The Most Forgiving Golf Clubs: Pick the One That Suits You Best

The truth is, every golfer would like to their ball fly a bit higher and go a little further – this is particularly true when it comes to beginners, and medium to high-handicap golfers, that tend to miss the sweet spot more often. If you feel this way, too, you’ve come to the right place.

Stick around to learn more about the most forgiving golf clubs and how to choose the one that will benefit your game the most.​

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:59 PST - Details

Editor’s Choice: Callaway Steelhead XR Hybrid

Callaway Golf WD STEELHEAD XR 3H Hybrid, Graphite Shaft, Regular Flex, Right
  • More Speed and Distance from a Larger Face and Next-Gen Hyper Speed Face Cup Technology: A larger clubface energized by our next-generation Hyper Speed Face Cup technology promotes faster ball speed for more ball speed, especially on off-center hits
  • Easy Launch, High Flight and Long Carry from a Larger Head and Deep-back CG: Larger head and deep-back CG make XR Steelhead hybrids easier to launch high for more carry and distance
  • Faster Head Speed for More Distance from Speed Step Technology: Designed with the assistance of aerodynamic experts, Callaway's Speed Step Technology improves airflow to promote faster club head speed for more distance
  • Increased Forgiveness from a Refined Head Shape: We maximized the forgiveness of the head by creating a slightly deeper body and longer blade length, making the Steelhead XR hybrid easy to hit from a wide variety of lies both on and off the fairway
  • Stock Steel Shaft: True Temper XP 95 Stepless; Stock Graphite Shaft: Matrix F16

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:59 PST - Details

Defining Forgiveness in Golf​

If you’re new to golf and someone told you that buying a set of forgiving golf clubs is your best bet, you might be left wondering what exactly did they mean. We’re here to let you in on a secret language of golfers; when a golf club is forgiving, that merely indicates it has specific design features that will forgive you for some of the mistakes you make on the golf course. The higher your handicap, the more forgiveness you’ll need in your golf clubs.

Even though golf clubs that are made to offer a lot of forgiveness to a player can technically be called „game improvement clubs,“ you’ll still need to put in a lot of effort into improving your shots. It all comes down to perfecting your contact with the ball and lessening the chances of hitting it off-center (in the world of golf, this is called „missing the sweet spot“).

Which Clubs are Usually Found in a Golfer’s Bag?

We thought it would be a good idea to help you get a clearer picture of how many different types of clubs make up a complete golf set, just in case you’re entirely new to golf. According to USGA, a golfer is allowed to carry up to 14 clubs in his bag; of course, if you’re a beginner, you won’t need as much. For the sake of this article, we’ll go through what can typically be found in a golfer’s bag and explain each golf club type and its purpose along the way.

A good starting point for each golfer would be a set that consists of:​

That is what a standard 12-piece set looks like; as we said earlier, golfers are allowed to have a maximum of 14 clubs while at the course, so what most players like to do is to include an additional Wedge (or two).

All this may seem like a bunch of random words to a newbie, so let’s move on to explaining each golf club category and its function.​

  • Woods – Even though they don't make them using wood since the 1980s, the name persists; this category includes two sub-types, the driver, and the fairway woods. You can recognize them by their large heads (the largest of all golf clubs) that are typically hollow and long shafts. These golf clubs are used for extended shots, and every golfer should have at least three woods in their bag.
  • Irons Irons come in numbered sets (from 3 to 9-irons) and as the number of the iron gets higher, the loft increases, while the shaft shortens.Sometimes referred to as blades, these clubs are known for their thin heads (especially in comparison to woods) and angled faces.
  • Hybrids – Hybrids are a combination of fairway woods (regarding clubhead design) and irons (regarding shaft length) and are the newest category of golf clubs – they entered the mainstream world of golf at the beginning of the 21st century. To avoid any further confusion, keep in mind these are often called “utility” or “rescue” clubs.
  • Wedges – Even though they are, in essence, a sub-type of irons (because their club heads are similar), wedges are also considered an independent category. They are designed as blade clubs and are highest-lofted of all because these are the features needed when you get closer to the greens. There are several types of wedges – the gar wedge, the pitching wedge, the sand wedge, and the lob wedge (and ultra-lob wedge).
  • Putters – Their name comes as a result of their purpose – these clubs are used to put the ball in the hole. As a beginner, you couldn’t even begin to imagine the diversity of designs when it comes to these golf clubs.Ultimately, that isn’t what determines your choice of putter – it’s the feeling you get when you play with them.

How to Tell if a Golf Club is Forgiving?

