The Best Golf Irons For Mid Handicappers [Mid 2020]

*Don’t forget to check the price at all stores as they usually run different promotions such as free shipping*

The Best Golf Irons For Mid Handicappers
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How come no-one ever talks about the loneliness of the mid handicap golfer?

It’s a weird zone to be in, no longer learning the game, as you were as a high handicapper, not yet a golf shark like the low handicappers. You’re just there, trying to get better, fearing falling back, and looking for every possible advantage. Paddling along with the 40% of adult male golfers in America, according to the US Golfing Association, who share the mid-zone with you.

So – that’ll be why no-one ever calls it lonely, then. You’ve got a lot of company.

A lot of those mid handicap golfers will stay in the mid-zone the rest of their lives. But some are determined to drive, stroke and putt their way down to the realms of low handicap golf. And if that’s you, every imaginable company has a secret to sell, a gizmo or a gimmick to help you get better.

That’s never more true than in the market for iron clubs.

More than in the other two zones, iron play is where mid handicappers are made. Where they live and breathe, fail or succeed. You need good iron play to advance to lower handicap numbers. Fall behind on your iron play and the undertow of the high handicap zone will pull you inexorably back.

So – can we interest you in some seriously good iron clubs? Can we interest you in the best iron clubs for mid handicappers?

Step this way.

 

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.

Our Reviews

Editors Choice

Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's Launcher HB Iron Set (Set of 7 total clubs: Steel, Regular, Left Hand, 4-PW)

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*Don’t forget to check the price at all stores as they usually run different promotions such as free shipping*

Our take

The Cleveland Launcher HB iron set takes our top spot for the combination of scientific intelligence and human compassion that’s evident in its design.

Big statement, we know, but stick with us a minute.

The Launcher HB irons are designed like hybrids. Because the clubs are designed like hybrids, Cleveland has been able to shift the center of gravity in the clubheads. Pushing the COG lower means you get better contact and more elevation when you strike the ball.

Irons with air! These hybrid-like irons get the ball in the air in a big hurry, meaning longer straighter shot-making potential.

And as well as being irons that can give you more air, the weight has been moved around the really strong clubface of the Launcher HBs. That means an immediate reduction in the side spin that can send you off course with a soul-sapping slice or hook and ruin your day’s golf.

The way the clubs have been built turns them into forgiveness-engines. Every stroke you play is less likely to go wrong, more likely to go straight, and much more likely to see you play through holes at par or below.

Another aid to forgiveness in the Launcher HB irons is a strong steel insert in the clubface, which flexes when it hits the ball. The flex acts to reduce the side spin further, and helps you get longer distances out of your Launcher clubs.

If you’re looking for reasons to buy a full set of irons from one clubmaker, Cleveland makes a good case with the Launcher HB irons. There’s an overarching logic to the set, the shape of the clubhead changing progressively as the irons increase in number. For longer irons like the 4 iron, for instance, the clubhead is lower and wider than it is in higher irons.

Why is that a thing? It allows you to get higher, longer ball flights from longer irons than you’d expect. Loft, air, distance, forgiveness – it all adds up to a set of irons that will see you hitting more and more respectable golf. Golf that will see you pulling your way down to lower handicaps through increasingly advanced iron play.

The Cleveland Launcher HB irons combine advanced design, effective aerodynamics and a gift for clubhead design that actively improves forgiveness in iron play. That’s why they take our top spot in this list.

Stand-out features include

  •  Hollow clubheads give you more speed through the swing
  • Great launch angles off the clubface, with flexible inserts aiding the flight
  • Highly forgiving, due to weight shifting to the edges of the clubface
  • More speed and less side spin make for longer distances per stroke

Best Value

Callaway Golf 2018 Men's Rogue Irons Set (Set of 6 Total Clubs: 5-PW, Right Hand, Synergy, Regular Flex)

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*Don’t forget to check the price at all stores as they usually run different promotions such as free shipping*

Our take

In case you didn’t catch this, a lot of highly technical design and development is being deployed by major clubmakers to improve mid handicap golfers’ iron play.

The Iron Wars are on.

Callaway’s latest advance in techno-golfing, the Rogue irons, bring their own brand of aid to the mid handicap front.

You remember the cunning iron insert in the Launcher HBs that helped reduce side spin and push the ball away faster and straighter?

