Info - Maltby DBM, TE, MMB-17 Irons

In the world of Iron design, one of the myths that still permeates in the minds of many golfers today is that the terms “Forging” or “Blade” denote a type of iron that only better players or professionals are able to play. First, “Forging” is a process, not a design type. There are two types of forging being used today in iron manufacturing – True Forging and Form Forging. The True Forging process conjures up the image of a blacksmith hammering red hot steel into a shape. This is pretty accurate, except that a golf club is true forged by placing a design die (or a series of dies) into a large tonnage press and having this forging press hammer a piece of steel into shape under tons of pressure. Form Forging is the process of actually taking molten metal and pouring it into a die the same way investment casting is done, but then completing the process by pressing the head in a forging die after the casting process. Both methods are legitimate and can produce high quality iron heads.

The “Blade” is a little more descriptive in describing the look of a golf club. Most people think of a “Blade” club as having a plain back or muscle back (no cavity) and a thinner top line and sole, with little or no offset. This is somewhat accurate, but there are many irons designed today with some form of a cavity that many would still consider a blade profile.

The point of these descriptions is to identify what the terms actually are and hopefully bring forth the realization that the terms, in and of themselves, have NOTHING to do with how the design will perform. Did you ever wonder why some models of irons perform and feel great and others seem to be clunkers? Did you also wonder why some companies have designs that seem to do well in the marketplace and continue to sell and others come out and then disappear quickly? The reason(s) for both of these phenomena are directly related to the design characteristics of that mass we call the club head.

The golf ball does not know if it is hit with a “Forging” or a “Blade”. It does know that it was hit with a mass that has its own mass and dimensional characteristics. How stable this mass is through impact is totally determined by its mass and dimensional characteristics – the weight, moment of inertia and the center of gravity location. The better these mass and dimensional characteristics are designed into the iron, the more stable it will be and the better it will perform. Horizontal center of gravity, vertical center of gravity and rearward center of gravity all play a role. A “Blade” does not have to be unforgiving and difficult for the average player to hit. If the mass and dimensional characteristics are designed properly it can perform as well as any club identified as a game improvement club. Conversely, if the mass and dimensional characteristics of a “game improvement” design are not designed properly, the game improvement design can perform worse than a blade design. You see, it’s not about the identifying words attached to a design, nor the process they are manufactured from, it is about the mass and dimensional characteristics of the design.

To this end, the Maltby Design team made it a mission many years ago to design the best performing iron designs available. As far as “Forged Blades” are concerned, by simply paying attention to the mass and dimensional characteristics of the design, the designers were able to produce true blade profiles that perform like Game Improvement and Super Game Improvement irons. This was accomplished by first analyzing and measuring the mass and dimensional characteristics of literally thousands of clubs, identifying characteristics that made a particular design stable and a good performer, or unstable and a clunker. Through this analysis parameters were identified that if designed properly, would enhance playability. The results can best be seen by looking at the Maltby DBM and TE True Forged irons and the Form Forged MMB-17 irons. These truly fall into the “blade” or “Players Cavity” design description, and have the mass and dimensional characteristics that provide the stability, consistency and performance that all levels of players can benefit from. There longevity in the market is a testament to their designs and they continue to be best sellers, even after being in the market for years.

So, if you thought you were not good enough, or could not play a “Forging” or a “Blade” design, think again. If you like the look of a blade, but need the forgiveness and stability most often associated with Game Improvement clubs, you do have options.

For more commentary on this, please read “Building a Better Blade” in the Articles and Editorial section on The Golfworks website.

Britt Lindsey