Best Cavity Back Irons for 2022: Tested & Reviewed

Your golf experts: Jordan Fuller & John Marshall.
Updated June 1, 2022. This article was thoroughly audited by multiple golf experts and coaches for its accuracy. You can read more about our rigorous testing protocol here.

The Rundown:

Best Overall: Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Irons
“The JPX921 irons offer outstanding forgiveness that maintains shot speed. It creates a powerful feel at impact and an exceptional balance while swinging. It’s a dependable iron for golfers who want to push their game to the next level.”

Best Option for Low Handicappers: Callaway Mavrik Pro
“Offering premium performance, the Callaway Mavrik Pro has stunning features that increase distance, forgiveness, and swing speeds, making it one of the best cavity-back irons for low handicappers today.”

Best Option for Mid Handicappers: TaylorMade SIM2 MAX Irons
“TaylorMade SIM2 MAX Irons features a Cap-Back Design and a Thru-Slot Speed Pocket for an exceptional ball speed, more power to the ball, and flexibility across the face for increased distance – perfect for mid handicappers.

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Cavity back irons are the most popular golf irons for amateur golfers. These irons offer a tool for players who need help increasing distance, ball speed, and accuracy.

Through their deep center of gravity, they are great at getting underneath the golf ball at impact for high launch with tight shot dispersion due to the club’s maximum forgiveness.

On our list of the best cavity back irons, we look at iron sets that offer a low price with premium performance.

Each set on our list provides players with outstanding forgiveness and distance, making them a blast to play on the links.

Sources researched
14
Sources researched
Customer reviews
15,235
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
16
Hours spent testing
Products tested
9
Products tested
Product Name
Best Option for Low Handicappers
Best Option for Mid Handicappers
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Iron Set 4-GW, Right Hand, Steel Shaft, Regular Flex , Chrome
Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Pro Iron Set (Set of 8 Clubs: 3 Iron - PW, Left Hand, Graphite, Regular)
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Iron Set Mens Right Hand Graphite Regular 5-PW , Steel
Our Grade
Our Rating: 98/100
Our Rating: 97/100
Our Rating: 95/100
Feature 1
Exceptional balance while swinging
360 Face Cup Technology provides flexibility along the hitting area for faster ball speed
Cap-Back Design stiffens head for more power to golf ball
Feature 2
Outstanding forgiveness that maintains shot speed
Shorter blade length offers better workability with maximum distance and accuracy
Exceptional ball speed with wide, forgiving sweet spot
Best Overall
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Iron Set 4-GW, Right Hand, Steel Shaft, Regular Flex , Chrome
Our Grade
Our Rating: 98/100
Feature 1
Exceptional balance while swinging
Feature 2
Outstanding forgiveness that maintains shot speed
Best Option for Low Handicappers
Product Name
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Pro Iron Set (Set of 8 Clubs: 3 Iron - PW, Left Hand, Graphite, Regular)
Our Grade
Our Rating: 97/100
Feature 1
360 Face Cup Technology provides flexibility along the hitting area for faster ball speed
Feature 2
Shorter blade length offers better workability with maximum distance and accuracy
Best Option for Mid Handicappers
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Iron Set Mens Right Hand Graphite Regular 5-PW , Steel
Our Grade
Our Rating: 95/100
Feature 1
Cap-Back Design stiffens head for more power to golf ball
Feature 2
Exceptional ball speed with wide, forgiving sweet spot

Last updated on 2022-07-02. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Best Cavity Back Irons 2022

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Irons

Best Cavity Back Irons Overall

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Iron Set 4-GW, Right Hand, Steel Shaft, Regular Flex , Chrome
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PROS

  • Exceptional balance while swinging
  • Outstanding forgiveness that maintains shot speed
  • Creates powerful feel at impact
  • Impressive appearance with a pearl brush finish

CONS

  • Higher price point than competitors
  • More offset than most low handicappers want

If you are in the market for an advanced game-improvement cavity-back iron, the Mizuno JPX921 set offers a dazzling assortment of beneficial features. From a classically sharp appearance to fantastic performance, the JPX921 set delivers marvelous results from anywhere on the course.

Although Mizuno has made this set for advanced golfers, the accessibility of each iron in the collection makes it a dependable option for players looking to push their game to the next level.

Even at the higher price point, the JPX921 set is well worth your consideration for the overall improvements it brings to your iron play.

