Golf iron sets are undeniably a staple in any player’s array of golf clubs, regardless of the level of skill and experience. Their versatility and functionality as tools of the trade have definitely earned them a good reputation across the golfing scene. However, iron sets didn’t use to be this forgiving for every player, but to answer the call of times, they have continuously evolved throughout the years in order to adapt to the varying demands of different game situations.
Decades ago, golf iron sets were only sold with blade style heads, with the weight of the material concentrated behind the center of the club face, hence the name muscle-back iron clubs. These kinds of clubs produce a great amount of feedback upon impact, making it a very reliable weapon for players with consistent swings as it can create very precise shots with clean trajectories. This was not the case for beginners and people having trouble with their fundamentals because muscle-back irons required greater skill and control to produce accurate shots. Nonetheless, they were still very popular choices among players of every kind because of their availability.
In modern days, only a few professional players choose to keep using muscle-back irons since they prefer having higher centers of gravity so as to work the balls for a trajectory suited to their liking. Some notable players who still stick to using clubs with blade style heads would be Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, and Dustin Johnson. Better players have attested that the design of muscle-back irons have a certain “feel” that enable them to assess any errors and subsequently adjust to correct those.
However, many people have opted to go for evolved versions of iron sets due to the ease of use and high performance they can offer.
In order to address the issue regarding the high risk of hitting errors surrounding muscle-back irons, cavity-back or perimeter-weighted irons came to be. The concentrated weight along the back of the club face for muscle-back irons was reallocated along the edges of the club head in order to create a more even distribution of momentum for every point of impact. Because of this redirection of weight, a cavity is formed along the area where you would commonly find material concentration for muscle-back irons, and this was how these irons started being called cavity-back. The lack of mass along the bottom of these clubs help balls become easier to come into contact with, and it also creates less spin which results to more leeway for mishits due to the reduced possibility of unwanted movement.
The rise in the use of cavity-back irons can be attributed to the modernization of the production methods for golf iron sets. Blades, or the muscle-back irons, are made traditionally using forging techniques to mold soft steel into shape. This high degree of labor-intensiveness is one of the reasons why muscle-back irons are more expensive. A good example of a forged club would be Mizuno MP-33 irons.
On the other hand, perimeter-weighted irons are created through a process called casting, wherein molten metal is poured onto a mould to create the club head. This manner of production is widely-acclaimed nowadays, with around 90% of all golf clubs sold manufactured using this process. Casting helps manufacturers maintain the level of durability they desire by assuring the precision of placement of hard metal without sacrificing the hardness of the metal. It also enables them to become more creative in adjusting iron club designs for the varying needs of different players.
There is an astounding amount of clubs available in the market which had been produced through casting techniques. TaylorMade’s rac OS, and oversized cavity-back iron engineered for durability and high flight trajectories, and Ping S58, a blade iron that combined forgiveness and functionality, are both great examples among many other variants.
In recent years, titanium has also become a popular choice for casting because it is lightweight, but equally strong as steel. When combined with heavier metals, the resulting iron club heads are more resistant to unpredictable twisting, making ball-striking a breeze.
Earlier preconceptions throughout the ages have led people to believe that forged clubs are more difficult to handle compared to other kinds of irons, but this problem is more of an issue on structure and design, than production technique. Iron sets have definitely evolved continuously to ensure user comfort and performance, and this is why they have earned a significant place in every golfer’s bag. As we always say here, at RockBottomGolf.com, regardless of what material your golf iron sets are made of, or how they are designed, there is surely one out there that will be able to cater exactly to what you need.
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