The 8 Best Cavity Back Irons Reviewed [Updated 2023]

golfer playing cavity back irons

As you advance in your golf game, it’s very important to make sure your clubs evolve with you. While some golfers play clubs that aren’t forgiving enough, a lot of mid-handicappers play clubs that are too forgiving.

You might be thinking, too forgiving, how is that possible? 

Yes, it is very possible. Because forgiveness has a cost, the more forgiving your irons, the harder it is to hit the golf ball high, low, left, or right. Basically, your workability and shot shaping decreases with forgiveness. 

As you continue in your golf journey, make sure to play irons that have forgiveness but also help you hit an array of shots. For most mid-handicap players, cavity back irons are perfect for this.

Best Overall
Callaway Apex 21
  • Engineered to deliver superior performance with iconic feel on every swing
  • A.I. architecture in each iron creates high ball speeds and increased spin robustness across the face
  • They’re engineered for impressive distance and pinpoint control
Best Look
Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal
  • Fine tuned head geometry delivers ideal impact feel and feedback
  • Open at the heel portion to enhance stability and launch, while producing a tour preferred vibration and sound
Best Value
WILSON Staff Model CB
  • Inspired by the Staff V6 and made to meet the performance standards of the Tour Staff players
  • These irons feature modern control, workability and forgiveness in a classic look and feel

Types of Irons

Before diving into the best cavity back irons, let’s do a quick recap of the main types:

  • Game improvement irons. These are the most forgiving irons and geared toward senior golfers, beginners, and those who want distance above all else. 
  • Cavity back irons. These irons are still forgiving thanks to the cavity back design, but also workable as well. 
  • Combo set of irons. These irons are great because they have more forgiving long irons (or might even use hybrids) and different short irons for control. 
  • Blade irons. These are the least forgiving of any iron set, but also the most workable. These are generally reserved for pros and low handicap golfers who have a consistent swing and don’t need as much forgiveness. 

Best Cavity Back Irons 

Now that you understand the main types of irons, let’s get into the best choices if you want a set of cavity back clubs.

1. Callaway Apex 21 Cavity Back (Great Sweet Spot)

Solid Performing Cavity Back Iron
Callaway Apex 21 Iron Set

Callaway Apex 21 Iron Set

  • Engineered to deliver superior performance with iconic feel on every swing
  • A.I. architecture in each iron creates high ball speeds and increased spin robustness across the face
  • They’re engineered for impressive distance and pinpoint control

Starting off our list of cavity backs are the newest from Callaway. They are a huge upgrade from the successful 2019 Apex series and offer even more benefits for any golfer. 

Lookswise, they’re hard to beat with their chrome and black design. They’re also the first forged cavity back iron design that uses AI to increase ball speed and promote consistent spin. Callaway considers these “Players Distance” irons and are great for 5-15 handicaps. 

Not to mention, you can even buy a mixed combo set (for lower handicap golfers) or a “Sweet spot” combo iron set with even more forgiving long irons. 

2. Titleist T200 Cavity Back Irons

Versatile Cavity Back Iron
Titleist T200 Iron Set

Titleist T200 Iron Set

  • Tour-inspired look and feel with powerful playable distance
  • Max Impact Technology that will spread maximum speed and distance control evenly across the face

One thing about Titleist is they make a club for every type of player, from slick blades to forgiving cavity backs. They have four iron sets inside the T-series and the T200 are a great choice for cavity back irons. Titleist refers to them as a “Tour Distance” iron as they’re more compact and offer a Tour shape than its predecessor.

Also Read: Blades vs. Cavity Back Irons

But just because they’re smaller, doesn’t mean they aren’t forgiving either, (they also have a great sweet spot). They have stronger lofts than the T100 which should help with extra distance too.

According to Titleist, it’s quite a process to design these irons. As they described, Utilizing denser D18 tungsten weights and a 2000ºF brazing process used in aerospace construction, our engineers were able to shift CG more precisely for maximum benefit in every club.”

The result is a long cavity back iron that are fast and launch high while the shorter irons are focused on accuracy and trajectory. These irons definitely have a player’s feel for maximum shot shaping with any iron in the set.

