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The 10 Best Irons for 10 Handicap. Reviews & Buyer guide

Last updated: October 12, 2022
Best irons for 10 handicap
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Key Takeaways

With so many great golf irons to choose from, it is crucial to narrow your options to pick the finest ones for your handicap. While there is no "best" iron, your swing, aesthetic preferences, and money will determine which one you should use. We are convinced you cannot go wrong with any of these if you choose the proper shaft. Also, if your previous irons were fitted and the lie angles were altered, be sure to do the same with your new clubs.

Once you achieve a certain level in golf, you'll begin to hunt for clubs with less forgiveness and more feel, feedback, turf interaction, and distance optimization.

A handicap of 10 in golf is considerably better than the current US average of 14. To achieve a handicap of 10, an accomplished, good golfer must score between 80 and 85, with the occasional 85+ rounds balanced by the sub-80 [1].

As a player with a handicap of 10, you have passed the threshold for becoming a high- or mid-single-digit player. Even though it may take some time and much work to perfect the various game features, you have a good chance of success.

Golfer playing in golf course

Best Irons for 10 Handicap 

With a handicap of 10, you are on the verge of being a player with a single-digit handicap. Below is the list of options available for you.

1. Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro

Mizuno may not dominate the market with its drivers or putters, but they produce some of the game's finest irons. The Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro irons are possibly the finest looking on our list.

Like Callaway irons, they are available in ordinary and pro versions. The Hot Metal Pro features the same technology as the Hot Metal but with a significantly lower profile and less offset.

Stick with the Pro model for greater shot-shaping features and a sleeker design. This is the third generation of Mizuno irons that use "Chromoly" for faster ball speeds and a more penetrating ball flight. Chromoly (a chrome and molybdenum alloy) was used to produce these irons, giving them a soft feel. This one-of-a-kind alloy softens even full-swing, off-center blows. The toe bias of the Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal gives them a modest fade flight.

These clubs may be a welcome addition to your bag if you feel your ball trajectory to be rather low. They provide an extra boost to ball speed and flight for individuals with somewhat slower swing speeds.

Pros

  • Visually appealing
  • Good forgiveness levels
  • Penetrating ball flight

Cons

  • Low spin levels
  • The standard grip could've been better

Combining minimal offset with forgiveness and ball speed is what made the first Hot Metal Pro irons so exciting. This combination is still the JPX921 Hot Metal Pro irons' primary selling point.

The Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro irons will help you hit the ball far, regardless of whether you purchase a whole set or a club from the set. They are great for combining with the JPX921 Forged or Tour due to their smaller head size and reduced offset, which makes them more appealing to stronger players.

2. Srixon ZX5 Irons

The Srixon ZX5 Irons are among the most aesthetically pleasing sets now available due to their sleek, premium design. They are the optimal set for player development. Users praise the ZX5 for its high level of precision and forgiving nature.

The forged steel gives the ZX5 a fantastic feel and a simple launch, allowing you to hit the ball further. The V-shaped sole is a Srixon trademark that the brand has maintained over the years. It facilitates superior interaction with the grass.

In contrast to the ZX7 irons, the Srixon ZX5 is designed for golfers with a greater handicap. However, the company asserts that they are equally useful to individuals with low handicaps.

The manufacturer apparently intends for these irons to be a "jack of all trades" set. Based on our testing, however, we believe that the Srixon ZX5 irons are suitable for mid-handicappers.

While the hollow back and wider grooves in the long irons will be beneficial for high handicappers and the forged design will be appreciated by low handicappers, the performance of these irons will be most beneficial for mid handicappers.

Pros

  • Lower center of gravity for a more accurate shot.
  • Excellent looks
  • Plenty of forgiveness and front-to-back consistency.

Cons

  • The thick topline won’t be for everyone.
  • Harder to work shots

This is the perfect set of irons if your average handicap is around 10, and it's a set you'll want to maintain even when your handicap falls into the single digits. The seven-piece set will cost close to $1,150 and will not break the bank.

3. PING i500

When the iBlade, i500, and G400 were introduced, we had to determine how effectively PING had designed the i500 for low-to-mid handicappers.

