It’s a great time to be a golfer. After the surge of golf in 2020, it doesn’t look like golf is slowing down anytime soon. Which hopefully means more golf for you and overall, a better game.
But as you keep improving, it’s essential to play the right clubs for your game. While a lot of guys focus on drivers, don’t forget about your irons too.
Because you can hit long, straight bombs all day off the tee box, but if your approach shots aren’t good, you’ll leave tons of strokes on the golf course. While you need to have solid fundamentals, your iron set can play a big role as well. They can help with:
- Ball flight
- Total distance
- Playability (shaping shots)
And a lot more.
To help you hit more greens (and ultimately have more birdie putts), we wanted to focus on the best iron sets for mid-handicap golfers. If you’re someone that is going out to the course looking to break 90, it might be time to change your equipment. With so much amazing new gear coming out, it’s vital to stay current and make the game as “easy” as possible.
Best Golf Irons for Mid-Handicappers
First off, what is a mid-handicapper anyway?
For this post, we’ll refer to mid-handicappers as golfers who have a handicap in the 10-20 range. That means you shoot between 82-92 and might be able to even get into the 70s with a good round.
The iron sets for mid handicappers on this list are geared toward more advanced golfers than a beginner or recreational player. But they still provide plenty of forgiveness to help you hit more greens and set up more birdie putts.
If you are a beginner, or higher handicap, head over to our list of best irons for beginners and high handicappers. The clubs below are not going to do you any favors!
Also, if you’re a senior golfer these irons may suit your game a little better.
So what are the best golf irons for mid handicappers?
Here’s our list to help you decide and find the best golf irons for your game…
1. Callaway Apex 21
Starting off our best irons list is the Callaway Apex 21 set. This iron set the next generation of the 2019 Apex line, which we loved and highly recommended. But they made some awesome upgrades and in 2021, they even made the Golf Digest Hot List for best irons.
The Apex 21 from Callaway are their mid-handicapper club, as the Apex 21 Pro is more of a blade model. These are better suited for low handicap and scratch golfers.
For the 10-20 handicappers, go with the normal Apex (or Apex DCB below). If you played the 2016 or the 2019 models, chances are you will love these mid handicap irons too.
- First forged iron designed using AI (this is what was used to create their Epic driver line too). This helps create high ball speeds and additional spin across the face.
- These are a nice upgrade from the 19 Apex irons as they now have a Tungsten Energy Core. In fact, there is 5X more Tungsten than the 19 to help the COG (center of gravity) which means better launch and more forgiveness.
- Forged blade iron feel without the harsh penalties of a traditional blade design. These clubs look phenomenal at address and definitely don’t feel like you’re using a cavity back golf club.
- Premium shaft options (without the upgraded cost). You can choose from the True Temper Elevate ETS shaft (95 grams) or the graphite UST recoil dart shaft (70 grams).
Callaway recommends the handicap range from 5-15 for these clubs. Click here to learn more about them now.
Alternate Irons for Mid-Handicappers: Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons
If you like the Callaway Apex iron set but want a tad more forgiveness and distance, opt for the DCB model. These are more offset with a wider sole, making them easier to hit for a mid to high handicap player. These are more of a game improvement iron, but definitely don’t look like it at address.
The DCB irons make it easy to launch the ball from a variety of lies. Now, you can play a forgiving forged iron set with a ton of confidence when it’s time to hit the golf ball.
Callaway recommends these irons for 10+ handicaps who want extra forgiveness without having a bulky clubhead or super fast swing speed. Click here to learn more about them now.
2. Titleist T300
Another top pick for the best irons are the latest from Titleist. Similar to their driver line, they now offer four different types of both drivers and iron sets, giving you plenty of options. to choose from. They include the T100, T200, T300, and the T400.
At this level and likely swing speed, I would skip the T100 and T100S irons, as they are more of a low handicap iron. While the T400 is their most forgiving iron and geared toward players with low swing speeds and need maximum forgiveness. Instead, I would focus on the T300.
The Titleist T300 irons are somewhat of a game improvement iron but come in a mid-sized, compact head. These irons offer a relatively large cavity back to help with forgiveness and should provide plenty of distance as well.
