Best Golf Clubs For Intermediate Players 2024

Are you that kind of high single figured to mid-handicap range of golfer? We have looked at some of the best golf clubs for you here.

Best Golf Clubs For Intermediate Players
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Best Golf Clubs For Intermediate Players: Quick Menu

Selecting the best golf clubs 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 and best golf club sets for beginners guides. The scratch golfer and more accomplished ball strikers demand superior feel and workability, making club selection a little more tricky. But then comes the 8-18 handicap category, which comprises a range of abilities and might be the hardest to buy for.

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, from what we've seen on the market right now, let's jump in and take a closer look at some of the best golf clubs for intermediate players.

The Quick List

Best Golf Clubs For Intermediate Players 

Why you can trust Golf Monthly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Drivers

The Titleist TS2 Driver and its sleek clubhead held aloft on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)
The stunning TSR2 driver plays impressively long distances

Specifications

Lofts: 8°, 9°, 10° & 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shafts: HZRDUS RED CB
Left Handed Option: Yes, available in 9°, 10° & 11°

Reasons to buy

+
Impressively long
+
Consistent flight and distance
+
Aspirational aesthetics are classic and confidence-inspiring

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a huge upgrade over the previous generation

It's clear to see that the designers at Titleist have been on a big journey over the past few years since they implemented the original TSi driver. The 'S' stands for speed, with Titleist's TS range of clubs looking to help golfers improve their power off the tee, and their latest iteration, the TSR, does just that, promising some excellent refinements from its aerodynamics to its face. As the best Titleist drivers go, this is perhaps one of the most high-tech offerings on the market right now. 

But visually it does not break the mould in terms of the classic visuals you'll see on many of Titleist's metal woods. Its sleek glossy black finish offers up a minimalistic design that looks stunning behind the ball. If anything, the TSR2 appears a fraction more compact at address. But there's no denying it looks superb and it comes with a handy adjustable weighting system on the heel of the club. 

Something we've come to love with Titleist's clubs is that they all feel very powerful off the tee. And the work the brand has done to improve the aerodynamics and design on the face, means this club also achieves that while delivering an exceptional feeling off the face. The speed on offer was excellent and we felt it could certainly hold its own against some of the best golf drivers for distance. Along with the added speed, it's the consistency where it shines as, in testing, the all round playability of the head was incredible and helped favor off-centre strikes, making it one of the best golf drivers on the market.

PING G430 Max driver and its stunning matte club head resting on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)
A forgiving yet high-performance driver

Specifications

Lofts: 9.0°, 10.5°, 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shafts: Ping Alta CB Black 55
Left Handed Option: Yes, available in all lofts

Reasons to buy

+
Very user friendly
+
Offers plenty of forgiveness
+
Wonderful shelf appeal

Reasons to avoid

-
Only slight distance gains compared to previous generation

As golf drivers go, the Ping G430 Max is one of the best Ping drivers to be released in recent memory. The brand wowed us all with the G425 driver released back in 2021, but they are back with some big improvements on that much loved club. Their latest offering refines everything from the aesthetics of the club to the sound it makes on impact, to form one of the best golf drivers on the market. We loved the new aesthetic on the G430, which boasts a matte finish that is contrasted by the excellent sleek visuals on the sole of the club that is complemented by some very cool white and green detailing. 

The upgrades on this club are pretty plain to feel once we'd struck the ball. The club also has a slightly thinner face and shallower profile compared to the G425, that incorporates a variable face thickness. This provides much more flexing as you strike through the golf ball and ultimately enhances the speed and forgiveness across the entire face - which we thought makes this one of the best drivers for mid handicappers

That face technology also helps to deliver more flexing and greater speed across the entire face of the clubhead, something Ping are calling 'Spinsistency'. This is a variable roll radius that should deliver consistent spin rates and carry distances and we loved the dispersion and the ball flights the G430 offered. It was super easy to hit and offered up some appeasing straight ball flights. The feel was also great too, and an improvement on the G425's metallic sound. Overall it helped to inspire bags of confidence as we stood over the golf ball. 

