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What's The
Best Mid Handicapper Irons For The Intermediate Golfer?
Reviews & Buyer's Guide


Tiger Woods Iron Swing

So, what exactly are the “best” irons for mid handicappers and intermediate golfers?

I consider this Mostly Subjective these days thanks to the quality of clubs being put out by ALL manufacturers.

Alright… you’re a mid handicap golfer and ready to graduate from game improvement irons or even super-game improvement irons…You might even be thinking about “player” irons. Heck, maybe you are want to stick around the game-improvement category but just want a different look.


I feel you… I’m there myself. My heart wants me to go straight-up player and sometimes my head even agrees…but, I’m not there yet.


There’s a lot that goes into this choosing new clubs, even before you ever take a swing.

  • Do I like the looks?
  • Is the clubhead too big, too small, too thick, too thin, too short, too long?
  • Do I like the finish?
  • Am I confident when I look at the clubhead behind the ball?

That’s a lot to chew on…and we still haven’t taken a swing. So, where do we go? Testing, my friends.

Not everyone likes to do it, luckily, I do and I’ve written about my experiences below.

Recommended Products

Key Details

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Taylormade M5 Irons

Our #1 Rated

  • VERY Long
  • Forgiving and workable
  • Very Easy to Hit
  • Great Value

Taylormade M6 Irons

Our #2 Rated 

  • As long as any irons I've tested
  • Gets the ball up fast
  • Larger head inspires confidence
  • Very forgiving & Workable
  • Great VALUE

Taylormade M6 Irons

Our #3 Rated

  • As long as any irons I've tested
  • Gets the ball up fast
  • Larger head inspires confidence
  • Very forgiving & Workable
  • Great VALUE
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Ping G 410 Irons

Our #4 Rated

  • Ping quality and Value
  • Long and forgiving
  • Great trajectory
  • Great looking clubs
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Callaway Rogue X Irons

Our #5 Rated

  • Standard Callaway performance
  • Good looking clubs
  • Long & forgiving
  • Confidence at address
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1. Taylormade M5 Irons

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

What great golf clubs!


These are the first irons I've ever hit from Taylormade...and they made quite the impression on me from the first strike. From the pitching wedge to the short irons to the long irons, I could have not been more impressed. From distance to superior ball flight. I am smitten... Seemed like the entire club face was a sweet spot. I think the M5's have the best head design in the class. 


I've been playing Taylormade woods and drivers since 2007 so it stands to reason they would probably make great irons too. Well, I'm a believer now. Do yourself a favor and try these on for size. 


The heads are just a tad on the smaller side, which I love, so those of you wanting a more forgiving look may want to check out the M6's if that's important to you.

Pros

  • Explosive Distance
  • Plenty forgiveness and playability
  • Great trajectory and green holding
  • Best Value...On sale at Taylormade

Cons

  • B + on Looks

2.Taylormade M6 Irons

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

A Golf Digest’s 2019 Hot List Gold Medal Winner, the Taylormade M6 irons are true performs and not just a pretty face.


I'm a low handicapper, so I was a little worried the size of the heads would be a distraction...Not to worry! Though the clubheads are bigger than my player irons, they are in no way gaudy. You can show these off to your buddies. 


They perform beautifully and are perfect for the mid and maybe even higher handicapper out there. What I saw at address should inspire a lot of confidence for those looking for just a little more forgiveness.

  • The clubface frames the ball very nicely with zero intimidation with the longer irons
  • Excellent distance and trajectory from the first strike and very easy to flight (Not expected in such forgiving irons

Pros

  • Confidence-inspiring head size for the mid handicappers
  • As long as any irons out there
  • The ball gets up really easy
  • No problem shaping and flighting shots
  • Crazy big sweet spot
  • Great Value- On Sale

Cons

  • None. They do what Taylormade claims.

3. Ben Hogan Edge Irons

Beautiful clubs & Beautiful performers at the lower end on price for superior performing clubs.


Ben Hogan Golf put out the Edge irons over 30 years ago and updated them in 2018. Bottom line, they go toe-to-toe with clubs costing twice as much.


If you like good looking clubs with elite distance and forgiveness, give these a tumble. They have a nice high ball flight that holds the green with zero ballooning.


These babies offer the perfect balance between look and performance and perform as well as any irons I’ve played or tested. 


All the technology that goes into Hogan blades is in the Edge irons with added forgiveness for the mid handicappers to low handicappers. Hit the sweet spot and they sing. Miss by a little and you are still likely on the green.


The latest Ben Hogan Edge Irons offer more offset than in previous models, giving you more time to square up before you hit the ball as well as loftier shot trajectories which improve your shot accuracy.

Pros

  • Beautiful design 
  • Plenty forgiveness and playability
  • Great trajectory and green holding
  • All the distance you need and easy to hit
  • Awesome sound and feel

Cons

  • Doesn't have ALL the custom fit options of some brands.

3. Ping G 410 Irons



Well known in golf circles for providing the everyday golfer with an excellent game improvement iron, Ping has improved upon its previous offerings with the Ping G 410.


The Ping G 410 is built with the Custom Tuning Port removed, which gives the club significantly more flex.

Made with both aluminum and the elastomer Santoprene, the club reduces those unnecessary vibrations from your perfect golf swing, making it a comfortable iron to play with all day long.


The Ping G 410 comes with a variable Cor-Eye face which provides variable thickness to improve the accuracy and power of your shots.  It also comes with tungsten weights in the hosel to provide better stability when your club strikes the ball.


