We take a look at the best slimline game improver irons you can buy in 2017, aimed at the improving mid handicapper or the better player seeking more forgiveness
Best Compact Mid-Handicap Irons 2017
Buying a new set of irons can be an expensive minefield if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Nowhere is this more true than in the mid-handicap sector, where players can potentially use every option in a brand’s range with some degree of success. For golfers in the 8-to-18 handicap range, the search parameters can vary significantly.
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Those who are steadily improving will seek a smaller set that offers plenty of feel and control, while those who are perhaps heading the other way, or playing less often, will be more suited to designs that offer higher levels of forgiveness.
Whichever models make the grade, you are going to enjoy seeing and feeling the benefits of modern technology. These include the likes of pocket-cavity designs that put forgiveness in smaller head shapes, tungsten weighting that helps reduce twisting on heel and toe mishits, and thinner faces and sole slots that mean you’ll find the power normally associated with larger-profile irons.
Titleist 716 AP2 irons
Price: £125 per club (steel), £145 per club (graphite)
The AP2 has long been one of the most popular irons on the market for mid handicappers as it delivers a great blend of forgiveness and feel. Great distance is generated by the high density tungsten weighting positioned low to move the centre of gravity down and create more speed. The co-forged construction and perimeter weighting maximises feel off the clubface.
TaylorMade M1 irons
TaylorMade’s M1 iron in is designed to offer similar distance and forgiveness levels to the M2 iron but in a more compact profile and with a softer feel.
Weight has been taken away from the upper section of clubface to allow 15g of tungsten to be added in the toe section of the 3-7 irons, creating a more centred CG that aids both feel and forgiveness. Face Slots increase flexibility of the clubface in the heel and toe to preserve ball speed and accuracy, assisted by a Speed Pocket on the sole that has a thinner front wall to improve performance on shots hit a little thin.
Callaway Apex CF 16 irons
Price: £849 (steel), £1,099 (graphite)
The Apex CF16 iron was Callaway’s first forged players iron to feature the 360 Face Cup technology that was previously only found in the brand’s fairway woods, hybrids and game improver irons. It allows more of the face to flex for extra ball speed. This set has been precision engineered in the 3-7 irons to provide consistent ball speed across the face in a forged Apex design. In the shorter irons (8-AW), a uniquely engineered face plate enhances feel and distance control.
Cobra King Forged Tec irons
Price: £699 4-PW (Steel)
The King Forged Tec irons are aimed at players seeking the feel and precision of a Tour iron with increased forgiveness. The irons feature a high-strength steel forged face insert that springs to boost distance; tungsten heel and toe weights reduce twisting for better accuracy. You get a forged feel and the urethane inserts dampen vibrations.
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Ping i200 irons
Price: £120 per Club (S) £130 per Club (G))
The understated, sleek look of these clubs suggests they are irons for real players, as does the mid to thin topline and minimal offset at address. But this is not a daunting club to look at when it’s behind the ball and these irons will indeed suit golfers of varying standards. The club takes the great looks of the popular Ping iBlade and adds a few elements of user-friendliness to help the average player find more consistency.
Srixon Z 565 irons
Price: £649 5-PW (steel)
This attractive compact cavity-back iron features Srixon’s excellent Tour V.T. sole design which has been modified to move efficiently through the turf, reducing impact resistance and tightening shot dispersion. The clubhead material has undergone a heat- treatment process to enhance both feel and distance. The grooves have also been made five% larger than Srixon’s previous models and the faces have been double laser- milled to improve the contact and spin consistency, particularly from wet or bad lies.
Mizuno JPX900 Tour
Price: £120 per club (steel)
These are the irons Brooks Koepka used to win the US Open. The JPX900 Tour is Grain Flow Forged from the same single billet of 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel used in the MP 5 iron. This design creates the softest feel of the three JPX900 irons and combines it with advanced stability and off-centre forgiveness courtesy of more weight being pushed to the extremities of the head’s PowerFrame.
This classic Mizuno player’s iron boasts a satin finish, straighter lines and a toe profile that combines with a compact face and narrow tapered sole to promote crisp ball-striking, excellent workability and enhanced trajectory control.
Lynx Black Cat irons
Price: £389 (steel), £429 (graphite) 5-SW
Lynx’s latest Black Cat irons feature a 2-piece cast head with a maraging steel face for extra ball speed. Twin-slot technology and effective transfer technology further enhances ball speed and forgiveness. With a polished finish, the clubs look great and come with an option of red, blue or black inlays.
Wilson Staff FG Tour F5 irons
Price: £599 4-PW (steel) £699 (graphite)
These irons feature Speed Sole technology which has been created for players seeking a blend of forged feel and distance.
A thin face-to-sole transition expands the sweet spot lower in the face for faster ball speeds and longer distances in the long and mid irons.
A stabilising bar also provides support behind the thin faces for greater forgiveness, while cavity back heads forged from an 8620 carbon steel provide a combination of feel, feedback and forgiveness on mishits.
To check out more of the latest golf gear on offer go to the gear section of the website.