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Do wide soles hold you back?

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... Tough topic.  EVERYONE that plays golf has swing flaws. The idea behind equipment is to find what works best with your swing flaws and what works best with your swing strengths. There is just so much that goes into every swing and it is different for everyone. Picker or deep divots or somewhere in-between? Low, mid or high spin? Low, mid or high trajectory? Misses low or high and more heel or toe on the face? High, mid or low swing speed? Draw, straight or fade as well as hook or slice?

... Obviously there are so many combinations of the above and figuring that out can be very difficult without professional help. There are clubs designed to help mask the above flaws as well as take advantage of strengths. Nothing wrong with a slightly over the top swing, picking the ball off the ground and playing a fade IF you can be consistent doing so. Some may want to improve and some may want to keep doing what works for them. Equipment should always compliment your swing, not the other way around.  

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The comments by @RickyBobby_PR are spot on.  I've played both blades and SGI clubs.  You will get good results with both with a good strike.  With less than a good strike for whatever reason, the SGI clubs will give you more distance; that's what they were designed for.  With an OTT swing there are several possibilities for loss of distance, depending on what you do from the top of the swing.  Inconsistency might just mean that you have more than one issue, and each swing is slightly different because you are constantly adjusting.

I don't hit my thin-soled irons as far as my SGI irons, but I mostly use the SGI irons.  I am constantly trying to improve my swing; SGI clubs don't hold me back.  I will say that the turf makes a big difference when considering clubs.  Hitting wide-sole clubs well off hard turf is difficult.  The strike has to be perfect otherwise the sole bounces off the ground into the ball.  Generally speaking, the wide-soles are a better choice for higher handicaps in soft conditions and Bermuda grass.  

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40 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Yes the more forgiving clubs let you over power because one they help with digging due to the sole and two more size. 
 

what im saying is if you “can fix your path” with the less forgiving clubs then you should be able to do it with the more forgiving clubs unless. Path doesn’t care about the size of the head or the width of the sole. Unless there is a balance point issue or something else on the design setup of the more forgiving club that makes you swing it differently you should be able to have the same path with both 

I agree that you can swing any club on the right path.  I'm just saying that I didn't quite need to before because I could get away with chunks better.  I bet if I switched back to more forgiving clubs after I ingrain this new path, I'd be ever better.  I'm not saying that one set is better or different than other in general, I'm saying that the forgiveness of the wide sole/bounce was letting me get away with hitting it fat.  Having to swing clubs that didn't let me get away with that forced me to improve.

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9 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

The comments by @RickyBobby_PR are spot on.  I've played both blades and SGI clubs.  You will get good results with both with a good strike.  With less than a good strike for whatever reason, the SGI clubs will give you more distance; that's what they were designed for.  With an OTT swing there are several possibilities for loss of distance, depending on what you do from the top of the swing.  Inconsistency might just mean that you have more than one issue, and each swing is slightly different because you are constantly adjusting.

I don't hit my thin-soled irons as far as my SGI irons, but I mostly use the SGI irons.  I am constantly trying to improve my swing; SGI clubs don't hold me back.  I will say that the turf makes a big difference when considering clubs.  Hitting wide-sole clubs well off hard turf is difficult.  The strike has to be perfect otherwise the sole bounces off the ground into the ball.  Generally speaking, the wide-soles are a better choice for higher handicaps in soft conditions and Bermuda grass.  

This explains why I've always struggled with hybrids off firm lies.

A lot of people are thinking about this issue from the standpoint of a decent golfer with an established swing (because that's what they probably are).  I'm really talking about a poor golfer with a very flawed swing trying to make improvements.

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4 hours ago, bonvivantva said:

This explains why I've always struggled with hybrids off firm lies.

A lot of people are thinking about this issue from the standpoint of a decent golfer with an established swing (because that's what they probably are).  I'm really talking about a poor golfer with a very flawed swing trying to make improvements.

I don't think the wide sole clubs will hold a player back from getting better.  Yes, the misses will be better, but it's easy to tell if you struck the ball well or not. You can feel it; you can hear it; you can see it.  When you strike the ball well and you see the yardage, then the goal will be to get that number consistently. 

It sounds like you've gotten better using the thin sole clubs... nice!  The set you choose should be the one you enjoy the most on the course.  Good luck!!

