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Why should I get new irons?


Peter-T
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1 hour ago, Riverboat said:

I'm not as deep into the science of this as you seem to be, but I can see results. When I bought my Taylormades 8ish years ago, they reduced my miss hits over my previous set.

that is what I want to get into and you don’t seem able to provide an answer other than saying you might be right on your assumption.  The individual that originally answered and I quoted is a long time club fitter which is why I am hoping he might be able to provide some detailed insight.   For what it’s worth, I have tried various sets over the years within the same club category and don’t see the same benefits you are.  When I hit clubs on the course, I am able to move the ball when i need too so there isn’t a lack of workability and I don’t see any better ball flight or straightness. 
 

I read articles that claim distance and forgiveness.  They show charts that compare 70s/80s clubs vs current and newer ones have slightly higher launch and higher peak and more distance.  I’ve also read that you may not see much difference from irons over the past 15 years.  Yes improvement but unless worn out you may not see significant benefit.  They say weight has been moved more distance more forgiveness, etc. I have also seen that all of this allows for a smaller club head…which people like the looks of.   How much forgiveness does this advancement give me?  Has my are of forgiveness grown from 1” to 1 1/8” and is that meaningful?  
 

back to the original question..when should I get new irons? I guess keep trying them and when you see a difference that is meaningful to you then you know it is time.   

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19 hours ago, cnosil said:

that is what I want to get into and you don’t seem able to provide an answer other than saying you might be right on your assumption.  The individual that originally answered and I quoted is a long time club fitter which is why I am hoping he might be able to provide some detailed insight.   For what it’s worth, I have tried various sets over the years within the same club category and don’t see the same benefits you are.  When I hit clubs on the course, I am able to move the ball when i need too so there isn’t a lack of workability and I don’t see any better ball flight or straightness. 
 

I read articles that claim distance and forgiveness.  They show charts that compare 70s/80s clubs vs current and newer ones have slightly higher launch and higher peak and more distance.  I’ve also read that you may not see much difference from irons over the past 15 years.  Yes improvement but unless worn out you may not see significant benefit.  They say weight has been moved more distance more forgiveness, etc. I have also seen that all of this allows for a smaller club head…which people like the looks of.   How much forgiveness does this advancement give me?  Has my are of forgiveness grown from 1” to 1 1/8” and is that meaningful?  
 

back to the original question..when should I get new irons? I guess keep trying them and when you see a difference that is meaningful to you then you know it is time.   

Last response since I seem to be bothering you. 

You are very good at answering your own questions. The last paragraph you wrote is the correct answer for any purchase. 

Otherwise, your inconsistency is interesting. From me, you say I am just giving you experience, when you want scientific reasons. But as I pointed out, you've already given the scientific reasons and club improvements, but you trust your experiences that those things haven't panned out for your swing. You clearly want to keep your old irons, so keep them. Nobody can convince you otherwise when you already have all the answers. 

Final question, and it's not meant to offend... If you can work the ball, I'm assuming you mean both ways, when necessary, shouldn't you be seeing better scoring results? I haven't been able to move it left to right since I stopped paying blades 25 years ago, but when I could do it effectively, I was in the very low single digits, as is almost everyone I know who can do that. What is holding you back? Judging by all I've read from you, could it be that you just make everything too complicated? Maybe you should try simplifying for awhile. I really think it might improve your play. 

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In the last year I’ve switched from relatively new Players distance irons (Titleist AP3) to forged cavity back irons (Corey Paul) to forged blades (also Corey Paul).  

What I’ve learned is that loft has been the biggest determiner of distance. My current 9 iron and my old Pitching wedge have very similar lofts and they go pretty much the same distance.

The shafts I’m using now are heavier steel 120 g stiff vs the previous steel 110 g stiff and the ball is not curving as much while giving me the trajectory that I want.

I bought the AP3s new after having been fitted for them in 2018.  They had about 700 rounds played and are still in very good shape albeit a little dinged up.

The Corey Paul forged cavity backs felt better, have very clean lines but the top line was a little boxy and I just did not like the shape of the pitching wedge.  The transition from the hosel to the face also made it appear that there was more offset than actually what was measured.  

Despite hitting them well I had the chance to put together a set of Corey Paul minimalist blades and am glad that I did because they are everything I had hoped they would be.  Love the way they look, feel and perform so far and expect I will be playing them for awhile.

