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The Blades/CavityBack Debate


Zlim
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There was a study awhile ago showing that blades are actually more *accurate* than CB's. The difference seemed to be that you will hit CB's further on mis-hits, but you will also have a much wider dispersion. All that being said, I don't think the study was all that scientific.

 

I think if you really want to improve and stay sharp, I would highly recommend blades AT THE VERY LEAST for practice and playing some casual rounds with. I grew up mostly playing blades, but also played some CB's. Had a great swing and was a very good ballstriker in HS. When I got into college I started playing more CB's and my swing and ballstriking took a noticeable dip. Now I'm back to playing blades and my swing and ballstriking has improved. I think of all the people I grew up playing golf with that were the best of ballstrikers, some of them would be great ballstrikers on the PGA Tour (their putting and short game is a different story) and all of them used blades and grew up playing blades.

 

I just think for most golfers trying to improve they lose their ability to sharpen the precision with their swing once they go to CB irons.

 

 

 

 

3JACK

 

Are you referring to the Terry Koehler post on his blog?

 

Robot testing, which is that to which Mr Koehler was speaking, is fairly scientific. I'm guessing they didn't weigh golfballs or any such, but the dispersion differences on center hits were not insignificant.

Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 11*, Aldila NV75 X, 43.5" -or- SpeedZone, HZRDUS Black 75 6.5, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, RIP Beta 90, 42" -or- Stage 2 Tour, NV105 X, 42.5"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram TW282, RIP Tour 115 R
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, Steelfiber 125 S; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; PM Grind 19 58*, stock shaft
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"; Ping Scottsdale TR Craz-E, 35"; Cleveland Huntington Beach 1, 35"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, Bridgestone Tour B-RXS, Callaway Chrome Soft

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My first set of golf clubs were handmedown Titleist DCI blades. (first round of golf I played was March 2008) These were a very limited run of DCIs with a small clubhead, thin topline and minimal to no offset. They did have a cavity, however very small. More of a "players iron"

 

I started out the game with them and transitioned to the 755s about a year and a half later. I currently play to about a 18 but yesterday without using a driver (the bane of my golf bag), I put up a 13 over. Neither of my clubs were "blades" but they had a smaller head, smaller cavity, and would be considered Players irons, which I have decided is the best of both worlds.

 

My thoughts on the CB/Blade debate goes like this:

 

- Blades are not much more difficult to hit if you have built a swing based on a downward striking of the ball. (Which I learned to do from the get go) Your mishits are often times really bad shots, however, after grinding for the past 2 years I've come to realize that I would never trade my few mishits for the lack of feel I would get if I was playing an oversized Ping or Callaway GI iron. Not to mention, the smaller sweetspot and having to hit the ball pure to produce a good shot has honed my ability.

 

- Game Improvement CBs are often times the reason why players have a hard time building a good ball striking swing. They have fat soles, lack feel, and have much more offset that don't allow it in many cases.

 

An example - I have a set of Taylormade RAC OS irons that I keep for when friends come in town. Both my sets have DG S300 shafts. I hit my 755 7 iron about 170 yards consistently. With the same swing on my RAC OS I have a harder time drawing the ball and I can't get the 7 iron past 155 yards. I find that the club seems to yield me the same distance whether I try to strike the ball or just take a nice easy swing. I also generate considerably less spin with the RAC OS on shots to the green.

 

 

If I could recommend one thing to any player, it would be to play a "players iron" A small cavity helps you, but the consistent control you get from your irons will help you develop a better golf swing. I think traditional no cavity blades should only be used by those who have developed a very consistent ball strikers swing.

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To follow up my post -

 

I'm not insinuating that players who use GI irons can't be great golfers and shoot low scores. I'm basically saying that distance control, spin, and the ability to work the ball (fade/draw/knockdown) are usually important aspects of mid to low cappers game. And I'm saying that most of the run of the mill GI to Super GI irons limit your ability to improve on the three aspects of ball striking listed above.

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An example - I have a set of Taylormade RAC OS irons that I keep for when friends come in town. Both my sets have DG S300 shafts. I hit my 755 7 iron about 170 yards consistently. With the same swing on my RAC OS I have a harder time drawing the ball and I can't get the 7 iron past 155 yards. I find that the club seems to yield me the same distance whether I try to strike the ball or just take a nice easy swing. I also generate considerably less spin with the RAC OS on shots to the green.

