We all know that golf irons for men and women are not created equally – women’s irons are shorter, more lightweight, and have proportions that keep women’s needs in mind.
This also applies to handicaps: The best golf irons for high handicappers (players with a handicap of 20) differ from the best irons for 10 handicap golfers.
A handicap of 20 is considered average, so players with scores that fall into this category would want to improve their game by using more advanced irons than beginners.
While beginners only need the basics, average players looking for further game improvement likely need additional irons — of different styles or made out of different materials. Thus, a player’s skill is important to consider when buying golf irons. If you want to improve your ball striking and have consistent center strikes on the clubface, then you’ve come to the right place! Consistent ball striking will improve your ball speeds and carry distance.
In this article, you will find a breakdown of our 7 top picks for the best golf irons for 20 handicappers, as well as the top things to remember when buying a new club model.
Quick Overview – Top 3 Most Forgiving Golf Clubs
1. Cobra Golf Men's Speedzone One Length Iron Set: These high-end irons have shafts made of steel, One Length design, and have special heel weighting. The set features 5 through 9 irons as well as two wedges. These include the pitching and gap wedges.
2. Callaway Golf Men's Rogue Irons Set: This high-quality set of irons have lightweight, graphite shafts, and feature 4 through 9 irons, as well as a PW.
3. Callaway Golf Mavrik Max Individual Iron:
This 4-Iron features a shaft made of steel and is known for its durability. It’s also decked out with advanced technology like being designed by artificial intelligence and a 360 face cup to reduce hits off the toe or heel of the club.
Top 7 Irons for Game Improvement In 2023
Since different levels of handicapped players require different irons with different specifications, sorting through entire catalogs of iron sets and individual irons can be tiring. To make the selection process easier, we’ve analyzed the following 7 options thoroughly, with their pros and cons clearly listed for your convenience.
Are you ready to choose a set of game improvement golf clubs so you can become a more consistent ball striker, have confidence standing over your ball, and play your best golf game ever?
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1 Cobra Golf Men's Speedzone One Length Iron Set
This high-end iron set boasts a One Length design and performance-improving technology. It includes 5 through 9 irons as well as a PW and GW. The inclusion of 7 golf clubs with steel shafts makes these game improvement irons a great option for those in the mid-range with a handicap rating of 20 (or possibly even high handicappers, with a rating slightly above 20).
This set boasts special technology for faster swing speed and Carbon Feel technology for a comfortable and better feel. COBRA Connect technology is included for feedback and exceptional performance.
Special spin technology consists of U-shaped grooves on 7 through 9 irons and the pitching wedge and V-shaped grooves on the 4 through 6 irons. This helps give you better precision and control for more consistent center hits.
The golf club heads also feature progressive head technology: The wedge iron, the long irons, and mid irons have been specially designed for better performance.
Created as a single length, the clubs are designed to conform to 7-Iron weighting that helps achieve a stable trajectory and reliable distance gapping. Since distance gapping is an important issue that often has to be solved by custom fitting, this is a huge advantage, and players get a custom feel for a better price.
With specially designed golf clubs, each type of club boasts a specialty – mid-irons are accurate, long ones are easy to hit the ball, and the wedge design results in control and precision. Another outstanding design feature is the cavity-backed construction. Because this results in a low center of gravity (CG), irons become easier to hit; this is further helped by the large face design for workability.
20 handicap golfers see everything with their golf game benefit significantly from these improvement irons. The irons are cavity back, which improves accuracy and is ideal for those looking for some of the best game improvement irons. They also result in high speeds and greater launch angles, automatically improving distance. The irons deliver a consistent feel because they are also fitted with carbon fiber medallions. Additionally, the irons are very forgiving and provide valuable spin.
Another major selling point is the inclusion of COBRA Connect technology. With the feedback on distance and hits this technology provides, players, especially intermediate players, can use the resulting data to improve their performance. Since these are specifically suited to golfers with 5-25 handicaps, this is an optimal set of handicap irons for game improvement. If you want to play a better game on any golf course or fairway, you should check out these irons.
These are expensive irons, so they’re not suitable for lower budgets. Although money can’t buy consistency on the golf course, these game improvements products can be well worth a bit more money the next time you address the golf ball.
