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So what exactly does a game improvement iron do for you?

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So, I've been drooling over the Hogan review thread.  So much so, that I bought a 43 and 48 used Scor Wedge to see what they were all about.  Love the wedges.  I've been hitting a lot of quality shots with them (many more than the equivalent TM r9s I replaced them with).  Excellent with pitching and chipping as well.

 

Problem is, I'm currently an 18 handicap (15.6 index).  Can't get the scores down, its always something, driver goes, irons go, short game goes, putting goes.  I can shoot high 70s and low 80s, but rarely.  Stuck in the 90 + or - a couple range for a long time.  So, I'm a High HC (at my best, I was at an 11, when I was living on a golf course and practicing 7 days a week).

 

BUT--I have no problem hitting a high iron.  My quality shots are very high.  Never been able to reduce that.  In fact, I have problems hitting an iron with any significant offset.  To my eye, a no offset club seems natural.

 

I showed the Scor wedges to my 6 handicap playing partner Saturday.  He loved the looks, but said he'd have a hard time getting used to the small head.  Say what?  That head looked normal to me, until we placed it next to his wedge (sorry, didn't pay attention to what he was hitting).

 

My bad shots are swing path problems.  The pushes and pulls are well struck, just wrong direction.  The really bad shots, the fats or thins, no iron design would help appreciably  (although the 48 degree Scor has been remarkably forgiving on the thins--bladed a 60 pitch and it checked and followed the slope of the green to five feet the other day).  

 

I use my six iron as my range and warm up iron.  Its worn right where its supposed to be worn.  If anything, it may be slightly more worn towards the heel than it should be.

 

Finally, I get a predictable distance on all my well struck irons, 10 yard variance throughout the bag (150yd 7 iron reference), and I hit as many well struck 4 irons as I do well struck 7s, so while I'm not long, or consistent, I can cover all the distances (from the regular tees).

 

So, what is a game improvement iron going to do for me as opposed to something like the Hogans?  I get more than enough height, and I hit pretty close to the sweet spot as a general matter. 

 

Why can't I consider the Hogan's?  What would, for example, the Ping g30s everyone is raving about, do for me.

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Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

In my Ogio Ozone XX Cart Stand Bag:

Ping G400 10.5 Deg Driver, stock Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz 19 Deg 5 Wood, stock Matrix Osik Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz Stage 2 21 Deg Tour 4 Hybrid, Rocketfuel 80h Stiff shaft 

Callaway Apex CF 16 Irons, 4-P, Stiff Shafts
 
Scor 48 and 55 degree wedges.  
Renegar 60 Deg Steel Shaft Lob Wedge

TM Ghost Spider Si 38" Counterbalanced Putter

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Wow!  All I can say is Wow!  This is just my opinion, but it doesn't sound to me like the irons are where your focus needs to be.  I love my SCORs and feel confident when I get into their range.  Sure, I miss hit them occasionally, but I love the way they work.  But from what you said, I think scoring issues seem to be coming from getting your drives in the fairway and shots around the green.  

 

As far as the Hogans vs. G30, I have limited experience with each.  I play Ping i20 irons up to the 8 iron and SCORs for 9 through all wedges.  The SCORs even though they are short irons, can be worked a little so I think the Hogans would be fairly easy to hit a variety of shots.  I cannot work the i20's much so I think the G30's would be even more difficult.  Straight shots (no, not those kind :lol:), would be easy but trying to hit around a tree... not so much.

 

If you are happy with your irons, I don't see a reason to change other than the Hogan good looks, but that is an expensive proposition.  If you are looking to change irons, I don't think you can go wrong with the Hogans.  I don't think the G30's compare at all with the Hogans, and it sounds like you can handle the shots with the smaller head just fine.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Game improvement irons mask poor ball striking. Sounds like you don't have a problem with that! Little alignment and practice may serve you better.

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ditto what everyone else says. GI irons should help with off center hits. With a blade iron the area for solid contact is smaller, but easier to move the ball around. The GI sacrifices some playability but will save you on off center hits.


 Driver:   :callaway-small:  Epic Flash 12 Degree

Wood: :callaway-small:  GBB 3 Wood
Hybrid: :callaway-small: Razr 4 hybriid stiff stock shaft.
Irons: :callaway-small: X2 Hot 4 iron (pro version) 5 iron - Gap Wedge (non pro version).  KBS 120g Shaft stiff cut 1/2  inch bent 1°upright
Wedges: :vokey-small: 52° 56° and 60°.
All grips are Golf pride grips midsized
Putter (lefty):  Odyssey Metal-X #8 34", stock shaft bent 2° Superstroke grip
Golf Balls:   :titelist-small: 2018-9 Pro-V1x and Prov1s
Shoes:  :footjoy-small:  Dryjoy tours

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They will typically launch higher and go straighter too. I've always played em and probably always will. I'm a good enough ball striker, but I think it's silly to play anything else unless you're good enough to get paid to play. Even then, why wouldn't you use technology to help play better? If it's legal and it helps you play better....