Here is why they made our list:
- Long iron forgiveness. Thanks to the extra Tungsten weight in the toe, your misses will be much better and provide consistent performance, specifically in longer irons.
- Cavity back with a thin top line. While this is a pretty large cavity back compared to some on this list, it doesn’t look like it when you address the golf ball. Plus, as you get into the shorter irons the size of the cavity decreases, which makes it a seamless transition if you play the matching Titleist Vokey wedges. I’d also recommend these for mid handicap players too.
- Two high-quality shaft options. With the T300, you can choose from the steel shaft True Temper AMT red or the Mitsubishi Tensei AV Red graphite shaft. Both shafts only go up to stiff flex, but shouldn’t be an issue as a mid-handicapper.
One thing to note, this set is more on the stronger side in terms of loft. The 7 iron is 29 degrees, which is 2-4 degrees stronger than other mid handicap irons. Click here to learn more about them now.
Alternate Irons for Mid-Handicappers: Titleist T200
Additionally, if you want more of a player’s iron vs. more improvement irons, I would opt for the T200 for mid-handicappers. The T300 still provides a lot more forgiveness than the T100 blade irons, but will help you shape the ball more as well. Additionally, they’re a little less clunky at address, ideal for a mid-handicapper.
With the T200, you get almost everything that you do in the T300, but in a much more compact design. You also get three different stock options (one graphite, two steel shafts) and additional grip options too. Plus, they also make these in a limited edition all black version as well.
Click here to learn more about them now.
3. Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro
Mizuno might not dominate the golf market with their drivers or putters, but they make some of the best irons in the game. Looks alone, the Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro irons are arguably the best on this list.
Similar to Callaway irons, they offer a standard and pro version. The Hot Metal Pro has the same technology as the Hot Metal but a much smaller profile and less offset too.
For mid-handicappers, stick with the Pro version to achieve more shot-shaping capabilities and sleeker design. This is their third generation of Mizuno iron to use “Chromoly” for more speed and a piercing ball flight.
Here’s why they made our best irons list for 2021:
- 4140M Chromoly. These clubs have been reengineered and are thinner across the face than ever before.
- Seamless cup face technology. An update to the sole and leading edge makes it act like a hinge, which means more flex and higher ball speeds in the entire set.
- Beautiful sound. These clubs have three additional sound ribs to produce a solid harmonic sound at impact.
- Pearl brush finish. Mizuno ditched their chrome design of past iron sets to reduce glare and help keep you focused over the golf ball.
A few things to note with these clubs…
They’re only available in right-hand sets (sorry lefties) and the lofts are 2-3 degrees stronger than normal (in both the normal and Pro versions).
Alternate Irons for Mid-Handicappers: Mizuno MP-20 MMC
If you love Mizuno irons and are a more skilled player that is closer to single digit handicap, you will probably love the MP-20 MMC. These are an elite player’s cavity iron set that made the Golf Digest Gold Hot List in 2020 and 2021.
These irons have one thing in common with the Hot Metal Pros – they are gorgeous in terms of appearance. The MP-20 MMC is even sleeker with a thinner topline and more refined short irons. If you’re not looking for a ton of forgiveness but instead want playability, opt for these clubs.
The lofts are more standard loft (7 iron is 32 degrees) and have an improved transition from short irons to wedges. The shorter clubs have a narrower sole from 8 iron to pitching wedge, making them great for scoring scenarios.
They also have a combination of mixed satin/mirror finish, differentiating them from the Hot Metal series. Overall, the multi-material construction and additional fee make these a solid muscle back iron set choice.
4. Ping i210
Ping has a huge product line of iron sets, but the best for mid-handicappers is the i210 set. This iron set are excellent all around clubs that blend workability with forgiveness beautifully.
The Ping irons offer a hot, forgiving long irons with plenty of workability in the short irons. Making them the perfect set for mid-handicappers who want the best of both worlds.
Here are more reasons of why they made our best irons list:
- Buttery feel (their words, not mine… but every golfer wants that amazing sound and feel). A new insert in the clubface is 50% softer and ensures a pure feel at impact (even on mis hits).
- Great design. These clubs have a much more compact shape than the G425 or G710, but still offer plenty of forgiveness.
- Plenty of distance without strong lofts. These irons have normal lofts (7 iron is 33 degrees) but reviewers have said how much effortless distance comes from them too.
- Amazing turf interaction. The leading edge has been enhanced to make the turf interaction second to none with these irons. Plus, they have a HydroPearl Chrome 2.0 finish that now repels water to improve consistency on each shot.
They offer a variety of shafts including Nippon, Project X, True Temper, and even custom Ping shafts too. Click here to learn more about these Ping irons.
Alternate: Ping iBlade
If you want even more of a player’s iron, opt for the Ping iBlade irons.
Don’t worry though, despite “blade” being in the name, these are not traditional blade irons. They are cavity back irons that offer the playability of blade irons with enough forgiveness for a 10-15 handicap.
These are suited for better golfers who want even more workability and want to become a single digit handicap. They have a slightly smaller, more workable sole for optimal shot making throughout the round.
Click here to learn more about them now.
5. TaylorMade P770
TaylorMade unveiled all kinds of new irons this year, including the P770. These are mid-launch, mid-spin iron sets with plenty of distance, forgiveness, and workability. Despite lacking a large cavity back like some of the irons on this list, they still deliver.
They took all the tech from the P790 and put it in a more compact design in the P770.
Here’s why the made our list:
- Forged hollow-body construction for enhanced forgiveness, feel, and distance.
- Offer a Thru-Slot speed pocket for extra playability for all types of golfers.
- Offers SpeedForam technology and advanced tungsten weighting for ideal CG placement for optimal launch angles.
- Progressive inverted cone technology to improve accuracy on every club in the set.
Alternate: TaylorMade P7MC Irons
TaylorMade has another great option for mid to low handicap players in the P7MC irons. These have the classic look and feel of TaylorMade irons, with plenty of forgiveness and playability. Looks wise, these have a very clean design and look great from any angle imaginable.
According to TaylorMade’s website, the P7MC irons were “Inspired by Tour, the design features of P•7MC meets the standards of the game’s most discerning players. Classic shaping and minimal offset deliver the ultimate in control and precision. Perimeter weighting gives it just the right touch of forgiveness.”
Here are some more reasons why they made our list for 2021:
- Simple and elegant design. These clubs are some of the best looking on this list and stick with the patented TaylorMade design. A thin topline and minimal cavity back is perfect for a player who loves to work the ball both ways.
- Machined face and grooves for precise shot making for every club in the set.
Click here to learn more about them now.
6. Cobra King Tour Irons (with MIM Technology)
Another brand that has made a splash in 2021 is Cobra Golf with their King Tour irons. These made the Golf Digest Gold Hot List in 2021 and are a great option for mid-handicappers.
What makes these so unique is the design itself. They aren’t forged or cast like most irons. Instead, they use a new process called MIM (Metal Injection Molding Technology). According to Cobra Golf, this is the best way to make a precision iron.
So what is MIM technology?
According to Cobra Golf, “The MIM process is an evolution in manufacturing that is used to create the most precise and intricate shapes. The result is our purest, and softest feeling player’s iron that performs and looks unlike any other.”
Here’s why this new iron for mid-handicappers made our list:
- Available in stainless steel or copper iron sets.
- MIM Technology. This new way to design irons leads to one of the best looks of any irons on the market and a soft feel.
- Tour caliber shape. The King Tour clubs offer clean lines and a sleek topline in a cavity back iron.
- Strategically placed Tungsten Weighting. Cobra uses a high-density tungsten toe weight to position the CG directly behind the sweet spot. Not only will you feel this with well struck shots, but also extra stability for your mishits as well.
- Cobra Connect. Finally, with these irons (and any of Cobra’s new golf clubs), you also get Cobra Connect, powered by Arccos. This allows you to gain access to shot tracking, club averages, strokes gained analytics, and more. Free for a 90-day trial and works on Apple or Google devices.
These are some of the best looking irons in 2021 and easy to see why they made the Golf Digest Hot List. The only downside is that they are only available with KBS S-Taper steel shafts, which might not suit all types of mid-handicappers. If you want something a little more forgiving with graphite shaft options, check out the Radspeed irons.
7. Srixon ZX5
Srixon also has some great new irons in 2021 including the ZX5 which is great for mid-handicappers. The ZX5 was awarded the Golf Digest Gold Hot List and the Golf WRX “Best Irons” in 2021.
Needless to say, we think you will love them too. The ZX5 is more of a player’s club than the ZX4 and has a thin topline that looks great at address. While the ZX4 is a much longer blade and wider sole (great for higher handicappers).
Here is why the ZX5 made our list of best irons for mid-handicappers:
- Thin topline like the XZ7. But the blade is longer and the wider sole makes it a more forgiving golf club. Plus, it’s more offset as well.
- Forged club head design gives it an amazing feel in a very workable design.
- 3-6 clubs are wider and offer a larger cavity back design. While the 7-PW is more of a compact design for scoring clubs. The shorter clubs also have progressive grooves that are sharper and narrower for additional spin on approach shots.
- Decent loft. The 7 iron is 31 degrees which is only 1-2 degrees stronger than some on this list, making it easier to gap the rest of your irons and wedges.
- Premium stock shafts. Choose from the Nippon Pro Modus 3 steel shaft (105 grams) or the UST Mamiya Recoil 95 graphite shaft.
Plus, they’re slightly more affordable than other sets from bigger names on this list.
8. Cleveland Launcher UX
While Cleveland is mostly known for its amazing wedges, they do have irons too. Most of them are geared toward the mid to high handicappers, but the UHX irons still look great.
They combine distance plus accuracy with a lower cost than most high performance irons.
Here is why they made the list:
- Hollow long irons allow for extra forgiveness, better weight distribution, and plenty of distance. While the short irons are optimized for spin and control from close range.
- Steel face leads to higher ball speeds and more distance. Even on off center hits on the heel or toe, you will barely notice.
- Tour zip grooves allow for optimal launch and spin in the entire set.
9. Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons
While Wilson doesn’t have as much notoriety on the PGA Tour as some brands, they do have some elite players like US Open Champion Gary Woodland. And they have some great golf clubs for amateurs too. While I don’t recommend you play the staff model blades that he does, Wilson does have a great option for you… the D7 forged iron set.
First off, I’m impressed with the look of these golf clubs. They have a great design, including the unique pattern on the sole of the club. Looks aside, they are built perfectly for a mid-handicapper.
Here is why we like them so much for mid-handicappers:
- Patented power hole technology. The unique look on the sole of the club comes from this technology and has one goal… more distance! The holes are placed to increase face deflection and contact time, which results in more ball speed and longer distance.
- Power chamber technology. The entire chamber behind the face results in minimal vibration during impact, which results in excellent sound and feel.
- Carbon steel cavity design. This club offers a large carbon steel cavity for plenty of forgiveness with every iron in the set.
- Two premium shaft options. The Wilson set also has two great shaft options in the KBS Taper Lite steel shaft or the True Temper Catalyst 7=80 gram graphite shaft. Both come with a golf pride tour velvet grip.
But the biggest perk of all with this iron set?
These Wilson irons are several hundred dollars less than almost every other set on this list. Making them great for amateur golfers who want forgiveness, distance, and a compact design.
Alternate Best Golf Irons Pick: Wilson Staff CB
If you want a club that is geared towards mid to lower handicap golfers (without the high price tag), the CB steel is a great choice. These have a lot of similarities to the D7 forged irons, but have a smaller clubhead for more playability.
One big difference here is the loft between the two iron sets. The D7 lofts are roughly three degrees stronger than the CB irons, so make sure to plan accordingly. These clubs aren’t as forgiving, but will give you additional shot making capabilities.
Click here to learn more about them now.
10. Honma TR20 V Iron Set
Rounding out our list is the Honma TR20 V irons. Honma is a brand designed and engineered in Japan since 1959 but becoming more and more popular in the United States. It’s easy to see why, these are great looking golf clubs!
The TR20 is great for a mid-handicap player as they offer a great combination of distance and forgiveness. They were also awarded the “Most Wanted Irons” from My Golf Spy in 2020.
Here is why we like them for a mid-handicapper so much:
- Single piece forged construction for a player’s preferred profile.
- Relatively normal lofts, but plenty of workability thanks to the sole and shallow cavity. This makes it easy to launch any iron and have plenty of spin too.
- Premium shaft options. You can get them in the Vizard TR20-85 graphite shaft or the Nippon Modus3 105 gram steel shaft.