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2 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

I don't think the wide sole clubs will hold a player back from getting better.  Yes, the misses will be better, but it's easy to tell if you struck the ball well or not. You can feel it; you can hear it; you can see it.  

 

... Exactly Kenny. Either you strive to be the best you can be or you settle for where you are. If I had to switch to TM Sim Max irons I would be trying to maximize their potential and find a way to play them to the best of their potential and my ability. I would never get lazy or sloppy with my swing because I know I can get away with it using a more forgiving iron. So I have never understood how a more demanding iron can make you a better ball striker or improve your swing IF you were interested in being the best ball striker you can be already. A good swing is a good swing and center of the club is center of the club, so it makes no difference if you're playing MB's or SGI's if you are trying your best. Obviously mishits will be much worse with MB's and that could force you to slow down your swing or improve ball striking if you were lazy and careless using SGI's, but that is a different issue. I just think most of us that are serious about this game want to be the best we can be regardless of our index or our equipment.
 

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4 hours ago, bonvivantva said:

I'm saying that the forgiveness of the wide sole/bounce was letting me get away with hitting it fat.

A lot of people are thinking about this issue from the standpoint of a decent golfer with an established swing (because that's what they probably are).  I'm really talking about a poor golfer with a very flawed swing trying to make improvements.

I don't think we are.   Believe it or not, you have a relatively consistent swing,  pretty much every golfer does.   What happens is you hit shot 1 and want to improve so you try to change something and then after shot 2 you change something else.   This is what most every golfer does since we rarely hit perfect shots.   The mind is a powerful thing and does what it can to accomplish the goal of hitting the ball including making us do things out of sequence.   Some shots are fat, some are thin, so are toe, some are heel,  some have close face, some have open face,  but the general mechanics of your swing don't change from swing to swing. 

As has been stated several times,   club design helps the golf club work for particular swings so yes,  the wide sole clubs are masking the fat strike.  Can you get better using those same clubs sure.  How do you do it,  you work on ball striking either on your own or by taking lessons.   You original question is do wide sole clubs hold you back? The answer to that is no,  being unwilling to change what you are doing is what holds you back,  not the clubs in your bag.  Take lessons and work on your ball striking.   Talk to the instructor about your goals and that you don't want to completely start over with your swing and want to build off of what you have. 

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I agree that one can improve regardless of their clubs.  At this point it just feels like people are responding without reading.

For three years I've been working very diligently (though ineffectively) on one task.  Fixing my path.  I assure you I haven't been lazy or unwilling.  I've spent tons of time and money on range balls and lessons.  If y'all had read my post, you'd have seen that I have since fixed the issue that was holding me back.  The post wasn't about fixing the issue.  It was about rather or not you agree that forgiving clubs can stymie improvement.  In my case, I believe they did.  I'm wondering my my experience can be generalized, or help others.  I'm not really looking to argue with people who purport to know my swing, or make assumptions about me.  

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On 2/11/2020 at 9:57 PM, bonvivantva said:

I must not have done a very good job explaining myself with the original post.  

Maybe this will clarify.  With my old forgiving clubs, I could hit the distances I thought I should be hitting by swinging harder.  With my new less forgiving clubs, swinging harder made things worse, so I was forced to change things like path and where the club bottoms out.  The conclusion I drew was that forgiving clubs make it easy to play mediocre golf with a flawed swing.  Less forgiving clubs don't mitigate your flaws as much, so you're forced to address them.  Just curious if anyone has had a similar experience, or if anyone disagrees with my logic.

I get what you were trying to say with your first post. Game Improvement and Super Game Improvement irons are designed to do exactly what they say (doesn't mean it always works). Large heads with wide soles and low and back CG all work to mitigate the damage done by a poor swing. Indeed, they are often well-suited for the golfer who doesn't want to, like to, or have time to practice. Less forgiving clubs demand more of the golfer swinging them and there have been many accounts of people finding some sort of "magic" by making the switch from GI/SGI clubs to less forgiving designs. Of course, this is all a bit of a generalization and individual results will vary. However, I think it's important to note that many practice/swing training clubs are designed to be extremely unforgiving in order to force the golfer into a better position at impact or risk being ridiculed forever at the driving range.

