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Combo iron sets


Sam Kanouse

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I’m going to get fit for irons next week and I’m thinking about a mixed set. Just wondering how others feel about mixed sets. I really like the concept of it and I’d love some recommendations on different mixes to look at. I’m a low handicap player. 

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The good thing about combo sets is that many of the manufacturers have made it easier to blend their sets. The other benefit is being able to get some added help in the longer irons with launch, speed, forgiveness.

All of the brands currently make good clubs so you could consider all of them and not go wrong. 

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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Combo sets are great.  Do whatever it takes to build a set that works for you,  fairways, hybrids, driving irons, GI long irons, players short irons, set wedges, specialty wedges, etc.   there are no rules as to what clubs to use and how sets should be made up. 

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15*  w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :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:  :titleist-small: 54/12D, 60/8M w/:Accra iWedge 90 Graphite
Putter:   :taylormade-small:TM-180

Testing:   SPGC_logo.jpg

Backups:  :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, :seemore-small: mFGP2, :cameron-small: Futura 5W

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

 

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Take a look at Bernard Langer's set up. He has clubs from 8 different manufactures including 3 for the irons alone. Every club in the bag should have a specific purpose. If it means a combo set from one manufacturers or several does not matter. It makes good sense to have hybrids or super game improvement clubs in the long irons and a players type club in the scoring clubs as long as there are not any distance gaps. 

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I have had a couple of combo sets over the years and I think they are a great idea.  The other option is a progressive set--where the manufacturer builds more forgiveness into each iron as it gets longer.  The main thing is to know your own game and where you need a little more forgiveness and how they fit into your over all bag.  There is no set formula.  

 

For one set, I had PW through 7 iron in players clubs and 6 through 4 in more cavity backed clubs.  I stuck with the same manufacturer,  To me the key was to get the clubs matched to weight and feel, especially in the shaft.  (In one mixed set, I actually had two 7 irons, one was my 150 and the cavity back 7 was my 160 club.  I had to be careful pulling the 7 iron to make sure I got the right club.) 

 

One thing you might think about is to buy two irons that go the same distance, on more player type and the other more forgiving. It will give you the option of switching clubs after you've played them for a while to make sure you are dividing your set at the right place for maximum benefit.  

 

If you and the fitter work together, you should be able to get a set that blends seamlessly.  

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I have a set of Callaway Apex Mixed. I actually like the 8 thru AW that are the Apex Pro, better than the Standard Apex 5 thru 7. The 4 iron is an Apex DCB and do not like it at all.

 

Andy Bostik

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I purchased a combo set of PXGs. T MODEL 8-gap and P for 4-7.  Love them and the forgiveness helps on 4-7 (especially 4-6) and I get the cleaner look and precision of the Ts in shorter clubs.   Only change I would make would be to break the set at the 7 not the 6.    I was a little against the idea and thought why not have the extra forgiveness in all my clubs, but I do find having the more precise distance control in the shorter irons is helpful

SDG

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Most people already do it when the irons and woods, or irons and wedges that don't match and there is no issues there.  An important thing to me, are the distances gapped properly?  I just want clubs that have the right space between distances.   I don't need a 6 iron that goes 175 yards and a 7 iron that goes 170.  That is not helpful.  Also, you could have two unmatched 5 irons that have a 15 yard distance gap because of loft, swing weight, head type etc.  So at the end of the day do you have 12 clubs that have the distance gap you want?  (left off putter and driver, putter for obvious reasons and driver as I normally want to hit that as far as possible, even if it is way longer than my 3 wood.  If you are worried about hitting your driver too far, time to club down!)

Also having the confidence with each club is important.  If you hate your 4 iron, ditch it and get a different one or a hybrid, or fairway wood that goes the distance you want. 

One of the reasons to have matched set with irons is you are assuming the manufacturer has already done the gapping for you.  Since there is no standard loft or weight for a PW, if you buy mixed you have to make sure the effect at the end is what you want.  Pros will go and bend the loft or change shaft to adjust the final distance they want to get.  so they have a mixed set, that looks matched (plus the endorsement factor).  So buying a matched set is "easier" for the consumer.

Cheers

Tigger

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I have just ordered a 4 and 5 iron of the Mizuno Hot Metal to blend my set. I should have done it right off the start. I've read that it is really a great idea.

Driver: TaylorMade Sim Ti

Wood: TaylorMade 3W Sim Ti  5W Srixon-Z-F85

Irons: Mizuno JPX 900 Forged 5-GW

Wedges ;  Vokey SM8 56 & 60

Putter: Taylormade Spider X

Ball: Titleist Prov1x 

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2 hours ago, Sam Kanouse said:

I’m going to get fit for irons next week and I’m thinking about a mixed set. Just wondering how others feel about mixed sets. I really like the concept of it and I’d love some recommendations on different mixes to look at. I’m a low handicap player. 

I have played mixed (or “combo”) iron sets for the better part of the last two to three decades, beginning with a mixed set of Golfsmith forged blades / cavity backs that I built in the mid to late 1990s.  I love the idea of having more-forgiving long to mid irons in combination with a more “player’s style” shorter irons and wedges in my bag.  Currently, I play Tour Edge Exotics more-forgiving E721 5 and 6 irons with the T.E. Exotics C721 “player’s distance” 7 iron through AW.  I bent the 5 and 6 irons between 1.5 and 2 degrees weaker in loft to give me proper distance gaps and so that I wouldn’t have a 20 yard gap between the 6 and 7 irons.  This has worked extremely well for me since I went with that setup.  Prior to this mixed set, I played two different mixed sets of Mizuno irons (Hot Metal long irons with Hot Metal Pro shorter irons, and Hot Metal Pro long irons with JPX919 Forged shorter irons).

DR - Callaway Paradym X, Newton Motion 4-Dot

4W - T.E. Exotics C722, Diamana D+ 82-S

HYB - Paradym X 18*, HZRDUS Smoke Red 80S; Sub 70 949X 21*, same shaft

7W (if played) - Callaway Epic Flash, ACCRA Tour X 80S

Irons - Cobra Forged Tec X (5-GW), KBS TGI 75-R

Wedges - Edison 2.0, 53* and 57* (bent to 58*), KBS TGI 100

Putter - Makefield VS custom, 34", 67* lie, 1.75* loft

Ball - Maxfli Tour-X CG (2023) or Vice Pro Plus (OnCore ELIXR or Maxfli Tour S in winter)

Bags - Vessel

Cart - MotoCaddy M7 Remote (without the remote)

Spoiler

driver / off the tee is no longer a weakness for me!

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1 hour ago, villassteve said:

Take a look at Bernard Langer's set up. He has clubs from 8 different manufactures including 3 for the irons alone. Every club in the bag should have a specific purpose. If it means a combo set from one manufacturers or several does not matter. It makes good sense to have hybrids or super game improvement clubs in the long irons and a players type club in the scoring clubs as long as there are not any distance gaps. 

That was true for Langer until mid to late season in 2020. He is now down to no more than 3 different manufacturers since he signed with Tour Edge Golf.  Bernhard may even be playing only two manufacturers’ clubs, since I know that he is playing Tour Edge Exotics driver, fairways, hybrid and irons. I’m not sure about the wedges, and I’m reasonably sure that his putter is not a Tour Edge club.

DR - Callaway Paradym X, Newton Motion 4-Dot

4W - T.E. Exotics C722, Diamana D+ 82-S

HYB - Paradym X 18*, HZRDUS Smoke Red 80S; Sub 70 949X 21*, same shaft

7W (if played) - Callaway Epic Flash, ACCRA Tour X 80S

Irons - Cobra Forged Tec X (5-GW), KBS TGI 75-R

Wedges - Edison 2.0, 53* and 57* (bent to 58*), KBS TGI 100

Putter - Makefield VS custom, 34", 67* lie, 1.75* loft

Ball - Maxfli Tour-X CG (2023) or Vice Pro Plus (OnCore ELIXR or Maxfli Tour S in winter)

Bags - Vessel

Cart - MotoCaddy M7 Remote (without the remote)

Spoiler

driver / off the tee is no longer a weakness for me!

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11 minutes ago, korsmot said:

 So at the end of the day do you have 12 clubs that have the distance gap you want?  (left off putter and driver, putter for obvious reasons and driver as I normally want to hit that as far as possible, even if it is way longer than my 3 wood.  If you are worried about hitting your driver too far, time to club down!)

There isn’t a requirement for 12 clubs either.  As players get older the distance between the top and bottom club becomes less so the need for that many clubs isn’t there 

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15*  w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :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:  :titleist-small: 54/12D, 60/8M w/:Accra iWedge 90 Graphite
Putter:   :taylormade-small:TM-180

Testing:   SPGC_logo.jpg

Backups:  :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, :seemore-small: mFGP2, :cameron-small: Futura 5W

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

 

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Sam,

I am a big fan of mixed sets. One key (especially for better players) is to watch the gaps. This is where a skilled fitter earns their keep. In my experience the transition point (e.g.; muscle back to cavities) is critical as this is where the distance and trajectory issues seem to appear.  
 

Scott

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I’ve played combo sets for the past 12 years and don’t think I’ll ever go back to the standard sets. EVERY golfer (including pros) can use the benefits of combo sets, especially nowadays when you can get extra forgiveness without losing a lot workability in the 2-5 irons. Mizuno does a great job of making their irons easy to blend across the entire set, without having to increase/decrease lofts.

Driver: 9.5 TM SIM w/ tensei orange X

Driving Iron: Mizuno MPH5 1 iron w/ recoil 110 f4

Hybrids: 2 & 3 Apex w/ Evenflow T1100 white X

Irons: 4-PW 2016 Apex CF16/pro combo AMT Stiff

Wedges: 50, 54, 58 Vokey SM7

Putter: Evnroll ER2 black

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3 hours ago, Sam Kanouse said:

I’m going to get fit for irons next week and I’m thinking about a mixed set. Just wondering how others feel about mixed sets. I really like the concept of it and I’d love some recommendations on different mixes to look at. I’m a low handicap player. 

Combo sets are a great thing and there are many different verities out there.  Depending on your skill (I know you said low handicapper), you could go with cavity back in the longer clubs and blades in the lower clubs (i.e. Srixon ZX7 4-7, and Z-Forged 8-P)...or if you are looking for a little more help with the longer irons you could go ZX5 4-6, and ZX7 7-P.  I only use Srixon because that's what I have, but all of the manufacturers offer these set-ups.  

NOTE:  Most fitters I've had experience with only have a 7-iron head in each club selection, so you really need to go to someone that's willing to work with your long irons, as well as the whole set to make sure you have good gapping.  This will typically cost you more for the fitting, but it's worth it if you have that type of fitter in your area. 

  • In my :mizuno-small: BR-D4 6-way
  • :cobra-small: King F9 set to 9*, Tour length Hzrdus Smoke Black 6.0 S-flex, with GolfPride MCC +4 mid-size
  • image.png.27e1496834233542c5d124bf8b9e3352.png3W - 13*, UST Mamiya 65 Gold S-flex, with GolfPride Tour Wrap 2G
  • :taylormade-small: SIM UDI 2-iron - 18*, Mitsubishi Diamana Thump 100 X-flex, with GolfPride MCC Align
  • :srixon-small: ZX5 4-5 & ZX7 6-PW, :Nippon: Modus3 120 Tour S-flex, +1/2", with GolfPride Tour Wrap 2G
  • :titelist-small: :vokey-small: - SM8 Tour Chrome, 50.08F - 54.10S - 58.12D, DG Wedge Flex, with GolfPride Tour Wrap 2G
  • :EVNROLL: Custom Fit 35" ER6 Red at 68 degree lie angle and 4 degrees of loft
  • :Snell: MTB-X            :918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Pro Slope             Tracked by :Arccos:         #WPS 🐗
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Rare is the golfer who can do it all with a set of clubs from one manufacturer.  Everyone plays different clubs different ways and there will be some in a set that perform differently than the rest or as expected when played the same way.  I use TM M1 driver and 3W and Cobra 5-6 and Cobra 7-8 for the other woods and got rid of long irons. TM P790 7-PW and Cleveland RTX4 SW and GW.  NOTE: not 14 clubs but they gap right for me and keep me shooting 80 at age 68.  Took years to get out of the mentality of "matched" from one clubmaker and get the set of tools that work best for me no matter who makes them.

GPS111

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I like the idea of combo sets but it either requires a good professional fitting or lots of tinkering to get the lofts and spin rates correct. The MP line from Mizuno and the ZX line from Srixon are blendable but even they aren't necessarily going to work in stock form off the rack without some adjustments. Another thing about combo sets is that you actually can lose a lot of forgiveness a more traditionally progressive set may provide. Mixing Mizuno MB MP20s and MMCs is great but neither of those sets are very progressive in terms of forgiveness from short to long irons. Then end result of having a Mizuno MMC 4 iron may not really provide the forgiveness you may find in something like an i210 or other more progressive set. If you're a good ball striker this will not be a problem but there are low handicappers out there that aren't the best ball strikers with irons that can get in trouble with combo sets. The other thing with combo sets is that you're general options to mix and match are generally all less forgiving designs. The Mizuno HMBs are the most forgiving of the MP line but even they aren't actually that forgiving. The ZX line is more broad but the ZX 4 would be a challenge to blend with the ZX 7s and 5s as the lofts are so different. 

At the end of the day combo sets can be great but they aren't an off the rack or turnkey option even with today's options. The best bet if you want to do it is to find a good fitter and builder who have the ability to do MOI matching. That can give a much better result over standard swing weighting.

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I really like the idea of combo sets but was surprised when I decided against it when i recently got fitted at a club champion for some Srixon zx7. I hit the zx5 and the numbers were all worse for my swing than the zx7. Also feel/sound of zx5 was not to my liking. So though I think combos will help some ppl, would get fitted to see if u really need it. (Handicap 4)

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I just got fitted for a combo Apex set, Apex Pros in the scoring clubs and Apex in the long irons.

  • Driver: Taylormade SIM@ 10.5 Aldila Ascent Red 60 Stiff
  • 3 Wood: Ping G425 LST Fujikura Motor X F1 7S
  • 3 Hybrid: Ping G425 19 Fujikura PRO 2.0 Hybrid 8 S
  • Irons
  • 4-7: Callaway Apex 21 Nippon Modus Tour 120 Stiff
  • 8-A: Callaway Apex Pro 21 Nippon Modus Tour 120 Stiff
  • 54 Titleist Vokey SM8 10 S
  • 60 Titleist Vokey SM8 8 M
  • Putter: L.A.B Golf Mezz 1 
  • Ball: Vice Pro Plus 
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Combo sets are great (just got fit into ZX5/ZX7), better with some sets that were designed to blend.  But your ideal set will depend on what you need and how you hit them, so it may or may not be what the manufacturer intended.  I expected to need to adjust loft on the ZX5s to fit the ZX7s but the 6 iron to 5 iron gapping was spot on.

8* SIM2 Custom / PX RDX Smoke Black 6.0 46.5"

15* SIM Ti / Velocore 7s

19* SIM Max Hy / GOST 39.5"

4,5 Srixon ZX5  6-P Srixon ZX7  ProjectX LZ 120 6.0

50/54/58 Cleveland Zipcore DG Tour Issue

Scotty Cameron Phantom X12, Stability Tour shaft and SuperStroke

JumboMax Ultralight Small on Driver, Golf Pride Tour Velvet (irons and MCC (woods) Mid on all others.

TP5X Pix  and -ProV1

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Playing since 2 y. a Titleist Combo with CB and AP2, should have done that years before, distances match 

perfectly together this a ATM stepped shaft, I can really recommend such iron combo.

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I have been using one for years and will never change.

Love the blades for the wedges thru 8 iron for better feel, especially around the greens.

Use cavity back for forgiveness on longer irons and starting to slide a few hybrids in at the top end.

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