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Handicap Appropriate Equipment-Ego vs Reality


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On 6/1/2021 at 4:44 PM, Padreruf said:

Hey ChuckZ -- I am on the other side of Charleston -- West Ashley...am 70 and play to a 10.  I am recovering from back surgery -- spinal fusion due to a tumor on my L4.  Anyway, I'll be back playing in August -- Stono Ferry -- and would love to talk with you regarding swing and club changes coming back from this surgery.  I have already gone to game improvement irons (Taylormade M4 -- 6-GW -- with hybrids for 3-5. (All R shafts.)  I have also installed more flexible shafts -- between R and S in my woods.  My swing speed was 87 with driver...not sure what it will be now.  It will be shorter and smoother, that is for sure.  The more flexible shafts were so I could swing smooth and minimize the back pain I thought was coming from the discs.  

Anyway, what was your experience in coming back from this surgery?  Have you changed your shafts?  BTW, do you get fitted by David Ayres?  

Have not changed any of my clubs since I had surgery in February 2020.  Strange as it may seem, at 75 I still swing stiff D, F, H, and regular irons and wedges.  Have been fitted that way and it works for me.  Am currently playing to a 15 at the new muni, which is something unless you have not played it.  Kind of a hybrid Charleston Country Club and Yeamans Hall.  They shaved L5 which was pinching the nerve and affecting my ability to walk with my left leg.  Yes I use David Ayres.  I first met David when he did repair work at Edwin Watts over thirty years ago.  Helped him move into his new site here in Mount Pleasant.  Purchase all my Titleist equipment thru him.  I would go to him and see what he says.  My swing is around 93 and ball speed is 132 and with the new driver we were going 230 in his shop (TSi3).  My ball spin which is critical was 2000, which is awesome.  I really like my T300 Titleist irons.  I hit my 7 iron 150+ depending on my swing day.  I still have those four bad holes, which causes that 15 handicap.  I have a 10.0 driver, 917 15* fairway,  816 17* and 818 21* hybrid, T300 5-53* irons and a 58.12* Vokey wedge.  All clubs are Titleist.   All my shafts in my D, F, H are Fujikura Tour Speeder Pro or Tour Motore Speeder.  I love the feel and the performance.  I have also worked in the past with the Titleist Specialist/Fitter in this area.  Between David and Billy I get the best possible fittings possible.    

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Titleist

DRIVER - TSI3 10.75* - Fujikura Speeder 661 TR S

FAIRWAY - TSI2 16.5* - Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 6.1 S

HYBRID - 816H1 17.0* - Fujikura Motore Speeder HB 8.8 Tour Spec S

HYBRID - 818H1 21.0* - Fujikura Motore Speeder HB 8.8 Tour Spec S

IRONS - T300 (2019) - 5-53W True Temper AMT Red 107g-95gm R300

WEDGE - VOKEY SM7 58.12* D Grind - Nippon NS Pro 950 GH R (snow flaked z's)

PUTTER - 2020 SC SPECIAL SELECT CUSTOM PUTTER  - 35" Newport 2 w/GolfPride SNSR 104

GOLF BALL - TITLEIST PROV 1

GOLF BAG - TITLEIST MIDSIZE TOUR BAG BLACK 

 

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I don't think it is so much about skill to play blades, but rather certain swing types might be more conducive to them.   I have a shallow swing.  On average, my angle of attack with irons is negative 1.2 degrees or so.  I have found that I have an easier time with turf interactions with thinner soles found with blades.  This is especially true for the rough.  With thicker sole clubs which tend to be GI clubs, I struggle.

As an example, I have a blueprint 2-iron and a pxg 0211 2-iron that I would consider a driving iron.   I can't hit the pxg one except from the tee and certainly not from the rough and fairway.  On the other hand I can hit the blueprint extremely easily from any location.

The reason is the thin sole.  As a shallow swinger,  I need more relative assistance with respect to digging.  A blade digs easier.  A Gi with a thick sole digs less because of the sole width.  

So I might be inclined to say that for a lot who "cant hit blades" , blades just might not be conducive to your swing type (I.e., level or significantly descending).  

So I am not certain it is a skill thing.

I settled on the pxg gem 3 0311t, which is not a true blade obviously, bit is pretty darn bladey.

