We take a look at the best compact irons you can buy in 2020, aimed at the improving mid handicapper or the better player seeking more forgiveness
Best Compact Mid-Handicap Irons
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 but with a little investigation, you will be able to find mid-handicap irons to suit your requirements.
- Best Golf Irons 2020 – Our selection of the best irons on the market right now
- Most Forgiving Irons 2020 – Gain maximum distance with your irons
- Best Game Improvement Irons 2020 – Find the answer to lower scores
Those who are steadily improving will seek a 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.
You may have had a chance to look at our ultimate guide to the best golf irons on the market in 2020, or you might have looked at our advice on the best distance irons and best golf blade irons out there.
Here below we’re focusing on the best compact mid-handicap irons on the market in 2020.
Best Compact Mid-Handicap Irons 2020
Titleist T100S Irons
+ Great distance
+ Classic compact shape
– Stronger lofts won’t suit all
The T100S has been designed to bridge the gap between the Titleist T200 and T100 irons.
It’s a two-degree per club stronger lofted version of the T100.
As such, it features all the same attributes.
The face is thin and responsive, while the use of tungsten weighting in the 3-7 irons boosts off-centre strike forgiveness.
It looks like the old Titileist 718 CB model at address thanks to being a bit more compact on the top rail, but has even more forgiveness on offer to rescue a poor strike. It feels noticeably solid and soft at impact and the extra camber on the sole helps it glide through the turf a little more easily.
The T100S is a good option for mid-handicap golfers seeking to maximise distance but retain a degree of control and feel.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops from $1399.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf from £859
Ping i500 Irons
+ Beautiful looking iron
+ Strong ball speeds and distance
– Relatively low ball flight won’t suit all
One of the most innovative and best Ping irons in Golf Monthly’s opinion, the i500 has the look of a muscleback iron from behind but, in fact, it’s hollow.
It has a forged face made from C300 maraging steel which is extremely strong and flexible. As a result, it flexes at impact by two thirds of its own thickness and this helps the iron produce impressive ball speeds and distance.
The look of the i500 is clean and simple and mid handicappers will enjoy the lack of offset through the set. The sizing is generous from heel-to-toe without looking chunky or cumbersome.
It may be a compact iron but it’s built for speed and power.
For those seeking a classic looking club with modern performance, this could be the iron for you.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops for $1,299.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf from £799
Callaway Mavrik Pro Irons
+ Good workability
+ Aesthetically appealing
– Not as forgiving as Mavrik and Mavrik Max
The Callaway Mavrik Pro iron is a thing of beauty with its lighter satin chrome finish and players’ profile behind the ball.
With its compact shape, the Pro is aimed at mid and low handicap players looking to have a little more control but still benefit from the impressive technologies featured in the Mavrik range.
The irons feature Flash Faces designed by a super-computer. The result is a sophisticated face architecture for every loft delivering a significant boost in ball speed and optimised spin.
In the long irons, the faces are designed for launch and speed, while in the mid-irons the faces are engineered for a combination of speed and spin consistency. The short irons have a face construction designed to optimise precision for shot-making.
Tungsten weights have been precisely positioned to deliver the best possible launch and trajectory.
But with classic shape and clean lines, the Mavrik Pro is a far more workable iron than the Mavrik or Mavrik Max. With thinner topline and sole for more precise striking, better players will enjoy the feel as well as the performance.
US Buy Now at Rock Bottom Golf from $749.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf from £659
Honma TR20 P Irons
+ Good blend of power and workability
+ Classic looks
– Premium price tag
The Honma TR20 P irons are a player’s distance iron with game improvement playability.
They feature a forged S35C steel body with an L-cup face for increased ball speeds and a tungsten weighted pocket cavity to create speed-enhancing forgiveness on off centre strikes.
The irons also feature a low centre of gravity and high MOI to achieve high launch and longer carries.
We found the TR20 P Irons to deliver an impressive blend of distance and workability that should suit the mid handicap player looking to have a little more control without sacrificing power and forgiveness.
UK Buy Now at Golf Support from £1,199
Mizuno JPX921 Forged Irons
+ Thin face and fast ball speeds
+ Low and deep centre of gravity
– Not as easily workable as Tour option
The JPX921 Forged iron integrates the power of Chromoly into a full body Forged iron for the very first time. Initially applied in Mizuno’s Hot Metal irons – Chromoly has made the cross over to Mizuno’s forgings with excellent results. Testing shows the fastest ball speeds Mizuno has ever produced from a fully Forged iron.
Grain Flow Forged HD in Mizuno’s legendary facility in Hiroshima Japan, the JPX921 Forged irons offer an identifiable and unsurpassed Mizuno feel. The integration of Chromoly 4120 allows for a clubface up to 0.5mm thinner which delivers the fastest ball speeds Mizuno has ever produced from a full body Forged iron.
Additional perimeter weighting with toe bias creates a Stability Frame to maximise results from off-centre strikes, while a 6.4% wider CNC back milled slot further increases stability.
Despite this, the JPX921 Forged irons offer a sleeker, compact profile – a shorter blade length throughout, a beveled training edge and reduced offset. The feel is that of a traditional forged iron as the JPX921 Forged gets noticeably sleeker through the set.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops from $1,399.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf from £879
Titleist T200 Irons
+ Distance in a compact package
+ Good forgiveness
– Won’t suit those looking for max feel and workability
The T200 iron is one of the most versatile in the Titleist range, offering benefits to a broad range of golfers.
