If you are a golfer who is looking for the best irons for mid handicap, then this article can help. We have compiled a list of the irons sets that are designed to suit your needs as a player with bespoke choices for increased control, distance and feel. These clubs will help you get better at golfing and increase your enjoyment on the course!
Table of Contents
- 1 Our top picks
- 2 Ping G425
- 3 Mizuno MP-20 HMB
- 4 Ping i500 Irons
- 5 TaylorMade P770 Irons
- 6 Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons
- 7 Mizuno JPX921 Forged Irons
- 8 Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons
- 9 What to look for in mid handicap irons
- 10 What is considered a mid-handicap in golf?
- 11 What are the easiest irons to hit?
- 12 What are the longest most forgiving irons?
- 13 Summary
Our top picks
- Ping G425 (all-round performance)
- Mizuno HMB (great feel & forgiveness)
- Ping i500 (great distance, high launch)
- TaylorMade P770 (exceptional distance)
- Mizuno MP-20 MMC (looks & feel)
- Mizuno PJX irons (distance & forgiveness)
- Wilson Staff D7 (great value & feel)
Ping is well-known for the way their irons perform and this new release does not disappoint. The G425’s offer a more forgiving club than previous models that will help improve your ball striking, which means you hit is closer and shoot lower scores!
One of the significant features is the club’s sleek design that makes a noticeable difference when positioned behind the ball compared to the G410. Although smaller, this club still inspires confidence with its traditional look.
As with the previous model (Ping G410’s), tungsten toe and hosel weights distribute more of the overall head weight to the perimeter, giving greater stability on off-centre strikes.
Ping indicate the G425 iron has an increased MOI (resistance against twisting for off-centre hits) compared to previous models, and in testing the clubface did feel noticeably easier to control through impact.
In addition, Ping has used 17-4 stainless steel in the clubface. This is a material used in their powerful fairway woods, it provides greater ball speed from all areas of the face, and consequently less distance lost when you miss the sweet spot.
In our testing, there was a small overall gain in ball speed against the Ping G410, largely owing to the metal wood face construction, which provides greater flexion on impact and more distance.
The standard spec lofts remain the same across models, both with a relatively strong 30 degree 7-iron, the G425’s launch the ball 1-2 degrees lower but generated greater backspin. The increased backspin results in a steeper landing angle for the G425’s and ensured that there wasn’t a noticeable gain in distance.
So the Ping G425 irons may not be noticeably longer, however, they do offer a great blend of distance and control.
The Ping G425 have ‘an enhanced vibration dampener’ in the form of their redesigned multi-material badge plate that sits inside the cavity on the back of the head. A sweetly struck shot gives a satisfying sensation, but one we’d describe as solid and powerful, rather than especially soft. On the whole, the feel is fairly similar to the G410 irons – no great shift forwards, but still a great feeling iron.
Control, launch & shot-shaping
Control is the one area we feel the Ping G425 irons have taken a big step forward. The increased backspin ensures your approach shots stop quickly on landing, and makes controlling distance easier for you. And the greater MOI in the Ping G425 irons also helps with getting your clubface square at impact too.
The Ping G425 irons allow for greater workability and shot-shaping compared to competing cavity back mid handicap irons.
For a brand new release packed with the latest technology, the Ping G425 irons are more than reasonably priced, certainly when compared to alternative options. A set of 6 irons in steel will set you back in the region of $850 (£690), but expect to pay a little more for graphite shafts.
It’s also worth noting that Ping, like Cobra, are now offering the Arccos Caddie smart grips as standard in their G425 range. This is also true of the G710, but the same set of 6 irons will cost an extra £200 or so.
Golf Insider Verdict
Whilst the Ping G425 may not fully provide the added distance and softer feel proclaimed by Ping, they certainly represent a considerable improvement on their predecessor (the Ping G410 irons).
In the marginally more compact head, you have an iron that is more stable through impact, generates better than expected spin for greater control and doesn’t sacrifice ball speed. That’s on top of looking great when placed behind the ball.
If we were teaching a mid handicap golfer, who turned up with a set of Ping G425 irons in their bag, not only would we fully approve, but we’d be a little jealous too!