There is minimal technology on display, and everything is wonderfully basic and clean. The lower handicappers will like the set's lack of offset. The heel-to-toe dimensions are large without seeming hefty. The sole is broad for forgiveness, yet it may generate a substantial divot when necessary.

Though the PING i500 doesn't look like a distance iron, it certainly feels like one. The impact is louder and more severe than the i210. Your hands have the impression that the ball may be broken into fragments. The i500 does mitigate the impact of mis-hits. It is easy to distinguish between a pure hit and a miss, but it is more difficult to locate each miss exactly.

The Ping i500 irons are challenging to hit. As long as you are aware of this beforehand, you will be fine. An advanced player will appreciate the club's small profile, excellent distance control, and feel upon impact if you are an advanced player. To score successfully, it is essential to strike the middle of the club's face.

Pros

  • Visually appealing
  • Due to the C300 steel material, it has a long range.
  • Best for individuals who desire a really traditional-appearing club with modern performance
  • Nice perimeter weighting

Cons

  • Lower-than-expected flight and spin

The i500 bridges the gap between the PING iBlade irons (PING's latest blade irons) and the G400 irons (game improvement irons for high handicappers and amateur golfers) in terms of performance and forgiveness.

4. Titleist T300 2021

The T300 irons are designed to provide an effortless launch, forgiveness, and plenty of distance in a compact package. We found these considerably simpler to hit than the T200 irons, and they fit well in the mid-handicap category.

Titleist has a reputation for producing golf clubs for better players, but the new T300 irons demonstrate that the brand's range has expanded in recent years in an effort to appeal to all golfers, not just low handicappers.

The face employs a variable face thickness (VFT) design, something we've seen in recent years from the likes of Callaway and Ping. It is thinner at the heel than at the toe in order to keep ball speeds high and provide forgiveness on the 'weaker' sections of the face, where you'd often notice more distance and accuracy losses.

It has a variable face thickness of the long and mid irons that is thicker than those of the short irons. This is intended to enhance performance in one of the previously worst-performing mishit zones.

Both standard steel and graphite shaft options are engineered with strong launch and high spin characteristics, which contribute to the irons' forgiving, game-enhancing feel. The lofts are approximately 2 degrees steeper than those of the T200 irons, and Titleist predicts that this will result in increased distance.

Pros

  • Long iron forgiveness with consistent performance
  • Distance increase compared to the rest of the T-Series range
  • Blade length is still relatively short despite the game-improvement style
  • Plenty of effortless launch and forgiveness

Cons

  • The long irons' weights may not be suitable for everyone.
  • As a game-improvement iron, it will stick out in your bag.

In the big scheme of things, the Titleist T300 is a solid-looking option for improving your game. There is some offset, but it is not excessive. The T300 will be a perfect choice for golfers who desire Titleist irons but require additional distance or forgiveness. They have a great appearance and feel for a game-improvement club, and their distance is rather astounding.

5. TaylorMade P770

This year, TaylorMade introduced many new irons, including the P770. Sets of mid-launch, mid-spin irons that provide plenty of distance, forgiveness, and playability. Even though they lack a massive cavity back like several of the irons on our list, they nevertheless perform admirably.

Featuring forged hollow body construction, the P770 has all the technology from the P790 in a more compact form.  

The P770 provides players with more refined characteristics and visual cues that enhance accuracy, such as a thinner topline, less offset, and a shorter blade length, making it ideal for those seeking a smaller alternative to fit their liking.

TaylorMade P770 irons are designed for proficient ball strikers. Their design will appeal to golfers who prefer the compact size and maneuverable form of a blade but still value the extra distance and forgiveness. Golfers with a 10- to 15-handicap could use these golf clubs depending on skill level and consistent ball contact.

Pros

  • Creates explosive ball velocity
  • Promotes optimal shot performance
  • Provides greater distance

Cons

  • Slower swinging golfers may struggle to launch the strong lofted long irons

The P770 irons combine moderate forgiveness, explosive distance, and enhanced playability. As a result, players with low to moderate handicaps benefit from enhanced control and consistent yardage.

