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Opinions on who should / should not play blades?


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I'm posting this as a result of some ideas presented in GolfSpy T's Miura CB-501 Iron review ( http://www.mygolfspy.com/miura-cb-501-irons-reviews/ ). Particularly the part discussing who should and should not be playing blade/muscle back irons. I have always really loved the look and feel of a blade, and whenever I've demoed them on the range I've hit them fairly well. I've always just chalked this up to just liking the feel of something new and "a few good shots doesn't mean you'll hit them ALL that way. Its different on the range." etc. I fell in love with a set of Callaway Protos a couple years back and didn't buy them, but I've remembered the feel of those clubs ever since.

 

I've just always believed the "common wisdom" that you have to be a scratch player (or close to it) to justify playing blades, but it seems Holowaty and Kohler in the Miura review disagree with that idea.

 

What does everyone else think and what have your experiences been? My handicap ranges from a 10 to a 6 through the golf season, is it reasonable for me to consider a forged blade like the Callys or Adams MB (another club I hit recently that felt great!), or am I just trying to talk myself into a club that I'm going to have to fight with to play well? I currently play the Cleveleand CG Reds, and imo they can't be classified as a forgiving club, they let you know when you mishit a shot, both in feel and shot result.

 

Does anyone here in the 10 handicap range play blades? Has anyone tried and switched back to cavity backs? Anyone know of any other instructors or club fitters theories on the topic?

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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I have seen this debate on other forums and I always wonder why people care what other people play. I love the look of the TM blades, but I like hitting the ball well too. However, if someone wants to bag blades and shoot 120, go for it. Same thing for a low number person who plays GI. If someone puts up a 73 using G15's and not I15's, I don't think that the score was achieved via equipment.

 

With blades, some people are married to a beautiful spouse who makes them miserable. Even so, they stay with them for whatever reason.

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There are other factors here. If you are a 10-12 capper because your short game sucks but your a solid iron player than great. If your swing speed is on the low end, you probably should avoid most blades. I say this since off center hits will be impacted more AND most blades don't elevate and spin as well as GI. Regardless, golf is mental and if blades build confidence, you will swing better, hit it more pure and if thats the case blades are your best bet. To each his own. Play what YOU want to play. I've beat many players with a prettier bag then me and I've lost to guys with uglier bags.. That is what it comes down to.

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I would never play blades because at this point in my game I can't even make square contact on the ball with the SGI irons I am using now consistantly. I feel that in order to play blades you should be good enough to replicate the same swing every time (which I can't yet), and be able to play multiple shot types (draw, fade, punch, etc.).

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3 Wood -  :callaway-small: XR16
Hybrids -  :srixon-small:  ZH45
Irons -  :mizuno-small:  JPX 850 Pro

Wedges -  :callaway-small: Mac Daddy 2
Putter -   :taylormade-small: Spider Tour Red
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There are also those who claim that golfers who want to improve their swings should actually play/practice with blades or "players" irons in order to develop better swing habits.

 

Here are such opinions in further detail ...

 

http://www.grouchygolf.com/2004/06/forged-blades-redux.html

 

http://www.oobgolf.com/content/the+wedge+guy/golf+equipment/5-2032-Blades_Versus_Cavity_Backs_A_Golf_Club_Epiphany.html

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I think this is one of those immortal topics because a lot of people hold really strong opinions about it. For me, I don't care what is in anyone else's bag. If you want to play blades with a 30+ cap, fine. If you want to play SGI's with a positive cap, fine.

 

My personal experience/opinion/WITB: I had a year-long experiment playing with less-forgiving clubs and I ended it because, for me, there was no point. My ball striking isn't good enough, at least not on my bad days, to play blades or musclebacks. I have no problem working the ball (to the extent that I need to do so) with my MX-23's, and they provide lots of forgiveness. There are still those days when I go to the range or course and I'm puring everything and I think, "I need to switch to blades," but then I take a deep breath and say, "No, no I don't."

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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I don't care.

 

That said modern day blades aren't hard to hit. If you can hit a players CB, you can hit a blade. Let's face long irons are a dying breed, so you dont have to worry about hitting those in a blade. 7-PW, blade,cavity there is pretty much no difference.

 

Most of the negatives around blades are the reduced offset and smaller clubhead, blades look scary because every other clubhead out there is getting bigger.

I have a revolving WITB policy.

