Golf iron sets are the most common type you can find in golf bags, and in fact, in a typical set around half will consist of irons, including wedges. Although irons can be used in a variety of situations during your game, generally they are used on the teeing ground, or played from the fairway or to remove your ball from hazards such as shallow water or bunkers.
What distinguishes irons from other types of clubs is that their club heads are grooved, in order to give the ball some spin when it hits them. Irons have two types of club heads – muscle backs and cavity backs. A muscle back has a full back, which tends to give these clubs a higher center of gravity and can result in a lower trajectory. As a result, this type of iron club head is more popular with experienced and more skillful players. In contrast, in a cavity back the club head features a hollowed-out back. This makes it more forgiving for golfers who are less skilled and still prone to miss-hits.
The composition of typical golf iron sets includes seven irons (3-iron to 7-iron) and a pitching wedge. Apart from these irons, others are available to buy separately, including other types of wedges such as sand wedges and gap wedges as well as 2-irons. These irons are distinguished by the amount of loft that they have. Loft (also known as loft angle) determines the trajectory of the ball when it is hit by the club; the higher the loft, the greater the ball’s trajectory. Conversely, as the loft increases, the distance the ball travels shortens. Lofts are expressed in degrees and are measured by imagining the angle formed by an imaginary vertical line and the clubface. As the number of the iron increases, so does its loft and the length of its shaft also shortens. The iron with the highest loft and the shortest shaft is the pitching wedge.
Golf iron sets are also divided into long, mid- and short irons. The long irons are the 3, 4 and 5-irons, the mid-irons are the 5, 6 and 7-irons and the short irons are the 8, 9 and the pitching wedge. For beginners, the short irons are the easiest to learn because they have the shortest shafts as well as the highest lofts. It is easier to control the club when you are swinging it with a shorter shaft. In addition, more loft allows you a little more control over the ball since it helps launch it.
These days, however, blended iron sets are becoming more of a presence in golf shops. These sets replace the long irons with hybrid clubs, with the remainder of the set consisting of mid- and short irons that have cavity back club heads. Blended sets can help beginner golfers and those with high handicaps since hybrids have more forgiveness than long irons while their head design allows for increased trajectory and greater loft on a swing.
When you are learning to use golf iron sets, you need to familiarize yourself with how far you can hit a ball with each of them. Ignore any recommendations as to how far the ball is supposed to be hit by a particular iron; what is important is how far you can hit. Don’t allow yourself to overestimate how far you can hit by looking at the performance of golf pros and thinking that is how far you should be able to hit the ball. You should also note the trajectory that you get from each iron since you may need to hit the ball with a high trajectory in order to avoid particular obstacles such as trees.