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How do I know when to switch out my game-improving irons for less forgiving equipment?


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Is everything that needs to be done to get irons fitted? Or should I aim for a specific percentage of greens in regulation? Do you know any low-handicappers who still use irons for game improvement? I appreciate your advice.

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2 hours ago, InezMason said:

Is everything that needs to be done to get irons fitted? Or should I aim for a specific percentage of greens in regulation? Do you know any low-handicappers who still use irons for game improvement? I appreciate your advice.

I forget which member said this, btu I think it holds true. Use the most forgiving irons possible that you like the look of!

Getting fit (especially if your current set isn't) would be a great start. A lot of it can simply be confidence. If you can find any demo days around you maybe try and go to them test out a few irons that are smaller or less forgiving and see how you get on with those. 

I went straight from GI irons to blades and although had some struggles here and there it wasn't that bad, plus I much much preferred the look and feel of them so for me it was a win. However that wouldn't be the case for all. 

How is your iron game as a whole? Is it a strength to your game compared to other areas?

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Agree w the above about getting fit. And agree on what looks right to your eye.

Question for you is why do you want to switch?

For me, the generous offset was resulting in a big left that meant I had to compensate for it.  My beginners slice was turning into a hook. That wasn’t the best swing or what I wanted to do. 
 

I too was unsure about making the change. Manufactures use language like medium handicapper or for the 0-10 handicapper…. Well I was an 11 wanting to be a 10.  So I bought a used set. Discovered I could hit them just fine. Got better. Got fit for new shafts to go in them but kept the heads cause I love the look.  

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Why on earth would someone want to play clubs that are LESS forgiving? This aspect of golf has never made any sense to me at all. I don't know of any other sport where participants actively want to make it HARDER to play the game on themselves. 

Go for a fitting and buy what you hit/like the best. If it's SGI shovels, then so be it.

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14 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

If it's SGI shovels, then so be it.

Instructions unclear. Headed to Home Depot for my new set of shovels: https://www.facebook.com/golf/videos/amazing-bunker-shot-using-shovel/722047908283602/

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There are many pros that play forgiving irons. The AP2 and now T100 have been the leading irons on the PGA tour.

I forgot who it was but one of Callaways pros several years back played their GI irons.

Westwood played i20s irons for years and moved into the i210s, many LPGA pros play the i210 as well.

What matters is that the clubs get you into the right launch window, have consistent distance with each shot(if you hit the center 3 times in a row those shots should all be similar in flight and distance, if you miss towards the toe you get similar results for the toe hit each time).

Then you want clubs that feel good, suit your eyes and ears.

There is no reason one has to go from a GI to players club or from a CB to an MB.

I played with a 3 hdcp that used fhe cleveland hi bore clubs. I watch a scratch golfer use those same clubs and shoot just over par.

Get for and find the clubs that work best for your game and that make you want to go play golf

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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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I actually just went the other direction back to GI from players distance with the 921 Hot Metal Pros. Same idea, that game is hard enough and these work for me and are forgiving.

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I played game improvment irons until my handicap got down to a 4. Then I switched to players distance irons that were fit to me. Although my distances didn't change my iron play got better.  My trajectory improved and proximity to the pin. The look of less off-set was also more appealing to my eye. This combination took off another 3 strokes. 

The important part was they were fit to me and my swing. 

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19 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

There are many pros that play forgiving irons. The AP2 and now T100 have been the leading irons on the PGA tour.

I forgot who it was but one of Callaways pros several years back played their GI irons.

Westwood played i20s irons for years and moved into the i210s, many LPGA pros play the i210 as well.

What matters is that the clubs get you into the right launch window, have consistent distance with each shot(if you hit the center 3 times in a row those shots should all be similar in flight and distance, if you miss towards the toe you get similar results for the toe hit each time).

Then you want clubs that feel good, suit your eyes and ears.

There is no reason one has to go from a GI to players club or from a CB to an MB.

I played with a 3 hdcp that used fhe cleveland hi bore clubs. I watch a scratch golfer use those same clubs and shoot just over par.

