Best Golf Clubs for Teens and Juniors Transitioning to Adult Irons

Taylormade P790 junior transition irons

Parents of junior golfers are often unsure about when kids should move from junior golf clubs into adult clubs. In addition it can be tricky to choose suitable adult size golf clubs for juniors that are transitioning from kids clubs to adult clubs.

Below are factors to consider for juniors transitioning from lighter weight kids clubs to adult clubs. We also provide some examples of adult clubs for different skill levels. These considerations are also appropriate for teens beginning golf.

teen golf irons

Overview

This guide is intended for juniors that are approx. 12 years old and up although, depending the size and strength of a junior, it is possible that juniors younger than 12 could benefit from using adult irons. 

For younger juniors that need a lighter golf club and are not yet ready for adult clubs go to this article: Best Kids Golf Clubs. 

Intermediate to advanced junior golfers with a driver swing speed over ~85 mph (e.g, over 200 yards driver distance) can benefit from using adult golf clubs. Note that although major brands sell cheaper golf club sets that are specifically marketed for juniors from approximately 12-15 years old, these are generally cheaper options and are not the same quality and do not perform nearly as well as most adult adult clubs. 

Club fitting should be considered for advanced junior golfers. Fitting the right shaft is critical for juniors since the length and flex of the shafts changes the performance of clubs significantly.

junior golf irons

How to Choose Junior Transition Irons

With so many options out there it is easy to to feel overwhelmed in selecting junior transition irons and this can easily lead to "paralysis by analysis". All of the major club manufacturers have irons that are suitable for all levels of juniors from beginner to advanced.

Considerations for buying junior or teen golf clubs:

Budget

Tip: if you want to keep costs down there are many online shops and classified sites that sell high quality new and used golf clubs. Two of our favorites are eBay and Callaway Golf Preowned. The Global Golf shop on eBay is trusted source for quality used clubs as use them frequently. 

There are also many very good "prior season" iron sets that sell at heavily discounted prices compared to current year models. We recommend that you only buy new iron sets from a reputable shop such the dealer itself (e.g. Callaway or TaylorMade) or from a reputable shop such as PGA Superstore or CarlsGolfland

Size and strength

Do not be in too much of a rush to move younger kids into adult clubs. US Kids Golf and Flynn Golf are still some of the best junior golf clubs available, especially for slower swing speeds and tempo. 

Junior skill level 

Intermediate or beginner junior golfers should look for irons with more forgiveness. See examples of clubs for different skill levels below.

Look and feel of clubs

Take your junior to the local golf shop to look at various models. Look at clubs in other juniors' golf bags, ask if you can take a closer look at them and perhaps even swing them. Many golf club pro shops and coaches have demo irons that juniors can try.

Fitting

If possible, professional fitting is highly recommended and is usually around $100 or less. Most of the large golf brands websites (such as Callaway, Ping, and TaylorMade) have club selector tools / have on-line fitting guides, some of which also that take into account size, swing speed, handicap etc. and you can order directly from them.


Junior Transition Irons

Below are examples of irons for juniors and teens, based on different levels of experience and expertise.

Weight: The club head weight of adult clubs (using a 6 iron as a baseline) ranges from approx. 252 grams to 265 grams. As a comparison, the US Kids Tour Series 6 iron (size 60 & 63) is approx. 250 grams. 

Swing weight: The swing weight of a club determines how "heavy" the club feels and is affected by the weight of all components including club head, shaft and grip. This is one reason that cut down adult clubs are not suitable for juniors, i.e. they are too "head heavy". The table below shows recommended swing weights for junior golfers (boys and girls charts) vs swing weights for typical adult men and women.