Backup Choices: 2020 & 2019 Golf Irons For Mid Handicappers
While the first 10 sets of irons on this list are great, we wanted to include some older versions as well. Since you might be able to buy them online or used directly from the manufacturer, there are a few great options we highly recommend. This should save you some money but still ensure you’re playing the right golf clubs for your game.
Taylormade M5 (with Speed Bridge Technology)
TaylorMade made another awesome set of irons for 2020 known as the M5 irons (not to be confused with the M6 iron). These featured their patented speed bridge technology to get maximum distance from each club.
Like the latest from TaylorMade, it also had the Inverted Cone Technology for faster ball speeds across the face. The Speed Bridge also supported the topline for a phenomenal sound at impact.
This is one of the best sets for mid-handicap golfers and can be found at a great rate. Click here to learn more about them now.
Callaway Mavrik Pro
Another great set from 2020 is the Callaway Mavrik Pro irons. These mid-handicap irons are about controlled distance in a compact design. They are much more suited for a solid ball striker than the Mavrik or Mavrik Max irons.
Callaway recommends these for 3-10 handicaps as they are more of a player’s performance set of irons. The custom tungsten infused weights create optimal launch throughout the set. Plus, you can get these golf irons at a fraction of the price. Click here to learn more about them now.
How to Pick the Best Golf Irons For Your Game
Picking the best irons for your golf game is a big decision.
Chances are you will play this iron set for several years (or longer), so it’s important to find the ones that are right for your swing. Plus, you want to make sure when you look down at them, they inspire plenty of confidence too.
Here are some of the biggest things to think about when finding the best golf irons for you:
For a mid-handicapper, you want to make sure that the club offers plenty of forgiveness. At this point in your game, breaking 100 is no problem, so you don’t need a huge, forgiving club with a massive sweet spot.
Instead, you want an iron set made for a mid-handicapper, not a game improvement set. This means enough forgiveness but also a focus on ball flight, ball speed, and accuracy.
As I’m sure you know, golf is all about one thing these days; distance, distance, and distance!
So the second thing to consider when shopping for the best irons is the distance for each golf club. Distance comes down to two things; the clubhead itself and loft.
The clubhead itself plays a role in helping you hit each iron far and offer forgiveness based on the size of the sweet spot. All the ones on this list shouldn’t be an issue there thanks to perimeter weighting and other features. Plus, as none of the iron sets are blades, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about distance.
But the other thing that factors into distance for each iron is the loft.
Sometimes club manufacturers will de-loft the club and tout them as a distance iron. In reality, they didn’t do anything new though and instead made a 7 iron loft into a 6-iron loft.
When choosing between multiple sets of irons, make sure to check out the club specs for a fair comparison. At this point in your game, you don’t need super strong lofted irons, so make sure they’re in the “normal” range.
Here are a few lofts to determine the “normal” range: of lofts
- Pitching wedge: 45-46 degrees of loft
- 7 iron: 32-33 degrees of loft
- 5 iron: 25-27 degrees of loft
Shaft (Steel vs. Graphite)
One of the biggest factors when buying a new set of golf irons is the shaft itself.
While face design is important, the shaft plays a much bigger role than most golfers realize. Deciding on graphite vs. steel shaft plays a huge role in distance and spin.
Graphite shafts tend to be lighter and make it easier to increase your ball speed (which means more distance). While steel shafts are heavier and focus more on the playability side of approach shots.
If you’re a senior golfer or a golfer who has a lower swing speed, I would go with graphite shafts. But if you’re someone who is healthy, actively working on your game, and wants to get into the 70s, get a steel shaft set.
The great thing about these irons is that there are tons of steel shafts that are very lightweight compared to the old days. Steel shafts from 100-115 grams are perfect for a mid-handicapper. Don’t forget to get the right flex too!
Something else to consider when looking for new irons is the playability of them. By playability, I mean the ability to shape shots in either direction and flight the golf ball accordingly. This is important because at this stage in your golfing career, you need more shots to break 80 consistently.
A general rule of thumb is that the larger the clubhead, the straighter it will go. Meaning, it is harder to shape shots as the clubhead is larger and geared more towards forgiveness than shot making.
Club Head at Address
Also, make sure that you enjoy looking down at the club at address. This goes into ensuring that you have plenty of confidence over every shot, which usually leads to a better swing.