- Easy to hit and fewer mishit shots
- Forgiveness (due to the topline)
- Cavity back irons improve accuracy and precision
- Feedback with Cobra Connect
- Reduces distance gapping
- Good variety of irons
- Contains two wedges (PW and GW)
- Consistent trajectory
- Higher shots
- Better ball flight for longer distances
- Improved spin
- Specially marketed towards golfers in a 5-25 range
- Expensive compared to other iron models
Although expensive, this is an excellent set for those who can afford it. Specifically made for those with a 20 handicap, these are high-performance improvement irons which are great for players looking for distance and speed.
2 TaylorMade Golf M6 Iron Set
These high-end irons feature a variety of irons: 5 through 9 irons, a pitching wedge (PW), and an approach wedge (gap wedge). Shafts made of steel and Speed Bridge technology make this set a great option. This set also ranks third in all of Amazon’s bestsellers in the “Golf Iron Sets” category, immediately capturing our attention with its thousands of positive reviews.
This set of game improvement clubs boasts unique technology, which improves swing speeds, increases distance, and reduces vibrations for a more comfortable feel. The HYBAR compression damper further filters unwanted vibrations.
Additional noteworthy features are a fluted hosel for a high launch and Inverted Cone technology for increased swing speeds as well as ball speeds. All these technological features make this a standout product that will help you receive more birdie and par putts and keep you out of the weeds.
A large sweet spot causes these to be very forgiving irons and leads to straight shots that are easy to hit; thus, these are ideal for those looking for game improvement. These game-improvement irons help straighten mishits, which further benefit from increased speed.
One of the main claims of M6 Irons is speed, which they fulfill through Speed Bridge technology, a stiff head, and Inverted Cone Technology. The increased speed combined with greater launch increases distance tremendously.
Another significant advantage is sound dampening — vibrations are reduced for a better feel and comfort at impact. This is especially useful as these irons consist of a shaft made of steel, which, traditionally, means more feedback and vibrations.
Since these irons are great for game improvement and are targeted toward 20 handicapped players, they are a smart choice for mid to slightly-high handicappers.
The iron set has a hefty price tag and is not affordable for everyone.
- Very forgiving irons with a large sweet spot
- A large variety of irons
- Comes with two wedges (pitching and gap)
- Straighter shots
- Easy to hit the ball, and improved mishits
- Increased speed with unique Speed Bridge technology
- Higher launch
- Improved carry distance
- Reduced vibrations for better feel, and a sound dampening effect
- Made for high handicappers
- Great for game improvement
- Comfortable Grip for your Hands
- Expensive, not suitable for smaller budgets
This high-priced set is not suitable for everyone; those on a budget may need to consider other options. However, 20 handicappers will benefit from these irons because they improve speed, launch, and distance while reducing feedback and not compromising on forgiveness. Known as game improvement irons, these are definitely suited for those with a mid-handicap wishing to improve their skill level.
3 Callaway Golf Men's Rogue Irons Set
Callaway Golf is a renowned golf equipment brand, and this high-end iron set features 5 through 9 irons and a PW. With technology like Internal Standing Wave and 360 Face Cup, this set is an attractive option.
Callaway’s Rogue irons feature technology such as 360 Face Cup, Variable Face Thickness (VFT), and Urethane Microspheres. These features, along with Tungsten Weighting and Internal Standing Wave construction, appeal to those already attracted to the Callaway brand.
Tungsten Weights and a lower CG result in accuracy and greater launch angles. These game improvement clubs reduce feedback using urethane microspheres to reduce vibration felt on impact; this results in a better feel and more comfort, especially when it comes to better swing speeds.
360 Face Technology and VFT technology give us a larger face on each iron; this means more distance and forgiveness, as well as increased speed and easy-to-hit shots.
With a mix of high speed, forgiveness, and increased distance, this set is suitable for high handicappers. So, it was a no-brainer to add this to our 20 handicappers list of super game improvement irons.
The set only comes with a PW and will need to be supplemented, especially since other wedges are essential for intermediate players. This supplementation will result in a higher upfront cost.
These premium improvement irons also come with a premium price tag — making them inaccessible for those on a tight budget.