Swing weights for junior golfer

Callaway

Callaway has such a large selection of irons currently on the market (no less than 20 different head options), that it can be difficult to figure out the best options for a regular golfer, never mind a junior golfer. Below is a summary of recent model Callaway irons:

  • Paradym Irons: Introduced in 2023 the Paradym series includes options that are suitable for beginners through advanced juniors. Overall similar performance to the Rogue ST line but tend to have slightly more player iron look and feel.
  • Rogue ST Series: These irons are designed for distance, accuracy and playability. Good value clubs, starting at ~$799 for a set of 7 irons at PGA Superstore. Very suitable as junior transition irons and reviewed in detail below.
  • Mavrik Pro, Mavrik and Mavrik Max: Launched in early 2020, the Mavrik series replaces the very good prior season Rogue series. The Pro is aimed at the more advanced player but is forgiving enough for most intermediate golfers to be able to use. 
  • Apex 21 lineApex 19 line, Apex 16 line, Apex Pro: The Apex is Callaway's flagship iron and is used by many tour pro's. It has been around for a few years and is regularly tweaked for new technologies. There is Apex iron for all levels from beginner to advanced juniors. Priced from ~$1,050 for a set of 7 irons. See detailed review below.
  • X Forged CB: Less forgiving than all other Callaway irons except the Apex MB. On the more expensive side, starting at ~$1,140 for a set of 7 irons. 
  • Big Bertha, 2023, 2021 and older Big Bertha models: These are high MOI, weight distribution for optimal forgiveness. Super Game Improvement irons that weigh from 255 to 260 grams. Typically have an offset face with a wide sole that provides for maximum forgiveness and high launch.
  • Epic, Epic Pro and Epic Star: high end irons, expensive materials, the latest technologies, high ball speed, forgiveness and performance. These are "Game Improvement irons" and the Epic and Epic Pro both weigh 260 grams. The Epic irons are one of Callaway's premium product and thus are very expensive (twice the price of the Mavrik and Rogue models). Starting at $1,750 for a set of 7 irons and $2,100 for a set of 7 Epic Star irons. 

Buying advice - below we have provided links to some good buying options. We also like the excellent Callaway Golf Pre-Owned website. A set of "excellent condition" irons can go for half the price on the Callaway Pre-Owned site than new. The site also has an "other brands" section with some great deals on brands other than Callaway.  Prior season Callaway irons can be a great deal for anyone getting into the game or not wanting to shell out too much for a set. 

Callaway Paradym Irons

callaway paradym junior irons

Callaway Paradym Irons


Recommended for:

Paradym: Intermediate/Advanced

Paradym X: Intermediate

Club Head Weight

Paradym: 260g

Paradym X: 262g

Retail Price (approx. for set of 7 irons):

$1,399+

The 2023 Callaway Paradym irons are players’ distance irons. They have more of a player look than the Rogue ST with a thinner topline and more of a compact blade look. From a tech perspective they benefit from a premium forged 455 steel face, that provides an excellent sound and feel. These irons are aimed at players scoring in the 70's to 80's - so intermediate to advanced junior golfers with a handicap index of approx. 4 to 15. One downside is that these are expensive clubs at approx. $200 a club at the time of launch in 2023. 

Callaway Rogue ST Irons

Callaway Rogue ST irons for juniors and teens

Callaway Rogue ST Irons


Recommended for:

Rogue ST Pro: Advanced

Rogue ST Max: Intermediate

Rogue ST Max OS: Beginner/Intermediate

Rogue ST Max OS Lite: Beginner/Intermediate

Club Head Weight:

Rogue ST Pro: 262g

Rogue ST Max: 260g 

Rogue ST Max OS: 264g

Rogue ST Max OS Lite: 260g

Retail / Sale Price (approx. for set of 7 irons):

Rogue ST Pro: $999+

Rogue ST Max: $799+

Rogue ST Max OS: $799+

Rogue ST Max OS Lite: $899+

The 2022 Rogue ST line of irons replace the Mavrik. A lot of good new technology makes these irons very attractive for juniors, especially for intermediate to beginner junior golfers.

Improvements include a better designed and constructed AI flash face that is faster across the face, due to face optimization and use of 450 steel combination in the face with a 17-4 steel body. The biggest difference is perhaps the use of a lot more tungsten than the Mavrik line, up to 62 grams, an increase of 260%. The use of tungsten allows for a better weight distribution across the club. 

