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 Blades vs Cavity Backs

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jurongtiger
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PostSubject: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:33 pm

The topic of "Blades vs Cavity Backs" is one of those questions that have been debated to death in both golf magazines and internet forums and websites for the past decade or so.

After all that dialogue is the golf community as a whole any closer to having a definitive answer...not really.

The fact is that there are too many vested interests and too many different player styles and preferences for this ever to be resolved in favor of one or the other.

It's worth remembering, however, that until Ping made a huge impact on the golf equipment scene ALL irons were "blades". The greats of yester-year all improved and perfected their game on thin, small sweet spot irons that offered feel yet little forgiveness.

It's only in relatively recent years that the industry as a whole has poured money into research and marketing to establish cavity back or improvement irons as "the" clubs for anyone who isn't approaching a scratch score sheet.

The crux of the debate lies in the following:

Cavity backs offer a large sweet spot which makes contact will the ball easier and as a consequence will "correct" slightly mis-aligned shots. This is called "forgiveness" and it is what these clubs are famous for and have been marketed as providing. The bottom line is that they make it easier for you to hit the ball straighter and with distance more consistently - they are assistive.

In contrast, blade irons provide a much truer reflection of your actual swing on any one shot. For example, if the club face is slightly mis-aligned on impact then this mis-alignment will be apparent in the trajectory, distance and direction of the golf ball after contact.

So - cavity backs are the obvious winner you might say as they will enable me to hit the ball straighter and further more consistently?

This is both true and not true.

While cavity backs are easier to hit and will result in a quicker level of consistency they do encompass two flaws which depending on your own aims for your golf game and your playing habits you may or may not want to have to accomodate.

The first of these is that because they are corrective in nature faults in your swing can be masked (ie hidden from you). Therefore, while you may make faster progress in the short term you are also likely to plateau more quickly as unlike blades they don't force you to make a rigourous inspection and analysis of your swing. Many players consequently find that when they then decide to switch to blades after using improvement clubs for a lengthy period that there game falls to pieces as swing faults that were once hidden become instantly magnified. The consequence - a loss of confidence and an increase in scores. This experience by golfers is often the source of most negative comments about blades. "It's the clubs they say", when in fact it is very much their own swing.

The second and critical flaw if your making real in-roads into the game is that the short cavity back irons which are critical in your approach to the green are lacking in feel and shot-making capabilities. It's your short game where the nuances of golf really come to life. A little more here, a little less there - that's what your looking to perfect on your way into the green and the clunky nature of the over-sized improvement iron club heads make such control difficult.

So how do you decide?

Our recommendation would be to make a decision based on your own plans for your game. How serious about golf are you, how disciplined about improving?

If you really want to perfect your swing and control the ball with the short irons a set of precision blades are perfect but they will require commitment from you. If in contrast, you're just learning the game, play for enjoyment or want to build confidence with your long irons in particular a cavity back set is the way to go.

There are a lot of irons on the market and it's best to take the time to read the reviews available for the different sets. As with most things once you've done your research instinct will tell you which ones are right for you and you'll only really know whether the decision was right or wrong once you get out on the course and put them and yourself to the test!
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Batman
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:43 pm

good write-up. if i may adequately put it, i'll liken it to be like us learning motor-bike. start with 2B (i.e cavity back), get 'matured', then upgrade to class 2A (i.e blade) when u want more out of it Smile

at least that's my humble plan for now.
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FIdO
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:38 pm

yup.i agree.cavity back are good for starters.... but a swap to blades are advisable when an ideal & proper swing has been shaped & cultivated..blades forces/demands you to hit a perfect shot everytime...a miss hit will be obvious..more focus needed.i like blades..improves my swing.would recommend to those who like challenges. Very Happy
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jurongtiger
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:42 pm

Actually a good intermediate step up would be like me, changing to the semi cavities. First look from address, look and feel like hitting a blade - much thinner topline and less offset.

First few games with them was quite scary, hit wrong, fly everywhere.

With time and some conscious effort, the fear is gone!
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FIdO
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:49 pm

jurongtiger wrote:
Actually a good intermediate step up would be like me, changing to the semi cavities. First look from address, look and feel like hitting a blade - much thinner topline and less offset.

First few games with them was quite scary, hit wrong, fly everywhere.

With time and some conscious effort, the fear is gone!

hehe.yeah bro..ball fly up,down,left,right,bunker,OB,water hazard...very "motivating" for me when first time use also... Laughing
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sandkie
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:56 pm

I think playing with blades is like playing snooker, it requires better precision to pot the ball. Playing with cavity is like playing billiard.. cue bigger, holes bigger -> forgiveness.

If you start with billiard, you find snooker hard.
If you start with snooker, you find billiard easy.

