Today’s irons are packed with game improvement technology to genuinely improve your play and enjoyment of the game. Irons of the past were predominantly forged or blade style irons which offered little forgiveness and left the beginner or high handicap golfer frustrated as they were unable to strike the ball consistently. Now the vast majority of iron sets on the market are cavity back or “game improvement” that make the game of golf more enjoyable for all skill levels. Here is a little more about the technology and design enhancements that changed irons as we know them today.
The scooped appearance (cavity back) of game improvement irons is due to the desire to accomplish a perimeter weighting design. This is done by placing most of the weight of the club as close to the edges as possible. The impact of this weighting is that the club will not twist as much on off-center strikes. As a result, poorly struck shots will still tend to fly farther and straighter making your overall game more consistent.
Since many players with higher handicaps have significant difficulty with striking the ball consistently, their choice to utilize these irons is an easy one. The larger effective hitting area and the forgiveness of the club itself are the most important reason that these irons have earned the moniker, game improvement irons.
Lower Center of Gravity
Along with moving the weight to the perimeter of the club, most game improvement irons also move a great deal of the club’s weight to the bottom, or sole, or the club. This lowers the center of gravity of the iron, which can significantly increase the ability of a golfer to hit the ball on a high trajectory. This higher launch angle allows a golfer to clear hazards effectively, and also to land the ball softly on the green. This is particularly true with the long irons, typically the 3-5 iron, which are notoriously difficult clubs for high handicap golfers.
Along with these other design choices, many game improvement irons are simply larger than their counterparts. This adds even more forgiveness on off-center strikes, and also has the effect of making the optimum strike point on the club face larger (read more about this). Of course, all of these design choices also decrease the ability for an expert golfer to add shape and trajectory adjustments to their shot.
All game improvement irons, but especially those with exaggerated faces, tend to have larger top lines as well. This is an aid for high handicap golfers to help their alignment at address. Often, the thin line of a forged blade is more difficult to line up.