Best Golf Irons Ever Made Used Top 20 All Time

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The Best Golf Irons Ever Made. Cheap Used Golf Clubs. Best Irons of All Time. Vintage buyer's guide.


Best Golf Irons Of All Time Top 20

  Below are my favorites. Because of the shorter life span of graphite (polymer base), all irons listed are ranked with steel shafts. Golf iron technology peaked in 1999, so new ones are not going to play any better. Spend less than $200 for the best golf irons money can buy! Well used irons make you look like a vetran golfer.

1. Cleveland TA5 Tour Action Handicap Range: 7 to 27
The TA5 are the best irons I have ever played. Newer golf clubs can't compare to the TA5 playability. The TA5 is oversize, but not so clunky you can't shape your shots. Bad shots are so rare, as if these irons can read your mind. Both beginners and low handicappers can play good with the TA5. I own the Copper Medallion TA5 version with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts (pictured). The black Gunmetal version (pictured) is just badass, and on my wish list. The Gunmetals are fitted with Dynamic Gold shafts too. The only change I made to my set was the pitching wedge. I use the extreamly accurate Cleveland 588 48 degree wedge instead.


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2. Ping ISI Stainless Steel Handicap Range: 6 to 26
Long irons are great. Middle irons are excellent. Short irons are A+. There is not a single weakness with Ping ISI irons. With the Ping ISI, you have to be really drunk to make a bad shot. So forgiving! Many say Ping ISI was the last real Ping. All the newer ones look like mass market irons with plastic bits and flashy paint. Rare and collectable are the Nickel and Beryllium Copper versions. Avoid the ISI-K jumbo size clubs, as the distance sucks. However the "K" may be great for the new golfer. Pay attention to the Ping lie color codes!
Ping lie color codes are not as critical as you may think. If you are 5'9" to 6'0" tall, the black, red, or blue color codes work fine. Shorter than 5'9" look at the red, purple and orange. Taller than 6'0" choose the blue, yellow or green.

Best Golf Irons Ever Made. Cheap Used Golf Clubs
  For 35 years, my family leased the pro shop at an 27 hole county golf course. It was long hours and low pay for me. Playing free golf at all three county golf courses was a good perk. Trying out all the new golf clubs was awesone too. It was difficult to be loyal to any single brand as companies were always trying to one-up each other. I also got to experiene all the used clubs traded in. Some were strange! I wish I kept the ball retriever that had a deer rifle stock. It would look so cool in my bag.
3. Mizuno T-Zoid Comp EZ (Forged) and Sure Handicap: 5 to 25
The Forged Mizuno Comp EZ oversize clubs hit very far. You may be a half club longer distance with these. The Comp EZ is very user friendly for the weekender, but will satisfy the low handicap player. They won't let you down as your game improves. I could work shots like playing with a blade! Also check out the cast stainless T-Zoid Sure, as the performance is about the same as the Comp EZ. I could not really tell much performance difference between the two. The Sure irons may hit a little higher. Both have premium True Temper shafts. The stainless Sure irons will stay pretty longer. They both rock! Also check out the T-Zoid Pro model. Some skilled players use the deadly accurate Pro short irons (8,9,PW) in their set.


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4. Ben Hogan Apex Plus (Forged) Handicap Range: 4 to 24
You young guns really buy into all that technology crap. This is your high tech club. The early Hogan Radial irons were so forgiving, but still looked like a blade. The Ben Hogan Apex Plus is a midsize forged blade made to look like a cavity back. These are very user friendly, but you can still work your shots like a pro. Solid hits are just sweet! The Apex Plus set includes some of the best short irons on the planet (8, 9, E). You can really score with these! Note: You notice how the best new irons on the market today are pretty much a knockoff of the Hogan Apex Plus?
Tip: Forged steel irons will rust over time where there are nicks and scratches. Marvel Mystery Oil is the best rust remover known to man. Apply a good coat and let sit overnight. Do not get any oil on the ferrules or grips. Wipe it off good the next day. An 50/50 mix of ATF and gasoilne works good too. Lighter fluid for Zippo type lighters is also a great rust remover.

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5. Ping Zing 2 Stainless Steel Handicap Range: 7 to 27
Lee Westwood played his Zing 2 irons on the PGA tour for over 12 years. They were only produced for 3 years! The Ping Zing 2 irons are funky cool. The perimeter weighting is not hidden at all. The Zing 2 has the most easy hitting long irons of any golf club. They are not so ugly after you see how good you play. Ditto for the original Ping Zing clubs. My best 18 hole score ever (63) was with Zings. My dear old Dad won't give up his Zing Twos.
Ping lie color codes are not as critical as you may think. If you are 5'9" to 6'0" tall, the black, red, or blue color codes work fine. Shorter than 5'9" look at the red, purple and orange. Taller than 6'0" choose the blue, yellow or green.

6. MacGregor Tourney PCB (Forged) Handicap Range: 3 to 23
How good are these irons? Clean used sets are selling for over $500! Rumor is, Miura Japan forged the heads for MacGregor. These were the clubs to have if you were a low handicap amateur with PGA dreams. Of course all handicap players love the feel and forgiveness the midsize forged cavity back provides. The sweet spot is so good feeling, you want to kiss and hold someone. The MacGregor Tourney PCB irons I owned were about 1/2 club longer distance than anything on the market at the time. Much of the credit goes to the Light weight True Temper shafts. Darn good irons! The later 2002 V-Foil Cavity 1025C forged irons are very sweet too.

Best Golf Irons Of All Time. Low Cost Used Golf Clubs
  From my experience, iron technology peaked in 1999. There has been no new golf irons that can out-play what was available in 1999. Many of the new good irons are basically knockoffs from the 1990s. Don't buy into all the paint and plastic bits to make the new ones look technological advanced. The most dirty trick was with loft and length. Don't use 6 iron specs for a 7 iron and call it advanced technology. You are a sucker if you fall for that crap. There are no iron heads made in 2017 with better perimeter weighting and balance than the irons on this page. in 2017, the True Temper Dynamic Gold is still the best steel shaft money can buy. The Dynamic Gold was introduced in 1987! All the new advance technology has not improved PGA championship scores in 30 years! You are being scammed big time folks!
7. Cleveland TA4 Tour Action Handicap Range: 5 to 25
Very durable midsize irons that will satisfy both low and high handicappers. I would call them good-size irons, as they have a heavy feel like the Ping Eye-Two. Perfect balance with Dynamic Gold Shafts. Great for the power hitter or tempo swinger. We had 2 sets as clubhouse rentals, and golfers would comment on the added distance and how great they play. After hundreds of rounds, grips were the only wear problem. The thing about Cleveland irons is they can take years of abuse and still look good. I still keep one TA4 set at home for visitors because EVERYONE likes them. The TA4 is one of the best playing clubs ever.

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8. Cobra Gravity Back Handicap Range: 6 to 26
One year wonder and black sheep of the Cobra family. Cobra is known for making very good looking clubs that sparkle and shine. The Gravity Back irons are almost Ping ugly, but they play so darn well! User friendly and very long. You will love them. Cobra should have kept the Gravity Back in production for a lot longer. When something works, why mess with it? You can find these used for under $120 for a good iron set. Not as clunky as the huge King Cobra oversize irons. Note: The Gravity Back 3 and 5 woods are some of the highest quality I have every played.

9. Ping i3 O-Size Handicap Range: 9 to 30
The first Ping irons that does not look like a Ping. However it plays like a Ping. The feel is like that of the Eye-Two, only more forgiving with the larger clubface. The mid and short irons are really good. On a scale of 1-10, they would be a 9. The Ping i3 long irons are good, but the Ping Zing and Ping ISI are more easy to hit. Still, the i3 O-Size is easy to play for all handicappers. Beginners will think they are great. Middle handicappers should check out the Ping i3 Blade. They are midsize and not really a blade at all. In fact, they are very forgiving. They play a lot like the Cleveland TA4.

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10. Titleist DCI Oversize+ Black or Gold Handicap Range: 8 to 28
The DCI Oversize is one of the most easy to hit clubs of all time. I still see low handicappers using them, so they score well too. When Titleist took the DCI Black triangle iron and made an oversized version, they got it right on. I have seen players of all skill levels do good with these. Hits feel very soft like a forged iron. Another plus is the clean look without all the paint or plastic. Ditto for the Titleist DCI Oversize with the gold triangle. The gold triangle has more offset for players that want that feature. Since so many DCI Oversize were made, used ones are bargain priced. Perfect for the new golfer.

11. Nicklaus Air Bear Offset Handicap Range: 6 to 26
Jack Nicklaus was the greatest. In 1997, Jack Nicklaus released the Air Bear from his own company to appeal to all golfers. He did very good. The Air Bear would be an awesome iron if released in 2017! These are on the big side of midsize and play great. They are accurate and forgiving. They retailed for $795 new! The crank twist from sole to hosel is badass! The Nicklaus Air Bear Tour model has no offset and the Ti model has copper weights cast into the sole. Get the clubs Jack built. Note: In 1999 Nicklaus introduced the cryogenic metal VCG irons, and they look awesome. No chance to review them yet. Also see "The Bear" review at #22.

  It is a myth that good golfers like blade irons that are hard to hit. Low handicappers like forgiving irons that make good shots too! Match set continuity and balance is also hogwash. The most important golf club is the one in your hand! Some day I will put together an mixed Cleveland fantasy iron set just to prove my point. Cleveland TA5 long irons (2,3,4), Cleveland TA4 mid irons (5,6,7), and Cleveland TA3 short irons (8,9,PW). Of course I will match all the grips. I have no trouble going from a driver to an 5 iron, then a PW. My mixed set should work great. Notice how blade-cavity combo sets are gaining popularity? How about the new "one length" irons fad? To score par, golfers are going to need to learn new skills; like how to hit a draw, how to power crush the ball, bump and run, and choking up on approach shots. What about the woods? This could be fun.
12. TaylorMade Firesole Handicap Range: 7 to 27
One of my favorites. Ignore the high tech multi-metal marketing trickery. These things are very long and accurate, with a midrange trajectory. The Firesole could be the longest hitting irons TaylorMade ever produced. I am sure the Precision Rifle steel shafts get part of the credit. Toe hits still fly far, and center hits feel just dang sweet. Long irons are tungsten weighted and better than excellent. Right up there with the Ping Zing long irons! The short irons hit the ball a little high, but many golfers want that anyway.