  • ST Max: all round irons for beginner to intermediate. 50% lower CG than the previous Mavrik (helps ball launch). Despite also having a weaker loft than the Mavrik, these still have stronger lofts than standard as is the case with many modern distance irons. Overall these are excellent irons for juniors scoring in the low 80's to 100's range.
  • ST Max OS: slightly larger version of the Max with more forgiveness. 
  • ST Max OS Lite: this is a new "light weight" iron in response to feedback that a lighter iron with weaker lofts would be good for beginners and golfers with slower club head speed. The OS Lite have 16 grams less Tungsten for a lighter head weight, combined with a lighter shaft and swing weight suited for slower swing speeds. With 3 degrees more lofts (weaker loft), these are designed to help golfers get the ball in the air. 
  • ST Pro: player look with a shorter blade length and less offset. Designed for low to mid single figure handicap players, this could appeal to juniors scoring in the 70's to low 80's. These irons have stronger lofts than Apex Pro but are not quite as forgiving as the Apex, so fit somewhere between the two.

Callaway Mavrik, Mavrik Pro & Mavrik Max

Callaway Mavrik Irons for Juniors

Callaway Mavrik Irons


Recommended for:

Mavrik Pro: Intermediate/  Advanced

Mavrik: Intermediate / Beginner

Mavrik Max: Intermediate / Beginner

Club Head Weight:

Mavrik Pro: 264g

Mavrik: 257g

Mavrik Max: 263g

Retail Price (approx. for set of 7 irons):

Mavrik Pro: $900+

Mavrik: $655+

Mavrik Max: $800+

The Mavrik replaces the Callaway Rogue which were already very good irons for juniors. The irons are not overpriced, yet are full of the latest Callaway technology and materials. The Mavrik Pro are excellent all round clubs that juniors with handicaps in the single digits through teens, can enjoy.

The Mavrik and Mavrik Max are both suitable for intermediate through beginner golfers. With the regular Mavrik getting more distance than the Max, being about as forgiving as the Max, looking very much the same, and being significantly cheaper, it is difficult to see why golfers would opt for the Max. The Callaway Mavrik is definitely a great option for juniors or teens.

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X

best jr golf clubs

Callaway Rogue Irons


Recommended for:

Rogue: All Juniors

Rogue Pro: Intermediate / Advanced

Rogue X: Intermediate / Advanced

Rogue W: Beginner / Intermediate

Club Head Weight:

~260 grams

Retail Price (approx. for set of 7 irons):

Rogue: $789+

Rogue Pro: $875+

Rogue X: $789+

Rogue W: $875+

The Rogue irons have Callaway's excellent 360 Face Cup (the same as the Great Big Bertha and Epic irons) that provides high speed off the face, Variable Face Technology (as opposed to the Exo-cage structure of the GBB and Epic) that provides excellent speed, even on off-center hits, and tungsten weights that provide maximum forgiveness and playability.

An internal urethane compound provides good feel and sound by soaking up vibrations and high pitched/tinny sounds, while still allowing maximum face flex. The Rogue irons replaced the Callaway Steelhead XR and Steelhead XR Pro iron line. 

Below is brief overview of the difference between each of the Rogue models and some of the other major brand clubs that are comparative to these irons.

Rogue: all-round great performance that can be used by any level player. Comparative irons are Taylormade M4 and Titleist AP1. These look and feel like player irons but provide all the forgiveness you could want.

Rogue Pro: smaller face and thinner topline than the regular Rogue, giving a "player iron" look. More workable but not quite as forgiving. Comparable irons are the Taylormade M3, Titelist AP3, and Ping 790. Callaway also brought out the cool looking Rogue Pro Black irons in June 2018.

Rogue X: fitted with longer, lighter shafts and stronger lofts. These irons are for players with a slower than average swing speed. Longer than the other Rogue irons and also longer than most other irons on the market. 6 irons tests were approx. 7 yards longer than the Rogue and Rogue Pro irons. In general juniors do not benefit from the longer shaft and they will generally be using lighter shafts anyway. In addition, stronger lofts does not necessarily benefit juniors.

Rogue W: designed primarily for ladies and seniors, these come with light weight graphite shafts and are designed to get the ball into the air easier and provide more distance. The forgiveness and distance comes from a very low CG, wide sole, and large cavity back design. These are suitable for juniors with slower swing speeds and beginner to intermediate juniors that can benefit from a little more forgiveness. 

