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When should I upgrade from Game Improvement Irons?!?


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I remember having a conversation with you in the Sub 70 iron thread. I was a little disappointed in their LH demo program, but you were trying out the same set I was interested in, the 699's.  I'm assuming they didn't work out for you, as you said you still play the Cobra's.
Just wanted to give you a little heads up, if you are still interested in what is a similar style iron to the sub 70, but in my opinion much better quality. The PXG 0211's are currently available at $89 per club. I got them with MMT70 shafts at that price, and the shafts are about a $70 upgrade just about anywhere else. I think the Elevates are the steel shaft, but I'm not sure. They also have a 30 day return policy. 
The sale has been extended until 10/30. Maybe worth checking out?

Yup that was me and no I wasn’t a fan of the Sub70 699 it wasn’t a big enough improvement to justify the change and I wasn’t overly excited about the look at address. And thanks for the heads up I’ll take a look at the PXG that 30 day return policy would be good if I don’t like them thanks again for the input.


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A little background info about myself, up until a few years ago I was playing my Ping G5 set from high school which are game improvement. But as I started to play more I've noticed the offset started to become less appealing as each round progressed. I moved from the G5 to a combo set i500/i210 set (players distance/players iron) then made another extreme change when the Ping Blueprints (7-P) came out. I think by forcing myself to play a more challenging set, it really helped dial in my ball striking and build my confidence whenever I hit the course. I would just go with what's most comfortable for you. Definitely hit up your local golf shops to demo several player irons so it'll help narrow down your choices. Another route is to go for lessons. Either way, you can't go wrong! I hope this provided some clarity for you. 


I think the demo route or fitting will be my best option on making this decision. I played my last scheduled tournament of the year Yesterday so now I’ll start seriously looking. I’ve been researching so I could begin the process in the off-season which we don’t really have in Tx I play year round but not many tournaments in the fall. As far as lessons I ran through a program with my coach last year got to where my ball striking was very solid. I go to the range 2-3 times a week. If he’s not busy he’ll put me on the track man usually for a about 15 mins once a month just to check my data all seems to be good as far as that goes. He’s mentioned a couple of times things about my irons or shafts which is why I’m starting to dig he he’s not pushing me towards anything though. He knows I have 4 kids under the age of 6 lol


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I’m just curious when I should start considering switching from Game Improvement clubs to Players Distance? I’m currently playing a set of Cobra F8’s. I was fitted for these clubs a little over 2 yrs ago. I’ve been playing for over 10yrs but seriously started playing and practicing consistently for the past 3yrs and my handicap has dropped from 13-15 to 7.5-9.0
 
I was playing with a gentleman who was playing from the Blues and I’ve still being playing whites after 4th hole he suggested it’s time I make the move to the blues. I try to learn as much as I can from others so I asked for suggestions to keep progressing. One of his suggestions is make sure you are playing the right equipment for you.
 
Just looking for some input or things to look out for.
 
 
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I can only speak from my experience but there isn’t like a magic number for making this switch. I just noticed that I was pulling a lot of irons left and unable to consistently work a fade into greens. My GI irons at the time had a lot of offset so I went and got refitted and went “up” to a less GI iron set. That’s when I decided to make a shift and it was after getting a more consistent swing and noticing some shot patterns.




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Driver:  :titelist-small: TSi3 Tester Check out the Review HERE

3-wood:  :adams-small:  Tight Lies (15*) 

5-Wood:  :Sub70: Pro (18*) 

Irons :  :ping-small: i210 4-PW

Wedges:  :cleveland-small:  RTX-4 50* and 54* RTX-3 *58

Putter::1332069271_TommyArmour: Impact No. 3

Ball:  MAXFLI TOUR 

Tracked by: :Arccos:  

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Ignore the marketing labels put on the clubs.  Hit the clubs that are pleasing to your eye and you can hit well.  There's not a thing that says you must play GI clubs if you're a high handicap player or you must move to blades if you're a scratch golfer.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with gaining any advantage to your game by choosing the equipment that works best for you.

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Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree set to +1, Aldila Extreme Green 55 gram R shaft 

Fairway: :taylormade-small: M4 3W (16.5*) 5W (21*) 7W (24*) -- stock R shafts.

Irons: :callaway-small: Apex CF19 6-9, PW, AW KBSTour Graphite  70g shafts R

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX2 52,56, 60 degree wedges

Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7S

Ball: :Snell: MTB-X

My Photography can be seen at Smugmug

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I switched from Ping G700s to Titleist T100 a year ago. When I switched, my handicap was 8, and I was NOT a good ball striker. I was so tired of looking at a chunky club, I was willing to sacrifice forgiveness. At first, it was very frustrating hitting small mishits and seeing bad results, but the smaller club head gave me better feel of my mishit. For example, I could better feel if it was a toe shot, or fat shot. I credit this better feeling to my incredible improvement to a +1.5 handicap. Below are three questions I think you should answer before you make the jump, because it is a jump.

  • How important is looks? Are you tired of a big head? Does something smaller scare you?
  • Are you okay with the possibility of worse scores when you first switch?
  • Are more focused on hitting greens, or workability and feel?

:titelist-small: TS3 9* (Tensei AV Blue 55 Stiff Flex)

:titelist-small: TS3 15* (Tensei AV Blue 65 Stiff Flex)

:titelist-small: TS3 18.5* (Tensei AV Blue 65 Stiff Flex)

:titelist-small: T100 4-PW (Project X LZ 6.0 120)

:titelist-small: SM8 50* F Grind; 8* Bounce (Project X LZ 6.0 120)

:titelist-small: SM8 54* F Grind; 10* Bounce (Project X LZ 6.0 120)

:titelist-small: SM8 58* M Grind; 8* Bounce (Project X LZ 6.0 120)

:odyssey-small: Stroke Lab Triple Track Ten S Putter

:titelist-small: ProV1

"Practice like you've never won. Play like you've never lost."

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So an update to this post. I went in for my fitting today told the fitter I was looking for something along the Players Distance line to compare to my current F8 -.5” and +1 lie setup.

After hitting about 10 shots with my F8 we began trying out some new sticks. First thing he mentioned was I needed to move up to stiff flex from Reg. Second thing he said was we were going to look at the players irons instead of the players distance. We started with the T100 I liked the feel and wax hitting it well but the face seemed too small address for me. We moved to the Ping i210 I was hitting this one really well and i felt more comfortable at address with the ping than the T100 so I continued on now he setup the apex I hit it I like it I’m hitting it just as long as the ping, but the dispersion was tighter on the apex. Back and forth back and forth adjustment to my backswing and long story short we decided on the Callaway apex. Once we dialed in the shaft size length we had the ball spin where we liked the launch and landing angle finally balanced out so now I should be able to hold some greens! Put in my order for Calloway Apex -.5” length standard lie and loft with stiff flex 90 shafts.

Now I wait!! I agree with what @mygolfspy constantly says it’s important to get a professional fit if you want to make sure you’re playing the best club for you! They also gave me one simple swing tip that improved my rotation in my backswing and immediately added club head speed and distance! You won’t get that without fitting or lessons.


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So an update to this post. I went in for my fitting today told the fitter I was looking for something along the Players Distance line to compare to my current F8 -.5” and +1 lie setup.

After hitting about 10 shots with my F8 we began trying out some new sticks. First thing he mentioned was I needed to move up to stiff flex from Reg. Second thing he said was we were going to look at the players irons instead of the players distance. We started with the T100 I liked the feel and wax hitting it well but the face seemed too small address for me. We moved to the Ping i210 I was hitting this one really well and i felt more comfortable at address with the ping than the T100 so I continued on now he setup the apex I hit it I like it I’m hitting it just as long as the ping, but the dispersion was tighter on the apex. Back and forth back and forth adjustment to my backswing and long story short we decided on the Callaway apex. Once we dialed in the shaft size length we had the ball spin where we liked the launch and landing angle finally balanced out so now I should be able to hold some greens! Put in my order for Calloway Apex -.5” length standard lie and loft with stiff flex 90 shafts.

Now I wait!! I agree with what @mygolfspy constantly says it’s important to get a professional fit if you want to make sure you’re playing the best club for you! They also gave me one simple swing tip that improved my rotation in my backswing and immediately added club head speed and distance! You won’t get that without fitting or lessons.


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Any rational provided on why players and not players distance? Did you at least hit some PD clubs?
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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :callaway-small: 54-10S   :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter:  :seemore-small: mFGP2

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180, Bellum Winmore 787

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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If you are serious about the game then it's time to get good/best equipment you can afford. Even severely budget conscious players can find used deals. My last set of irons i tried out between 5-15 sets (lost count) at a golf shop into a simulator. Then ebay hooked me up with a $850 set for $350. I never buy current model drivers for $550, wait till next year, same driver that never sold will be $200-ish.  However you upgrade, you will see the difference in your shot consistency psychologically, and physically when you jump from budget clubs to name brand. 

As for fitting. It can be a slippery slope. I don't want to scare you away from it, just caution you. If you are in the middle of swing changes i strongly recommend waiting to get fitted. Unless of course you have money to burn on new shafts once your new swing changes become consistent. I've played stock shafts for 30 years and am a 5hcp with 3 little boys that kill my ability to be scratch. My point in bringing this up...a lesson will help your score more than custom equipment.  I've beat plenty of guys who had the best custom gear with my name brand stock equipment. If you don't know how use the tool it really doesn't matter how good you look. Sorry for that soap box. 

In conclusion, get to store or demo day, try several sets, pay attention to your dispersion and distance. The longer clubs tend to have more dispersion. So you may not want the clubs you hit the furthest. Get the ones that give you the best dispersion and the best distance. And be patient, you may love the clubs...take your notes, and then go shopping for best deal on the clubs you chose.

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It's 90% Mental

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There certainly can be a lot said for.. If it's not broke don't fix it. Your equipment now has carried you to a decent handicap. If you feel your equipment is holding you back or uts mismatched for you then its time to buy some new gear. But,,, you must get the best fit for your game. No matter what category that entails.
The proper shaft and grip can do more for your game than any head. Find a fitting professional in your area who has a good reputation. Do some homework and have a realistic budget.

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Any rational provided on why players and not players distance? Did you at least hit some PD clubs?


I did hit a mix of both players and Players distance just to make sure I was playing work worked best. I couldn’t get the ball spin up high enough with any of the players distance and it was then bringing my landing angle down. Which brought me back basically same issue I was having before limited distance and not holding greens. I think I’ve landed on what’s gonna work best for me for quite some time


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I would personally do a comparison of your current clubs against what's out there in a fitting setting.

The other thing to keep in mind might be to consider or keep an open mind about a set that is a mix of blades and GI irons. I play golf with a guy who has TM 790's for the top of his bag for the forgiveness and the new MC's for more feel at the bottom of his bag. He plays off a 6 HDCP.

Also don't be afraid to try different brands or brands you may not consider. I personally have brand new steelhead xr's that I can shape a shot with. Considered GI irons with some workability. Not something I was expecting.

Driver - :callaway-small: Mavrik w/ Aldila Rogue White 130MSI 60X

3-Wood - :taylormade-small: M5 w/ Tensei Orange Pro 60g

Hybrid - :callaway-small: Apex 2 w/ Kuro Kage 65g

Irons - :callaway-small: Steelhead XR's w/ KBS Tour-V 90 - 5-PW, AW

Wedges - Kirkland Signature 52*, 56*, 60*

Putter -   Odyssey 3-Ball Hot Metal

 

JerBooth

Swing easy.

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Try everything at a fitting.

My Son was fitted during mid Sumner, when his swing was at it's prime.

Mizuno told him he was good enough for muscle back ( blades).

But, they also said "During the off season, you may have trouble if you're not having a perfect day".

He ended up with players cavity backs.

During winter when he doesn't play everyday, his scores don't suffer as much.

Some of his friends were trying to push him to the blades.

He said he might get a used set of blades and switch around in the summer.

Always chasing different clubs

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  • 2 weeks later...

So my clubs were expected to arrive at the end of November got the call that they were in yesterday so what did I do? I did what anyone would do left work early and headed across town!! Can’t wait to get to the range today and course tomorrow! New Callaway Apex 4-Pw -.5 inch shaft stiff flex, standard lie. I also bought some the Vokey wedges yesterday since the loft on my Apex differed so much mainly because I opted not to get the Apex GW. IMG_4340.JPGIMG_4339.JPG


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I don't think there is a set point that you need to transition. I've known really good players that used game improvement clubs. I think you should play the clubs that fit your game the best. Your skill level doesn't necessarily translate to which club you "should" play. How you play, weather you need forgiveness or workability, your misses, etc., etc., should play more into what type of clubs your playing than your handicap level.

:ping-small: G410 Plus Driver, Ping Tour 173-65 Regular

:ping-small: G410 5 wood, Ping Tour 173-65 Regular

:ping-small: G410 Crossover 3 Iron, Alta CB 70 Regular

:ping-small: G410 Irons 4-LW Project X LZ 5.5

:scotty-small:   Phantom X 12

:titelist-small: Pro V1x Yellow

:Arccos:

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IMO, theres no point where you, "should" upgrade from GI irons.  You may WANT to upgrade to player's cavity backs or blades but theres really no point where you should.  I'll admit to being someone who prefers a more compact iron and one with a thin sole and thin topline.  However, if I didn't care about looks and wanted something that gave me the most distance and forgivness, Id probably be gaming a set of hybrid irons.

Id also point out that the trend even on tour is to moving away from blades and to moving to more forgiving, GI style irons.  So, if the pros are using the most forgiving irons they cant stand, why wouldn't the rest of us?

Having said that, I have absolutely no intentions of practicing what Im preaching and will not be putting a set of Cleveland Launchers in my bag now or ever.

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"I suppose its better to be a master of 7 than to be vaguely familiar with 14." - Chick Evans

Whats in my Sun Mountain 2.5+ stand bag?

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* 

Hybrid: Mizuno MP Fli-Hi 3H

Irons: Mizuno T-Zoid True 5, 7 and 9-irons

Wedge: Mizuno S18 blue ion 54*

Putter: Mizuno Bettinardi A-02

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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16 hours ago, BadgerGolfer said:

IMO, theres no point where you, "should" upgrade from GI irons.  You may WANT to upgrade to player's cavity backs or blades but theres really no point where you should.  I'll admit to being someone who prefers a more compact iron and one with a thin sole and thin topline.  However, if I didn't care about looks and wanted something that gave me the most distance and forgivness, Id probably be gaming a set of hybrid irons.

Id also point out that the trend even on tour is to moving away from blades and to moving to more forgiving, GI style irons.  So, if the pros are using the most forgiving irons they cant stand, why wouldn't the rest of us?

Having said that, I have absolutely no intentions of practicing what Im preaching and will not be putting a set of Cleveland Launchers in my bag now or ever.

I mean, the Cleveland Launcher brand includes multiple models. 

I agree that the HB launchers (the SGI iron wood set) are a bit too chunky for my taste and i passed on them cause they didn't suit my eye. Similarly I'd only use the UHX launchers (the chunkier GI irons) in the longer irons because the shorter irons are again a bit too chunky. But the CBX's are actually not that big for a GI iron and they feel pretty good for a cast iron that i got at a third of the price of a lot of the forged irons.

Then again, I have the CBX launchers in my bag because I love the toe forgiveness. So i chose my irons more off of what my weakness was and what iron helped my weakness the most. 

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Rag tag bag, but it does the job. 

Taylormade R1 driver.

Cleveland CBX launcher irons. 

Assorted wedges.

Odyssey White Hot Pro putter.

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On 11/6/2020 at 9:02 AM, MNUte said:

I mean, the Cleveland Launcher brand includes multiple models. 

I agree that the HB launchers (the SGI iron wood set) are a bit too chunky for my taste and i passed on them cause they didn't suit my eye. Similarly I'd only use the UHX launchers (the chunkier GI irons) in the longer irons because the shorter irons are again a bit too chunky. But the CBX's are actually not that big for a GI iron and they feel pretty good for a cast iron that i got at a third of the price of a lot of the forged irons.

Then again, I have the CBX launchers in my bag because I love the toe forgiveness. So i chose my irons more off of what my weakness was and what iron helped my weakness the most. 

I had the CBX irons until very recently and compared to my previous clubs they were fairly thick, but i needed the help after kiddos came along and golf time evaporated. I found someone that wanted to trade to a more GI irons from his Srixon 585/785 combo, so I couldn't pass it up and now game the combo set and love it. I could bomb that CBX 4i though. 

What's in my  :cleveland-small: bag:

Driver :  :cobra-small: F9 10.5, Fujikura Speeder 757 TR 

Fairway  :cobra-small: F9 15.5° Aldila Rogue White 80X

Hybrid:  :cobra-small: King F7 18° KBS Tour PROTO Hybrid 95 S+

Irons:   :srixon-small: z585 4i - 6i,  z785 7i-PW, Nippon Modus 120X

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX  50.11, 55.11, 60.10  TT DG S400 Black

Putter:  post-53756-150768041262.jpg Honey Badger 34" 

Ball:  :srixon-small: Q-Star Tour

 

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