If you want even more forgiveness, opt for the T300 which is slightly larger than the T200 series. But they’re still smaller than the T400 which are more of a game improvement iron and significantly oversized. 

In our experience the T200’s have a great sweet spot and are a great cavity back that are well worth the cost!

3. Wilson Staff Model CB Irons

Great Value Cavity Back Iron
Wilson Staff Model CB Irons

Wilson Staff Model CB Irons

  • Inspired by the Staff V6 and made to meet the performance standards of the Tour Staff players
  • These irons feature modern control, workability and forgiveness in a classic look and feel

While Wilson is primarily known for their more forgiving clubs, they also make a great cavity back iron too. Even though “Staff” is in the club description, you don’t need to be a low handicap to enjoy these irons.

The Staff Model CB irons are a great upgrade from the V6 irons with a great sweet spot and feature forgiveness with playability. Not to mention, it has a classic look that looks great from just about any angle. At address, you will probably forget you’re even playing a cavity back iron, as they don’t have a huge topline.

One of the biggest perks is the changes they make for the mid to long irons. They have 20 grams of tungsten in the toe of these clubs to help with consistency of those pesky longer irons. Plus, you can buy them in graphite or steel shaft options. A great cavity back iron for the price!

4. TaylorMade P790 Irons

Great Sweetspot
TaylorMade Golf P790 UDI Iron

TaylorMade Golf P790 UDI Iron

  • SpeedFoam injected in the hollow body allows for a faster club face while also improving feel at impact
  • Forged hollow body construction uses a thin, forged face and soft carbon steel body to create explosive distance and forgiveness 

TaylorMade offers a ton of great irons for all types of players and the P790 is a great cavity back option. The cavity back of these irons looks very different from most and is very sleek club, but still offers enough forgiveness for mid-handicap golfers.

Thanks to the Hollow Body construction and SpeedFoam Air technology, you will get plenty of speed. SpeedFoam Air is much lighter than their previous designs, which means the club is lighter and thin for a great look at address.  

If you prefer something a little smaller and more compact, opt for the P770 model instead. 

5. Ping i210 Irons

Great Looking Golf Club
Ping i210 Irons

Ping i210 Irons

  • Refined lead edge provides improved accuracy from distance with shot-making consistency for competition-focused players
  • Its structural design and offset allow for more forgiveness at longer range, yet tighter control and precision from mid-and-short range

Ping is another top name when it comes to irons and offers a huge selection to fit any type of golfer. The i210 irons offer a simple club design with an amazing feel from long irons to wedges. The long irons are “hot” and extra forgiving while the mid to short irons are more about control and feel. 

They also have a larger insert to create a buttery feel and even more forgiveness. Paired with a new lead edge and sole profile, these clubs will glide through any turf condition. Plus, you can choose from a variety of shafts from top manufacturers.

If you want even more forgiveness from Ping, check out the G425 irons instead. 

6. Callaway Apex TCB Irons

Forgiving Cavity Back Irons
Callaway Apex TCB Irons

Callaway Apex TCB Irons

  • Precision-engineered 
  • Tour-inspired forged 1025 players cavity back
  • Classic compact look and spec package

If you’re a solid ball striker but still want some forgiveness without giving up workability, the TCB irons are for you. Played by top players like Jon Rahm and others, these clubs have been a huge hit for Callaway. While they’re a Tour club, they’re also cavity back and much easier to hit than blade irons.

The clubs have a soft feel thanks to the Forged 1025 carbon steel that delivers a remarkable sound at impact. The ball flight is great too and launches higher than you might think but still a strong trajectory thanks to the shaft. 

These clubs will help you on off center hits and reward good shots even more as they’re designed for low handicap players. If you prefer a more offset iron but similar look, opt for the X Forged CB irons. 

7. Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal

Excellent Sweet Spot
Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Iron Set

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Iron Set

  • Fine tuned head geometry delivers ideal impact feel and feedback
  • Open at the heel portion to enhance stability and launch, while producing a tour preferred vibration and sound

Mizuno has some incredible designs when it comes to irons in the JPX 921 are a great blend of forgiveness and workability. They’re much more forgiving than the Tour or Forged models but still sleek and compact at the same time. 