Mizuno MP-20 HMB
The Minzuo MP-20 HMB is hollow in design and has a thin forged face for higher ball speeds. The hollow design and tungsten weights embedded within the head maximise accuracy and forgiveness for off-centre hits. They also create a higher launch compared to the MP-20 muscle back and MMC. Making it a great choice if you’re looking for great distance and forgiveness but don’t want to sacrifice feel.
The MP-20 HMB irons feature a thin topline, minimal offset and clean finish. When placed behind the golf ball you feel like you are playing with a traditional iron – just with a little ‘extra meat’ added to the clubhead.
Off centre strikes benefit from the perimeter weighting and additional tungsten weights. The hollow design has allowed Mizuno’s engineers to push the centre of mass lower down in the clubhead which also helps shots get airborne when struck low on the clubface.
The Mizuno HMB irons really do offer exceptional forgiveness. Yes, you could find a full cavity iron that will outperform the HMBs for some off-centre hits, but these irons offer exceptional forgiveness along with great control.
Power and distance
The HMB’s have modern, player iron lofts (4-iron 22º, 7-iron 32º) and a thin, forged Chromoly face. The result is high ball speeds and great distance. You’ll likely find the TaylorMade P700 range to be longer, but the HMB irons offer a great blend of consistent distance and control (this being a limitation with the TM 700 irons).
The HMB’s won’t be the longest mid handicap irons on the market, due to their lofts, but they offer a great distance, nonetheless.
The MP-20 HMB irons do not look like a hollow-headed iron, nor do they feel it when you strike the ball – which is great news for mid handicap players. There is a little sharpness gone compared to the MP-20 muscle-back and MMC iron, however, the feel of these irons is still far superior to similar mid handicap irons on the market.
Control, launch & shot shaping
The MP-20 HMB irons have a progressive design where the head length, sole width and offset reduce as you move from 3-iron to pitching wedge. This provides the greatest forgiveness in the longer clubs and better control and shot shaping ability as you move into the mid and shorter irons – something I’m sure most mid handicap golfers will approve of!
The HMB’s design creates a higher launch compared to the muscle-back and MMC. However, the control of the HMB irons is fat greater than irons that offer similar levels of forgiveness.
Golf Insider verdict
The HMB irons live up to what you would expect when buying a Mizuno iron – a soft, yet powerful feel. The hollow head design also offers excellent levels of forgiveness and distance – making them a must for our roundup of best mid handicap irons.
If you are looking for a forgiving forged iron that still offers excellent feel and control then look no further than the Mizuno HMB irons.
Ping i500 Irons
The i500 golf irons are Ping’s offering in the growing hollow headed iron market for better players. Classy look, compact design and great performance – let’s dive into some detail.
The i500 golf irons look sophisticated, yet simple. They tick all the boxes when it comes to appearance. And although that doesn’t guarantee great golf shots, it’s a good start.
The i500 iron benefits from a thin top line with minimal offset, with few clues of their forged hollow body design. The head size is moderate, and in combination with the muscle back design, gives confidence to those whose ball striking may have temporarily left them.
Ping class the i500 as players distance irons, seeking to bridge the gap between full out player irons and game improvement/cavity back irons. These golf irons offer great forgiveness in a much sleeker package.
How have they done this? The first distinctions we need to make are that these are hollow-headed irons, with a wood-style face. These benefit the golfer by providing greater distance on off-centre strikes and improved MOI (resistance to twisting).
Consequently, they will suit a wide range of golfers than you might think. We would certainly consider them suitable for those with handicaps of up to 12, and perhaps even as high as 15 if the player in question is reasonably consistent in their ball striking.
Power & distance
The hollow head and steel face provide greater face flexion on impact, and in turn create greater ball speed.
The Ping i500 golf irons come in relatively strong lofts as standard (7 iron 30.5 deg), whilst the muscle back geometry allows the face flexing to increase dynamic loft, launching the ball higher with less spin – more distance.
The slight trade-off is less spin compared to other, more player-focused irons.
The i500 feel powerful off the face, and don’t sting your fingers when you miss the sweet spot on a cold day!
That’s not to say that they don’t feel soft when sweetly struck, but if a buttery soft feel is your priority, look towards the many offerings from Mizuno. The closest comparison to the i500 would be the MP20-HMB.
Control, launch & shot shaping
The minimal offset will suit a player whose bad shot tends to result in pull or hook shape ball flights, or those who prefer to work with a slight fade.