Because of the technical improvements over previous models, the Ping G 410 remains one of the better looking and feeling clubs on the market today.


If you need a high-quality cavity back iron, you would be wise to give the Ping G 410 a try.

Pros

  • Increased ball speed
  • Distance BOnanza
  • Ping-level forgiveness & performance
  • Great sound and feel
  • Great looking clubs

Cons

  • None. Perform as advertised.

4. Callaway Rogue X Irons

As Golf Digest’s 2018 Hot List Gold Medal Winner, the Callaway Rogue X is a phenomenal cavity back iron for those looking to improve their accuracy and playable shots and is a terrific value. Built with a 360 Face Cup and VFT, the Rogue X iron head offers a generous amount of club head to hit your shot perfectly.


The flexible rim head is released on impact to improve ball speed, distance and accuracy and is one of the more forgiving irons you’ll find on the market today. By leveraging tungsten weighting, the Rogue X offers incredible precision and control, so your shot lands precisely where you intend.


The tungsten is nearly double the weight of steel, giving additional power without sacrificing the accuracy you need to play your best round.


Compared to the Rogue Standard, the Rouge X is both lighter and longer in length, making it the perfect compact combo iron to add to your bag.

Pros

  • Easier shaping and control for easier shot making
  • Callaway-level forgiveness and distance

Cons

  • None. Perform as advertised

How To Choose The Best Mid Handicap Irons 


Now that you’ve made the choice to upgrade your set, there are a few considerations you want to make…


Price

All major manufacturers that produce golf irons for the mid handicappers and the lower categories price a set of irons anywhere from $800 to $1400 or so.


Ben Hogan (not a major manufacturer, but a known brand),  being the lone stand out with a max price of just over $770 for a full set of irons.


Brand

Mizuno, Cobra, Callaway, Ping, Taylormade and Ben Hogan, are but a few of the many fantastic brands to consider.


When looking to purchase a new set of irons, it’s going to come down to personal choice and idiosyncrasies in your own swing and game.


I believe variation in quality and performance is a much smaller factor than ever.


Forged, Cast, Muscle-back, Cavity back



Once upon a time the best golf irons were forged from a single chunk of metal, then Ping came along…

Casting, the cavity back, and perimeter weighting were introduced, making better scores accessible to a whole new group of players.


The forging process is being used more these days in mid handicap friendly irons to improve shot-making ability. Callaway, Taylormade, Mizuno, and Ben Hogan, are just a few examples. 


They’ve managed to introduce more playability without sacrificing forgiveness.

I think golfers in this category should probably stick to cavity back irons, forged or not.


How To Pick The Best Shaft for My Set


So, we’ve got two choices when it comes to shaft material and many when it comes to stiffness. I’m not going to give a full treatment on all the variables that “can” go into picking a shaft.


If you really want to dig into this stuff, I suggest a fitting.

I’ll give you some general guidelines that I always want you to supplement with testing for yourself before you pull the trigger and buy your set.


Shafts are made of either steel or graphite. For a time in the 2000s, there were shafts that were roughly half graphite and half steel.


I haven’t heard a thing about those in years, though I see they still do exist.

When it comes to shaft flex, there is no industry standard and manufacturers can label their shafts whatever flex they want.

When it comes to shaft flex, there is no industry standard and manufacturers can label their shafts whatever flex they want.

Anything I put below is from my observations, fittings, and what I’ve read on the subject.

In general:

  • Slow swing speed = weaker flex
  • Fast swing speed = stiffer flex

Shaft Flexes: Weakest to Strongest


  • Ladies Flex: you can guess who this flex caters to

  • Senior Flex: see above
  • Regular Flex: the bulk of beginners and high handicappers will do fine with this flex. Even lower handicap seniors will likely find these work fine. 
  • Stiff Flex: better players with driver swing speeds approaching 100mph are probably best served with this flex
  • Extra Stiff: start getting past 105 mph driver swing and you can start considering these.

**Disclaimer- There are varying opinions between fitters and manufacturers on who should swing what flex.

TEST FOR YOURSELF


How To Pick Shaft Material



Steel vs Graphite:

  • In general, graphite shafts are a bit more flexible, lighter, less durable, and allow you to hit the ball farther.
  • In general, steel shafts are a bit stiffer, heavier, more durable, and offer more stability and consistency. 

Graphite shafts are usually a little more expensive, but when ordering brand new sets directly from manufacturers,  you will often pay the same for steel or graphite.


I’ve played both and played well with both. I’m currently using extra stiff steel shafts and have for the last 13 years. I was fitted for these shafts and they’ve performed beautifully for me.


Should I Get My Set Custom Fit?


I’ve got a simple philosophy on custom fitting that I’ve expressed in other reviews on this site.

  • Mandatory: N0
  • Potential to help you play better, a lot better.: Yes

It’s ALL up to you. Do you just want to get on the course have fun and drink a few beers during a round? (That’s a “NO” for me, by the way.)


Are you competitive and want to improve,  play your best, or at least, well when you play golf? (Yes, for me)


I’ve had lessons and been fitted. I can tell you my misses miss less since my fitting and I can set up to the ball more comfortably instead of having to manipulate things to try and hit a shot.

Up to you.


Our favorite Mid Handicap iron is...


The Taylormade M5 irons are my #1 mid handicap irons for a couple reasons

  1. They are long, forgiving, well priced, and super easy to hit
  2. Better players prefer smaller club heads, and these are small enough so that you will still not mind using them as you move from mid to a lower handicapper. 

WINNER

Taylormade M5 Irons

Taylormade M5 Irons

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