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So, what exactly are the “best” irons for mid handicappers and intermediate golfers?
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.
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.
Taylormade M5 Irons
Our #1 Rated
Taylormade M6 Irons
Our #2 Rated
Taylormade M6 Irons
Our #3 Rated
Ping G 410 Irons
Our #4 Rated
Callaway Rogue X Irons
Our #5 Rated
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ladies Flex: you can guess who this flex caters to
**Disclaimer- There are varying opinions between fitters and manufacturers on who should swing what flex.
TEST FOR YOURSELF
Steel vs Graphite:
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.
I’ve got a simple philosophy on custom fitting that I’ve expressed in other reviews on this site.
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 Taylormade M5 irons are my #1 mid handicap irons for a couple reasons
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