I think starting with blades will definitely make you a better player but might discourage you before getting better.
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Birdman
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:32 am

Methinks that striking the ball pure is not the be all and end all, there is more to golf than that. There's precious enough time to play the game, why make it harder on myself each time I go for a round? Rather than focusing on striking the ball pure while on the course, I'd rather be enjoying the game letting my equipment aid me to a lower score while I consciously focus on my course management and scoring.

I like to enjoy my golf, not suffer through it.

Practising with a blade on the range to hone your ballstriking makes sense, taking a blade to the course when you don't have the skill to stripe one, let alone shape the ball, does not. A high handicapper buying a set of blades and saying it will make him a better golfer is akin to a new driver buying a full manual rear wheel drive supercar saying it will make him a better driver in the long run.

Better to hone the skill first then upgrade the equipment to match the skill. Most if not all F1 drivers started out with go karts first, I know of none that jumped into an F1 car from day one saying it will force him to be a better driver even if it kills him.

Blades are not just about striking the ball pure. They are meant for the skilled golfer who likes to, and is able to work the ball at will, left , right, high or low. How many of us can do that with a blade?

Back to the new driver analogy, so he finally learns how to handle the full manual rear wheel drive supercar and take it to top top speed in a straight line, does that mean he now has the skill to take it to the twisting mountain roads at speed, working up and down through the gears, fully exploiting the capabilites of the car as it was designed for, while at the same time enjoying the drive?

Don't mind me, just my thoughts. Very Happy


Last edited by Birdman on Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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benhogan
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:06 am

BM, just like golfers who just finished their 8th lesson and hitting a driver... on the course. I HIT IT
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duffader
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:22 am

taskie wrote:
I think playing with blades is like playing snooker, it requires better precision to pot the ball. Playing with cavity is like playing billiard.. cue bigger, holes bigger -> forgiveness.

If you start with billiard, you find snooker hard.
If you start with snooker, you find billiard easy.

I think starting with blades will definitely make you a better player but might discourage you before getting better.

I think you are refering to pool instead of billiard. Billiard still same size as snooker, same table, but objective of game is different. If you start with snooker, it doesnt mean you will have easier time playing pool. Look at steve davis, try so hard to play pool but havent won anything yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:25 am

I think its better to learn to walk first before you learn to fly. And seriously, if you are really good, you can also shape the ball with a cavity back.
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asahi
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:51 am

I, for one, is all for not making our lives tougher on the course. IMHO, unless you are of a standard and can hit it well consistently, there is no point getting blades which is soooo not forgiving. Not only you give yourself a hard time when you cannot hit the ball, you affect golfers behind and around you. Your flightmates have to bear the stares and grunts of behind flight looking at you disbelievingly when you shank the balk hole after hole while holding up the flight behind with your poor shot making with blades. Evil or Very Mad
pardon my ranting here coz sometimes during my weekend game, I will have this chap with bridgestone blades shanking away on the fairway as we shake our heads at the tee box.
Needless to say, these 18 holes takes a long time to finish. Crying or Very sad


Last edited by asahi on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:01 am

yup.agree on your views guys...blades you can't use it on course if you have not hone the skills yet....practice well on the range first...proper your swings and game fundamentals..especially the short games.cheers Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:09 am

asahi wrote:
I, for one, is all for not making our lives tougher on the course. IMHO, unless you are of a standard and can hit it well consistently, there is no point getting blades which is soooo not forgiving. Not only you give yourself a hard time when you cannot hit hit, you affect golfers behind and around you. Your flightmates have to bear the stares and grunts of behind flight looking at you disbelievingly when you shank the balk hole after hole while holding up the flight behind with your poor shot making with blades. Evil or Very Mad
pardon my ranting here coz sometimes during my weekend game, I will have this chap with bridgestone blades shanking away on the fairway as we shake our heads at the tee box.
Needless to say, these 18 holes takes a long time to finish. Crying or Very sad

yeah.thats frustrating especially you're in a game which requires speed play.
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:44 am

I using cavity back and some hybrid looking clubs.......because my main problem is that I can shape the ball....just that I do not know when it happens.....only after hit, then I realize ...eg. power fade, power draw...power '4k' shot (ki ki kok kok)...power divot....power top the ball

OK , on a serious-er side, totally am for the fact that one should walk first then sprint.......if can hit good shots with relatively easier clubs first, then think about others....


But at the end of the day, golf is very much an egoistic game....eg. look good or play good, play blue or play white tee , etc etc. So bo pian, I just accept the fact that golf is such, and applaud those who can and also those who try to use blade......and cheer those that want to look or play good........all I hope is that they can accept my no nonsense golf.....ie just get in the hole with the lowest number of shots....
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:45 am

FIdO wrote:
yup.i agree.cavity back are good for starters.... but a swap to blades are advisable when an ideal & proper swing has been shaped & cultivated..blades forces/demands you to hit a perfect shot everytime...a miss hit will be obvious..more focus needed.i like blades..improves my swing.would recommend to those who like challenges. Very Happy


Not a sound recommendation at all ! You mean using cavity back irons need less focus and using blades will improve your swing ???

