We take a closer look at some of the best golf clubs on the market for intermediate players
Best Golf Clubs For Intermediate Players
Selecting the best golf club sets for your game is not a straightforward task, especially when there’s so much choice on the market.
If you’re a beginner, it’s actually more straightforward – you need clubs with game improvement features, as you’ll find in our best golf clubs for high handicappers guide.
Meanwhile, the scratch golfer and more accomplished ball strikers demand superior feel and workability.
Then, there’s the 8-18 handicap category, which comprises a range of abilities.
If you’re an ‘intermediate player’, you may find that you’re pretty handy one minute and, often, quite ordinary the next.
Generally speaking, the best golf clubs for intermediate players offer a combination of feel, forgiveness and workability.
Not all clubs in this category will suit the same level of player, but some models do actually have quite a broad appeal.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best golf clubs for intermediate players.
Best Golf Clubs For Intermediate Players
TaylorMade SIM2 Driver
+ Nice and easy to align
+ Faster off the face than SIM and higher launching
– Long-term durability of the sole panel remains to be seen
SIM2 carries over the Asymmetric Inertia generator and Speed Injected Twist Face from last year’s SIM drivers, but the head is now created using a Forged Ring construction made from aluminium, which saves nine grams of weight.
As a result, there is now no moveable weight on the sole to adjust shot shape, although we’re confident the extra forgiveness will go a long way to offsetting the effect of this.
SIM2 is the lowest-launching, lowest-spinning of the three. It’s aimed at the faster swinging golfer who tends to naturally create more spin through impact, and it should help those players gain maximum control over their ball flight.
Meanwhile, the SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max D will launch the ball higher and create slightly more spin – ideal for those players who need more flight to maximise their potential off the tee.
Whilst the SIM Max D will appeal more to serial slicers, if you’re in the mid handicap range, we’d suggest trying both the SIM2 and SIM2 Max.
Callaway Epic Speed Driver
+ Fast and forgiving from a wide area
+ Streamlined shape increases clubhead speed with the same effort
– Compact address profile could be intimidating
The Epic 21 drivers feature the next generation of Jailbreak called Speed Frame designed using Artificial Intelligence to form a completely new shape, connecting with the head at four different points top and bottom to provide extra rigidity in the horizontal direction.
The result, Callaway says, is a five per cent increase in efficiency and when combined with a lighter triaxial carbon crown and enhanced face design unique to every loft, should increase ball speed and forgiveness as well as spin consistency.
Of the three models, Epic Speed is the fastest, whilst Epic Max provides the most forgiveness and spin, ideal for golfers that need help to keep the ball in the air and strike lots of different areas of the face, whilst Epic Max LS is the better player model.
Ping G425 Max Driver
+ Increased forgiveness and accuracy over G410
+ Better fitting options across three models
– No obvious gains in distance over G410 on centred hits
To achieve new performance levels in the G425 Max (pictured), Ping has implemented a 26-gram movable weight called a CG Shifter, which is made possible by weight savings from advancements in the driver’s Dragonfly crown design.
The weight can be secured in one of three settings – neutral, draw or fade – to influence forgiveness and shot shape.
For golfers with a slice, the 460cc SFT driver (10.5° only) features a fixed, heel-biased 23-gram weight to promote right-to-left shot bend, whilst the 425cc LST model, which has a more pear-shaped head, will appeal to the better player.
Yonex Ezone GS Driver
+ Solid, powerful feel off the face
+ Wide-ranging adjustability
– Not the easiest to align
Yonex might be a brand best known for its graphite shafts, but its talents spread much wider into metalwood design and specifically the Ezone GS driver.
The high-launching nature of the clubhead means it will likely work better for golfers with slightly slower swing speeds, who may also appreciate the slice-fighting capability of the moveable weight.
We’re also confident most golfers will love looking down on the large, matte crown covered with subtle graphite details.
