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Muscle back Vs. Cavity Back

Last Update: July 13, 2021
Muscle back Vs. Cavity Back

Cavity Back vs Muscle Back Irons

Cavity back irons are the more forgiving kind of iron compared to a blade or muscle back. As the term cavity suggests, cavity backs have a thick and hollow back. The back parts of these irons are also carved, forming a cavity.

A muscle back on the other hand is the name given to the irons that have no cavity at the back of their head. Muscle backs have their weights distributed more evenly at the back. They usually have a higher level of forgiveness and launch the ball higher.

Cavity-Back Irons

Cavity-Back Irons

Benefits of Cavity Back Irons

  • It’s fairly easy to hit golf irons
  • Usable by players of all caliber
  • Slices slice less and hooks hook less due to perimeter weighting
  • Usually more affordable compared to muscle backs.

Downsides of Cavity-Back Irons

  • Muscle backs provide feedback readily after each shot. But in terms of the cavity, due to the significant perimeter weighting, it is often difficult to determine how far off the heel or toe a shot is. This in turn makes adjustments difficult.
  • With cavity irons, shaping shots is also utterly complicated. It’s particularly because shots feel the same while building off the last point.

Muscle-Back Irons

Muscle-Back Irons

Benefits of Muscle-Back Irons

  • Provides superior feedback. So, if one of your bad shots works out, you can replicate it numerous times.
  • A muscle back iron gives you a better chance to save par when your drive ends up behind a tree.
  • It’s easier to hit shots that are low due to a higher center of gravity.

Downsides of Muscle-Back Irons

  • The rule is simple with muscle backs, if you can’t play consistently with one, you shouldn’t play at all. It is almost like putting your money where the mouth is.
  • One hidden side of muscle backs is that they don’t go as far as the cavity back irons. Muscle backs require a high level of precision to master. But this skill is not just anyone’s cup of tea. As a result, the choice must be wisely made before choosing a muscle back.

Pros of muscle backs:

  • View: the better golf players find the thin look of the muscle backs utterly appealing. Players with a low handicap don’t like looking at clunky irons when their main idea is to clearly pick the shot cleanly off the grass and send it towards the target. There’s no need for them to picture the ball reaching a great height as very naturally, the balls travel fairly high due to the swing speeds of the muscle backs.
  • Feel: muscle backs give you the most incredible feeling when it comes to hitting your shot. It gives you an instinctive feeling. If you miss a shot, you will instinctively know it due to the superior connection with your blade. On the flip side, if you know you have hit the perfect shot, you can repeat the swing each time to induce that feeling in you.
  • Workability: due to the amazing feel that blades offer, you can easily hit your ball in various directions, from left to right, right to left and play around with the launch angles. You can feel free to use these clubs in any way you want and still get the exact feedback that you’re looking for.
  • Forgiveness and distance: when the first muscle back irons were introduced years ago, neither were they enough forgiving nor were they long. Years down the line, things have changed and the current available models are longer, far forgiving and provide you with your desired feel.

Cons of muscle backs:

  • Cost: due to the design and the process involved to make muscle backs, they cost much higher than the cavity backs.
  • Forgiveness: Although muscle backs are forgiving, compared to cavity backs, they lag a little behind. But this is particularly due to the better and accurate feedback they provide.
  • Consistency: in terms of consistency, muscle back irons fall a little behind cavity backs.

Pros of cavity backs:

  • Distance: the hollow construction has been known to help players increase the speed of their club heads and ultimately the speed of the ball.
  • Forgiveness: cavity back irons are renowned for their forgiveness. Due to the side of the club head and the increase in the size of the sweet spot, a cavity back iron is usually exceedingly forgiving.
  • Launch: the sole of the cavity back iron is usually wider, and the lower center of gravity creates a much higher loft straight from the beginning. It’s not something that muscle back irons don’t provide.
  • Look: For the mid to high handicappers, the cavity iron has a look that allows a more natural hit.
  • Consistency: even when your swing is slightly off, producing the same shot over and over again is effortless with the cavity backs.

Cons of cavity backs:

  • Feel: No matter how significantly the improvements have been made, the feel from cavity backs is not to be found while playing with a muscle back.
  • Workability: with cavity backs, it is not an easy task to hit a fade or a draw. Especially, it can be frustrating to work the ball a good deal while having the club in your hand.

Who are cavity backs for?

Cavity backs are ideal for the players with a higher handicap. The supreme technology they are built with makes them far more forgiving and much easier to hit.

Who are muscle backs for?

Muscle back irons on the other hand are also known as blades. Specifically, they are  designed for the low handicap players and reward consistency. However, they are way less forgiving.


1. When to Switch from Cavity-Backs to Blades?

Just look for these three signs in your golfing experience over time to understand whether you’re ready for shifting from cavity backs to blades:

(i) If you are frequently shooting scores in the 70s. (ii) You should be hitting at least 10 green holes out of 18 holes. (iii)  When you get comfortable shooting different kinds of shots with different trajectories, fades, and draws.

2. Why are blades better than cavity backs?

A nicely hit shot from a blade usually provides more feedback to the better players. It gives them a better gauge about how well they are hitting a ball. Blades also let players shape their shots far more accurately than the designs of cavity backs. Since typically the ball went straighter with the cavity back designs, over time, they became popular.

3. Who are muscle backs for?

Muscle backs are the ideal golf irons for mostly the fairly good and the best golfers.

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