The Best Callaway Irons 2023

Callaway Mavrik Iron SetS
Top Pick
Callaway Mavrik Iron SetS

Mavrik is all about stronger lofts and greater ball speed with game improvement technology that makes it the top pick.

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set
Runner Up
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set

More offset, so launching the ball is easy – perfect for beginners and high handicappers who also wish to hit straighter shots.

Callaway Golf Rogue X Iron Sets
Best Value
Callaway Golf Rogue X Iron Sets

Stronger-lofted Rogue X for a more effortless, higher ball flight and through that, more distance.

Callaway Mavrik Pro Individual Iron
Best for Low Handicappers
Callaway Mavrik Pro Individual Iron

Players iron – more compact shaping, thinner topline, and minimal offset, thus workability and control at their best.

Callaway Apex 2021 Iron Set
Best for Mid Handicappers
Callaway Apex 2021 Iron Set

Mid handicappers prefer Apex for its combination of larger cavity back and forged feel but with Tungsten Energy Core for more forgiveness as well.

Callaway Apex DCB Individual Iron
Best Game Improvement Iron
Callaway Apex DCB Individual Iron

DCB (Deep Cavity Back) means more forgiveness as a game improvement iron – wider sole + greater offset = powers through turf the most easily.

Callaway Epic Forged Iron
Most Forgiving
Callaway Epic Forged Iron

With a stronger loft and suspended tungsten weighting, this one’s the easiest to hit and the most forgiving Callaway iron.

Callaway Apex Pro Iron Set
Callaway Apex Pro Iron Set

Labeled as one of the best players irons, compact and hollow-bodied, Apex Pro is more traditionally lofted for low handicappers.

Callaway X HOT Iron Set
Best for High Handicappers
Callaway X HOT Iron Set

Made for high handicappers – undercut cavity back, large sweet spot, balanced weight, slightly hotter face, you name it!

Callaway Golf STEELHEAD XR LW Iron
Best for Mid-to-Slow Swing Speeds
Callaway Golf STEELHEAD XR LW Iron

A genuine game improvement iron that yields more distance on both center shots and mis-hits, with a modified CG for forgiveness and launch.

Home » Equipment » Irons » Best Callaway Irons

Determining which types of golf irons are better suited for YOUR skills and game is very, very important. Because this means choosing from game improvement, super game improvement, and players irons. And then you have to make sure to stay within your budget, choose the correct shaft flex, and all that jazz, right?

Enter the best Callaway irons to streamline the selection process for you. And as for which Callaway-made irons should you buy, my entire article here is dedicated to answering that question. I have reviewed this top brand’s most popular and recent line-up, along with mentioning, pretty loud and clear, which model is aimed at what type of golfer.

The options include hollow heads, slim muscle backs, cavity backs, and even forged irons. So you’re free to choose what matters the most for you – forgiveness, carry, ball speed, etc. Let’s figure that out together below!

1. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Iron Set

Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Iron Set
  • Ball speed enhanced by the flex-face architecture
  • Loft optimized throughout the set to optimize spin
  • Low, precision CG position also boosts ball speed
  • Pure feel with urethane microspheres (shock-absorbing)
  • Not draw-biased like Mavrik Max (be ready for cuts and fades)
  • Feel/sound on mis-hits is no good

The technology so strategically weaved into Callaway Mavrik really gives you something very real and very huge – forgiveness AND distance. And the ease with which this happens is ridiculous, almost to the point of disbelief!

Standard Mavrik, in comparison to Mavrik Max and Mavrik Pro, is the longest in terms of distance and also the most consistent. Proof? Even off-center shots go LOOOOONG!!! As for pure iron shots, they travel the same distance but without those off-and-on long outliers.

All thanks to Flash Face Cup (designed by Artificial Intelligence) and Tungsten Energy Core. The former maximizes ball speed and the latter dials in CG for optimizing launch angle and spin. Plus, there’s the stronger loft of Mavrik in comparison to the other two that contributes to greater ball speed.

What about the feel and sound of one of the best Callaway irons 2020? You just know instantly that Mavrik here, without the use of any launch monitor or even having to see the ball flight, is all about speed. Hence, a crisp feel with a pleasantly loud sound. A genuine Callaway-designed wonder!