So, when is it the right time to get a new set of irons?  

Lots of possible answers based on performance, feel, confidence, economics, etc.

In general though I would say get a new set when the current set is not allowing you to achieve whatever your goals are in playing golf whether that be carry distance, peak height, trajectory and shot shape, landing angle and spin, dispersion, feel, looks, lower scores, or status.

Best wishes to you in finding a set of irons that tick all of the boxes!  

 

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4 hours ago, Riverboat said:

Last response since I seem to be bothering you. 

You are very good at answering your own questions. The last paragraph you wrote is the correct answer for any purchase. 

Otherwise, your inconsistency is interesting. From me, you say I am just giving you experience, when you want scientific reasons. But as I pointed out, you've already given the scientific reasons and club improvements, but you trust your experiences that those things haven't panned out for your swing. You clearly want to keep your old irons, so keep them. Nobody can convince you otherwise when you already have all the answers. 

Final question, and it's not meant to offend... If you can work the ball, I'm assuming you mean both ways, when necessary, shouldn't you be seeing better scoring results? I haven't been able to move it left to right since I stopped paying blades 25 years ago, but when I could do it effectively, I was in the very low single digits, as is almost everyone I know who can do that. What is holding you back? Judging by all I've read from you, could it be that you just make everything too complicated? Maybe you should try simplifying for awhile. I really think it might improve your play. 

Really not bothering me.  Maybe I am correctly answering my own questions and looking for something more objective.  Probably will never get the exact response I am looking for and would have to do my own comparisons on a launch monitor and on the course.   Also,  I don't have old irons,  don't know if you looked at my signature,  but my irons are only a a couple of years old.    My ultimate answer might be age 🙂   I just feel like my game has really dropped off since I switched away from my old Cleveland  TA-7 Tours in about 2015.   At that time I was hesitant about switching but wanted new irons for no other reason that I wanted new irons.  

When I played the TA-7s,  I was a 4 and my handicap was trending down;  since then it has slowly been rising.   When I play I don't try to work the ball;  one shot shape unless I need to hit something from out of the trees. That is what I mean when I say that I am able to move it both ways when necessary.   I try to play a pretty simple game strategically so I am not sure what I am making too complicated.   My short game totally collapsed and I was losing significant stroke due to bladed and chunked chips/pitches even when the goal was to just get it on the green.  Since I have been focusing on the short game,  my full swing took a backseat and I now have a big miss that pops up through the round  that causes blow up holes.   From your perspective what do you think I am doing that is too complicated?

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, cnosil said:

Really not bothering me.  Maybe I am correctly answering my own questions and looking for something more objective.  Probably will never get the exact response I am looking for and would have to do my own comparisons on a launch monitor and on the course.   Also,  I don't have old irons,  don't know if you looked at my signature,  but my irons are only a a couple of years old.    My ultimate answer might be age 🙂   I just feel like my game has really dropped off since I switched away from my old Cleveland  TA-7 Tours in about 2015.   At that time I was hesitant about switching but wanted new irons for no other reason that I wanted new irons.  

When I played the TA-7s,  I was a 4 and my handicap was trending down;  since then it has slowly been rising.   When I play I don't try to work the ball;  one shot shape unless I need to hit something from out of the trees. That is what I mean when I say that I am able to move it both ways when necessary.   I try to play a pretty simple game strategically so I am not sure what I am making too complicated.   My short game totally collapsed and I was losing significant stroke due to bladed and chunked chips/pitches even when the goal was to just get it on the green.  Since I have been focusing on the short game,  my full swing took a backseat and I now have a big miss that pops up through the round  that causes blow up holes.   From your perspective what do you think I am doing that is too complicated?

 

 

 

With the details you now provided, probably nothing. Short game issues are a killer. Sounds like you have the long game of a much lower handicap and the short game of a higher handicap. I'm the opposite. If you watched me hit balls you'd probably think I was a 10. Most days if you watched me chip and pitch from 70 yards and in, you might think I was scratch. 

I was saying you might be overcomplicating things just based on your focus on minutiae in some of your posts, but it doesn't sound like you do that when you are on the course. I have gotten so many players to play some of their best golf by getting them to essentially shut off their brains on the course. I tell them to step up, check alignment, and swing. No other thoughts. Problem is they can't do it for long. Those who think too much return to their natural way of playing as soon as they stop focusing on simplifying. 

