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, how to choose adult size golf clubs for juniors that are transitioning from kids clubs to adult clubs can be tricky. This article outlines factors to consider for juniors transitioning from lighter weight kids clubs to adult clubs and provides some examples for different skill levels. The clubs outlined in this article are also appropriate for teenage golfers.

teen golf irons

Overview

This guide is intended for juniors that are approx. 12 years old and up. In general, this post is not intended for younger golfers (e.g. 10 and younger), although, depending the size and strength of a junior, it is possible that some kids younger than 12 could use regular adult irons. 

For younger juniors and even for teens that need a lighter golf club and are not yet ready for adult club heads please refer to this article: Best Kids Golf Clubs. 

Intermediate to advanced junior golfers with a driver swing speed over ~85 mph (generally over 200 yards for their driver) can benefit from the advanced technology found in modern adult golf clubs. Note that although some of the major brands sell golf club sets that are specifically marketed for kids or teenagers 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 modern adult adult clubs. In general the price reflects the quality of the design, build and materials.

For junior golf girls there are some good options as most of the major golf brands produce quality ladies clubs that are a little lighter than regular adult clubs and fitted with shafts appropriate for slower swing speeds. Certain junior golf clubs are not that dissimilar from women's golf clubs: i.e. both are lighter weight and fitted with more flexible light weight shafts that are appropriate for juniors as well as ladies. This is the reason that US Kids Golf now also sells their Lady Light golf clubs that are 10% lighter than standard adult clubs. Callaway has a set of ladies specific irons that are very good quality. 

Club fitting should be considered for advanced juniors and it is generally worth the cost in order to ensure you are getting the best performance for your junior golfer and that you are optimizing what will likely be your junior's most expensive set of clubs to date. Fitting the right shaft is critical for juniors that are not using regular size adult clubs, since the length and flex of the shafts changes the performance of clubs significantly.

For more information on fitting junior golf clubs and a junior golf club sizing chart see our article on junior golf club fitting. While this article is aimed more towards younger juniors, the advice and fitting chart is still relevant and will provide some general guidance on how to measure junior golf clubs. 

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:

1. 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. Some of our favorites are: eBay, Callaway Golf Preowned, 3 Balls Golf, or even on Amazon). Quality used irons can be purchased at big discounts. 

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. Taylormade or Callaway) or from a reputable shop (e.g. Worldwide Golf Shops, which operates 80 golf specialty stores across the country including Edwin Watts, Roger Dunn Golf Shops, The Golf Mart, Vans Golf Shops, Golfers’ Warehouse and Uinta Golf.)

2. Size and strength of your junior golfer. Do not be in too much of a rush to move into adult clubs. US Kids Golf and Flynn Golf are still some of the best junior golf clubs for slower swing speeds. 

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

3. Look and feel of clubs. Take your junior to the local golf shop to look at various models. Look at clubs in other junior's 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 to try.

4. Fitting. If possible, professional fitting is highly recommended and is usually around $100 or less - or sometimes it is free if you are buying clubs at a golf retail store like PGA Superstore. Some of the manufacturer's websites (such as TaylorMade) have good interactive fitting guides 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 advanced juniors and teens, based on different levels of experience and expertise. The club head weight of adult clubs (6 iron used as a basis) ranges from approx. 255 grams to 261 grams. As a comparison, the US Kids Golf Tour Series 6 irons (size 60 & 63 weigh) approx. 250 grams. We have the weight of irons in the club overviews below. Note that we have excluded irons priced at over $2,000 a set (or $300 per club) such as PXG, Callaway Epic Forged, Titleist CNCPT, and TaylorMade 790 Ti.  

2020 Iron Sets for Advanced, Intermediate and Beginner Juniors and Teens

Irons are generally suitable for a range of skill levels based on the design and materials of the clubs.

Below we have categorized irons into broad categories based on skill levels.

Advanced / Elite (e.g. low single digit to plus handicaps)

Intermediate to Advanced (e.g. single digit to ~15 handicap)

Intermediate to Beginner (e.g. ~10+ handicap)


Brand


Advanced/Elite

Advanced - Intermediate

Intermediate -Beginner

Callaway 2020

Cobra 2020

F-Max Airspeed

Mizuno 2020

Ping 2020

Blueprint

i Blade

Srixon 2020

Z-Forged

Z 785

Z 585


TaylorMade 2020

P7TW

P730

P760

P790 (2020)


Sim Max

Sim Max OS

Titleist 2020

T 100

620CB & Forged

T200


T300





Pre 2020 (Recent Year Models) Iron Sets for Advanced, Intermediate and Beginner Juniors and Teens


Brand


Advanced/Elite

Advanced - Intermediate

Intermediate -Beginner

Apex MB

Big Bertha

X Hot

Cobra pre-2020

King Forged MB

King Forged Tour

King Forged Pro/CB

F-Max

Mizuno pre-2020

MP18 MB

JPX 900 Tour

MP 4,5,25,32,33,52, 57,60,62,63,64,69

MP 53, 54

JPX 900, 850, 825 Forged

MP18 MMC Fli-Hi

JPX 900 Hot Metal

JPX 850 & JPX EZ

Ping pre-2020

i-Blade

S55

G 700

G & G-Max

Srixon pre-2020

Z 965, 945

Z 765, Z565,

Z745, Z545

Z 735


TaylorMade pre2020

RSi TP

PSi, PSi Tour

RSi 2

RSi 1

Titleist pre-2020

718 CB & Forged

CB & MB Forged


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:

  • Mavrik Pro, Mavrik and Mavrik Max: Launched in early 2020, the Mavrik series replaces the already excellent Rogue series. The Pro is aimed at the more advanced player but is forgiving enough for most intermediate golfers to be able to use. 
  • Rogue, Rogue Pro, Rogue X, Rogue W: These irons are designed for distance, accuracy and playability. They are cheaper option than the Epic and great clubs at the price, starting at ~$600 for a set of 7 irons at Worldwide Golf Shops. Very suitable as junior transition irons and reviewed in detail below.
  • Big Bertha OS: High MOI, weight distribution for forgiveness, fast face for high ball speeds and optimal distance. Super Game Improvement irons that weigh 257 grams. On the expensive side for slightly older clubs, starting at ~$960 for a set of seven irons. More information below.
  • Apex Pro 19, Apex CF19, CF16, Apex Black, Apex Pro 16, Apex MB: 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. In general these are "better player" irons and are generally suitable for advanced juniors. Priced from ~$1,050 for a set of 7 irons. See detailed review below.
  • 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 excellent 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. Great clubs but at a price!
  • X Forged: 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. 
  • Steelhead XR, Steelhead XR Pro: Combination of fast face and very forgiving. Both are Ultra Game Improvement irons and weigh 255 grams and 260 grams, respectively. We found these on sale at $700 for a set of 7 irons, a great deal for a very good club and well suited as a junior transition iron. More information below.

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 the same set sells for new. The site also has an "other brands" section with some great deals on brands other than Callaway. 

Callaway Maverik, Maverik Pro & Maverik Max

Callaway Mavrik Irons for Juniors

Callaway Rogue 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 transitions into adult clubs and for teens. 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 not go for the regular Mavrik over 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. A special urethane compound (infused with specialized microsphere bubbles), provides good feel and sound by soaking up vibrations and high pitched/tinny sounds, while still allowing maximum face flex. The Rogue irons replace 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 giving a "player iron" look. More workable than the pro model, not quite as forgiving. Comparable irons are the Taylormade M3, Titelist AP3, and Ping 790. Callaway also brought out the Rogue Pro Black irons in June 2018.

Rogue X: longer shafts, lighter shafts, stronger lofts. These irons benefit adults with a slower than average swing speed that are able to hit the ball relatively accurately.  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, the stronger loft 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 Big Bertha CF19 Irons

Callaway big bertha cf19

Callaway Big Bertha CF19


Recommended for:

Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight:

255 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,050 for 7-Piece Iron Set

The 2019 Big Bertha irons are very forgiving clubs that are a good option for beginner to intermediate junior golfers. Club heads weigh 255 grams and are Super Game Improvement rated. 

Callaway Apex CF19 and Apex Pro

Callaway apex 19 and apex pro irons

Callaway Apex CF19 and Apex Pro


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

261 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,050+

These are excellent forged high performance clubs designed for advanced players. The CF19 irons use advanced cup face technology and are a little more forgiving than the more blade like Pro series. These are great looking 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

Callaway Apex CF16 and CF16 Black

best teenage golf clubs

Callaway Apex CF16 Irons


Recommended for:

Advanced Players

Club Head Weight:

~261 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,050+

The Callaway Apex irons have been played by numerous golf pro's for a long time and have a dedicated following. The CF16's (stands for Cup Face 2016) are a combination of forged irons with Cup Face technology in the 3-7 irons.

The Apex CF 16 is more forgiving than the regular Apex and Apex Pro, thanks to the advanced design, multi-compound materials and manufacturing techniques such as the face plate weld. 

These irons will appeal to advanced players, with the small top line profile as well as a great sound and feel. The standard shaft is the True Temper XP95 which may suite juniors transitioning into adult clubs as these shafts are a little lighter than the Dynamic Gold that many advanced clubs come with. Note that younger juniors may need a lighter flex and/or graphite option instead of the XP95. 

The CF16 is suitable for advanced juniors. Comparable irons are the Titleist AP2, TaylorMade P770/P760, and the Ping i210. Overall this is a great looking club with good performance and reasonable forgiveness. The CF16 Black series is the same club, just in a good looking matt black finish that will appeal to some juniors. 

Callaway Junior Irons

Starting at just over $1,000 for 7 clubs these are on the expensive side but not as much as some comparable irons. The Callaway Pre-Owned site also has a good selection of certified used CF 16 irons.

Callaway X Forged and UT

Callaway X Forged irons

Callaway X Forged


Recommended for:

Advanced Players

Club Head Weight:

260 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,100+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The 2018 Callaway X Forged is designed for low single digit to plus handicaps. The X Forged is a "forged cavity back" that is more forgiving than the Apex MB blades but still has superb control and workability. Sets comprising 3 iron through PW are available. 

In case you need more forgiveness in your long irons but want the X Forged look, the X Forged UT long iron options are a cavity back design / hollow face that has tungsten inserts that provide more forgiveness and a higher MOI than the standard X Forged. The UT's are available in lofts of 18, 21, 24, 27 and 30 (roughly 3 iron through 5/6 iron lofts).  

Earlier models of the X Forged (2013 and 2009) are also great irons and can be found for significantly less than the 2018 model though given the age, these older sets are generally very well used.

Callaway Steelhead XR and Pro

jr golf clubs

Callaway Steelhead XR / Pro


Recommended for:

All Levels

Club Head Weight:

255 / 260 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$600 / $700+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Callaway Steelhead XR and XR Pro irons are also a great option for juniors of all skill levels. The XR Pro's are slightly smaller than the XR with less offset and have a matt black finish. The XR's can be purchased new for less than $600 for 7 irons and the XR Pro's for less than $700 for 7 irons - an excellent price for a great club. They can also be purchased for less than $400 at the Callaway Pre-owned store.


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 we recommend their adult irons for teens or advanced juniors.

King Forged Tec

Cobra king forged tec irons 2020 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. 

King Forged MB/CB

Cobra King Forged MB CB 2019

Cobra King Forged CB/MB


Recommended for:

Advanced Players

Club Head Weight:

264 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$949+

The King Forged CB/MB are designed for single figure handicaps and better. Used by tour players these are high quality performance irons and are based on Ricky Fowler's custom gamers. The long irons (4 to 6 irons) are cavity backed irons with high MOI to provide forgiveness in these clubs. The short irons (7i to PW) are muscle back player irons designed for precision scoring shots. A 5 step forging process results in pure feel and performance. These irons are suitable for elite juniors who regularly shoot in the 70's or better. 

Cobra King Speedzone (SZ)

Cobra king speedzone irons juniors

Cobra King Speedzone


Recommended for:

Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight:

263 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$800+

The King Speedzone is aimed at higher handicap and beginner golfers. The primary benefit of these irons is that are very forgiving, easy to get in the ball into the air and provide exceptional distance for golfers with slower swing speeds. In addition, beginners may find the one-length versions to be easier to learn with. Better players will not like the rather chunky look, may find that the range of distances from the same club are more than desired and will find scoring with short irons more difficult due to less spin. Overall this could be a great club for someone starting to learn the game of golf or just wanting an easier club to hit.

Cobra King F8

Cobra junior golf clubs

Cobra King F8


Recommended for:

All juniors.

Club Head Weight:

262 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

On sale from $499

The Cobra King F8 irons are best for junior golfers with moderate to high swing speeds. These are good looking clubs with technology designed to help intermediate golfers with longer carry distances and higher trajectory. The irons all come with the Cobra Connect Arccos Technology that provides best in class shot tracking for game analysis and feedback. 

The 4i to 7i have a hollow construction to lower the CG and a hot face plate for increased speed and higher launch. The 8i to PW have a cavity-back design for increased accuracy and control on approach shots. Carbon fiber inserts dampen vibrations and improve feel. The irons are approx. 5% longer than the old King F7 irons and we found them to generally be 5-10 yards longer than comparable irons. These are one of the few irons sets that have Gap wedge, Sand wedge and Lob Wedge.

Cobra junior golf clubs

Cobra has a newer version of these irons, the KING F9 Speedback and One Length. The F9's are even more forgiving than the F8's and thus suitable for beginner to intermediate junior golfers. Advanced golfers may find the larger heads a little bulky looking and may not need the high level of forgiveness that these clubs offer. Priced at around $799 for a 7 iron set they are good value for a great set of irons.

There is also the option of one length King F8 irons for the same price. One length irons became very topical when Bryson DeChambeau became only the 5th player in history to win the NCAA Division I championship and the U.S. Amateur in the same year - using Cobra single length irons.

We do not see many juniors using single length irons but there is certainly some merit in the science behind them. For more information about one length irons we like this article by TomWishonGolf.

Cobra also offers light weight graphite shafts including a Lite/Senior flex shaft with a 63 gram weight. In addition Cobra sell a women's King F8 iron set that comes with lighter shaft and swing weight. 

Comparable irons from other manufacturers include: Callaway Rogue, Taylormade M4, Ping 400/700, Mizuno JPX900, and Titlesit 718AP. 

Cobra King Forged Tec Black 2018

Cobra jr golf clubs

Cobra King Forged Tec Black 2018


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

262 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,099+

Advanced juniors wanting more workability and feedback than the Cobra King irons should consider the King Forged Tec irons. These are better player shape irons with a great look while still having good feel and forgiveness.

Technology advancements have been applied compared to the previous Cobra Forged Tec irons. These multi-material construction irons are made with 4140 stainless steel face insert for longer, high flying, straighter shots. Tungsten weights in the heel and toe provide more forgiveness. The TEC in the name stands for Technology Enhanced Cavity and includes a carbon fiber insert that improves sound and feel.

Cobra offers a 71 gram Recoil 660 shaft that could be well suited to many juniors. Similar to the King F8 there is a Forged Tec Black "One Length" version available. Cobra also offers black utility irons and wedges to complete the set. 

The Cobra King Forged Tec (2016) irons are also a great option for advanced juniors and can be found for approx. $200 less than the newer Forged Tec Black. 


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 two great JPX options and we have also provided an overview of MP options that might be suitable for more advanced juniors.

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal / Hot Metal Pro

golf clubs for teens

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal and Pro


Recommended for:

All junior levels

Club Head Weight:

259 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$875+

The Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal and Hot Metal Pro 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 this is not a Super (or Ultra) Game Improvement iron, it could potentially also be used by less experienced juniors golfers. 

The 919 Hot Metal Pro is very similar to the regular Hot Metal but has a more compact look to it and is the same size head as the 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! There is a good reason that these one of Mizuno's top selling irons.

Mizuno JPX 919 Forged

golf clubs for teens

Mizuno JPX 919 Forged


Recommended for:

Intermediate to Advanced

Club Head Weight:

258 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,150+

The Mizuno JPX 919 Forged has the feel of a forged iron but with a little extra forgiveness thanks to the use of light weight boron which allows more weight to be moved to the outsides of the frame and allows for a thinner, hotter face. The variable thickness frame also allows for higher ball speeds on off center strikes.

The JPX 919 Forged is a great option for teen golfers that are trending to advanced levels of play. We see these clubs in the bags of many of the top junior golfers and they are currently the irons that our older juniors plays with after comparing them against the other top irons in a professional fitting session. The only downside is that they are one of the most expensive options.

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour

Mizuno jpx 919 Tour

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

260 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$1,000+

The Mizuno JPX 919 Tour was designed based on feedback from tour players including Brooks Koepka and others. These irons are suited for single figure handicap players that want a little more forgiveness than a true muscle back or blade. In general we see more of the JPX 919 Forged and the MP18's and MP20's in the bags of elite juniors.  

Mizuno MP 20 (Forged MB, MMC, HMB)

Mizuno MP20 irons

Mizuno MP-18


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. 

Mizuno MP-18 (MB, SC, MMC, Fli-Hi)

best junior golf clubs

Mizuno's MP18 line is actually three (and a half) sets, with different designs to suit different player skills levels and desired look and feel. What is consistent between the models is that they are all manufactured with the quality materials and craftsmanship that Mizuno irons are famous for. This includes 1025E steel and they all benefit from Mizono's grain flow forge manufacturing techniques.

Mizuno MP-18


Recommended for:

MB: Low single figure to plus handicaps

MMC: Advanced Juniors

SC: Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

260+ grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$875+

Overview of the MP 18 models:

  • MP18-MMC (Multi Material Construction): Best for advanced juniors. These are a little more forgiving than other irons in the MP line (other than Fli-Hi). Mizuno uses lightweight titanium and heavier tungsten parts sealed within the 1025E mild carbon steel head to provide a moderate level of forgiveness in great looking irons. According to Mizuno, these are comparable in performance to the old Mizuno MP-54 irons. These are suitable for juniors shooting in the 70's or low 80's.
  • MP18-SC (Split Cavity): The slightly wider sole and split cavity make the MP18-SC more playable than the muscle-back (Standard) model. These are superb performing irons for elite players and may be suitable for older juniors that are single digit handicaps (from men's tees). 
  • MP18-MB (Muscle Back): These are true blade irons with a short blade length and thin top line. Despite the fantastic look of these clubs there is really is no reason for juniors to be using these. Although a fair amount of Tour players do still use MB irons, many are opting for irons with more forgiveness than these types of irons.
  • MP18-Fli-Hi: This long iron replacement is a hollow body (cavity backed) long iron with a maraging steel face (the same material as is used in many modern fairways woods) and tungsten toe weighting. These are great to blend with other MP irons. For example, a good setup for advanced juniors might be Fli-Hi's in the 4-6 irons and 7-PW in the MP-18 MMC or MP-18 SC.

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). Use the chart to determine the right fit for your junior:

PING color code fitting chart

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

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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 already great Ping i irons. Both are great options for juniors given the club head weight and fitting options. We see these "better player" ping irons in use with some of the top juniors as well as on the professional tours.

The Ping i200's are mid-sized irons with better player looks and a good mix of workability and forgiveness. Compared to the i-irons, the face is 30% or 1mm thinner making it a little hotter and MOI is increased by 7% through moving weight into the heel and toe areas. Compared to the Ping i-blade, the i200 is slightly more muted (due to slight cavity back design), is more forgiving and has a higher launch. 

Ping i Series

ping junior golf clubs

Ping i Series irons


Recommended for:

Intermediate / Advanced

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

259 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$699+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

Introduced in 2015, the Ping i Series is a very good club for juniors and are quite similar to the i200's in terms of the look and feel, but are slightly more forgiving than the i200's. Ping i-series iron sets can be found on Ebay for less than $300 - a great value! 

CallawayPre-Owned.com also has many sets of the Ping i-Series irons for sale and is a great place to look.

Ping G410 irons

Ping g410 irons

Ping G410 irons


Recommended for:

Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

256 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$675+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

Introduced in 2019, the Ping G410 irons are game improvement irons that look more like players irons with less offset and a smaller face than the previous model G400's. Adding tungsten weights on either side of the club provides more stability on off center shots with higher MOI than the G400's. 

The G410's have a higher launch angle than the G400's but still carry approx. the same distance. This is definitely a win unless you play in a very windy location where a lower launch and ball flight might be desirable.

Overall Ping has done an excellent job with the G410's. They are ideally suited to intermediate and beginner golfers although some single figure handicap golfers might also enjoy the extra forgiveness while keeping the player look. 

Ping G400 irons

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Ping G400 irons


Recommended for:

Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

255 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$699+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

Introduced in 2017, the Ping G400 irons are a little lighter weight than most adult clubs and are, in fact, only slightly heavier than the USKids TS3 V5 irons. The G400 irons are designed for more distance (thanks to a thinner, hotter face) and more forgiveness. All this while keeping a good look and feel club. These irons have slightly more offset than the Ping i's and i200's.

Ping G710 Irons

Ping g710 irons

Ping i500 irons


Recommended for:

Beginner / Intermediate

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

256 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,140+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The Ping G710's are both long and forgiving, a great combination for beginner and intermediate golfers! Also on the plus side, they look fantastic. On the downside, they are not the cheapest on of Pings irons in this category. Mid to high handicap golfers with slower swing speeds can definitely benefit from the extra distance these irons provide. 

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 face is made from maraging steel which is the same high quality material as the hot face G400 fairway wood. The irons have a cavity back that is completely enclosed resulting in a club with clean lines and a great sound.

