Reviews of The Best Mid Handicapper Irons For The Intermediate Golfer
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- 1 Reviews of The Best Mid Handicapper Irons For The Intermediate Golfer
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.
- 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.
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 irons for the mid handicap and lower categories price their sets 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 full sets.
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, it’s going to come down to personal choice and idiosyncrasies in your own swing and game.
Forged, Cast, Muscle-back, Cavity back
Once upon a time all 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.
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.
Anything I put below is from my observations, fittings, and what I’ve read on the subject.
- Slow swing = weaker flex
- Fast swing = 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.
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.
Best Forged Irons for the Mid Handicapper
Ben Hogan Edge Irons
Ben Hogan Golf put out the Edge irons over 30 years ago and updated them for 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.
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 there in the Edge irons with added forgiveness for the mid to low handicapper.
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.
You can read my full review here. Too impatient to read my full review? Well, click the big red button to the right and give Ben Hogan this code (BRDX10). BOOM!…10% OFF.
- Very easy to hit and very forgiving
- Great distance with nice high trajectory
- Excelent price for value
- Great looking clubs
- None, really. Perform and look great!
- Not a marquee name in the golf club manufacturing
Ben Hogan PTx Pro Irons
Hogan is phasing out the original PTx irons and the PTx PRO irons are the new Sheriff in town.
The PRO’s were built with feedback from customers as well as advances in technology since the original PTx’s.
Gone is the naming of clubs by loft and back is the convention on single-digit numbers. The PRO’s are still made using a multi-material forging process and weight is specifically placed for better forgiveness and performance.
The PRO’s surely don’t disappoint in the looks department either. I find the heads near-perfectly compact with the signature beautiful design elements we’ve come to expect from Hogan golf.
I experience similar performance to the EDGE irons, but in a more compact “player” friendly package.
You can read my full review here
Too impatient to read my full review? Well, click the big red button below and give Ben Hogan this code (BRDX10). BOOM!…10% OFF.
You can also demo the clubs for 14 days for $25 or buy them straight out.
- Great shot-making ability
- Forgiving…to a point
- A lot of club for the money. Ben Hogan keeps the bargain pricing in place for 2019
- Beautiful clubs
- Not as forgiving as the Edge irons
- For the more accomplished ball striker
- Low name recognition
Mizuno JPX 919 Forged
If you’re looking for an iron to take your game to the next level, you can’t go wrong with this best-selling Mizuno iron in your bag. With a mid-sized forged head, it is designed to give you the optimal balance of forgiveness and provide your swing the power it needs to make those once-in-a-lifetime shots.
Built with Boron Steel and combined with additional metals, the iron is nearly 30 percent stronger than regular steel, giving you extra power where it matters most. Its Grain Flow Forged HD technology gives you the feedback you need during every swing so you can correct as you play and chart the perfect plan of attack.
The Mizuno JPX 19 Forged Iron is also built with a stability frame which has an open heel position for improved stability during ball impact. The iron is chrome-plated with a durable finish, making it perfect to use during those extra sunny golf days.
- Great blend of power and forgiveness
- Not the most visually appealing…to me
Best Cavity Back Irons Mid Handicappers
Taylormade M5 Irons
A Golf Digest’s 2019 Hot List Gold Medal Winner, the Taylormade M5 iron had me at “Hello”…well almost.
I was NOT expecting to like-love this club. The design of the cavity back, at least just what I saw in images online didn’t really grab me…at all.
Then…I opened the box and pulled one out. Love love love the compact not-to-compact head design. Really appealing to my eyes.
- The clubface frames the ball very nicely with zero intimidation with the longer irons
- Excellent distance and trajectory from the first strike
- I quickly got over whatever qualms I had about the looks. I grew to be Just Fine with the design.
I’m making a strong recommendation for this club.
- Low handicap- good to go
- Mid handicap- good to go
- High handicap- with a little work, you to can be good to go.
Check out my full review here!
- Perfectly compact design (for my eyes at least)
- Longest I’ve played
- Get the ball up Easy…Real Easy
- Can shape ’em too!
- Good value for the performance you get.
- Not the prettiest from a design standpoint
Callaway Rogue X
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 both 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.
- Easier shaping and control for better shot making
- Great distance
- None really. They do what they are supposed to do and look good while doing it.
Ping G 410
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.
- Distance BOnanza
- Ping-level forgiveness
- Sweet looking little club
- None. Works as advertised.
Improving your game and becoming a better player once you’re at mid handicap level can be difficult, which is why choosing the right iron set is so important. Going from an intermediate to a top-level golfer is hard, and unlike when you first begin golfing, every little improvement at this stage will help you get to the next level of your golf game.
While the “lucky” irons you’ve used for decades have done well for you up until now, investing in the right iron set can make the difference between a great day on the golf course with a low score and an outing you never want to forget.
What it comes down to, is I can’t say for you what the best irons for mid handicappers are. The point is finding something you like and can play well with. Experience and testing always get the final say.
Grab your Titleist and hit the course!