We found this driver to be incredibly light and easy to swing. Combined with the £349 RRP, it’s an attractive offering.
UK Buy Now at JamGolf for £349
Titleist TSi2 Driver
+ Easy to flight
+ Consistently good distance with plenty of forgiveness
– No shot shape adjustability
Titleist has introduced a number of new technologies to make the TSi2 driver easy to hit and consistently long – making it one of the best golf drivers anywhere.
The result is even more speed across the entire face, which has also been boosted by a reshaped head.
We were impressed by how easy the TSi2 was to launch, which allowed us to swing relatively smoothly and still deliver a powerful ball flight.
We also liked the consistency, even when shots were not middled, which will give mid handicappers a useful boost when they need it.
Behind the ball, it strikes an ideal balance between looking generous in size and easy to hit without appearing too clunky.
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 (see our best Titleist irons guide for info on the full range).
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.
Meanwhile, the extra camber on the sole helps it glide through the turf a little more easily.
For the mid-handicapper looking to maximise distance but retain a degree of control and feel, the T100S is a super option.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops from $1399.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf from £859
Mizuno JPX921 Forged Irons
+ Compact looks
+ Soft yet explosive feel
– Strong lofts may cause gapping issues at the wedge end of the bag
Everyone should make it their ambition to play with a set of Mizuno irons at some point.
The good news is, the Japanese brand doesn’t just manufacture stunning blades.
With the JPX921 range, golfers of all abilities are well covered.
Offering a super combination of feel and forgiveness, the Forged model wouldn’t be out of place in a single figure player’s bag, or a mid handicapper’s.
Be sure to take a look at our best golf irons piece if you want more iron inspiration.
Callaway Apex 2021 Irons
+ Stunning looks and feel
+ Impressive levels of forgiveness
– They sit towards the top end of the price spectrum
In 2021, as a result of a new Artificial Intelligence Flash Face, this popular franchise delivers more distance and better consistency of spin.
There are four sets in the range – Apex MB, Apex Pro, Apex and Apex DCB.
As beautiful as they are to look at, the Apex MB are the most blade-like, so if you’re an intermediate player, your focus should be on one of the other sets.
As you move through the range, the toplines become gradually thicker and more offset is introduced.
However, even in the DCB model (the most game-improver like design), the size and shape of the blade is still fairly traditional.
If you’re eyeing up a set, you need to weigh up which of the different performance benefits will help you most.
The good news is that as the changes are so incremental between models, we think these can be easily blended.
The downside is the premium price tag, but if you’re a golfer going places with your game, don’t let that stop you – just make sure you get custom fit.
Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons
+ Good consistent carries
+ Soft and solid feel at impact
– Lacks the wow factor of some mid handicap irons
With a traditional mid-size profile, this set of irons will certainly appeal to those in the mid handicap range, but also those who play off high single figures.
This is because whereas the original D7 model was all about generating super-fast ball speeds, the Forged irons offer more manageable distances and a sleeker look.
It’s a compact, soft-feeling set, and one that won’t set you back such a large sum of money compared to a number of other models.
Srixon ZX5 Irons
+ A beautiful and consistent iron
+ Powerful feel with surprising levels of distance
– Better players looking for an inviting profile might find these lofts too strong
Whereas Srixon’s ZX7 is aimed at low handicap players, the ZX5 should appeal to intermediate players.
It has a pleasantly thin topline and is slightly offset, which inspires confidence at address, whilst the rear of the wider sole is visible at address from 6-iron down.
Not everyone will like this, but it is something to be expected on an iron this forgiving – and in this respect it really delivered.
In fact, off-centre hits were incredibly forgiving, helping maintain carry on heel and toe strikes.
In summary, it provides everything you’d expect from an iron aimed at higher handicappers but with an appealing and sleek look at address.
We hope you found this guide on the best golf clubs for intermediate players informative.
For more buying advice, be sure to check out the Golf Monthly website.