In terms of looks, it’s a classic and compact shape – a slimmed-down version of the T300. It also features slightly less offset which better players should enjoy.
Like the T300, it features Max impact technology which allows the face to be thinner, thereby improving launch, speed and feel through the inclusion of a silicone polymer insert.
Tungsten weighting in the longer irons further enhances forgiveness and generates more distance.
We were impressed by the combination of distance and feel offered by these irons. They’ll suit an improving player seeking game-improvement performance in a compact shape. In our opinion, it’s definitely one of the best mid handicap irons on the market just now.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops from $1224.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf from £859
Cobra King Forged Tec Irons
+ Visually appealing
+ Inclusion of Arcoss shot tracking is a bonus
– Slightly flat ball flight
The Cobra King Forged Tec Irons are aimed at golfers who want an iron that looks like a blade but has the firepower and forgiveness of a game improvement iron.
They boast a traditional muscleback shape but in a hollow design to provide the ideal balance of precision and distance. A
The hollow construction of the Forged Tec Irons delivers the low CG that helps maximize distance, forgiveness and playability.
These irons are definitely forgiving on off-centre strikes and they come with one-length option and Arcoss Connect Smart grips allowing you to track performance should you wish.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops for $1,099.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf for £769
Callaway Apex Irons
+ Super soft feel
+ Good ball speeds from Face Cup technology
– Relatively narrow hitting area
The Callaway Apex is a great all-rounder that will suit a range of players with varying requirements.
It offers great looks and feel as well as forgiveness and distance.
The irons feature a multi-piece construction that is precision engineered to deliver an unmatched forged design, with innovative ball speed technology and optimal ball flight and trajectory.
The soft feel comes from a forged 1025 mild carbon steel body and Callaway’s urethane microspheres. These are over one million tiny air pockets that absorb unwanted vibration without slowing the face.
Distance is generated in the longer irons by the 360 Face Cup that promotes hight ball speeds across the face, while carefully positioned tungsten weights produce an optimised Centre of Gravity in each iron.
In testing, we found the Apex to be soft in feel yet powerful, producing good distance. This is a club that really rewards good ball-striking and it will suit aspiring players looking for a blend of power and feel.
US Buy Now at Fairway Golf USA from $1,049.99
UK Buy Now at Golf Gear Direct for £899
TaylorMade P790 Irons
+ Great distance
+ Exceptional forgiveness in small package
– Slightly unusual sound and feel off the face.
The TaylorMade P790 irons will appeal to a broad range of players. They offer a great blend of distance and forgiveness in a compact clubhead.
The Speed Pocket in the clubhead helps to create greater forgiveness and consistency while the use of SpeedFoam dampens vibration, creating quite an unusual sound and feel at impact.
But the results are impressive with consistently long and straight ball flights.
The use of tungsten weighting helps to further assist forgiveness, as does the inverted cone face.
The ball is extremely fast off the face of these irons, like you would expect from a hollow club, and we like the slimline compact package.
Overall, it’s a strong performer that will suit most mid handicap golfers, one of the best mid handicap irons on sale right now.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops from $1224.99
UK Buy Now at Golf Support from £969
Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons
+ Good consistent carries
+ Soft and solid feel at impact
– Lacks the wow factor of some mid handicap irons
Forged from soft 8620 Carbon steel and featuring a new club head design, Wilson’s D7 Forged irons have a thinner topline and minimal offset.
A Urethane filled Power Chamber inside the head has been introduced alongside the Power Hole Technology which allows the face to flex while reducing vibration for a more solid and consistent feel at impact.
With a narrower sole, it flights the ball considerably lower but with more spin – hovering just over the 6,000rpm mark – to keep it airborne and enhance the stopping power as well as control of the flight.
The D7 Forged is well worth considering if you’re seeking a mid handicap iron offering a soft feel in a compact package.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops from $899.99
UK Buy Now at Golf Support from £679
Mizuno MP-20 MMC Irons
+ More playable than MP-20MB
+ Good blend of forgiveness and feel
– Not as workable as MP-20MB
Billed as an “Elite Players’ Cavity” iron, the MP-20 MMC is the second generation of Mizuno’s multi-material concept.
The MP-20 MMC shares the chassis, set flow and proportions of the MP-20 MB, but it offers enhanced playability courtesy of a titanium muscle pad throughout the set, with a 12g tungsten toe weight from the 4- to 7-irons that adds ease of launch in a compact playing profile.
A second Ti muscle pad improves set flow by allowing for a narrower sole from 8-iron to pitching wedge.
In testing we found the MP-20 MMC produced good distance and consistency.
The ball feels lively off the club face and the MMC offers extra assistance on off-centre hits while still feeling soft, stable and maintaining a decent level of workability.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops from $1,224.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf from £1,149
Srixon ZX5 Irons
+ Good distance and consistency
+ Soft feel and stability
– Not as forgiving as some mid handicap irons
As used by Tour stars Shane Lowry, Srixon’s ZX5 irons look like a pure muscle-back and yet still provide forgiveness thanks to the additional mass behind the impact location. Importantly this also helps with shot-shaping ability and versatility.
UK Buy Now at Golf Support from £899
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