7 Best Iron Sets Under $500 in 2023 [Expert Guide]

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Looking for the best iron sets under $500? In this article, our golf expert explores the best value buys on the market in 2023.

We are currently reaching the point with golf equipment where one iron can cost more than $250. For some of us, that’s a bit hard to justify for a casual Saturday round. However, not all hope is lost. There are still some iron sets on the market for less than $500. 

Although these may not be easy to find, I put together 7 of the best iron sets under $500 to help make golf a little more affordable. We have options for a variety of swing speeds and skill levels; let’s see if one might work for you. 

⛳️ Read More: Are Single-Length Irons a Good Option? Expert Guide

Overall Best Iron Sets Under $500

Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX Iron Set 

$439.99

Updated on 2024-02-26

Overall Best 🏆

best Iron Sets Under $500, photo of Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX Iron Set 

The Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX is the best overall iron set under $500. When this one first came to the market, it was well over $700 and even closer to $800. I like the look, feel, and overall capability of the Cleveland UHX, as it will work for a wide range of players. 

The UHX features a hollow body design in the long irons, with cavity back technology in the short irons. For golfers seeking that mix of forgiveness with control, you can find that from Cleveland. 

I was impressed with the HT1770M steel face insert and how it increased ball speed from the face. Cleveland is sticking with this V-shaped Sole technology that makes turf interaction all that much more consistent. 

Overall, this is a great buy, with plenty of technology to justify the price tag. 

🏌️‍♂️ Read More: Is Cleveland a Good Golf Brand?

PROS

  • Tour Zip grooves for great spin 
  • High ball speeds coming off the face
  • Progressive design 
  • Impressive feel for the price

CONS

  • Not quite as forgiving as some of the newer Cleveland irons 

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Best For Faster Swing Speeds

Wilson D9 Iron Set 

$499.99

Updated on 2024-02-26

Faster Swing Speeds

Wilson D9 Iron Set, best iron sets under 500

Fast swing speed golfers should be maxing out distance anywhere they can. If you feel like you are underutilizing your distance capabilities because your irons are outdated, the Wilson D9 is an affordable upgrade that is worth the money. 

The Wilson D9 are game improvement irons that produce high launch and relatively low spin. The great thing about the D9 irons is that you won’t have to do much to get extra speed; it happens naturally when you hit the center of the face. 

I even like this iron for a senior golfer on a budget. If you want something with a classic overall look, solid feel, and impressive launch, this is it.

To keep the golf iron set under $500 or around that amount, you’ll want to select steel shafts instead of graphite.

Read More: Wilson Golf – Is it a Good Brand?

PROS

  • Steeper angle of descent because of the high launch 
  • Large sweet spot 
  • Lots of distance and speed 
  • Urethane power holes for extra distance

CONS

  • Short irons don’t quite have the feel of a premium golf iron 

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Best Affordable Golf Irons

Honma XP-1 Iron Set 

$599.95

Updated on 2024-02-26

Cheap Golf Irons

Best Value Golf Iron Set, cheap golf iron set

Honma makes some really impressive golf clubs that are not inexpensive. This Honma XP-1 set is a great value as it is not a new release to the market, and therefore, the pricing has dropped a bit. With the Honma XP-1, you get an iron that looks like a tour-level iron for an incredible price. 

This particular Honma set is a game improvement type club. Many people think that Honma is only good for better players, but that is not true. 

The long irons are similar to the Cleveland UHX in that they are hollow body. The long irons also feature a tungsten sole weight to increase total launch and stability. The short irons are cavity back and allow for straight distance and more forgiveness. 

When I hit the Honma XP-1, I was a little surprised at the total price; take advantage of these while you can. 

PROS

  • Game improvement style irons 
  • Short irons built for a better feel 
  • Thin face increases ball speed 
  • Great value for iron sets under 500

CONS

  • The look is not quite as confidence-inducing as some other game improvement irons 

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Best Budget Golf Irons for Average Golfers

Tour Edge Exotics C722 Irons 

$898.99

Updated on 2024-02-26

Moderate Swing Speed

Tour Edge Exotics C722 Irons 

Tour Edge is one of the first places I looked when searching for the best golf irons under $500. 