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There is no spoon.

WITB
TaylorMade M3
Callaway Diablo 15°
Callaway Diablo 18°
Callaway Steelhead XR Pro 4-W
Mizuno TP-4 50, 54, 58
TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spyder

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What High Fade said.  I've ordered a set of the Ping GMax irons.  I'm longer with them and I hit them better because they are more forgiving and for me they seem to make the game easier.  As you say no club is going to fix a bad swing so perhaps some lessons to sort out the swing to get more consistant and some short game practise if you can be bothered.

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My Bag

 

Driver:  :ping-small: G25 Stiff shaft
3 Wood:  :mizuno-small: JPX 850 16 degree. Fujikara Orichi 65 gram stiff shaft
Hybrids: 3 & 4 :mizuno-small: JPX 850 Fujikara Orichi 65 gram regular shafts
Irons:  :mizuno-small: MP- H5 3 - 6 iron dynamic gold XP 115 gram stiff soft stepped
Irons:  :mizuno-small: MP 54 4 - PW dynamic gold S300
Wedges:   :mizuno-small: MP T4 52 degree,  :titelist-small: :vokey-small: 56 degree 10 degree bounce, :titelist-small: :vokey-small: 60 degree 10 degree bounce.
Putter:  :ping-small: ZB S

 

Evil prospers when good men do nothing.

 

Honorary member Texas BBQ Curtin Circa 2015 

 

 

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We all know that our handicaps come from deficits in a variety of areas verses the typical attributes of a scratch player.

 

For me those deficits may be great in an area and smaller in others, perhaps I'm actually plus in a category. The same will hold true for each and every one of us.

 

I've been fortunate enough to play with you a couple of times and from what I've seen your issue is consistency through the bag, particularly off the tee. You will hit a couple of drives 260 down the middle in the course of a round but you will hit several significantly off line which starts to bring a variety of round killing penalties into play. You are the classic example of why the tee ball is so important.

 

You do launch the ball high with deceptively good distance. I would say bag what fits your eye. I wouldn't go MP 4 but Hogans, Ping I series, MP 54, Wilson FG you'd have no trouble with those types of irons because when you're good you're good and bad well you know.

 

The face on the SCOR wedges is very small. Mine make the Cleveland RTX that MGS awarded me look like a shovel and the Renegar looked like something off the end of a piece of heavy equipment. I'm just used to the look of the SCORs and ever since we played with the Pro at the Stadium Ive gotten deadly with the 60 around the greens.


Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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This one falls into the physics of golf category.

 

In very general terms, game-improvement irons will be more forgiving and launch higher. 

 

The forgiveness comes from perimeter weighting, longer blade lengths, while higher launch is generally the byproduct of wider soles and deeper CG placement.

 

Some will tell you that blades/non-GI irons are more workable. They will tell you that it's easier to shape shots with smaller heads. We're all big boys, so I'll give you to you straight, while I will give you the industry side of it, my opinion on the matter is that workability is a BS term the industry came up with because MORE WORKABLE sounds a hell of a lot better than LESS FORGIVING, but make no mistake...that's what it means. 

 

Actual workability - what most would consider the ability to flight the ball (high/low) and move it from right to left or left to right is 100% the product of the relationship between face angle and path. A ball struck off the face of a blade that's 2° open to the path with generate no more or less curvature than a ball struck of the face of a super-game improvement iron that's 2° open to the path. 

 

Now manufacturers will argue that because of the longer blade length, game improvement irons have higher MOI around the the shaft axis. Basically that means the iron will return to square more easily that a smaller blade, but ultimately the golfer controls the face depending on the direction you're trying to work the ball, game-improvement irons may prove more workable for some golfers.

 

Quite frankly, for nearly any golfer, it's difficult to make a compelling argument for blades. I believe Rickie, Rory, and even Tiger would probably all be better off with some sort of cavityback iron. Traditions die hard.

 

That said, I can just as easily make an argument against standard game-improvement irons for many players who might otherwise need them.

