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Best Cavity Back Irons for Superb Playability & Distance

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With cavity-backs, more weight is positioned in the sole. That’s precisely how it becomes easier for golfers to use the best cavity back irons to get the ball airborne. More often than not, these are average players. So if you’re one of them, then isn’t it amazing that you can now hit longer distances with a lower loft!

The cavity-back structure, no doubt, is a lot more forgiving than traditional blades. You also get a higher bounce. And all of this translates into straighter, higher, and longer shots, which is something beginners and high handicappers are always on the lookout for.

So let’s check out some of the top contenders!

What Really Are “Cavity-Back” Golf Irons – The Definition

Cavity Back Irons

The explanation here is very simple – cavity-back golf irons are designed with perimeter weighting. And this particular structure is responsible for maximizing forgiveness on off-center shots. Therefore, cavity-backs enable golfers to meet their maximum potential.

The clubhead part of golf irons is made using metal, right? So in the case of cavity-back, the back of the head is hollowed out. Thus, forming a cavity. The other option is when the back of the head isn’t scooped out, also known as muscle-back irons.

Now the whole idea here is to eliminate mass from the back of the clubface and direct it toward the perimeter. So the contact between the golf ball and golf club face changes in that it becomes easier for you to hit the iron in different ways. After all, you do get a larger sweet spot, more forgiveness, and higher MOI.

A cavity-back golf iron is labeled as game improvement. And is often the most suitable choice for mid-handicap and high-handicap players. But then that doesn’t mean pro-level golfers don’t buy cavity-backs. Even some of them like to depend on the hollowed-out, perimeter-weighted structure for correcting any potential mishits.

Between Cavity-Back and Muscle-Back (Blade) Irons – Which Is Better?

Does better mean more forgiving? If yes, then the cavity-back design is a lot more forgiving indeed. It helps you make better contact with the golf ball for achieving longer distances. All thanks to the perimeter weighting, tungsten weights, and wide sole.

Blades (also known as muscle-backs), on the contrary, are a favorite among more advanced players because they let them control the trajectory and flight of the ball and the shaping of the shot. For example, it’s easier, with a traditional blade-style iron, to hit fades and draws.

Top 8 Cavity-Back Designed Golf Irons

1. TaylorMade Golf P790 Iron Set

TaylorMade Golf P790 Iron Set

P790 is among TaylorMade’s most recent releases. And it is considered to be one of the most sensational forged cavity-back golf irons out there.

Ask just about any reasonable or even top golfer and they’ll tell you how much they prefer those irons that offer a combination of the feel and appearance of forged blades and the forgiveness and playability of cavity-backs. This is made possible through TaylorMade’s exclusive, ultra-light SpeedFoam-injected head.

The invention and popularity of hollow-bodied forged golf irons, like TaylorMade P790, are truly transforming the scene of golf. It doesn’t take a genius to find out that TaylorMade specifically decided to focus more on delivering the feedback, feel, and look of a traditional blade iron. So there’s just no denying that this hybrid-like construction is the USP.

TaylorMade Golf P790 Iron Set

The tungsten weight composition (low-profile) is also designed for a favorable chain of reaction. It lowers the CG, which, in turn, promotes a higher launch.

On top of that, since TaylorMade P790 is outfitted with strategically-located Progressive Inverted Cone Technology (I.C.T.), you can rely on it to protect ball speed and even accuracy in the case of off-center shots. Therefore, for lowering a golf handicap, an iron like this can do wonders.

PROS

  • Forged hollow-bodied construction maximizes forgiveness
  • Ultra-light SpeedFoam improves feel
  • Low-profile tungsten weight for higher launch
  • Speed Pocket increases ball speed
  • Progressive I.C.T. preserves max. ball speed on mishits

CONS

  • None whatsoever

2. TaylorMade Golf M2 Iron Set

TaylorMade Golf M2 Iron Set

Once more, TaylorMade decided to lower the CG here to promote a higher launch. Even improving consistency is possible in this case because of the Face Slots. As a result, an overall thinner topline is created, which combines with the 33-percent thinner front wall to boost flexibility.

No matter from where you look at TaylorMade M2, the engineering appears to be way better than its predecessors. I found the newly incorporated Face Slots to be the star of the show (it is rare to come by indeed). The slots frame the golf ball just how that’s supposed to be done. And this means a more user-friendly construction for preserving ball speed.

