Best Irons For Mid Handicappers – The Definitive Guide & Reviews 2019

Best Irons For Mid Handicappers

Golf is a difficult but rewarding sport. The challenge of driving the right distance, and watching a perfectly aimed shot drop right where you want it is thrilling and satisfying. One of the biggest factors in getting that perfect shot for beginning or intermediate golfers is choosing the best irons for mid handicappers.

Irons are used on just about every hole for those second and third shots, making them the most often used clubs in the bag. Depending on how well you strike the ball can make the difference in what kind of club you need.

Those that hit with consistent accuracy likely want a blade style iron that give the best range but are the least forgiving. For those that need a little give in how they strike the ball, but still strive for strong distance, then a cavity back iron is like the mid option. If you are just concerned with keeping the ball in the fairway regardless of how far it may go, then grabbing a set of game improvement irons is the smart way to go.here are a few different iron selections to consider as you shop around.

5 Best Irons For Mid Handicappers - Comparison Table



Irons Technology

Editor Rating 


Titleist 716 AP2 Iron Set

Titleist 716 AP2

High Density weight in the lower area


Adams New Idea Hybrid Irons Set (3H-5H, 6-PW)

Adams New Idea Hybrid

wraparound slot technology


Callaway Men's XR Iron Set

Top Pick

Callaway Men's XR

Face Cup Technology


TaylorMade Men's RSi1 Iron Set

TaylorMade Men's RSi1

Speed Pocket with ThruSlot Technology


2017 Cobra Golf Men's KING F7 Iron Set

Cobra Golf Men's KING F7

Teflon-Progressive Set Technology


Top 5 Best Golf Irons For Beginners & Mid Handicappers - In Depth Reviews

1. Titleist 716 AP2 Iron Set

The feel of these irons if very solid. The club heads are forged steel with tungsten weights added to the toe and heel to add more speed to the swing. This line of clubs fits the cavity back style of club, which means these are irons for 15 handicap players or better.

The added club speed, mid-size sole and flatter offset are less forgiving in these clubs than those in the game improvement category. These clubs do allow much better control for shaping shots than those that are reviewed above. Mis-hits may veer much farther off course than other clubs, and consistency is more challenging to achieve until an intermediate level of golfing ability is reached. Once that level of comfort is built up, this club does become very consistent and keeps a tight dispersion

The forged heads provide good feedback and sound great hitting the ball, especially when a swing is spot on. The 716 AP2 irons are a bit more compact than other clubs, with a slightly thicker top line than many models in the same class.


  • Offset minimized on compact club head
  • Solid appearance and striking
  • Added tungsten weight to club head
  • Tight shot dispersion once adjusted to use


  • Mid price compared to competitors
  • Shorter driving ability compared to similar irons from other makers

2. Adams New Idea Hybrid Irons Set (3H-5H, 6-PW)

The Adams New Idea Hybrid Irons are an entry in the game improvement genre of irons. These are irons for 15 handicap and above golfers.To help golfers in this category, Adams designed the club head to have a sweet spot that extends closer to the toe. Adams discovered that many golfers that tend to only play casually strike the ball closer to the toe causing mis-hits. By adjusting the sweet spot, this allows for more forgiveness to those casual players.

The clubs are quite bulky, but well designed so that they look good and give the golfer confidence in their strength. The clubs provide one of the loftiest shots you might ever experience, taking little effort to launch the ball sky high. The wide sole and deep offset make striking easier for the beginner.

Hitting with these clubs is unlikely to improve distance, as they are made to improve accuracy and shot placement. The mid loft and extreme forgiveness are definitely a reward for those that are looking to find more fairways, even if it will take an extra shot or the need for a longer iron to reach the green after the drive.


  • Straightforward playability from the first swing
  • Highest level of forgiveness, almost a self correcting club
  • Springy feel that doesn’t wiggle on impact
  • Strong appearance gives confidence


  • Loss of distance is significant
  • Lack precision with short irons on scoring shots

3. Callaway Men's XR Iron Set

These irons have a medium amount of offset, and swing like a cavity back club, but they are still a game improvement club. The club heads do feature a wider sole, that begins to look almost chubby in the shorter irons, but provides for lots of forgiveness.