These Mizuno irons use Chromoly, which is the 3rd generation of irons to do so which help promote ball speed. They also were designed for better sound by adding three extra sound ribs for better feel and sound with pure strikes. Plus, the stability frame has a toe bias to help with off center strikes. 

These clubs are available in 4-PW and offered in RH or LH models. You can add a GW, SW, or LW (49, 54, or 59 degrees) to complete your set too. 

If you want a smaller, more compact design, opt for the Pro version (RH only models at this time). It was created for better players and has less offset too. Overall, both are great choices and some of the best looking irons on the market. 

8. Cobra King Tour Irons

Solid Performer
Cobra King Tour Irons

Cobra King Tour Irons

  • The mim process is an evolution in manufacturing that is used to create the most precise and intricate shapes, the result is our purest, and softest feeling players iron that performs and looks unlike any other 
  • A tungsten toe weight centers the cg behind the hitting zone to give yo the purest, most precise shots with added stability to keep the ball on target 

Rounding out our list of cavity back irons are the King Tour series from Cobra. These have a similar look to the Callaway Apex series, but are made differently. Instead of forging or casting, these irons were made with MIM (Metal Injection Molding).

This new process must have worked, as they landed on the Golf Digest Hot List and have garnered rave reviews. The MIM technology helped them create a very clean looking club that offers forgiveness with plenty of workability. 

You also get the Cobra Connect technology installed in the grip and can choose from stock, custom set, or even single length iron set. 

Top Questions About Cavity Back Irons 

Not sure if you should play game improvement, cavity back, blade irons or muscle back? (Muscle back irons are a kind of halfway point between true blades and cavity back). The answers below should help you in your quest to find the best iron set for your unique swing.

What are the most forgiving cavity back irons?

This is a good question but remember that cavity back irons are not like game improvement irons. Oversized, game improvement irons are meant to be the most forgiving and great for new players or those who don’t generate a lot of clubhead speed. 

But cavity back irons are designed for more skilled golfers who want a combination of both distance and shot shaping. Of course, most of them are still plenty forgiving too.

From the iron sets on this list, I would say the Titleist T200 or the Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro are the most forgiving. 

Do any pros use cavity back irons?

Yes, while it might surprise you, tons of pros play cavity back irons. Despite being the best ball strikers in the world, guys on the PGA Tour opt for cavity back sets vs. blades. For one reason – they like having a little forgiveness too because even they aren’t perfect either. 

What type of shafts should I play in cavity back irons?

Cavity back irons are mid-tier irons, meaning they are more forgiving than blades but more workable than oversized clubs. Since they’re in the middle, you can use graphite or steel shafts. 

Each club manufacturer has their own stock shafts and usually offer one or two of both graphite or steel shafts. The steel shafts are heavier and designed for stronger players with faster swing speeds. While the graphite shafts are lighter and will help promote more speed and distance. 

Just make sure to double-check the launch characteristics of each shaft to find the right ones for your swing speed and desired trajectory. 

Are blade irons harder to hit?

Yes, blade irons are the most difficult clubs to hit compared to cavity back or game improvement irons. Fewer players, even the best guys in the world, are using them as there aren’t a ton of advantages compared to sets like the TCB from Callaway. Now, players can get the workability of blades but still have some extra forgiveness for the occasional mishit.

Wrapping Up 

Cavity back irons are a great choice if you’re a mid to low handicap golfer who wants some forgiveness and workability. 

If you’re still shooting north of 100, opt for more forgiving irons or play combo set instead. But if you’re breaking 100 or 90, cavity back irons are the way to go.

The biggest thing to consider when buying these irons is the look at address, number of irons, and the shaft. Obviously, you want the clubs to look good and give you tons of confidence over the ball. But you also want to make sure the number of irons match your game (for example, 5-GW or 4-PW). 

Finally, don’t forget to play the right shaft for your swing speed, as it can have a huge impact on your overall ball striking. Any of these five sets are sure to help you hit more greens and shape shots like the pros. 

Which cavity back set is your favorite? 

Let us know down below in the comments! 

Picture of Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard is a full-time writer, author, creator of Wicked Smart Golf and +1 handicap amateur golfer. He left his corporate career in 2017 to pursue entrepreneurship and professional golf; since then, he’s competed in 160+ tournament days and went to Q-school in 2019.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment