When purchasing a golf iron, many of you might’ve heard the terms blade or cavity back. People who are new to the sport have no clue what these terms mean. For starters, blade and cavity back are two different types of golf irons that are suited for particular playing styles and skill levels.
Cavity back irons are newer and more common than blade irons and are generally preferred by low and mid handicappers. On the other hand, blade golf irons have a more traditional design and are usually found in golf bags of low handicappers and top-level golf pros.
This article will talk about blade golf irons in detail, including their origin, design, advantages, and some minor flaws.
History Of Blade Golf Irons
Blade irons are the original golf irons, strictly speaking. Before the introduction of casting techniques, all golf irons were forged from a single piece of metal, usually steel or iron.
These clubs resembled a shape similar to a blade, hence the name blade irons. These irons have a full metal back and are also sometimes called “muscle-back irons.”
Later, manufacturers rolled out golf irons with hollowed-out backs with perimeter weighting known as cavity back irons. This new design proved to be far better in terms of forgiveness and game improvement. Since then, blade golf irons or muscle-back irons have become a rare sight, except for highly skilled golfers and high handicappers.
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Design And Construction Of Blade Golf Irons
As mentioned above, blade golf irons resemble the shape of a blade and have full metal backs. They are constructed from a single piece of metal using labor-intensive and highly complex forging techniques that make them quite expensive.
Due to the forging method, the weight is distributed more evenly across the clubhead, although a significant amount of it lies near the sole. This shifts their center of gravity (COG) higher and keeps the moment of inertia (MOI) lower than cavity back irons.
In other words, blade irons have a smaller sweet spot and are less forgiving. The design is clean and traditional, with a slim topline and sole.
Why Golfers Use Blade Golf Irons
By now, you must be wondering if blade irons are so pathetic; why do golfers use them in the first place. Well, there are certain areas where cavity back irons are useless, and blade golf irons excel. Scratch golfers and low handicap golfers prefer using blade golf irons because of their better playing experience for skilled players.
Blade irons provide much better feedback and feel to the player in both on and off-center hits. Players instantly feel upon impact whether the shot is a good one or not. Blade irons are also great for shaping ball trajectory and hitting creative shots like fades or draws.
They help in keeping the flight low and adding spin as per the preference. In contrast, cavity back irons are designed to help golfers hit straighter shots with steep launch angles.
Drawbacks Of Blade Golf Irons
If you’re not someone with a single-digit handicap, blade golf irons might not be the best idea for you. Here are a few reasons why.
- Blade irons have a high COG and low MOI, making them less forgiving. You will have little to no protection against off-center shots and are more likely to slice or hook the ball.
- The feel, sound, and feedback from off-center hits are often unsettling for many players.
- Blade irons provide flat and low ball flight generally preferred by experienced golfers. High handicappers struggle to get adequate elevation from blade irons. It is also tougher to achieve a longer carry distance with a blade iron than a cavity back iron.
In A Nutshell
Summing up, blade golf irons are traditional irons with a slim topline and sole. If handled properly, they are a delight for hitting some fancy strokes on a golf course. However, if you’re switching from a cavity back iron, it would be best if you thought about it carefully before making the decision.