 

I covered it in the Hogan comments, but to rehash...the majority of GI designs aren't well suited for guys (regardless of handicap) who already hit the ball high and generate plenty of spin. Several aspects common to GI designs (low CG, back-ish CG, offset, lightweight, soft-tipped shafts) work against those types of players, but that doesn't mean that the only choice is a blade. Blades are foolishness. If you tell me you play blades because you like the way they look, or you can't get a way from the feel, or it's what you grew up with, I can respect that, but anybody with a 5 handicap or greater who thinks he's better off with blades in the bag is probably delusional.

 

When it comes to blade performance, the difference between on the sweet spot and near the sweet spot is tremendous. They're for elite ballstrikers, not pretty good ballstrikers.

 

We have options. In heads alone there's a huge variety of low offset, moderate sole, cavityback choices. RSi2, JPX-850 forged, AP2, MP-15...just to name a few...and from there there are another 50 alternatives before we get all the way to blades, or even blade on blades like the Hogans and MP-5. Blades look pretty, CBs perform. 

 

Use the shaft...things llike C-Taper, DG, DG X7, etc. to help bring ball flight and launch angle down. 

 

The loft obsessed, particularly those who obsess about loft jacking have done a great disservice to game-improvement level golfers for whom the standard crop of GI clubs don't work. If you really believe you're hitting the ball too high, with too much spin, there's absolutely no rule that says you can't bend your 45° pitching wedge to 44° or 43° to get the the desired trajectory.

 

Two total purists just dropped dead, but hear me out.

 

A GI iron is totally different than a blade. Deep down we know this...a 45° gi iron will launch substantially higher than a 45°...probably just as high as a 43° blade, so throw away the numbers on the sole (be they loft or 'PW') and concentrate on getting ball flight right.

 

Put in a heavier shaft, shorten it...dial in the swing weight...you'll probably be more accurate for it too. Maybe you pick up distance, maybe you don't. 

 

Static loft is 100% meaningless. Don't be afraid to do what you need to do to get your ball flight right without compromising forgiveness. Seriously...you're a Mitchell machine away from changing trajectory, but MOI is forever man...

 

And if bending stronger still scares the hell out of you...personally, I'm a huge proponent of a high ball flight that lands soft with every club other than the driver (and putter). If you can cover the distance, and stop a ball dead on a green from nearly any distance..you want that. Green stopping power is highly undervalued.

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That's a great reply - thanks T - I wish you'd be less busy out front and more active in here. 

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Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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And if bending stronger still scares the hell out of you...personally, I'm a huge proponent of a high ball flight that lands soft with every club other than the driver (and putter). If you can cover the distance, and stop a ball dead on a green from nearly any distance..you want that. Green stopping power is highly undervalued.

 

Whats wrong with a putter that launches at 12° with 2400 rpm of backspin??  is that bad??

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What I lug around the golf course in my MacKenzie Walker.

Driver -   Ping G410 Plus 9° Tour 65 S
Fairway -  :srixon-small: Z785 13.5° Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG IT S400 3,5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX4 Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Nike  Method Converge B1-01 UST Frequency Filter/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black / Ping Anser F/ Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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Whats wrong with a putter that launches at 12° with 2400 rpm of backspin??  is that bad??

Is that when its thrown or the ball off the club face? Will a mallet or blade launch highr when thrown?

  • Like 4

Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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Thanks T.  That's just the sort of thing I was looking for.  My post lumped all GIs, or non-blades to be more correct, into the same category.  Just needed a bit of sanity, definitely keep my focus on the right category of irons, less offset, smaller head CBs.

  • Like 2

Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

In my Ogio Ozone XX Cart Stand Bag:

Ping G400 10.5 Deg Driver, stock Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz 19 Deg 5 Wood, stock Matrix Osik Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz Stage 2 21 Deg Tour 4 Hybrid, Rocketfuel 80h Stiff shaft 

Callaway Apex CF 16 Irons, 4-P, Stiff Shafts
 
Scor 48 and 55 degree wedges.  
Renegar 60 Deg Steel Shaft Lob Wedge

TM Ghost Spider Si 38" Counterbalanced Putter

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Is that when its thrown or the ball off the club face? Will a mallet or blade launch highr when thrown?

 

I don't have any empirical data, only anecdotal, but it seems to me that blade putters launch a bit lower, with higher spin rates, and are a bit more "workable", while the mallets tend to "balloon" a bit.......

  • Like 1

What I lug around the golf course in my MacKenzie Walker.

Driver -   Ping G410 Plus 9° Tour 65 S
Fairway -  :srixon-small: Z785 13.5° Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG IT S400 3,5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX4 Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Nike  Method Converge B1-01 UST Frequency Filter/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black / Ping Anser F/ Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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I don't have any empirical data, only anecdotal, but it seems to me that blade putters launch a bit lower, with higher spin rates, and are a bit more "workable", while the mallets tend to "balloon" a bit.......