Callaway Apex 

Callaway Apex 2021 irons juniors

Callaway Apex 21, Apex Pro 21, Apex DCB 21, Apex MB


Recommended for:

Apex 21: Intermediate to Advanced

Apex Pro 21: Advanced

Apex DCB 21: Beginner to Intermediate

Apex MB: Advanced

Club Head Weight:

Apex 261g, Pro 260g, DCB 264g, MB 260g

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,295+

As with the prior Apex irons, these are excellent forged high performance clubs. New for 2021 is the Apex DCB 21 (DCB = Deep Cavity Back) which are designed for beginner to intermediate golfers (e.g. handicap 15 and more). Mixed sets are also available and a great option for a junior looking for more forgiveness in the long irons and more of a forged look and feel in the short irons. 

The 2021 series benefit from Callaway's AI designed "flash face cup" which is designed to optimize speed and spin across the face. The 2021 series also has 5 times as much tungsten as the 2019 series which means the COG can be positions precisely in the club head enhancing forgiveness and launch. All clubs feature forged 1025 steel in their construction. 

These are great looking clubs and very popular clubs that should last for many seasons. Callaway has a great ordering tool to tailor your clubs, directly from the company on the Callaway website site


Cobra

While Cobra do make and sell Cobra junior golf clubs for 13-15 year old junior golfers (see our review here), it more of a beginner set and their adult irons are more suitable for teens and advanced juniors.

King Tour

Cobra King Tour Irons Juniors

Cobra King Tour


Recommended for:

Advanced 

Club Head Weight:

265 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,300

The 2023 King Tour irons are a tour cavity back and best for single digit handicap golfers. They are great looking players irons with a small offset design and medium forgiveness. 

The original King Tour irons released in October 2020 are also very good clubs and can be found at reduced prices. 

King Forged Tec

Cobra King Forged Tec Junior

Cobra King Forged Tec


Recommended for:

Intermediate to Advanced

Club Head Weight:

264 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,100

The King Forged Tec is Cobra's entry into the highly popular "players distance" irons. Similar to many other big brands in this iron category, the King Forged Tec has a hollow cavity with tungsten weights that provides distance and forgiveness while the club still has a sleek muscle back player look to it. It is also available in a one-length option for those juniors wanting to follow in the footsteps of Bryson DeChambeau.

The King Forged Tec are suitable for a wide range of players such as those previously playing either the King F8/F9 or the Forged Tec Black. They are best suited to high single figure and teen handicaps. 

Cobra Aerojet

Cobra AeroJet Juniors

Cobra Aerojet


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

262 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$999+

The Cobra Aerojet are designed for mid to high handicap golfers looking for more distance and forgiveness but less workability. Overall great entry level irons for beginner to intermediate juniors.


Mizuno

Mizuno are famous for making the highest quality forged irons, thanks largely to their patented grain flow forging technology that uses a bar of carbon steel to make the whole club head, including the hosel. Historically Mizuno has specialized in blade type irons with "conventional" and "classic" performance, designed primarily for better players (e.g. the MP or "Mizuno Professional" line). Recently, Mizuno has also started producing some very good game improvement irons such as the JPX line.

Below are the excellent JPX options and we have also provided an overview of MP options that might be suitable for more advanced juniors.

Mizuno JPX 923 Series

Mizuno JPX 923 Series Juniors

Mizuno JPX 923 Series


Club Head Weight:

Tour - 258g

Forged - 255g

Hot Metal Pro - 257g

Hot Metal - 258g

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

Hot Metal - $960+

Tour and Forged - $1,300+

The Mizuno 923 line are excellent clubs and the series has an option for all levels of junior golfers. The Hot Metal line are great clubs for intermediate to beginner juniors at an excellent price point. The Tour and Forged are more expensive options but excellent player irons for elite and advanced juniors.

  • 923 Tour - for Elite / Advanced juniors (plus to low single digit handicaps)
  • 923 Forged - for Advanced juniors (Plus to single digit handicaps)
  • 923 Hot Metal Pro - for Intermediate to Advanced juniors (single digit to teens handicaps)
  • 923 Hot Metal - Beginner to Intermediate juniors (teens to higher handicaps)
  • 923 Hot Metal HL - The High Launch option of the Hot Metal, for Beginner to Intermediate juniors (teens to higher handicaps)

Mizuno JPX 921 and 919 Hot Metal / Hot Metal Pro

golf clubs for teens

Mizuno JPX 921 & 919 Hot Metal and Pro


Recommended for:

All junior levels

Club Head Weight:

257-258 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$875+

The Mizuno JPX 921 and 919 Hot Metal and Hot Metal Pro irons are great looking and excellent performing game improvement irons. The ultra thin cup face provides very good ball speed and distance, while the cavity design and weight positioning result in a good level of forgiveness for intermediate junior golfers.

While the Hot Metal is not a Super (or Ultra) Game Improvement iron, it could potentially also be used by less experienced juniors golfers. 

The Hot Metal Pro is very similar to the regular Hot Metal but has a more compact look to it and is a similar size head as the 921 & 919 Forged but is a cast head vs the forged head. These compare well to the cavity back, fast faced irons like the TaylorMade P790, Ping i500 and Titleist 718 T-MB. 

At just over $100 per club these are an excellent choice for juniors looking for a top quality and performing iron while not wanting to break the bank! Used sets of 919 irons can be found at excellent price for what you are getting. There is a good reason that these one of Mizuno's top selling irons.

Mizuno MP 20 (Forged MB, MMC, HMB)

Mizuno MP20 irons

Mizuno MP-20


Recommended for:

MB: Low single figure to plus handicaps

MMC: Advanced Juniors

HMB: Intermediate to Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

259 to 260 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,200+

Overview of the MP 20 models:

The Mizuno MP 20 Forged CB MMC are excellent irons for advanced players - e.g. single figure and better handicaps. 

  • MP20 Forged Muscle Back (MB): True blades for advanced and tour players. Beautiful and amazing to hit if you can consistently find the center of the club face!
  • MP20 MMC: Suitable for single figure to plus handicap golfers. Replaces the previous model MP18 SC's. The irons heads are only a little larger than the MP20 MB's and they also have tungsten weighting to provide a little stability on off center strikes. One of our plus-handicap juniors recently moved from the JPX 919 Forged to the MP20 MMC's and is enjoying more workability and tighter dispersion - especially in distance consistency.
  • MP20 HMB: HMB stands for Hybrid Muscle Back. The HMB is visually only slightly larger than the MMC and flies only slightly further. The benefit it provides is a little more help with dispersion on off-center strikes. It may be a good "mix and match" option with the MMC or MB  - i.e. with the HMB being the longer irons in the set - e.g. 3 iron through 6 iron. 

Ping

When buying Ping irons either direct from a retailer or a used set, it is important to make sure they are have the correct lie angle. Ping uses a color coded fitting chart for this purpose - see below (click on the image below to expand). You can use the chart to determine the right fit for your junior or visit the Ping "Webfit" page for a fitting guide that will help guide you not only for the color code but also shaft and clubs. There are lots of very good condition used Ping irons sets on eBay. Before buying on eBay, use the fitting guide above to ensure you get the right color "dot".

PING color code fitting chart

Ping i230

Ping i230 juniors

Ping i230 irons


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

262 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,400+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Ping i230 irons replacement for the very good i210 irons. Similar to the i201's, these irons are suitable for advanced juniors (e.g. single handicap players) and are Tour player irons.  

The i210 is tough to replace with 70+ wins on pro tours. The i230 has a sleeker look (smaller blade length) in the long irons and a more rounded leading edge and bounce for improved turf contact, a slightly faster face thanks to improved elastomer materials and more perimeter weighting for control.

Ping i210

jr golf clubs

Ping i210 irons


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

259 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$875+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Ping i210 irons were introduced in 2018 as the replacement for the Ping i200 irons. These irons are suitable for advanced juniors (e.g. single handicap players) and are Tour player irons.  

The performance of these irons is similar to the i200's but with a better feel, thanks to the larger elastomer insert in the 210's. The leading edge is improved for less friction and the Hydropearl face finish is meant to improve ball control from wet and rough conditions as well as prolong the life of the club.  

Ping i200

jr golf clubs

Ping i200 irons


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

261 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$699+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Ping i200 irons were introduced in 2017 as the replacement for the Ping i irons. The Ping i200's are mid-sized irons with a player look and a good mix of workability and forgiveness. Although an older model these are still excellent irons.

Ping G430 irons

ping g430 irons for juniors

Ping G430 irons


Recommended for:

Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

256 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,100+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Ping G430 irons are the next generation of the G-series irons aimed at the mid to high handicap golfer. 

