2020 Best Game-Improvement Irons

Packed with forgiveness and power, these clubs will have you playing better in no time


It’s that question we get every year: Is the new stuff really better than last year’s stuff? The answer is a without hesitation “yes.” That said, if you bought a new driver or set of irons or wedges or putter last year, it might not be instantly recognizable. Fact is, seismic shifts in golf equipment are few, the result of the fact that pretty much everything the past few years has been pretty dang excellent. However if you haven’t upgraded your clubs in four or five years or—heaven help you, longer—the chances of you seeing significant improvement is strong.

The fact is, golfers are getting better and equipment technology is the reason. That might manifest itself in better scores or a lower handicap. It might be in the form of more quality shots more often. Or it might come from a less-skilled player getting more enjoyment from the game because they are finally getting the ball in the air and moving it down the fairway. If you haven’t changed your clubs in several years we know the reasons. “I’m not good enough” or “None of that equipment helps average golfers all that much.” Then there’s the one we dislike the most, “I’m doing just fine with what I’ve got.” Unfortunately, not really. We’ve learned over the years that equipment is designed to help average players more than tour players, and the designs today are aimed at helping the mis-hit more than the Sunday punch. In other words, the game can be made easier. Not easy, but easier. And who doesn’t want that, especially when a case can be made that it’s happening across every section of your bag.

Historically, research tells us that when they rank what features they want in their game-improvement irons, golfers traditionally elevate things like “feel” and “consistency” and even “forgiveness” over “distance.” But we know they are only half-right. What they’re really saying is “distance” is mandatory and expected, and then we want the rest of that other stuff, too. Good news: The distance now available in game improvement iron is delivered, and to an unexpected degree. That’s the result of thinner and thinner face constructions that flex to the degree of drivers. Even better: It’s a distance formula that goes into hyperdrive because those flexing faces also launch the ball higher through a combination of more weight placed low within the head and the natural tendency of these thinner alloys to flex upward. The result is stronger iron lofts that yield even more energy transfer thanks to their less oblique angle at impact. More energy transfer means better distance. Which is just what you wanted in the first place after all.