The Benefits of Using Muscle Back Irons

There are a lot of decisions to make when you decide to buy a new set of irons. You’ll find countless brands on the market vying for your business, and their offerings come in all shapes and sizes. Without some direction, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming – and you might struggle to make a confident choice.


One of the first choices you should make is whether you want muscle back or cavity back irons. The irons on the market can be divided up into these two categories, so it’s smart to decide which side you’ll be on before going any further. While cavity back irons are extremely popular – and do have a lot to offer, we favor muscle backs here at Ballistic Golf. In this post, we’d like to make the case for why you should consider this style of irons for your next set.


What’s the Difference?

Before we can talk about what you stand to gain by picking muscle back irons, we first need to define the two categories of clubs that dominate the iron market. What’s the difference between a muscle back iron and a cavity back iron, anyway?


Muscle back irons – often referred to as ‘blades’ – feature a simple design that includes a relatively consistent thickness from the heel to the toe. These are more traditional irons in that they look a lot like irons that have been played for generations.
Cavity back irons, as the name would suggest, have a cavity on the back of the club. In other words, the outer edges of the iron are thicker than the middle. This design moves the weight of the iron into the sole and the toe/heel, while there is less weight in the center.


The difference in design between muscle back and cavity back irons is reflected in the way these clubs perform on the course. As a general rule, muscle back irons are considered a better option for good players, while cavity backs are targeted toward the intermediate golfer.


But does that traditional guideline need to hold true for everyone? Not necessarily. Every golfer has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, so the decision on which irons to pick is up to you in the end.


It’s All About Feel

When looking for selling points on muscle back irons, it all starts with feel. Simply put, blades will allow you to feel the ball at impact in a way that cavity back clubs don’t tend to deliver. A well-struck iron shot coming off the face of a muscle back iron is one of the great experiences in golf.


Having so much feel delivered to your hands on every shot is a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you will get a ton of information about how well you struck each shot, since you can feel everything that happened at impact. If you hit the ball a little thin, or a bit out toward the toe, you’ll know it immediately. This feedback is valuable for making adjustments to your swing and fine tuning your technique over time.


On the downside of the feel equation, muscle back irons tend not to be as forgiving as cavity back irons. That perimeter weighting we mentioned earlier helps even out your less-than-perfect swings, giving you decent results even if you don’t strike the ball properly. This is why so many golfers use cavity backs – they are forgiving of mistakes.


Is That a Good Thing?

There isn’t much debate about cavity back irons being more forgiving than blades. Where we can have a debate, however, is whether or not that forgiveness is the best thing for your game in the long run. Do you want your clubs to simply cover up your mistakes, or do you want to know about those mistakes so you can continue to seek improvement?


For the serious golfer, there is a lot to be said for the feedback provided by muscle backs. To be clear, by ‘serious’ golfer, we don’t necessarily mean an accomplished player with a zero handicap. A serious golfer can be anyone who has a desire to improve, even if that improvement takes some time and dedication. Even if you don’t play to a single-digit handicap now, there’s no reason you can’t strive for that level of play in the future.


Other Practical Benefits

Beyond the feel that is provided by a quality set of muscle back irons like those we offer at Ballistic Golf, there are other on-course benefits available when you use blades.


Control distance. Cavity back clubs can make it difficult to dial in your distance control perfectly. Many players find it easier to control their distances when they use muscle backs, and distance control is a huge part of quality iron play.
Hit lower shots. Have you ever tried to hit a low shot under the wind with a cavity back iron? It can be difficult – if not impossible – to pull it off. If you play in a windy location, the option to hit lower shots is desirable.
Shape your shots. Without a doubt, shaping shots from left to right and right to left on command is an advanced skill. But, if you hope to develop that skill in time, blades are the way to go.


Fall in Love with the Experience

There are plenty of practical reasons to consider muscle back irons rather than cavity backs. But, even if you set all that to the side, there is just something magical about playing the game with a traditional set of quality blade irons. It’s no surprise that so many golfers are loyal to these kinds of irons even after decades on the links – once you fall in love with the way blades feel, you may not ever go back.


Ready to give muscle back irons a try in your game? You are in the right place! At Ballistic Golf, we offer a beautiful set of blades at a competitive price. These clubs will be the envy of your group, and you will get to experience everything that makes muscles backs so special. Contact us today to get started!

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