The P770 is ideal for low- to mid-handicappers in search of workable irons with moderate forgiveness.

6. Cleveland Launcher UHX Irons

The Cleveland Launcher UHX Irons offer a progressive series of hollow and cavity-backs that produce explosive ball speed and perfect control when it's required. The set's long irons are ideal for golfers who want the appearance of classic irons but the forgiveness and distance of hybrids. The cavity-back design of these clubs enhances scoring and accuracy on strokes into the green.

The whole UHX iron set features a face made of high-strength steel that generates high ball speeds over the entire face. In order to maintain ball speed, the irons' soles contain a progressive V-shape that enhances grass engagement. The sole of the hollow long irons is broader than that of the shorter ones, which have a more prominent V-shape and greater bounce.

Tour Zip Grooves and Laser Milling produce greater spin and stopping power, which is essential for producing spin-on approach shots for consistent distance control.

Pros

  • Confidence-inspiring appearance
  • Blended set for greatest forgiveness and distance
  • Lofts are engraved on the bottom of each club.

Cons

  • The clubs' scratches are more noticeable due to their matte texture.
  • The set is not ideal for players who wish to control the ball's flight.

The visual transition between cavity-backed short irons and utility-hollow long irons is well-executed. The Launcher UHX merits serious consideration for the prospective golfer who can profit from scoring precision with shorter irons but still needs forgiveness on longer shots.

7. Callaway Mavrik Irons

The custom tungsten weighting in each Callaway Mavrik iron set provides the CG with exceptional precision, while the Flash Face Cup maintains ball speed. This fosters optimal launch and ball flight throughout the set as a result of the strong lofts, player-preferred trajectory, spin rates, and landing angles.

You are mistaken if you believe that hitting longer entails surrendering the clubs' forgiveness. 2022 Callaway MAVRIK Irons are a 'hybrid' of the 2019 Callaway Rogues and 2020 Callaway MAVRIK Irons.

The design offers less forgiveness than other sets on the market. Therefore, buyers must be extremely careful while picking their clubs and making contact with the ball since it does not cushion poor swings particularly well.

The Callaway Mavrik irons are notoriously loud when they make contact with the golf ball, distracting other players or those standing around when you hit a shot.

Pros

  • Incredible feel for a cavity-back iron.
  • A fantastic cavity-back for golfers with a handicap of 10 who need more forgiving irons.
  • Utilizing artificial intelligence to create one-of-a-kind clubs for each club of the set.
  • Available with several shaft options
  • Less expensive than the irons on this list

Cons

  • This club is not for you if you're looking for high feedback and less forgiveness.

For the golfer who wants to reclaim some lost distance or just make the game easier, the Callaway MAVRIK irons need to be part of their custom fitting session. These irons have loads of speed no matter which part of the face hits the ball.

8. Callaway Apex 21

Callaway has long produced some of the most forgiving irons on the market, and the addition of Hogan's Apex brand makes them even more appealing.

Since 2014, Callaway has determined that two Apex models (standard and Pro) are sufficient to meet the needs of the majority of golfers of forged irons. Last year, however, the market moved radically as some firms introduced three-, four-, and even five-model forged iron families that could be combined and matched to build an individual's ideal set.

In a daring new step, Callaway has created the five-model Apex 21 family – Apex 21, Apex Pro 21, Apex MB, Apex DCB, and Apex TCB – with irons to suit everyone from tour stars such as Xander Schauffele and Jon Rahm to 20-handicap club golfers.

Callaway's Apex 21 is their mid-handicapper model, while the Apex 21 Pro is more of a blade that is better suited for golfers with low handicaps. 

For those with 10 to 20 handicap, use the standard Apex. If you like the 2016 or 2019 versions, you will likely enjoy these mid-handicap irons as well.

Pros

  • The technique of Flash Face enhances forgiveness.
  • Tungsten energy core optimizes launch angle
  • A low-profile design that is aesthetically attractive.
  • A.I. technology is employed to personalize each iron depending on the most frequent mishits.
  • Ideal for players who appreciate the aesthetic of blades but require more forgiveness

Cons

  • Priced relatively high

Mid to low handicappers will experience the largest improvement in their iron play with this club, which is the best in terms of distance. This set is remarkable in every way, but its consistency sets it apart from the rest. The Apex 21 irons are difficult to beat for the stronger player who still desires forgiveness and the aspiring player who desires a more compact iron.

9. Cobra King Tour

The majority of golfers like to see the phrase "forged" on their clubs, as it typically denotes a superior feel. While this is generally true, the process of pressing metal into shape is not always as exact as one would want. It can occasionally leave voids or be of inconsistent hardness.

Cobra is using MIM technology in their King irons in order to create a club with a softer feel. The entire procedure involves metallurgy. The powdered metal may be handled and shaped with greater precision.

Although the MIM process is the defining characteristic of the King Tour irons, additional technologies are included to complete the player's package. This includes a tungsten weight in the toe area to precisely position the center of gravity behind the sweet spot, as well as a thermoplastic polyurethane insert in the heel to reduce unwanted impact vibrations.

Pros

  • Stable through the hitting zone
  • Forgiving on off-center hits for a players iron

Cons

  • Better players will probably stick to forged irons, as they are what they know and love.

The Cobra KING Tour irons are another excellent option in the category of player's irons for golfers who prioritize feel and forgiveness. The innovative manufacturing technology MIM, which Cobra defines as "the most exact way to create a precision iron," distinguishes the King Tour irons. Even though the word "Tour" in the name suggests that these ones are reserved for better players, they are also suitable for those who want to be better.

10. PXG 0311 XP Gen 4

PXG has always vowed to release new goods only when they are much better than their predecessors, and with new material and construction advancements, the company believes the time is right to unveil its brand new ultra-premium Gen4 line.

The new patented XCOR System is one of the primary selling aspects of GEN4 technology. XCOR is the outcome of a multi-year research and development endeavor to locate the optimal injectable polymer to maximize ball speed and feel.

The Gen4 Irons also include a new Precision Weighting Technology, which is a significant additional upgrade. The substantial changeable weight positioned near the center of gravity on the rear of the clubhead enables different head weight combinations during the fitting process. It is not intended for replacement or relocation by the player after purchase. However, this does bring up another essential aspect. If you're going to spend this much on clubs, a PXG club fitting session is strongly advised.

Pros

  • Fantastic looks
  • Great feel
  • Exceptional performance and distance

Cons

  • A fitting is the only way to appreciate what they offer fully

PXG has always stood out for its innovative approach to design in terms of aesthetics and construction. With GEN4, the company's irons have made a huge step ahead. The new XCOR material provides superior performance and touch. The cost of acquiring a new set is high, but the feeling of striking them is highly convincing.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section contains questions related to the best irons for 10 handicap golfers.

What Are Game Improvement Irons?

In comparison to cavity back irons and blade sets, game improvement irons are the most forgiving form.

These golf irons are not the greatest for mid-handicap golfers! Game improvement ones are designed for golfers with a high handicap who struggle to break 100 and require maximum forgiveness.

These often provide a combination of irons and hybrids (Sim Max is a great option).  They are significantly offset and enlarged to assist golfers to hit the ball further and more accurately (especially with mis hits). These types place less emphasis on playability and shot shaping.

Should Mid-handicappers Play a Combo Set?

No, the majority of players at this level do not require a set of combination irons. To complete the selection, combination sets consist of 6-PW irons and hybrids of 3-6 irons. 

A combination set might work for you if you're a mid-handicap player and want a more forgiving selection. However, if you are actively striving to shoot in the 80s or 70s, you should forego the combination ones. These are more appropriate for players with a higher handicap and will limit your shot-making abilities.

Which Irons to Play and How Many Should You Carry?

This is a typical question among mid-handicappers. 

Utilize the irons that will benefit your game the best. This set may consist of hybrids and irons. However, if you lack confidence with a 4 or 5 iron, you could only purchase a 6 iron through a pitching wedge. You may obtain a mixed set of outstanding game improvement irons in the 5, 6 iron, and mid handicap irons in the 7 iron through the pitching wedge. Most setups today include a maximum of a 5 iron and a PW or SW.

Should You Use One-length (single-length) Golf Irons?

One-length irons are considerably distinct from traditional ones. Bear this in mind. As the name implies, each iron is identical in shaft length, which is rather unfamiliar for the majority of golfers.

If you've played golf for an extended period of time, you can imagine how strange that would feel. Imagine if your 5-iron and pitching wedge were the same lengths. Each iron is roughly the length of a standard 7 or 8 iron, requiring much practice to feel comfortable.

Obviously, this is a substantial shift that should not be taken lightly. In addition, Cobra Golf is one of the few manufacturers who produce these. Since one of their best athletes, Bryson DeChambeau, utilizes them, their popularity has increased. Nevertheless, he is one of the few professional golfers who utilize this style of iron.

Buyer Guide

With so many excellent irons to choose from, it is crucial to narrow your options to pick the finest ones.

We've only suggested the player distance and game improvement irons so far since they match the criteria for a golfer with a handicap between 7 and 15. However, it is your responsibility to select which irons fit you best.

Golfer using new apex 21 irons
NEW Apex 21 Irons. Source

Price

This will play a significant role in anyone's selection of irons. As you can see from this list, prices for irons can vary significantly. Obviously, this varies by brand, so you must consider your budget and desired expenditures.

Grip

Do not overlook the grip while purchasing irons.

In a perfect world, all of your golf clubs would have identical grips (except your putter, of course). This will make it simple to position your hands correctly with every club in the bag.

The main issue is that different club manufacturers utilize various brands and styles. Be careful to double-check before ordering or regrip the irons after receiving them to ensure that they match the rest of the set.

Lastly, you should always play with the same size grip. For instance, do not use standard grips on your woods and midsize grips on your irons. Sticking to the same size will greatly improve your consistency

Forgiveness

For a mid - handicapper, the club must have ample forgiveness. At this stage in your game, breaking 100 shouldn't be a problem, so you don't need a club with a large, forgiving sweet spot. 

You need a mid-handicap iron set, not a set designed for game improvement. This necessitates a balance between forgiveness and a concentration on ball flight, ball speed, and accuracy. 

Distance

The next factor to consider when purchasing the best irons is the distance of each club. Two factors determine distance: the clubhead itself and the loft.

Depending on the size of the sweet spot, the clubhead itself contributes to your ability to hit each iron far and provides forgiveness. Due to perimeter weighting and other characteristics, none of the items on this list should be a problem. In addition, as none of the iron sets are blades, you should not be very concerned about distance.

However, the loft is also a factor in the distance of each iron.

Occasionally, club makers may reduce the loft of the club and market it as a distance iron. In truth, though, they accomplished nothing new and instead converted a 7-iron into a 6-iron.

Check the club specifications when comparing various clubs to provide a fair comparison. You don't need highly lofted irons at this time in your game, so make sure they're in the "average" range.

Here are a few examples of "typical" range lofts:

Pitching wedge: 45-46 degrees of loft

7 iron: 32-33 degrees of loft

5 iron: 25-27 degrees of loft

Muscle Back vs. Cavity Back 

Muscle Back vs Cavity back Irons

The majority of super game improvement, game improvement, and player distance irons are cavity back ones, which are the most popular options created by golf equipment makers.

Rear cavity irons feature a cavity or void at the back of the club head. This is done to distribute weight more evenly around the club face (particularly at the edges) rather than simply in the middle, a practice known as perimeter weighting. As a result, golf club makers have considerably enhanced the forgiveness of modern golf clubs by enabling off-center hits to still launch pretty well while preventing excessive club twisting from strokes off the heel or toe. 

Even though every iron on this list is a cavity back in some capacity, player distance clubs vary from game improvement ones in that the mass is not as evenly distributed, and the club head is smaller and thinner for improved acceleration and club feedback. Overall, these characteristics increase workability and ball speed.