In addition, Ping have used precision milling to produce a clubface that delivers consistent launch conditions, and therefore trajectories. Finally, the Hydropearl finish is not just there for looks, it also helps prevent fliers when the grass is wet.
As discussed above though, these irons will tend to be a bit lower spinning than most “workable” irons, and so it is important that the shaft you pair it with gets the spin into the right window to help with distance control and shaping shots. If a higher trajectory is required, consider the retro loft spec which increases loft by 2 degrees.
Golf Insider verdict
The i500 golf irons tick an awful lot of boxes, from their pleasing looks down to exceptional performance benefits. They will suit a wider scope of golfers in the mid handicap range.
If you are a solid ball striker who is seeking a little extra distance without sacrificing looks and playability, the Ping i500 irons are a great choice.
TaylorMade P770 Irons
The TaylorMade P770 golf irons are the most forgiving in the P7 series, but don’t be fooled we are a world away from the TaylorMade Sim Max irons. TaylorMade describe the P770’s as a compact, player’s iron, built for distance.
The TM P770’s are stunning looking golf clubs – the blade-like heads have a forged hollow body – although you would never know these irons were hollow by appearance or how they feel.
The P770’s irons have a thinner top line, shorter blade length and less offset than the larger P790 irons. If you are a fan of traditional looks and minimal offset you will love the look of these behind the golf ball.
The hollow head design creates levels of forgiveness that you would not expect from such a small club head. The hollow headed design is accompanied by a tungsten toe weight to further increase the clubs’ moment of inertia and Speed Pocket™ technology in the longer irons.
This design moves the centre of gravity low down and away from the face, resulting in increased forgiveness. Although the design is impressive, you can’t expect Sim Max levels of forgiveness from such a small club head.
I personally noticed a drop of 4-8 yards when catching the ball low on the club face and strikes towards the heel and toe. The Speed Pocket™in the longer irons will give you a little more room for error, but these are pushing more towards mid to low handicap golfers who want great distance.
Power & distance
Here is where The TaylorMade P770 irons excel. The P770’s have a touch more loft (4-iron = 22.5º, 7-iron = 33º) than the TaylorMade P790’s and sit more in-line with traditional player’s lofts like the Mizuno MP-20 irons.
However, these irons make your ball – fly!
I was testing these alongside the Mizuno JPX Hot Metal irons, which are considered long, but the TaylorMade P770’s consistently carried further (4 – 9 yards). The TM P770 golf irons promote a mid launch and depending on custom fitting options, may generate less backspin compared to other similar irons. This lower spin rate is part of the reason they carry so far.
Despite their long distance, they still do offer good consistency in launch and distance control, which has been a problem with previous generations of hollow headed irons, such as the TalyorMade P790s.
The TaylorMade P770 compact shape is constructed from a cast body and forged face. The forged face creates a soft feel and the SpeedFoam injected into the hollow heads really does create a solid feeling upon impact.
They give a great blend of feeling soft yet powerful. Not as buttery soft as the Mizuno MP-20 range, but softer than any cast iron on the market.
Control, launch & shot shaping
The TaylorMade P770 irons have more loft compared to the TM P790 irons, which is certainly an advantage when it comes to control and backspin.
The small increase in loft on the TM P770 irons helps to generate more backspin and a higher launch, which will provide you with a better blend of distance and control as a mid handicap player. The additional loft also gives these irons better control and precision around the greens.
Golf Insider verdict
If you want more distance, a classical design and a great feel then the TaylorMade P770s are a very good choice. They are not the most forgiving option in this rundown of the best mid handicap irons, but few irons will match these for distance.
Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons
Next, we have the MP-20 MMC, these irons have forged a titanium plate directly behind the hitting area. This lighter mass essentially creates a cavity back performance within a solid bladed design. The extra weight saving allowed Mizuno to insert a tungsten weight within the toe to increase the inertia of the club head and further improve the forgiveness.
The Mizuno MMC irons look great behind the ball, with a sleek, elegant design. The thin top line and minimum offset will please those that are after a classical looking iron.
The MMC irons are based on the body of the MP-20 blade but the Titanium muscle plate and Tungsten sole weight, mentioned above, lowers the centre of gravity and increases the MOI and forgiveness compared to a full blade iron.
The resulting increased forgiveness is notable. I’m pleased to say I didn’t explore the whole club face during testing. However, with the help of Trackman, I was often surprised to see that pure feeling shots were sometimes 1/4 inch away from the sweet spot.
