The choice until fairly recently was simply muscle back or cavity back irons. However, nowadays golfers looking to buy the newest irons will find more different styles spoken about.
Muscle back irons are often referred to as blades because of their thin blade-like appearance. They are significantly less forgiving than cavity back irons, with off centre strikes heavily punished. For the very best ball strikers they can offer the ultimate control and shot-shaping, however even the majority professionals now opt for an iron with some cavity. I would suggest that every mid handicapper should stay clear of these irons.
Here is where we fall into the cavity back subsection of irons. Players’ irons are the most common choice for Professionals and low handicap golfers and have the smallest cavity. They have a compact clubhead, thin topline and relatively small sweet spot for a cavity back iron. These irons offer great workability, control and feel, but should only be a consideration for the best ball strikers out of the mid handicap range. Most mid handicappers would benefit from the additional forgiveness and distance that comes with a slightly thicker cavity.
Players’ distance irons are probably the most popular choice amongst mid handicap golfers and the category where the majority of the best mid handicap irons of 2021 above are found. A slightly thicker cavity and a little added offset inspires more confidence for mid handicappers in appearance, with excellent forgiveness and plenty of distance. They will also still offer more feel, accuracy and spin control than you associated with game improvement irons. You will find that game improvement irons, with the largest cavity back, offer even greater levels of support for bad shots at the sacrifice of control and accuracy. I would recommend these irons for mid handicappers with declining handicaps or the more senior golfers.
These subcategories of cavity back are certainly not set in stone. As technology has advanced many leading manufacturers are now incorporating qualities from each of these different styles to improve the other ones. Many of the most modern irons could easily be considered to fit within two different categories.