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  Uncle Joe was our golf pro. He was from Texas and a big talker. He would always tell the story of his big battle with Sam Snead at Balboa. A boating accident messed up his back and ended his PGA dreams. His only income was from golf lessons and SSI. Sometimes he would get bored and drive a cart around yelling at people posing as the ranger. He would then tell them his Sam Snead Balboa story. He also had a weakness for Weller bourbon. The bourbon helps with his back pain. He could have been a con man. With a bad back, I never seen him play any golf.
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13. Wilson Staff Forged Midsize RM (1996-1999) Handicap Range: 3 to 23
They sure are pretty. The chrome is so nice. The Wilson Staff Forged Midsize RM irons will satisfy golfers of all skill levels, even though middle and low handicappers will benefit the most. Solid hits with a forged cavity back iron just feels so good. The Fat Shafts are very good, even though a litte firm. Your connection between the grip and iron head feel solid. There was also some produced with normal size Firestick steel shafts. This is one of the best Wilson irons ever made. Even some pros used them. They were not sold at Walmart! I just had a set re-shafted with $5 True Temper Command mid bend point shafts, and they play awesome. I am amazed the inexpensive Command shafts are so good! I am going to keep this set.

14. Palmer and Peerless PHD Oversize Handicap Range: 7 to 27
You know if Arnold Palmer put his name on a set of irons, they got to be good. Very high quality with True Temper Dynamic Sensicore steel shafts. The Palmer PHD plays a lot like other quality oversize clubs. Good distance on off center hits providing great accuracy. The PHD irons have horsepower! Very long hitters. The 3 and 4 irons are big and so easy to hit. I shot an 76 the first time out with these! I love the thinner topline. Later in production, the name was changed to Peerless PHD. These are getting harder to find with steel shafts. With the fin on the hosel and tangs on the perimeter, the PHD will go down in history as one of the strange, but good ones. Note: Also check out the Palmer Boss II irons as they stole the best features of the Wilson System 45 and Ping Eye-Two. They are hard to find, but incredible irons!

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15. Cobra King Cobra II Oversize Handicap Range: 8 to 28
Don't confuse the huge King Cobra Oversize with the King Cobra II. The King Cobra II is a much better golf club, with more distance and accuracy. These are very Ping like, and play great. The mid handicapper would be satisfied with these. My guess is the Cobra brand shafts are really mid bend point Apollo or TT Lite. They can really launch the ball! The real prize is the Forged version. The King Cobra II irons were very popular, so you can find good condition sets reasonable. Also check out the later Cobra CXI irons, as I bet they are from the same molds. Note: I still have my Cobra SS 380 driver. I keep trying newer ones, but none hit as straight as my old beat-up SS380.

  I could hear the lessons uncle Joe was giving in the pro shop. He would spend 20 minutes with the customer inside, then 40 minutes on the range. After hearing his lesson 2,000 times, I got to be a pretty good golfer. I got down to an 6 handicap. What this means is I could play scratch golf when focused for a tournament. My approach shot is what I worked on the most. Closer I could get to the pin, equals more birdie putts. Funny: Us baby boomers learned with blade irons, as that was all there was available. Later we went with game improvement cavity back irons. As our skills got better, be switched to blades. Now getting oldler, we are playing game improvement irons again.

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16. TaylorMade Burner SuperSteel Handicap Range: 7 to 27
When these first came on the market, the TaylorMade Firesole clubs were stealing all the thunder. The SuperSteel irons did sell very well though. The undercut soles were unique. We would joke that you could fill them with plumber's putty to adjust swingweight. Joking aside, they played very well. The SuperSteel is midsized-oversized and very user friendly. To me, they feel and play a lot like the Ping i3 O-Size. The distance with the Precision Rifle steel shafts is excellent, and provides good mid-trajectory ball flight.

17. Titleist DCI 981 and DCI 962 Handicap Range: 1 to 21
Another one of my favorite clubs. I won a big tournament up in Michigan with these. The cast stainless DCI 981 feel like forged irons. Friendly for the mid to low handicapper. I learned they like you to swing with power. Hit the ball hard and it will go where you want every time. Horsepower clubs! The DCI 981 has the best sweet spot in golf. Solid hits get that warm feeling going down your legs. Ditto for the DCI 962 irons. The DCI 962 may look a little different, but plays about the same as the DCI 981. The older DCI irons (black or gold triangle) from 1991 to 1997 were made to compete with the Armour 845s, and they play great. The gold triangle irons have more offset.

18. Tommy Armour 845s Silver Scott Handicap Range: 5 to 25
One of the best selling golf clubs of all time. The 845s were in production for 13 years and still have one heck of a following. Midsize iron heads are very forgiving for all level of players. The 845s had great success on the PGA tour. Since so many Tommy Armour 845s Silver Scott irons were sold, you can find them used really cheap. The real prize is the slightly bigger 845s Titanium face version with steel shafts, as most were sold with graphite. Geezers say the early 845s with Pat.Pend play better than the Patented. Why? I don't know.