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2. Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set
  • Easy-launch irons with maximum forgiveness
  • Urethane microspheres eliminate vibrations
  • Flash Face Cup for higher ball speed
  • More offset added to promote straighter shots
  • Tungsten weighting in every iron makes it very forgiving
  • The thick topline is distracting during address

Urethane microspheres (they absorb those unwanted, harsh vibrations, so every iron shot feels pure) are just another clear proof of how Callaway’s exclusive technologies really make a difference. Big Bertha B21 is yet another one of the brand’s top golfing irons that feature A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup – all about forgiveness, speed, and distance.

Launching the ball is super, super easy if you ask me. And it’s the tungsten weighting and wide sole that get your shots higher and higher more effortlessly. Of course, well-struck shots are powerful but what’s so baffling, in a good way, is how those not-so-well-struck shots are NOT penalized.

Top that off with low spin, which means ball flight is straighter too. So even if you have a slight tendency to draw, expect no power hooks with Big Bertha B21 (instead, you get just a left-biased ball). The flexed design muscles, in this case, keep the ball flight straight no matter what. And this includes slices turning into only fades.

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3. Callaway Golf 2020 Rogue X Iron Set

Callaway Golf 2020 Rogue X Iron Sets
  • Tungsten-weighted irons, by default, are the easiest to hit
  • Clubface flexes at impact to increase ball speed
  • How the clubface flexes is also well-controlled (VFT technology)
  • Micro-sized air pockets absorb harsh, excessive vibrations
  • Stronger lofts not for you if you don’t struggle with launch

Engineered to boost performance through and through, Callaway Rogue X features stronger lofts, longer lengths, and lighter weights (as advertised), so you can max out your ‘speed’ and ‘distance’ potential. VFT and 360 Face Cup create a combination that’s genuinely unique to its very core – sweet spot expands, hence distance receives that much-needed boost.

The flexible, shallow clubface here and almost with every other Callaway iron is what generates the highest ball speed (that both beginners and pros seem to appreciate). So the difference between them and Rogue X is that this is one of the best Callaway irons for the money.

You don’t really have to spend a fortune in this case yet you can make the most of the 360 Face Cup flexibility and Variable Face Thickness (VFT) technology.

Apart from that, urethane microspheres are a part of these golf irons as well, so no excessive vibrations jeopardize feel and sound. And there’s tungsten weighting too, which increases MOI to exaggerate mis-hit forgiveness. Therefore, playing to the best of your abilities, even as an unseasoned golfer, becomes possible with Callaway Rogue X.

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4. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Pro Individual Iron

Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Pro Individual Iron
  • Perfectly compact shaped/sized players iron
  • Thinner with less offset – perfect for better golfers
  • Urethane microspheres make even mis-hits feel solid
  • Speed boost with 360 Face Cup + tungsten weights
  • Not as forgiving as Mavrik Standard or Max
  • Thus, only for more skilled players

If you’re a single-digit handicapper, your choice automatically is a players’ iron like Callaway Mavrik Pro. Obviously, this model is a lot less forgiving than Mavrik Standard reviewed earlier. But the rest of the features and technologies are pretty much the same.

And when compared to Mavrik Max, this one’s faster and spins more when combined with a low handicap and fast swing speed. It even launches the ball higher, so you get the most amount of apex and steepest angle of landing.

The common denominator includes 360 Face Cup (greater ball speed), tungsten weights (strength and durability without added weight), and urethane microspheres (pure feel and sound). Even though you same technologies are included, the CG positioning and shape focus more on control than distance.

Workability seems swell if you really possess the required skills to pull that off. And this means pulling off highs, lows, draws, fades, spinners, etc. Agreed that there are players irons that are definitely more workable than Mavrik Pro but that’s not such a big concern as long as you aren’t a Tour-grade player with steep landing demands.

