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Best Overall: Cobra King Forged Tec at Amazon
"The forged Powershell face expands the sweet spot to allow for confident striking."
Best Budget: Titleist T200 at Dick's Sporting Goods
"The forged L-Face wraps around the sole to increase speed and ball flight."
Best for Distance: Taylormade P 790TI at Taylormade Golf
"The heads have been designed to minimize low spin trajectory to let the balls fly true."
Best for Low-Handicappers: Mizuno JPX919 Tour at Amazon
"The carbon steel provides six times more tolerance than the industry standard."
Best for a Soft Feel: Callaway APEX 19 at Dick's Sporting Goods
"The club's softness comes from the forged 1025 mild carbon steel body."
Best Hybrid: Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo at Amazon
"The high-strength steel face on each club is thinner than most."
Best for Forgiveness: Titleist T300 at PGA Tour Superstore
"Titleist designed the T300 specifically to help any player lower their score."
Best Long Iron: Wilson Launch Pad at Amazon
"Its hollow construction provides a sole that’s designed to float above the turf."
Best Women’s Iron: Callaway Big Bertha at Amazon
"Designed to deliver an easy launch, max distance, and incredible sound and feel."
Best for App-Driven Tutorials: Ping G710 at PGA Tour Superstore
"The Smart Grip pairs with an app to record all swing data and analyze every shot taken."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Cobra King Forged Tec
The King Forged Tec iron from Cobra merges the classic aesthetic inherent in golf clubs with the company’s heralded modern technologies to help strong players up their game. The forged Powershell face expands the sweet spot to allow for confident striking, higher launch, and faster ball speed without overdoing the head’s size. Its traditional muscle-back profile conceals a hollow core that provides a lower center of gravity to help control distance with each strike, with foam microspheres that deliver a softer feel. And a tungsten toe-weighting centers that club behind the hitting zone to maximize distance and accuracy, even on the occasional off-center hit. Each club also comes with an Arccos sensor embedded in the grip, which pairs with the Arccos Caddie app to record legions of data while you play on the course to help you continue to improve your game, including automatic shot tracking, club averages that help you select the right weapon, and advanced analytics to help crunch all that data.
Best Budget: Titleist T200
Despite its modest price tag Titleist’s T200 is the perfect gateway iron to help improve your game. It employs Max Impact technology to provide the maximum speed at nearly any impact point on the club’s face, with a polymer core developed with Titleist’s golf ball research and development team to assure precise sound and dampening. It also features more tungsten than any other of the brand’s T-Series irons, with more than a third of the clubhead weight positioned on the heel and toe, while the forged L-Face wraps around the sole to increase speed and ball flight. Stock shafts and grips include AMT black, a striking Mitsubishi Tensei AV blue, and a black-and-white Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360.
Best for Distance: Taylormade P790 TI
Taylormade claims that the P790 TI is the culmination of more than four decades in golf research, which inspired them to craft irons with a hollow titanium body, a tungsten insert locked into the back bar, and other advanced materials solely focused on increasing ball speed and breakthrough distance. But this iron set isn’t just about long and high shots; it’s also remarkably forgiving for clubs of this size, and the heads have been designed to minimize low spin trajectory to let the balls fly true. The feel is mellow and responsive thanks to an ultra-light urethane foam that’s been injected inside the head. The P790 TI comes with a choice of two shafts (the NS Pro 950GH NEO in steel, and the graphite MCA MMT), or you can sync with Taylormade to customize the iron to meet your specific needs.
Best for Low-Handicappers: Mizuno JPX919 Tour
The JPX919 from Mizuno wins out in aesthetics alone—the iron is crafted from a single billet of 1025E pure-select mild carbon steel from Hiroshima, Japan. But the clubs don’t rest on its good looks. That piece of steel provides six times more tolerance than the industry standard, which assures a soft, pure feel that’s incredibly stable for its size, and is great for golfers with low- to mid-single figures. It has shorter blade lengths and low-heel profiles, with an ultra-thin topline that integrates camber to amp control. And the fine-tuned head geometry lets you feel the positioning upon impact to help you find the sweet spot with each shot.
