Do Golf Irons Wear Out Over Time, Go Dead And Lose Distance – When To Replace?

Driving Irons 3  

If you are anything like me, you are constantly thinking about upgrading and buying new clubs and equipment to improve your game and a new set of irons is going to be high on the list of any improving golfer.

But, with how expensive a set of golf irons can be, it’s essential to know how long you may have before they need to be replaced. Golf irons do wear out over time, but luckily it has more to do with how often they are hit, their quality and how well they are taken care of than just time. If you are someone that is playing 3 times a week, your irons are a likely to need replacing much more quickly and if you only play once a month and maintain them well, they can last for a very long time.

In this guide, we will help you understand how golf irons wear out, the time it takes for that to happen, and the signs that your irons may be close to wearing out.


Introduce Your Personal Experience With Golf Irons Wearing Out


As a teaching professional and playing professional for over twenty-five years, I have seen quite a few golf clubs in my day. There have only been a few times that I have really noticed that golf irons were truly worn out. These irons were usually better players clubs that had markings and deformations in the center of the clubface.

After years and years of hitting the same clubs in the same spots, hundreds of shots a day, the irons have started to wear out. This took a lot of time and a lot of time spent on the range hitting golf balls.

If you are an amateur golfer who plays golf on the weekends, it will take a long time for your irons to go dead and actually start losing distance. Sometimes when you feel that an iron is dead, it’s simply because your swing needs a few adjustments or the new irons on the market are just that much better.


So, Do Golf Irons Wear Out Over Time 

Golf Irons

Golf irons will wear out over time. The clubs that you most often will be the ones to wear out first. This is because they are getting hit the most. For an average golfer that plays golf a few times or practices a few times a week, you should get a good 7-10 years out of a set of irons. 

After this period, you may notice that in addition to the grooves being worn out, the ball doesn’t travel as far as it used to. This is completely normal and has nothing to do with the actual quality of the golf clubs. 

You may also find the irons that you hit the most wearing out most quickly and for me that would be the 3 Iron, 7 Iron and the 9 iron.

For the most part, performance related to forgiveness will not be affected quite as much, and the irons may still feel good and be worth keeping in your bag.


How Long Should Your Irons Last – How Many Rounds?

Your golf irons should last for hundreds and hundreds of rounds of golf. There is no exact number that you will get when you purchase your clubs. You won’t be able to make a tally chart on a paper that you store in your golf bag.

Golf irons are all made; differently, they all use different materials, and every golfer treats there clubs in a certain way. There is no way to tell exactly how many rounds of golf you get out of a set of irons.

For the average golfer, you can expect to get a good 7-10 years out of a set. For the golfer that plays golf every day of the year, it may only take 3-4 years before a set of irons starts to lose a bit of its jump off the face.


Signs Your Irons Have Worn Out

There are a few tell tale signs that your irons are starting to go. These signs could be caused by a few other problems related to your swing, so make sure that you consult with a professional before fully deciding your clubs are done.

A decrease in Distance:

You will notice this star to happen gradually. One round, you will feel like you are hitting the ball great, but it just doesn’t travel as far. Then you will feel like you are coming up short on shots that you always felt like you had no trouble with.

A decrease in Feel:

You know that buttery feeling when you hit an iron shot perfectly. If that seems to go away and your swing has not changed at all, it could be something going on with the clubs themselves.

Groove Issues:

Golf clubs can be regrooved if needed. You should be able to see the grooves on your golf clubs and see if they are starting to deteriorate. This is one of the easiest signs.

Overall Condition Of the Golf Club:

Are there chips, scratches, a loose hosel, anything going on with your club? Some of these are issues that can be fixed with a few minutes in the golf club repair shop, but some are long term problems that may not be fixable.


How Much Distance Will I Lose With Worn Out Irons?


As we mentioned, truly worn out irons can be hard to come across, it would take me back to the days of using my dad’s old clubs that were well past their sell by date. However, if you have truly worn your clubs out, you can lose about 7-10 yards on them. The ball will still travel a good way, but you may notice some difference in the ball flight and the spin as well.

The other problem with determining if your irons are worn out is that you will probably be comparing two different technologies. If you take your six-year-old irons and compare them to the current irons on the market, there will be a difference.

This does not mean that your current irons are worn out. It simply means that technology has improved. Try to consider the distances you hit your irons now compared to the distances you hit them a few months ago that will give you your best indication.