Those looking for golf irons that are easier to hit are most likely to rate TaylorMade M2 as the perfect solution. Upon testing, the springy feel and optimal feedback were pretty impressive compared to some hard-to-hit game improvement irons. Even the sound at impact is more or less like traditional irons. Meaning not too loud, which makes it all the more enjoyable.

Hitting long distances consistently is one of the greatest advantages of TaylorMade M2. And I’m certain that’s because of the strong loft. But what’s little known is that the peak height achieved can be compared to the max. ball flight produced by irons that are more traditionally lofted. All this in a more forgiving cavity-back design – it’s a WIN-WIN situation!

So, without the shadow of a doubt, M2 is an extremely forgiving iron for improving your game.

PROS

  • Compact look - shallower blade height and thinner topline
  • Face Slots protect ball speed on mishits
  • Speed Pocket for forgiveness and higher launch
  • Geocoustic engineering enhances feel and sound

CONS

  • Mid and long irons don’t produce enough stopper-power spin

3. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Iron Set

Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Iron Set

The one thing that Callaway Mavrik Irons have that the others don’t, and possibly even won’t in the coming future, is Artificial Intelligence to boost ball speed significantly. And what’s even more commendable is that Mavrik comes in 3 different designs. There’s Mavrik Standard, Mavrik Max, and Mavrik Pro.

All the technology of Mavrik combines to hand out some very real results – generous amounts of forgiveness and distance. Mavrik Standard, in particular, delivers the most consistent results. No matter how many off-center shots you’re guilty of producing, the iron takes them as long as your pure shots.

And it’s not just the A.I. that matters here, although it’s the one unique feature that does play a HUGE role. But Callaway has also incorporated its revolutionary Flash Cup Face. Then there’s the exclusive Suspended Energy Core as well, which optimizes spin and launch.

Mavrik Standard here has a stronger loft in comparison to Mavrik Max and Mavrik Pro. So it offers a combination of lower launch, greater ball speed, and less spin.

PROS

  • Mavrik clubface designed for distance
  • Artificial Intelligence installed to increase ball speed
  • Urethane microspheres dampen unwanted vibrations
  • Customized tungsten weights provide optimal launch

CONS

  • Original shine deteriorates very quickly

4. Callaway Golf 2019 Big Bertha Iron Set

Callaway Golf 2019 Big Bertha Iron Set

Once again, Callaway’s Suspended Energy Core makes an appearance here. The suspended tungsten weight of Big Bertha is molded and injected with urethane microspheres. No wonder this cavity-back design delivers such amazing launch and long, consistent distances.

I’ve grown so used to Callaway irons featuring the 360 Face Cup. It’s what makes them such a wildly popular choice among those who tend to produce a lot of mishits. And the Face Cup is the thinnest by the way, which combines with Suspended Energy Core to yield even greater distance and speed.

Speaking of which, Callaway is not a brand that chooses to deceive. When they say their golf irons are forgiving, you can take their word for it. Big Bertha, in fact, ranks as one of the best super game improvement irons for that very reason you know.

PROS

  • Jailbreak technology promotes faster ball speed
  • Ultra-thin clubface with Hyper Speed corrects off-center shots
  • OptiFit hosel optimizes CG to provide easier launch
  • Very forgiving progressive clubhead shaping

CONS

  • The finish tends to wear off quickly

5. Cobra Golf 2020 Speedzone One Length Iron Set

Cobra Golf 2020 Speedzone One Length Iron Set

Cobra Speedzone 2020 builds upon their previous F9 Speedback 2019 range. If you’re familiar with the latter, then you know how the appearance of both is almost similar. But there’s no denying that it’s the former, Speedzone, that’s outfitted with new technology for faster speed, longer distance, and higher launch.

The most talked-about quality of this cavity-back design is the inclusion of 5 unique, performance-driven zones that, when they come together, deliver forgiveness, consistency, and distance as you’ve never experienced before.

The lighter carbon topline elevates ball speed. Speedback shaping minimizes CG to maximize MOI. PowerShell technology in the clubface enhances launch and ball speed all across the face. And you know what this means – a generous amount of forgiveness. Progressive spin technology, so you can control flight and trajectory consistently.

