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Blades vs. Game Improvement - Where's the Data?


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1 hour ago, chisag said:

... NRJyzr and Big Stu I had a student that was nowhere near a good enough ball striker to play MB's  but he was adamant that he hit them better than a more forgiving iron. I put a few GI's and players CB irons in his hands and sure enough, he hit them worse. It was all in his head of course but in the end, does that matter? At first I thought he was taking poor swings on purpose so he could stick with his MB's but I discarded that idea quickly because he honestly wanted to improve and worked hard between lessons. He was convinced he played better with MB's, so he did. He was with me a full year and improved quite a bit but never got to a high level of ball striking and I never questioned his iron choice again. Some players, that on paper should play better with GI's or at least players irons, just play better with MB's. I do not claim to have any insight into big Stu and Ed's games because I have never seen either play, but I have zero doubt they both play their best with MB's.  

Like I have heard you say many times before it can be between the ears. I think in my case it is because of what I cut my teeth on so to speak and I am strictly a feel and instinct player. 

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4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

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Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Every so often we seem to get into the blades vs. GI irons make you a better player debate, but do we have any data?  What if we did something similar to the Cobra Connect Challenge, fitting with a bu

...  There is no need for any testing because the reasons for playing any given iron are different for almost all golfers. Play the most forgiving irons you can effectively play. We just don't see gol

I have always been a proponent of play what you like and what works best for you and your game. Even though I am a lifetime blade user I flat refuse to tell anyone that blades will make them a better

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3 hours ago, chisag said:

... NRJyzr and Big Stu I had a student that was nowhere near a good enough ball striker to play MB's  but he was adamant that he hit them better than a more forgiving iron. I put a few GI's and players CB irons in his hands and sure enough, he hit them worse. It was all in his head of course but in the end, does that matter? At first I thought he was taking poor swings on purpose so he could stick with his MB's but I discarded that idea quickly because he honestly wanted to improve and worked hard between lessons. He was convinced he played better with MB's, so he did. He was with me a full year and improved quite a bit but never got to a high level of ball striking and I never questioned his iron choice again. Some players, that on paper should play better with GI's or at least players irons, just play better with MB's. I do not claim to have any insight into big Stu and Ed's games because I have never seen either play, but I have zero doubt they both play their best with MB's.  


You know, Sam, the enormous irony of this....  I'm a big believer in the tech.  A rather active Inner Nerd in this boy.  I really like the concepts in drivers, fairway woods, irons...  I even went with a Craz-E putter for a while, because I'm not particularly good on the greens and figured the better MOI would suit me. 

And.... with the irons, it's been kind of a no go.  The Craz-E was a disaster for me, I lost all distance control.  I even find myself hitting persimmon woods or a J's Professional Weapon better than the King LTD I just pounded when I was demoing it.  

Stupid brain.

Those TP MC I got from you are pretty nice, but the short irons are a bit squirrely at times.  Thinking I could do well to use the 3 and maybe 4 in a mixed set.  Maybe one of these days.  🙂

Edited by NRJyzr
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6 hours ago, NRJyzr said:


You know, Sam, the enormous irony of this....  I'm a big believer in the tech.  A rather active Inner Nerd in this boy.  I really like the concepts in drivers, fairway woods, irons...  I even went with a Craz-E putter for a while, because I'm not particularly good on the greens and figured the better MOI would suit me. 

And.... with the irons, it's been kind of a no go.  The Craz-E was a disaster for me, I lost all distance control.  I even find myself hitting persimmon woods or a J's Professional Weapon better than the King LTD I just pounded when I was demoing it.  

Stupid brain.

Those TP MC I got from you are pretty nice, but the short irons are a bit squirrely at times.  Thinking I could do well to use the 3 and maybe 4 in a mixed set.  Maybe one of these days.  🙂

You know you brought up the putter thing. I do not know if I told this or not but basically I "inherited" 20 putters one of which was mine anyhow. Frankly this golf bud of mine is dying and he wanted me to have his putter collection. All of those putters have Super Stroke grips and are modern MOI types. I had been gaming one of 3 Bobby Grace V- Foil series and had practiced some with a Crazy and a Craze E. With any of the Grace ones I can putt decent. And Frankly I think the Grace putters are sexy. I do make it a point to practice with a Bulls Eye or Ironmaster style for feel etc. 3 weeks ago I putted lights out with the Bulls Eye in the Dog Fight.

Yesterday I was doing my practice routine and one of my Dog Fight partners was out there. I had the Bulls Eye canning putts on the practice green. He asked "why in the hell would I put anything else in the bag?" He is old school like you and I are. He said you told me you are a feel and instinct player and play those blade Macs off of feel and instinct. The light bulb went off in my head here I was canning putts with a bare balls no thrills no gimmicks antique putter with a basic Ping Man grip. We ended up playing a match yesterday afternoon and I had the Bulls Eye in the bag. Yep the feel and instinct instantly came back. What is funny is back in my younger days I never cared for a Bulls Eye putter. I was either a Ironmaster man or Anser man. My most famous putter I guess was a Ping Zing 2 I carried over 20 years and still have. Funny thing is I remember is the greatest putter I ever saw was this old hustler named Charlie ( who is a story within his self) who could putt on any green with a flange Bulls Eye. So I guess i am going to try it for a while and truthfully it really feels good and relaxes me

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4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Wilson Staff JP II 56* shaft unknown

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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I also think head size matters alot for some players.  I know for me the smaller the head the better I strike the ball.  Give me a bigger head and I will start to hit the ball off center.  I think knowing I have a smaller target to hit helps me concentrate.  

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2 hours ago, prussell24 said:

I also think head size matters alot for some players.  I know for me the smaller the head the better I strike the ball.  Give me a bigger head and I will start to hit the ball off center.  I think knowing I have a smaller target to hit helps me concentrate.  

I could see that.  Its much like when they say that you should pick a very specific target when you aim.  I think that part of my love for blades is that they are beautiful clubs that I want to hit and want to hit well and that inspire me to be that kind of a player.

With CBs, I expect them to be forgiving and to make me better than maybe I really am, so theres not that same level of drive or passion.  To me, a pure shot with a blade feels so good that I want to do it again and again.  With a CB, a great shot and an OK shot kind of feel the same, so its kind of like, "meh...whatever."

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On 2/27/2020 at 1:15 PM, McaseyM said:

how many actual strokes it took for you to get the ball from the tee-box into the cup each hole. 

That used to be my priority as well in my earlier golf life.

Now, it's all about how I enjoy playing the most.

 

 

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I don't know how many caught this, but Kevin Na has come out in favour of GI irons. Yes, not that many look to Na as a source of wisdom for golf advice, but he is on the Tour and has one there, so that certainly puts him well above me. LOL. I was never going to play blades, but perhaps I can now feel better (less inadequate?) about playing GI or SGI irons.

During a recent chat on GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast, Callaway staffer Kevin Na admitted blade irons aren’t his cup of tea. You read that right: a four-time PGA Tour winner is openly championing for forgiving cavity-back irons.

“I can’t play a blade,” Na said. “It’s too difficult, and I’m a pro golfer. I think a blade goes shorter. Off-center hits aren’t going to perform as well as cavity-backs. I don’t see a reason why you’d want to play a blade. I really don’t. I played blades in my early 20s, maybe one year — when I was dumb. But I’m wiser now and play a cavity-back.”

Na’s iron of choice is Callaway’s Apex Pro 16, but with the goal of embracing the perfect blend of workability and forgiveness that most better-player irons possess, he opted for a slightly larger Rogue Pro 4-iron at the top of the set.

“In the longer irons, I even look for more — I don’t want to say a high-handicapper club — a more forgiving club,” Na said.

https://www.golf.com/gear/irons/2020/04/11/kevin-na-callaway-apex-cavity-back-iron-fully-equipped/

Edited by cycleguy55
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2 hours ago, cycleguy55 said:

I don't know how many caught this, but Kevin Na has come out in favour of GI irons. Yes, not that many look to Na as a source of wisdom for golf advice, but he is on the Tour and has one there, so that certainly puts him well above me. LOL. I was never going to play blades, but perhaps I can now feel better (less inadequate?) about playing GI or SGI irons.

During a recent chat on GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast, Callaway staffer Kevin Na admitted blade irons aren’t his cup of tea. You read that right: a four-time PGA Tour winner is openly championing for forgiving cavity-back irons.

“I can’t play a blade,” Na said. “It’s too difficult, and I’m a pro golfer. I think a blade goes shorter. Off-center hits aren’t going to perform as well as cavity-backs. I don’t see a reason why you’d want to play a blade. I really don’t. I played blades in my early 20s, maybe one year — when I was dumb. But I’m wiser now and play a cavity-back.”

Na’s iron of choice is Callaway’s Apex Pro 16, but with the goal of embracing the perfect blend of workability and forgiveness that most better-player irons possess, he opted for a slightly larger Rogue Pro 4-iron at the top of the set.

“In the longer irons, I even look for more — I don’t want to say a high-handicapper club — a more forgiving club,” Na said.

https://www.golf.com/gear/irons/2020/04/11/kevin-na-callaway-apex-cavity-back-iron-fully-equipped/

Is he in favor of GI or a players cavity vice a blade. A players cavity is more forgiving than a blade but it’s still penalizes bad hits over a GI and isn’t in the GI cavity. But it’s really a no news story because there’s plenty of PGA pros who don’t play blades that have won on tour including multiple majors. The AP2 have been the number 1 iron on tour for several years. Jordan Spieth won his majors with them. 
 

While not a major winner and not having many Pga tour wins Lee Westwood has I210s in the bag and games i20s.

 

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On 4/15/2020 at 2:17 PM, RickyBobby_PR said:

Is he in favor of GI or a players cavity vice a blade. A players cavity is more forgiving than a blade but it’s still penalizes bad hits over a GI and isn’t in the GI cavity. But it’s really a no news story because there’s plenty of PGA pros who don’t play blades that have won on tour including multiple majors. The AP2 have been the number 1 iron on tour for several years. Jordan Spieth won his majors with them. 
 

While not a major winner and not having many Pga tour wins Lee Westwood has I210s in the bag and games i20s.

 

I stand corrected: Apex Pro irons are 'Players' clubs, while Na's Rogue Pro 4 iron is listed as a 'Players Distance' club.

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I've been playing blades and players CBs for years and haven't found any difference in them. However, to actually SEE what a high MOI clubhead will do for me, I am contemplating doing a test. I checked the MOI on all of the irons I have at home and they are all in the 2000 - 2200 g/cm2 range. The JPX EZ head is measured at nearly 3500. I think I am going to get a used set of these, set them up with my preferred shafts and grips balanced to my taste and play the rest of this year with them. Work hard just like I do with my current sets. The biggest hurdle will be getting over the amount of offset they have. The lofts are a little stronger in the long irons, but not enough to cause a problem. Really curious to see what happens.

BT

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24 minutes ago, RI_Redneck said:

I've been playing blades and players CBs for years and haven't found any difference in them. However, to actually SEE what a high MOI clubhead will do for me, I am contemplating doing a test. I checked the MOI on all of the irons I have at home and they are all in the 2000 - 2200 g/cm2 range. The JPX EZ head is measured at nearly 3500. I think I am going to get a used set of these, set them up with my preferred shafts and grips balanced to my taste and play the rest of this year with them. Work hard just like I do with my current sets. The biggest hurdle will be getting over the amount of offset they have. The lofts are a little stronger in the long irons, but not enough to cause a problem. Really curious to see what happens.

BT

 

... If the offset is distracting I would recommend bending them at least 1* weak and that can make a significant visual difference. 

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3 minutes ago, chisag said:

 

... If the offset is distracting I would recommend bending them at least 1* weak and that can make a significant visual difference. 

Even though they're 17-4 stainless, I'm seriously considering that. I don't want to change them if I don't have to though. I can probably get by with enough practice with them. I'm a range rat, so enough practice won't be a problem. Just picked up a set of Program F15 120 S to go in them and I have some grips at home. Should be interesting.

BT

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I think the biggest difference for me is distance control.   With a blade or players cb I know that when i pure it, it will be a certain distance And when I miss I know it will be short.

i have tried gi irons because the logical side of me says, “why not make the game easier”.    On the plus,  wow I sure could hit those things far.   The bad side is i never really knew how far.    There were so many times I would be sitting on a par three,  I would pure one and it would just sail over the green.  My ego loved it,  but taking triple cause the other side was water was not good for the scorecard.   Since I switched back to players cavity, that never happens.

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Fairway Wood:Taylormade Sim 15 with Graphite design Tour ad iz 6s
Hybrid:  Pxg gen2 19 with hand crafted hzrdus black 85 6.0 and Adams super ls xtd 22 with Diamana s+  stiff

Irons: 5-pw Miura Mc501 with modus 120s pured

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On 4/17/2020 at 2:45 PM, RI_Redneck said:

I've been playing blades and players CBs for years and haven't found any difference in them. However, to actually SEE what a high MOI clubhead will do for me, I am contemplating doing a test. I checked the MOI on all of the irons I have at home and they are all in the 2000 - 2200 g/cm2 range. The JPX EZ head is measured at nearly 3500. I think I am going to get a used set of these, set them up with my preferred shafts and grips balanced to my taste and play the rest of this year with them. Work hard just like I do with my current sets. The biggest hurdle will be getting over the amount of offset they have. The lofts are a little stronger in the long irons, but not enough to cause a problem. Really curious to see what happens.