All that said, I don't think I'd recommend golfers such as yourself to simply go buy a bladed iron and learn how to hit the ball better. Having received and benefited from many lessons myself, I'd suggest you reach out to a qualified and reputable instructor for assistance in understanding what it is you're doing incorrectly and how to go about fixing it. It's entirely possible for the problem to be 100% swing related, but it's also possible that 100% of the problem originates from some aspect of club fitting - the more likely scenario is that it's a bit of both. I always like to toss in some personal experience on topics like this to illustrate what I'm saying:

Back in 2016, I snagged some Vokey SM5's for a good price on eBay followed shortly thereafter by a set of Nike Vapor Pro Combo irons (my current gamers). They performed fairly well, but I noticed I was missing left A LOT, and I decided to schedule a lesson with a local pro. While he did identify swing faults, he also took a look at the lie angle and recommended a fitter to verify what he was seeing. I ended up getting everything adjusted 2-degrees flat and learned that the SM5's were 2-degrees upright from what the eBay seller claimed when I purchased them - so they were 4-degrees off from what I needed!!!

Hope this helps.

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12 hours ago, bonvivantva said:

I agree that one can improve regardless of their clubs.  At this point it just feels like people are responding without reading.

Welcome to life in 2020. Everyone wants to give you their opinion without trying to identify and relate with what it is you're saying because doing so requires too much of their time and attention.

To be clear (and fair to my fellow spies) this is not not an MGS problem, but a much larger societal issue.

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42 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

Welcome to life in 2020. Everyone wants to give you their opinion without trying to identify and relate with what it is you're saying because doing so requires too much of their time and attention.

To be clear (and fair to my fellow spies) this is not not an MGS problem, but a much larger societal issue.

 

... Threads always take on a life of their own. Questions raise answers that can create other questions and comments. Every answer is not geared directly toward the OP and I think that is a good thing on an open forum. How many replies do you need for "Do wide sole irons hold you back?"  The easy and is "No, of course not." Yet, reality is always personal and hence the expounding on this subject. And MGS is not Facebook where people read the headlines not the story and post comments unrelated to the actual text, which is one of the reasons I love it here. 

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The widest soles I’ve ever gamed (Cleveland HB Irons) are among my favorite of all time. Actually I wouldn’t mind bagging them again 🏌️♂️


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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14 hours ago, bonvivantva said:

I agree that one can improve regardless of their clubs.  At this point it just feels like people are responding without reading.

For three years I've been working very diligently (though ineffectively) on one task.  Fixing my path.  I assure you I haven't been lazy or unwilling.  I've spent tons of time and money on range balls and lessons.  If y'all had read my post, you'd have seen that I have since fixed the issue that was holding me back.  The post wasn't about fixing the issue.  It was about rather or not you agree that forgiving clubs can stymie improvement.  In my case, I believe they did.  I'm wondering my my experience can be generalized, or help others.  I'm not really looking to argue with people who purport to know my swing, or make assumptions about me.  

Nobody is making assumptions about you. Everyone is speaking in terms of generality about causes and effects.

1) you asked if wide soles or even forgiving clubs hold somebody back. The answer is no. Examples were given that low hdcp players use more forgiving clubs

2) you stated that your path issue you were able to fix or that you had a better patch with the les forgiving clubs because they penalized you more. It was stated that the type of club doesn’t affect path unless the club itself due to some design issue causes the person (not specifically you) to get out of sequence. And that some golfers(again not specifically you) get lazy with swing knowing the club will help offset swing issues due to its size and forgiveness 

3) it was stated by several that yes a wider sole and/or larger head may not fit every golfer but doesn’t mean others can’t benefit from it. 
 

This is a good forum and discussions and debates are open and good but at times some topics get on the wrong track, which this thread hasn’t and the ones that do the mods here do a good job of squashing it and they haven’t had to do that here. 

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16 hours ago, bonvivantva said:

I agree that one can improve regardless of their clubs.  At this point it just feels like people are responding without reading.

For three years I've been working very diligently (though ineffectively) on one task.  Fixing my path.  I assure you I haven't been lazy or unwilling.  I've spent tons of time and money on range balls and lessons.  If y'all had read my post, you'd have seen that I have since fixed the issue that was holding me back.  The post wasn't about fixing the issue.  It was about rather or not you agree that forgiving clubs can stymie improvement.  In my case, I believe they did.  I'm wondering my my experience can be generalized, or help others.  I'm not really looking to argue with people who purport to know my swing, or make assumptions about me.  

I've read all of your posts and all the replies.  The answer is simply...NO, forgiving clubs will NOT stymie your improving.  Simple as that. 

 

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8 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Nobody is making assumptions about you. Everyone is speaking in terms of generality about causes and effects.

1) you asked if wide soles or even forgiving clubs hold somebody back. The answer is no. Examples were given that low hdcp players use more forgiving clubs

2) you stated that your path issue you were able to fix or that you had a better patch with the les forgiving clubs because they penalized you more. It was stated that the type of club doesn’t affect path unless the club itself due to some design issue causes the person (not specifically you) to get out of sequence. And that some golfers(again not specifically you) get lazy with swing knowing the club will help offset swing issues due to its size and forgiveness 

3) it was stated by several that yes a wider sole and/or larger head may not fit every golfer but doesn’t mean others can’t benefit from it. 
 

This is a good forum and discussions and debates are open and good but at times some topics get on the wrong track, which this thread hasn’t and the ones that do the mods here do a good job of squashing it and they haven’t had to do that here. 

If you go back and look at the responses, I think you can find at least one example of assumptions being made...

I'm not complaining about the forum, but when I say that I broke my 9i during a lesson and then everyone is talking about how I need to talk lessons, talk to a professional, talk to an instructor, I can't say that's particularly helpful.

One last (hopefully) point.  I'm not suggesting that I'm going to stick to thinner sole clubs from here on out.  I do think that the less forgiving clubs gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get over the hump of swinging OTT and chunky.  But now that my path and low point is better, I intend to get fitted (unless I'm just playing out of my mind with my current clubs), and I'll get whatever I hit best.  I'm most interesting in trying the new hot metals due to the MGS review of them, but who knows.  

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8 hours ago, ole gray said:

The widest soles I’ve ever gamed (Cleveland HB Irons) are among my favorite of all time. Actually I wouldn’t mind bagging them again emoji6.png🏌️♂️


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

I watched a review once about how they'd help most golfers regardless of ability be more consistent.  I wouldn't be opposed to giving them a go.  Don't care for the look, but you don't judge a book by it's cover.

Edited by bonvivantva
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7 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I've read all of your posts and all the replies.  The answer is simply...NO, forgiving clubs will NOT stymie your improving.  Simple as that. 

 

That certainly seems to be the consensus.  

I feel like Juror 8, but I don't think I'm ever going to get y'all to Not Guilty.

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On 2/11/2020 at 3:51 PM, bonvivantva said:

I think wide soles help you play OK golf, but I also think they allow you to avoid really fixing your swing.  Thoughts?

I just read the entire thread.  Honestly, there's lots of great insight that's been posted above.  The question, to me, is a bit general, so the answer is "yes, in certain circumstances."

If your problem is making contact with the ground slightly early, then a wider sole will certainly help mitigate this issue.  I play Cobra F8s, they have a bit of a wider sole, and I'm certain that I get away with the ever-so-slightly fat shot.  But if I enter the ground an inch behind the ball, I'm still laying the sod over it.  I don't know if an ultra-wide sole club like the Launcher HB provide even more relief from the fat shot.  I'd imagine they do, but I'd also think that there's a limit to the relief they can provide.  Maybe they let you get away with hitting an inch behind it but not two inches.

I know you're asking if wide soles let you "avoid really fixing your swing," but it's easy to read that as they "keep you from fixing your swing," and that's an incorrect statement.  You didn't make that statement, but it's also not a huge leap to get to that point.  If you play wide soled irons and you're worried about where you're impacting the ground, you can spray paint a line on the ground perpendicular to your target and hit the ball from it.  If your divot is behind the line, you hit it fat, even if you got away with it.  Shout out to Adam Young for that drill.    

