golfer swinging forgiving iron

Golf Club Forgiveness: What It Is and Why It Matters

As a recreational golfer, you may have heard of golf club forgiveness, or have even had other golfers recommend buying forgiving golf clubs. But what exactly is a forgiving golf club, and what does it do? Forgiving golf clubs can be absolute game changers for casual golfers. Literally. They’re often called “game improvement clubs,” after all. In this post, we’ll dive into what makes a golf club forgiving, who should use them, and what to look for when adding a forgiving club to your bag.

What is a Forgiving Golf Club?

In simple terms, golf club “forgiveness” refers to design elements in certain clubs that help lessen the effects of a bad swing or poor contact with the ball. Forgiving golf clubs compensate for bad swings by helping the ball travel straighter and faster than it would normally. These clubs are sometimes referred to as “game improvement clubs.” However, golf clubs that aren’t classified as game improvement clubs can still include a certain amount of forgiveness.

Design elements that make a golf club more forgiving include a lightweight shaft usually made of graphite, and club heads that are larger than normal and have a higher degree of loft. All of these elements combine to make a golf club that’s easier to swing and helps the ball travel farther, higher, and straighter.

Should Everyone Use Forgiving Golf Clubs?

Though anyone can use a forgiving golf club, those that are still perfecting their game can really enjoy the benefits of using these clubs. Forgiving clubs can turn a less-than-perfect swing into a great shot. We recommend forgiving clubs for beginners or intermediates who are still working with a high handicap.

For more experienced golfers, a forgiving club may not be necessary, as they’ve taken the time to practice their swing to make optimum contact with the ball. Golfers with low handicaps might find that forgiving clubs give their shots too much loft, or hit farther than they intend. However, we believe there’s no “right” or “wrong” type of gear to use when you play the game. All that matters is that you enjoy yourself and feel comfortable with the clubs you use.

How to Choose Forgiving Clubs

So, how do you go about finding the perfect forgiving golf clubs for your bag? Plenty of golf club manufacturers claim their clubs are forgiving, but there are a few factors you need to keep an eye out for to ensure you’re getting the best club for you. Let’s look at each club and what elements make them forgiving.

What To Look For in a Forgiving Driver

There are two factors to look for  when choosing a forgiving driver: loft and spin rate.

Drivers are meant for long-distance shots, but unless you’ve got a powerful swing, it’s a bit difficult to maximize distance when you’re first starting out. A lightweight driver with a graphite shaft will help you swing the club faster, generating more power on those long-distance shots.

A high degree of loft can also help. A forgiving driver with a loft of about ten to twelve degrees can help get the ball higher into the air so it can travel further and land closer to the green. The Stix driver has a loft of 10.5 degrees. Once your swing speed increases, you should be able to gradually move to a lower loft driver–or not! Just use what feels best for your game.

A forgiving driver will also have a low spin rate. A low spin rate helps compensate for backspin generated by a bad swing by helping the ball travel straighter without hooking or slicing. If you constantly watch your ball sail to the left or right instead of straight ahead, a low spin driver should prevent that. Paired with a low spin golf ball, a forgiving driver can really improve your golf game.

What To Look For in Forgiving Woods

Fairway woods are also important to have in your bag for shorter tee shots or long fairway shots, so you’ll be looking for forgiving design elements similar to that of the driver: graphite shaft, high loft degree, low spin rate. A larger club head also increases the club's forgiveness. A larger club head means a larger sweet spot, which is the area on the club face that delivers the best shot. A bigger target makes it easier to get a bullseye, after all..

What To Look For in Forgiving Irons

When choosing a forgiving set of irons, you’ll want to look for cavity back irons instead of forged blade irons. Cavity back irons are more forgiving because the sole, or bottom of the club, is wider, allowing for more bounce. They’re also a bit heavier, giving the iron a lower center of gravity which allows for greater launch and distance on your shots. All Stix irons feature cavity back club heads.

A graphite shaft also makes for a forgiving golf iron. Graphite shafts are lighter, allowing you to swing faster and therefore hit the ball farther. If you have a fast swing speed, you may still benefit from a forgiving iron with a graphite shaft. You can further customize your clubs by choosing the best shaft flex for your ability, thus improving your game.

What to Look For in Forgiving Wedges

Forgiving wedges are perhaps most important for a beginner golfer, as the short game is where it gets most complicated. Pitching, chipping, getting out of bunkers—wedges can do it all. 

When choosing a wedge set, cavity back or blade style wedges offer the most forgiveness. Graphite shafts also make wedges more forgiving, even though plenty are manufactured with steel shafts. If you’ve got graphite shafts for all your other clubs, staying consistent with a graphite shaft for your wedges is going to be the best choice for your golf game. Unlike our irons, Stix’s wedges are all blade style.

For a full breakdown of golf wedges, check out our Ultimate Guide to Golf Wedge Degrees to help you select the best wedges for your bag.


At Stix, we are all about making golf accessible for everyone, no matter where they are in their golf journey. That’s why our sleek, modern clubs are constructed with a high level of forgiveness. Our clubs are designed to fit your game rather than the other way around. So, if you’re shopping around for clubs with a great degree of forgiveness, check out Stix golf clubs. You won’t be disappointed.

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