Golf irons are an essential part of any golfer's bag, and they can last for years if they are well-maintained. But do golf irons lose their pop over time? The answer is yes, but it depends on how often they are used and how well they are cared for. For an average golfer who plays golf several times or practices several times a week, you should get a good 7-10 years with a set of irons. However, if you play golf every day of the year, it can only take 3 to 4 years before a set of irons starts to lose some of its jump from the face.
McKee says that when the irons and wedges lose their grooves, the ball loses its effect when it enters the green. So, if you've had a sand wedge for years and you've noticed the ball bouncing and rolling instead of bouncing and spinning, you probably need a new wedge. Irons are not going to lose their strength, for the most part they are just bits of metal. There is no evidence that golf clubs deteriorate over time.
Well-maintained clubs will last a lifetime. If that's the case, the answer if you want to improve is to spend more time on the practice street than in the golf shop. Golf equipment technology is advancing at a rapid pace and manufacturers release new irons annually, at worst every two years. If you're a golfer who hits the ball too low and you play with old golf equipment, it's likely that the new equipment can change the rules of the game. Or if you look in your bag and you still see an old iron 3 and 4 in there, you're certainly not taking advantage of advances in golf technology. Forgiveness-related performance won't suffer as much with older clubs, and they may still feel good and worth keeping in your bag.
Of course, that's a legitimate option, but some golfers are wary of custom adjusters, thinking it's a fair way for manufacturers to sell more clubs more often and complain that when they go regularly they seem to get different results every time. When the newest irons are constantly outperforming you or your clubs start showing physical signs of wear and tear, you know it's time to put that new set in your bag. Advances in iron technology haven't been as dramatic as they have been with drivers either, meaning your irons are unlikely to become as old-fashioned as other clubs. Golf irons wear out over time, but thankfully it has more to do with how often they are struck, their quality, and how well they are cared for than over time. If you maintain your clubs well and check that the grooves are good and make sure that the club face has no obvious damage, your irons should last a long time.