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 Let's Talk About Blades Again

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jurongtiger
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PostSubject: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:26 pm

I opined that “modern” blade designs -- those which have at least a little mass moved around the clubhead to make them more forgiving than the blades of old – afford most golfers all the “game improvement” features they could possibly need. I also took the industry to task for continually pounding into your heads that “you can’t hit the ball on the face so you need this big shovel with as much weight as possible moved to the perimeter.”

Well, guys, I take offense to that industry advertising drivel, and so should you. The only thing perimeter weighting can fix is when you have the clubhead on path and on plane, you square the face through impact, but you miss the “sweet spot”. Well guys, the simple fact of golf is that if you do all those other things right, you probably don’t miss the sweet spot by much, if at all. Your bad shots are not caused by bad “hits”, but by swing errors. Or more likely, errors in your set up [which I’m going to address in another article next week.]

Cavity back irons cannot fix your over-the-top swing error.

Cavity back irons cannot keep you from blading the ball.

Perimeter weighting doesn’t prevent fat shots.

Cavity back designers cannot do anything about your pulls, pushes, hooks, slices, duffs, skulls . . . . well, you get the picture.

In my opinion, the reason the industry likes cavity back designs is that the “palette” allows them to make “revolutionary breakthroughs” in head design almost every year. But realize that many of the club designers are not even golfers, and the feedback they get is from watching results off of an “Iron Byron” golf ball striking machine. Well guys . . . Iron Byron hits everything off a tee and doesn’t have to play the next shot. It’s a different world in the lab than it is on the course.

Please understand that when I say “modern blades”, I’m not talking about some set of vintage Hogans, MacGregors or Palmers your father played that have been in your garage for thirty years. I’m referring to the new generation of blades that have a very gentle perimeter weighting, some mass moved to the toe, a shorter hosel, but still preserve plenty of blade thickness behind the center of the face.

I’ll offer the same challenge to you that I did two years ago. Next time you are out for a round, ask one of your assistant pros or buddies who play blades to loan you their short irons – 8-, 9- and PW – and watch what happens. I’d bet dollars to donuts you see a better trajectory on all your shots; your ball flight will be lower, which is where you want short irons. You’ll see your distance control improve dramatically (but don’t expect to hit them quite as far, as your cavity back irons are probably jacked up at least one club’s loft).

And you will experience feel of a golf shot like you can’t imagine.

So, there’s my challenge for the weekend, readers. Borrow some blade irons and give this a try.
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Duval_S
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:45 pm

here is the funny thing which I realized.

For short irons...say 8 and lower.....the blades give me better hits (disclaimer: not that I am good but in relative to my existing set).

BUT for 7 and higher, I cant hit blades if my life depend on it.

so...I reckon, I need to get MX300 for 8 irons and lower AND, MP58 for 7 irons and higher

Only problem,.....too ex for me
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jurongtiger
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:56 pm

Combo maybe the way to go!

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eiji
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:08 pm

I have both Mizuno MP14 and MX200, what i can say after extensive use of both irons, yes the blades feel better when hit sweet and game improvement irons have a more muted feeling. But the GI irons were easier to launch and tend to be easier to hit straighter balls.

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nientsu
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:10 pm

I am a personal believer that people who uses blades possesses much better ball striking and swing.

But the process of getting in tuned to a blade is damn BLURRRDDY painful.

Was speaking to a fren who is a believer in blades and occasionally uses steel persimon woods. He said something which I found rather intruiging. He argues the fact that while technology has made it easier for mere mortals to virtually play golf, handicaps has not gone down over the years and golf is still not easier than before. So something is missing. And that missing link, he attributes it to technique. To him, easier clubs has destroyed technique.


Last edited by nientsu on Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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andrew-golf
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:49 pm

i was using J36 pocket cavities when i switched to TW blades.

Was extremely happy cos i was forced to practice ball striking and focus on the swing on impact.

seriously, if you have been playing for a while and have a decent swing, to switch to blades, jus need to focus on the ball striking. cos the rest of the swing is 2nd nature liao.

i played my best game using the TW blades and its very very sweet. also tried Ikasus.. sweet..

At the end of the day, practice makes proficient and blades are definitely a good set to own. but must have a more forgiving set to fall back on when u bump into a rough patch for a period of time
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solarpop
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:59 am

I agree with much of what the OP mentioned about perimeter weighting, but "game improvement" irons are much more than just that.

They normally have a wider sole, since less proficient players tend to take divots behind the ball, and this allows the club to slide along the turf instead of digging in.

They will have stronger lofts, to help gain distance (artificially or not is a separate debate).

They have bigger club faces to increase the chances of actually hitting the ball straight. Though i really doubt the actual size of the sweet spot will increase by much.

Most importantly, i feel, is the offset. This really helps with ball striking since most beginners will have problems keeping their hands ahead of the ball and end up with a sweeping motion.

Game improvement irons do have their place in the world of golf, and it's not all marketing bs to make you spend money. However, do you always need to buy the latest, most improved model? Definitely not. Take the Callaway X series for example. Have there been any significant changes from the X16 through to the X22? Other than looks, i would say it's exactly the same.
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Birdman
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:04 am

nientsu wrote:
I am a personal believer that people who uses blades possesses much better ball striking and swing.

But the process of getting in tuned to a blade is damn BLURRRDDY painful.

Was speaking to a fren who is a believer in blades and occasionally uses steel persimon woods. He said something which I found rather intruiging. He argues the fact that while technology has made it easier for mere mortals to virtually play golf, handicaps has not gone down over the years and golf is still not easier than before. So something is missing. And that missing link, he attributes it to technique. To him, easier clubs has destroyed technique.

Hahaha... love your emphasis on the "blurdy". I gotta go with you on that. I like a nice balance of forgiveness and some suggestion of workability. That oft spoken about "buttery feel" is not going to make me score any lower, I can do without it, thank you very much. In any case, to each his own.

I'd just like to quickly relate from my murky memory to reinforce what your friend said about technique. Golf magazine once did a test. There was tournament decades ago where Jack Nicklaus launched an amazing one iron uphill to within feet of the pin. So the magazine wondered if a modern golfer could replicate that feat using the exact same equipment Nicklaus did. They went back to the same hole and got the club champion to be the guinea pig. The first few shots, he couldn't even launch the ball 50 metres or get it up in the air. He kept trying and the best he got was three quarters of the way up the hill and let's not even talk dispersion here. And this was the club champion! So technique has gone down the drain and make us lazier and imprecise with our ballstriking for sure.

Conversely, another test was done recently with Padraig Harrington, getting him to hit old irons versus his own modern irons. Results were almost similar with both old and new, yet he too had to adjust to the older clubs initially.

Best way we can test it ourselves is to go try and drive one of those old persimmon woods. You'll be thinking "What happened to my beautiful high draw I normally hit?" scratch
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Birdman
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:19 am

Offset aids but is not the most important.

Most important is CG, also central to the issue of GI versus Blades.

Lower CG aids in launching the ball, helping beginners. Blades have a higher CG since better players want to keep the ball down, just the opposite.

Lower CG is also the reason why lofts are getting stronger these days. The easier launch with being able to lower the CG so much is allowing clubmakers to strengthen their lofts and promise distance within USGA limitations. An example is 3i hybrids now being 19 to 20 degrees in logt. My old Halo 3i hybrid is 22 degress which is today's 4i. Pitching wedges have dropped degree by degree from 48 to now 45! Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk About Blades Again   Today at 5:49 am

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