One of the biggest factors here is the topline of the iron. Most of the irons on this list have a slimmer top line than our list for best irons for high handicappers.
Finally, don’t forget about the grip with your iron set too.
In a perfect world, you want all of your golf clubs to have the same grip (except your putter of course). This will make it easy to get your hands in the right spot every time with any club in the bag.
The only problem is that every club manufacturer tends to use different brands and styles. Make sure to double-check before ordering or regrip after you receive the irons to match the rest of your set.
Finally, always make sure that you play the same size grip too. For example, don’t use midsize on your woods and standard grips on your irons. This will help with your consistency a ton!
FAQS About Best Golf Irons for Mid Handicappers
Do you have more questions about the best irons for mid-handicap golfers? If so, hopefully we got them covered in the frequently asked questions and answers below.
Which irons should I use? How many irons should I carry?
This is a great question for mid-handicap golfers. At this point, clearly you’re a pretty consistent ball striker, which means you can play with more ions than hybrids (if you want). That being said, don’t feel like you should play longer irons as your handicap decreases.
There are plenty of PGA Tour pros who play a 7-wood or hybrid instead of long irons. At this skill level, I would suggest the longest iron being a 4 iron… possibly even a 5 iron.
Skip the 3 iron as it’s one of the most difficult clubs in the bag. Not only will this help you hit better shots from 190+ yards, but you will save money too.
A lot of the sets have 3-PW or 4-GW and would suggest the latter. A gap wedge is a much more useful club than a 3-iron and will ensure it’s gapped properly with your pitching wedge as it’s made by the same manufacturer.
What are the best golf clubs for a mid-handicap golfer?
You can’t go wrong with any of the iron sets on this list. When narrowing down between a few choices, make sure to use the checklist above so you buy the irons best suited for you!
What are game improvement irons?
Game improvement irons are the most forgiving type of irons when compared to cavity back irons and blade sets.
These are not the best golf irons for mid-handicap golfers! Game improvement irons are made for high handicap golfers who struggle to break 100 and need the most forgiveness possible.
These irons tend to offer more of a combo set of both irons and hybrids (Sim Max is a great option). Or, the irons are much more offset and very oversized to help players hit it longer and straighter (especially with mis hits). Playability and shot shaping is not a priority with these types of irons.
Examples of game improvement clubs include:
- TaylorMade Sim Max
- Cleveland Launcher HB Iron Set
- TaylorMade M6 Irons (with Speed Bridge technology)
Should mid-handicappers play a combo set?
In general, I would say no, most players at this level don’t need a combo set of irons. If you don’t know, combo sets are part irons and part hybrids to complete the set. Usually, the hybrids are the 3-6 irons and the irons are the 6-PW.
If you’re a mid-handicap golfer and want a more forgiving set, then a combo set could work. But if you’re actively working to shoot in the 80s or 70s, skip the combo set. These are more suited for higher handicap players and will limit some of your shot making potential.
Should you use one length (single length) golf irons?
One length irons are very different from a traditional set of irons and would advise you to think twice about it. As the name suggests, each iron is the same length which is quite odd for most golfers.
If you’ve been playing golf for a long time, you can understand how different that would feel. Imagine your 5 iron being the same length as your pitching wedge? Each iron is about the length of a normal 7 or 8 iron so it takes some serious practice to feel comfortable.
Needless to say, it’s a huge adjustment and not one to take lightly. Plus, there aren’t many manufacturers that make them aside from Cobra Golf. Since one of their top athletes, Bryson DeChambeau, uses them, they’ve become more popular.
That being said, he’s still one of the few professional golfers to use this type of iron. Before investing in this non-traditional set of irons, make sure to read our full post on single length irons here.
Final Thoughts on the Best Golf Irons For Mid-Handicap Players
It’s time to step up your iron game and start playing your best golf yet. As you can tell, there are tons of great choices from all kinds of manufacturers to help you shoot your lowest scores.
While there is no “one best” iron, it all comes down to your swing, what suits your eye, and your budget. I’m confident that you can’t go wrong with any of these as long as you pick the right shaft. Also, if your old irons were fitted and had adjusted lie angles, make sure to do the same with your new clubs as well.