A forged iron is an iron that is hammered under heat into the shape of the desired iron head. The head is then completed by milling, grinding or drilling the remainder of the club head into its finished form. The metal can be either steel or chrome. Cast irons are made by pouring liquid metal into a mold to form the club heads.
Forged irons, because of their design, create a softer steel head, giving you more of a sense of feel when striking the ball. They are also associated with the traditional game of golf and its history, using the old-fashioned method for construction as opposed to technology.
Forged irons are less forgiving and are designed for better or skilled players. They also tend to be designed as blades or muscle backs, with a smaller sweet spot as well as a smaller head size compared with cast irons.
Forged Irons' Place in Today's Game
Forged irons are a remnant of the past. Manufacturers today primarily produce cast irons because they are cheaper to produce and easier to hit, therefore are more appealing to the average golfer. Club makers still make forged irons, but they are not as popular or as widely marketed.
Where to Buy Forged Irons
Most golf manufacturers carry forged irons. Brands that are geared to a player will have a wider selection. Titleist and Mizuno are known for their forged irons and have the market cornered. They are also brands reserved for skilled players. Many brands, such as Callaway and Ping, don't carry a forged iron but have cavity-backed cast iron sets that simulate the feel and design. You can also build your own set from components. If you want to go this route, check out Golfsmith and talk to a club specialist. Always try out the irons and ask a golf professional whether they are the right clubs for you before purchasing them.