  Made in China. Most of the new golf clubs from the major companies are made in China. They moved production there to maximize profits. They sold their soul to the Devil. I think Ping is the last holdout. Can you really have a strong loyal love relationship with MADE IN CHINA golf clubs? How do you feel paying $899 for a iron set that cost $100 to make? Can you say rip-off! This could be the reason the old irons listed on this page are better than new irons sold today. It could also be the reason the whole golfing industry is in the crapper. We Americans are not that stupid.

19. Tommy Armour 845s Oversize and 855s Handicap Range: 9 to 30
The Oversize 845s club head is about 11% bigger than the 845s Silver Scott above. Not too clunky. Good game improvement irons with Sensicore steel shafts. The 855s Silver Scott are almost the same size as the 845s Oversize, but with Tour Step II shafts. The 855s is one of the most forgiving irons you will ever play. There are old-timers I played golf with that just won't give them up. You can't trust them old coots. These geezers will set you up and take your money. You can find these iron sets for under $100.

  October 1998. My best score ever was an 63, and a course record. I had a hole-in-one, holed 1 approach shot, and had a bunch of chip-ins and single putts that day. My most lucky golf day ever. My golf buddy who was with me has been arrested in the past for growing weed, and shoplifting. Not the best witness. My father refused to post my score card on the heros board. My second best was a 66 at a tournament in Michigan. Another lucky day. Playing buddy golf betting for dinner, shooting a 78 could fill my belly.

20. Ping Eye-Two Handicap Range: 4 to 24
How would you like to score 70 on Saturday, then 67 on Sunday? Back in the middle to late1980s there were PGA Tour pros doing that with the Ping Eye-Two irons. In 1991, tour rookie John Daly won the PGA championship with Eye-Two irons. There is a reason the Eye-Two was one of the biggest selling irons of all time. They were one of the first easy to play game improvement irons on the market. The perimeter weighting cavity back concept is still used in modern clubs today. Beryllium Copper model pictured. Take a look at the Eye-Two knockoffs down below. Some are really good!
If you are 5'9" to 6'0" tall, the black, red, or blue color codes work fine. Shorter than 5'9" look at the red, purple and orange. Taller than 6'0" choose the blue, yellow or green.

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21. Maxfli Revolution Red Dot Midsize
When the Maxfli Revolution first came out, they were the hottest clubs on the market. Big winner on the PGA tour. Don't confuse these midsize Maxfli irons with the cheap Dunlop cousins. The Maxfli Revolution is premium stuff with choices of Dynalite gold or Dynamice Gold shafts. The chrome nickel head gives these irons a very soft feel you will love. The expert or beginner can score good with these. Note: The Revolution irons with the black dot have slightly smaller heads and Dynamic Gold Shafts. The hot setup back then was to use the black dot short irons (8,9,PW), and red dot middle and long irons (3,4,5,6,7).

22. Nicklaus The Bear - Linear Dynamics
When we got a set of these as a trade-in, I had to play them. Were they a cavity back or blade? What I can tell you is they play like a midsize cavity back. Very forgiving and accurate as hell. I can see why Jack Nicklaus was winning so much with his Linear Dynamics (Penna innovator) irons. They may look strange, but sure play good. I had to play them once more the next day just to make sure they were not a fluke. I shot in the mid 70s again. These are awesome! I wanted to keep them, but my father promised them to a customer. That sucked. I will own a set one day.

  Favorite golf ball. Experts say, find a ball you like and stick with it so you can master it. The problem is every few years companies discontinue or change their balls. With my 100 mph swing, the Titleist Pro-V1x was my favorite with good distance, control and not too much spin. My new favorite is the Wilson Staff Zip. The Zip ball feels and plays exactly like the Pro-V1x, but is 75% less money. I can't tell the Zip and Pro-V1x apart when playing. Wilson Staff Zip 24 pack is cheapest at Walmart. I can live with the good performance of the Callaway Hex Diablo, Bridgestone E6, TaylorMade Project (a), Noodle Long & Soft, Top Flite Gamer, Srixon Q-Star, Wilson 50 Elite, Kirkland Signiture, and Nike Mojo. You may like one of these better than the Wilson Zip balls I now sleep with. I hope Wilson keeps making the 2 piece Zip for many years.
Read Wilson Staff Zip Reviews Here. See Wilson Staff Zip Reviews On Amazon.


23. Wilson Ultra and Staff System 45
The Wilson Ultra System 45 is the first set of irons I purchased brand new. I played them for two years, and dropped from 18 to an 9 handicap. There irons are good! The Wilson System 45 irons were made from 1990 through 1995 and were sold to both golf shops and Walmart. They were midsize with a long face. They were so forgiving, it was almost impossible to hit a slice. They came with Firestick (TT Lite?) steel shafts. For only $50 more, you could get them with Dynamic Gold shafts. Good players liked the minor offset. Later years Wilson replaced "Ultra" with the word "Staff" on the back. They were played on the PGA Tour. I still see people playing Wilson Ultra 45 irons today.

24. Ben Hogan Medallion, and H40 Oversize
The Hogan Medallion Cavity Back irons were only made for 3 years and are hard to find with steel shafts. Along with the H40, they were the most forgiving and easy to play clubs from Ben Hogan. If you look closely, the Medallion model could be H40 Oversize makeovers. The Medallion model has a small coin logo on the back with Mr. Hogan's face on it. They are oversize and play really well. Very easy irons to hit. I would compare them to the Titleist DCI and Armour 845 oversize. I owned and played a Medallion set for six months, then gave them to a good friend to replace his sorry Kmart Dunlop clubs.


25. RAM FX Oversize
At a Goodwill store, I found a full set of RAM FX Oversize clubs with the bag, putter, and woods for $45! I didn't know a lot about RAM clubs since we never carried them in our store. I did see they had Sensicore shafts, and that says quality! I played the next day, and noticed the RAM irons were long, straight, and very forgiving. I had a really good game. These were my go-to clubs for the next few months, replacing my vintage Burke Punchiron blades. I later gave the Rams to my 15 year old nephew, in exchange for about $300 worth of yard work. Note: Ram made an oversize #3 wood called the Ram Accubar that was longer off the tee than my driver! I need to find one again.


26. Callaway Big Bertha 1996 and 1994
The 1996 Big Bertha irons was a big seller because they played so good. They were a high handicapper's dream come true. Good shots came easy. They are big but not too clunky. Ditto for the almost identical 1994 Big Bertha irons. The Memphis 10 Uniflex steel shafts are really "firm flex". No regular or stiff steel shaft options. If I had the money, I would like to reshaft a set of Big Bertha 1996 heads with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts. I bet they would play awesome! We are not Callaway haters. The later X-14 Steelhead with Rifle shafts was one of the best irons ever.

  Part 1 of 2: How to cut 10 to 15 strokes off your game. If you have played for a few years, you have the skills to make this happen. Here is some stuff you don't normally hear in a golf lesson. Most of the game is in your head! Play for the birdie on each hole! Be in attack mode and take some risk. Your risky play will become the new normal. You will make some mistakes early on, but they will happen less often over time. Risky play is why you see teenagers with a wild swing and 7 handicap. Erratic drives? Tee your ball a little higher, and move your feet 4 inches farther away from the ball so you have to reach a little. All of us get the first tee driver jitters. Use your 3 wood off the 1st tee and hit the perfect shot. This will be a confidence builder for the rest of your game. Feel free to copy this or write it on your arm. See part 2 below.

27. MacGregor CB95 VIP Oversize
A close friend of mine bought a set of MacGregor CB95 VIP Oversize irons back in the mid 1990s. He still has them. He calls them his Gregs. He shoots in the mid 80s, and says he has no reason to change. He really takes pride in working his shots. I have seen him do the impossible; like hitthing a curve draw bump-and-run shot from the trees where the ball makes a half circle on the ground and rolls up on the green. Amazing. The MacGregor CB95 irons say oversize, but are smaller than the King Cobras. Dynamic Gold shafts! I have tried them several times, and they feel a lot like the Tommy Armour 845s oversize. Very good clubs indeed.

28. TaylorMade Burner LCG
Are you old and grey with trouble getting it up? Then the TaylorMade Burner LCG clubs are for you. Even off-center hits fly high and far! You know how women's irons feel cheap and whimpy. My oversize wife plays Burner LCG irons with men's regular flex R-80 steel shafts. She plays so good with them, I can never take these from her! Also check out the Burner Oversize model, as it plays close to the same. Rumor: There was a knockoff made by Hunter Tommy Mann that was good as the Burner, and really pissed off Corporate! The Tommy Mann irons are now collectable.

  Par Fives and the #5 wood. Why use the #5 wood for your second shot? The #5 wood is more easy to hit than the #2 or #3 iron, plus it has a higher trajectory. With a #5 wood, there is a better chance of the ball staying on the green. On a 500 yard par 5, I can hit my driver 280-290 yards. This leaves 210 yards to go. With the #5 wood, my normal distance is 210 yards, and 230 yards if I crunch it. On longer par 5s, I still use a #5 wood. The reason is there is an 85% chance you will miss the green using a #3 wood. A 40 yard pitch shot from the fairway is more accurate than a 20 yard shot from the weeds or bunker. My favorite #5 wood of all time was the Tommy Armour 855s Hot Scot with a steel shaft. The MacGregor Tourney Persimmon I started out with was very sweet too. The #5 wood technology did not advance through the years like drivers did. The #5 wood is an afterthought. Five woods were just as good in 1994 as ones made in 2017. Titleist, Cobra, Mizuno, Cleveland, Callaway, and Taylormade always made excellet #5 woods. The worst #5 woods were sold in package sets at big box stores like Walmart and Kmart. Practice with your #5 wood enough that it feels comfortable as your 8 iron.

29. Top Flite Tour Ti
What a long hitter! The premium True Temper Dynalite Gold shafts really launch the ball. Very playable midsize iron! So user friendly. The Top Flite Tour had great success on the PGA tour. These were $1,000 clubs back in 1998. The titanium heads resist scratches, so used ones still look like new. The stainless steel Top Flite Tour irons were pretty darn good too. There was also a stainless steel oversize version. The Top Flite Tour was the best irons Spalding ever made. Tons of them were sold. Also check out the later Top Flite XL2000 irons as they are very friendly for high handicappers.

  Legal cheat for your oversize driver. Want to hit 2X more fairways without loosing distance? Shorten your driver length to 43.25" by trimming the grip end. Measure from the grip end, down the shaft to the ground; while at address. If you hacksaw right through the grip, the graphite shaft should not splinter. Get some automotive polishing compound and hand shine the clubface center to a mirror finish. Install an oversize Tacki-Mac Arthritic grip so you can swing with power without the club twisting in your hands. After you install the grip, the driver length should be around 43.5" at address. Best to try all this on an older driver first. Now you have a custom driver that is easy to hit as an 3 wood! Read This Article.
30. Goldwin AVDP Oversize
Goldwin has a cult-like following like I have never seen before. Guys I played golf with using Goldwin irons, swear they are the very best. If Ping made an oversize Eye-Two, I think they would be like these. The premium quality pushed the price of an iron set to over $800 in 1997. Some day I will own a set. They are so dang hard to find. I might have to wait for someone to die. I have played friends Goldwin AVDP Oversize irons and fell in love right away. Avoid the graphite models, as the shafts can get brittle and snap with age. Goldwin also made a AVDP Tour model with midsize blade heads, but they are extreamly rare. Better luck playing the lottery.

31. Lynx Parallax 1988-2000
I have always had a man crush on Fred Couples. What I really loved was the Lynx Parallax irons with the pyramid above the Parallax name. The first long faced oversize irons (bottom picture). These had a huge sweet spot and were very good game improvement clubs. The long irons are so easy to hit. In 1995 the club shape changed too look more like the Titleist DCI Oversize, and the pyramid was replaced with the cat face. The later ones still play darn good. I see a lot of ladies playing these irons. I bet they like the cat. The Lynx Black Cat irons with the 14mm long notch in the cavity top are awesome too. They play like bigger Ping Eye-Twos.

  Your pitching wedge. More research should go into finding the best pitching wedge than a driver. This is the most used iron in your bag, and a scoring club. Most pros don't have a pitching wedge in their bag that matches the rest of their set. The reason is the matched set PW from major companies today suck. The balance is wrong, bounce is a mystery, and lofts are too strong. You need a specialty type wedge with 48 to 50 degrees to give you more spin and control. The PW is the most important iron in the set. Putter stroke, grandfather clock stroke, pitch stroke, half swing, full swing, the pitching wedge has to do it all. For a new one, take a look at the Wilson FG Tour, Cleveland 588 (RTX), Titleist Vokey, Hogan TK, Tour Edge TGS, Mizuno MP, Callaway MD, Taylormade Tour Preferred, and others. I played a very loved MacGregor Great-Scot for 25 years and have to give it up because the grooves are gone. I would like to find a vintage Walter Hagen Ultradyne or Commando wedge as they were so accurate, they were banned. Golf Wedges For Sale.

32. Callaway Big Bertha X-12
How can you miss the ball with the longest iron face in golf? The long and mid irons are awesome. The ball goes high, and straight. I don't like the 9 iron, PW, and SW as they are big and clunky. Replace the 9, PW, and SW with vintage Callaway S2H2 irons. Life will now be good, and you can bring your game to a new level. The 2 through 8 irons are so great, it is worth the trouble. Memphis 10 Uniflex steel shafts (only firm). I think you could get regular or stiff Rifle shafts on the X-12 Pro Series. The later X-14 Steelhead was the best Callaway ever! Note: The deep cavity of the X-12 works great for scooping your ball from the pond.

  Part 2 of 2: How to cut 10 to 15 strokes off your game. Putt hard enough to run the ball 3 feet past the hole if you miss. A three foot putt is about as easy to make as one left 9 inches short. Short to the hole putts always miss! Also, most putts break less than you think. On your score card, a putt stroke counts the same as a 290 yard drive. Take a divot on almost every iron shot, by placing the ball a little farther hack in your stance. Your shots will now be consistantly good. Even the pros have a difficult time picking the ball off the turf. Learn to play the fade for approach shots. High fade shots can land right next to the hole and stay on the green. Aim and swing at 11 o'clock, while the clubface is open to 12 o'clock. Watch some Youtube videos on how to hit a fade shot and practice practice practice. Feel free to copy this or write it on your arm.

33. PowerBilt TPS Oversize
The PowerBilt TPS Oversize compares very well to the Tommy Armour 855s oversize clubs. In other words, they are very forgiving for the newer golfer. Back in 1996, PowerBilt still made premium golf clubs. You can get an used iron set for about $75 if you shop around. Now days PowerBilt is known as an value mass market brand. PowerBilt did make the coolest vintage golf bags. You could see the orange color from miles away!

  Mental Help - NASA Countdown. This is the best cure for nerves, shakes, and wiggles during your swing. It also keeps you from thinking too much. It helps you time your swing too. During your backswing, count to yourself 4-3-2-1-GO! If you want to shorten your backswing for more control, count 3-2-1-GO! The NASA Countdown may be the best lesson Uncle Joe ever taught. Use the TickChick-TickChick-TickChick--Rip backswing method if you want more power. The TickChick-TickChick-TickChick--Rip noise is that of a catapult spring winding up. It slows down your backswing, and you can feel your muscle power stacking. I use it on par 5 drives. You can really launch the ball!

34. Wilson FG-53 GooseNeck (midsize)
At first glance, the Wilson FG-53 looks like a big blade iron. That huge channel on the back side gives them the feel of a game improvement iron. Off centers hits feel like playing cavity backs. They are forged, so they feel very good indeed. The FG-53 models were released in the early 1990s and have the word Gooseneck on the sole. The early Gooseneck irons from the 80s have Wilson on the sole. Get the later Fg-53 model as they are fitted with premium True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts. I think you will agree, the older ones are much more pretty and worthy of reshafting. My father had a set and though he was a cool dude playing blades. When I tried them, I found they were more easy to hit than my Titleist cavity backs!

35. Ben Hogan Radial
Ben Hogan went a different direction than Ping in providing an forgiving user friendly club. The Radial is a midsize forged muscleback design that plays so well. However the concept did not catch fire like cavity back irons at the time. If you want something different, you can find used Hogan Radials for as low as $60 per iron set. Carry these Hogan blades in your bag, and people will think you are a scratch golfer. Also check out the awesome midzide Wilson FG-53 GooseNeck blades. The Ram FX Tour Grind Custom Nickel Irons are also sweet hitting, and so soft feeling.
Tip: Forged steel irons will rust over time. Marvel Mystery Oil is the best rust remover known to man. Apply a good coat and let sit overnight. Wipe it off good the next day.

Pinemeadow Golf - Custom Golf Clubs
36. Titleist DTR
This was the first user friendly cavity back iron from Titleist and they sold like hotcakes. They were not too big either. When these first came out in 1988, they were so advanced with the expanded cavity and toe weight. Nothing else looked like the DTR. Some of the old timers like these better than the later DCI Titleist clubs. They are very easy to hit and fitted with premium True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts. For a cast stainless steel club, the DTR has a very soft feel. Good hits feel like smacking marshmellows. The DTR was one of the more expensive irons when they first came out. Now you can find them at bargain prices used.

  Putter EDU. For most golfers, putts account for over 45% of their score. You may be able to get it down to the 30-35% range if you knew more about putters. There are 2 parts to a good putt. Accuracy and getting the ball to the hole. A metal putter with a thick putter face is the best at controlling distance. Good examples are the Bullseye and Wilson 8802 that hammer a ball to the hole. A putter with a longer face will help square up to the hole providing better accuracy. The old Ping Anser 4 is a good example. The perfect putter may be long faced like the Anser and thick like the Bullseye. The Hogan HB-1 and MacGregor M65T are two vintage examples.

37. PowerBilt TPS (1987-1993)
The first true oversize golf iron. They were so good, they would demand a very high price at the time. The TPS was made by the same company (Hillerich & Bradsby) as Louisville Slugger baseball bats, so they know about power and control. The TPS was made to one-up the Ping Eye-Two. They are heavy. If you have the muscle, they hit the ball a club longer than anything else. One of my low handicap friends made the switch, and was very happy. It is a myth that good golfers don't like forgiving irons. The Beryllium Copper TPS irons are very collectable and on my wish list.

38. Spalding Executive
I listed the Spalding Executive irons here not just for historical reasons, but because they play good for the rookie golfer. Talk about trend setting! Expanded cavity back, wide soles, oversize long face, and short hosel. This sounds like the 1994 Big Bertha. Spalding came out with the Executive 16 years before Callaway released the Big Bertha! The Executive sold well even though they were butt ugly. They were not thought of as quality clubs because you could buy them cheap at gas stations, drug stores, and through the Sears Catalog. They were more forgiving than the Ping Eye-Two, plus fitted with premium True Temper Jet Step steel shafts. Tell your young golfing buddies these are prototypes to be released next year.

  Almost legal driver cheat. It is illegal in USGA play to put chapstick, or vaseline on your driver face to reduce friction and spin. This cheat would give your ball an extra 10-20 yards and eliminate unwanted slice or draw. However you can get away with being looney. On your way to the tee box, apply a very thick coat of chapstick to your lips. Take your driver and talk to it like your sexy girlfriend. Give it 3 or 4 hard kisses right on the clubface. Now you are lubed up and ready to swing. People won't think you are off your rocker. I see pros talking to their golf clubs all the time. Some even kiss them.