Photo of Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Driver

(Image credit: Future)
A stunning improvement, building on the success of the Paradym range

Specifications

Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: 3 options (MCA Tensei Blue, Project X Cypher
Left Handed Option: Yes - in all available lofts

Reasons to buy

+
Great range of CG adjustability
+
Love the rounded head shape
+
Surprisingly low spin rate

Reasons to avoid

-
Very close in performance to the Triple Diamond model

After the resounding success of the original Paradym family from Callaway, 2024 sees the launch of the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke family. The first model to discuss here is the Ai Smoke Max, which is the standard head of the three, and there are a few key changes to mention. 

Starting with the looks, when we first put it down we were really pleased to see the new grey colorway. We feel that it blends so much better with the grey banner strip, creating a really clean aesthetic that, from a visual perspective, places it among the best drivers on the market. Callaway has really improved the shelf appeal with the smoky graphic pattern too.

In terms of the tech story, Callaway's tag line with this product is ‘Sweeter From Every Spot’. Essentially, this means a bigger effective hitting area, a concept it has created by advancing its Ai Smart Face technology, using swing dynamics from thousands of real golfers. This information has then been inputted into its Ai system and has produced a whole new face which Callaway says creates micro deflections across various points of the striking area, essentially producing multiple sweet spots!

But how did the Max perform? Well the forgiveness was impressive. We hit an awful lot of balls with the Max so inevitably missed the center on occasion, but when we did, we were really pleased with the results. While there was good feedback of strike location, it was in no way unpleasant and the dispersion even from my most questionable hits was reassuringly tight. Sound and feel were not worlds apart from the original Paradym, which is no bad thing, but - if anything - we found the Ai Smoke felt a touch livelier off the face. Overall the Callway Paradym Ai Smoke Max is a really good option for those looking for great adjustability of flight and real playability.

Photo of Taylormade Qi10 Driver

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 9.0°, 10.5°, 12.0°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: 2 options (Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 5 & Mitsubishi Diamana T+ 60)
Left Handed Option: Yes - 9.0° & 10.5°

Reasons to buy

+
New rounded head shape is excellent
+
Extremely forgiving at this spin level
+
Will appeal to a broad spectrum

Reasons to avoid

-
Only loft adjustability - no moveable weights

Sitting in the middle of the Qi10 range in terms of its spin and forgiveness levels, in theory the Qi10 will appeal to the broadest range of players. One thing that is for certain is that the tech story is pretty simple; TaylorMade has aimed to maximise the MOI without compromising ball speed.

How have they achieved this you may ask? Well, the company have re-engineered their 60X Carbon Twist Face and provided a new supporting structure to promote faster ball speeds and improve the durability of the face. Coupled with a brand new, larger address footprint and a lower CG projection, and the Qi10 hits the mark in all the important aspects, with our testing showing an improvement over the Stealth 2.

Visually, TaylorMade has also come away from the red face that we saw in the Stealth range of clubs, with the color being replaced with a more subtle and less garish navy colour. Furthermore, the new ultra rounded shape of the Qi10 is a real delight and should inspire confidence when at address.

Fairways

Photo of Taylormade Qi10 fairway

(Image credit: Future)
A powerful fairway from the ground and the tee

Specifications

Lofts: 15º, 16.5º, 18º, 21º, 24º

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely forgiving on low-struck shots
+
Produces a powerful, towering ball flight
+
New weight saving design aids launch and flight

Reasons to avoid

-
Infinity carbon crown has made it slightly harder to align the clubface

The TaylorMade Qi10 fairway wood has been designed with both power and forgiveness in mind, but it's the aesthetics where we see the biggest changes compared to its predecessor, the Stealth 2. 

We were big fans of the Stealth 2 fairway wood range and, in the Qi10, some of the trusted technology has stayed put. For example, TaylorMade has persisted with the Thru-Slot Speed-Pocket to create fast ball speeds and a powerful thud through impact, with the V-Steel sole technology continuing to offer golfers a smooth feeling through impact and the best turf interaction possible.