The MMC golf irons offer excellent forgiveness considering their sleek design – a welcome positive.
Power & distance
The Mizuno MMC irons create a piercing strike and offer a great blend of distance and control. Not as long as the TaylorMade P770 irons, but certainly strong in terms of ball speed. The MMC’s have modern, player iron lofts (4-iron 22º, 7-iron 32º). As a result, the Mizuno MMC irons give a little extra distance over the MP-20 muscle-backs and the extra degree or two in loft will make the long irons more playable for most mid handicappers.
A thin layer of copper has been coated over the grain-flow forged head. Unsure how much difference this thin layer makes, what I can tell you is that the MMC irons offer a beautiful feel – powerful yet soft.
Control, launch & shot shaping
The MMC’s balanced weighting and minimal offset create a neutral ball flight and great control. Not ideal for reducing a slice, but if you want a neutral flight, or suffer from a hook, these will really suit your game on the golf course.
The short irons also have a narrower sole compared to previous Mizuno ranges, which gives your great shot-shaping ability and versatility around the greens.
Golf Insider verdict
The MMC’s are a great option for many players from pros up to mid handicap golfers with sound ball striking. If you love the bladed look, but don’t strike every iron shot like Adam Scott, these irons are a great choice.
Great mid handicap irons, and so good, I even ended up buying a set for myself.
Mizuno JPX921 Forged Irons
The JPX lineup is Mizuno’s range that pulls together the latest tech to maximize distance and forgiveness. However, they are not exclusively designated for high-handicappers, rather golfers preferring a larger clubhead and desire great distance.
The JPX have two versions of club heads – the Hot Metal and Hot Metal Pro, the former has a slightly thicker topline, wider sole and longer club head (heel to toe) compared to the Pro option. The head lengths across the standard set are 5-7mm longer than the MP-HMB irons, making the Mizuno JPX Hot Metal a top choice if you’re looking for larger, forgiving mid handicap irons.
The larger head size combined with a stability frame placed behind the clubface minimises twist on off-centre strikes and created great forgiveness.
The second result of the stability frame and ultra-thin Chromoly face is a club head where the sweet spot is lower than in any other iron Mizuno have made. As a result, thinned shots will travel further and the ball will launch higher across the face.
Power & distance
The changes above allowed Mizuno to reduce their standard irons lofts across the set (just by 1º), without losing any launch height or shot-stopping ability. The lower lofts produce higher ball speeds and more distance.
The JPX 921 irons also include a COR-TECH face that is 0.2mm thinner across the centre compared to the JPX 919’s, resulting in even higher ball speeds. The face thickness varies across the hitting surface to optimise ball speed from all areas of the clubface.
The overall outcome is long iron shots and great ball speed across the face.
Three new sound ribs have been added to the top line of the JPX clubhead to creating a lighter, stiffer clubface and enhanced acoustics. The result of this is a more responsive, softer feeling clubhead than previous JPX irons.
The JPX Hot Metal irons are cast, not a forged iron, meaning they do feel different to the forged MP-20 irons. In terms of feel, they sit somewhere between the Ping G410 and the MP-HMB irons. They feel great, solid but not quite as forgiving as the MP-20 forged range.
Control & shot-shaping
The Mizuno JPX 921 irons have the largest head size and most offset in Mizuno’s range. As with other Mizuno iron sets they feature a progressive design, whereby head length, sole width and offset reduce as you move from long irons to short irons. This results in greater forgiveness on the long irons and increased control of the short irons and wedges.
Where the JPX Hot Metal irons differ from other Mizuno irons is that the sole width stays much wider in the 6 and 7-iron and offset reduces considerably as you move into the 9-iron and pitching wedge. This may suit some mid handicappers, but may not be the preference for all.
Golf Insider verdict
For mid handicappers that prefer a larger clubhead and great distance, the Mizuno JPX Hot Metal irons are an excellent option.
Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons
In recent year Wilson have made a resurgence in the irons market with their progressive D-Series range. Wilson’s latest release of the D-series is called the Wilson Staff D7 and it brings a wide variety of game improvement benefits to mid handicappers. The Wilson D7 irons provide a great game improvement iron at a great price.