So, what exactly constitutes as a forgiving golf club in terms of construction and design and how do you know what to look for regarding forgiveness?

Large Sweet Spot​

If you’ve already spent some time on the golf course, then you’ve probably heard other players talking about something called the sweet spot. That’s the ideal place for the club and ball to make contact – beginners and high-handicap players have a lot of problems with this, as you might know. The good thing about forgiving golf clubs is that their sweet spot is significantly larger, thus giving you more room for errors.​

​Perimeter Weighting

When forgiving golf clubs were first introduced in the golf world (in 1967), the leading innovation was that the weight of the club’s head was moved away from the center and distributed around the perimeter. That resulted in a much bigger sweet spot, providing a lot more forgiveness to those unfortunate off-center hits.

Low Center of Gravity (LCG)​

If getting the ball off the ground is one of your significant weaknesses, you should look for golf clubs that have a back-set and low center of gravity. With the weight shifted to the bottom of the club, your ability to hit the ball and see it fly not only far, but high, too, will be significantly increased.

Moment of Inertia (MOI)​

We’re sure you’ve heard about the moment of inertia before; in golf, it applies to the club’s resistance to twisting (or angular acceleration, if you wish to get all technical about it). The increased moment of inertia is directly linked to the changes made by Karsten Solheim (the inventor of forgiving golf clubs) in the 1950s. This new distribution of mass improved MOI and resulted in what we today know as forgiveness in golf clubs.​

The Most Forgiving Golf Clubs: Our Top Five Picks​

1. Callaway Steelhead XR Hybrid – The Ultimate Rescue Golf Club

Remember what we said about having at least one hybrid in your golfing bag? Well, the Callaway Steelhead XR Hybrid is the one to get.

All beginners and golfers with a higher handicap know that hitting your longer irons, and especially fairway woods can be a bit difficult at times.That's the main reason why more and more players are turning to these clubs for help. Because they are a combination of woods and irons, hybrids are often referred to as the utility clubs; their purpose is to provide some consistency to your game.

This Callaway’s club offers everything you should look for in a hybrid – it’s the ultimate „rescue“ golf club. With their many innovative features, these clubs will take good care of your shots (even the ones that missed the sweet spot) and provide a smooth launch and longer ball flight, as well as a lot of forgiveness.

The only thing we feel we should mention as a drawback is the price – this Callaway’s hybrid is by no means budget-friendly. However, the cost shouldn’t be as big of an issue if you keep in mind what you’ll be getting for the money – one of the most forgiving hybrids in the world of golf.​


PROS

  • Larger clubface
  • Hyper Speed Face Cup Technology
  • Speed Step Technology for more distance
  • The center of gravity is set low and in the back

CONS

  • They aren’t budget-friendly

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:59 PST - Details

2. Callaway Men's XR OS Iron Set – Irons for High-Handicap Golfers

Let’s face it – traditional irons are not everyone’s cup of tea; if you’re a mid to high-handicap player, then you know what we mean by this. When your goal is to see the ball fly as high and as far away as possible, but you’ve not quite mastered the art of golf yet, then forgiving irons are what you’re looking for – and Callaway has your back in this.

Yes, the Callaway XR OS Iron set is a bit pricier when it comes to iron sets. However, once you learn about the amount of forgiveness it offers and how customizable it is, we're sure you'll realize it would be a good investment into your future as a golfer, no matter how high your handicap level is.

One of the main things that we need to mention is the outstanding Cup 360 Technology that allows some flex at impact and provides a higher ball speed; also, it cancels out the consequences of an off-center shot.

The combination of broader soles and a center of gravity set low and in the back, these clubs are made to provide forgiveness and consistency in your shots, no matter how much you struggle with finding the right impact location. These irons will make sure your ball flies as high and as far as possible while requiring very little effort on your part; this makes them ideal for high-handicap golfers.​


PROS

  • Low, back-set center of gravity
  • Works great for high-handicap players
  • Wider soles
  • Unique Cup 360 Technology
  • Customizable
  • High MOI

CONS

  • It’s on the pricier side

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:28 PST - Details

3. Cobra Men's Fly Z Fairway Woods – Turns Out Forgiving Fairway Woods Do Exist

For those knowledgeable on the topic of golf, forgiving fairway woods might seem impossible to imagine. Most of them would say that those terms don’t even belong in the same sentence, unless there’s a „not“ in it, too. Lately, however, there’s been a rise in the tendency to make woods more approachable for high-handicap players; as a result, we have the Cobra Fly Z fairway woods.

The low and back-set center of gravity is assured by the Crown Zone Weight Technology; the weight is removed from the crown of the club and set further in the back. Since it’s removed from the key areas (like the face and the hosel), the sweet spot is enlarged, allowing for more speed even when an off-center shot occurs.

The MyFly8 Technology offers eight different loft settings; the issue with clubs that have an adjustable hosel is that the face approach angle inevitably alters when you adjust the loft. Cobra, however, dealt with this problem with their SmartPad Technology, which provides a square address, no matter what the loft settings are.

With all that’s been said, it’s clear that the Cobra Fly Z woods were designed with high-handicap golfers in mind.​


PROS

  • Crown Zone Weighting Technology
  • The center of gravity is back-set and low
  • Eight loft/trajectory settings
  • Speed Channel Face increases speed
  • Recommended for high-handicap players
  • Provides a square address regardless of the loft settings

CONS

  • The clubhead is quite heavy

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:59 PST - Details

4. Cure Putters RX4 Golf Putter – Off-The-Chart MOI

Let’s talk about your putter; how’s your current model working out for you? If you think you should replace your old one for a new, more forgiving model, we have a putter we’d like to suggest – the Cure Putter RX4.

Can we just state the obvious here: when it comes to MOI, there’s probably no way any other putter you’ve ever played with that could compare to this one. Seriously, we’re talking about an off-the-charts moment of inertia.

For additional directional control, you can add weight discs (up to 200 grams), and the Triangulation Alignment System will aid in visual alignment, which will improve your strike angle. Even the lie angle is adjustable (from 62 to 80 degrees); this putter offers some serious customization. On top of that, the large head with a hollowed-out face provides a sweet spot like no other.

Yes, we know it looks a bit like a toy design-wise, but that shouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing; if you’re willing to look past its design, this putter will be more than forgiving. With its extremely high MOI, customizable weight system, adjustable lie angle, and the Triangulation Alignment System, this putter will provide the needed forgiveness for your off-center shots.​


PROS

  • Up to 200 grams weight adjustments
  • Triangulation Alignment System
  • Extremely high moment of inertia
  • Adjustable lie angle

CONS

  • The design makes it look a bit like a toy

Cure Putters RX4 Offset Golf Putter, 34", Right Hand
Veritas Golf LLC, dba Cure Putters - Sports

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:59 PST - Details

5. Mizuno Golf- S5 Forged Blue Ion Wedge – Get the Hang of Your Wedges Easily

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:59 PST - Details

If you can use hybrids when you have a problem with playing longer irons, then why shouldn’t you be able to get a little help with your wedge game, too, right? That’s why we decided to include the Mizuno Golf S5 wedges on our list – these are one of the most forgiving wedges you’ll be able to find on the market. In case you’re having some issues getting the hang of your wedges, these are the ones to buy.

Appearance-wise, the most striking feature of these clubs is their beautiful blue finish – we’re sure they will look great on the golf course, even as it gradually wears down from use. Underneath this blue skin is a wedge forged from the pure, high-grade carbon steel, that offers a solid, yet soft feel to the player.

Even though these wedges do lack more bounce and grind options, this is mainly an issue for more experienced players; a beginner or a high handicapper will, however, benefit from this. Due to the versatile sole grinds, these wedges are made to provide optimal impact from an array of lies. On top of that, the large head and face of the club will give some additional forgiveness to the player.

When it comes to wedges, this Mizuno model truly aspires to be the one to have your back on the golf course if you’re a high-handicap player.​


PROS

  • Ideal wedge for high-handicappers and beginners
  • Beautiful blue finish
  • Forged from high-grade carbon steel
  • Versatile sole grinds

CONS

  • Spin isn’t as high, but that’s an issue for better players

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 08:59 PST - Details

The Final Verdict: Find What Works for You

We searched the market to find the most forgiving golf club in each of the categories we’ve talked about, so there’s no way to declare the best one on our list – every single pick is the best at what it’s made to do. However, if you’re curious about which one offers the most forgiveness, then yes, we have an overall winner – the Callaway Steelhead XR Hybrid.

But keep in mind that even the most forgiving golf club in the world could (and should) never replace the time and effort put into perfecting your shot. But in the meantime, you can rely on these forgiving clubs to help you with your scores.

Lydia Lim
 

My name is Lydia Lim, and I am a proud mother of one beautiful boy called Jack. I’ve been blessed with a happy and fulfilling life, and I am as happy as I can be. My hubby is a passionate golfer, and he introduced me to the sport in September, 2014. Since that day, I fell in love at the first swing.

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