Overall, the performance of the TaylorMade Qi10 fairway wood was solid and produced an impressive, powerful feeling through impact. In our testing, the distance was respectable, but there weren’t massive gains to be had over the previous years model.

Cobra Darkspeed X Fairway Wood Review

(Image credit: Future)
A powerful fairway that delivers satisfying strikes off the face

Specifications

Lofts: 15º, 18º, 21º

Reasons to buy

+
Modern, sleek looking head
+
Plenty of launch and spin for those seeking carry
+
Solid levels of forgiveness

Reasons to avoid

-
Matte head can make the club appear a little small

In the latest Darkspeed range of fairway woods from Cobra, the X fairway wood is the 'standard' model out of the three released, and therefore is the model created with the majority of golfers in mind, seeking a neutral ball flight and upon testing it did exactly that.

The matte black head is a thing of beauty although it does make the head look a little more compact than other models out there. The Cobra X fairway wood produced a particularly high ball flight and one that will suit golfers looking to maximize their carry distance and stopping power into greens. The feel off the face was energetic very solid, while producing a fairly loud sound to match.

As such we would recommend the Cobra Darkspeed X to anyone who wants help producing a higher ball flight with plenty of spin from their fairway wood, using it more off the deck than from the tee.

Srixon ZX Mk II Fairway showing its sole plate

(Image credit: Future)
Fast ball speed and sleek looks combined

Specifications

Lofts: 13.5º, 15º, 18º, 21º
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Red RDX
Left Handed Option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile sole sits well at address
+
Generous sized head improves forgiveness

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks of step in crown may not be for all

One of the most exciting fairway woods to launch in 2023 was the Srixon ZX Mk II. It is a fantastic club that offers up some very smart visuals and bags of playability. While it will appeal to a wide range of golfers we found it to be one of the best fairway woods for consistency. It is an upgrade on the previous Srixon ZX fairway and boasts a new Cannon Sole that shifts the weight more towards the front of the club to improve the center of gravity and the forgiveness on offer. Combine this in your bag with a set of the excellent Srixon ZX7 Mk II or ZX5 Mk II irons (or even a selection of both... if you're feelling adventurous) and you'll have a pretty excellent, easy to use suite of clubs. 

Let's focus a little more on the aesthetics on offer, and during testing we were pretty excited to see how big the clubhead came up behind the golf ball. Its matte black finish is a nice touch and is paired nicely with some cool white detailing that shows off the club's curves very subtly. We felt this fairway wood gave us a lot of confidence when it was placed behind the golf ball and it will certainly appeal to those looking for more forgiveness. 

One great feature we loved here was the re-designed contours on its sole plate. These have been sculpted to center the weight of the club and work with its higher trailing edge to produce a squarer face angle at impact. That of course helps to generate straighter ball flights and get the ball up from tougher lies. From our testing sessions, we quickly established that this was one of the most forgiving fairway woods around. We loved the feel the club delivers and that can be attributed in part to the Rebound Frame and Dual Flex Zones on the face. They help to punch the ball into the air long distances, and the club really did feel stable through impact. Inconsistent players, in our opinion, will certainly get a lot of enjoyment and benefit out of this stunning golf club, particularly on longer par fours and par fives. 

Hybrids

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Hybrid Review held aloft to show its blue speed pocket

(Image credit: Future)
Fantastic from tighter lies thanks to its club face technology

Specifications

Lofts: 16º, 19º, 22º, 25º
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: Aldila Ascent Ultralite 50 or Fujikura Speeder EVO 75 HB Graphite
Left Handed Option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Very consistent speed and spin
+
Extremely versatile
+
Classic sleek looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Long blade length may not suit everyone's eye

