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Which Irons Should You Play For Your Golf Handicap

By: Golfshake Editor | Tue 07 May 2024

In our latest golf gear video, Golfshake Equipment Expert Ryan Rastall discusses which irons you should play based on your golf ability and golf handicap level. 

To provide detailed insights, Ryan talks through the full Callaway range that consists of nine distinct irons for 2024. Ryan offers an overview of each model and discusses which irons fit into each of three handicap categories, something that ultimately confirms the importance of being custom fit. 

You can watch the video below or directly on YouTube.

Presenting more information for you to devour, below you will see details on the various levels of golf handicaps and the iron categories that suit different types of golfers.

What is a High Handicap Golfer

High handicap golfers generally have a handicap higher than 18 and are often described as being bogey golfers, playing every hole at least one over par. Game improvement irons will be aimed at this type of golfer.

What is a Mid Handicap Golfer

Mid handicap golfers cover the broadest range, typically with a handicap between high single figures to mid-to-high teens (8-18). 

What is a Low Handicap Golfer

Low handicap golfers are those with the lowest golf handicaps generally below eight and irons for this range of golfers will usually be described as players' irons.

Which Irons Should You Play For Your Golf Handicap?

Game Improvement Irons

Game improvement irons are aimed at high-handicap golfers who are often considered to be those with a handicap greater than 18. These types of irons offer the most forgiveness and often feature technologies and anti-slice set-ups that are more draw-bias in nature to help with accuracy and dispersion.

The game improver irons tend to feature a larger head with a wider sole that places an emphasis on maximising forgiveness, with the intention being to encourage straighter shots and helping golfers get the ball in the air but without sacrificing distance.

In our latest video, Ryan talks through the Callaway Paradym Ai HL (High Launch), Callaway Paradym Max Fast - for golfers needing extra help with speed - and the Callaway Big Bertha.

See The Best Game Improvement Irons 2024 / Watch on YouTube

Game Improvement Irons

Mid Handicap Irons

Mid handicap golfers generally cover the majority of players with the handicap range being the widest covering golfers from high single figures to mid-to-high teens.

Irons categorised as being mid-handicap are generally less forgiving than the game improvement irons and they are aimed at slightly better ball strikers. These irons offer a slightly lower ball flight and spin than game improvement models, but they still provide some level of forgiveness and the quality of being easy to hit and get in the air. 

In the video, Ryan talks through three current Callaway irons that fit in this category; the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke, Callaway Apex and Callaway Apex Pro.

See The Best Mid-Handicap Irons 2024 / Watch on YouTube

Mid Handicap Irons

Low Handicap Irons

Low handicap irons are often known as players' irons and this category typically covers golfers with low single-figure handicaps. These irons will likely have a smaller head and sole which likely means less forgiveness, but usually offers greater workability for better ball strikers who like to move the ball and those preferring a more traditional look. 

The irons covered in the video are the Callaway Apex CB, Callaway Apex and Callaway Apex Pro, with Ryan talking through the differences in each of the irons and how combo sets can be built to provide a more robust set of irons.

Finally, Ryan puts three of the irons to test at his indoor fitting studio at Howley Hall Golf Club in Leeds, picking out one iron from each of the three categories to compare and provide insights into how the irons differ. The irons tested are the Callaway Apex MB, Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke and Callaway Big Bertha.

See The Best Players Irons 2024 / Watch on YouTube

Players Irons

What Are MB Irons?

MB stands for Muscle Back and this is a more traditional bladed type of iron with a small compact clubhead with the weight more evenly distributed compared to CB (Cavity Back) irons. This type of bladed design provides optimal workability giving the best ball strikers great feedback and shot-making control.

What Are CB Irons?

Speaking of Cavity Back, CB irons allow for a design that redistributes the weight around the perimeter. CB irons provide slightly more forgiveness than MB irons while still providing a level of workability for players who like to move the ball.

What Are DCB Irons?

DCB stands for Deep Cavity Back and these are available as part of the Callaway Apex range with the Callaway Apex DCB. The DCB irons tend to have the weight distributed to maximise forgiveness and ball flight providing an iron aimed at game-improving golfers who have less need for workability and require help with launching the ball.

What Are Combo Sets?

Combo sets have been around for several years and allow golfers to mix and blend the set of irons they use. For example, golfers may look for more forgiveness in the bottom end of the bag with the long irons where distance and dispersion consistency will be of greater priority, while looking for greater feel, feedback and control in the top end with their shorter irons.

Why You Should Get Custom Fit

While you can buy a set of irons that should suit your ability, the only way to guarantee that you have clubs that are closely married to your swing, technique and body size is by undergoing a custom fitting with a qualified PGA Professional or fitter. Studying your measurements, ball speed and launch data, the fitter can tailor and adjust the clubs to maximise their potential for your game.

If you're planning to invest in a new set of golf clubs, we reckon that first going through a custom fit session is not only recommended, but essential.

Related Content

The Best Game Improvement Irons 2024

The Best Mid Handicap Irons For 2024

The Best Players Irons For 2024

2024 Golf Gear Guides - What to Buy And Use

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/


Tags: review irons Golf Irons golf gear Golf Equipment Golf Clubs

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