Forged Vs Cast Iron Golf Club Guide – What's The Difference?
You may see PGA Tour Pros playing with either a forged or cast iron club and wonder if that might work for you…
The team at Tell Me More Golf is going to go further into the differences and help you understand which will be a better fit for your game.
Many golfers rely on club fitters for guidance on golf equipment. If there is someone available in your area, a club fitter can help you dial in your golf equipment.
Why Use Forged Irons?
This type of iron is typically for lower handicap players because it has a smaller clubhead and slimmer profile. With the smaller clubhead and soft feel, the golf ball will typically react the same way every time a player hits the sweet spot, meaning that they can consistently control distance and ball flight. This also means that when you look down at the clubface, the golf club typically looks small compared to a game improvement iron, which is larger.
Forged clubs often times have a muscle back component added to the back of the club to make it slightly more forgiving and allow the builder to customize the center of gravity.
This defect is common and requires the builder to re-heat the clubs and press them to get rid of the bubbles. The best-forged irons, like Mizuno, go through this process and they are buffed and ground for a customized finish.
What Does Forged Irons Mean?
Forged clubs are built using a manufacturing process using a single piece of steel, or billet, that is heated until it can be forged into the desired shape. In order for you to understand the Forged Vs Cast Iron debate, you must see that the cast iron is made using a mold. The metal is heated and poured in, and then any additions to the club can be made once it has cooled.
Forged irons are made by heating up one solid piece of metal and forging them into a shape using one single piece of metal for each club.
When that is done right, it gives forged irons their soft feel and consistency (assuming you hit the sweet spot).
Why Use Cast Irons For Golf? (and an Explanation)
Cast irons got their name because molten metal is poured into a cast and once it is set can become the cavity of an iron head.
This makes cavity back irons better golf clubs for a wider range of people.
For example, Callaway’s Rogue Max Irons have an explosive face and tungsten weight added after the casting process to create greater ball speed and forgiveness. These additions make cast clubs larger and more forgiving. These clubs reduce the number and penalty on mis-hits.
We recommend that beginners get fitted for cavity back irons because of the playability and forgiveness. Cast golf irons help beginners get the ball in the air easier and help hit from all different types of lies.
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Forged Irons Vs Cavity Back Irons
Forged irons and cast irons are different mainly in the way they are manufactured. We will talk about the building process and how clubheads are designed in different ways for high handicappers looking for game improvement, or for better players looking for a better feel in their irons.
The majority of PGA Tour players and single-digit handicappers play forged clubs. Forged clubs can still be made to be forgiving but not to the level of a cavity back iron. In fact, a common trend on the PGA Tour over the past several years is having cavity back long irons and forged short irons. For example, they might have a 4, 5, and 6 iron in the cavity back and have the remainder as forged irons.
This practice has become more common because the players want more forgiveness on long irons and more control and consistency on their shorter irons. When forged irons are built they are more malleable because of the building process. This allows for even more customization on things like bounce, loft, and lie angle.
Cavity Back Irons
The majority of golfers can benefit from playing cavity back irons. The larger head promotes confidence when you look down at the clubhead and can increase the size of the sweet spot. The varying face materials and additional weighting make cavity back irons simply easier to hit.
The main reason tour players and lower handicappers do not play cavity back irons is that the ball speed can increase. This means that they may hit the same club at different distances because their club speed is greater. Cavity backs can really add ball speed which is important for most golfers because one of the most common mistakes is not hitting enough clubs into the green.
Forged Irons Vs Blades
Forged golf clubs indicate a specific manufacturing process that uses a single piece of metal to allow the club to be pressed and softened for a great feel. Blade irons are made through the forging process but have a very soft feel, smaller sweet spots, and a thin profile. That is where the name blade came from; because it looks like a single, thin blade. The process of making a blade golf club allows the player to be able to curve the ball more than traditional forged irons.
Forged irons are made in the same fashion, a single piece of customizable metal, but can have parts added to the club. The forged club might have a muscle back to move the center of gravity or it may have some weighting or a thicker profile and still be classified as a forged club because of the manufacturing process.
While it is recommended that these clubs be used by single-digit handicappers and professionals, it certainly would not hurt to give these a try. The feeling of hitting a pure forged iron in the center of the face is like no other.
The team here at TellMeMoreGolf recommends that you go out and try both styles of irons at a club fitter. Some people just like the feel of the cavity backs, some prefer the look and feel of the forged irons. When you swing both types of iron heads you will know the kind of feel, forgiveness and distance that’s right for your game. Reach out to Tell Me More Golf to get more information and subject expertise about the right golf clubs for your golf game.
Frequently Asked Questions: Processes
Are Forged Irons Harder To Hit
Yes, forged irons have a slightly smaller sweet spot than cast irons. In addition, forged irons do not have perimeter weighting or other features that help a golfer on mis-hits. Cavity back has more weighting and a larger face which provides more overall forgiveness.
Are forged or cast irons better?
Neither forged nor cast irons are better. The answer is one of them is better for your game. For example, I play forged irons with a larger head. I like the look of a forged club but wanted some added forgiveness. So, that is what works for me.
Most beginners are going to get better and enjoy golf more if they went with a larger cavity back iron. The large profile head with weighting added for forgiveness makes cast irons a good choice for those golfers just starting out.
What is the advantage of forged irons?
The biggest advantage of forged irons is their consistent performance. This means that the golfer knows how far each club is going to go each time they hit them. Because there are no added weighting or inserts, the face of a forged club cannot flex and rebound as much. This helps the ball travel the same distance time after time. Because better golfers are likely more concerned with consistency and control, and not more ball speed, the forged irons give them exactly that.
Do professionals use forged irons?
The majority of professional golfers use forged irons. Their goal with their irons is not to get more distance or ball speed. Professionals are looking for clubs that go the same distance each and every time. They want to be able to stand over that shot from 167 yards, over water and bunker, knowing that their 7or 8-iron is going to travel 167 yards.
As I mentioned though, many professionals have forged irons for most of their clubs and cavity back in the long irons. Forgiveness is the long irons is important for professionals as well so they often try the hybrid approach.
Do forged irons last longer?
Forged irons do not last as long as cast clubs in most cases. This is because the process of creating a forged club makes the clubface softer than cavity backs. Therefore the wear on the clubface will show sooner. Depending on the material, forged may also wear faster than the standard cast-built cavity back iron.
Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com
Whether you are a pro or beginner or somewhere in between, the subject matter experts at Tell Me More Golf are always here to guide you to the right clubs to shoot lower scores and have more fun on the course.
With so many club options out there in both the forged and cast categories, it makes sense to go see a professional club fitter and experiment with both. Forged clubs will quickly give you feedback and let you know if they are right for you or not. Most of you are going to see better results and lower scores when you get fitted for the right cavity back irons. The added forgiveness and ball speed could be a game-changer.
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