Update: 27th January 2019
Before we get into our main picks, we’ve just been alerted to a new video from Rick Shields which reviews a “secret” set of Callaway irons. He’s calling them secret as they’re not available from normal golf stores, but they are available from Costco and we also found them on Amazon.
Technically it’s not just a set of irons. It’s a full set of clubs including a driver, 3 wood, 5 hybrid, 6-SW and Odyssey putter. And the best bit is, these clubs are about a third of the price of Callaway’s standard ranges. Only issue is they are “stock”, so no custom fitting, but they are available in both regular flex and stiff.
You can check out the video below. But in short, Rick was very impressed with the quality, and couldn’t quite figure out why they were so cheap.
The Callaway Edge full set is available in regular flex here and stiff shaft here. We haven’t tested them ourselves yet, but from what we can see (and Rick knows his stuff) these are going to be a great choice for most mid handicappers.
But if you’re looking for something more custom, here are the rest of our picks.
The Best Irons For Mid Handicap Golfers This Year
1. Taylormade M6 Irons
The M6 is the latest game improvement iron from Taylormade, replacing the popular M4. And on that note, the M6 irons are more an upgrade on the M4s, rather than a total overhaul of the design. But that’s no bad thing as the M4s were great irons, and indeed were our picks for last year’s best game improvement clubs.
As you would expect, the M6 irons have been designed with forgiveness and distance in mind. And on both fronts, they deliver. The irons have a very low center of gravity, which produces a high, penetrating ball flight, even on mishits.
The major upgrade from the M4s is what Taylormade are calling “Speed Bridge Technology”. It’s basically a structural beam which runs across the cavity back and connects the topline and back bar of the iron. It works to stabilize the iron and minimize impact vibration. Which feels (and sounds) very good, but on the downside offers less feedback at impact (i.e. you won’t really know whether you truly hit the ball flush, or the iron was helping you out).
The speed pocket in the back of the irons ensures that shots struck low on the face will still launch well, with plenty of spin and speed.
Like most game improvements clubs, Taylormade’s M6 irons feature jacked up lofts to help you hit the ball further. The pitching wedge is 43.5 degrees, the 7 iron is 28.5 degrees, and if you go for a set with a 4 iron, then you’ll get a loft on it of just 19 degrees. If you’re not used to stronger lofts, then make sure you hit the range and dial in your distances again before you head out on the course, as the chances are you’ll be at least a club longer. You’ll probably find that you’re hitting an 8 iron from your old 6 iron distance.
Update: the official TaylorMade site is offering $300 off M6 irons in February. Grab this deal while it lasts!
2. Ping G410 Irons
Ping are a giant in the game improvement sector, building a well deserved reputation for designing clubs that are easy to hit and forgiving.
But even though the G410 are second on our rundown, I’m going to say that they don’t hugely excite me. Reason being? I’ve got a set of last year’s G400s in my bag and I don’t personally think the improvements are worth the upgrade.
Ok, I’m being a bit unfair. And let me clarify, the G400s are great irons. And the G410s do up the game slightly. So what’s new?
Firstly, the clubhead is slightly smaller. This might seem a bit of a strange move from ping, considering the target for the club (you would think a bigger face would be easier to hit), but the G400s did/do look slightly shovel like at address. The smaller (yet still generous) clubhead on the G410 does look more like a ‘players’ iron, and a smaller clubhead should also translate into more speed.
Note: Ping have taken the same downsizing approach with the G410 driver, which has a smaller face (455cc) than the G400 Max (460cc). Although it’s still bigger than the first iteration G400 driver (445cc).
There’s also a reduction in the offset and a thinner top edge.
Lofts aren’t quite as jacked as the Taylormade M6s, but with a 30 degree 7 iron (compared to 28.5 on the M6), you’ll still be able to hit the ball plenty far.
The G410 are mid spin, with a high launch and strong flight. Most tests have shown a slight gain in distance over the G400s, with a tighter dispersion. So yeah, maybe I was being unfair.
Verdict: You can’t really go wrong with Ping game improvement irons. They know their stuff. If you already have a set of G400s you might not think this a worthwhile upgrade. But if not, the G410 irons are highly recommended and certain to get you hitting more greens in regulation.
