I want to make one thing absolutely clear: lightweight irons are not always better.
The lighter the clubs, the faster you can swing. However, the faster you can swing, the larger your misses are going to be and the less consistent that you’ll be.
Who Benefits From Lightweight Irons?
Who benefits from super lightweight clubs? Those that have very slow swing speeds. Typically, senior golfers and men that simply have slow swing speeds for other reasons (bad flexibility, short arms, low athleticism) are the ones who should buy light weight irons. An easy way to determine if you should buy lighter clubs is if you 1) get tired at the end of your round due to the weight of your clubs or 2) if you know that you should be hitting the ball further than you currently are.
When I say “lightweight”, I’m referring to the overall weight of the iron. The overall weight is made up of the club head, the shaft, and the grip. The club head weight makes the biggest difference when it comes to increasing your club head speed, but the shaft is not far behind in importance.
One last thing: the irons that I’ll talk about in this post are all going to have graphite (not steel) shafts. Graphite shafts are FAR lighter than steel shafts, and they are also easier on your joints. Steel shafts have no role in the bag of a senior’s clubs, except for a putter (maybe) and a wedge (maybe).
Sorry for the long introduction. Here are the four lightest sets of irons for men.
1) XXIO Prime 11 Iron Set
If money is not a concern, then XXIO is going to be your go-to brand for the lightest clubs on the market. They dominated our article about the lightest men’s drivers, and their irons also take the gold without much contest.
Considering that their entire business model is selling light weight & forgiving clubs, they’ve become pretty popular for senior golfers. Their main customer base is overseas, but the Americas are seeing a big increase in popularity.
The XXIO Prime irons are the lightest irons that have ever been produced for men (ignoring the cheap off-brand clubs that won’t perform well at all). It’s truly amazing that they can make an iron set so durable, forgiving, and long hitting – all while staying extremely light weight.
Unfortunately, most company’s don’t often list the weight of their iron club heads, and they never give a total for the entire iron either. XXIO is the one exception – bless their soul. I’m betting that the other companies simply can’t match their “lightweight-ness”.
- The lightest irons that you can buy
- Very forgiving design that’s great for mid to high handicap golfers
- Made by a brand that specializes in lightweight club for seniors, unlike the other brands that just so happen to make some models for seniors
- crazy expensive
- can sometimes be difficult to find
- extremely difficult to test out before you buy
2) Cobra F-Max Airspeed Irons
Cobra doesn’t necessarily make the lightest clubs on the market, but they are getting better with their super game improvement line of clubs (F-Max). The latest Cobra F-Max Airspeed iron set has been their lightest irons that the brand has ever made, and it’s 15 grams lighter than their previous lightest set of irons. The Airspeed irons saved 3 grams with a lighter clubhead, 5 grams with a lighter shaft, and 7 grams with a lighter grip.
Other than the weight of the club, the Cobra F-Max Airspeed clubs are incredible forgiving and high launching. That’s a great combination for the majority of senior golfers that struggle with hitting the center of the clubhead and with getting enough height on their iron shots.
- lightweight design to help you swing your irons faster
- very forgiving and high launching set
- less offset on shorter irons for a sleeker look; more offset on longer irons for a better impact position
- not as light as the other brands mentioned here
- still on the pricey side of irons
3) Wilson Staff D200 Irons
Wilson has been hit hard in the past 10 years. Not many golfers are buying their clubs, even though their prices are far below other brands. The one thing that many golfers don’t realize is this: Wilson makes some of the lightest clubs on the market. Their D series of golf clubs continues to be some of the lightest clubs each year, which are great for seniors golfers that want to hit the ball further.
The Wilson Staff D200 irons appear to be the lightest irons that Wilson has made. Same was the true with the D200 driver, as well. Although the weight difference between the D100 and D300 sets is minimal at best, any weight savings will help.
- best value option of the four… BY FAR
- very lightweight shafts, clubhead, and even grip!
- tons of perimeter weighting for extra forgiveness
- not as highly reviewed as the other clubs, but that’s probably portrayed in the price anyway
- their graphite shaft option (which is what you want) is far more rare than their heavier steel-shafted option
- clubs look noticeably cheaper overall, especially at address
4) Callaway Epic Flash Star Iron Set
Callaway used to be king of the lightweight irons with their old Big Bertha iron set with super light graphite shafts. However, they seemed to get away from the lightweight focus, instead shifting their priority to increased ball speeds via thinner club faces.
The Callaway Epic Star Flash irons are unlike anything that they’ve made before. It features a lightweight & forgiving design of a game improvement iron, but with a minimalist, compact profile and forged feel of a players iron.
Although the Callaway Epic Star Flash irons are a little pricy, you may find that they are worth it due to the lightweight design that can allow you to launch the ball higher than ever before. Before you spend this money money, I’d highly recommend that you get fitted first, so that you can find the optimal shaft and head combination for YOUR game.
- best looking iron of the four in my opinion
- Callaway’s lightest weight iron set in the past decade
- much better distance control than the three others
- great feel and sound at impact compared to the other clubs, due to the forged construction
- very pricey due to the recent release
- not quite as forgiving as the other three
Some XXIO irons have a titanium face which may provide multiple benefits. The face provides longer distance but at an increased cost and life of the club may be shorter. We will see more irons with this feature as distance becomes a high priority for some.
I appreciate your honest comments. I was just 80 still play twice a week. Handicap is 12 from the senior tees. Swing speed with driver 173 just bought a 7 hybrid iron from wedgewood golf. Looks more like a wood with a 7 iron loft. Have played with it yet what do you think.
Sorry meant 73 mph.