to enter then into a handicap calculator, many of which can be found online. 


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