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5. Callaway Golf 2021 Apex Iron Set

Callaway Golf 2021 Apex Iron Set
  • Forged irons – more consistent, refined construction
  • More forgiving Tungsten Energy Core
  • CG precisely positioned to optimize launch angle
  • Lots of ‘pop’ (in terms of feel and sound) off the clubface
  • A smaller sweet spot, thus not for beginners
  • Not the most workable irons

You just know that golf irons like Callaway Apex, are made for mid-handicap golfers when they’re equipped with a cavity back that’s larger. When you compare this to Apex Pro, you’ll see just how much more forgiving (for longer iron shots) the former is. Although workability is not the best, so that’s one noteworthy drawback.

But the most important thing to note here is the feel of Apex. Doesn’t really matter which iron you’re hitting, Apex or Apex Pro, the “feel” feels hotter with a slightly ‘clickier’ sound at impact. You actually gain quite a lot because of the added forgiveness and distance of Callaway Apex Irons in general.

After all, these are forged irons and the feel of ‘forged’ is a more attractive quality among many players. Additionally, you start to hit a little more consistently with forged as opposed to cast irons. And now simply just pair that up with the extra forgiveness and distance of Apex. Like I already mentioned earlier, best Callaway irons for mid handicappers indeed!

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6. Callaway Golf 2021 Apex DCB Individual Iron

Callaway Golf 2021 Apex DCB Individual Iron
  • Deep cavity back irons hit higher and straighter
  • Game improvement technology with Flash Face (speed-oriented)
  • Easier launch because of the wider sole
  • Urethane microspheres significantly improve feel and sound
  • Obviously, not for low handicappers

Apex DCB has a lot in common with Apex except for the DCB (Deep Cavity Back) part of course. So you get added forgiveness here in comparison to ANY Callaway Apex irons. These are highly recommended game improvement irons and even mid-handicap irons that feature the brand’s special Flash Face Cup to boost ball speed, distance, control, and spin robustness.

And it would be surprising, considering all of the irons designed by Callaway so far feel and sound ‘pure’, if urethane microspheres were not a part of Apex DCB as well. These tiny air pockets keep those excessive, unwanted vibrations from interfering with the ‘pure’ feel and sound of these irons too. On top of that, improved shaping means an even more enhanced feel.

If you ask me, who is Callaway Apex DCB made for, the answer would be any golfer that has a 10 or higher handicap. Even those who refer to themselves as recreational or weekend golfers benefit the most. Because these Callaway irons really know how to restrict the ball flight from curving, which means your every iron shot stays on-line.

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7. Callaway Golf 2021 Apex Pro Iron Set

Callaway Golf 2021 Apex Pro Iron Set
  • Forged, hollow-bodied irons for low handicappers
  • Low-CG, high-launch Tungsten Energy Core
  • Soft, ‘pure’ feel, thanks to urethane microspheres
  • A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup promotes faster ball speed
  • Only for single-digit handicap and scratch golfers

Compact-shaped, like any other traditional players iron, Callaway Apex Pro looks very classy indeed. There are no fancy weights, screws, etc. that you have to deal with here because of its blade-like aesthetics. But Callaway’s unique features are a part of the mix in the form of Flash Face Cup.

Face technology of a driver applied to an iron head means you can expect maximum energy transfer to the golf ball. At the same time, the head is compact-shaped and hollow-bodied, which means, even though face technology is driver-like, you still get that perfect forged feel for consistency.

But then what’s the difference between Callaway Apex and Apex Pro? The latter, just like the former, is extremely forgiving and adds more speed. But then Apex Pro is also a very fitting choice in terms of getting an enhanced feel and better spin stability.

Pro’s hollow-body design with its more compact, sleeker construction and thinner sole/topline takes iron play to a whole new height altogether. So if your goal is to be able to hit your shots straighter and higher with a slight distance boost, you know what’s going to come in handy like the most useful tool.

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8. Callaway Epic Forged Iron

Callaway Epic Forged Iron
  • Strong-lofted irons give you more distance
  • Flight Control, lightweight graphite shaft
  • 360 Face Cup – incredibly fast off the clubface
  • Tight, consistent dispersion
  • Strong lofts create gapping in wedge setup

Are Callaway Epic Forged Irons forgiving? Oh, there’s plenty of that mis-hit forgiveness in these irons because of the suspended tungsten weighting. This type of construction, with its precisely located CG, is what makes way for extreme forgiveness. So even if your shots are struck low on that clubface i.e. mis-hit, ball speed, as well as distance, does not get compromised.