BT

I thought I'd have a problem with additional offset going from old Mizuno MX-200s to Cobra F8s, but it wasn't too bad.  I haven't seen the JPX EZ head, so I can't comment on that.

 

On 4/22/2020 at 6:58 AM, Hotdocta said:

I think the biggest difference for me is distance control.   With a blade or players cb I know that when i pure it, it will be a certain distance And when I miss I know it will be short.

i have tried gi irons because the logical side of me says, “why not make the game easier”.    On the plus,  wow I sure could hit those things far.   The bad side is i never really knew how far.    There were so many times I would be sitting on a par three,  I would pure one and it would just sail over the green.  My ego loved it,  but taking triple cause the other side was water was not good for the scorecard.   Since I switched back to players cavity, that never happens.

@Hotdocta - What GIs did you try?  Those unexpected rockets were definitely an issue back in the day.  Again, I can only speak for my own experience with Cobra (and the experience of my fellow competitors in the Cobra Connect Challenge), but we weren't seeing that.

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51 minutes ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I thought I'd have a problem with additional offset going from old Mizuno MX-200s to Cobra F8s, but it wasn't too bad.  I haven't seen the JPX EZ head, so I can't comment on that.

 

@Hotdocta - What GIs did you try?  Those unexpected rockets were definitely an issue back in the day.  Again, I can only speak for my own experience with Cobra (and the experience of my fellow competitors in the Cobra Connect Challenge), but we weren't seeing that.

I tried, pxg  0311p (gamed these for 2 years) callaway apex,  callaway epic forged, Tm m6, srixon 565.

Driver: Taylormade SIM Max d 9 with graphite design tour ad xc 6s

Fairway Wood:Taylormade Sim 15 with Graphite design Tour ad iz 6s
Hybrid:  Pxg gen2 19 with hand crafted hzrdus black 85 6.0 and Adams super ls xtd 22 with Diamana s+  stiff

Irons: 5-pw Miura Mc501 with modus 120s pured

Wedges:  Callaway md2 gold 50 Dg tour issue s400 black onyx, Taylormade MG 54 with DG tour issue s400 black onyx, and Taylormade hi toe 59 with modus 120r

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I'm not trying to stir the pot...but I just watched this video, and I'm curious what some more knowledgeable people's opinions are on the matter?

Right Handed

Driver (9.5°): :taylormade-small: R9 SupterTri (Fujikura MotoreF1 65 Stiff shaft)

FW (15°): :callaway-logo-1: X2 Hot (Aldila Tour Green 75 Tx Stiff shaft)

Hybrid (18°): :tour-edge: Exotics EXS Pro (Evenflow Black 6.5) (2020 MGS Official Review here)

Irons (PW-4)  post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TS-1's (KBS $-Taper 120g Stiff shafts)

Wedges (52° & 60°): :callaway-logo-1: Mack Daddy 2's

Putter: :EVNROLL: ER2B (2019 MGS Official Review here)

Ball: :Snell: MTB-Black OR MAXFLI Tour

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@ncwoz

This image stands out to me -

image.png.e39e48c7fe50a47a7503f348fb6876a6.png

He seemed to have a lot more "Good strikes" with the blade? 

My argument would be that Crossfield is an N=1 case study, and that different people would all register different results. 

I'm not one to "stir the pot," I suppose. I'd advise everyone to play what makes them happy and what makes the game fun for them. 

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Driver: cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra SpeedZone Xtreme (9°, set to Draw), 44.5", Aldila Rogue Silver 60 (110 MSI) Stiff
17° Hybrid:
callaway_logo.png.3dd18aa65544000dd0ea3901697a8261.png Callaway Super Hybrid, 41.5", Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 Hybrid Stiff
19° Driving Iron: 
cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra SpeedZone 4 Iron, 2° Flat, 39.75", X-Caliber Rapid Taper 75g Stiff
22° Hybrid:
cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra KING F8, 38.5", Aerotech Steelfiber i95 Stiff
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maltby_logo.png.c889f4bebd3ab94fe9c37e77ba6c0c55.png Maltby PTM Chrome, 1° Flat, 37" 7 Iron, KBS C-Taper Lite 110 Stiff
54°, 58°:
cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra KING MIM Black, 3° Flat, -1/2" (54°), -1/4" (58°), KBS C-Taper Lite 115 X-Stiff
Putter:
image.png.49fcc172a1ed0010d930fbe1c5dc8b79.png L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1, 36", 68°, Black with Custom Sightlines, BGT Stability Tour, L.A.B. Press II 3°
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Tracked By: :Arccos: Arccos / Cobra Connect
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On 4/22/2020 at 6:58 AM, Hotdocta said:

I think the biggest difference for me is distance control.   With a blade or players cb I know that when i pure it, it will be a certain distance And when I miss I know it will be short.

i have tried gi irons because the logical side of me says, “why not make the game easier”.    On the plus,  wow I sure could hit those things far.   The bad side is i never really knew how far.    There were so many times I would be sitting on a par three,  I would pure one and it would just sail over the green.  My ego loved it,  but taking triple cause the other side was water was not good for the scorecard.   Since I switched back to players cavity, that never happens.

But wouldn’t any club that you pure go further than your other shots? Other than the apex cf16 for many and for a few the p790 and i500 these had those occasional fliers but when many amateurs experience that type of results it’s from that s*** where everything fell in place and the property compressed the ball

Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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[mention=88299]ncwoz[/mention]
This image stands out to me -
image.png.e39e48c7fe50a47a7503f348fb6876a6.png
He seemed to have a lot more "Good strikes" with the blade? 
My argument would be that Crossfield is an N=1 case study, and that different people would all register different results. 
I'm not one to "stir the pot," I suppose. I'd advise everyone to play what makes them happy and what makes the game fun for them. 

Also tells me what my experience is between these two types of irons, the distance gap is narrower with blades. Look at the grouping on the good and poor strikes with the blade, much tighter. I can play with a ten yard gap to manage misses but double that and it is hard to manage. Worst thing most good players don’t want to experience is not knowing how far a club will go.

The other telling graph was related to spin and how much tighter it is with a blade; which plays into how much tighter distance is. The SGI irons have a place in this game and work for a lot of people but in the end they don’t work for all players.


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In the Bag for 2020

PXG 0811XF Gen 2 10.5* (set at 9*) AD VR 6x

PXG 0341X Gen 2 15* AD TP 7x

PXG 0317X Gen 2 19* KBS Proto 95x

PXG 0311T Gen 3 4-6 KBS $ Taper 130

PXG 0311 ST 7 - PW KBS $ Taper 130

PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy 50/10 KBS $ Taper 130

PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy 54/10 & 58/07 TTDG TI S400

:rife-putters-1: Two Bar Blade Long 47"

 

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6 hours ago, edingc said:

@ncwoz

This image stands out to me -

image.png.e39e48c7fe50a47a7503f348fb6876a6.png

He seemed to have a lot more "Good strikes" with the blade? 

My argument would be that Crossfield is an N=1 case study, and that different people would all register different results. 

I'm not one to "stir the pot," I suppose. I'd advise everyone to play what makes them happy and what makes the game fun for them. 

Yeah, I definitely agree there's more good strikes with the blade. But like @RickyBobby_PR said, maybe more important is that the poor and very poor shots are grouped a lot tighter.

I do wonder if perhaps the mat might be altering the outcome some? Or something else I can't think of. I also think it's curious why Crossfield games the Launchers if this video seems to suggest blades are the way to go, even if that's just for him.

I'm not totally sure what to do with it to be honest! I do like Mark's honest and frank perspectives. I think I remember TXG doing a video on blades vs GI irons, but I don't remember their conclusion. I'll have to dig that up and watch it tomorrow to jog my memory.

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Right Handed

Driver (9.5°): :taylormade-small: R9 SupterTri (Fujikura MotoreF1 65 Stiff shaft)

FW (15°): :callaway-logo-1: X2 Hot (Aldila Tour Green 75 Tx Stiff shaft)

Hybrid (18°): :tour-edge: Exotics EXS Pro (Evenflow Black 6.5) (2020 MGS Official Review here)

Irons (PW-4)  post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TS-1's (KBS $-Taper 120g Stiff shafts)

Wedges (52° & 60°): :callaway-logo-1: Mack Daddy 2's

Putter: :EVNROLL: ER2B (2019 MGS Official Review here)

Ball: :Snell: MTB-Black OR MAXFLI Tour

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