Shoot 'em straight

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Been playing public golf course, often taking a random start in the afternoon paired with some other player, I can often see bad equipment choice along those players. I recently restarted golf after 10 years or so and before the season I read pretty much every website available, checked tons of video out there, got fitted with my new equipment. The biggest reason for bad equipment choice is money from what I can see. They buy used golf club, older, in rebate drivers, have no clue about their distance with each club, often have 2 club that does the same distance. Those players are recreative golfers and they won't last more than 2 seasons because their game cannot improve without driving range time, bad equipment will prevent them from surviving some clubs/shot, playing tons of different ball a round will make them miss even more shot because each ball doesn't behave the same. They will leave golf soon enough because they wanted to save "money".

I used to lose from 6 to 12 ball a round 10 years ago depending on course and wind. I bough a SFT ping g410 driver for 500$ and now I lose 2-3 ball a round. After a year with my new driver, the driver will pay for himself just by not losing ball.

I often see kids(young adults) with their grandpa blades and driver because they were free. They can't drive for sure with those thing and when they get to the blades, they don't have any consistent swing and strike location to be able to play those. Sometimes when I see some of them slice the ball like hell, I take out 2 pinnacle Gold from my bag, lend them my driver and let them hit with it on a hole. They are like, wow I almost didn't slice the ball, then I tell them to go get fit...

Then the second kind of players I see are the "need to look good players"

They have sometimes:

-flashy club/bags

-expensive brand or rare brand in Canada

-Value of the cloth they are wearing is more than the one of all their clubs.

-have 18 clubs in their bags.

few exemple of people I got paired with:

a guy was playing PXG club gen 3 irons I think they were, nice looking club, he could resell the club full price cause he cant strike the ball near the center. But hey people stop when they see his club in the bag... 120+ stroke player for sure.

I asian guy with Miura blades, he yelled for like 40 times during his round.

One guy with a yellow cobra cart bag that you can see miles away, with at least 19-20 clubs in the bags, 2 drivers, wood 3-5, driving iron, 3 to PW, 4-5 wedges and only 1 putter! he was actually a decent player, he had one club for every single situation in the game for sure. I straight driver, 1 slice driver, he actually did well on all of his drive, even the 2 dog leg on the course. Good chap, counting all his stroke, playing where the ball landed but still didn't get the memo about the number of club.

I do not care about the number of club you play or if you move your ball because you don't want to destroy your 200$ iron from the car path or near a tree, that you take 12 mulligans but don't brag about your score after the round.

Those players could have benefit from a session for a fitting, PXG guy could have used the GI irons from PXG instead, the miura blade guy could probably have used SGI and the cobra guy could simply have removed 4-5 club without really changing much in his game. BUt EGO get in the way for sure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I get too caught up in thinking that a 9 iron blade with a pro v1 standard length clubs stuck real close is the ideal feeling shot. Its in my mind how a shot should feel, spin, etc. If i can do that than my swing is how it should be . Which is clearly not necessarily the case. 

Driver: :callaway-small: Rogue Sub Zero 10.5* Oban Kiyoshi Gold tipped 1" 44.5" NDMC Mid

4w: :callaway-small: Epic flash Oban Kiyoshi Gold tipped 2" 42.5" NDMC Mid

3-PW: :mizuno-small:  MP-18, 3i FLYhi MMC, 4-6i MMC, 7-PW MB, KBS C-taper Lite X-stiff NDMC Mid

Wedges: :titelist-small:  SM7 49*F, 54*D, 59*M KBS C-taper Lite X-stiff NDMC Mid

Putter:  Lajosi Sensor Breakthrough Golf Tour Stability Shaft 34" SuperStroke GTR 1.0

Ball: :Snell:MTB-X

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On 6/10/2021 at 11:32 AM, lasorcier said:

I don't think it is so much about skill to play blades, but rather certain swing types might be more conducive to them.   I have a shallow swing.  On average, my angle of attack with irons is negative 1.2 degrees or so.  I have found that I have an easier time with turf interactions with thinner soles found with blades.  This is especially true for the rough.  With thicker sole clubs which tend to be GI clubs, I struggle.

So I might be inclined to say that for a lot who "cant hit blades" , blades just might not be conducive to your swing type (I.e., level or significantly descending).  

So I am not certain it is a skill thing.

 

... I think you might be missing the obvious. Most golfers do not hit the center of their irons consistently. Heel/toe as well as high/low makes a huge difference when hitting a forgiving iron compared to a MB. I have seen so many sets of MB's in used bins all scratched up almost off the grooves toward the toe and then others with marks all over the face. 

... The reason many scratch or better players, along with all those on every tour playing for a living, is most have OFF days when contact is inconsistent. Sure, on their ON days playing a MB is just as easy as playing a players CB or even a GI iron. Hogan once said he hits 1 shot per round in the dead center and with the swing he wants, so what chance does an AM that plays once or twice a week with little practice have of hitting it dead center with their best swing? 

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Driver:     :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 10.5* ... Diamana Ltd 60R
Fairway:  :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 15/16.5/18* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
Utility:      :taylormade-small: UDi 18* ... Even Flow Black 85R
                 :taylormade-small: DHy 19* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
                  :taylormade-small: Sim Hybrid 22* ... Diamana Ltd 75R
Irons:        :cobra-small: 4-Pw King Tour MIM ... Steelfiber 95R
Wedges:   :taylormade-small: MG3 50* ... Steelfiber 95R
                  :taylormade-small: MG3 58* LB ... Steelfiber 95R
Putter:      :cleveland-small: Hunting Beach Soft 11S 33.5"
Ball:           :taylormade-small: Maxfli Tour/TP5x (2021)

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There are so many factors that go into choosing equipment, but if I were to provide a starting point for anyone I'd look at ball striking, club speed, and personal preferences as it relates to enjoyment of the game. 

The fact of the matter is there are just some shaft and clubhead designs that require speed and not everyone in the 50+ age bracket is going to have that. Heck, not everyone is going to have that speed at age 20. There's also a similar matter of strength because a player might be able to produce good speed with a 90 gram shaft, but struggle significantly with a 120 gram shaft (the inverse can be true as well). 

Of course, ball striking matters as well because if you can't make decent contact then you really wouldn't be doing yourself any favors by playing blades.

Lastly, there's the matter of how you personally define the game of golf for yourself and reap enjoyment from it. Is score the only aspect of golf that matters to you? Or, do you relish the challenge of producing well struck shots and/or acquiring the ability to alter shape and trajectory? I'll note there is plenty of room to find a balance between these two extremes as well. 

As for myself, I play a relatively unforgiving model of cavity back that people have mistaken for blades (at least once or twice). If money wasn't a factor, I'd seek out something with a bit more forgiveness, but I equally love and hate the challenge of learning how to create a swing that produces excellent ball contact; not that I couldn't achieve the same thing with a more forgiving iron, but feedback is crucial and you just get more of that from a 1-pc forging. It's my cross to bear lol. On my good days, I strike it well enough to not be an issue at all, but I'm currently struggling quite a bit and it's left me not even wanting to play 18 until I get things back under control. However, I'll add that my current struggles are not limited to the irons and extend to almost every club in my bag. So, I'll grind on my swing now and get back to the course in good time with a reinvigorated game and a heightened level of enjoyment for having persevered through the present situation. 

To each their own.

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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As someone who has played a variety of different types of irons I'm curious as to what others feel.  I constantly hear about feedback.  I have to say that I have very little trouble knowing where I hit the ball on the face of any iron that I'm playing with.  Whether it was my old Ram Tour Grind blades, my favorite Ping Eye 2's or anything since including my G30's I could tell if I hit it flush, misshit it on the toe, low on the blade, high on the face, dare I say it, in the heal.  What more do you need in regards to feedback?

 

I can also draw any club you put in my hands and if I'm swinging well enough fade it or hit it higher or lower - some are clearly easier to do that with and I'm certainly not about to start hitting cuts to right hand pins at this point but know how to hit a cut and can do it if I need to get out of trouble from behind a tree or on the range even with the G30's that have so much offset to them.

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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4 minutes ago, revkev said:

As someone who has played a variety of different types of irons I'm curious as to what others feel.  I constantly hear about feedback.  I have to say that I have very little trouble knowing where I hit the ball on the face of any iron that I'm playing with.  Whether it was my old Ram Tour Grind blades, my favorite Ping Eye 2's or anything since including my G30's I could tell if I hit it flush, misshit it on the toe, low on the blade, high on the face, dare I say it, in the heal.  What more do you need in regards to feedback?

Not all clubs are like that at least for me. As I go through the various clubs and club types they all feel different especially if you start to say feel and sound are the same thing.   With some clubs it is difficult to identify where you make impact; especially if you aren’t that far off from center.  Perhaps it is player dependent as well.  I hear people say they feel the club head in the swing or the shaft loading/unloading which is something I personally have never felt.  But there are clubs that I can get a better feel for off center.  

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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, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787

 

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

 

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25 minutes ago, revkev said:

As someone who has played a variety of different types of irons I'm curious as to what others feel.  I constantly hear about feedback.  I have to say that I have very little trouble knowing where I hit the ball on the face of any iron that I'm playing with.  Whether it was my old Ram Tour Grind blades, my favorite Ping Eye 2's or anything since including my G30's I could tell if I hit it flush, misshit it on the toe, low on the blade, high on the face, dare I say it, in the heal.  What more do you need in regards to feedback?

 

I can also draw any club you put in my hands and if I'm swinging well enough fade it or hit it higher or lower - some are clearly easier to do that with and I'm certainly not about to start hitting cuts to right hand pins at this point but know how to hit a cut and can do it if I need to get out of trouble from behind a tree or on the range even with the G30's that have so much offset to them.

From a ball flight perspective I’ve tested or played several sets of players distance or what may be considered GI and the forgiveness in them has balls been generally on the same flight visually for a mishit compared to sweet spot contact. If not paying close attention to sound or feeling in the hands one wouldn’t know especially for those who don’t hit sweet spot often. The distance lose in some is minimal. 
 

As for feedback into the hands that really varies on the shaft IMO compared to the head. I notice that with dg shafts the feedback is a lot harsher than $ taper and modus shafts. Even more so with graphite. 

When I played the i210s and tested the i500 the i500 had a noticeable difference in sound for off center hits. The i210 was pretty close for off center and center contact but not a good compressed shot.

 

 

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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43 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Not all clubs are like that at least for me. As I go through the various clubs and club types they all feel different especially if you start to say feel and sound are the same thing.   With some clubs it is difficult to identify where you make impact; especially if you aren’t that far off from center.  Perhaps it is player dependent as well.  I hear people say they feel the club head in the swing or the shaft loading/unloading which is something I personally have never felt.  But there are clubs that I can get a better feel for off center.  

Okay, good points by both you and RickyBobby so I will clarify a bit.  I should have added, given time - so given time with a set of irons I can certainly tell where my misses are.  If I were doing a MGS test and had to hit irons in succession or the first few times that does become a different matter.  I was thinking instead of a set of irons that I was gaming, not trying.

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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There are no hard and fast rules or relationships between handicaps and what clubs people should use. Either the club fits or it doesn’t.
 

I’ve played most categories of clubs and the only thing that consistently improved my scores over time is playing/experience independent of what equipment I’m using. 

Edited by crw
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Sun Mountain C130-S / Titleist TSi4 7.25* MCA Tensei AV Raw White 75 X / Titleist TSi3 14.25* PX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX / New Level NLU-01 18* PX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 100 6.5 / New Level 902 Forged 4-PW DG TI X100 / Vokey SM8 50,54,58 DGS200 / Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport 2

Humble, TX / Right Handed / 10 Handicap / 37.5" 6i @ 61.5* Lie

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7 hours ago, revkev said:

As someone who has played a variety of different types of irons I'm curious as to what others feel.  I constantly hear about feedback.  I have to say that I have very little trouble knowing where I hit the ball on the face of any iron that I'm playing with.  Whether it was my old Ram Tour Grind blades, my favorite Ping Eye 2's or anything since including my G30's I could tell if I hit it flush, misshit it on the toe, low on the blade, high on the face, dare I say it, in the heal.  What more do you need in regards to feedback?

 

I can also draw any club you put in my hands and if I'm swinging well enough fade it or hit it higher or lower - some are clearly easier to do that with and I'm certainly not about to start hitting cuts to right hand pins at this point but know how to hit a cut and can do it if I need to get out of trouble from behind a tree or on the range even with the G30's that have so much offset to them.

I can certainly feel poorly struck shots with a more forgiving club, but it's the degree to which I feel it or potentially even the exactness of it that I struggle with. And again, it depends on personal preferences and experience as to how much feedback you want from a club because you can increase or decrease feedback (to some degree) simply by changing grips.

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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I believe ego plays a bigger factor than we like to admit or give credit too when it comes to club selection.  Further, the tendency to play too stiff and too long a shaft (drivers) is even more problematic.  My True Spec fitter told me I'd be amazed at how many folks come in wanting to be "fit too" the club their favorite pros play vs. being "fit for" the best club for their swing.  Brand preference and looks are real factors that can and do drive suboptimal choices. 

I think ego played a part in my recent decision for the ZX5's over the G425's. The fitting numbers were a little better with the Srixon's (both with the MMT 80's).  While both are listed as GI irons, the Srixon's are definitely a smaller profile head and that appeals to me a bit. The risk is whether the fitting and Srixon demo day experiences translates through the bag and in play.  Both fitters recommended the ZX5's - we'll see how it works out.

 

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:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver 

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:srixon-small:  ZX5 Irons 4-AW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:EVNROLL: ER5v Putter  (Evnroll ER5v Official Review)

 

 

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