The price tag of Epic Forged, no denying, is quite appealing given how expensive some of the other best Callaway irons last 5 years are.

The stronger loft, on top of that, is just excellent in that it generates a higher ball flight. This means launching the golf ball higher becomes easier. And in that process, the irons become easier to hit as well. No wonder modern golf irons, and clubs in general, are stronger lofted.

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9. Callaway X HOT Iron Set

Callaway X HOT Iron Set
  • Very forgiving, long-distance irons
  • Stronger lofts get the ball to launch more easily
  • Deep cavity back lends a classy appearance
  • A wide sole and large sweet spot, hence easier to hit
  • The feel/sound of bad shots is very poor

The best Callaway irons for high handicappers, beginners, and even ladies. What with its very forgiving design that focuses mainly on nailing long distances. No matter where across the clubface you trike, every golfer with not enough course experience can gain faster ball speed, along with great sound and feel.

Callaway’s proven technologies are added for irons shots to go LONG and STRAIGHT. So thanks to the undercut cavity back, large sweet spot, and balanced weight in the form of a wide sole.

The feel of X HOT irons is so incredibly soft and quality so top-notch. The clubface feels slightly hotter yet the feel is very good. The additional “oomph” factor in this case is actually a result of the new, improved clubface. So if you don’t mind spending a little bit extra, these irons are certainly worth your attention.

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10. Callaway Steelhead XR Individual Iron

Callaway Steelhead XR Individual Iron
  • Ball speed increase even on mis-hits with Face Cup
  • Progressive CG positioning optimizes launch and spin
  • Shock Eliminator enhances feel and sound
  • Easier launch because of new hosel design
  • Limited workability

It is a game improvement iron, which automatically implies that golfers with an average or under-average swing speed get the upper hand. Cavity back gets deeper and deeper as you move from shorter to longer irons, and along with that, even the sound.

There’s no chance that Steelhead XR irons are no good because they’re designed with Callaway’s Face Cup (speed and distance boost, by default) urethane microspheres (unwanted vibrations eliminated), and hollow bore-thru hosel (weight re-positioned strategically for easier launch and more forgiveness).

These Callaway irons, hands down, are LONG (among the longest ever I’ve ever come across). Also, a higher trajectory into the green with a softer landing translates into greater control. And that’s the whole experience of Steelhead XR irons in a nutshell!

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Callaway Irons on PGA Tour – Who Carries and Uses Them? Why Do I?

Every single golfer wishes to take his/her shots like a Tour pro, even Tour players of course. Iron shots that can be best described as ‘soaring’ are a must, so they settle much closer to that pin.

I use the Callaway Razr X Iron Set (see what’s in my bag). But then I believe that Callaway’s Apex line-up of irons is more commonly spotted on the PGA Tour platform, especially one particular model from that series. Players like John Rahm and Xander Schauffele play the Apex TCB (Tour Cavity Back) irons.

These irons have that elite, Tour-preferred appearance at address, more compact shaping, and an overall more conducive weighting system perfect for highly skilled golfers.

As for Callaway Razr X, these are oversized irons with a confidence-boosting topline (mind you, all this without the unwanted added thickness).

The best part about them is also that they’re extremely forgiving with a solid sound and feel, which is just the kind of combination I prefer as a Senior Tour player. Plus, it’s got a uniflex steel shaft that allows me to produce quite a compelling strike.

And this is true of almost every Callaway iron out there, be it for Tour play or just for average golfers or even beginners and high handicappers. In a way, the brand name ‘Callaway’ now can be used interchangeably with distance, accuracy, and forgiveness.

The most appealing quality about Callaway irons is that their design is confidence-inspiring (thanks to the thick topline), which helps a great deal at address. On top of that, there’s the expanded surface of the clubface for dwarfing the ball. And you know what that means, don’t you? Mis-hits and bad shots drastically reduced!

What Makes Callaway Irons So Forgiving?

Larger Clubface (hence, massive sweet spot)

When the clubface is larger and also perimeter-weighted, which is the case with Callaway irons, forgiveness on mis-hits is the automatic response. After all, you do get a larger, massive sweet spot that makes sure your bad shots are ‘forgiven’ and transformed into good, well-struck ones – a quintessential feature of even top Callaway drivers.