Get for and find the clubs that work best for your game and that make you want to go play golf

A few years back a guy I know worked the Callaway Tour Van. Rocco Mediate was on the Cally Tour Staff then. This guy told me that at the time Rocco played stock off the shelf X-22s. They would ask Rocco if everything was ok and he said yes. He said they never made any adjustments etc and would every now and then change out a grip

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Driver ---- Callaway Big Bertha Alpha  Speeder 565 R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex 15*--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel UST Pro Force 65 R flex 21*---- 9 wood TM V-Steel stock MAS Stiff shaft 24*---  Irons 4 thru 9 Mac Muirfield TT black label --- PW  Vokey SM-4 51* stock shaft--- SW Vokey SM 5 L grind 58* stock shaft--- Putter -- Rusty Scotty Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft---. Bag Old School Jones Original non stand

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Why on earth would someone want to play clubs that are LESS forgiving? This aspect of golf has never made any sense to me at all. I don't know of any other sport where participants actively want to make it HARDER to play the game on themselves. 

Go for a fitting and buy what you hit/like the best. If it's SGI shovels, then so be it.

I agree 110% with that last line

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Driver ---- Callaway Big Bertha Alpha  Speeder 565 R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex 15*--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel UST Pro Force 65 R flex 21*---- 9 wood TM V-Steel stock MAS Stiff shaft 24*---  Irons 4 thru 9 Mac Muirfield TT black label --- PW  Vokey SM-4 51* stock shaft--- SW Vokey SM 5 L grind 58* stock shaft--- Putter -- Rusty Scotty Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft---. Bag Old School Jones Original non stand

 

 

 

 

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A couple different times I have gone the route of playing less forgiving (blades) irons and my scores suffered.  I love the feel and the look of a forged blade but did not like the unforgiveness on mishits.  Maybe if I could hit balls daily my swing would be consistent enough for blades.  I currently play PXG Gen 3 0311XP which are forgiving and look good.  

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Ping G410 3 wood 16° w/Ventus Velocore Blue-6R tipped 1"

PXG 0211 19.5° 7 wood w/Project X Evenflow Riptide CB 40 5.0

Callaway Rogue 19° hybrid regular

PXG Gen 3 0311XF 5 - G steel regular

Corey Paul wedges bent to 53° and 58°

Taylormade Spider X putter

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On 8/29/2022 at 10:48 PM, InezMason said:

Is everything that needs to be done to get irons fitted? Or should I aim for a specific percentage of greens in regulation? Do you know any low-handicappers who still use irons for game improvement? I appreciate your advice.

I know low handicap players that play GI clubs and as mentioned in this thread there are PGA pros that play GI type clubs.   I guess the question is what are you tryin* to improve by moving toward more if a players iron?  I’d suggest only moving if your performance improves.  iMO, performance is more about contact, delivering the club to the ball, and ball flight; not necessarily the number of greens you hit.  

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Pride and vanity are why some golfers switch out of GI clubs or refuse to use GI clubs. I recently got fit for the new Stealth irons and have absolutely loved them. I let a buddy of mine hit them and he absolutely loved them. When I encouraged him to go get some, his response was “I would never play GI clubs.” He was joking, but only kind of.

I say this game is hard enough as it is, why make it harder? You will gain strokes because you want to stroke your ego.

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3 Wood: Taylormade Stealth 15º (Fujikura Ventus Red 5 Stiff)

Driving Iron: Taylormade Stealth DHY 2 (Aldila Ascent Graphite Stiff)

Hybrid: Titleist 818 H1 @ 19° (Tensei Blue Stiff)

Irons: Taylormade Stealth 5-Attack (Fujikura Ventus Blue Graphite 7S Stiff)

Wedges: Taylormade MG3 52º (True Temper Tour Issue S200), Cleveland CBX Zipcore 54° (True Temper Gold S300)

Putter: PXG Blackjack (Plumbers Neck)

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I play the original Cleveland CBX Launcher irons.  Solidly in the GI category but guess what, I like the look of watching shots hit the green waaaaay more than looking down at a thin topline or having blades in the bag.  FWIW I'm currently a 2.1 and was down to a 1.0 last season.

A lot of good advice already above but I would stress getting fit and getting comfortable with your irons.  Ignore looks and ask what are your current irons either doing (or not doing) that you think can be fixed with a new set of irons?  If the answer is only that you think you should have something that looks nicer then save your money.  There is no need to switch.

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Irons: :cleveland-small: 5i - gap Launcher CBX w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

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On 8/31/2022 at 10:23 AM, David Leighton Reid said:

A couple different times I have gone the route of playing less forgiving (blades) irons and my scores suffered.  I love the feel and the look of a forged blade but did not like the unforgiveness on mishits.  Maybe if I could hit balls daily my swing would be consistent enough for blades.  I currently play PXG Gen 3 0311XP which are forgiving and look good.  