Best for a Soft Feel: Callaway APEX 19
Of all the irons rated by Golf Digest, only the Callaway APEX 19 won 20 out of 20 stars. And it’s easy to understand why. Designed specifically to deliver a soft feel and generate long and constant distance shots, it manages to thread the needle between power and playability, with optimum ball flight and control. This softness comes from the club’s forged 1025 mild carbon steel body, which has been merged with Callaway’s proprietary urethane microspheres (basically a million tiny air pockets) that absorb vibration without sacrificing speed. The face cup uses a shallow, flexible rim around the perimeter that flexes and releases on the point of impact to promote fast ball speed and solid distance with on- and off-center strikes, with tungsten-infused, multi-material construction that places the sweet spot where you need it—but without sapping the flexibility that affords an intuitive, soft feel.
Best Hybrid: Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
For mid-handicapped golfers looking to achieve more accurate, longer, and higher shots, the Launcher HB Turbo iron set from Cleveland almost operates like a performance enhancer. Low, deep weighting in the HiBore Crown makes the ball easy to hit, with a progressive hollow shaping that provides a smooth transition from hybrid-like longer irons to iron-like short clubs, allowing you find the forgiveness you need and the control you want. The high-strength steel face on each club is thinner than most for increased ball speeds and max distance, with a hollow head construction that integrates internal stabilizing rims to amp forgiveness.
Best for Forgiveness: Titleist T300
Titleist designed the T300 specifically to help any player lower their score, with “Max Impact” tech riding along the forgiving mid-sized face to extend maximum speed, even when striking off-center. Inside, a polymer core enhances the dampening qualities and delivers a sure, precise sound to generate longer, straighter ball flight with each swing. A longer blade length, partnered with tungsten weighting in the toe, positions the center of gravity right where you want it, increasing the moment of inertia beyond that of lesser irons. Stock shafts and grips include a true-tempered AMT Red as well as Mitsubishi Tensei AV Red AM2 and Titleist’s Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 White Flat Cap.
Best Long Iron: Wilson Launch Pad
Longer irons provide a wider, more forgiving sole to promote consistent ball contact with less chunking and greater distance. But despite its length, the graphite Wilson Launch Pad Irons don’t feel bulky, thanks in part to the hollow construction, which provides a thin face and a sole that’s designed to float above the turf. The mid-sized grip may seem modest, but because the clubs are so light, it’s easy to generate high club speeds with nominal effort. Each iron comes with a KBS Tour 80 grip, and you can also upgrade to a UST Mamiya Recoil 460 graphite shaft to lighten things up even more.
Best Women’s Iron: Callaway Big Bertha
Designed to deliver an easy launch, max distance, and incredible sound and feel, Callaway’s women's Big Bertha rides on the brand’s Suspended Energy Core, which suspends the club’s tungsten weight with proprietary urethane microspheres to make the iron both responsive and powerful. Touch is equally intuitive thanks to the 360 Face Cup, which uses a flexible rim around the face that flexes and releases upon impact to snap the ball forward and promote longer distances. And if looks matter, the Big Bertha’s got that covered, too, with a clean smoked PVD finish and your choice of the new Recoil ESX, ZT9, or KBS Max 90 shafts.
Best for App-Driven Tutorials: Ping G710
The G710 is the longest, and most forgiving iron in Ping’s line, a result of a maraging steel face, one of the strongest aerospace-grade alloys, and a stainless steel body that provides metal/wood-like flexing, fast ball speeds, added distance, and shots with more loft—in other words, all the key ingredients for a mid-handicapped iron. It also boasts a high-density tungsten toe and heel, weighted in the body, to increase the moment of inertia by five percent when compared to Ping’s G700, making it more forgiving for off-center shots or those with a slower swing. The club has been treated with hydropearl chrome with black PVD coating that looks great and also fends off water to help performance through the turf and in wet conditions. But mid-level golfers will possibly benefit the most from the Arccos Caddie Smart Grip, which pairs with a smart app to record all swing data and analyze every shot taken. Get the club, and you get a 90-day free trial with the app before ponying up for the annual subscription fee.
What to Look for in Golf Irons for Mid-Handicappers
Clubface The size of an iron’s clubface can vary from brand to brand, and it plays a big role in how the club functions on the course. Wider club faces tend to be a little more forgiving, so keep an eye out for those if you want something corrective.
Added tech Think about your individual skill level and what features will most improve your game. Lots of clubs incorporate special technology to increase forgiveness and playability or help with ball speed.
Weighting Clubs that are designed to be a little more corrective for golfers are often built with weighting, which incorporates tungsten—heavier than steel—into the club at specific places to tailor the balance of the iron. In turn, that helps to correct a shot after a slight mishit.