Best Golf Irons for Beginners – Expert vs AI

On this page
Louis Pringle
Apr 16, 2024
10 minutes

When it comes to advice for shopping for golf clubs, most golfers will look for the perfect blend of educated recommendations at their easiest convenience. Video reviews, blog articles, and platforms like our “Club Finder” tool or our experts’ calls are all great examples of sources for easy advice and recommendations. This is especially true when it comes to finding the right iron set for you, since its usually the largest investment in your bag.

With the growth in popularity of Artificial Intelligence databases, more and more people are turning to them for advice, including golfers looking for recommendations. With that in mind, we decided to test the knowledge of one of these platforms, Microsoft’s Copilot, by asking it what iron sets it would recommend to beginners. We also got our experts to comment on the recommendations and put their stamp of approval on the deserving models.

The 10 Best Iron Sets for Beginners according to AI:

  1. Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set - ✔️
  2. TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS Iron Set - ✔️
  3. TaylorMade P790 Ti Iron Set - ❌
  4. Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Iron Set - ✔️
  5. Cobra King SpeedZone Iron Set - ✔️
  6. Cobra King F9 Speedback Iron Set - ✔️
  7. Titleist T300 Iron Set - ✔️
  8. Ping G425 Iron Set - ✔️
  9. Cobra T Rail 2 Iron Set - ✔️
  10. Wilson D9 Iron Set - ✔️

Shop Used Iron Sets

1. Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set

The first iron set recommendation from Copilot is the Callaway Big Bertha B21. Here’s what it had to say regarding this model:

“These irons are very high launching and have increased ball speed even for slower swinging players.”

Our expert’s opinion of the Big Bertha B21 iron set:

“Hard to argue with Copilot on this one. The Big Bertha 21 irons are known to launch the ball high up in the air, while also providing all the punching power you could ask for. Slow swings are very common amongst less-experienced golfers, so the Big Bertha 21’s perks should fit right in the needs of beginners.

I think Copilot might have sold these irons a bit short because they not only deliver when it comes to distace, but they’re also regarded as lifesavers because of how much forgiveness they provide to the players hitting them.

The larger footprint of the sole mixed with just a touch of offset near the hosel makes for a wide face at impact that will not only maximize forgiveness, but the feel for the club through the swing. This should allow beginners and less-experienced players to hit better strikes.

Overall, I’d have to agree with the Callaway Big Bertha B21 iron set as a good recommendation for beginners.”

Nick D., Certified CPGA Professional

Shop Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set

2. TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS Iron Set

Next up, Copilot recommended the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max OS iron set which was released in 2021. Their impressions are straightforward and to the point:

“These irons have a great feel in both short and long irons and offer maximum forgiveness.”

Our expert’s opinion of the SIM 2 Max OS iron set:

“We’d have to give 50% to Copilot on this one. On the bright side, there’s no doubt about it, the SIM 2 Max irons will provide almost unmatched forgiveness, no matter what situation you’re facing. In terms of feel, however, I’d have to disagree.

The feel for the ball at impact is certainly not unpleasant, but it’s not crisp and you’ll struggle to tell where the ball hit the club face. You’ll have a hard time telling pure strikes apart from impacts near the edge of the club face.

But whatever the SIM 2 Max OS may lack in feel for the ball, they more than makeup when it comes to forgiveness, ball speed, and distance, helping you push the ball further than ever, time after time. Golfers with moderate swing speeds and inconsistencies in their swing will love the SIM 2 Max OS iron set.

To summarize, I would agree with the recommendation of the SIM 2 Max OS iron set for beginners but feel at impact is certainly not the reason why, which does knock a few points off Copilot’s score in my opinion. The SIM 2 Max line of irons is so good, it made our list of the 5 best TaylorMade iron sets.”

Dylan W., Golf Avenue Expert Caddie

Shop TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS Iron Set

3. TaylorMade P790 Ti Iron Set

Copilot’s third recommendation is the TaylorMade P790 Ti iron set, and this is what AI had to say about it:

“These irons have a titanium club face and a foam-injected club head, making them one of the better feeling irons for beginners and high handicappers.”

