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What is the difference betweeen "Players" and "Players Distance" irons?


Ryan M
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I apologize if this is the wrong forum. I see reviews from MGS for Players and Players Distance irons, and it seems like there is a lot of overlap. However, can someone explain the difference to me?

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5 minutes ago, Ryan M said:

I apologize if this is the wrong forum. I see reviews from MGS for Players and Players Distance irons, and it seems like there is a lot of overlap. However, can someone explain the difference to me?

Players distance irons usually are hollow bodied and have stronger lofts while still maintaining the aesthetics of a players irons (minimal offset, thinner top line, etc)

Using Mizuno as an example 

Mizuno Pro 221 - blade

Mizuno Pro 223 - players/players cavity back

Mizuno Pro 225 - players distance 

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Ok, this was helpful.

Are these general guidelines? Or does it mean that a Players iron will always have traditional lofts and never be hollow?

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Woods: PXG 0341 X GEN4 3W/15* w/ Aldila NV Green Hybrid NXT 70g?
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2 minutes ago, Ryan M said:

Ok, this was helpful.

Are these general guidelines? Or does it mean that a Players iron will always have traditional lofts and never be hollow?

Categorically that is correct.

 

another example:

 

Titleist T100 (players)

Titleist T100s (players distance) they have inserts, but look nearly identical. And have stronger lofts.  Not necessarily “hollow” but use technology.

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1 minute ago, Ryan M said:

Are these general guidelines? Or does it mean that a Players iron will always have traditional lofts and never be hollow?

There really is nothing standard in golf.  What decade/era do you consider when saying “traditional” lofts?  Some people will say some players irons really aren’t because they are cavity back and not muscle backs.   Things just float between grey areas regarding what category a club is within.   

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So something else that kind of confuses me sometimes is the Most Wanted testing. Many manufacturers are on 2-year release cycles. It would be nice if the testing reflected the current offerings in each category, rather than the current releases.

 

This may get a bit off-topic, and I assume this has been discussed before, but the search options of this forum are a bit challenging (or perhaps I am challenged?).

I ask because I hit some Mizuno JPX 921 Forged irons at demo day of a local course and liked them. They are in the 2021 Most Wanted testing for Players Distance, but not in the 2022 testing. They are still a current offering from Mizuno right? It would be nice to see how it compares. Doesn't Ping and several others work on a 2-year release cycle? It just makes it hard if I am trying to identify what to test and if I can't see how a club released last year compares with clubs released this year. Couldn't the club from last year be better than this year? Or comparing Srixon ZX5/7 is difficult with their release cycle as well.

Edited by Ryan M
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Woods: PXG 0341 X GEN4 3W/15* w/ Aldila NV Green Hybrid NXT 70g?
Hybrids: PXG 0317 X GEN4 3H/19* w/ Aldila NV Green Hybrid NXT 85g
Irons: :taylormade-small: M2 Tour 4-A w/ KBS Tour 90
Wedges: :titelist-small: Vokey SM7 56*, SM6 60*
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Bag: Sun Mountain C130

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23 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Categorically that is correct.

 

another example:

 

Titleist T100 (players)

Titleist T100s (players distance) they have inserts, but look nearly identical. And have stronger lofts.  Not necessarily “hollow” but use technology.

Aren’t the t100 and t100s irons identical except for lofts? 
 

I believe the pay they are in the same category of iron. The strong lofts is merely a fitting tool.

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9 minutes ago, Ryan M said:

So something else that kind of confuses me sometimes is the Most Wanted testing. Many manufacturers are on 2-year release cycles. It would be nice if the testing reflected the current offerings in each category, rather than the current releases.

 

This may get a bit off-topic, and I assume this has been discussed before, but the search options of this forum are a bit challenging (or perhaps I am challenged?).

I ask because I hit some Mizuno JPX 921 Forged irons at demo day of a local course and liked them. They are in the 2021 Most Wanted testing for Players Distance, but not in the 2022 testing. They are still a current offering from Mizuno right? It would be nice to see how it compares. Doesn't Ping and several others work on a 2-year release cycle? It just makes it hard if I am trying to identify what to test and if I can't see how a club released last year compares with clubs released this year. Couldn't the club from last year be better than this year? Or comparing Srixon ZX5/7 is difficult with their release cycle as well.

New JPX line being announced in 2-3 months

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:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW OBAN CT 115X(-)

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I think you are getting too caught up in made up labels and categorizations. My JPX Tour irons fit me perfectly and I’ve seen them classified as players, players cavity, cavity back etc

there are no standards, and that’s okay.  Don’t get caught up in what irons to play based on handicap level - that’s like choosing a shaft purely based on swing speed

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:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X

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:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW OBAN CT 115X(-)

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:ping-small: PLD Milled Anser 2

:titelist-small: ProV1

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Ryan M said:

So something else that kind of confuses me sometimes is the Most Wanted testing. Many manufacturers are on 2-year release cycles. It would be nice if the testing reflected the current offerings in each category, rather than the current releases.