Swinging over the top will not, in and of itself, lead to fat shots.  Some very good players have an over the top swing.  Like Craig and Kevin Stadler.

golf-tours-news-blogs-local-knowledge-bl

 

On 2/12/2020 at 10:58 AM, bonvivantva said:

I took a lesson in early December, and I planned to continue.  That lesson was actually when I broke my old 9i.  Right after I got handed those thinner soled clubs, and suddenly I lost 20 yards or so of distance.  Think about how important feedback is to improving.  When I came over the top and chunky, I saw 140 max (maybe 125-130 average) with the 7i.  A good path and hitting the ball first was giving me over 150 every time.  That's a big obvious difference and I really think these less forgiving clubs forced and allowed me to improve path and low point in a way that my old clubs did not.

You're changing multiple variables here (taking lessons and changing clubs).  Making multiple changes can be the fastest way to improve, but it does make it difficult to conclusively determine whether the improvement is due to the lessons or the clubs.  But what's more important to you - getting better faster, or knowing exactly why you're getting better?  I can't answer that for you, but I know that all I care about is getting better, and I want to do it sooner rather than later.  The "why" is secondary to me.  Thinking too much about my golf swing gets me in trouble.  It might be really important to you.

The statement:

Quote

That's a big obvious difference and I really think these less forgiving clubs forced and allowed me to improve path and low point in a way that my old clubs did not.

Is a statement that many people here are going to take issue with, because it's certainly possible to improve swing path playing GI/SGI irons.  Too many times we've heard people say that the best way to get better is to play clubs that are more difficult to hit, and the data doesn't back it up.

 

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14 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I just read the entire thread.  Honestly, there's lots of great insight that's been posted above.  The question, to me, is a bit general, so the answer is "yes, in certain circumstances."

If your problem is making contact with the ground slightly early, then a wider sole will certainly help mitigate this issue.  I play Cobra F8s, they have a bit of a wider sole, and I'm certain that I get away with the ever-so-slightly fat shot.  But if I enter the ground an inch behind the ball, I'm still laying the sod over it.  I don't know if an ultra-wide sole club like the Launcher HB provide even more relief from the fat shot.  I'd imagine they do, but I'd also think that there's a limit to the relief they can provide.  Maybe they let you get away with hitting an inch behind it but not two inches.

I know you're asking if wide soles let you "avoid really fixing your swing," but it's easy to read that as they "keep you from fixing your swing," and that's an incorrect statement.  You didn't make that statement, but it's also not a huge leap to get to that point.  If you play wide soled irons and you're worried about where you're impacting the ground, you can spray paint a line on the ground perpendicular to your target and hit the ball from it.  If your divot is behind the line, you hit it fat, even if you got away with it.  Shout out to Adam Young for that drill.    

Swinging over the top will not, in and of itself, lead to fat shots.  Some very good players have an over the top swing.  Like Craig and Kevin Stadler.

golf-tours-news-blogs-local-knowledge-bl

 

You're changing multiple variables here (taking lessons and changing clubs).  Making multiple changes can be the fastest way to improve, but it does make it difficult to conclusively determine whether the improvement is due to the lessons or the clubs.  But what's more important to you - getting better faster, or knowing exactly why you're getting better?  I can't answer that for you, but I know that all I care about is getting better, and I want to do it sooner rather than later.  The "why" is secondary to me.  Thinking too much about my golf swing gets me in trouble.  It might be really important to you.

The statement:

Is a statement that many people here are going to take issue with, because it's certainly possible to improve swing path playing GI/SGI irons.  Too many times we've heard people say that the best way to get better is to play clubs that are more difficult to hit, and the data doesn't back it up.

 

You make a lot of good points.  I think I probably should have titled the thread, "CAN wide soles hold you back?"  That is an important distinction that I failed to make.  I'm not saying forgiving clubs hold everyone back, but I am saying I feel like they held me back in a specific way at a specific point in my progress.  I'm also not saying that gaming forgiving clubs was an impossible roadblock for me, or others, that'd be crazy.  I think they're best for most, and I do intend to get some when I get new irons.  It was really more about vanity and the loss of 20ish yards when switching to thinner soled clubs that caused me to really figure out my swing.  

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:39 PM, bonvivantva said:

I watched a review once about how they'd help most golfers regardless of ability be more consistent.  I wouldn't be opposed to giving them a go.  Don't care for the look, but you don't judge a book by it's cover.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the reviewers for the Cleveland Launcher HB Irons.  My co reviewer @Wedgie (who is a single digit capper) was just as impressed as I was.  You can check out the reviews here:  

 

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