Callaway Mavrik Pro

Best Cavity Back Iron for Low Handicappers

Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Pro Iron Set (Set of 8 Clubs: 3 Iron - PW, Left Hand, Graphite, Regular)
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PROS

  • 360 Face Cup Technology provides flexibility along the hitting area for faster ball speed
  • Shorter blade length offers better workability with maximum distance and accuracy
  • Tungsten weighting in the sole offers lower, deeper CG
  • Damped vibration with patented urethane microspheres for better feel and sound

CONS

  • Tight hitting area reduces forgiveness for inexperienced golfers
  • Ideal for low handicappers, far less so for low handicappers

From Callaway comes their latest iron set of the Mavrik line, the Mavrik Pro. It offers premium performance for low handicappers. Working like forged irons, but with all the benefits of cavity-back models, the Mavrik Pro offers stunning features that increase forgiveness, distance, and swing speeds.

The best feature of the Mavrik Pro blade irons is the 360 Face Cup Technology. This innovation allows its face to flex at impact. The technology reduces side spin for better accuracy but doesn’t remove one mph of ball speed.

TaylorMade SIM2 MAX Irons

Best Cavity Back Iron for Mid Handicappers

TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Iron Set Mens Right Hand Graphite Regular 5-PW , Steel
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PROS

  • Cap-Back Design stiffens head for more power to golf ball
  • Exceptional ball speed with a wide, forgiving sweet spot
  • Thru-Slot Speed Pocket provides flexibility across the face for increased distance
  • High launch, great for mid handicappers needing consistency

CONS

  • Busy club head design is distracting
  • Delivers mid-range shot height

TaylorMade SIM2 MAX Irons offer exceptionally long distance, ideal for mid handicappers hoping to increase their swing speed. With several of the company’s popular features, such as the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket and Cap-Back Design, the SIM2 MAX irons provide remarkable consistency at a low price for a first-rate set.

The set also boosts launch for far-reaching carry that translates into extra yards. Each iron boasts a wide sweet spot, encouraging forgiveness that keeps off-center strikes on target without losing speed.

A wonderfully capable set for mid handicappers, the SIM2 MAX collection provides a solid base for improving your game from the fairway.

Lazrus Golf Irons

Best Budget Cavity Back Irons

LAZRUS Premium Golf Irons Set for Men (4,5,6,7,8,9) Right Hand Steel Shaft Regular Flex Golf Clubs - Best Golf Iron Set - Great Golf Gift for Beginner Or Intermediate (4-9)
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PROS

  • Wide sole with outstanding turf interaction for fantastic, crisp contact
  • Deep grooves on the face for exceptional spin control inside 150 yards
  • Low CG helps make sure the golf ball gets high into the air with a soft landing on green
  • Very affordable price point makes this iron set one of the best values on the market

CONS

  • Big, clunky head shape leads to a heavier swing
  • Cheaper appearance and design

While they might be well known among novice golfers, the design team at Lazrus has gained a devoted following with their low-price, high-performance cavity-back irons. The Lazrus Golf Irons delivers impressive distance with admirable forgiveness for a collection at this affordable price.

The short golf irons in the Lazrus set to run through a pitching wedge. Although you may need to find alternate sand or lob wedge to add to this set, the foundational golf clubs here offer strength and forgiveness.

Taylormade P770

Best Luxury Cavity Back Iron

P770 4-PW Iron Set, Steel Shaft, Right Hand, Stiff Flex
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PROS

  • Clean chrome finish for pro-level appearance
  • Crisp contact delivered via larger sweet spot
  • Outstanding feel with minimal vibration
  • Minimal offset helps advanced players create the ideal shot shape

CONS

  • Only for low handicappers and advanced players
  • Compact head reduces forgiveness

Our choice for the best luxury cavity back irons, the TaylorMade P770, delivers the performance you would expect from an advanced iron set such as this dazzling one.

The popular TaylorMade features are here with the P770 set, such as SpeedFoam injected heads to improve feel and the Thru Slot Speed Pocket to increase flexibility across the face for more ball speed.

Ideal for single-digit handicappers and advanced golfers, the P770 might not acclimate itself well to inexperienced golfers, but the performance is incredibly hard to deny if you can shape the golf ball with consistency.

Check our full review: TaylorMade P770 Irons Review

Callaway Mavrik

Best Upgrade Cavity Back Irons for High Handicappers

Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Iron Set (Set of 8 Clubs: 4 Iron - PW, AW, Right Hand, Graphite, Regular)
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PROS

  • A.I.-aided design increases speed across the face with help from Flash Face Technology
  • Tungsten-weighting insole allows for deeper CG for high launch with a max exit velocity
  • Internal urethane spheres dampen vibration for an exceptional feel throughout the impact zone
  • High spin on shots under 150 yards with soft landing that works ball back toward the cup

CONS

  • Less workability for low handicappers
  • Thinner sole is harder to consistently hit for beginners

Callaway Mavrik Irons are a true winner with exceptional distance and incredible accuracy. The irons come in roughly a dozen different combinations, great for any golfer who likes to mix and match the clubs in their bag.

