What Are Game Improvement Irons In Golf – Ultimate Buying Guide

If you are wondering what a game improvement iron is used for, who should use it and why you have found the right guide. Game improvement irons are designed to help you improve your game. That improvement could be from a 30 handicap down to a 25 or a 25 handicap down to a 10. There is a wide range of game improvement irons available in the golf world, and each one has it’s strengths and weaknesses.

Who Should Use Game Improvement Irons?

Generally speaking, game improvement irons are forgiving and what the majority of golfers should be using. If you struggle with getting distance or hitting the ball straight, a game improvement iron is for you. Many companies have now started to create a category called Super Game Improvement. A super game improvement iron is considered to be an oversized iron designed for the beginner or very high handicap.

The traditional game improvement iron should be used by the average weekend golfer. If you happen to break 80 regularly, you will probably want to look more into a player’s iron than a game improvement iron.

How Do Game Improvement Irons Help?

Have you ever really thought about how difficult golf is? You are trying to hit a spot on a golf ball that is about the size of a dime with a dot on your golf club about the size of a quarter while swinging a club sometimes 100 miles per hour. It can make anyone want to quit just thinking about it.

Game improvement irons help to make that circle on the club just a little bit bigger. Even when you miss that sweet spot on a game improvement iron, they still offer you a buffer zone where your shots won’t be as bad.

You can compare playing with game improvement irons to playing with a large tennis racket, or a bigger soccer goal, it is the same concept. Game improvement irons make a challenging game that much more enjoyable.

How Much Do They Help?

As much as we wished there were magic clubs out there, they just haven’t been invented yet. Game improvement irons will make a significant difference in your ability to lower your scores, but you will need to put the time in as well. The practice is the only sure-fire way to improve your golf game.

There are a few situations where putting a game improvement iron in your hand can make a significant difference in your golf game almost immediately. If you have been playing with your uncle’s old blades from the early ’80s and you put a set of Callaway Mavrik irons in your hands, it will be life-changing.

If you are playing with the wrong equipment for your handicap, swing, age, style, etc., then game improvement will make a quick difference. If you are switching to one game improvement iron to another, you will still have to put some time in at the range (or on the putting green) to improve your scores.

Do Game Improvement Irons Look Different?

Yes, game improvement irons are going to be larger and thicker than a player’s iron. The top line on a game improvement iron is also a bit thick, but the sole is where you notice a significant difference. The sole of the club is larger to get you through difficult lies with ease.

The more substantial sole also can help you get the golf ball up in the air if you struggle with the launch in any way. It is usually pretty easy to see the difference when looking at a game improvement club compared to a players club.

Do Any Tour Pros Use Game Improvement

Most golf professionals do not use game improvement irons. They find that they don’t need the added forgiveness and distance, and the overall look of the club is a bit too big and bulky. There are a few exceptions to this. Several years ago, KJ Choi used a Ping series of irons that was a game improvement club. He liked the feel of them and played well with them, and they are certainly a legal option on tour. Most tour players are going to use a blade.

How Do I Know When To Switch Away From Game Improvement Irons

The most common question golfers have about game improvement irons is how to know when it is time to move on to a player’s iron. There are a few telltale signs that will tell you that it is time to make the switch.

The first sign to look for is your scores lowering. If you are starting to see your scores drop below 80, you are likely ready for something that is not a game improvement iron. Although there will be a bit of an adjustment period when you first make the switch, you will need the feel and workability of a player’s iron to improve much more.

Another sign to look for is that you don’t feel as though you can work the ball as much as you would like to. If you are getting to the point in your game that you want to start hitting draws and fades, the game improvement iron can be a bit tough to work with. Although it is possible to work the ball with a game improvement iron, it is much more comfortable with a forged players iron.

Lastly, you may notice that you hit the ball straight almost all of the time. If you feel as though forgiveness is no longer an issue in your game, it is time to move to an iron that gives you a better feel.

Advantages Of Game Improvement Irons

Game improvement irons are going to be your best friend for a bad day on the golf course. If your swing is a bit off and you start missing some shots left and right, you will get by with a little help from your iron friends.

Game improvement irons will help keep your shots straighter. You can miss the ball slightly and still end up just a few yards off of your target.

Since most players that need a game improvement irons could also benefit from some extra yardage, game improvement irons are also quite long. If you lack some clubhead speed and ball speed and are looking for a few extra yards, you will enjoy the game improvement iron.