The best time to focus on simplifying is to play alone or with maybe one other like minded person when the course is pretty much empty. Then set a strict time limit for the round. For me it's 2 hours and 10 minutes if I'm walking (used to be less, but I can't walk as fast as I used to). It's hard to overanalyze when you're playing that fast. My brother and I rode a few months back, finished in 1 hour and 50 minutes and shot 76 and 77, and this was on a course with long rides between holes and him with a bad leg. I have played some of my best rounds like this. I encourage everyone to try it. Nearly everyone who does tells me how shocked they are that they can play that fast and play as well or better than their normal pace. It really changes the mind of those who think a four hour round is necessary for a foursome. 

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I agree with the other comment that you should hit some side by side with your irons. If you haven’t played for that long you may find that the modern day irons will help with mis-hits and will have possibly better shaft options. Don’t dismiss the idea of looking at used drivers and f-woods. You can find good quality equipment for a lot less money. 

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Two very good pieces of advice have been offered: 1. Newer shafts will probably be your best investment and; 2. Take you clubs and hit them along with new and used irons. Iron technology has not changed that much in the last 5 years and you may be able to get a 'newer set at a discount.

I also have a Ping Anser and went to a putter fitting. The fitter watched a few putts and said you don't need a new putter just better alignment and aim routine. Gave me a lesson and I was good to go. 

My point is go to a fitter who will provide an honest evaluation.

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On 11/26/2021 at 9:19 PM, Riverboat said:

Absolutely. Irons don't have to cost 1300. You can get pxg 0211s, with fitting, for half that., and they are fantastic clubs. 

Did the same  6-pw superb! £420  or $620 helped my game, great fitting experience too. 

More importantly will spending big money help you enjoy the game more? I would say Yes!

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38 minutes ago, MacMan said:

Did the same  6-pw superb! £420  or $620 helped my game, great fitting experience too. 

More importantly will spending big money help you enjoy the game more? I would say Yes!

With a Macgregor avatar, don't tell me you replaced Macgregor irons with PXGs!!  😱

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I find this to be an interesting thread.  I have had my current irons since April 2018, and while I cannot justify replacing them,  I do 'lust' after some new ones.  I have tried telling my wife that I would play so much better if I spent a lot more $money, but she is not buying into that LOL!

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3 hours ago, Paul Hedrick said:

I find this to be an interesting thread.  I have had my current irons since April 2018, and while I cannot justify replacing them,  I do 'lust' after some new ones.  I have tried telling my wife that I would play so much better if I spent a lot more $money, but she is not buying into that LOL!

2018 wasn't very long ago, Paul. 

I did get new irons this year, but my last ones were bought in 2009.

The times before that?

1997, and it was 1984, I'm pretty sure, before that.

 

And if we're being very honest, I wish that I could play as well as I did in 1984!

I still have the 1984 irons as well as all the others, but trying to play them doesn't turn back the clock, unfortunately.

 

But I do hear you.  Wives usually have a pretty influential position on the family budget committee.

 

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I currently play JPX900 forged with PX LZ 6.0 steel shafts. 

I notice a toe mishit with these irons does not cost as much distance as with the TC Forged which were more forgiving than the Palmers.  The JPX900's improved my distance over the TC's which is mostly due to stronger lofts but also probably due to design.  However I am about a club shorter now than I was with the Palmers way back when even with todays jacked lofts.  So there is something to be said about youth, strength & flexibility factoring into the equation when deciding on new clubs.

The workability of shots is the reverse with the JPX900's harder to move either direction than the TC's which were harder to work than the Palmers.  Quite a bit of the lack of workability is (again) a decrease in strength in my hands, wrists and forearms but some is attributable to the club design.

I have played the JPX900's for 2 seasons and improved my 'cap by 3 or 4 shots in that time.  I also upgraded the driver and putter in that time period and rehabbed my body a bit so improvement isn't all equipment related.  Prior set was Tour Cavity Forged (Wishon design) from early 1990's with various shafts over the years.  Those replaced a set of Palmer First Flight blades from about 1979 with DG x100 shafts and at that time I was maybe a 1 or 2 'cap.  My 'cap gradually rose over the years to an 8 or 9 about 3 years ago. 