- Accuracy and precision
- Higher loft
- Forgiving and easy strokes
- Sound dampening qualities, less feedback, and vibration
- Straighter shots
- Faster swing speed
- Better distance
- Suitable for high handicappers
- Expensive, not suitable for those on a budget
- Only comes with one wedge (PW)
While a great set of irons that falls into the game improvement category for mid to high handicappers, the Rogue irons set only comes with one wedge, i.e., a PW. While this may be acceptable to beginners, it is not ideal for intermediate players since multiple wedges are required. At the very least, the set will need to be supplemented with a sand wedge (SW) but most likely also with other wedges such as a gap or approach wedge (AW).
Supplementing an already expensive set adds up, and some might prefer a more complete set or one that is less expensive.
4 Cleveland Golf Men's Launcher CBX Iron Set
These premium irons, made with a lightweight graphite shaft, boast features like double laser milling and offer a range of irons. The set includes 4 through 9 irons, a pitching wedge, and a dual wedge (DW). Dual wedges aren’t in many sets, and this addition makes this set stand out.
Some striking features of the Launcher CBX set include Laser Milling for a better spin, Tour Zip grooves for forgiveness and control, a cup face design for even more forgiveness and distance, and perimeter weighting for yet more control and accuracy.
Balancing technology includes a large sweet spot and V-shaped soles in the irons. If you’re looking for game improvement, you definitely need to check out this set of clubs.
The main advantage of this set is the improved distance — the long irons in the set have been designed to better launch the ball for increased distance. A flexible clubface for impact also helps with the speed, which, in turn, increases distance. The low CG and perimeter weighting further still enhance distance and serve another essential purpose: reduced feedback. Sound dampening is especially important for those who want a better feel and reduced vibration feedback.
The flexible club faces also make it possible to improve speed. Control is another crucial aspect this set can help with, as the clubs rely on their weighting and unique design to drop the ball just where you need it. The graphite shaft makes each iron durable, lightweight, and easy to carry, especially for populations like those on the older side or players with physical difficulties.
The set also includes a wedge that is not seen often in an intermediate iron set: a dual wedge. A mix between a PW and an SW is a great replacement for a sand wedge if one is not included. Unlike some other sets, this set comes with both a PW as well as a DW.
This is an expensive set and not affordable for everyone.
- Increased distances and higher scores
- Variety of irons
- Includes PW and DW
- Lightweight, graphite shafts
- Increased speed through clubface flex
- Greater control and precision
- Maximum forgiveness with a large face and sweet spot
- Special Launcher CBX technology for distance and control
- Perimeter weighting
- Sound dampening feature – reduction in vibration
Despite being expensive, this is an excellent set for high handicappers because of the variety of irons (including short and long). There is little to no need to supplement this set because of two wedges, and this set results in overall game improvement by improving distance, speed, and loft.
5 TaylorMade Golf P790 Men's Iron Set
These luxurious irons from TaylorMade boast SpeedFoam technology, are weighted with tungsten, and consist of 4 through 9 irons, a PW, and an approach wedge (gap wedge or GW).
These irons feature SpeedFoam technology for a lightweight feel and better face speed. They also boast Forged Progression, which improves the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) to improve precision using ICT design.
Tungsten weights and a hollow design also help lower the CG for a better launch — and thus increased ball speed and distance.
From short irons to long, this set comes with a great variety of irons. One special note is that it comes with two wedges: the pitching and the gap wedges, unlike some sets on this list. This is useful because, with the high price of the set, it is even more expensive to buy supplementary irons.
A graphite shaft makes the irons lightweight and easy to carry, catering to a broad population, including senior citizens. SpeedFoam also helps with the lightweight feeling of the irons and improves face speed and feel. The irons are very forgiving and provide straight shots — great news for high handicappers.
Tungsten weighting helps lower the CG and results in higher inertia. These features, combined with the hollow design of the irons, help with the placement of weight for easier shots; thus, these are significantly forgiving irons that ensure your launches are high. Higher launches then result in better distances in ball flight and increased accuracy.
Targeted towards mid-handicappers and low handicappers, this is a great set for a 20 handicap player looking for improvement irons.
These irons comprise a luxurious set that is one of the most expensive sets on the market and not affordable for the average consumer.