 

So, is your Nike Converge a blade or mallet?  What can we expect in your review? 


We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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So, is your Nike Converge a blade or mallet?  What can we expect in your review? 

 

Nike B1-01 style, or blade.  I will not be throwing this club (tends to damage the resale value...) (don't tell anyone)

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What I lug around the golf course in my MacKenzie Walker.

Driver -   Ping G410 Plus 9° Tour 65 S
Fairway -  :srixon-small: Z785 13.5° Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG IT S400 3,5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX4 Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Nike  Method Converge B1-01 UST Frequency Filter/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black / Ping Anser F/ Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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Thanks T.  That's just the sort of thing I was looking for.  My post lumped all GIs, or non-blades to be more correct, into the same category.  Just needed a bit of sanity, definitely keep my focus on the right category of irons, less offset, smaller head CBs.

That being said, I may just go and order a Hogan 39 degree to replace my 40 degree 9 iron (I have a 43 deg Scor).  Just for jollies.  Look maybe at one of the Ping sets for the rest, though I will try others (I'm looking, 'cause I decided that 5+ year old irons just need to go).  

  • Like 1

Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

In my Ogio Ozone XX Cart Stand Bag:

Ping G400 10.5 Deg Driver, stock Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz 19 Deg 5 Wood, stock Matrix Osik Stiff shaft
TM Rocketballz Stage 2 21 Deg Tour 4 Hybrid, Rocketfuel 80h Stiff shaft 

Callaway Apex CF 16 Irons, 4-P, Stiff Shafts
 
Scor 48 and 55 degree wedges.  
Renegar 60 Deg Steel Shaft Lob Wedge

TM Ghost Spider Si 38" Counterbalanced Putter

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That being said, I may just go and order a Hogan 39 degree to replace my 40 degree 9 iron (I have a 43 deg Scor). Just for jollies. Look maybe at one of the Ping sets for the rest, though I will try others (I'm looking, 'cause I decided that 5+ year old irons just need to go).

Just get some PXG irons. They are supposed to be blade looks with GI performance


Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic 10.5 set to 9.5 w/ Tour AD-DI 44.5

FW:   :cobra-small: F6 baffler set at 16º

Hybrid:  NONE
Irons:   :taylormade-small:  3i 2014 TP CB  4-PW 2011 TP MC w/ TT S400

Wedges:   :nike-small: 52º :nike-small: 56º  :edel-golf-1: 60 º w/ KBS C-Taper XS Soft-stepped

Putter:   :ping-small: Sigma G Tyne 34 inches Gold dot

 

 

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That being said, I may just go and order a Hogan 39 degree to replace my 40 degree 9 iron (I have a 43 deg Scor).  Just for jollies.  Look maybe at one of the Ping sets for the rest, though I will try others (I'm looking, 'cause I decided that 5+ year old irons just need to go).  

 

If you are thinking about getting a 39 Hogan, before you do that why don't you take Hogan up on their 3-club trial period.  I don't think you can go wrong with Hogans.  Maybe get a 39, 35, and 30.  It will tell you if the Hogans fit your game.  If they do, you might have to return them to get the correct lofts to fill your gaps.  I say this because when I got my SCORs, the 50, 46, and 42 were almost a club longer than my i20 equivalents.  You will need to see if the Hogans gap well with your SCOR, and which loft matches with your current set.  Don't think that the 39 will be the same as your R9 40.  I bet a 39 will fly closer to your 8 iron.  Just saying.


We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Is that when its thrown or the ball off the club face? Will a mallet or blade launch highr when thrown?

 

If no one is there to see it, does it launch at all?

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My Bag

 

Driver:  :ping-small: G25 Stiff shaft
3 Wood:  :mizuno-small: JPX 850 16 degree. Fujikara Orichi 65 gram stiff shaft
Hybrids: 3 & 4 :mizuno-small: JPX 850 Fujikara Orichi 65 gram regular shafts
Irons:  :mizuno-small: MP- H5 3 - 6 iron dynamic gold XP 115 gram stiff soft stepped
Irons:  :mizuno-small: MP 54 4 - PW dynamic gold S300
Wedges:   :mizuno-small: MP T4 52 degree,  :titelist-small: :vokey-small: 56 degree 10 degree bounce, :titelist-small: :vokey-small: 60 degree 10 degree bounce.
Putter:  :ping-small: ZB S

 

Evil prospers when good men do nothing.

 

Honorary member Texas BBQ Curtin Circa 2015 

 

 

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