Callaway has its own version of that technology, known as 360 Face Cup. What’s more, that’s been updated and thinned down in the Rogue irons. Thinner inserts mean more flex at the point of impact. More flex means more effectiveness in killing side spin. Means straighter shots, landing where you aimed them more of the time.  

As in the Launcher HBs, Callaway has shifted the weight of the clubface to the perimeter of its Rogues. That brings the same results to your round – more forgiveness of the hooks and slices that can kill your optimism and your stroke numbers.

In the Callaway version, the weight distribution is dealt with by a cavity back design. There is a downside to that in terms of sound though – you lose the familiar sound of a well-hit shot when you use a cavity back. Or at least you would, had Callaway not added urethane microspheres to the cavity back. That’s right. The company invested time and money to keep the sound right so it could give you forgiveness-engine technology in its new irons.

Between the Cleveland Launcher HBs and the Callaway Rogues, you could have yourself a day of extraordinary golf. For us, the Clevelands take the glory, but once you understand the way the Callaway Rogue irons work, they could make a real challenge for the top spot.

Stand-out features include

  • Updated Face Cup technology gives fantastic forgiveness
  • Lots of feedback in the hand
  • Good lift and loft from these techno-irons
  • Adjusted acoustics make for a better ‘feel’ per shot

Brand New Player

TaylorMade Golf M2 Iron Set 4-PW Right Hand Steel Stiff Flex

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*Don’t forget to check the price at all stores as they usually run different promotions such as free shipping*

Our take

Yes, we’re still with TaylorMade. The M2 iron set is an option for mid handicappers who aren’t yet quite ready to take on the power and potential of the M6 set.

They still offer mid handicappers a great golfing experience and a reduction of their average shot numbers through advanced technology. They’re TaylorMade, of course they do.

So what does the M2 set offer that differs from the M6?

In essence, the M6 set are potentially low handicap irons that demand you step up to their power and techno-skills. The M2 set by contrast takes the pressure off and builds you a portable comfort zone in which to hone your human skills.

In particular, the M2 set helps you develop the accuracy of your shots. Obviously, being TaylorMade, it does that by using some technologically enhanced design, but the onus is still on you to improve your accuracy.

The M2 set has TaylorMade’s Face Slot technology embedded in it. Getting jargon-weary? Face Slot helps you keep the ball aimed at the target, and maintain ball speed even on your off-center shots. That means that come wind, weather or that nemesis of all golfers, side spin, the M2 irons help you avoid slices and hooks.

As with some of our list-leaders, the M2 irons reposition the center of gravity in the clubheads lower down. What does a lower center of gravity mean? Yep – more air, more elevation. And more elevation means more distance, and shorter holes.

Boosting your comfort and confidence in your mid handicap iron play even more, the M2 irons have a unique sole design which means they take no nonsense from grass. They glide through divots so they make clean, full, connected contact with the ball whenever possible. Clean contact means that more often than not, what you’re aiming for is what you get with the M2s.

The M6 irons will challenge you to be good enough to get the most from them, and reward you with the kind of play that flirts with lower handicaps. The M2 irons have just enough technology to enhance your existing skills and improve your shot instincts till you deserve the M6s.

Stand-out features include

  • The lower center of gravity means longer shots
  • Face Slot technology and Speed Pocket technology give a thinner clubface, for more distance
  • Impressive forgiveness
  • Unique sole for clean contact through divots

Most Versatile

TaylorMade Golf M6 Iron Set, 5-PW, AW, Right Hand, Regular Flex Shaft: KBS Max 85

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*Don’t forget to check the price at all stores as they usually run different promotions such as free shipping*

Our take

Never let it be said that TaylorMade was ever knowingly outdone when it came to adding technological design to a set of golf clubs.

In the Iron Wars, the company’s best weapon for mid handicappers is its M6 iron set.

That set brings TaylorMade’s longstanding Speed Bridge technology to the battle, coupled with the Speed Pocket design that makes the M6 irons ballistically fast.

The M6 irons also benefit from a colossal sweet spot, which cuts down the likelihood of hook or slice and promotes straight, fast, long iron shots to eat up the yards of any hole. Added to that, because TaylorMade’s never knowingly under-equipped, the M6 irons have Twist Face technology too. What on earth is that? It’s more or less the TaylorMade version of the Callaway Face Cup or the Cleveland insert. It’s a side spin killer that allows you to hit straighter, faster, less wobbly shots and place them where you aim them.

