Best Golf Irons Under $500 Review

We love to golf and that is the reason we write about it and share our insights with you. As such, we can all agree that golf irons are anything but cheap. Yes, there are a few cheap ones e.g. Benross, but they are more of the exception other than the rule. A new set of Callaway, Titleist, or Ping irons will surely break your bank. So, the question begs, can one get an iron set for less than $500? Continue reading this best golf irons under $500 review to find out.

What To Look For

To answer the above question: It will require a bit of due diligence but it can be done. For starters, some really great irons pass through the cracks without people noticing them. This could be due to several factors e.g. forces of supply and demand, or wrong timing. This way, great clubs die out without receiving the reputation they deserve. Here are some few tips to get you started on a great set under $500.

Be Willing to Buy Used Clubs

Used clubs does not necessarily mean they are in terrible condition. With rapid turnovers from major golf manufacturers, there is oversaturation of irons on the market. Therefore people get rid of old but great irons in pursuit of the newer ‘better’ irons (notice the quotations). You can thus purchase a really good set for far less than $500.

Buy From the Underdogs

Yes, famous brands (Titleist, Ping, Taylormade etc.) do manufacture solid products but so do the underdogs such as Hireko and Benross. To spice it up the underdogs do it for a much lower price. Therefore be willing to check their products. You will be surprised. I know I was.

Whenever a New Set is Released, Buy the Old (Previous) Version

Nothing lowers the cost of an existing model than the release of a new one. The hype and shift in demand result in prices of the older versions falling.

Best Golf Irons Under $500 Comparison Table

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Name

Pros

Cons

Rating

Callaway X-20 Irons
  • One of the longer irons
  • Amazing consistency throughout the set​
  • Easy to launch
  • Ball flight is too high
Ping G10 Irons
  • The consistency in the irons is unrivaled
  • Quite forgiving​
  • Amazing yardage
  • Not suitable for players who want control over their shots
Cobra S2 Irons
  • Improved accuracy 
  • Extra carry distance​
  • Little to no vibration
  • The suppressed feedback can be too dull
Ping Rapture Irons
  • Easy to hit
  • Great looks
  • The feel does not match the looks
Cleveland CG Gold Irons
  • Perfect for anyone looking for playability and forgiveness
  • Easy to launch
  • The appearance could be better

Best Golf Irons Under $500 Review

Before we get started, always remember that a great iron is one that meets your requirements. Irons might have excellent reviews but if they don’t meet your requirements, they aren’t good for you. Here are some real life examples of great irons below US$500.

Our Rating:

Callaway X-20 Irons

Kicking us off is the Callaway X-20. This is a game improvement iron aimed at mid and high handicappers. However, this is not to say that low handicappers cannot benefit from these irons.

They were actually used by Rocco Mediate at the US open at Torrey Pines back in 2008 when he came close to beating the legendary Tiger Woods. This goes to show how good they are and had to be on this list of top rated irons under $500.

The X-20 are a nice evolution of the Callaway shape. They are irons that will look great in your hands, in the bag, and will instill a lot of confidence at address thanks to their thick top line.

These irons have a wide sole which improves turf interaction i.e. it reduces divots. The feeling at impact is a great solid feel. Quite appealing.

Being game improvement irons, the X-20s are some forgiving irons. They also feature some cutting edge technology. With their extreme notch weighting, they redistribute weight to the perimeter enlarging the sweet spot. The 180® undercut also enlarges the hitting area by lowering the Center of Gravity (CG) and taking it further back. This also stabilizes the club making it more forgiving.

With the progressive wall reduction system, the engineers can lower the CG improving the fell and playability. Other techs in these irons are the VFT which maximizes ball speed, S2H2 which increase discretionary weight by moving it from the hosel and repositioning it in the perimeter of the club head.

Pros

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    One of the longer irons
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    Amazing consistency throughout the set
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    Quite forgiving
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    Easy to launch

Cons

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    Ball flight is too high which can be an issue on those windy days

Our Rating:

Ping G10 Irons

The Ping G10 is a golf digest hot list gold medal winner. Yes, that’s how these irons are. They are game improvement irons meant for high handicappers which are fine tuned for an awesome design and finish giving them a great appeal.

The offset in these irons varies from the long irons to the short irons. In the long irons, they have optimized the amount of offset to make them more forgiving. As we all know, this means straight shots even on off-center strikes.

However, with the short irons, they have reduced the offsets to increase playability. This means more workability i.e. you have more control over your shots.

The Ping G10 features a cavity back which allows for perimeter weighting. This is the reason as to why these irons are quite forgiving. The perimeter weighting enlarges the sweet spot which results in a higher MOI. The elastomer custom tuning port (CTP) and controls vibrations gives the irons some really good solid feel.

​The G10s also feature a wide sole enhancing turf interaction. With their ascending weight technology, they are able to achieve some good consistency. Ascending weight technology means having light shafts in the long irons to allow for fast swing speeds and heavy shafts for the long irons which allow more control.

Pros

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    The consistency in the irons is unrivaled
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    Quite forgiving
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    Amazing yardage

Cons

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    Will not appeal to purists who demand more control over their shots

Our Rating:

Cobra S2 Irons

The cobra S2 come in third in this top rated irons under $500 list. These are game improvement irons meant for the low to mid handicappers. They happen to be the more forgiving irons aimed at this niche.

The S2 are nice and light which increases their swing speed. This is a result of top notch technology that was used in the design and manufacture of these irons.

For starters, their multi-material design helps them achieve their high level of playability. The lightweight polymer top-line allows Cobra engineers to push the discretionary weight into the toe and heel areas to increase MOI.

It also allows them to expand the urethane sole insert lowering COG. To spice it all up, they are able to insert a mid-width stepped sole which greatly improves turf interaction. With the S2, you don’t have to worry about those embarrassing divots.

More technology in the S2 is the aluminum back plate which is tuned to lower the harsh vibrations. The cavity back design combined with the 431 steel face create 9 spots on the clubface thus enlarging the sweet spot.

Pros

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    Improved accuracy and forgiveness
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    Generates some extra carry distance
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    Very stable with a great cushioned hit i.e. little to no vibration
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    Black elastomer strip reduces glare and looks great at address

Cons

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    The suppressed feedback can be too dull

See full review of the irons here.

Our Rating:

Ping Rapture Irons

The Rapture has to be Pings’ best-looking iron ever. It is a high-performance iron which is amazingly forgiving and helps you achieve maximum yardage.

It does not feature that much advanced technology apart from the fact that it’s a multi-material iron. It has a titanium face, a steel body, and a tungsten toe weight.

This multi-material technology makes the Rapture a high-performance iron. To spice it up, the titanium face is 25 grams lighter meaning the weight can be moved to the perimeters and as a result enlarges the sweet spot.

The G10 also features a wide sole which improves turf interaction i.e. reduces the divots. It instills a lot of confidence at address and is versatile from any turf.

Pros

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    Easy to hit
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    Great looks

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    The feel does not match the looks

Our Rating:

Cleveland CG Gold Irons

Cleveland has been making some of the best irons available but they just don’t get the attention and coverage they deserve. Their irons have been played in the PGA tour and had to make it onto this top rated irons under $500 list.

The Cleveland Gold is an improvement iron that is aimed at the mid handicappers. As a high handicapper, unless you want to improve your swings, I would not advise you to pick one of these.

They fall between blades and cavity backs and perform just as they were intended to, providing a certain level of forgiveness and workability. Strike the ball well/dead center and the results are just amazing.

Strike it near the toe or heel and the iron will let you know (great feedback) but will not punish you severely. The only noticeable technology on the CG is the “gelback” material at the bottom of the irons. This material is a vibration dampening material which is viscoelastic and situated right behind the hitting area. The microcavity in the Cleveland CG gold improves stability and forgiveness.

Pros

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    Perfect for anyone looking for playability and forgiveness
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    Easy to launch

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    The appearance could be better

The Takeaway

Well, there you have it: the best irons under US$500. These irons are some of the best but rarely got the attention they deserved and slipped right through the cracks. They are irons other players will go gooey for at the range. However, it’s important to test irons to ensure they are a good fit for you.

Hope you enjoyed the read and found the article enlightening. Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below otherwise a share will be appreciated. Fairways and greens to you!

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