 

I've found similar issues in trying assorted uber-forgiving CB irons. A friend has G5s, he's let me hit them from time to time on the course. Considering the stronger lofts (I was playing Golden Rams at the time), I expected to hit an 8 iron from my normal 7 iron distance. I hit the shot, hit it good, ball mark in center of the face, and the ball came up short. Hit my own 7 iron, ball on green.

 

Not an isolated incident, just using one for example purposes.

Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 11*, Aldila NV75 X, 43.5" -or- SpeedZone, HZRDUS Black 75 6.5, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, RIP Beta 90, 42" -or- Stage 2 Tour, NV105 X, 42.5"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram TW282, RIP Tour 115 R
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, Steelfiber 125 S; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; PM Grind 19 58*, stock shaft
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"; Ping Scottsdale TR Craz-E, 35"; Cleveland Huntington Beach 1, 35"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, Bridgestone Tour B-RXS, Callaway Chrome Soft

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I play Ping S59 so i am kind of in between. I have hit MP-14s before and Just wasn't good enough. But with these pings, I have forgiveness and workability.

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I've found similar issues in trying assorted uber-forgiving CB irons. A friend has G5s, he's let me hit them from time to time on the course. Considering the stronger lofts (I was playing Golden Rams at the time), I expected to hit an 8 iron from my normal 7 iron distance. I hit the shot, hit it good, ball mark in center of the face, and the ball came up short. Hit my own 7 iron, ball on green.

 

Not an isolated incident, just using one for example purposes.

I actually bought a set of G5's after demoing them. Returned a few rounds later. Seemed significantly short to me. Maybe I was adding loft or something with my swing, but they were much shorter than other irons i have played.

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I actually bought a set of G5's after demoing them. Returned a few rounds later. Seemed significantly short to me. Maybe I was adding loft or something with my swing, but they were much shorter than other irons i have played.

 

I'm actually heard that from other people too. Weird.

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+1 on the feel of a well struck blade. NOTHING compares. My best golf was with forged cavity backs with little to no offset. Offset clubs don't help me at all and makes it harder for me to align my shot..I'd play blades if I played weekly or more often, but that isn't possible so forged CB for me..I like sets with CB on the longer irons (no offset), while the short irons are basically blades.

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While I can't argue with the fact that blades give MORE feedback and MORE control of shots, I don't agree with the idea that playing SGIs or GIs will make you a bad/lazy ball striker because you will have no idea where you are hitting the ball. I was trying out the Cobra S2's the other day, and I was still able to control trajectory and tell where on the face I hit the ball.

 

I think, as with most things, the advice I would give someone depends on the person. If they're going to practice intensely and want to be a single digit player, then getting blades is fine advice. If they're like most people and want to play on the weekends, then I think letting them near blades is probably sadistic.

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I think you should get what fits your eye, and that you can hit. I can't remeber who said it, I think McCord said something like I hit the most forgiving iron I can stand to look at. I think that having something in your hand that suits your eye instill confidence and that is half the battle, be that blade, CB or GI.

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While I can't argue with the fact that blades give MORE feedback and MORE control of shots, I don't agree with the idea that playing SGIs or GIs will make you a bad/lazy ball striker because you will have no idea where you are hitting the ball. I was trying out the Cobra S2's the other day, and I was still able to control trajectory and tell where on the face I hit the ball.

 

I think, as with most things, the advice I would give someone depends on the person. If they're going to practice intensely and want to be a single digit player, then getting blades is fine advice. If they're like most people and want to play on the weekends, then I think letting them near blades is probably sadistic.

 

They don't, in and of themselves, create lazy or sloppy swings. But, they do provide circumstances where it's easier to slide that direction, if one's not careful.

Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 11*, Aldila NV75 X, 43.5" -or- SpeedZone, HZRDUS Black 75 6.5, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, RIP Beta 90, 42" -or- Stage 2 Tour, NV105 X, 42.5"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram TW282, RIP Tour 115 R
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, Steelfiber 125 S; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; PM Grind 19 58*, stock shaft
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"; Ping Scottsdale TR Craz-E, 35"; Cleveland Huntington Beach 1, 35"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, Bridgestone Tour B-RXS, Callaway Chrome Soft

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