Muscle back irons are for the golfer that appreciates the feel. The golfers who want muscle-back irons are not afraid to experience a mis-hit. They will use this feedback to make the next shot that much better.
The muscle back irons are not easy to hit, but when you hit them well, you will be rewarded. We put together a list of the best muscle back irons in golf.
The brand Mizuno MP 20 stands out at the top.
Our Best Muscle Back Irons in 2021
- Mizuno MP-20 Golf Iron Set (Best Muscle Back Irons Overall)
- Cobra King Forged CB/MB Iron Set (Best Alternative #1)
- Wilson Staff Model Blades Irons (Best Alternative #2)
- SMT Golf MB-3 Forged Blade Iron Set (Best Value Muscle Back Irons)
- Titleist 718 T-MB Iron Set (Best Muscle Back Irons for High Launch)
- Callaway X Forged Iron Set (Best Muscle Back Irons for Mid Handicappers)
Best Muscle Back Irons Overall: Mizuno MP-20 Golf Iron Set
- Classic muscle back shaping
- Beautiful finish
- Copper underlay for better feel
- Well known for creating high performing irons
- Thin top line
- Very small club head
Mizuno has always led the way when it comes to players’ irons. They know what players need, what they expect the turf interaction to feel like, and what they need to be able to score.
The Mizuno MP 20 could be the best set of irons that Mizuno has ever released.
Under the nickel-chrome finish on this golf club, there is a copper underlay. The copper provides an impeccable feel at impact.
When you hit this iron well, you will know it. For most muscle back irons when you don’t hit them well, you are punished pretty harshly, with the Mizuno MP-20 there is still some forgiveness built-in.
The long iron has high launch and a higher center of gravity than the short irons. This is a great feature considering even the best of players can use a bit of help when it comes to the long irons.
Alternative #1: Cobra Golf 2019 King Forged CB/MB Iron Set
- CNC Milled Face and Grooves
- Progressive shaping
- Five-step forging process
- Used on the tour
- Not true muscle back in long irons
Cobra is very well known for their game improvement type golf clubs.
One of the best-kept secrets in golf is how great the Cobra players irons are. Golfers like Rickie Fowler use the Cobra players irons on the PGA Tour.
This particular set is a forged CB/MB iron set that goes through a five-step forging process.
The shape and the feel on these irons are superior. We love the fact that you get the forgiveness in the long irons and the feel and performance in the short irons.
The finish on the Cobra CB/MB is a durable black satin finish. The Diamonized Black Metal makes sure that it will stay looking good for years to come.
The black finish helps to reduce glare, and it just looks great as well.
Alternative #2: Wilson Staff Model Blade Irons
- Classic shaping and look
- Feels great
- One-piece construction
- Sole is a bit thick on the long irons.
Similar to the Cobra, the Wilson Staff brand is known for making a forgiving clubhead. Although the Wilson Staff Blades are certainly not their most forgiving irons, they have some great features and feel.
The Wilson Staff Blades are precision milled, and you will notice lots of consistency from one club to the next.
The hosel on the Wilson Staff blades is what is referred to as a “Fluid Feel Hosel.” There is no extra weight in the hosel area, and the weight can be redistributed to the sole for a bit more forgiveness.
The Wilson Staff blades are sold in a 3-PW set makeup, and they have the true temper dynamic gold shaft in them.
One of the things that golfers have loved the most about this iron set is the rounded front to back sole radius. The club has much better turf interaction and more consistency.
If you are looking for a set of muscle-back irons, don’t count out Wilson Staff.
SMT Golf MB-3 Forged Blade Iron Set
Best Value Muscle Back Irons
- Very workable
- Classic looking irons
- Priced very well
- Designed for low handicappers
- Not a progressive shape for forgiveness
If you have not already noticed, the Muscle back clubs are costly.
Since these clubs are made for the lowest scoring golfers, they are made with extreme precision, and that process takes time and costs lots of money.
Luckily, companies like SMT make irons that perform well but won’t kill your entire golf budget.
These are a muscle back iron with a lower center of gravity. If you like to work the golf ball, you will love what you can do with this iron.
The SMT comes with a brushed low polish finish. They are very low glare and will not be difficult to see while playing on a sunny day.
They are a forged iron made from a single billet of soft 1020 carbon steel. If you are a stickler for precision and low vibration at impact, you will like the SMT.
Titleist 718 T-MB Iron Set
Best Muscle Back Irons For High Launch
- High launch
- Very fast ball speed
- Great Titleist feel
- Priced a bit high
- Thicker look than a traditional Titleist iron
If you are looking for muscle-back irons that still give you lots of launch, the Titleist 718 T-MB is a great choice.
These irons were originally developed to be a high launching player long iron, but it was turned into an entire set.
The 718 T-MB is not a traditional looking set of irons by any means. You will have to get used to the look of these clubs before you decide if this is the set for you.
The Titleist T-MB has high-density tungsten in the heel and the toe of the club. The tungsten weighting helps to increase launch and spin.
The ball speed coming off the clubface is quite fast with T-MB and will rival any of the other game improvement type irons on the market.
The feel, however, is going to be much more stable and consistent with the Titleist T-MB.
Callaway X Forged Iron Set
Best Muscle Back Irons For Mid Handicappers
- Forged irons
- Carbon steel construction
- Tremendous ball speed
- Great feel
- Not the latest technology
Not everyone that wants a muscle back iron is going to be a very low handicap. If you are a mid handicapper and looking for irons that perform very well and feel great, the Callaway X Forged could be a great idea.
The X Forged are made with precise trip net forging so that there is exceptional feel. The X Forged has some great turf interaction and plenty of distance.
One of the best things about the C Forged is the spin that they provide if you have trouble stopping a ball on a green the X Forged could work quite well for you.
The X Forged is a clean and classic looking iron with that is also affordable because they are not the newest release from Callaway.
If you have been debating about switching to muscle-back irons, now is the time.
Now that you have a better idea of the muscle back irons that are on the market, its time to narrow down the choices.
Here are a few questions that golfers should consider before buying new clubs.
Are Muscle Backs the Same As Blades?
Muscle back irons and blade irons are the same. The idea is that they are constructed out of one piece of metal.
Since they are made with one piece of metal, the feel is much better.
There is also quite a bit less vibration at impact. Many better players will only use muscle back or blade irons because they give them the workability and feel that they need.
Do Cavity Back Irons Feel As Good As Muscle Backs?
A long time ago, the cavity back irons were known for forgiveness, but their feel was not nearly as good.
The way that cavity back irons are made has really changed.
Companies have learned how to make an iron feel great but still perform the way that a mid handicapper needs.
What Handicap golfer should Use A Muscle Back?
Golfers should use whatever club makes them feel comfortable and secure with their swing.
For a muscle back iron, the golfer should probably be less than a ten handicap. This is usually the cutoff that makes feel much more important in a golfers game.
Playing with forged irons when you are not quite ready for them may lead to your handicap increasing as opposed to decreasing.
You should no have enough information to get yourself a great muscle back iron.
If your game has just recently improved and you are ready to get to the next level, or you think that you lack workability from your irons, now is the time to switch.
If you want something that is truly the best of the best in this category, take a look at the Mizuno Mp 20 Irons. They come in a few different styles, so you could always do a mixed set in the long irons.
Certainly, you won’t be able to find a set of clubs that feels better than these.