Are Callaway Legacy Black Irons Still Good? Are They Forgiving for High Handicappers?


“The original Callaway Legacy Black irons were made for Japan’s pro players. But there have been newer iterations of these irons that appeal more to average players.”

The first generation of Callaway Legacy Black irons was clearly made for low handicap players. The second generation took a hard right and was designed more for average players. We would say the third generation (the irons we tested for this review) does a good job of combining the best elements of the first and second generations.

We wouldn’t be surprised if you have never even heard of the Callaway Legacy Black irons. They weren’t released in North American markets when they first came out. Of course, it’s 2023 and you can get anything no matter where you are thanks to the magic of the internet. So we got our hands on a set of 3rd generation Callaway Legacy Black irons and put them through their paces. Check out what we found…

Are the Callaway Legacy Black Irons Still Good? 

“We were very pleasantly surprised by the Callaway Legacy Black – our high handicap testers in particular.”

The Callaway Legacy Black irons retain the moderately compact profile of the original Callaway Legacy Black irons. They aren’t super-compact; but they are small enough to look good to high handicappers. They look great in general actually. They feature a satin chrome finish and sharp, almost futuristic lines in the cavity.

And despite the relatively compact profile, Callaway included a moderately deep cavity undercut. In fact, we would say that everything on these irons is moderate: the top line, the sole, the blade length, all moderate. It would appear that Callaway was trying to go right down the middle of the road with these irons.

And they succeeded. Our lower handicap testers praised the workability and feel of the Callaway Legacy Black irons while our higher handicap testers were able to launch the ball easily for max carry distance. So are the Callaway Legacy Black irons still good? We would definitely say yes. Even better, they appear to be viable for more than one handicap group.

Are the Callaway Legacy Black Irons Forgiving for High Handicappers?

“There is enough forgiveness here for high handicappers.”

We would so anyone in the range of 18 – 22 would still be able to get good use out of these irons. They don’t seem like they would play nice with 23+ handicappers though. The Callaway Legacy Black irons are perimeter weighted with a moderately deep cavity back.

This adds a considerable amount of forgiveness. For instance, the perimeter weighting produces straighter, more stable flight on mis-hits. The cavity undercut also makes it easier for high handicappers to flight the ball – an invaluable ability of your swing speed is hovering in the 75 – 89 MPH range.

The Callaway Legacy Black irons also have a high toe area which will likely appeal to golfers of any handicap. For high handicappers, it offers more forgiveness on high-toe strikes – a very common type of mis-hit. The feedback is also clear as a bell. This is advantageous for high handicappers (and low handicappers for that matter) because it informs them where they made contact on the face, making it easier to make the correct adjustments.

So are the Callaway Legacy Black irons forgiving for high handicappers? Yes. Are they the most forgiving for high handicappers? Certainly not.

Callaway Legacy Black Vs Callaway Rogue ST Max Irons

“The Callaway Rogue ST Max iron fit snugly in the game improvement category.”

The sole width and top line are similar to that of the Callaway Legacy Black irons; but the overall profile is a bit larger. There is also more internal weighting. In fact, the Rogue ST Max irons sport up to 62 grams of tungsten in the long irons to send the MOI sky-rocketing. The Rogue ST Max’s are the irons you want if you consistently miss the sweet spot by a wide margin.

Callaway Legacy Black First Impressions


“Somehow, the Callaway Legacy Black irons struck us as both forgiving and accurate.”

The shaping, straight leading edge and moderate soles/top lines reminded us of GI and player’s performance irons at the same time. And we were pleased to discover that they performed with a great mixture of both types of irons.

Callaway Legacy Black Irons Selling Points

  • Forged S20C soft carbon steel construction
  • Excellent feedback
  • Perimeter weighted
  • Vibration Absorption Rubber rear badge
  • Moderately weak loft profile

Callaway Legacy Black Key Technology

“Premium features went into the Callaway Legacy Black irons.”

S20C Carbon Steel: The Callaway Legacy Black irons feel soft and offer great feedback thanks to the soft carbon steel construction.

VAR Badge: Contributing to the smooth and soft feel is the VAR (Vibration Absorption Rubber) rear badge.

19 Scoring Lines: These irons feature 19, tightly-spaced grooves to help players fine-tune spin on any lie.

Callaway Legacy Black Loft & Lie

Club Loft (Degrees) Lie (Degrees)
3-iron 20 59.5
4-iron 23 60
5-iron 26 60.5
6-iron 30 61
7-iron 34 61.5
8-iron 38 62
9-iron 42 62.5

Who Should Buy the Callaway Legacy Black Irons?

“The Callaway Legacy Black are excellent for mid handicappers, good for low handicappers and also good for high handicappers.”

This is about as versatile an iron set as you can get. There is enough workability to appease low handicappers. Plus, the tightened up grooves really let you bite onto fast greens. The perimeter weighting and moderate profile of the Callaway Legacy Black irons will also satisfy the forgiveness needs of mid and high handicappers. While shot dispersion wasn’t as tight as we normally like, the Callaway Legacy Black irons do a great job of producing consistent, stable and strong flight – even on mis-hits.

Distance: 96/100

Forgiveness: 96/100

Workability: 97/100

Overall Performance: 97/100

Value: 97/100

Overall Score: 97/100

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Callaway Legacy Black Irons FAQS

What Year Did Callaway Legacy Black Come Out?

The 3rd generation Callaway Legacy Black irons debuted in 2013.

Are Callaway Legacy Black Irons Really That Good?

We found them to be accurate and forgiving, possibly making them solid choices for players of varying skill levels.

Can You Still Play the Callaway Legacy Black Irons?

Yes. You will likely only be able to find them pre-owned but they are tournament-legal.