 

This may get a bit off-topic, and I assume this has been discussed before, but the search options of this forum are a bit challenging (or perhaps I am challenged?).

I ask because I hit some Mizuno JPX 921 Forged irons at demo day of a local course and liked them. They are in the 2021 Most Wanted testing for Players Distance, but not in the 2022 testing. They are still a current offering from Mizuno right? It would be nice to see how it compares. Doesn't Ping and several others work on a 2-year release cycle? It just makes it hard if I am trying to identify what to test and if I can't see how a club released last year compares with clubs released this year. Couldn't the club from last year be better than this year?

MGS doesn’t always test every club on the market and if it was tested during a prior years most wanted it may not be tested in the current years.  As one of the most wanted testers I can tell you that scheduling the tests and getting people to come in a do the tests can be difficult because it is a time consuming process.   You can look between previous years and see how the performed.  That said it is difficult to do head to head comparisons because MGS is continually refining their algorithms and the tester pool changes from year to year.  If you are going to hit the clubs and do your own comparisons, the MGS might give you some ideas but may not be the definitive list for you.   The intent of the most wanted testing is to identify what would most likely work for a player if the walked in off the street and just picked the club off the shelf with maybe some minimal fitting.  As one of the testers, I can tell you that the top clubs on the list aren’t always the best and often my best club isn’t the top club.  You mention Mizuno and in general I dislike Mizuno clubs and they don’t work well for me    

To answer your final question, yes clubs from the prior year could be better than a current offering especially for an individual.   MGS has pretty much always said you should get fit for your clubs to see what works best and that it probably takes 3-5 years beyond your current iteration of clubs to start seeing performance improvements.  Ideally, Find the club that works best for you and ignore the categories. 

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2 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Aren’t the t100 and t100s irons identical except for lofts? 
 

I believe the pay they are in the same category of iron. The strong lofts is merely a fitting tool.

I guess that is true.  I would put the T100s in the distance category, but you are right they don’t.  With the added tech and stronger lofts… the Shankster categories would split the 2.

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9 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Aren’t the t100 and t100s irons identical except for lofts? 
 

I believe the pay they are in the same category of iron. The strong lofts is merely a fitting tool.

I have read the t100s have some kind of muscle channel so it is more than just a loft difference.  

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Just now, cnosil said:

I have read the t100s have some kind of muscle channel so it is more than just a loft difference.  

Good call. I guess I missed than change to the 2nd generation. Original generation was merely a loft difference (to allow for stronger lofts without adding offset or reducing bounce

Just now, Shankster said:

So here’s Titleist’s marketing for the T100 and the T100s.  Just by the words, I would immediately go to distance iron. “Dialed up distance.”

 

 

3880E358-1504-4CE3-B3AA-8D06E42420B8.png

8E3E1695-B905-4FBF-B17F-463F3F4F07C9.png

Yup. I was wrong. They added additional tech into the S model this year. Thanks

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7 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Good call. I guess I missed than change to the 2nd generation. Original generation was merely a loft difference (to allow for stronger lofts without adding offset or reducing bounce

Yup. I was wrong. They added additional tech into the S model this year. Thanks

Wasn’t trying to prove you wrong.  It is strange that they have these two irons.  They aren’t that much different (first gen), and to have them look exactly the same with a little tech… seems kinda redundant as Rob said in the TSR thread.  Why not split the difference?

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2 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Wasn’t trying to prove you wrong.  It is strange that they have these two irons.  They aren’t that much different (first gen), and to have them look exactly the same with a little tech… seems kinda redundant as Rob said in the TSR thread.  Why not split the difference?

Well at least there’s a tech difference this cycle. They didn’t have one the first time. 
 

but I actually get it. I add loft, don’t lead the shaft so I hit the ball high and I have high ball speed. I need slightly stronger lofts but don’t want less bounce and more offset that comes from bending. I think there are a lot of golfers in that situation 

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3 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Well at least there’s a tech difference this cycle. They didn’t have one the first time. 
 

but I actually get it. I add loft, don’t lead the shaft so I hit the ball high and I have high ball speed. I need slightly stronger lofts but don’t want less bounce and more offset that comes from bending. I think there are a lot of golfers in that situation 

I believe I am right there with you. Everything goes high.  Probably why I am enjoying them so much (T100s first gen).  If the new T100s are any better… we might have a serious contender on Wednesday.

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37 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Dang… I should hold out then.  

I doubt there’ll be much change. I have the 919s and never even think about looking at another iron. The only iron that intrigues me a little bit is the Ping i59

srixon has new stuff coming out this fall too

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