The power and distance created by these clubs is awe inspiring compared to conventional clubs. It may be difficult to gauge your gapping between clubs when using these clubs at first, so it’s best to take them for a test drive at the range before tackling a round on a course.

The Callaway Men’s XR irons feature a 360 degree cup face so that ball speed is improved no matter where you strike it. The biggest draw back is that the manueverability of the clubs is very limited. Shaping shots is not easy with these irons, they are the true definition of grip-it and rip-it philosophy. That being said, these irons for mid handicap golfers will certainly bring scores down no matter where they are used to play.


  • Shots are high and straight
  • Very favorable forgiveness, effortless to be accurate
  • Very powerful distance
  • Lightweight and easy on the wrists
  • Traditional Callaway appearance


  • Difficult to shape shots
  • Large club heads on short irons make green side shots difficult

4. TaylorMade Men's RSi1 Iron Set

The RSi 1 is a club with a moderate offset, and a wider sole. These clubs also feature a new technology in their Face Slots, which are polymer filled holes on the face that add speed and forgiveness to the swing. This set of clubs falls into the game improvement iron category. These irons for mid handicap players will make shots consistent, fluid and powerful.

Golf is a game of control, and the RSi 1 iron set allows for reasonable control even when players have a lot of mis-hits. The stock shaft is the Reax 90, a 90 gram lightweight steel shaft that provides a heavier club head to improve swing power. This series also features the thinnest club head in the TaylorMade lineup. With the wider sole and a deep undercut these clubs are built to generate maximum face speed.

The only drawback for this club, when comparing to other TaylorMade game improvement irons, is that the power isn’t as great as their SpeedBlade line. When striking with the SpeedBlade irons the speed of the ball off the face seems much faster and provides a longer shot over-all, but the shots made with the RSi 1 were more consistent in placement.


  • Playability is great even in tough lies
  • Strong level of forgiveness
  • The feel plays on the heavy side with a solid touch at impact
  • Improved look and unique face show off the engineering
  • Great distance control


  • Not as rewarding striking as other game improvement irons
  • Face Slots may appear distracting during contact to some golfers

5. 2017 Cobra Golf Men's KING F7 Iron Set

Another entry in the game improvement iron category, these clubs look and feel great. These clubs have a mid accuracy and lots of forgiveness. Designed with lots of loft in mind, using these clubs will make every shot launch like the ball has been set on a tee.

While the accuracy and loft of these clubs is magnificent, the distance and ability to draw or fade shots is diminished compared to some competitors. That said, it’s actually a feature and not a bug. The Golf Men’s KING F7 line of irons for mid handicap golfers is designed so they can play a straightforward game with consistent distance control with each club.

These clubs are another set with a thin face and wide sole. One thing of note that is different is the weight of the club head is spread around the perimeter of the club head, rather than being in the center. This provided a more balanced feel to the swing than some clubs have, and it adds to the forgiveness on mis-hits.


  • All of the irons are the same length, allowing for the same stance and setup with all clubs
  • Long irons feel more comfortable to hit than conventional clubs
  • Consistency places mis-hits within a few yards of intended placement
  • Distance is consistent with conventional clubs


  • It takes time to adjust to the one-size irons if you’ve been using conventional clubs
  • Short irons take longer to get used to and learn

What To look For In The Best Golf Irons For Mid Handicapper

If you’re serious about improving your game, here are some tips to choose irons for 20 handicap players to start shrinking that handicap down to zero.

Cast or Forged Steel

Casting is the process of pouring molten steel into a mold to make the head. Forging is using brute force to stamp the head out of a piece of steel. The difference is usually in the feel of the club, as older cast irons may not be as well balanced as their forged counterparts. If looking at newer clubs though, the casting process has been modernized quite a bit, and the feel is not much different from forged products now. Generally going with a forged iron is still the best way to go from the start, but it’s worth it to pick up those cast irons for a feel just in case.

Sole Mates

The way the sole of the iron is shaped and weighted will make a big difference in how balls are struck. If you need more loft in your game, then going for a wider sole will help get the ball airborne better. Narrow soles are usually on more expert level clubs, as their striking will be more consistent. 