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 Z765

best junior golf clubs

 Srixon Z765


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

259 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$960+ (on sale from $699)

These are excellent "under the radar" forged 1020 carbon steel irons. They have the buttery feel of an advanced player club while still providing adequate forgiveness. The sole has a V-shape with leading edge bounce, designed to prevent irons from digging into the turf. There is enough perimeter weighting to provide some forgiveness while not sacrificing feel and feedback.

Srixon Z565

Srixon Z 565 7PC Iron Set - Steel

 Srixon Z565


Recommended for:

Intermediate to Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight:

261 grams

Retail Price (set of 7 irons):

$965+ (on sale from $699)

Intermediate juniors should also consider the very similar looking Z565 irons which have slightly more of a cavity back and provide a little more forgiveness than the Z765's. Even advanced juniors may want to consider the Z565 irons for longer irons (e.g. 3 through 6 irons). 


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.

2017 TaylorMade P790 Irons

teenage golf clubs

TaylorMade P790 irons


Recommended for:

All levels

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

263 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,100+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

Similar to the Ping i500's, 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" inside. 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 including national tournaments such as AJGA, Hurricanes, USKids Teen World etc. as well as at many of the junior golf camps and schools. 

In addition, these irons are in use by a wide variety of players from beginner to advanced juniors and we have also seen these being used by several very good adult players with scratch or better handicaps and also some golf teaching professionals.

TaylorMade P770 and P750 Irons

best teenage golf clubs

TaylorMade P770 irons


Recommended for:

Advanced Juniors

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

258 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$1,100+ for 7-Piece Iron Set

The 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. The forgiveness in the 3 to 7 irons is thanks to a tungsten bar that lowers the CG and increase the MOI = forgiveness and a higher launch.


The P750's are a slightly smaller version of the P770. The P770 irons have been used by a number of tour pro's who sometimes combined sets with the P750's (i.e. longer irons being the P770's and shorter irons the P750's). The P750's are suitable for elite level players looking for more feel and performance.

Taylormade M3 and M4 Irons

best teenage golf clubs

TaylorMade M3 irons


Recommended for:

Beginner to Intermediate

Club Head Weight (6 iron):

257 grams

Retail Price (approx.):

$699+ for 6-Piece Iron Set

The TM M3 irons are compact, classic looking, player's irons with excellent distance and more forgiveness than the P790's. Compared to the previous M1 irons, the M3's have a thinner topline, improved shape, better aesthetics, a lower spin rate and more carry.

Taylormade's RIBCOR technology provides a stiffer frame and more flexible (faster) face resulting in increased ball speed. The tungsten sole weights in the 3-7 irons provide a lower CG resulting in improved launch and stability. Speed pockets and face slots improve distance and accuracy on off-center hits. Overall these are great irons for distance, forgiveness, feel and sound.

Compared to the M3's, the M4 irons are slightly lighter weight (yet a larger club face), offer more forgiveness and are ultra game improvement irons (even more forgiving than the M3 irons). They are also slightly cheaper than the M3's. 

Introduced in 2019, the M5 and M6 irons take these already good clubs to the next level but at a slightly higher price.


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 latest AP 718 (2018). The AP2 irons have evolved from a game improvement iron to a tour player iron.

Below we have included the 2018 versions (718's). The prior season 716 irons are also great clubs for juniors and can be bought new (or used) for much less than the 718's. In 2018 Titleist introduced the 718 AP3 which were designed to fill the gap between the AP1 and the AP2.

The other Titleist irons (not reviewed here) are (i) MB Forged (muscle back blade, a true player iron with "Classic" playability factor and not recommended for juniors), (ii) T-MB which is a hollow face iron that is shaped like a MB - i.e. a similar concept to the TaylorMade P790 and Ping i500 (both reviewed above), similar in performance to the AP2 reviewed below, and could work well for juniors, and (iii) the CB Forged which is a blade/ cavity back model and is actually similar in forgiveness to the AP2 and T-MB, and could work well for single handicap junior golfers that really want the look and feel of a forged blade iron. We have selected the AP series here based on what we see juniors playing with most frequently and overall reviews and recommendations. 

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.

The Titleist 716 AP1's are also still very good irons and a set of seven irons (e.g. 5 iron to Gap Wedge) can be purchased new for $650 (+ $200 for graphite shafts) which is a great price for a new set of quality clubs for your junior. 

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 is 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 in 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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