- Variety of irons
- Comes with two wedges: a PW and a GW
- Lightweight graphite shafts
- SpeedFoam technology
- Tungsten weighting
- Higher ball speed
- Launch the ball for longer distances
- More forgiveness
- Straighter shots
- Low CG
- High inertia
- Hollow design
- Higher launches
- Targeted towards mid-handicappers
- Steep price point
This is the most expensive set on this list, and some buyers won’t be able to afford the high price tag. However, for those who can afford it, these are great irons if you wish to splurge. These handicap irons are definitely not lacking in quality and are made with the latest technology to improve game performance. 20 handicappers can progress well with these as they are forgiving irons but also maximize distance and speed.
6 Callaway Golf Mavrik Max Individual Iron
This premium 4-Iron is an Amazon bestselling product, ranking number one in the “Single Golf Irons” category. This game-improvement iron is luxurious, boasts the latest technology, and is made with a shaft of steel. In short, this is the perfect choice for those serious about the game. A 4-Iron is an extremely valuable club when used right and when a golfer comes to rely on it.
A focal highlight of this product is Callaway’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) to make these irons. A 360 Flash Face Cup, weighted with tungsten, and urethane microspheres for sound dampening also a feature that’ll get you back on the greens faster and keep you out of the weeds.
Moreover, the Mavrik Max 4-Iron is designed with Super Game Improvement (SGI) technology, a large head, and a lower CG. This combination maximizes distance and forgiveness, as well as speed, and loft.
Longer irons, such as this 4-Iron, are great to add to the arsenal of those intermediate players who are looking to improve their skill levels. Intermediate players are experienced with short irons and hybrids already, and this iron will allow practice with a long iron resulting in super game improvement. The steel shaft on the iron also makes it durable and strong. This is great for more experienced players since they usually prefer shafts of steel over graphite.
This 4-iron’s two main claims are high launch and forgiveness, both of which it delivers. A large body, an oversized clubhead, and Face Cup technology guarantee distance and forgiveness. The club also helps maximize speed, resulting in higher launches and increased distance traveled. The low CG and use of tungsten weights result in not only greater forgiveness levels but also increased stroke control. Since a greater launch angle is ensured, speed and distance do not suffer.
In addition to these advantages, this 4-Iron improves spin and thus maximizes performance. Comfort and feel are also enhanced by using urethane microspheres. These increase sound dampening and minimize feedback, which is important since a shaft made of steel is more prone to feedback than a graphite shaft.
Since it is a high-priced single iron, it is more expensive than buying a 4-Iron in a set. Some high handicappers may also prefer graphite since steel shafts are heavier and harder to master.
- Strong, durable
- Large head and body
- Increased speed
- Higher launch
- Further distances
- Tungsten weighting
- Low CG
- Improved spin
- Sound dampening – less feedback
- Expensive – single iron
- Heavy due to steel shaft
- Difficult to use for novices
The heaviness and price of this iron may be a deterrent to many users. However, despite the high price for a single iron, this is an excellent investment for those who plan on continuing to play for years and are serious about the game. If you’re intent on improving your game, you should check out these super game improvement irons.
7 TaylorMade Golf M2 Iron Set
This mid-tier set is relatively affordable and features on Amazon’s bestseller list as fourth in the category “Golf Iron Sets.” The set includes 4 through 9 graphite shaft irons as well as a pitching wedge.
In addition to being relatively affordable compared to others on this list, this set features technology like Geocoustic Engineering and Speed Pocket technology.
This iron set also promises distance, forgiveness, and height in one package.
Not only are these irons from a reputable brand but they are also high quality, though without the luxury price tag. The graphite is lightweight and flexible. Shaft flex, combined with Speed Pocket technology and a flexible clubface, increases speed and allows longer distances.
A low center of gravity also results in a high launch and fast speed with reduced spin. These then lead to increased distances. Since the irons are very forgiving, they often combat mishits and result in straighter and more consistent shots.
Players’ comfort is also managed with Geocoustic Engineering, which reduces vibrations for a better feel upon impact. Sound dampening takes place, and players feel less feedback.
While more affordable than other options, this set does not include multiple wedges. The set is not complete, especially for established players, because only one wedge — a PW — is included. Players with 20 handicaps are not beginners and will need at least two wedges, pitching, and sand, to play a proper game. Thus, they will need to supplement this set with more irons at additional expense.