It could be argued that the M6 irons offer something to low handicap golfers above and beyond all this – they allow you to break out your shot-crafting skills. If you’re a mid handicapper with eyes on that low handicap prize though, the M6 irons will give you a taste of that power. Read more books, get to grips with technique, and the M6 irons give you the chance to hone some next level golf ninja skills.

The M6 set gives you options on the clubs you want in your bag – to wedge or not to wedge, that is the question…

The answer is yes please, Hamlet, get as many wedges as you possibly can, it can only be a help to your mid handicap play. Grab that pitching wedge, it will give you options when you need them and stop your par-breaking run from coming to an end on the verges of the green.

With more technological design than a Bond villain, the M6 irons are a set that demand you step up to them. If you’re unfamiliar with shot-shaping, they can be initially intimidating. But owning them is a way to get familiar with shot-shaping, and bring your skills up so that you can dabble with the low handicap contenders.

Stand-out features include

  • Speed Pocket technology gives you extra swing speed per shot
  • Twist Face technology minimizes side spin and aids forgiveness
  • High launch angle and longer distance
  • Shot-shaping capabilities
  • Optional additional pitching wedge

Our take

We’ve seen the technological design Cleveland gets into its Launcher HB irons. In the Launcher CBX irons, it gets more straightforward. It’s a set of irons that give you easier play with longer irons and more controlled shots with the shorter clubs. Boom – job done!

The Cleveland CBX irons have a similar cavity back to the Launcher HBs, meaning more forgiveness and a broader sweet spot to cut down on hook and slice. Plus, getting more distance with the longer irons means golfers can get a full clubsworth more progress per shot with the Launcher CBX irons than with equivalent clubs.

That’s got to make the Launcher CBX irons worth a look if you’re a mid handicapper trying to cut your stroke numbers and your handicap.

Stand-out features include

  • Launches high and gives great distance
  • Helps avoid hook and slice with a giant sweet spot. 
  • Lofts of the clubs printed on the bottom – helpful when choosing wedges

Buyers Guide

When buying irons to help you get the most of your mid handicap play, there are some crucial things to keep in mind.

What Kind Of Mid Handicap Golfer Are You?

Not all mid handicappers are the same. If you’re new to mid handicap golf, there are irons that would quite possibly overwhelm you (like the TaylorMade M6s). Then there are clubs that would offer you a more gentle journey towards progress, like the TaylorMade M2s and the Cleveland Launcher CBXs. Get a feel for where you are in your mid handicap journey and it will steer you to the clubs that will help you most.

What Do You Want The Irons To Do For You?

There are some things we all want in golf – straighter shots, faster shots, more distance, less hooking and slicing. And some of the newer club sets deployed in the Iron Wars can give you help in lots of these areas. Decide which mixture of advantages you want in the first instance and steer towards clubs that give you most, if not all, of what you need.

Straight On Through Or Stick Around A While

Golf is frequently treated like a race by those who play it. A race to get to the lowest possible handicap, using every gadget and gizmo under the sun to simply accomplish goals and move on.

But golf can actually be a great academy for skills, rather than a race. If you just want to sink balls into holes as fast as possible, choose the irons that will help you do that. If on the other hand, you want a set that can teach you to play different shots and extend your shot-shaping techniques, choose those instead. Match your club selection to your golfing temperament and your ultimate ambitions. Play through or build skills – the choice is up to you.

The Best Golf Irons For Mid Handicappers FAQs

Ultimately, look for clubs that extend what you can naturally do. Clubs with greater forgiveness are great, though you should by now have lost some of your slice. Clubs that add forgiveness to speed, straightness and solid contact with the ball are ideal for mid handicap play.

There’s a lot to be gained by making clubs that mid handicap golfers want to use. Clubmakers are willing to deploy as much technological design as they can to give you clubs that help with the particular issues of mid handicap play. Roughly 40% of male American golfers are in this category. That’s a huge market – which is why the clubmakers are giving you as much techno-design as possible to help you improve. If you love their clubs, the chances are the rest of the 40% will too.

Some can, certainly. There’s a balance at work in most mid handicap iron sets. On the one hand, they give you enough support that you don’t fall back to a higher handicap. On the other, they give you tools to maintain your mid handicap status, like technology that minimizes side spin etc. And some club sets, like the M6 irons, let you access some of the higher level, lower handicap skills you’ll need to cut it in the low handicap world.

You can certainly use some of these iron sets to improve your play and develop your shot-shaping so you’re ready to take that next step.

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