Disadvantages Of Game Improvement Irons

There are two main disadvantages to a game improvement iron, and the first has to do with distance. If you get plenty of distance out of your clubs, you may find that game improvement irons go too far.

Decreased Lofts

Most of the game improvement type irons have decreased lofts and low centers of gravity. So a game improvement nine iron is more like a seven iron in a players’ iron set. This allows people to get the distance they want without sacrificing the ball flight.

However, if you struggle with direction and not distance the game improvement iron may not be the exact fit for you.

Different Feel

Secondly, the other reason game improvement irons are not for everyone is that they do not have the same feel as a forged or blade player’s iron. Feel is essential when you like to work the ball and when you want to start controlling your golf ball a little more.

This will come in time, and as your handicap lowers. You will feel when your game improvement irons begin to become difficult for you to control when trying to hit fades and draws.

What Are The Best Game Improvement Irons For 2020?

There are some great game improvement irons on the market this year. The top three are very likely the Callaway Mavrik, the TaylorMade Sim, and the Cobra Speedzone. Each of these irons is designed to help the mid handicap player become a low handicap player.

TaylorMade SIM Max Iron Set

Building off the success of the M6 series TaylorMade recently released the SIM Max iron set. This set also comes in an oversized version called the SIM Max OS. TaylorMade focuses heavily on ball speed, and these irons are no exception.

One thing about the SIM Max that stands out is the feel. The M6, M4, and M2 have all been great game improvement releases from TaylorMade, but they lacked that good forged iron feel. The SIM Max is about as close to a forged feel that a cavity back iron has ever gotten.

Even though the SIM Max are not the cheapest irons on the market, you get some great value with this set of irons.


  • Easy to launch
  • Great feeling
  • Long


  • Newer premium product pricing is high
  • The top line is a bit thick for some players

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Cobra SpeedZone Irons

Cobra has been very well known for making forgiving and easy to hit clubs that appeal to the player looking for game improvement options. The Speedzone Irons are an update from the F9 Irons of last year.

The Speedzone are some of the longest irons that Cobra has ever put out. They have a new aerodynamic head shape that helps them pick up quite a bit of speed. If you are a player looking for increased distance and forgiveness, you will like the Cobra.


  • Great distance
  • Amazing feel
  • Cobra Connect technology


  • Price a bit high since they are a new release
  • Modern shaped head design

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Callaway Mavrik Irons

Callaway Mavrik Max

The latest release from Callaway is the Mavrik Iron. The Mavrik improves upon the Rogue irons from last year. The Rogue were some of the longest and best performing irons that Callaway has ever released, but they lacked great feel on those shorter swings.

Callaway used Artificial Intelligence to create each Mavrik iron to be as high performing as it possibly can be. The lofts on the Mavrik are adjusted to increase distance, but their center of gravity is adjusted as well to make sure you can still launch the ball high.


  • Better feel than previous models
  • Long
  • Large sweet spot


  • Pricing is still high

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Here is some answer to some frequently asked questions regarding game improvement irons.

Are Game Improvement Irons Legal?

You will have a hard time finding a major manufacturer making a game improvement iron that is not tournament legal. Game improvement irons are legal. Companies like Callaway and TaylorMade work very hard to stay within the legal limits but max out their clubs as far as distance and forgiveness are concerned.

What Is The Difference Between A Game Improvement Iron And A Cavity Back?

Not much! A game improvement iron is a type of cavity back iron. Almost all game improvement irons are cavity back. The technology to make a forged iron as forgiving and long as a cavity back has not been developed quite yet.

Will New Irons Improve My Game?

If you are playing with irons that are not the right fit for you, or your technology is getting old, then you will likely benefit from new irons. When you first get your new irons, you will probably have an adjustment period where you feel like you may have made a mistake. Your body, your eyes, and your brain all need to adjust to the new feel and weighting of your club, give it some time, and it will likely be more than fine.

Is There A Club Between Game Improvement and Players Blades?

Yes, if you are not quite ready for a blade but want to break out of the game improvement irons, then look for a forged club. Forged golf clubs have a great feel, decent distance, and a good amount of forgiveness. They will be harder to hit than a game improvement but not as tricky as a player’s blade iron.


Game improvement irons are probably the reason that golf still exists today. The majority of the golfing public would be lost if golf went back to the original clubs that existed when the game first began. Don’t feel pressured to switch to a forged or blade iron, if your game benefits from a game improvement club, you should absolutely be using one!