Wilson have created a progressive design into these irons. The longer irons are designed for max forgiveness and distance, but as you move towards the short irons and wedge there is more of an emphasis on control and feel.
The Wilson D7 irons provide a solid looking iron when setting up to the golf ball and feature a large, under-cut cavity that limits the amount the clubhead will twist on off-centre shots. As a result these iron offer great forgiveness.
Power & distance
Like other irons in this review, the D7 irons have quite strong lofts (28º for a 7-iron) which will result in longer iron shots if you are upgrading clubs from a few years ago. The Wilson D7 irons feature power holes that increase face flexion for more efficient energy return, enhanced ball speed and greater distance.
The forged design of the Wilson D-series irons provides a solid, responsive feel. The forged construction of these irons will provide a more forgiving and softer feeling than cast iron alternatives like Ping’s G425s.
Control & shot shaping
The progressive design across the set is perfect for golfers wanting a more forgiving set of irons, but still, wish to retain some control and finesse when chipping/pitching towards the green.
Golf Insider verdict
Overall the D7 offers a great value game improvement iron for a golfer wanting brand new irons, that offer distance and forgiveness in the longer irons and control around the greens.
What to look for in mid handicap irons
This next section dives into the technical specs to look for when buying mid handicap irons. There is a lot of cross over between mid handicap irons and game improvement irons. The difference predominantly being game improvement irons are designed for maximum forgiveness, while mid handicap irons provide a more solid feel and increased control.
The amount of offset on a golf club dictates the trajectory of a golf ball, more offset often encourages the clubface to close – resulting in a draw.
The offset is measured by looking at how far forward or back from heel to toe the hosel sits. If you look down on an iron, it will appear that the hosel extends out in front of the clubhead slightly. This distance is known as the offset.
Mid handicappers with a fade should opt for medium levels of offset, whereas players with a neutral or draw bais will perform better with less offset.
Moderately wide sole
The sole width on a golf iron dictates how the club will interact with the turf. A narrow sole will dig more but can be useful from tight lies. Whereas a wider sole will make the club bounce if you catch the ground early and often makes irons more forgiving.
Mid handicapper players who struggle with their strike should look for a moderately wide sole – this will suit your game well and help you to control your shots around the green. If you strike the ball well and play on tightly mown golf courses, then you may favour a narrower sole.
Modern golf clubs go to great lengths to push as much clubhead mass to the outer edges. This is call perimeter weighting, it greatly improves a clubs resistance to twisting and forgiveness.
The trade-off comes when a player wants a compact golf club that is also forgiving. The mid handicap golf irons in this review offer a range of head shapes from – blade irons to thicker cavity back designs. However, all the choices have a reasonable amount of perimeter weighting, thanks to clever design and engineering.
This being said, there is no getting away from the fact that a larger clubhead will offer greater forgiveness.
Golf shafts should be fitted to the players swing speed, tempo and shot patterns. This is a pretty extensive topic to cover here in this review, but it is worth considering.
The golf clubs in this mid handicap irons review all offer extensive shaft options that will suit a range of swing speeds and tempos – so have confidence that no matter what type of player you are there should be an option that suits your game well.
What is considered a mid-handicap in golf?
There are no strict guidelines, but for this review we consider mid-handicap golfers to be playing between a 9 to 20 handicap. It is a wide range, which makes creating this review challenging. However, these days we are blessed with the choice that golfers never had in the past.
Golf irons have been improving year on year, with recent years seeing a focus on distance and forgiveness across the whole face, not just when struck well. Modern players are benefitting from these game improvement technologies to help them get better scores.
For more mid-handicap guides check out our article on the best golf balls for mid-handicap golfers.
What are the easiest irons to hit?
As stated above a larger clubhead is easier to hit. The best golf irons are ones that suit your swing and shot distribution. If you would like to check out some of the easiest irons to hit, check here to read our list of the most forgiving irons.
What are the longest most forgiving irons?
The longest and most forgiving irons in this review are from TaylorMade. The P770s offer a long, penetrating ball flight with excellent forgiveness considering the head size. This is in part to their forged hollow body construction.
Outside of this review, there are clubs designed for maximum forgiveness and distance – check out our best irons for beginners and high handicappers to learn more.
That wraps up our review of the best golf irons for mid handicappers. This really is an areas where we are spoilt for choice. I hope this has been of use, feel free to leave any comments and question below and I will get back to you.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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