More info: Ping
3. Callaway Rogue
Callaway are another big brand who are serving the mid handicap sector well.
Their Rogue irons, launched in 2018, have everything you would expect in a game improvement club. Great feel, impressive distance, and very forgiving on off-center hits.
At address, the large profile clubhead inspires confidence. And there are also white lines on the bottom of the face to help you with alignment.
The low CG gets the ball up in the air (and flying relatively straight) easily, even when you get down to the lower lofted clubs.
It’s possible to work the ball with the Callaway Rogue, but they are designed primarily to launch the ball straight and minimize curve. If you need to work the ball you might want to look at the Rogue Pro range.
And while the standard Rogue should have plenty distance for most mid handicap golfers, if you really want to maximize carry, then the Rogue X are worth looking at. They have a more penetrating flight than the Rogue and super jacked lofts. But the lower lofts will require a little more swing speed, so if your primary concern is getting the ball in the air and flying to the target, stick with the Rogues.
Verdict: Callaway are another brand who know the mid handicap sector inside out. You’re going to be very happy with your purchase, and will approach even long irons with increased confidence.
More info: Callaway
4. Cobra F-Max Irons
If you want ultra forgiving irons and an affordable price point, Cobra’s F-Max irons are well worth a look.
They have weaker lofts than the other irons featured here, which makes them even easier to get up into the air, but you’re going to be giving up a bit of distance. If your swing speed is on the low side you’re going to appreciate the lighter swing weight and when it comes to minimizing curve, loft is your friend.
Note: If you’re a faster swinger, then you might find that there’s a bit too much spin on these irons. You might want to look at the Cobra King F8 instead, which have stronger lofts.
The extra loft really helps when you get down to 6, or 5 iron. But on the flip side, you’ll probably get the same distance with a jacked up 7 iron…
Tech wise, the F-Max have an undercut cavity, heel bias weighting, and plenty of offset on the hosel. Everything you need to hit the golf ball straight.
Verdict: If you’ve got a low swing speed, and want to get the ball up in the air with plenty of spin, then the Cobra F-Max are a great choice. The extra spin will also ensure the ball lands soft, which should help you hold greens. If you have a faster swing, and want an affordable iron, then take a look at the Cobra King F8.
More info: Cobra Golf
Our Pick: Taylormade M6
Whichever of these irons you choose, you’ll be sure to shave strokes from your scorecard and hit more greens.
They are all in the game improvement category, and specifically designed for mid handicappers who want to get the golf ball up in the air easily. They’re not a silver bullet, it’s still possible to hit a bad shot. But the forgiveness in the clubs means that you don’t have to worry about hitting dead center every time, and even if you catch the ball low on the face, it should still fly towards the target.
Overall, we feel the Taylormade M6 are the best irons for mid handicappers in 2019.
What Do Mid Handicappers Need From Their Irons?
As a mid handicapper, there are 3 things you should look for in your irons:
- Ease of ‘getting the ball in the air’
And that should be the order of priority.
Unless you’re confident that you can hit the ball in the center of the clubface every time (and most of us aren’t), then you need an iron that’s not going to punish you too much for hitting a little towards the heel or the toe.
Getting the ball up into the air goes hand-in-hand with forgiveness to some extent. But it’s also to do with where the weight is positioned in the iron. A low center of gravity (which most modern game improvement irons have) will help to launch the ball into the sky.
And when it comes to distance… yes, we all want to hit the ball further. But irons are scoring clubs, and the most important thing is that you hit them a consistent distance each time. While it’s good for the ego to hit your 7 iron 190 yards, it doesn’t do you much good if it’s also 20 yards offline. I would take 160 yards and straight(ish) every time.
But with that being said, most game improvement irons have stronger lofts, which all things being equal will lead to more distance.
What’s A Mid Handicapper?
Just to confirm, a mid handicapper would generally sit in the 10-20 range, shooting a competition score somewhere in the 80s.
The irons in this guide would also be suitable for most single digit cappers down to around a 5 or 6. But if you shoot lower than that, then you’ll probably want an iron that’s more workable as these irons are designed to minimise curve. You can still draw or fade them, but their primary goal is to get the ball up in the air and straight.
Looking to lower your scores in 2019. Check out our golf section for more tips and reviews.