Depending on where you’re at in your progress can make a big difference in sole to match yourself with. For intermediate golfers, irons for 15 handicaps and under, it is also worth looking at bevelled soles. Bevelled soles lose less energy when striking as they interact more smoothly with the turf.

Know What Offset You Need

Offset on a club is where the face sits in comparison to the hosel, or the part of the club head that the shaft attaches to. Having more offset is better for beginning players as it gives slightly more time to adjust the face of the club at impact with the ball. Less offset is used by people that want to shape their shots. Shaping is when you draw or fade a shot, making the ball curve during flight in the direction you need it to go. 

When the face of the club is further behind the hosel, shaping is more difficult and straight on shots are the result. When the offset is more forward then it’s easier to steer the ball, but harder to hit it straight if you’re not comfortable with the club. Forged clubs generally have less offset, which is one more reason why more seasoned players lean towards forged clubs.

Lighter or Heavier Clubs

The general theory behind most golf clubs at this time is that a lighter shaft and a heavier head will result in a faster moving club head before impact. With as much weight at the end of the club as possible then gravity and momentum become an advantage on your downswing. Heavier shafts and lighter club heads mean a more balanced swing but less energy at impact when the same amount of swinging force is used. 

Choosing between the two is matter of individual technique and club swinging ability. Some people naturally swing the club faster than others, and those may opt for more control in their hands with a lighter club. Those with a slower or more average swing speed may want to opt for the heavier club head and lighter shaft to improve the power at the point of impact to give longer shots.

Custom Fit Clubs or Off the Rack

This is a simple concept that should be true for every golfer. Always get your clubs fitted to your individual size and stance. Golf clubs are not one-size-fits-all, so sizing them is important if you want to be serious about your game.

A Closer Look At The Types of Irons: What Is The Best For mid Handicappers ?

As briefly discussed earlier, there are several different types of irons. This section is to help better understand what each type specializes in.

To start with, the game improvement irons are what have mostly been focused on in the reviews here. This is because they are the irons that do what their name says, help to improve your golf game. These clubs generally make it easier to hit straight shots. They make errors more tolerable with high levels of forgiveness. They make the game fun for beginners and mid handicap players so that they remain competitive and want to keep playing.

Cavity back irons are for the more advanced player. These clubs are designed to be the go-between as a player advances from the beginning golf level to the near professional level. Cavity back irons allow for more shot shaping, but still provide extra oomph to shots with a relatively relaxed level of forgiveness. After learning the basics, these irons can help add finesse and touch to the game. These irons take it from being a straight shot from tee to cup to truly showing off the special techniques a golfer can master.

Lastly, for the consummate pro, there are blade style irons. Blades don’t have much for gimmicks in their designs. They are built to be solid, with a minimal offset and take true technique mastery to perform well with. Mid level golfers like using blade style irons because they give the best feedback for how well the golfer is striking the ball. They also allow for the most control over shots of any of the iron types. These clubs show how well the player really knows the game, and allows for trick shots that only a true professional can pull off.

General Tips: For Buying The Best Irons For Your Bag

The first thing to be wary of is those ultra inexpensive models you see at the bottom end of golf shops or sporting goods stores. Unless you are a true beginner, then you are likely looking to upgrade from those hand me down clubs to a nice set of your own. Picking up the cheapest new clubs won’t be much better for your game.

For a mid handicapper, the most likely type of club you should go for is the game improvement irons. These will help you hone in on your skills, while still keeping the game fun and enjoyable. The way golf technology has been changing, it’s not that expensive to find a reasonable set of game improvement irons that can do what you need.

Paying for forged heads at this level may not be worth it. Generally the cast club heads will be cheaper and more accessible as they are more easily mass produced. As stated earlier, at this point the difference between a forged and cast head isn’t that vast. Unless you are aiming to be an expert at the game, taking up cast irons will be perfectly acceptable.

Opting for the more expensive graphite shafts may not be the best choice. Sticking to the standard steel shafts will likely give you the best feedback from your ball strikes, helping you feel when you nailed a shot. The softer and lighter graphite may not be able to impart that feedback as well. Whichever way you go with the shaft type needs to be done for all clubs in your bag. Mixing steel and graphite shafts on different clubs will cause different impacts on your shots, so for better consistency choose all your clubs with one or the other.

Top 3 Iron Brands/company For mid handicappers In The Market - 2018

While it may be difficult to accurately select the number one brand that produces clubs, there are certainly three that stand out in my mind above the others. Titleist, TaylorMade and Callaway seem to have the greatest impact on the market right now.

Callaway is by far the leader when it comes to making clubs that provide the longest drives. Whether it’s from their irons, drivers or wedges, Callaway knows how to engineer clubs that go for length.

TaylorMade is the most innovative with new technology in club heads and design. Just looking at the new Face Slots that have been built into the RSi line of club heads shows that they are still innovating. To stay on the technological leading edge, keeping up on what TaylorMade is producing will always keep you there.

Titleist has been around since the early 1930’s and they are still a household name amongst golfers. While some of their best work is done in golf ball technology, it’s easy to see that they have a strong grasp on making clubs as well. With one of their slogans being “Serious clubs for serious golfers,” they have shown time and again that they make the best products for the best players.

The Final Roundup

After looking at all the clubs above, and learning about the different options available, the clear winner that stands out is the Callaway Men’s XR irons. Being the closest thing to a middle ground between cavity back irons and game improvement irons they can be used the longest. That plus the many pros and few cons shows just how easy and fun they are to play with. The Callaway irons for mid handicap players will bring scores down, keep courses enjoyable and leave some money in the bank.


1. Question: What is the length of the irons?

Answer: Golf irons off the shelf have standard lengths for each club. Most companies can customize the order to what you need at the time of ordering. The shaft length can be altered by some pro-shops, but that can throw off the weight balance of the club. It’s best to request customization before you purchase.

2. Question: What clubs are included in a set?

Answer: This depends on the manufacturer and the individual product. Check the information fully before ordering, or ask the question while in the pro-shop to make sure you are getting the clubs you need.

3. Question: Can I buy an individual club or iron?

Answer: Maybe, but generally irons are sold as a set and not marketed to be sold one iron at a time. If you want one particular iron, check with the manufacturer to see if they can supply what you need.

4. Question: Where can the clubs be shipped to?

Answer: This depends on the seller, as some sellers will only ship within the United States due to mailing restrictions. If you need clubs delivered outside of the United States you may need to visit a local authorized dealer for the clubs you want.

5. Question: Are head covers included?

Answer: Irons rarely have head covers, unless the owner has decided to purchase them on their own. Unlike drivers, irons are not as prone to damage from the elements or storage, making it unnecessary to use head covers.

6. Question: What is MOI?

Answer: MOI stands for Moment of Inertia. In science, a moment is a point of rotation, so when golfers are talking about the Moment of Inertia they are talking about rotation of the club when it makes contact with the ball.

MOI measures how much the club face twists because of making contact. Inertia is the force of follow through, and how difficult it is to stop or change the direction of an object that is moving. A higher MOI means it takes more force to rotate the club head while in motion, keeping the face straighter through contact.

A lower MOI means that it takes less force to twist the club, which means the face may twist and not be as straight through the follow through. Having a higher MOI will be more forgiving and more consistent.

Related Posts
No related posts for this content
Jennifer Collins

Hi This Is Jennifer Collins, a home blogger, and lover of golf. I have built my website around my passion for golf, so that fellow golf lovers will enjoy the content and also find it interesting and useful. My life-long pursuit of the sport has given me in-depth experience in writing about golfing. Follow my blog for tips to improve your golfing game information about the season's hottest golfing products.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Jack GolfGuy - September 18, 2018

Thanks a lot Jennifer for this helpful post on the best irons for mid-handicappers. I’m a mid-handicapper who’s been playing for over 15 years, and my current irons are getting quite worn and desperate. I’m now looking for a new set of quality, durable irons, probably with a custom fitting, because I know first-hand how helpful fittings can be. I like to have some forgiveness in my clubs, but nothing too over-the-top with super chunky heads. These recommendations look good, although many of them are quite old. I actually just came from Golfstead and in talking with them, they recommended I check out your content. I can see why. Do you have any thoughts on the TaylorMade M4 irons?


Leave a Reply: