The best irons in golf (for every handicap!)

Thomas Tanner
Jul 16, 2023
7 minutes
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There are 100s of sets of irons available, with multiple options from each brand apparently suited to your handicap. But which ones should you pick? We teamed up with Peter Finch, who went through the entire handicap spectrum, from 25+ down to Scratch, picking the best irons available for a specific handicap.

Handicap range: 25+

Cobra T-Rail Combo irons

To begin with, we're going to be looking at the higher end of the spectrum, irons for handicaps of 25 and over, and one of the best sets for these golfers are the Cobra T-Rail Combo irons. 

What's a combo set? These Cobra irons have a traditional cavity back club head in the mid- short-irons but replace the longer clubs with hybrids. These are far easier to hit better golf shots with, something that all golfers (not just in this category) will want. 

The irons themselves launch high and go for miles! But one of the most important things (especially for golfers in this category) is that off-centre strikes will still go as far as you expect, within reason. 

These irons also have Cobra's Baffler Rails, which allows the club head to glide through any turf easily. 

These might also benefit golfers who are in the middle handicap brackets but struggle with their irons.

Handicap range: 18-25

Titleist T300 irons

Moving on down a category, golfers in this section will be slightly better ball strikers but still require a level of forgiveness from their irons. 

Enter Cavity Backs. The beauty of modern cavity back irons is how the lines between traditional and modern can be blurred. We'll see better examples in the categories to come, but designers and engineers are now so clever they can hide enormous levels of technology and forgiveness in a relatively small head.

These Titleist T300 irons do just that. They do everything the Cobra T-Rails do, just in a smaller, more pleasing-to-the-eye package.

They have a longer blade length to drive MOI up, tungsten in the toe to add forgiveness, and even a polymer fill to improve the feel. 

All of which is hidden in a relatively small club head. This is something Titleist does very well; you'll think you're hitting a club that's suited for a much better golfer, and that makes you more confident.

Handicap range: 10-18

Mizuno Pro 225 iron

Next is a bracket golf club that has seen the most dramatic change in the last few years. It's easy to make a super game improvement club or a gorgeous set of blades - but something in the middle that's more tricky. Hiding all the technology golfers need in a package a better players is going to want to use.

The Mizuno Pro 225 irons do this wonderfully, and there are many other examples out there, but there's something about a forged set of Mizuno's (even if they are full of tech!).

The Pro 225s are compact at address and look like a single-piece construction, but the club's centre is full of technology to help you when you don't quite get it right.

Handicap range: 5-10

Nike Vapor Pro Combo irons

Next is a bracket golf club that has seen the most dramatic change in the last few years. It's easy to make a super game improvement club or a gorgeous set of blades - but something in the middle that's more tricky. Hiding all the technology golfers need in a package a better players is going to want to use.

The Mizuno Pro 225 irons do this wonderfully, and there are many other examples out there, but there's something about a forged set of Mizuno's (even if they are full of tech!).

The Pro 225s are compact at address and look like a single-piece construction, but the club's centre is full of technology to help you when you don't quite get it right.

Handicap range: 0-5

Callaway APEX MB

Finally, we're into the territory where aesthetics play a more critical role than technology. The Callaway APEX MB irons are one of the finest examples of a bladed iron. 

Forged with a sharp leading edge, refined sole, thin topline and compact profile, they are the players, players' iron. Clubs in this category add a layer of artistry to your game, and if you can strike it, there is no better feeling in golf. 

But be aware; there is ZERO forgiveness in these irons. Even if you're slightly concerned about your ball striking, then be best to avoid them for now.


Of course, all of this is subjective, and there is always room for manoeuvre. If your balls striking and iron play is one of the better parts of your game, you'll want to look to move down a category or two, and vice versa. If you need some help with your iron play, then you might want to look up a category to get the best out of your game and hit better shots more often.

One of the biggest mistakes we see golfers make is not getting clubs with enough forgiveness built in. We all hit bad shots, so get some clubs that will help when needed. 

Further reading

If your budget is a healthy £500 for a set of irons, here are five possible options from the hundreds of sets we have in stock.

Choosing your irons can be a daunting task. Blades, or cavity backs. Cast, or forged. Seems like a lot of choices to be made, and that’s before you take your needs and ability into account.