I do believe in free speech but In this forum there are many beginners and enthusiast here, so a little more care is needed before pouring out your "poison"(meaning of Poison - good stuffs or equipement)

Peace! no malice or "suan" intended.....

p.s local top Pro Lam Chee Beng uses a cavity back irons too! Many top US and European players uses Ap 2 and TM R9 tp, all are cavity back irons too. They did not change to blades to improve their swing or increase focus....
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:02 pm

What needs to be said has been said by Birdman.

Mowen is a solid example of how to get to being a single digit hdcper using the PING G10s back then. Its the amount of play, practice that gets u to being good or decent, not pure talent which 90% of golfers don't have.

The 'in' thing now is to play a combo set of both CB and MBs. Philly Mick does it. I am baggin the Mizzy 3 MP Fli Hi, 4 and 5 MP58s and 6-P MP68s. Of course, I think its quite difficult to find places in Sg where they allow u to mix and match your set but I think this has helped my game abit where lack of practice has made those longer clubs a tad more demanding.

WRT 'shaping' shots....I try to hit every iron shot straight unless there is a strong crosswind involved. Hitting it high, low, left, right etc is a matter of technique, not type of club.

GI clubs just help to get the ball up faster and easier with a larger sweetspot. Its also not only amateurs who bag them...just ask Jeev Milka Singh, Rory Sabattini and KJ Choi.

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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:19 pm

S70B wrote:

Mowen is a solid example of how to get to being a single digit hdcper using the PING G10s back then. Its the amount of play, practice that gets u to being good or decent, not pure talent which 90% of golfers don't have.



mayb he need to downgrade to G10s after being ATM to u for so many times..... bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:21 pm

slinger wrote:
S70B wrote:

Mowen is a solid example of how to get to being a single digit hdcper using the PING G10s back then. Its the amount of play, practice that gets u to being good or decent, not pure talent which 90% of golfers don't have.



mayb he need to downgrade to G10s after being ATM to u for so many times..... bounce

Karma is coming soon...cos I haven't been able to practice the same amt that I have been used to. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:22 pm

S70B wrote:
slinger wrote:
S70B wrote:

Mowen is a solid example of how to get to being a single digit hdcper using the PING G10s back then. Its the amount of play, practice that gets u to being good or decent, not pure talent which 90% of golfers don't have.



mayb he need to downgrade to G10s after being ATM to u for so many times..... bounce

Karma is coming soon...cos I haven't been able to practice the same amt that I have been used to. Embarassed

but you have "toured" the US courses of PGA quality, coming back to play on local courses should be easier now Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:27 pm

eiji wrote:

but you have "toured" the US courses of PGA quality, coming back to play on local courses should be easier now Razz

Which is precisely why I will struggle more when I get home...the courses here are just too manicured with solid, smooth and fast putting greens. I think I might just give up the game when I get back. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:29 pm

You can just put a putting mat emulating local green speeds in your cabin in the FFS to practise when u r out at sea. the Sea State might emulate the unpredictability of our local courses

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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:31 pm

I'll put 1 in the wardroom and ask the CO to join me. Wink

The sea states here are at least 2 or 3 mate. SCS is pretty mild.

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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:33 pm

S70B wrote:
I'll put 1 in the wardroom and ask the CO to join me. Wink

The sea states here are at least 2 or 3 mate. SCS is pretty mild.

SCS is bad during dec-feb, when the NE monsoon is on, but yeah US has tougher seas, but the FFS is pretty stable platform, the MCMVs have it the toughest.

If CO feels like, u can even have a range mat at the helo pad and drive balls out to the pacific ocean! shoik!
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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:39 pm

..And waste my Pro V1Xs??? No Way! Laughing

Okok, jokes aside, back on topic:

Stick with CBs and GIs till your scores tumble people. Playing with a nice set of blades but shooting crappy scores will turn more people away from the game than you think.

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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm

can use meat balls or fish balls Laughing

I use blades at this moment, went from mx200, to mp14. got no handicap, will work towards getting one soon, what i like about using a set of blades was that it gave me feedback whenever i play my shots, only recently got them, but i think my own game is progessing pretty well with this set of irons, my biggest weakness is driver tee-off, and longer irons, 6I and below i think its decent. no regrets making the switch, but i am sure when i move back to my mx200, i will enjoy the game more with that added forgiveness. For now i am enjoying the game just as much using the blades and discovering how to hit sweet.

to each their own, but i will wanna move back to CB so as to improve on my scores, for now the blades are an excellent tool for moulding the right feel to how a good golf shot feels like, i felt with the mx200, i couldn't tell sometimes where i was hitting on the club face.

thats just my opinion, i don't think there's any right or wrong, what makes u feel happiest when you play is the answer.

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PostSubject: Re: Blades vs Cavity Backs   Today at 9:53 am

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