Our expert’s opinion of the P790 Ti iron set:

“Here again, Copilot is mostly right, and I’d probably even recommend this set to less-experienced golfers who are picking back up golf after laying off for a long time. The P790 Ti will indeed offer impressive feel for the ball, which will be an amazing perk for any golfer with a little more experience than most beginners.

Where I disagree with Copilot is when it says that it would recommend this model to beginners. While they could certainly thrive using this set, once they’ve adjusted to it, many other models will not only be cheaper, but probably better suited to their needs on the course.

Some models with a more prominent cavity-back like the Qi or the SIM 2 Max OS are probably better suited to the needs of beginners who’ll be looking for maximum forgiveness and distance on the course, something I doubt most beginners will be able to achieve with the P790 Ti. Plus, its price point might be too high, especially for a beginner who’s looking to get started with a more reasonable budget.

Do I agree with this recommendation? I would tend to agree with it, but I certainly would recommend it to every beginner. Other cheaper models will suit their needs even better than the P790 Ti.”

Danny N., Golf Avenue Expert Caddie

Shop TaylorMade P790 Ti Iron Set

4. Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Iron Set

In the fourth spot, Copilot offered a bit of a surprise with the Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal iron set. Here’s what AI thought of this model:

“These irons offer very fast ball speed and excellent vibration resistance.”

Our expert’s opinion of the JPX 921 Hot Metal iron set:

“The Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal iron set is not necessarily a model that I would recommend to beginners. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a high-quality set that will perfectly serve the needs of golfers with a mid-to-high handicap. For beginners, however, forgiveness might fall short with this one.

To be fair to Copilot, it does hit the target when it mentions the JPX 921 Hot Metal’s fast ball speeds and excellent vibrations. These irons will effortlessly launch the ball at high speeds, even with players who have slower swing speeds.

Vibration-wise, it will provide impressive feel for the ball at impact, considering its a game-improvement iron set. Pure strikes will offer great feel for the point of contact, but mishits and strikes near the edges will generate a much duller feel.

Overall, the JPX 921 Hot Metal would probably not be my first recommendation for a beginner because it falls a little short in terms of forgiveness. I would certainly recommend it to a less-experienced golfer looking to move away from true game-improvement irons to something that’ll give them better feel and control for the golf ball.”

Sam M., Golf Avenue Expert Caddie

Shop Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Iron Set

5. Cobra King Speedzone Iron Set

Next up, Copilot recommended the Cobra King Speedzone iron set, released in 2020, and this is what it had to say about it:

“The irons feature Arccos technology to help you track your golf shots and offer more ball speed than other options on the market.”

Our expert’s opinion of the King Speedzone iron set:

“This one is complicated because the King Speedzone is indeed a wise recommendation for beginner golfers, but what Copilot had to say about it is not very accurate. Indeed, it is possible to get your hands on Arccos captors, but these are usually not sold on retail with the clubs, plus they require a membership for continued use and access to your data.

Generally speaking, the King Speedzone are proper game-improvement irons, and I would recommend those to any beginner in a heartbeat. They have “chunky” clubheads that will prevent you from digging in the ground before hitting the ball and should also provide an extra dose of confidence at address.

As beginners usually have slower swing speeds, they’ll fall in love with the Speedzone’s ball speed and forgiveness, regardless of where the ball hits the clubface.

So basically, the Speedzone is actually an excellent recommendation on the part of Copilot, but don’t expect to get your hands on the Arccos adaptors if you’re buying a used model. Unless you really have some money to spare (which is rarely the case for beginners) you’re better off investing your money in lessons or replacing your older clubs rather than this technology.”

Nick D., Certified CPGA Professional

Shop Cobra King Speedzone Iron Set

6. Cobra King F9 Speedback Iron Set

Copilot followed it up with the previous generation’s model, the Cobra King F9 Speedback iron set, released in 2019. This is what Copilot had to say regarding this model:

“All clubs in this set are the same length, which can be beneficial for beginners.”

