Best Mid-Handicap Golf Irons
The best mid-handicap irons need to offer a combination of forgiveness, decent distance without necessarily the super strong lofts and huge distances associated with irons for high handicap golfers, good spin levels, nice feel and appealing looks.
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With that criteria in mind, we've tested all of the latest models and found these to be the best mid-handicap irons available:
3. Ping G425
5. Srixon ZX4
6. PXG 0211
Price: £1,099 (steel) / £1,399 (graphite)
We love how Callaway have opened the forged Apex family up to more club golfers with the cracking Apex DCB (Deep Cavity Back) – it's a master stroke of understanding what lots of average players crave.
The Callaway Apex DCB also come with lighter shafts than the Callaway irons aimed at elite players, making them perfect for average swing speeds.
Weaker lofts mean the DCB will struggle to compete on raw distance against a Callaway Mavrik iron (which is still in the range in 2021); our pro saw nine yards of carry difference between the pair. But we'd much prefer to have the DCB in our bag. If you're in the market for a new set of Callaway irons, find out which is right for you, here.
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Price: £135 per iron
Each iron in the Mizuno line-up thus far has been one-piece forged, or comes with a forged face and hosel. But the Hot Metal Pro has a cast construction, which means if forged models are an important factor in a new set of irons, you need to back up.
However, if you're looking for a brilliant mid-handicap iron that has a hint of a players look with less offset and a more compact head, the JPX921 Hot Metal Pro delivers in spades.
Even though the Hot Metal Pro has the same 7-iron loft (29°) as the Hot Metal, the smaller head means a little less face flex, which for our test pro gave 10 yards of carry distance difference in favour of the standard Hot Metal. Well worth remembering if distance is your key objective.
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Price: £129 per iron (steel) / £139 per iron (graphite)
Over the years, Ping G irons have been consistently proven performers in almost anyone's hands. But what's changed dramatically over the last few versions is how the traditional boxy G heads have given way to very refined short and mid-iron shapes in the G425.
The Ping G425 was second only to PXG's super-premium Gen3 irons when it came to forgiveness among all 15 mid-handicap irons we tested recently, which is seriously impressive.
The Ping G425 is a brilliant option for everyone from average ball-striking, single-figure golfers, all the way up to erratic 20+ handicappers.
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Price: £899 (steel) / £1,049 (graphite)
While sleek and sexy players irons might tug at our heart strings, in the real world most of us need all the help we can get. Enter the TaylorMade SIM2 Max.
The big draw is how TaylorMade have tuned the sound to be more like a forged iron.
It means you give nothing up in terms of feedback, but get extra playability and (if you can muster as much speed as our test pro) up to 17 yards more carry than a P770.
Incredibly, the SIM2 Max flights shots higher and brings the ball down onto the green at the same type of angle as the muscleback, despite being 6.5° stronger in loft, which demonstrates brilliantly how far modern weighting techniques have come to make strong-lofted irons so playable.
Price: £899 (steel) / £999 (graphite)
Having the widest soles, the most offset and the longest blade lengths of Srixon's range, along with hollow bodies, means the ZX4s are a brilliant fit for mid-handicap golfers.
This is a special iron that explores hollow body technology in a route Srixon haven't followed before. Srixon say a cast 431 body absorbs vibration for great feel, while the HT1770 forged face is fast and long.
In terms of forgiveness, the Srixon ZX4 is a very solid alternative to the Ping G425, TaylorMade SIM2 Max, and Callaway Apex DCB.
RELATED: Which Srixon iron is right for me?
Price: £119 per iron
PXG are on an all-out assault to get your attention in 2021, so they've created the brilliant
0211 to hit a price point, and appeal to everyone from 0-24 handicap golfers.
The price reduction against the Gen3 irons is down to the 0211 being cast, not forged, and because the 0211 doesn't have expensive tungsten perimeter weighting. You do get PXG's hollow body and DualCor tech, but PXG say no weight tech means you give up about 10% in terms of MOI versus their very best irons.
But the strong and long 0211 is a brilliant option to any other game-improver iron you may be considering this year.
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Price: £175 per iron (steel) / £210 per iron (graphite)
Honma tout the TR21 X as a players' distance iron, but when you realise the blade length is 1.4mm longer and 4.5mm taller than the TR20 P, plus the body is cast, not forged, we'd say the model very neatly slides into the mid-handicap iron category, too.
The Honma TR21 X is a great alternative to a traditional cavity-back and, if you put a premium on good looking irons that are powerful and forgiving, they're right up your street.
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