Tour Edge has always done a great job of combining technology and affordability, and that is certainly the case with the C722 irons from Tour Edge. 

The Tour Edge Exotics C722 features the Diamond Face VFT technology. This is very similar to having a trampoline on the face of the club; if you want high ball speeds and impressive distance, you will find it. 

I like that Tour Edge made the new C722 a little smaller than the previous versions. The top-down look can now work for a moderate swing speed player who has some ability on the course. 

I think Tour Edge gets overlooked as people think it is for golfers with high handicaps or beginners, but when you look at the materials and technology used, these golf clubs are far from that. 

PROS

  • Feels a little like forged technology 
  • Thin face 
  • Smaller club head than previous versions, thinner topline 
  • Traditional lofting from iron to iron 

CONS

  • The exotics line is not the most forgiving of the Tour Edge lineup 

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Best Irons Under $500 for Beginners

Wilson Staff D300 SL Superlight Combo Iron Set

$329.95

Updated on 2024-02-26

Best for Beginners

Wilson Staff D300 SL Superlight Combo Iron Set

There are a lot of beginner golf sets for less than $500. Many beginners go with a complete set for this reason. 

However, the Wilson Staff D300 SL Superlight could be a good fit if you just want solid beginner irons. The DL Superlight has impressive accuracy, a confidence-inspiring look, and the Speed Sole Technology for improved turf interaction. 

I won’t tell you that these irons are incredibly high quality or going to last you a lifetime. However, for a few years of solid use, before you are ready for a more expensive set, the Wilson Staff D300 SL provides a good value. 

PROS

  • High ball speeds
  • Long distance 
  • Budget golf irons
  • Increased accuracy with a low center of gravity 

CONS

  • Really not designed for golfers outside of the beginner range
  • Very lightweight feel- not for faster speeds 

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Best Iron Sets for Women

Cobra Women’s T-Rail Irons

$499.99

Updated on 2024-02-26

Women’s Golf Irons

Cobra Women's T-Rail Irons, best iron set under $500 for lady golfers or near that pricepoint

The Cobra Women’s T-Rail golf irons are the best cheap golf iron set for ladies. In fact, this iron set is more like a combo set because of the hybrid-like long irons. 

The Cobra T-Rail is built more for players who need distance, high launch, and consistency. The look is a little bulky, but certainly one I could get used to, considering the price point. 

As always, Cobra uses their impressive Baffler Split rail technology to make the T-Rail irons a great solution out of any lie. The bottom of the iron cuts through thick rough with ease. Although 

I don’t have a Cobra hybrid right now, the Cobra hybrids I have owned have all cut through the rough with tremendous speed and power. 

The Cobra Golf T-Rail women’s set is also something I recommend for senior ladies because of its weighting and overall consistency. 

PROS

  • Hybrid like technology in affordable golf irons
  • Impressive turf interaction 
  • Forged E9 Face with both distance and forgiveness 

CONS

  • The club head is bulky
  • It can take a little time to get used to the short iron feel 

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Best Used Golf Irons Under $500

Best Used Golf Irons

Cobra RadSpeed Iron Set - Used Golf Iron Set

I was hoping the Cobra RadSpeed iron sets were under $500, but they have not quite reached that point yet. However, I was happy to find that there are plenty of used RadSpeed irons out there for really fair pricing. 

Used clubs, as long as they have gone through an inspection, are a great option for golfers on a budget. Let’s face it: people spend a lot of money on golf equipment, and sometimes they only use it for a month or two. 

The RadSpeed iron set features extreme heel and toe weighting that has helped to improve overall distance and forgiveness. In addition, the new Forged PWRShell Face is made with a thin 17.4 stainless steel to improve overall flex and speed when you make contact. 

I can call this a premium technology iron with full confidence and tell you that finding a set of these is a great bargain for the mid-handicapper looking for both accuracy and distance. 

Read some of the rave reviews on this golf club set:

“I purchased this iron set used in very good condition….they arrived almost brand new. The clubs look amazing with the 3D printing and are very forgiving. They make a unique soft cracking sound when hit which I don’t mind at all, and are already making the game more fun.”

