Forged vs. Cast Irons: Which is Best for Your Golf Game?

Golf irons make up the majority of the clubs in our bag. Having an iron set that is easy to hit, encourages confidence in your game, and allows for more accuracy is essential for all players. Regardless of your handicap, the iron you play with will make a difference in your game. 

One major consideration that players need to make when purchasing golf irons is choosing forged vs. cast irons. The differences between the forged and cast irons have everything to do with the way they are manufactured. However, these manufacturing differences lead to performance differences. 

Let’s take a look at all of the differences between the forged vs. cast irons, and decide which will be best for your golf game. 

Forged vs. Cast Irons: What Is The Difference 

The difference between forged and cast irons is the way that they are manufactured. A forged iron is made from one piece of steel. However, the steel is then heated and worked on to shape into a proper club head. 

The cast irons are made from a mold. Essentially steel is heated to a liquid material, poured into a mold, and then allowed to solidify. The cast irons often have other components as they are put in the mold alongside the melted stell. 

Both forged and cast irons have benefits, yet many players will be very set on one type of iron over another. Therefore, the most critical part of the forged vs. cast discussion is finding something that will be a specific fit for your golf game. 

Who Should Use Cast Irons

Cast irons are also referred to as cavity back irons, but they don’t have to be cavity back irons. Essentially, the golfers that typically do best with cavity back irons are those that enjoy a more prominent sweet spot, more forgiveness, and a deeper and lower center of gravity. 

With the way a cast iron is produced, golf manufacturers can make the club more forgiving and add components that help with distance and launch. 

In addition, golfers on a budget should consider using the cast irons as they often come at a much lower price. Since the manufacturing process can be a bit less hands-on, cast irons often have a lower MSRP. 

Who Should Use Forged Irons

Forged golf irons are often considered to be premium golf irons. With a forged iron, players can get a very pure feel and workability. If you are a golfer who likes to hit a draw or a fade to the pin, the forged iron will suit you best. 

Most of the time, forged irons are known for their impressive feel. When you hit a great shot, you will know it, which is something that lower handicap players look for in a club. In addition, the shot just feels better in your hands.

Some new releases to the market offer more forgiveness in a forged golf iron, but traditionally this has been a type of golf club that has been more beneficial for the better player. 

Pros & Cons of a Forged Iron 

Even though forged irons are considered premium technology, there are still some negatives associated with this type of iron. It’s essential to understand both the pros and cons of a golf club before you make the investment. 

forged irons

Workability 

Forged irons allow a golfer to move the ball left and right, and control the overall ball flight. If you want to hit a shot that is a high draw or a low cut, the forged iron gives the necessary feedback to get this done. As you become a better player, this is an essential step in learning to play better. 

Greenside Control 

Forged golf irons allow players to place the ball where they need it on the greens. When you can place a ball, you can set yourself up for a five-foot putt instead of a 25-foot putt. Although forged irons are less forgiving, when you get good at using them, you will be able to control the ball around the green. 

Better Feel 

Forged golf irons reward you for a great swing. If you hit the ball on the center of the club face with a forged iron, you will immediately feel the difference and be impressed with the shots’ results. Keep this in mind if you want impressive overall performance and feel in your iron set. 

Higher Pricing 

Due to the manufacturing process and higher quality materials used in forged irons, the pricing is relatively higher than for a set of cast irons. This and the lack of forgiveness in some forged sets are the only real negatives of these clubs. 

ProsCons
Great feel Expensive
Workability Not as forgiving as most cast irons
Offer the feedback that better players need
Often have thinner top line 
Premium manufacturing 
Greenside control
Great acoustics

Pros and Cons of a Cast Iron 

A cast iron will make golf more enjoyable and easier, yet there are still some negatives associated with this. As much as we love the ability to take a swing, miss the center of the clubface and still get good results, there are some negatives to this as well. 

cavity back irons

Easier Distance For Amateur

Distance and forgiveness go hand in hand. If you are hitting the center of the club face, you will get more forgiveness and distance with your shots. Golfers who struggle to get higher ball speed and yardage will benefit the most from the cast irons. 

Affordable Golf Irons

The cast irons are some of the most affordable golf irons on the market. With a cast golf iron, the manufacturing process is less complicated and takes less hands-on work, making it a more affordable overall choice for players. 

Built In Forgiveness 

A cast iron has lots of built-in forgiveness. Typically these irons have a lower center of gravity and a combination of materials that help increase overall forgiveness. The added forgiveness will take away a bit of the workability. Still, it will allow for increased distance and lower dispersion rates. 

Bulkier Club Heads 

The club head of the cast irons is typically quite a bit larger than those of the forged. For players that are particular about the top-down look, the cast irons will not be the best overall choice for players to consider. Luckily, this has started to change with modern technology, but there are still issues with a cast iron look. 

ProsCons
Tend to be more affordable It does not have the same feel as forged 
More cavity back iron choices Less workability than forged 
Lower center of gravity Bulkier club head 
Wide sole for higher launch 
Plenty of built-in forgiveness
Easier distance for amateur players
More cast iron choices on the market 

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of whether a cast or a forged iron is best for your golf game. With so many great choices out there, this is one really effective way to narrow down your initial choices. Here are a few of the most important things to consider. 

Are forged irons good for beginners? 

Forged irons with forgiveness or cavity back irons that are forged will be an excellent fit for a beginner. However, most of these are very expensive clubs and can be difficult for beginners to manage the costs. 

Typically speaking, beginners will enjoy the performance benefits of a cast iron as opposed to forged iron. Once golfers get to the mid to low handicap range, the forged irons are even more critical. 

What are the benefits of playing cast irons? 

The number one benefit of a cast iron is a golf club that will be easier to hit. Forgiveness is something that all golfers need, but some more than others. If you are struggling on the golf course and feel like the club’s causing the issue, cast irons are the way to go. 

Why are forged irons more expensive?

Forged irons are more expensive because they go through a much more involved manufacturing process. The forged irons will be shaped and created (sometimes by hand) to become the exact fit that players need for their game. 

The process of making a forged iron is time-consuming and requires premium materials.  

What golf handicap is forged irons suitable for? 

With the release of new technology, a forged iron can now work for a wide range of golfers. Players with mid to low handicaps typically prefer the forged golf irons, but new options on the market will suit higher handicap golfers as well. 

Don’t assume that all forged irons are for low handicap players; they will work for players of all abilities. 

Conclusion: Forged vs. Cast Irons 

Forged golf irons and cast irons are manufactured differently, yet they both offer tremendous benefits to players. With a forged iron, players get great feel and workability. A cast iron offers incredible forgiveness and will give players the confidence they need to hit the ball close to the hole.

Forged and cast irons can both be a great benefit to golfers; the key is to find the right fit for your game.

Try to consider ball flight preferences and overall golf game strengths and weaknesses; only then will you find the perfect match. 

Joe Morelli

Joe's been playing golf for 25 years, starting as a junior golfer in his early teens. He loves getting out on the links with his dad and friends -- whether an early weekend foursome or his weekday, afternoon league.

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