I am thinking of buying a new set of clubs and wanted to know the difference between cast and forged irons, especially for high-handicappers?
Thanks for your question.
A cast club is formed by pouring liquid metal into a mold. A forged club is made by heating the metal and then forming the shape by hammering or using a hydraulic press. If the design of the clubhead is the same, there should be no substantial difference in performance.
You should be less concerned about whether a club is forged or cast and more concerned about how forgiving it is.
Generally speaking, it is harder to forge certain game-improvement designs in irons (like a deep undercut cavity, for example), so you could say that there is greater variety in game-improvement cast clubs than in forged models.
Before you buy your new set of clubs, be sure to read my Simple Rules for Buying Golf Equipment, and my recent article Simple Rules for Buying a Putter, which will help the process.