About then I was getting frustrated with the scoring slide and wasn't having fun playing and decided to go through an equipment upgrade and workout / stretching program to see if I could get back to what I considered fun golf scores.  After a couple months of the workouts I started with a fitting and landed the irons first, then a driver.  I'm hanging around a 4-5 'cap these days and that is in the fun range for me.  

Modern Bag:  Sub70 849 Pro 9*, Hazrdous Smoke S Flex;  Titleist 915F 3w, Diamana S+ 70 S flex;  Snake Eyes 15*, & 23* Hybrids; Mizuno JPX 900 Forged 5 - PW, PX LZ 6.0;  Cleveland Tour Action 49*, 53*, 57*; PX LZ 6.5 ;  Ping Heppler Fetch;  Ball - Snell MTB-X; Bag - Sun Mountain H2NO 

Classic Bag:  Driver - Wilson Staff Persimmon; 3w - Hogan Speed Slot; 5w - Wilson Staff Tour Block; 3 - pw - Staff Dynapower; sw - Ram Tom Watson;  putter - bullseye standard or flange.

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10 minutes ago, Shapotomous said:

I notice a toe mishit with these irons does not cost as much distance as with the TC Forged which were more forgiving than the Palmers.  The JPX900's improved my distance over the TC's which is mostly due to stronger lofts but also probably due to design.  However I am about a club shorter now than I was with the Palmers way back when even with todays jacked lofts.  So there is something to be said about youth, strength & flexibility factoring into the equation when deciding on new clubs.

 

... Yup, so many factors involved in finding the right irons. The most interesting aspect about todays irons vs irons from the past is distance pretty much maxed out years ago, which is one of the reasons for jacked lofts. There are other design factors involved so it isn't as simple as just being longer but distance is a factor. OEMs began focusing on individual tendencies. Muscle back blades could move the cg a little higher or lower as well as moving it closer to the center instead of the heel. Simple perimeter weighting made shots hit off the sweet spot more forgiving with less loss in distance and accuracy. But current irons can increase and decrease spin, produce more or less trajectory and fine tune shots for where you miss the center. It is possible to figure this all out on your own if you are an equipment aficionado but much easier to diagnose during a fitting. Qualified fitters can certainly attest to many coming into the fitting with a specific iron in mind only to find it is not as good a fit as another iron that is designed to maximize their personal tendencies. 

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               TaylorMade DHy 19* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
              Taylor Made Sim Hybrid 22* ... Diamana Ltd 75R
Irons:    4-Pw Cobra King Tour MIM ... Steelfiber 95R
Wedges:  Cobra Snakebite 50* ... Steelfiber 95R
                 TaylorMade MG3 58* LB ... Steelfiber 95R
Putter:  Cleveland Hunting Beach Soft 11S 33.5"
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On 11/24/2021 at 5:07 PM, Peter-T said:

Hi,

I just started playing again after almost 30 years.  I have a relatively new driver (TaylorMade r7 quad), but my irons are over 40 years old.  I regripped them but steel shafts and heads are original.

I know a lot has changed in 40  years but what am I going to gain.  As I haven't played much in the last 30 years, I am not that good.  Now that I am retired I plan to play more often.

What are the benefits of the new technology?

If I can't replace the whole set at once, where do I begin?  I don't have a fairway wood but have pretty much everything else.  I bought a used 4 hybrid earlier this year just to have one in the bag.  My putter is also 40 years old and I think I only paid $25 for it back in 1980.

Thanks.

I’m gonna circle back to the original post for a second.  Why should you get new irons? Because you deserve them and they’ll make you happy.  The benefits are you’ll get more distance, forgiveness, and a more fulfilling life.  Mic drop….

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On 11/26/2021 at 4:19 PM, Riverboat said:

Absolutely. Irons don't have to cost 1300. You can get pxg 0211s, with fitting, for half that., and they are fantastic clubs. 

And if you are a Vet, you get significant discounts making new irons very affordable plus the forgiveness that your 40 yr old clubs do not have.

Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft 

Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3-4W(16*), 5-6W(20*) both w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft and Patriot 7W w/AccuLaunch 60 by Accuflex

Hybrid: Cobra F8 3 Hybrid(19*) w/Recoil ES regular shaft 

Irons: Wilson D7 5-PW w/Recoil 460 Regular graphite shafts 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX Zipcore(50*/54*/58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  

Putter: 33" Evnroll ER2 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip 

Bag: Vice cart bag(Black).  

Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco

Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

 

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On 12/4/2021 at 5:11 AM, Kenny B said:

With a Macgregor avatar, don't tell me you replaced Macgregor irons with PXGs!!  😱

If Macgregor still made clubs like they did 20 years ago I'd be all over them!

V-Foil VIP 1025 CM's Forged, S300 shafts, Cavity Back's 3-6, Pure Blades 7-PW +GW, SW & LW!!! BEST IRONS I HAVE EVER USED!! 

Schools out on the PXG 0211's,  good so far, but not 100% sure.... Still keep going back to my Cleveland CG1 Tour Irons.

Form Forged Japan Spec, 6-PW, DG S300... narrow sole  low bounce minimal offset - Almost as good as the Macs!!!

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On 12/4/2021 at 1:03 PM, chisag said:

 

... Yup, so many factors involved in finding the right irons. The most interesting aspect about todays irons vs irons from the past is distance pretty much maxed out years ago, which is one of the reasons for jacked lofts. There are other design factors involved so it isn't as simple as just being longer but distance is a factor. OEMs began focusing on individual tendencies. Muscle back blades could move the cg a little higher or lower as well as moving it closer to the center instead of the heel. Simple perimeter weighting made shots hit off the sweet spot more forgiving with less loss in distance and accuracy. But current irons can increase and decrease spin, produce more or less trajectory and fine tune shots for where you miss the center. It is possible to figure this all out on your own if you are an equipment aficionado but much easier to diagnose during a fitting. Qualified fitters can certainly attest to many coming into the fitting with a specific iron in mind only to find it is not as good a fit as another iron that is designed to maximize their personal tendencies. 

chisag has taken us deep into the weeds with interesting but technical  considerations on iron choice.

As a   "plus" capper, he's an expert and I'm clearly not.   Let's get that clear right away.

 

My method in choosing my new irons was so much more simple.   As I reveal it, please remember all the while that I have a 1990s flip phone and have never sent a text message or taken a picture with a telephone. That's where I am with technology.   And my primary phone is a land line.  Ready?

 

First, I eliminated every model with a nine iron stronger than 42º.   

That was so I could have an overall set configuration in a familiar format with which I was comfortable.

 

That left me with a lot of pure blades with no GI features at all so I eliminated them as well.

That in turn left me essentially with Titleist T100s, Mizuno JPX 921 Tours, Hogan PTx Pros, and Wilson Staff CBs.

Callaway Apex Pro came in at a 41º 9-iron.    Bye bye, Callaway.

 

Then I looked at what those manufacturers offered for shaft and grip options.

Deep breath and on to wedges.

 

Then I looked for who could give me wedges at 48-54-60 to synch with a 42º 9-iron,

and which manufacturer offered those lofts that I just mentioned with the lowest bounce angles.

Then I looked at the shaft and grip options offered by the wedge manufacturers.

 

Then I matched irons and wedges

by the ability to get the same shafts and grips on both the numbered irons and the wedges.

 

All of this could be done without so much as seeing a golf club in person and touching it,

never mind going near a launch monitor / simulator.

 

For my purposes as a player just coming back up to a two figure cap due to my age and physical condition,

and who never even sniffed a "plus" cap,

this method works perfectly.

 

Everything one degree flat with R-flex graphite and a wrap-type grip and there you have it--I'm good to go.

 

Try it at your own risk.   I have a feeling that chisag won't, right chi?

Actor dude can play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 12/5/2021 at 2:04 AM, MacMan said:

If Macgregor still made clubs like they did 20 years ago I'd be all over them!

V-Foil VIP 1025 CM's Forged, S300 shafts, Cavity Back's 3-6, Pure Blades 7-PW +GW, SW & LW!!! BEST IRONS I HAVE EVER USED!! 

Schools out on the PXG 0211's,  good so far, but not 100% sure.... Still keep going back to my Cleveland CG1 Tour Irons.

Form Forged Japan Spec, 6-PW, DG S300... narrow sole  low bounce minimal offset - Almost as good as the Macs!!!

One wonders if it would be worth it to MacMan and Stu to have vintage Mac irons completely rebuilt by somebody like The Iron Factory.  It would be at least as as expensive as buying something brand new, but it would be getting them gear that they really liked.  Repaired and welded.  Re-grooved.  Re-chromed.  Re-paint filled.  Re-shafted and gripped.  Re-swingweighted.

Edited by BostonSal
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