– Colton, Used Cobra RadSpeed iron set reviews

PROS

  • High ball speed 
  • Extreme forgiveness 
  • Clean looking game improvement iron 
  • Powerful feel at impact
  • Premium golf irons

CONS

  • Make sure to factor in pricing for new grips on your used clubs 

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How To Choose The Best Iron Sets Under 500

Best Iron Sets Under 500 showing gentleman hitting for irons for a tee shot

What is the biggest thing you must look out for when looking for golf iron sets under $500? 

Junk. 

To tell you the truth, if you are not careful, you could end up with an iron set that is not even worth the $500 you spent. Truly, the key to finding the right irons (for a good value) is to look at clubs that may be 9-24 months old. 

You won’t get the latest technology, but they are still new, and chances are they will still be an upgrade from what you have currently. 

Here are a few other things to keep in mind: 

Material Quality Standards

One of the biggest indicators of whether or not your golf clubs will be of high quality is the material used in their manufacturing. When you look at product descriptions for new golf irons, make sure you are considering what golf technology was put into the clubs. 

You don’t have to know a lot about golf club manufacturing. Instead, look for words like forged stainless, tungsten, and high-strength steel. Essentially, try to ensure that the manufacturer also invested in these irons when making them. 

Golf Club Shaft

The shaft option is just as important as the club head when it comes to performance. 

Many of the best iron sets under $500 will have a steel shaft; graphite shafts tend to cost a bit more. 

I know it’s tempting to try and make an affordable set of golf clubs work for your budget, but if you can’t find the shaft flex and style you need, don’t waste your money. Many of the irons on my list have Dynamic Gold or KBS shafts in them, which are very high quality. 

Golf Grips 

Grips on golf clubs from major manufacturers will likely be Golf Pride, Winn, or Lamkin. These are great grips and will keep you from replacing them for at least a season or two. 

However, when you look at some off-brand golf irons for less than $500, you may find cheaper grips that don’t last nearly as long. A new grip costs around $8-$12 per club and sometimes as much as $15 when you look at the installation. 

Cheap clubs can get back at you if you are not careful about investing in quality. 

⛳️ Read More: Standard or Midsize Grips – Which to Buy?

Club Set Makeup 

A set of clubs with 7 irons priced at $500 is better than a set of clubs with 6 irons priced at $500. 

Ensure you know what you are paying for when investing in new golf irons. Some of the lower priced sets may be only 5 or 6 irons, making it hard to stay within budget. 

Used vs New Golf Irons

Used golf clubs will certainly save you some money. However, I would suggest purchasing used golf clubs under 5 years old. When you purchase used clubs that are older than this, you may be dealing with issues in performance. 

The only exception would be a set of golf clubs that were barely hit. 

I don’t know about you, but I played a lot of golf in a 5-year span, and I know my irons have seen better days after that ⅘ year mark. Don’t pay for something that’s not worth buying! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best golf irons for affordable prices?

The best golf irons for an affordable price are the Cleveland UHX irons. These game improvement style clubs offer high launch, penetrating flight, and solid distance performance. 

Is it better to have steel or graphite shafts?

Steel and graphite shafts can be good, depending on your swing speed. Graphite shafts allow slower swing speed players to maximize distance; steel shafts are better for control. 

Is it easier to hit a hybrid or an iron?

Most golfers find a golf iron and a hybrid equally easy to hit. However, when you put a golf ball in the rough, the hybrid is considerably easier because of the design of the club head. 

Can you get good golf irons for less than $500? 

Finding a great set of golf irons for less than $500 takes a bit of patience and research. However, it is possible to make sure that you look for high-quality materials and technology that will benefit your specific game before you invest. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Iron Sets Under $500

I hope you now feel as though you have some options for less than $500 for a new set of irons. I can’t tell you that these are the best irons on the market, but they offer great value. The Wilson and Cobra brand names are a great place to look, but Cleveland took the top spot with that UHX iron

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AUTHOR

Brittany Olizarowicz is a Class A PGA Professional Golfer with nearly 30 years of experience. Many of her teaching years were spent training senior golfers. In recent years, Britt's career has moved to golf writing, where she shares her knowledge with a global audience. Britt is still a scratch golfer and enjoys playing golf with her husband and two young children several times a week.

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