A number of factors should be considered when getting a new set of irons or evaluating your current set. Some of the factors apply to all clubs in your bag. These factors are discussed elsewhere on this site.
- shaft flex
- shaft weight
- shaft flex point
- shaft material – graphite or steel
- club length
- swingweight and overall club weight.
- grip size
Factors Specific to Irons
A factor that can be adjusted to fit you is the lie of the clubs. Lie is the vertical angle of the shaft to the ground when the club’s sole is flat on the ground at impact.If the toe or heel of the head hits the ground first instead of the entire sole of the club, the head will twist and the shot will be off line and miss your target.
Good quality irons can be precisely adjusted on a loft and lie machine so the lie angle of each of your irons matches your swing. Many iron heads are bendable. Sometimes your irons already fit you once the lies are checked and corrected where necessary. Other times grips may be the wrong size, shafts may be too stiff or too flexible, etc. One or more of the factors in the list above may need to be changed.
Changing grips, shortening or lengthening shafts, adding weight can all be done to your existing clubs at a relatively low cost. Changing shafts or changing heads is somewhat more expensive, but still less than a completely new set of irons.
Note: The lofts and lies of iron heads can change over time especially if you hit a lot of balls from driving range mats. Forged iron heads are more susceptible to this gradual bending over time. Cast heads have less of a tendency to bend. Getting your irons checked should be done annually or so if you play regularly.