The Mavrik irons are among the best cavity back options on this list. Shaped like forged irons but with the help provided by the shape of cavity back irons, the Mavrik set is incredibly versatile.

Callaway Big Bertha

Best Distance Cavity Back Irons

Callaway Golf 2019 Men's Big Bertha Iron (Individual Iron: AW, Right Hand, UST Recoil ZT9 460 F3 60g Graphite Shaft, Regular Flex)
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PROS

  • Touts easy launch and length powered by the Suspended Energy Core that delivers power directly to the ball
  • Floating Tungsten weights in the sole of the Big Bertha irons deepens CG for high launch
  • Outstanding feel with long irons for dazzling length with tall arc for a soft landing
  • Short irons produce high spin rates for accurate shots that shorten birdie putts

CONS

  • Great for increasing distance but lacks workability 
  • Not much here for low handicappers to utilize

The Callaway Big Bertha Irons offer the same length of the popular wood series from the company. With numerous options, the Big Bertha Irons offer plenty of long and short iron combinations with several choices for wedges.

The company claims that the irons offer easy yardage and once you get them on the course, you’ll quickly see they’re right. The Suspended Energy Core boosts the feel with impressive sound and increases length for extra reach with every iron in the set.

TaylorMade SIM MAX

Best Distance Cavity Back Irons for Mid Handicappers

TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons, Steel Shaft, KBS Max 85, 5-PW, AW, Right Hand, Regular Flex
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PROS

  • Ultra thin face powered by Progressive Inverted Cone Technology increases hitting area
  • Speed Pocket behind the face provides flexibility with each impact for impressive forgiveness
  • ECHO Dampening System channels energy to reduce vibration while keeping exit velocity at high speed
  • Great distance club for mid handicappers looking for stellar cavity-back iron with power to burn

CONS

  • Straight-forward shot shape lacks real workability
  • Better for inexperienced players, less for single-digit handicaps

From TaylorMade, the SIM MAX Irons are a great set for mid handicappers looking to stabilize their game and increase their distance. The irons feature several worthwhile benefits that offer additional launch angles over comparable advanced irons at this price point.

The SIM MAX irons offer the Speed Bridge, a bar that connects the cavity-back on the iron to stiffen the face for directed energy at impact. An ultra-thin face delivers high rates of speed with an enhanced hitting area that offers a straight flight.

Cleveland Launcher UHX Irons

Best Upgrade Cavity Back Irons for Mid Handicappers

Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX Iron Set 4-P GR R LH
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PROS

  • Hollow cavity back construction offer low CG with maximum forgiveness
  • V-shaped sole offers incredibly turf interaction for better contact
  • Tour Zip Grooves with laser milling offers incredibly spin rates

CONS

  • Off-center strikes provide a strange, hollow feel
  • Can deliver high spin, high flight shot shape at times that crushes distance

Cleveland’s latest addition to the cavity-back market is the attractive Cleveland Launcher UHX Irons. Featuring a high strength steel composition, the UHX offers a hollow body that increases swing speed and boost distance.

The top feature of the UHX set is the Tour Zip Grooves along the face. Rather than the hitting area having deep grooves, the faces of these irons have tiny laser milled trenches inside the face that help create a lot of spin.

Check our full review: Cleveland Launcher UHX Irons Review


Things to Consider When Buying the Right Cavity Back Irons

Design

The design of cavity back irons, like the Mizuno JPX Hot Metal and Mizuno MP 20 editions, must be inviting to the golfer. No player wants an ugly set of irons, and while that might seem shallow, having confidence in the irons is as important as the club’s overall performance.

When evaluating an iron’s design, golfers need to look at all the club’s head areas.

Starting with the club’s sole, a golfer needs to take notice if the head offers a wide sole that interacts well with the turf to provide clean, crisp contact.

Another aspect of the iron that golfers need to note is the shape of the blade. Is it rounded or angular? A rounded face helps with forgiveness on shots that strike the toe. An iron that offers a wide hitting area with maximum forgiveness is the best of both worlds.

Flex

A golfer should know why they need the right flex with their graphite or steel shaft in their iron before making the final decision.

The flex of the shaft on a cavity back iron corresponds with the swing speed of a golfer. Therefore, matching the iron flex with the player’s swing speed is an absolute must for the golfer to achieve maximum production.

There are three common types of flex for golf clubs; senior, regular, and stiff. These categories typically fit with a swing speed. For example, a stiff flex is needed for golfers who swing their driver over 95 mph.

Golfers can significantly affect their results by choosing the wrong flex or not understanding how a type of shaft can affect their shotmaking.

Materials

When evaluating the iron’s materials, golfers need to look at all the club’s head areas to see how designers constructed the head, shaft, and grip.

Most heads are a combination of carbon steel, composite materials, and weighting that anchors the iron and deepens the center of gravity. Since the head is an essential element of a cavity back iron, players should also look at how the carbon steel sole, leading edge, and top line profile the face’s overall look.

The best cavity back irons offer first-rate performance alongside exceptional design and construction, but that all falls apart if the iron’s materials are subpar.

Low price irons will use lower quality materials, which could affect performance, while higher-end irons utilize premium materials for a lighter yet stronger experience.

Price

The price of a quality set of cavity back irons begins at around $500 and tops out at $1500 for luxury models.

Most golf equipment manufacturers create iron sets that offer premium performance with value to their wallet.

Value sets may skimp in a few areas concerning design. These lower-end club sets offer a lower price coupled with heel and toe balance, minimal offset, and a lower center of gravity while elevating swing speeds.

Features that golfers can expect to find in high-end irons are a wide, inviting hitting area, innovative technology that boosts distance, and provides a higher launch that offers extended carry.

While price is always a consideration for players, they must weigh the benefits of the new set against its cost before making their final decision.

Shafts

Golfers can choose a graphite shaft or stainless steel shaft for their cavity back iron. Both shafts offer benefits, although players typically make a fatal mistake when choosing between the two choices.

Graphite shafts are lighter, making them the perfect choice for senior golfers that need more swing speed. Some experienced players don’t like the flexible nature of a graphite shaft, instead preferring the sturdiness of a stainless steel shaft. But those weekend warriors might not need the swing speed benefit that graphite provides players with slower swings.

Steel shafts offer a heavier feel, but that is also a comfort to players who want less flex during their swings with their irons.


Questions & Answers

Are cavity back irons more forgiving?

Yes, cavity-back irons are more forgiving due to their design. Club designers have added several features to cavity-back irons, such as a wider sole, lower CG, and lighter weight to help amateurs increase height and distance.

These features come at a price when it comes to workability, one of the big reasons why professionals do not use these irons on tour.

Do any tour players use cavity back irons?

While it is rare, occasionally professional golfers will use cavity-back irons on tour. That said, the vast majority of pros utilize the workability and shotmaking benefits of blade irons.

The forged, bladed irons offer a more compact, thinner iron head that allows PGA Tour players to create the ideal shot for any situation. Cavity-back irons typically work well in producing high, straight shots without any workability.

What are cavity-back irons?

Cavity-back irons have a distinct shape and appearance compared to forged irons, also commonly referred to as blade irons. 

When looking at the iron head, the back of the head looks like the material has been scooped out, creating a “cavity” behind the face. The reasoning for creating an iron with this style benefits the beginning golfer as the iron becomes lighter through the loss of material.

Another reason that the cavity-back works well for inexperienced golfers is that designers take the outer rim of the iron and balance it, helping keep the face square through the impact zone. 

The cavity-back design also allows designers to create a large, wide sole that boosts launch. By adding additional material along the club’s sole, golfers get a deeper center of gravity to smoothly lift the ball at impact.

Not all cavity-back irons are built the same as some of these irons from lesser manufacturers can be quite heavier than other brands. Golfers should understand how weight affects swing speed which in turn manipulates the distance of shots.

If you are a high handicapper or beginning golfer, the best choice for starting or improving the quality of your golf shots from the fairway and intermediate rough is with cavity-back irons.

What’s the difference between cast and forged cavity back irons?

Cast cavity back irons are typically found in game-improvement irons that most amateur golfers play. These irons offer better balance, perimeter weighting, and forgiveness to give inexperienced players better consistency with each shot. They help the golfer get the ball into the air with ease for extended carry and maximum distance.

Forged irons are crafted from one piece of metal and made especially for advanced golfers who want clubs that offer premium workability. Forged cavity back irons offer a compact hitting area that provides control for low handicappers that can hit shots with shape and differing heights.

Golf irons can last for several years with routine maintenance. Periodic cleaning of the face and grooves can provide optimum spin and clean contact.

The number one area that players can improve on a set of irons is by replacing the grips on the clubs every 40 rounds or two years. Grips can harden and become slick, causing the golfer to lose their ability to hold the club with confidence.

Golf irons, made from carbon steel, can become brittle and rusted if the golfer soaks the head and hosel in water for hours at a time. The glue that binds the shaft and hosel can weaken, causing the iron to fall apart.


Conclusion

Mizuno’s outstanding JPX921 Hot Metal irons are an easy selection for our top spot in the list. 

Featuring the company’s very crisp, cool pearl brush finish, the Mizuno set dazzles in the bag just as it does in your hand. Great for golfers with experience, the set places ultimate control of each shot in the hand of the player, regardless of their handicap.

Delivering a dangerous combination of increased ball speed, firm and fast swing speed, and exceptional power, the JPX921 set can definitely clean up your game from anywhere on the course.