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As I said in the review, I'm pretty much of the notion that anyone can play any club he/she chooses and be successful with it. With blades (or blade-like irons) you're talking about better feel, more control, and tighter dispersion. With cavity backs you lose some of that, but generally speaking, pick up some "forgiveness". Of course, how forgiveness usually manifests itself is as a crutch that allows for decent results on less than perfect swings. Cavity backs will not make you a better ball striker. If anything they'll hold you back, because they hide your flaws. Switch to blades and yes, the scores might go up for a couple of rounds, but I believe most golfers will adjust, and do so quickly.

 

I'm bagging the CB-501s now (no surprise). Miura calls my irons cavity backs because of the shallow cavity, and slight perimeter weighting. So I suppose I'm actually making the case for blades while playing something other. Of course, compare the CB-501 to almost any other cavity back on the market, and you'll see why I consider them to be more like blades.

 

At the end of the day, I think the Miura philosophy is correct. Play what suites your eye. The design is substantially less important than a proper fitting.

 

For those interested, my journey to smaller headed clubs started with a move from TM RAC OS irons to Callaway X-20 Tours (among the cavity-backest "players" clubs on the market at the time). Shortly thereafter I started using Martin Chuck's Tour Striker to try and improve my ball striking. The results were two-fold. First, my ball striking got a lot better and quickly too (although I probably should break that club out again). The 2nd result is that after hitting hundreds of balls with the Striker, my X-20s started to look bulky and huge. To my conditioned eye, the 8-iron from my "Tour" set started to look like one of those massively oversized 4-iron heads from a super-duper-game-improvement set. It was too big, and I had 0 confidence in it. Switching to the MP-52s brought back most of the confidence, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't always thought about moving to something smaller still.

 

My point, which not doubt got lost in all of this rambling, if you want to improve your ball striking, get a good training aid. As far as irons go, play what looks good to you. But as far as blades being harder to hit...that's complete nonsense.

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Moecat: Thanks for the links, those are pretty much the type of conversations and opinions I wanted to read, and for the most part, parallel what I thought, a broad mix of opinions on the topic and no real consensus!

 

And just as a bit more explaination: I'm not considering blades because I want some jewelry in my golf bag. I'm considering blades because the 2 best feeling irons I've EVER hit were the Cally Protos and the Adams Pro Black MB's. What I'm trying to determine is whether these limited experiences justify considering blades.

 

What I think I'm going to do is get a used set of musclebacks to practice with and test drive. What are perhaps some lesser known or underrated quality musclebacks that would be good test clubs and can maybe be found at a bargain price? If anyone here has a set they'd like to part with shoot me a message!

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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What I think I'm going to do is get a used set of musclebacks to practice with and test drive. What are perhaps some lesser known or underrated quality musclebacks that would be good test clubs and can maybe be found at a bargain price? If anyone here has a set they'd like to part with shoot me a message!

Look on the Bay, and try to pick up a set of Mizzy MP14's. They are old enough to be had for a song most of the time, and are one of the hallmark sets of blades in the history of equipment.

As far as the discussion goes blades v. handicap, I will refrain from giving my opinion.....

Driver -   Ping G400 9° Project X HRZDUS Yellow Handcrafted 65 S
Fairway -  Tour Edge Exotics CB2 15° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

Fairway - Tour Edge Exotics CB2 18° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

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

3 Iron - :srixon-small: Z585  TTDG TI S400 1° flat

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG TI S400 5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX Zipcore Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Cameron Phantom 5x/Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/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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No please, all opinions requested!

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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As far as the discussion goes blades v. handicap, I will refrain from giving my opinion.....

 

 

No please, all opinions requested!

 

I 2nd the notion on all opinions being accepted here! :)

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No please, all opinions requested!

OK, here it goes....

In the last 10 years, I have played every type of club there is, from the toughest to hit blade to the most forgiving hybrid iron set out there. My handicap has fluctuated from a low of 2.3 to a high of 10.4 over that time. For me, there are no shots that I cannot hit with my current set of Adams CB1's, or my last set of Cleveland CG Red's that I couldn't hit with my MP14's or MacGregor blades. On center hits, all of these clubs will produce the shots I am looking for. The nice thing about playing a cavity club is that when I hit it a little skinny, or on the heel, I am not 15 yards short of the green, like I used to be. I do not need the aggravation of a blade every day. There are days that I am on enough to play blades, but for the most part, not.