Wider Sole (hence, lower CG placement)

A broader, heavier sole consists of the CG positioned lower. The outcome of which is that you can glide that club much more easily through the turf. Just the kind of assistance you need when dealing with tough or poor lies!

Cavity-Back Design

With cavity-back clubheads, perimeter weighting is a given, which means you’ve got yourself a set of irons that are the easiest to hit.

The cavity-back design Callaway prioritizes features perimeter weighting that’s evenly distributed and this also increases MOI and forgiveness. So more mass is placed around that sweet spot, hence more weight becomes the driving force behind your every shot.

Offset Hosel

Offset in golf clubs is added for giving you a teeny-tiny bit more time for squaring the clubface at impact. It’s the most effective method to eliminate the chances of slicing the ball. And Callaway irons have their clubfaces pushed slightly further back i.e. offset.

Callaway Irons vs. TaylorMade Irons – Who Makes Them Better?

Before I compare, let me admit that both brands manufacture some of the best, most advanced golf irons, and clubs in general. Both brands have been a part of the golf industry for just too many years for me or you or anyone else to dismiss them as not reliable in terms of quality, performance, etc. And maybe that’s why it’s so confusing to pick between the two.

But there is one right answer. However, what that right answer is FOR YOU depends on what you’re aiming at. For instance, Callaway’s most recent irons are equipped with a stronger loft to further distances like it’s no joke. But then these are mainly the ‘distance’ irons only, which seem to be crafted specifically for beginner and high-handicap golfers.

On the other hand, TaylorMade irons are all-player-friendly. They’re exclusively forgiving and made for providing unbeatable distance. Most of TaylorMade’s iron sets are like that, unlike Callaway who only gives you unprecedented forgiveness and distance with their “distance” irons.

Choosing Callaway Irons – What to Keep In Mind

1. Type of Iron – Forged vs. Cast

The comparison of forged vs. cast irons is one that often makes an appearance, that’s no surprise.

You know forged irons, more often than not, have better grooves and blades. And that’s because of the more meticulous (and thus, more expensive) process they go through during manufacturing. Then you also get better control with forged irons since they have a more compact shape.

Hence, more suitable for low-handicap and advanced players, so they can shape their shots with all the accuracy they demand and deserve.

As for cast irons, these are mainly cavity-backed with low, deep CG positioning for boosting carry and distance, not so much control.

Cast irons, as is only logical to assume, are mass-produced because of the comparatively less detail-oriented and expensive method of construction. These can be quite easily molded into various sizes and shapes too.

2. Clubhead Shape – Cavity Back vs. Blade

If the Callaway iron has a cavity back, it works the best for mid-handicap and high-handicap golfers because of its ability to add more consistency and forgiveness JUST LIKE THAT! The cavity-back design consists of a larger clubhead (bigger sweet spot that means), so it can boost speed and precision.

With cavity backs, the CG is also placed lower. And the outcome – a higher ball flight!

That means better players choose blade irons (also known as muscle backs). This traditional shape and construction offer very limited forgiveness, but advanced golfers don’t really care about that. They’re more concerned with receiving more enhanced feedback through vibrations, which is something that thinner-structured blade irons give you (needless to say, for greater workability).

Obviously, more feedback cannot be achieved with cavity-back irons and more consistency and distance are not a part of more expensive, traditional blade irons.

3. Shaft Material – Graphite vs. Steel

Most irons are outfitted with a steel shaft. But then you can still swap steel with graphite if you struggle with swing speed. The greater part of golfers with a slow swing speed choose lightweight, more flexible graphite shafts to add speed and yards to their game.

And then there’s steel, which is just perfect for golfers with a faster swing speed. With steel, only the more skilled players can put those feedback-providing vibrations to good use for improving control.

The catch, however, is that graphite is the costlier option here. So then should slow-speed golfers just go with steel instead? I don’t think that would be such a wise decision because mis-hits and off-center shots with steel can really hurt your muscles and joints (due to powerful vibrations and added weight).