Mizuno produce some of the most versatile and best looking golf clubs and that is certainly the case with their latest hybrid to drop on the market, the ST-Z 230. Visually, as soon as we saw this golf club we loved it. The sole features a glossy black base that is complimented by an icy blue Coretech chamber that runs along the toe of the golf club. It just looks magnificent and continues the premium aesthetic in the Mizuno ST-Z driver

The performance attributes are there to match the visuals too. The Coretech Chamber, inside the clubhead moves the weight of the hybrid closer to the face of the club and lowers the center of gravity to deliver a more favorable launch and spin on each shot. Even from tougher lies we loved the power and feel the club delivered and it was very easy to get the ball up and back in play. It is certainly one of the best hybrid golf clubs we've tested this year. With an adjustable hosel, golfers also have the ability to tune the club to promote or fight a certain ball flight. Where hybrids are designed typically with a draw bias, we didn’t get the feeling that we might hit the STZ-230 left. The accuracy combined with it's decent length, made the ST-Z 230 a big favorite among our testing team. 

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo hybrid held aloft on the golf courseEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)
Maximum forgiveness

Specifications

Lofts: 19°, 21°, 24°, 27°
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft: Project X Cypher shaft
Left Handed Option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to hit from any type of lie
+
Provides naturally high launch conditions
+
Forgiving on off-centre strikes

Reasons to avoid

-
Impact sound is on the louder side

The Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Hybrid ranks as one of the most forgiving hybrids on the market and hence earned a spot in our Editor's Choice Awards in 2022. Featuring an incredible amount of technology, the specific focus in the design process was to help golfers escape poor lies with power and accuracy. The Halo features Cleveland's XL head design which is larger than most hybrids. As well as the large head design, the hybrid has an MOI of 2,961 - the most ever in a Cleveland Golf hybrid.

It also features great stability and resistance at the moment of impact, with three Glide Rails on the sole helping keep the clubface straight for better strikes, regardless of lie quality. It scored very high marks for its versatility, with this club being very easy to hit out of any lie. Performance was also good from miss-hits and we loved how easy it was to get the ball up into the air so quickly. If you are in the market for a forgiving hybrid, the Halo model is definitely one to consider.

Ping G430 Hybrid held aloft to reveal its sleek looking sole

(Image credit: Future)
Stunning visuals are combined with excellent performance in this impressive club

Specifications

Lofts: 17º, 19º, 22º, 26º, 30º, 34º
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: PING ALTA CB Black 70 and PING Tour 2.0 Chrome 85
Left Handed Option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of forgiveness across the face
+
Clean aesthetics
+
Produced surprisingly fast ball speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly challenging to shape shots

Perhaps one of the best looking hybrids on the market right now, the Ping G430 strikes a superb balance between its fantastic visuals and the excellent performance it delivers. It embodies everything that Ping so often gets right in its clubs, providing a sleek and refined aesthetic that, despite being compact at address, delivers excellent forgiveness, feel and power.

Some questions on the acoustics of previous Ping clubs have been voiced over the years, particularly in its predecessor, the G425. But we have to say with the G430, any metallic sound or 'tin' feel has been toned down to make it very satisfying through impact. This hybrid delivered excellent distances off the tee and from the ground during our testing sessions. Holding greens from further out was also not an issue, either with the ball landing like it was struck with a mid-iron. While we did find it a little hard to shape shots compared to other hybrids on this list, the ball flight was straight and strong - which is something we definitely will not turn our noses up at.

Equally, it stands out as one of the most forgiving hybrids on the market right now, with miss-hits still delivering strong carries and it performed very well from a multitude of lies - especially out of the rough. That playability can be largely attributed to the tungsten back-weight on the club, which helps to deliver a lower center of gravity that delivers greater forgiveness out of difficult lies. Overall, it is a fantastic club that we enjoyed playing with during our testing sessions.  

Irons

The Cobra 2022 King Forged Tec Iron in action5 Stars

(Image credit: Future)
A slim yet powerful distance iron perfect for the average golfer

Specifications

Category : Blade
Construction: 5-step forged body and face
Material: Steel