Our expert’s opinion of the King F9 Speedback iron set:

“Just like with the previous recommendation in this list, the King F9 Speedback iron set is an excellent recommendation, especially for beginners looking for a set that will simplify their life on the golf course. However, Copilot’s reasoning is off the mark once again.

While it is true that Cobra proposes single-length iron sets (sets where all irons have the same shaft length, usually the length of a 7-iron), like the King Forged Tec One Length iron set, the King F9 Speedback Copilot refers to in this list is the regular model with the traditional staggered length shafts. Even though this particular model isn’t a one-length edition, beginners should strongly consider those as the one-length shafts render your iron swing more consistent as you get to always hit a club of the same length.

Despite not being a one-length model, the King F9 Speedback still has a lot to offer to beginners and has many of the same perks as the previous model in this list, the King Speedzone. The F9 also offers impressive ball speeds and forgiveness levels at impact. It also features a massive clubhead that is typical of Cobra’s game-improvement irons.

In summary, the King F9 Speedback is an appropriate choice for beginners looking for a new iron set, which is to the credit of Copilot. However, their reasoning for picking this particular model doesn’t make much sense, which serves as a reminder that we’re dealing with an AI rather than a true expert.”

Dylan W., Golf Avenue Expert Caddie

Shop Cobra King F9 Speedback Iron Set

7. Titleist T300 Iron Set

Moving away from Cobra, Copilot recommends the Titleist T300 iron set as its 7th model, and here’s what it had to say about it:

“These are great looking beginner irons that offer more distance than previous Titleist game improvement irons.”

Our expert’s opinion of the T300 iron set:

“This is perhaps the highest quality iron set recommended in this list. It also happens to be one of Copilot’s best explanations so far because while the T300 irons do look great, their greatest perk is certainly the extra distance it can provide, especially to beginners and less-experienced players.

As mentioned by Copilot, the clubs look amazing, but their performance is the real show-stealer. Many beginners struggle to generate speed with their swing and Titleist clearly understood this with the T300. It’s not the bulkiest of irons, but it packs a mighty punch that you wouldn’t expect from a club with such a sleek profile.

Additionally, the T300s provide an impressive level of feel for the ball, considering it’s a game-improvement model. On the other hand, it delivers where you expect it most and that is in terms of forgiveness. It provides plenty of forgiveness compared to the rest of the models in Titleist’s T-line of clubs.

Putting it simply, this is a great recommendation by Copilot and the explanation it gave for this choice is perhaps the best so far. For any beginners looking to get their hands on the ideal set of iron, these should certainly be a go-to if your budget allows for it.”

Danny N., Golf Avenue Expert Caddie

Shop Titleist T300 Iron Set

8. Ping G425 Iron Set

Next up, Copilot recommended the Ping G425 iron set, which was released in 2020, and this is what it said regarding this model:

“These irons have tungsten toe weights for a better center of gravity placement and a very high MOI.”

Our expert’s opinion of the G425 iron set:

“Here again, we get another proper recommendation for beginners, but the reasoning given by Copilot is a bit lackluster. While it’s accurate information, it does sound a bit codified in golf “lingo”, which could be hard to understand for most beginners.

The tungsten toe weight will undoubtedly help with the club’s center of gravity and its MOI, but this probably sounds like gibberish to someone who is not familiar with those terms. Usually, you’ll want to use simpler terms when breaking down the perks of a club to a beginner or a less-experienced golfer.

Rewriting Copilot’s explanation, we would say that the weight placement helps to bring your strikes closer to the center of the clubface, time and time again. The positioning of the weight in the toe makes for a more stable clubhead throughout the swing for more consistent results, helped by plenty of forgiveness which allows you to produce better strikes on mishits.

Here again, we’ll have to give Copilot a 50% grade because it nailed the G425 iron set recommendation for beginners, but it missed the mark with a somewhat cryptic commentary for golfers who are less familiar with more in-depth golf vocabulary.”