Muscle-back irons are sometimes referred to as blades and are the slickest yet most complicated clubs. Professional players and golfers with low handicaps utilize them most frequently. Given that the majority of the club's weight is concentrated in the middle of the face, muscle backs provide little to no forgiveness. Therefore, off-center hits will result in poor golf shots.

Lower handicappers appreciate muscle backs due to their superior feel, feedback, workability, and maximum distance (if hit centered).

Playability

Another factor to consider when purchasing new irons is their playability, which means the ability to form shots and send the golf ball in the appropriate direction. This is significant because you require less strokes to break 80 regularly at this point in your golfing career.

As a general rule, the bigger the club head, the straighter the shot will be. It is more challenging to shape shots since the club head is bigger and designed with forgiveness in mind rather than shot forming.

Shaft (Steel vs. Graphite)

Golf shafts

The shaft is one of the most important aspects of purchasing your new irons.

The face design is crucial, but the shaft has a considerably greater impact than most golfers think. The decision between graphite and steel shafts significantly impacts distance and spin.

Graphite shafts are often lighter and improve ball speed (which means more distance). At the same time, steel shafts are heavier and focus more on approach shot playability.

Graphite may be a suitable option for novice or inexperienced golfers since it allows individuals with slower swing rates to produce greater club head speed. 

The amazing thing about these irons is that the steel shafts are far lighter than they were in the past. Steel shafts weighing between 100 and 115 grams are ideal for mid - handicappers. Don't forget to get the proper flex!

Club Head 

Golf club heads

Also, make sure that you enjoy looking down at the club at address. This goes into ensuring that you have plenty of confidence over every shot, which usually leads to a better swing.

Ultimately, the characteristics of your shaft influence your perceptions of the club head and golf swing.

Unless you're purchasing an entirely new set of irons, the club head's weight and construction play a significant part in deciding the shaft you choose. If your club head is too heavy, but you're not in the market for a new set of clubs, consider switching to a lighter shaft to lower the club's total weight.

Therefore, you are not prepared to use a club that requires exceptional ball hitting (i.e., blades). In contrast, you should also avoid clubs with excessive forgiveness because they diminish your shot shaping ability, feedback, and total ball distance. Therefore, it is optimal to settle for a club that offers the best of both worlds, as each club on our list does in its own manner.

Custom Fit 

Regardless of the irons you prefer or your ability level, this is arguably an essential component of purchasing irons. A professional custom fitting can help you determine which model is best for you and the ideal flex, shaft, lie angle, and so on. This procedure will guarantee that the irons you obtain are perfect for your game.

Custom club fittings might be daunting if you're a beginner or if you're not comfortable hitting golf balls in front of others, but they're a necessary step in the club-buying process. We recommend having a shortlist of three or four iron heads you like the appearance of before undergoing a custom fitting and then reducing that list down to the best option for your game during this process.

Final Thoughts

It is time to improve your iron play and improve your golf. As you can see, there are many excellent options from various brands to assist you in getting your best results.

While there is no "best" iron, your swing, aesthetic preferences, and money will determine which one you should use. We are convinced you cannot go wrong with any of these if you choose the proper shaft. Also, if your previous irons were fitted and the lie angles were altered, be sure to do the same with your new clubs.

If you've recently reached a handicap of 10, we strongly advise you to switch to player distance irons. You can attempt to get a low handicap with your current irons, but using new ones that maximize distance and feel will allow you to learn more efficiently and achieve a low handicap much more quickly.


References:

  1. How Good Is 10 Handicap In Golf? Retrieved from https://golfeducate.com/how-good-is-10-handicap-in-golf/
WRITTEN BY
Jacob Jensen
Jacob Jensen
My name is Jacob, a self-diagnosed equipment and golf enthusiast. I've been golfing since I was 15. Golf has always been my passion. I'm a bit of a golf equipment nerd and I've been that way since the moment I picked up a club for the first time. As someone who's been on both sides of the game, I know what it takes to be a good golfer. Of course, you need good equipment, but you also need to know how to use it. I hope sharing my experience with you will help you improve your game.

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