The G430 irons look more like players irons with a smaller head and top line view. Although classified as game improvement irons, the G430 irons are ideally suited to intermediate golfers in the 10 to 25 handicap range. Even some single figure handicap golfers might like the slightly more forgiving nature of these as compared to the i210 irons. 

Ping i525 Irons

Ping i525 Juniors

Ping i525 irons


Recommended for:

Intermediate / Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

252 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,300+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Ping i525 irons were introduced in late 2022. Similar to the prior generation i500, these are player distance irons and well placed in between the i230 (players irons for advanced juniors) and the G425 (mid to higher handicaps).

Overall the i525 maintains the excellent performance of the i500 but with small changes that improved the feel, spin, consistency, forgiveness and a slight increase in distance. Similar to other irons in this category (e.g. TaylorMade P790, Titleist T200, Mizuno Pro 225, Callaway Rogue ST Pro), these are on the expensive side at $1,300+ for a set of 7 irons.

Ping i500 Irons

ping junior irons

Ping i500 irons


Recommended for:

Intermediate / Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

258 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,140+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Ping i500 irons were introduced in 2018 and use more advanced technology than both the G400 and the traditional i-series irons (e.g. the i200's and i210's). These great looking clubs are "fast faced" enclosed cavity back irons and similar in design and looks to the Taylormade P790 and Titleist T-MB irons (see below). The higher launch of these clubs allowed Ping to make the irons with approx. 2.5 degrees stronger lofts, resulting in more distance than regularly constructed irons.

The Ping i500s have a "players iron" look. The downside is that they are on the expensive side at approx. $1,140 for a 7 club iron set. In general you can also add approx. $200 for the more flexible graphite shafts. 


Srixon

Srixon ZX4, ZX5, ZX7 (2023 MKII Models)

Srixon ZX4 MKII junior golf
Srixon ZX5 MKII junior golf
Srixon ZX7 MKII junior golf

 Srixon ZX4, ZX5, ZX7 (2023 MKII)


Recommended for:

ZX4: Beginner to Intermediate

ZX5: Intermediate to Advanced

ZX7: Intermediate to Advanced

Club Head Weight:

ZX4: 262g

ZX5: 258g

ZX7: 257g

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

ZX4: $1,200

ZX5: $1,200

ZX7: $1,300

ZX4 - Most forgiving of the line-up. Hollow face iron but still have a great looking, relatively narrow topline. Widest sole and easiest to hit.

ZX5 - A great combination of fast face/high ball speed with a forged feel. Thinner topline and slightly shorter club length. Narrower sole with slightly less offset than the ZX4.

ZX7 - Blade looking iron suitable to good players.

Buyer tip. The prior ZX4/4/7 models (i.e. not MKII) are excellent irons with many of the same features and performance as the MKII but can be purchased for significantly less than the current models.

Srixon Z785 and Z585

Srixon Z785 and Z585 irons for junior golfers

 Srixon Z785 and Z585


Recommended for:

Z785: Advanced

Z585: Intermediate to Advanced

Club Head Weight:

Z785: 261g

Z585: 259g

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

From $350 on eBay

These are older models but are still great looking and excellent performing clubs. The excellent Z765 was improved upon with the Z785 through adding a little more forgiveness and feel primarily thanks to moving a little weight into to the toe and behind the center of the club face. The back of the club has a slightly more forgiving look but the top line is sleeker and more player looking than the Z765.

The Z585 keeps a lot of the Z565 design but, similar to the changes on the Z785, it has slightly more of a forgiving cavity, moving some weighting out to the toe and behind the face of the club with an improved MOI.  The Z585 has a more hotter, more flexing face than the Z785, resulting in about half a club more distance. 

Srixon irons still seem to fly a bit under the radar and are one of the best values on the market for excellent clubs. 


TaylorMade Irons

TaylorMade makes a number of sets of irons that are suitable for juniors transitioning into adult clubs. The TaylorMade custom ordering page on the TM website is very intuitive and a great tool to help you "fit" new clubs, including selecting which irons you want in your set (e.g. 5i-PW), loft adjustment, lie adjustment, shaft material & flex, grip size etc. Graphite shafts are available for juniors, as are ladies and senior flex shafts.

TaylorMade P770 Irons (2023)

Taylormade p770 2023 junior irons

TaylorMade P770 irons (2023)


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

256 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,300 for 7-Piece Iron Set

The 2023 TaylorMade P770's are forged, cavity back irons for advanced players who like a more compact style head (slightly smaller with a thinner topline than the P790 heads), providing workability, while still having some forgiveness. Despite the look of these irons, they are relatively forgiving thanks to strategic CG positioning (center of gravity (CG) is positioned lowest in long irons and moves higher through the set), tungsten weighting, forged hollow body with speed foam filling, flexible speed pocket and inverted cone shaping. 

The prior season P770 irons (2020) are also very clubs to consider, either new (slightly less expensive than the 2023 versions) or look for good condition used 2020 P770 iron sets on eBay.

TaylorMade P790 Irons

Taylormade p790 irons 2021 juniors

TaylorMade P790 irons


Recommended for:

All levels

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

260 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,300+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The TaylorMade P790 irons are a great combination of forged look and feel with distance and forgiveness. The distance and forgiveness is partly thanks to the hollow body design with speed foam and intelligent sweet spot. In addition, the 3-7 irons have a high density tungsten weight inside that increases MOI in the longer clubs and also a speed pocket to increase face flex (thus ball speed).

The polished matt chrome finish is a great look. These are high tech clubs suitable as transition clubs for juniors. While they are on the expensive side, certain junior tournaments do offer significant Taylormade discount for junior golfers playing in those tournaments. We see these clubs in use at many high level junior tournaments, junior golf camps and schools. 

TaylorMade P7MC and P7MB

Taylormade p7mc 2023 junior irons

TaylorMade P7MC and P7MB irons


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

P7MC: 258g

P7MB: 252g

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,300+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The P7MC (Muscle Cavity) and P7MB (Muscle Back) are fantastic looking and high quality compact forged irons for advanced and elite golfers and are used on the various professional tours.

The P7MB's are blades and are made for players that want feel and workability. As a full set they are likely not suited for juniors other than very advanced players with plus handicaps. One good option for advanced juniors might be a mixed set with the 8i to PW in the P7MB and the longer irons in the P770. 

The P7MC's are similar to the MB's in that they both have tour inspired true blade shapes with no speed foam in sight. The MC's differ slightly from the MB's however, in that there is a little bit of a cavity with perimeter weighting to help the player. However, these clubs still demand that you find the center of the club face and will let you know when you don't. These could also be a good combination with the P770's with longer irons in the P770 model.

TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Taylormade Sim2 Max Junior irons

TaylorMade SIM2 Max


Recommended for:

Intermediate to Beginner

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

SIM2 Max 254 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$799+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The TaylorMade SIM2 Max are true distance irons with excellent forgiveness on off-center strikes. The dampening systems provides good sound and feel, not quite like a forged iron but closer than prior models. The look of these irons is also an excellent improvement on the previous SIM irons, especially with a cap on the cavity back and Speed Bridge.  These are excellent irons for intermediate to beginner players. The shorter irons and wedges in this set obviously have less touch and feel than TaylorMade's P-series irons. 


Titleist

Overview of Titleist irons:

Way back in 2008, Titleist introduced the first AP1 and AP2 irons series. The original AP1 was a super game improvement iron and the AP2 was a game improvement iron. Since then, Titleist has brought out a new series every 2 years - hence the AP1/AP2 710 (in 2010), AP 712, AP 714, AP 716, and the AP 718 (2018). The AP2 irons have evolved from a game improvement iron to a tour player iron. In 2018 Titleist introduced the 718 AP3 which were designed to fill the gap between the AP1 and the AP2.

The T-Series irons were introduced in 2019 as replacements to the AP series. The T100 replaces the AP2 (advanced player irons), the T200 replaces the AP3 (intermediate to advanced), and the T300 replaces the AP1. The T400 is designed for golfers looking for maximum forgiveness. 

Titleist T-Series

titleist t series irons juniors

Titleist T100, T100s, T200, T300, T400


Recommended for:

T100: Advanced

T200: Intermediate

T300: Beginner to Intermediate

T400 Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight:

T100: 259g

T200: 260g

T300: 259g

T400 258g

Retail Price (approx.):

$875+ for 7-Piece T300

$1,225+ for 7-Piece T100, T200, T400 

Titleist managed to improve the AP line, which were already excellent irons. These irons use newer technology designed to provide characteristics desired by users of each line of the series - i.e. tighter dispersion, optimizing trajectory, look of the club at address, sound at impact, and providing more distance and forgiveness in the T200, T300 and T400. Essentially the T100 replaces the AP2 (advanced player irons), the T200 replaces the AP3 (intermediate to advanced), and the T300 replaces the AP1. The T400 is designed for golfers looking for maximum forgiveness.

We see a large number of advanced juniors playing the T100 and T200 irons. There is also a T100s option that is similar to the standard T100 but with slightly  stronger lofts, a thinner club face for more ball speed, and weight placements adjusted to lower the center of gravity and promote a higher flight. 

Titleist 718 AP1

jr golf clubs

Titleist 718 AP1 irons


Recommended for:

Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight:

262 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$875+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Titleist AP1's are  great clubs for junior golfers of all levels, from beginner to advanced. High density tungsten weights in the corners of the club face provide a high MOI. The lower center of gravity in these irons (thus higher launch) means that the irons could be built with much stronger lofts resulting in longer carry distances. The AP1's are not as workable as some lower handicaps might like while the AP2 and AP3 irons have more workability.

These super game improvement irons do a great job of providing extreme forgiveness while still having the feel and sound of better player irons. It is not uncommon to see single figure handicap players using these irons, and frequently a combination of AP1's for longer irons and AP2's or AP3's for the shorter irons.

Titleist 718 AP3

best jr golf clubs

Titleist 718 AP3 irons


Recommended for:

Intermediate / Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

261 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,140+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The AP3's provide forgiveness in a compact design. Titleist was aiming for a "distance iron" with a fast face but that is still a players iron. The longer distances also do not come at the expense of holding the green. The 3-7 irons are more forgiving with tungsten weights in the head and toe. For shafts, Titleist has its ascending weight shafts that are lighter in the long irons and gradually get heavier as you move to the short irons. In addition there are many other custom fitting options through Titleist.

These are great irons for intermediate to advanced juniors. At well over $1,000 for a set of seven irons, these clubs are on the expensive side, especially if you add custom fitting and graphite shafts. If you are looking for something similar but at significantly less price consider combining the 716 AP1 long irons with the 716 AP2 short irons.

Titleist 718 AP2

teenage golf clubs

Titleist 718 AP2 irons


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

260 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,140+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The 718 AP2 is a "better player iron", and was used by a number of PGA Tour players. It is suitable for single handicap players. It is the successor for the 716 AP2 that was the most widely used iron on professional golf tours in 2017. It has a more compact head with slightly more solid feel than the AP3 while being more forgiving than the MB blades (but similar in forgiveness to the T-MB and CB Forged irons). The 3-7 irons have a steel face inserts while the 8-PW irons are forged 1025 carbon steel.

A good option for advanced juniors may be to go with AP2 for the short irons and AP3's or T-MB's for the long irons.  In case this helps put these clubs in perspective, in 2018/19 Jordan Spieth played the AP2's for 5-9 irons and the T-MB's for 3-4 irons and Adam Scott used the T-MB 3 iron. If these caliber players feel that they can benefit from a little forgiveness in the long irons then your junior can also!


Conclusion

The transition from kids' clubs (such as USKids and Flynn Golf) to adult clubs can be difficult given the sheer number of options and variables involved.

The basics are:

  1. Choose a club design with playability suitable to your junior's level. Always go with more forgiveness than less to give your junior the best experience. Forged blades may look cool but they generally are not going to be suitable for juniors.
  2. Get fitted if you can. If you cannot do professional fitting make sure you choose a shaft that is the right size, flex and weight for your junior (e.g. do not get stiff steel shafts for a junior with a slower swing speed). Get the right size grips put on the clubs.
  3. Do not be in too much of a rush to move juniors out of U.S. Kids or Flynn Junior Golf clubs. Both are some of the best junior golf clubs - they both make high quality junior irons suitable for kids right up until the time they are big enough and strong enough to play with full size adult clubs. They are also approx. 1/2 the price of new adult clubs so can be replaced every season. In addition, there is a strong second hand market on eBay for good used U.S. Kids club sets and U.S. Kids even has a trade up program that can be used.
  4. We generally find that there is a need to change shafts approx. once a year given how fast juniors grow and get stronger.


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