Sam M., Golf Avenue Expert Caddie

Shop Ping G425 Iron Set

9. Cobra T Rail 2 Iron Set

Copilot’s second to last recommendation is another Cobra model, the T Rail 2 iron set. Here’s what it had to say about the iron set:

“This is a hybrid set with high strength steel E9 face and 70% more flex on the Baffler rails for a higher launch and speed.”

Our expert’s opinion of the T Rail 2 iron set:

“This is another terrific recommendation from Copilot, but once again, I don’t think this is the best description to give to someone who’s still getting introduced to the sport. While they’re very accurate, technical terms like ‘high strength steel E9 face’ and ‘Baffler rails’ might leave some beginners confused. To be fair, they do throw in the ‘for higher launch and speed’ mention at the end, which most golfers will understand.

Despite the technical terms, Copilot’s description tracks as the T Rail 2 are specifically designed to help golfers with slower swing speeds generate longer strikes. They also feature some of the largest clubheads on the market allowing their sole to support the dual Baffler rails.

The Baffler rails are designed to optimize turf interaction to limit your club from digging into the ground before impact and to help you generate higher launch angles and more spin. These should all be appealing perks to beginners as they tend to struggle to get the ball airborne and to make clean contact with the golf ball.

Once again, Copilot sticks it close to the pin with this recommendation but doesn’t quite get the hole out. The Cobra T Rail 2 iron set is such a good recommendation, in fact, it was featured in our list of the 10 Most Forgiving Iron Sets of 2024.”

Nick D., Certified CPGA Professional

Shop Cobra T Rail 2 Iron Set

10. Wilson D9 Iron Set

Finally, Copilot’s last recommendation is the Wilson D9 iron set, which was released in 2021. This is what it had to say about this iron set:

“These irons are fairly priced and feature power hole technology for higher ball speeds.”

Our expert’s opinion of the D9 iron set:

“This is another smart recommendation from Copilot and the description it gave for the D9 irons is straightforward: you know you’re getting a good deal and that the ball will most likely come off the clubface with a good bit of speed.

It certainly could have expanded on the forgiving attributes of the D9’s cavity-back clubhead design that delivers incredible levels of forgiveness, even on strikes nearing the edges of the club face.

It could’ve also touched upon the offset angle near the hosel of the clubhead which will help counter the effects of a slice at impact. The offset creates a closed clubface that will direct the ball’s trajectory to the inside of your stance, thus counteracting the effects of the slice.

Here again, this is another quality recommendation from Copilot. The Wilson D9 iron set is a model that I would recommend to a beginner looking for a set that makes it easier to get the ball in the air, while also benefitting from a lot of forgiveness.”

Dylan W., Golf Avenue Expert Caddie

Shop Wilson D9 Iron Set

So overall, Copilot deserves some praise for its recommendations. Our experts wouldn’t bat an eye for at least 9 of those 10 recommendations, but the description they give for most of these recommendations would need to be improved to make them more relevant for beginners and less-experienced golfers.

The King F9 Speedback is the perfect encapsulation of this as the recommendations are excellent. Still, Copilot's description, "All clubs in this set are the same length, which can be beneficial for beginners," is completely inaccurate, especially because the King F9 Speedback set in this article is not a single-length model.

Overall, we'd have to give 7/10 to Copilots for its recommendations. The models recommended are mostly accurate, but almost every description has an issue with it, which takes points away from Copilot.

Shop Iron Sets

Fortunately, if you’re looking for more in-depth reviews and analyses of clubs’ performance, be sure to check out our experts’ articles on our blog for thought-out recommendations. Don’t forget you can also book a call with one of them for personalized advice on your next purchase.

If you prefer shopping on your own, but still feel like you could use a bit of help, be sure to give our “Club Finder” tool a try. Check a few boxes to let us know what your preferences and needs are and the “Club Finder” will provide you with a list of recommendations adjusted specifically to you!

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue Team

Further reading

Looking for a new set of forgiving irons? Find out our list of the Top 10 most forgiving iron sets in 2024 for golfers with a mid to high handicap, picked by our in-house expert Danny!

Looking for a new set of irons? Find out what are our top 5 Ping Iron Sets for high and mid handicappers. All tested by our team and under the price of $500!