And lastly, V-grooves in 4-iron, 5-iron, and 6-iron for reducing spin, which provides additional carry distance. Cobra has designed 7-iron to PW with U-grooves to optimize spin. And finally, the add-on sand and gap wedges feature regular wedge grooves to add the much-needed extra spin.

As is evident, Cobra has crafted golf irons that strike the perfect balance between distance, feel, and playability. The innovative Speedzone irons, both one-length and traditional, pave the way for maximizing distance with the help of all the forgiveness-on-mishits and feel you demand, no matter your golfing skills.

PROS

  • One-length iron perfect for beginners
  • The lighter carbon topline boosts ball speed
  • Speedback shaping lowers CG to promote an easier launch
  • Forged PWRSHELL clubface insert enhances launch and speed
  • Co-Mold Medallion absorbs vibrations for solid feel and sound

CONS

  • Shorter irons have a very high spin rate

6. Cleveland Golf 2018 Men’s Launcher CBX Iron Set

Cleveland Golf 2018 Men’s Launcher CBX Iron Set

One of the most popular golf irons manufactured by Cleveland that makes a huge difference in performance on the course is the Launcher CBX. The design is more stripped back, which is exactly what enhances golfing performance here.

The brand claims that their Launcher CBX Irons not only travel as far as any other top-selling irons currently available but that they’re also much more forgiving than the rest. And this explains why technologies like the V-shaped sole and Tour Zip Grooves are added.

The slightly longer blade length and lower profile are characteristics that make the long irons of this Launcher CBX set easier to hit and more forgiving. As for the short irons, these are more compact for better control.

But what makes these golf irons so great is the inclusion of V-soles. This shape passes quickly through that turf. And for times when you hit slightly behind the golf ball, you can still preserve maximum speed and gain distance control to generate a more precise shot.

Moving on to approach shots, the Tour Zip Grooves, combined with laser milling, improve performance from the rough. They hand out an optimal spin rate more consistently, irrespective of whether you’re in the rough or fairway.

Needless to say, they may turn out to be one of the best cavity-backs you may have ever played!

PROS

  • The lighter-weighted shaft adds more speed
  • Feel Balancing technology improves distance control
  • Progressive V-shaped sole maximizes lift and forgiveness
  • Tour Zip Grooves produce optimal spin consistently

CONS

  • The shaft may be too light for high-speed swingers

7. Wilson Staff D7 Forged Golf Iron Set

Wilson Staff D7 Forged Golf Iron Set

Next up on my list is the Wilson D7 Forged Golf Iron, which is making quite an impact on Tour-level golfers because of the phenomenal Power Hole technology as well as the improved head design. These irons combine feel, looks, and distance that appeal the most to those looking for pure, genuine players’ iron.

The D7 is long, fast, and forgiving too in case you have doubts as a slow swinger. At the same time, in comparison to some of the other golf irons reviewed here, Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons are very reasonably priced too.

Actually, what Wilson wanted to accomplish with D7 is bridge the space between game improvement and Tour-level irons. And they paid heed to some of the negative feedback that came along with their previous C300 forged irons. So the cavity-back design, this time around, is better-shaped.

Wilson D7 Forged Golf Iron

Likewise, the face thickness, top line, and sole have also been worked on by Wilson to improve feel and acoustics.

And I think you’d also like to know that the company tested various combinations of Power Holes before they found just the optimized placement that increases clubface deflection and contact time between face and ball. In simple words, you have a forged cavity-back golf iron that both produces and protects ball speed.

PROS

  • Forgiving cavity-back construction with a traditional feel
  • Power Holes enhance distance, speed, feel, and sound
  • Thinner topline and compact clubhead for Tour-level play

CONS

  • Not an ideal choice for beginner or average golfers

8. Mizuno Golf JPX921 Tour Iron Set

Mizuno Golf JPX921 Tour Iron Set

Mizuno has also joined the forged cavity-back iron race with their JPX921 Tour Irons. These golf clubs are more geared toward Tour-grade golfers simply because of the comparatively tighter tolerance (than its other counterpart) to deliver greater purity. No doubt, it’s one of the best for the highly skilled ball strikers.

