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Irons: More forgings pressed into action

Forged irons are synonymous with the history of golf. For centuries, iron heads were products of forging.

Cast irons, made with the investment- casting process, began to claim a portion of the golf market in the 1970s. Today, the majority of irons sold to consumers are cast, although forged irons remain predominant on the major professional tours.

Forged irons are made from red-hot carbon steel, which is hammered and shaped by craftsmen after coming out of a furnace. Cast irons are made from molten stainless steel, which is poured into precision molds and allowed to cool.

Some touring pros and amateurs believe forged irons possess a softer feel, although this has been the subject of debate.

Forged irons generally feature a thinner sole and top line, along with reduced hosel offset. They are designed for maximum workability. Forged heads usually are smaller and somewhat less forgiving than those found on game-improvement clubs.

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Adams Idea Pro Black CB1

The skinny: Used by Tom Watson at the Masters, these cavity-back forgings have a unique Ni-Cr (nickel chromium) plated black finish. They also have a thin top line that will appeal to traditionalists.

Cost: $799 (4-GW, True Temper Rifle Project X Flighted steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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Titleist AP2

The skinny: Although Titleist also offers more traditional CB (cavity-back) and MB (muscle-back) forged iron models, the modern dual-cavity AP2 has emerged as a favorite among touring pros and low-handicap amateurs.

Cost: $999 (3-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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Miura CB-501

The skinny: Made by master craftsman Katsuhiro Miura in Japan, this new iron is the latest cavity-back design from Miura.

Cost: MSRP $1,600 (3-PW, True Temper Tour Concept steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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Mizuno MP-68

The skinny: One of Mizuno’s newest touring pros, Englishman Chris Wood, used these irons at the Masters. They are one of the redesigned models in Mizuno’s family of grain-flow forged irons for skilled players.

Cost: $899 (3-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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Cobra S2 Forged

The skinny: These innovative irons feature a cavity and state-of-the-art vibration dampening.

Cost: $799 (3-PW, Nippon NS Pro 1130 Tour steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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Bridgestone J38 Dual Pocket Cavity

The skinny: Fred Couples played these irons at the Masters. Bridgestone also makes a full cavity-back model of the J38 iron.

Cost: $799 (4-PW, True Temper Rifle Project X Flighted steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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Wilson FG Tour

The skinny: Ricky Barnes used these irons to tie for 10th in the Masters. They contain a shallow cavity along with minimally progressive offsets and a thin top line.

Cost: $799 (3-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts)

Available: Immediate

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