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Best Mid Handicapper Irons For The Intermediate Golfer?
Reviews & Buyer's Guide
Welcome to my best irons for mid handicappers and intermediate golfers review.
I've dropped a lot of sweat in the Houston heat while hitting buckets of balls and playing beaucoup rounds of golf putting the best irons on the market through their paces.
Here's what you'll learn:
- How to chose the right club for you
- Key attributes of each club
- Where they excell and do not excell
- Best pricing if you decide to take the plunge & I always try to give you a couple choices
- I link directly to manufacturer when it makes sense... to help the little guy, and they are all little guys compared to the big "A"
- The best mid handicap iron on the market...it may not be the newest model.
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.
Callaway Mavrik Irons
Our #1 Rated
Best of 2020
Taylormade M6 Irons
Our #2 Rated
Taylormade M5 Irons
Our #3 Rated
Who are they for...
The mid-handicapper looking for more playability, a slightly more "player" look, and needs just a touch less forgiveness.
- Looks: Black w/ orange accents (not my favorite for these irons). Head size is moderately big, but not gaudy.
- Feel / Sound: Very solid feel with a nice "click" on contact. Pleasing overall.
- Forgiveness: If you have any ball-striking skill whatsoever, you will be good to go with the Mavriks. Center strikes yield killer results, but the whole face is working in your favor.
- The Mavriks are easy to hit through the bag. Even the long irons get up easily and carry for days.
- Distance: Looong. Easy distance over a good portion of the club face. Hit the sweet spot and watch it really fly.
- Shaping: You can dial up any shape or trajectory you want, assuming you can already dial up any shape or trajectory you want.
Who are the these for: The player looking for all the performance of the M5 in a larger club head with even more forgiveness.
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
Who are these for:
- The mid handicap golfer comfortable with a smaller profile and a more player look that needs a touch less forgiveness and wants to max out performance.
...Cream of the Crop for mid handicap and even lower handicaps
I am absolutely blown away by these irons.
They 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.
Awesome Distance...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.
Taylormade is phasing out the M5 and has no direct replacement.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Anything I put below is from my observations, fittings, and what I’ve read on the subject.
- 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.
The Best Mid Handicap Irons are...
The best irons for Mid Handicappers are the Callaway Mavrik irons
- Best Performer of 2020...by far.
- They are long, forgiving, well priced, and super to hit
- They can transition you right into being a low handicapper beause the heads are just small enough to look cool for single digits and they have all the qualities better ball strikers look for.
If you are even thinking about picking up a new set of irons...
Callaway Mavrik Irons
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