What are CB and MB Irons? Master your Irons first and then learn the rest!


So what exactly is an ‘iron’ when it comes to golf? For starters, the iron does not necessarily refer to the material by which it is made but is some sort of a nickname used to call the clubheads but you can assume that it is referred to as ‘iron’ because it is dominantly made of metal which can be forged or cast irons. These days, even the ‘woods’ are made of metal so don’t get too confused over this.

Getting to know the MB and CB clubheads

For starters, irons are typically clubs with thin heads. In most cases, the professionals are usually spotted with a ‘muscle back’ (MB) while the novices would usually take on the ‘cavity back’ (CB) irons. In short, MB means less distance and more spin. The professionals also might take on a blade style iron which comes with a full back on the clubhead’s rear while on the contrary, the cavity backs come with a hollowed-out rear which for the beginners are very useful as it creates the ‘perimeter weighting’ effect during a swing. In short, CB means good distance and less spin.

What to look for when buying an iron?

You will notice that when buying a 3-iron they come with a ‘-PW’ label. This stands for 3-iron through pitching wedge that actually has 8 clubs which comes with a number. That’s why we call it an ‘iron’ and so on. Having said that, the numbers are differentiated by the loft between the clubs. A 3 iron would have less loft than that of a 5-iron which will have more loft than a 4-iron. Apart from loft, the irons are also differentiated by their length and the smaller the PW the longer it is. This means that among the 3, 4 and 5 irons, the 5-iron is the shorter while the 3-iron is the longest.

Hitting with the iron

Depending on how far you want to hit the ball, the yardage gap between the irons too comes into play. The gap is usually 10-15 yards between the irons. This means that when you are using a 4-iron you would get a shot that is about 10-15 yards longer than the 5-iron. The thin clubheads are the 1-iron and the 2-iron so as mentioned earlier, these are usually used by the more seasoned golfers. Therefore if you are a beginner in the game, the 1 and 2 irons might not be too much your choice. This is because they are longer, less loft and coupled with the thin clubheads, it might be a little too handful for the novice.

To make it easy to remember, irons are classified as long irons which are the 1s, 2s and 3s, the mid irons which are the 5s, 6s and 7s and the long irons being the 8s and 9s. The trick for new players is to start with the short irons and to start by knowing how far you can hit with each club. Only the professionals would use the yardage as their benchmark. So until you get there, start with knowing your irons first and which ones are the most suitable for you. After all, irons are pretty much personal equipment so get to know them well and they will serve you well.

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