Tour Model II and Other Ping Eye-Two Knockoffs
A. In the early 1990s there was a custom club making revolution. Thousands of shops and individuals were building quality custom golf clubs. The popular Tour Model II and III iron heads were a knockoff of the Ping Eye-Two, and had one big advantage. They could take .370 hosel shafts. This means shaft selection was unlimited. With the right shafts, they were very good irons. I bet I made at least a dozen custom sets in our shop. Because they were knockoffs, you can find used sets for under $75. There were also Eye-Two clones made by Spalding, Wilson, Dynacraft, Palm Springs, Mizuno, Cougar, Golfsmith, Shamrock, Pinseeker, Bob Toski, Dunlop, Rawlings, Stan Thompson, Mitsushiba, and MacGregor.
B. The MacGregor CG 1800 Jack Nicklaus irons (second picture). I think they play better than the Eye-Twos. It might be the high bend point True Temper made shafts. You also have the Jack Nicklaus name on them to impress your buddies. The quality is good too. I played them for a season and had a few rounds under par. Also check out the RPM Parabolic Grooves model in beryllium Copper. Just badass!
C. You want a good playing set of golf clubs that just shines with quality. Look at the Henery Griffitts GreenBacks. They are not really exact clones of the Eye-Two, but boy are they good playing irons. I would have ranked them on this site if they were not so rare.
D. Mizuno Cimarron, MZX, and Tour XP. What? Mizuno making a Ping clone? Shame on you! Back in the late 1980s, Mizuno was still a small company. Like many small golf club companies back then, you had to ride the coat-tails of what was hot to make sales. The quality of a Japanese knockoff of anything back then was darn good!
E. Wilson Aggressor. These irons were released to the dealer market, so they are good ones. If you want a good set of Wilson irons without gimmicks, get the Aggressor. These came out before the System 45 Irons. There was also a Wilson Pro Staff Eye-Two knockoff.


  Get shafted. So much hype these days about custom fitment. Most of it is baloney. Not all regular flex shafts are the same. Not all stiff flex shafts are the same either. Even in the same brand! If I use clubs with True Temper Dynalite shafts, I use stiff flex. For Dynamic I use regular flex. Most golfers use shafts that are too stiff, thus costing distance. Club fitters will suggest shafts based on your swing speed. The thing is while playing golf, you rarely really crush the ball. A big strong buddy of mine was only getting 165 yards with his 5 iron, even though he smashes his driver 300 yards. Something was wrong. I told him his iron shafts are too stiff. Next time we played, I let him use my Cleveland TA4 loaner set with Dynamic Gold regular shafts. It was a real eye opener. He was hitting irons 20 to 30 yards longer! Also in my loaner set was an 43.5" MacGregor M42 driver with regular flex Graphite Design shaft. He had one drive for 350 yards right down the middle! I told him my loaner set is not for sale. My guess is 66% of golfers playing stiff shafts are loosing distance.

Vintage Blade (Muscle Back) Irons
Some of these muscle back irons are real works of art. I listed the most user friendly popular blade irons from the 1950s into the 1990s. These blades are closer to midsize and easy to hit. Truth is, blade irons from 1966 are almost as good as blades from 2016. The newer blades just have better shafts and stronger lofts. Many vintage blade irons you can find for under $100 per set in playable condition. Of course you may need to update grips. These blades are a little harder to play than oversize cavity back irons, buy boy are they fun. However they will teach you more. My favorite of the bunch is the MacGregor M85 Colokrom that was a 1955 do-over released in 1984. The M85 large forgiving blade head and modern Dynamic shafts make them more playable than some of todays blade irons. The copper face is just so cool. PGA pros were kicking ass and taking names with the M85.
Take this challenge. Play old blade irons for 3 rounds of golf, then switch back to your game improvement clubs. Don't be surprised if you lower your score.
Arnold Plamer Tru-Forge
Arnold Palmer Charger II
Arnold Palmer Golden Standard
Ben Hogan PC5 and ITP 63-67
Ben Hogan Medallion Blade
Ben Hogan Director
Ben Hogan Radial
Burke Punchiron
Burke Tommy Armour
Cleveland Tour Action Reg. 588
Henry Griffitts T12 Blade
MacGregor VIP Limited
MacGregor Nicklaus Muirfield 20th
MacGregor M85 ColoKrom
MacGregor MT Split Sole
Mizuno T-Zoid True
Mizuno MP-14 Forged
Mizuno Pro MS-3
Northwestern ProBilt
PGA Vardon Cup
Spalding Tour Edition Forged
Spalding Top Flite Pro Forged
Ram FX Tour Grind
Ram Golden Ram Tour Grind
Taylormade Technician
TaylorMade Tour Preferred
Titleist Tour Model
Walter Hagen Haig Ultra Crenshaw
Walter Hagen UltraDyne II
Wilson FG-53 GooseNeck (midsize!)
Wilson Staff FG-51 Tour Blade
Wilson Bullet Back (Red Bore plug)

Best 21st Century Golf Irons (2000 - Present)
I will keep this list short and sweet, and update as I tryout newer irons. This list may be the start for a new site someday. I tried leaving off some that were 100% made in China, or were loaded up with a bunch of fake technology that shows no game (score) improvement. The irons listed below compare very well to the best golf irons available in 1999. In fact, I do have a couple of favorites on the list.

Adams Tight Lies GT
Ben Hogan BH-5
Bridgestone J40 Dual Pocket Cavity
Callaway X-14 Pro Series
Cleveland Tour Action TA7
Cleveland Quad-Pro
Cobra King Cobra SS Forged
Hippo Plus Flow Forged
KZG Forged II-M
MacGregor V-Foil M565
MacGregor V-Foil VIP 1025C
MacGregor MT Mid 2008
Mizuno MX-23
Mizuno MX-200
Ping i5
Ping i3 Plus
Srixon I-701
TaylorMade RAC LT
TaylorMade 320
Titleist 804.OS
Titleist 822.OS
Tour Edge Exotics CB Extreme Forged
Wilson FG Tour V2
Wilson Staff Ci6


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