- Relatively affordable
- Combats mishits
- Consistent and stable shots
- Straighter shots
- Speed Pocket technology
- Increased speed with less spin
- Geocoustic Engineering
- Reduced feedback and sound dampening
- Lightweight graphite shafts
- Lower center of gravity
- Higher launch
- Only PW included
- Set will need to be supplemented, incurring higher costs
The TaylorMade Golf M2 Irons set is the most budget-friendly option on this list of the best irons for 20 handicap players. However, the set is not complete because it comes with only one wedge (PW). High handicappers will require a minimum of two wedges, possibly more. The set includes all the essentials except for a sand wedge, and because of the affordable price, there is room to pick up another wedge. If you’re looking for a set of game improvement irons, this would definitely be a great set to have in your golf bag!
The Top Golf Clubs for High Handicap Golfer: Buyer’s Guide
Although reading reviews is important and choosing from recommendations is smart, every player should build their game-related knowledge. The types of irons and their specifications are part of the fundamental knowledge for golf. Without this, you will have to rely on others’ experiences without considering your unique profile.
Hybrids vs. Long Irons
When you look at beginners’ complete sets, you usually see 6 through 9 irons along with a PW and sometimes an SW.
However, since beginners are not yet familiar with the sport, they usually practice with hybrid irons before confronting a long iron. Often, players do use a hybrid interchangeably with a long iron until they reach the 15 handicap mark.
Long irons vs. Short Irons
A 20 handicap golfer is more experienced than beginner. To further reduce that handicap, the longest iron you need to be able to use is a 5-Iron. Although a lot of sets contain 4-Irons, the low irons tend to be the territory of low-handicappers.
However, if you buy a set with a 4-Iron included or you progress fast, it will likely last you through your advancement. Golfers with a mid-handicap usually prefer 5-Irons since they are harder to use than a very short iron but are not as challenging as 3-Irons and 4-Irons.
Players who are beginners can get by with two basic wedges: pitching and sand wedges. However, when players advance higher, they need more wedges. If, as a 20 handicapper, you want to rise higher and become an advanced player, wedges are essential. The recommended number of wedges is usually 4: pitching, sand, gap, and lob wedges.
With this arsenals of wedge lofts, you can conquer any greenside bunker or pull a perfect flop shot over a hazard. The green won’t know what hit it!
Although you have the basic information and have had a look at the advantages and disadvantages of particular specifications, there are some concepts and questions that need further explanation. Here, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions from our readers.
✅ What is CG and what does it do?
CG stands for “center of gravity,” and it affects many aspects of your golf game, like launch and spin. It is a measure of the balance of the club, and changes in CG can affect performance. Most golf manufacturers tout a lower center of gravity when describing their clubs, which means that the launch will be higher, and the spin will be better.
✅ How does one improve their swing?
To understand the right way to swing, one must first know what not to do. Some of the worst swing mistakes golfers make are swinging extremely hard, going back too far, and not taking the lie of the ball into account. To correct your swing for optimal performance, make sure your arms hang loose and are not rigid. Then, looking at the swing’s position, the player should use their hips to guide the swing.
✅ What category does a 20 handicapper belong in and how do these work?
A 20 handicapper falls into Category 3, which includes handicaps from 13 to 20. Handicaps get lower as the player improves their game, so the lower the handicap the better the player. A low handicap is considered to be a single figure handicap, while the highest handicaps allowed are 40 for women and 36 for men.
Although all of our picks are highly recommended, there is one that stands out amongst them: the Cobra Golf Men's Speezone One Length Iron Set. With its specific niche being 5-25 handicappers and the inclusion of the latest technology and high-quality materials, this set is one of the best iron sets on the market.
However, that is one of our more expensive picks. For players on a budget, the TaylorMade Golf M2 Iron Set is an excellent choice. This set comes with a variety of irons, with the only missing iron being a sand wedge. If supplemented, this is an excellent set for mid to slightly-high handicappers.
From our picks for the top 7 best golf irons for 20 handicappers, which one will you pick? Have something else you want our company to review? Are you a mid handicap and need recommendations on your next set of forged irons?
Our staff constantly looks for the latest designs, balls, brands, and products to help the game of every beginning golfer. If our reviews helped your golf swing, send us a note!
Last update on 2023-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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