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The Real Reason Pros Play Blades


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Never understood why anyone cares what equipment anyone chooses to play.

Blades are no harder to play than anything else at a pro level, hence they are practicing, and playing alot. You will get competent with this game and equipment when your swinging day in, day out.

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Related to all of this, I remember a great quote from an old golf book, which is essentially still true: "Jack Nicklaus in his prime could beat your and my best ball, hitting a headcover with a rake" ....

When we talk about mishits, there's a HUGE disparity between a mishit from a Tour pro / legit +5 handicapper vs. a scratch player vs. a "low" handicap amateur vs. a 7-12 handicapper vs. a 15+ hcp player. Most of us "low" handicappers would kill for Tour-level mishits!

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/28/2021 at 10:43 AM, bens197 said:

I don’t think most truly understand how good Professional Golfers are at their craft. 
 

If you’ve ever played with a CC scratch golfer, we could all agree they’re good. 
 

Now, take that golfer and knock off 4-6 shots from that scratch handicap. 
 

Now, consider they’re playing courses with 13-14 stimp greens at 7,300 yards at their peak condition. 
 

Professionals play blades because they expect to hit the center of the face every single time. 

100% agree. I worked in the golf industry for many years before getting into finance, and spent many of those golf industry years in FL.

While there, I played a handful of rounds with dudes that were scratch/+ handicap golfers and were on the Moonlight Tour, Hooters Tour and many other mini-tour circuits in the Central FL area ... most them played with blades and I could only dream of achieving their ball striking abilities. 

But then I would attend the Bay Hill or TPC at Sawgrass, and the level of play for Tour players is light years better than that of the mini-tour guys. I simply can’t explain it other than their ball flights were just THAT much better. 

To that end, I’d say it’s workability and more specifically, distance control that is the benefits of blades. 

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Driver: :titelist-small: TS2 9*

3W: :cobra-small:  Speedzone 14.5*

Hybrid: :titelist-small: TS2 19*

Irons: :ping-small:  G425 (5-PW)

Wedges: :titelist-small: Vokey SM7 54* & 58*

Putter: :ping-small:  Heppler Anser 2

Ball: :titelist-small: Pro V1 & :Snell: MTB-Black

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

There's one thing I'd like to add to this. Someone earlier pointed out that workability means launch conditions (spin and trajectory) as well as curvature. "Feel" doesn't just mean the sensation of a strike, but also precision. With an MB you can better feel when a strike is minutely off-center, and that allows them to identify and correct a problem earlier on.

TSi3 9* Tensei AV 65 X, M5 15 AD DI 7X, U500 3 iron AD DI 95X, 4-PW Mizuno MP18 MB DG X100 2* up, Vokey SM8 Raw 52F, 56S, 60T DG S300 1* up, Cameron Special Select Newport 2 35"

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Posted (edited)

Have played blades for 25 years, just this year went with the MP20 HMB which has the muscle back look, with some internal tech (don't consider them a true blade).  My favorite all time... MP33 - Blade.  In a few words why do I play them as an 11? - look and feel.  Thin top line, little to no offset, butter when you hit the center, instant feedback when you don't.  It made me a better ball striker, because I had to be.  I'm giving the HMB's a solid chance this season... a little thicker top line, a little more offset than I'm used to, better end results on marginal mis-hits, less immediate feedback.  But won't hesitate to go back to a forged blade next season if I feel I'm missing the feel and look.  Obviously - not a pro.. but my personal two cents.  

Edited by Tiftaaft
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  • 3 weeks later...

On this topic, I saw Morikawa pulled out his TM P730 short irons (muscle back blades) in favor of the TM P7MC (muscle back cavity) last week because he "wasn't hitting the center" of his irons. Of course, his expectations and demands of a club are extremely high but I am hard pressed to think of a better iron player right now that Collin Morikawa. I totally agree that everyone should play what they like but I always find it interesting when a phenomenal ball striker like that elects to move out of a blade. Add to that he went out and won the Open with his change in short irons!

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1 hour ago, vandyland said:

On this topic, I saw Morikawa pulled out his TM P730 short irons (muscle back blades) in favor of the TM P7MC (muscle back cavity) last week because he "wasn't hitting the center" of his irons. Of course, his expectations and demands of a club are extremely high but I am hard pressed to think of a better iron player right now that Collin Morikawa. I totally agree that everyone should play what they like but I always find it interesting when a phenomenal ball striker like that elects to move out of a blade. Add to that he went out and won the Open with his change in short irons!

The story I read attributed the change to the sole grind differences between the two clubs.

 

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Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, 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:  Mizuno TPM-2, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TM TP5

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Huh, this is what I saw on Golfwrx...yes they said turf interaction but the other two items "more centered ball strike" and a "touch more forgiveness" seem to suggest other aspects as well. 

image.png.26e84a44426440940c6f11fad62e6113.png

In the pgatour article they reference sole geometry as well which you are also likely alluding to. In any event, he switched from a pure blade to a, less than blade, right?

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He did switch, yes.  But I find this interesting:

image.png.f4590675ef5e3d45f4d144d1326d7ee7.png
image.png.c88252870b4b59f133be327ddd003180.png

The P730 has a higher MOI than the P7MC.  Meaning, it twists less on mishits.  Some of that could be related to the relative heavier clubhead that GolfWorks measured; higher weight means higher MOI.

What's possibly more interesting is that the P7MC has the CG just under a quarter inch farther from the hosel.  The P7MC CG is also slightly lower.

Fun stuff.  🤔

None of this accounts for any individual mods that may have been applied to either clubhead for Morikawa....
 

Edited by NRJyzr
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Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, 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:  Mizuno TPM-2, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TM TP5

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That is interesting. To further support your point and opinion, TXG did a video on it and they are talking almost exclusively about turf interaction and sole design...as you noted. You were right, I was wrong. Always good to learn something. I took this conversation in the wrong direction and I am admitting that and thankful you corrected course, haha.

According to Ian, the MC has a sharper leading edge and slightly less bounce. Also has some relief on the trailing edge. So even thought it is an MC with perimeter weighting, they are arguing it has the effect of having a "narrower" sole. At least it will play like that and will be cleaner in and out of the firm turf rather than skipping or bouncing off it with the blade. Which is counterintuitive to me but shows that there is nuance to every club design. Love this! 

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I am a mid hc with aspirations to be a single one day and I have always played small cb or blades. Honestly, from the 28 deg. on up I don't see a lot of difference in forgiveness, then again I don't try to hit my irons very far. I do have a problem hooking and the blades with little offset help that to a great deal. Also, I recently switched to some old Titleist P990B's because I feel like so much toe weight on my other newer blades caused me problems getting the clubface open enough at the top, which worsens my tendency to hook.  I think this is probably one of the reasons why pros prefer to have the cg closer to the hosel at least in the wedges, it makes pitches much easier.

TM R7, Big Bertha 2, 4, 7w, DCI 990B 5-P, L, Bionik 105

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