4. Center of Gravity – Deep vs. Shallow

With Callaway irons, at least for the most part, the CG is positioned deeper into the sole, so you can get your shots to launch higher more easily (preferred by beginners and high handicappers). As opposed to a more shallow CG placement suitable for a more balanced ball flight (preferred by advanced players).

Comparison Table of Some of Callaway’s Top Golf Irons

Golf Iron7-Iron Loft AngleLaunch AngleBall SpeedHeightBack SpinDescent AngleDistanceCarry Drop-Off
Apex 2130.5 degrees17.2 degrees123.6 mph34 yards5,972 rpm47.8 degrees174 yards8 yards – 4.6%
Apex 21 DCB30 degrees17 degrees122.4 mph33 yards5,647 rpm46.9 degrees174 yards14 yards – 8.1%
Apex 21 MB34 degrees17.6 degrees119.3 mph32 yards6,807 rpm47.1 degrees167 yards12 yards – 7.2%
Apex 21 Pro33 degrees18.3 degrees121.1 mph35 yards6,416 rpm48.7 degrees167 yards13 yards – 7.8%
Mavrik27 degrees16.3 degrees127.8 mph35 yards5,400 rpm47.6 degrees182 yards11 yards – 6%
Big Bertha B2129 degrees18.4 degrees129.7 mph40 yards6,708 rpm50.1 degrees184 yards18 yards – 9.8%

About Callaway Irons – FAQs

Which Callaway Irons Are the Best for Average Golfers?

Mavrik, Rogue X, and Apex DCB are the most suitable Callaway irons for average and mid-handicap golfers. And why is that? Because, for instance, Callaway Apex DCB offers a combination of a forged-iron-like feel and look with deep cavity-back forgiveness.

So these irons are well-engineered to launch easily (no matter the lie) and, at the same time, they provide that enhanced feel (as well as sound) through the turf at impact.

Which Callaway Irons Are the Most Forgiving?

To be honest, most irons by Callaway are highly forgiving because of the huge sweet spot, perimeter weighting, lower CG placement, wider sole, etc. But the ones that have come up time and again specifically for their remarkable ability to turn bad or off-center shots into successful strikes include Callaway Big Bertha B21 and Callaway X HOT.

These are super game improvement irons with speed-boosting Flash Face Cup.

Which Callaway Irons Are the Best for High Handicappers?

Nothing beats the Callaway Mavrik series of golf irons for high handicappers. This particular line-up by Callaway features improved clubface flex to give you more distance even with long irons.

Mavrik Standard is the best choice for all types of players, but then there’s Mavrik Max (even more forgiveness) and Mavrik Pro (players iron) as well.

Which Callaway Irons Are the Best for Beginners?

No golfer dares to debate the easy launch and forgiveness presented by Callaway Big Bertha B21. These irons you just know are specially engineered for golfers who demand faster ball speed, higher launch, and straighter shots.

Basically, they inspire confidence in the form of wider soles that promote better turf interaction. And that’s something that beginners in golf really need in order to learn and play well.

And That’s A Wrap!

There’s no golfer worth his/her salt that’s going to tell you any different than ‘Callaway irons are suitable for almost every type of player.’ Key technologies such as A.I.-designed 360 Face Cup, urethane microspheres, tungsten weighting, and a wider sole are a part of every golf iron manufactured by Callaway. And these take care of easy launch, straighter shots, reduced spin, more ball speed, extraordinary precision, exceptional feel, and on and on.

But then you can’t just choose any iron, right? You have to pick based on certain important factors. For example, high handicappers perform better with cavity-back irons while low handicappers prefer playing the more workable forged irons.

Weigh in personal preferences too. Such as shaft material/flex, clubhead type (cavity back or blade), etc. Ultimately, the set of irons you select should work FOR YOU, and not some other golfer.

Photo of author

Jim Furyk

One of the PGA TOUR’s most recognizable and talented golfers, Jim Furyk was born on May 12, 1970 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It seems like Furyk was born to play golf; his father Mike as an assistant pro at Edgmont Country club, and young Jim was raised into the game. Jim Furyk’s only golf instruction came from his father; and many note that might account for his unusual—yet effective—swing. In addition to Edgmont Country Club, Mike Furyk also served as head pro at Uniontown Country Club.

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