When Mizuno released JPX921, they had to live up to the standards of its predecessor, JPX919. Along with that, the newer model was also expected to bring some more new technologies into the game. And that it surely did!

Under pressure, these forged cavity-backs improve feel. All thanks to the HD forging the brand incorporates. On top of that, these irons are a lot thicker. And this kind of shaping lets the frequency waves linger for just a while longer to heighten the feel.

The sole of JPX921 long irons, in comparison to the older models, is a bit wider. With the short irons having a slightly narrower sole. So the long irons of this particular set promote easier launch while the short irons make turf interaction better. Plus, the toe-biased weighting improves stability.

So, hands down, JPX921 is the superior choice in comparison to not only Mizuno’s previous JPX irons but also to almost every new forged cavity-back iron out there.

PROS

  • Grain flow HD forging offers a more enhanced feel
  • Stability Frame produces Tour-grade vibration
  • Harmonic Impact technology for optimal feedback
  • More durable pearl brush finish

CONS

  • Not made for the average golfer

How to Hit A Cavity-Back Iron

When it comes to hitting a cavity-back, two factors play a very important role.

A Well-Balanced Golf Swing

The cavity-back design paves the way for better ball-striking abilities, correct? So, at such times, a well-balanced golf swing combines with its exceptional workability and forgiveness to really enhance your performance. So factors like accuracy, ball flight, and distance are well taken care of.

Angle of Attack

Another default characteristic of cavity-back irons is their sleek profile. It facilitates optimal turf interaction. But then with game improvement irons like cavity-backs, a thing like the angle of attack matters a great deal because you want the clubhead to smoothly move through the turf.

And the best way to go about it is to produce a downward-facing angle of attack. So the golf club’s leading edge doesn’t touch the ball during impact. Thus, preventing an unwanted bladed shot.

Likewise, make sure that the angle isn’t very steep either. Otherwise, the head gets stuck in that turf and leads to a duffed shot.

Most Important Features of A Cavity-Back Golf Iron

Cast vs. Forged

The clubhead of cavity-backs is either forged or cast. Cast irons are manufactured when hot metal is poured into a cast for shaping the head. As for forged irons, these are constructed by carving out the head from solid metal.

Obviously, one is more expensive than the other. And that more expensive option is the forged process. This explains why forged irons deliver such an exceptional feel, thus are more appreciated by golfers. Even adjusting the loft and lie of the forged design is comparatively easier.

Rigid cast clubheads have another drawback – they are more susceptible to snapping as well.

Shaft Material

Steel or graphite? Well, it depends on your swing speed.

  • Lightweight graphite shafts are more flexible when it comes to promoting a faster swing speed. So if your swing speed is below average, this is what you should be choosing.
  • Heavier, stiffer steel, on the other hand, is suitable for more experienced players.

Shaft Flex

Once again, the shaft flex, be it for a cavity-back iron or any other golf club, goes hand in hand with your swing speed. So if your swing speed is above 95 mph, then opt for a Stiff shaft flex. While slow swingers in golf perform better with a more flexible shaft - Regular (moderate flex), Senior (more flex), or Ladies (most flexible).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do professional golfers use cavity-back irons?

There’s no compulsion that pro-level golfers have to use the traditional blade or muscle-back irons. Although many of them prefer (and that’s entirely their personal choice) to not play with cavity-backs. But because of the modern cavity-back composition of the irons of today, even pros are now buying cavity-back irons for their ability to add more forgiveness.

Can a beginner or high handicapper use cavity-back irons?

The cavity-back design is indeed also known as game improvement and super game improvement irons. The perimeter weighting and other such special elements maximize distance and forgiveness. And you need these advantages because of your tendency, as a high handicapper and/or beginner, to produce off-center shots more often than you’d like.

If that weren’t the case then why would the Callaway Mavrik Iron Set be a part of our top list of irons for seniors.

Summing It Up…

These, no doubt, are highly forgiving and workable golf irons. So it’s no surprise that they rank as the most suitable option for golfers with an average or below-average swing speed. But then even more experience players now enjoy the shot-shaping capacity of cavity-backs.

No matter your swing speed or skills, just make sure you choose the correct shaft. With the right shaft material and flex, it won’t matter, at this point, whether your iron is cavity-back or muscle-back.

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