Can I Refurbish My Old Irons To Make Them Perform Like New

Driving Irons 4

Yes, you can absolutely have your irons refurbished. It is best to do this through the original manufacturer if that is an option. They will be able to refurbish the clubs and run tests to make sure they are still performing as they should be.

The only problem with refurbishing a set of irons is that it is going to cost you some money. If you find that this price is justified than certainly, it makes sense. However, it may be worth comparing a new set of irons costs and whether it is worth the money to invest in your older equipment. Golf Technology changes very quickly.


Why Else Would I Be Losing Distance in my Irons?

There are lots of reasons that you may start to experience a loss of distance in your irons. One of the most common is that you are playing with the wrong golf shaft. Your loss of distance could be because the shaft no longer works well for your golf game.

Another reason is that there is a problem in your golf swing, making it much less efficient. A more efficient golf swing is capable of producing high ball speeds. Those high ball speeds lead to distance.


Will changing balls help me hit further?

So many factors go into how far a ball is hit. One of those factors is the golf ball you play. It is certainly worth trying a different golf ball before you deem your irons totally unplayable. This could be a quick $30.00 fix compared to spending several hundred on a new set of irons. Try using a soft golf ball that will compress more easily and give you more feel around the greens. The Srixon Soft Feel are excellent balls for distance and control.


How Often Should I Change My Irons

Ideally, it would be great to change your irons about every seven years. This will keep you close enough to current technology but also gives you great value for your clubs. If you think about an iron set costing about $700, this will be about $100 a year for your clubs.

Most golfers don’t have trouble thinking about spending $100 a year to keep their golf game current. If you wait for more than seven years, the differences in technology will be rather extreme, and you may find yourself having to make some major adjustments when it comes time to switch.

If you can afford to replace your irons every three to four years, that is wonderful; however, most golfers will not be able to do this. 


How Often Do Pros Change Their Irons?

Most pros will change their irons every season. This is usually because they are on equipment contracts with manufacturers. When new irons come out, they may be asked to play with the new irons. Some pros will keep the same clubs in their bag for a few years. The model may be the same, but the actual clubhead is probably refurbished or replaced several times per year.


What To Look For In New Irons

When you buy a new set of irons, you need to make sure that it fits your game exactly. If you need forgiveness in your golf game, choose an iron that is very forgiving. If you need something with distance, there are plenty of distance irons on the market.

Always get a club with a high-quality golf shaft in it, as this is going to have a large impact on the flight and performance of the golf ball. If you need to be custom-fit to make sure you get the right shaft, that is a smart thing to do.


Should I Buy Second Hand?

Buying second-hand golf clubs is a great idea. You will usually get a great deal on the clubs, and it could open up your options considerably if you are on a budget. The only thing you will want to make sure is that the clubs themselves are in good shape. 

A little wear on the clubface is expected, but when you see large scratches or deformities in the head or shaft, then you may want to consider another option. Buying from a friend who takes care of their clubs is a great choice. 


How Can I Hit My Irons Longer?

If you want to hit your irons longer, you must increase your swing speed. You can increase your swing speed by getting into better physical condition, or you may take a few lessons to learn why your current golf swing is not all that efficient. Overall, getting the distance in golf is not as complicated as people make it. If you want real distance, you need to apply lots of clubhead speed correctly.


Should I Replace All My Clubs Or Just The Irons?

Tour Irons

You do not need to replace all of your golf clubs at once. In fact, it is better for your wallet not to. Try to invest a little bit of money into your golf bag each season. This is a great way to stay current with technology but not break the bank each time a new club is released.

One year you get some new wedges, another year replace a driver and so on. This will ensure that you always have a golf ball full of decent equipment instead of having one complete set that is eight or nine years old and needs to be replaced completely.


Can I Get Better Deals At Different Times Of The Year?

One of the best times to buy new golf clubs is when the brand new models are released. When the new models are released, the previous models will drop considerably in price.

However, the technology of these previous models is still very relevant. Think of the Taylormade M2 compared to the M4 or the M6, still excellent clubs but a fraction of the price.

This is the time of year that you can get some great deals on a set of clubs that people were paying top dollar for just a month prior. Usually, the difference between a set of clubs from one year to the next is not all that significant, so you won’t be behind in the technology or the performance.



Titleist Forged Irons

Golf manufacturers come out with new irons almost every year. Replacing your golf irons every year is simply not necessary. If you were to try to keep up with technology, the golf manufacturers would be thrilled, but it is just not necessary. Instead, try and buy a quality set of clubs that you know will last you for many years. Finding great equipment that fits you and your game is a good investment that you will not regret.