Blade vs Cavity Back Irons
Golf irons have been a fundamental part of the sport since the mid-19th century. For the majority of players, iron golf clubs are the primary choice for their higher accuracy and longer lifespan.
In this post, we are going to take a look at two main kinds of golf irons. Namely, blade irons and cavity irons. But before that, a little background on iron golf clubs.
What are Golf Irons?
As you would already know, golf irons are generally golf clubs made of carbon steel.
They became popular when the hard rubber golf balls hit the market. Before that, wooden clubs were the primary choice for golfers because it worked well with the leather-wrapped feather stuffed golf balls.
There are two primary ways to create a golf iron. Forging and casting.
If you’re familiar with what blacksmiths do, you probably know about forging as well.
A chunk of metal is heated until it becomes soft. Then, the blacksmith hits it with a hammer from all different angles to give it the final shape.
Lastly, the club is milled, ground, and polished to bring the shine that you love and with the clubface grooves you love to keep clean!
The casting process is quite different from forging. The carbon steel is melted completely and then poured into a mold to cool it down. The inside of the mold is shaped like a golf club. When the metal cools, you get your golf iron.
Cast irons allow manufacturers more freedom for complex shapes and intricate dynamics. The mold can contain different crevices inside to improve the durability and the overall characteristic of how a golf iron feels.
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What are Blade Irons?
If you follow professional golf, you might notice that players carry around a bag of slim golf irons that look very different from hybrids or wooden clubs. Those are the blade irons. They have been the classic choice for players. At least until 1980. There was a time when blade irons were the only choice for players.
Blade irons are forged by hand. They offer a sharper angle and superior control over the ball. The clubface is quite small but if you manage to improve your skills to use one, you won’t have to look back anymore. They perform great!
Some people prefer to call blade irons muscle-back. The solid construction contributes largely to the name. These golf irons have a sleek design with a thinner sole, giving you ultimate control over the ball.
If you consider yourself a low handicapper, you can very well invest in a blade iron. The sweet spot is very small when compared to other kinds of clubs, but that is what makes it a top candidate for professionals. You can quickly draw one when needed and manipulate the ball even under par.
What are Cavity Back Irons?
Also known as Game Improvement irons, the cavity back design came to the market with more forgiveness for skill. It helps beginners or struggling players to compensate for their skill, in return for superior control over the ball.
These golf irons hit the market in 1980. The cavity back iron was designed for high handicappers, a tradition still going strong today. If you don’t get the time to play regularly or just starting out, you can benefit a lot from one of these.
However, you can always get a hybrid golf club, but that belongs to a completely different category. If you want to remain as close to the heritage of classic golf as possible, we recommend sticking to these golf irons.
The cavity back golf clubs have a noticeably thicker clubface that allows for more offset. The clubface is significantly larger as well when compared to the blade design.
As a result, the sweet spot on cavity back irons is much larger and easier to find. The added weight behind the clubface, known as the perimeter weighting helps keep the flight path as straight as possible. It may also get you some distance as well.
Now, you might be thinking, why don’t every golf player in the world use these? They sound awesome, right? The thing is, when you increase the surface area of the clubface and add more weight to it, you lose the ability to control the ball.
What if you don’t want a straight flight path? What if you want to give the ball some draw or fade spin? Performing such tasks become more difficult when a cavity back iron is in question.
Blade Irons vs Cavity Back Irons: Which One is Better for Me?
It is a very legit question to ask and the answer solely depends on what you want. You also need to consider how often you play the sport and what your skill level is.
If you’re just starting out and looking forward to getting your first golf iron, we recommend sticking to the cavity back design. As you already know, it comes with more forgiveness than the blade irons. You can start building your skills and maybe switch to a blade design soon.
On the other hand, if you’ve gathered a considerable amount of experience under your golf hat and want to take things a notch further, a blade iron will be an amazing choice for you. If you haven’t used one before, it will take some time to get used to. But once you do, you’ll be amazed at how well you will control the ball. Whether it’s a fade or dawn, each of them becomes a fun shot.
When Should You Switch to Either One of Them?
If you’ve been using either one of the designs and not feeling satisfied with how it feels, you can make a switch.
For example, if you’re using a cavity back design and mastered the drives from the tee, you might want to consider a blade for your fades. Another good way to test whether you are ready for a blade design or not is to look at your missed shots. If you’ve been hitting the ball consistently, you can take a blade iron for a test ride.
As opposed to the previous scenario, if you started with a blade design and finding it harder to keep the flight stable, you might want to switch to a cavity back design.
Cavity backs have perimeter weights attached to keep the ball straight when you go for longer shots. It also provides height when the club contacts the ball.
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Getting a Golf Iron
Switching the golf iron or getting a hybrid golf club won’t make you a better golf player. You need to spend a lot of time on the course to master this fine sport. It might not look much, but a lot of things go into making a good golf player.
If your practices with either kind of golf iron aren’t making any progress, you might want to go for custom fittings. All major golf club manufacturers offer custom fitting for their products. It’s a great way to customize the golf iron just as you want it.
Most of the golf clubs available on the market are designed for players who are 5’10”. If you’re above or below that height, a custom fitting will definitely help with your skill. You can’t saw a tree with a blunt knife, no matter how well you know how to saw.
Also, you can try both graphite and steel shafts to see which one works well for you.
Choosing the right golf iron can be a daunting task. The market is so flooded with options that even experienced players hesitate to make a choice. However, you have the advantage to use our guide to make your purchase.