I know that there is a large group of golfers out there that swear that it is impossible to play without blades. I have heard it all. Golf is a game of ego for a lot of people. I gave up the ego part of it a long time ago. I could care less what the loft of my driver is, or what shaft flex I play, or who makes my stuff. In the end, it is all about the number on the card, and for me, I am able to produce a lower # without playing such a hard to hit club. I tried a SGI set for a few weeks 2 years ago, and found that while I was able to hit 85% of my shots high, straight, and far, there are times when I would like to work the ball lower, and curve it a little. The SGI set I tried prevented me from using those shots, so I went back to my old irons.

For me, I will always play a smaller players cavity iron.... at least in the near future.

Driver -   Ping G400 9° Project X HRZDUS Yellow Handcrafted 65 S
Fairway -  Tour Edge Exotics CB2 15° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

Fairway - Tour Edge Exotics CB2 18° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

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

3 Iron - :srixon-small: Z585  TTDG TI S400 1° flat

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG TI S400 5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX Zipcore Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Cameron Phantom 5x/Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/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 have always been of the opinion that everyone can hit a club of the forgiveness of, say, the Mizuno MX 300/200. Forged, for great feel, decent size but not giant, technologically advanced, plenty forgiving, and well made. I don't really see a need for most people to play, say, the Callaway iBrids. Like people have said, they mask mistakes and have minimal feel (not to mention they cost over $1000).

 

I have the MP 57. Slight cavity but forged, great feel, and a thinner sole, yet not blades. Again, I think most people can hit them. I used to have giant cavity backs (Orlimar Tri Metal Plus) irons, and the sole just got in the way. I couldn't hit it from fairway bunker, from divots, and they got hung up in the rough. And they offered no more forgiveness than my current irons.

 

Now blades. Blades will fly slightly farther on center hits, and they will have a tighter dispersion of center shots, but they are much much less forgiving than my irons. Yet they offer very little better feel than my irons. I can tell just as well with my irons if I mishit the ball as with blades. Thus I see no reason for most people to play blades.

 

Look, blades look great. I could probably play them if I wanted, and maybe I will someday, but for most people I don't see a need. I don't think they will make you a better player any faster than my clubs will, and with my clubs a high handicapper will have a better chance to put up a good score.

 

And I don't "care" what people play. If a 30 handicapper wants to hold onto the idea that their X Protos will make them better so be it, but by posting on an internet golf forum you are putting yourself in a position for someone to have an opinion on what you say. I'm not going to walk up to a random crappy golfer on the range playing his Nike VR Blades and say "hey, those irons are wrong for you", but if a high handicapper posts on here saying that all players should play blades, I'm going to give them my opinion.

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I don't think anyone should apologize for a well considered, respectful opinion, and you are correct, I posted originally seeking just that, and I thank you for it!

 

I do have one question: do you consider someone that ranges from a 6 to a 10 to be a "high handicap"? Its ok if you do, I'm just trying to put your opinion in perspective is all!

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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I do have one question: do you consider someone that ranges from a 6 to a 10 to be a "high handicap"? Its ok if you do, I'm just trying to put your opinion in perspective is all!

6-10 is not a "high handicap"... 20-30 is high. 6-10 is good.

Driver -   Ping G400 9° Project X HRZDUS Yellow Handcrafted 65 S
Fairway -  Tour Edge Exotics CB2 15° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

Fairway - Tour Edge Exotics CB2 18° Grafalloy Prolite 35  S

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

3 Iron - :srixon-small: Z585  TTDG TI S400 1° flat

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG TI S400 5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX Zipcore Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Cameron Phantom 5x/Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/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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Agreed, 6-10 is quite good.

 

It's also important to remember (and I think someone said this earlier) that you can be a 6 and a great ball striker or you can be a 6 who gets up and down from a trash can. The former "should" play blades, the latter maybe not.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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But if your a 6-10 that gets up and down from everywhere, new irons probably aren't helping a lot, your just swinging the club in a less than decent way

I have a revolving WITB policy.

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I'm not consistently great at anything, although my short game is and putting are probably the stronger aspects of my game. I hit my irons well most of the time, and my driver is probably the weakest part of my game, its either on, or its off, and my inconsistent scores probably most reflect that. I don't know who's right or wrong, probably there isn't a right or wrong answer. I'm working on finding a decent set of musclebacks at good price and I'll tinker with them and see what happens!

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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i got a headache just reading all this play what u like we arent on tour or making money doing so have fun and play what makes u happy !@@@@~

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