I will say this from experience and this may be just me. 0311s are not that easy to hit. I know that sounds funny coming from a blade man. It may have been a combination of feel and the shaft in this case. I was messing with some a friend had and he had C Tapers in his which I do not care for that shaft anyhow and they were a little stiff for me. Since PXGs are getting a little cheaper for some reason now I may wheel and deal and find some cheap. I may build a couple to my specs and try and see. I had been looking for a 1st gen 211 driver to build but that is shelved now since I got the Bertha Alpha and I have fallen in love with it. I am the opposite of most folks in the fact I have played blades so long I can not get the feel or my distances dialed in with CBs etc

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Driver ---- Callaway Big Bertha Alpha  Speeder 565 R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex 15*--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel UST Pro Force 65 R flex 21*---- 9 wood TM V-Steel stock MAS Stiff shaft 24*---  Irons 4 thru 9 Mac Muirfield TT black label --- PW  Vokey SM-4 51* stock shaft--- SW Vokey SM 5 L grind 58* stock shaft--- Putter -- Rusty Scotty Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft---. Bag Old School Jones Original non stand

 

 

 

 

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I would say jump to less forgiving irons when you want to start hitting certain shot shapes. I 100% agree with getting fit to see what you hit more consistently as far as distance and dispersion, but as you get "better" forgiving clubs will just be what they are..... forgiving.

 

I will say I have always wondered when I play against people that are single digit HCs like me that play very forgiving clubs if they would be just as good and/or if I had more forgiving clubs if I would be better?

 

 

Golf is weird, just get it in the hole 🤣

 

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Driver: Taylormade Sim 2 Max

3 Wood: Callaway Epic Max

Driving Iron: Titleist u510

Hybrid: Taylormade Gapr

Irons: Taylormade P760

Wedges: Vokey Jet Black 52/56/60

Putter: Taylormade Spider X

Ball: ProV1x

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37 minutes ago, TexasFullSend said:

I would say jump to less forgiving irons when you want to start hitting certain shot shapes. I 100% agree with getting fit to see what you hit more consistently as far as distance and dispersion, but as you get "better" forgiving clubs will just be what they are..... forgiving.

 

I will say I have always wondered when I play against people that are single digit HCs like me that play very forgiving clubs if they would be just as good and/or if I had more forgiving clubs if I would be better?

 

 

Golf is weird, just get it in the hole 🤣

 

The ball flight laws don’t change because of a club design. One can manipulate the ball up and down or sideways with any club. Do certain designs lend to it being easier? Yes but it can still be done with any club.

 

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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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6 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The ball flight laws don’t change because of a club design. One can manipulate the ball up and down or sideways with any club. Do certain designs lend to it being easier? Yes but it can still be done with any club.

 

Practically what I just said. Less forgiving clubs will allow you to hit certain shot shapes if that is what you are after once you reach a certain level of ability. It being easier with certain clubs would be a reason to ditch the game improvement clubs. Why don't tour pros use game improvement clubs if ball flights will always remain the same? From my understanding game improvement clubs have a lower center of gravity which helps players get the ball in the air to maximize potential distance. 

 

Work ability and Feel vs Height and Forgiveness is all it comes down too.... 

Driver: Taylormade Sim 2 Max

3 Wood: Callaway Epic Max

Driving Iron: Titleist u510

Hybrid: Taylormade Gapr

Irons: Taylormade P760

Wedges: Vokey Jet Black 52/56/60

Putter: Taylormade Spider X

Ball: ProV1x

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42 minutes ago, TexasFullSend said:

Practically what I just said. Less forgiving clubs will allow you to hit certain shot shapes if that is what you are after once you reach a certain level of ability. It being easier with certain clubs would be a reason to ditch the game improvement clubs. Why don't tour pros use game improvement clubs if ball flights will always remain the same? From my understanding game improvement clubs have a lower center of gravity which helps players get the ball in the air to maximize potential distance. 

 

Work ability and Feel vs Height and Forgiveness is all it comes down too.... 

well considering the ap2 and now t100 are the most played irons on tour they do use them. 
 

Not to mention the i210s that are in several Ping staffer bags.l which are definitely more game improvement design than not.

It’s perception that all pros play cb or blades or the at they play the longest lofted and least forgiving drivers.

One doesn’t need to play less forgiving irons ever if they don’t want to and ball flight laws are what they are regardless of the head design. Having more spin will make some shots easier than with al low spin head but anyone that understands how to create a shot shape can do it with any club.

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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35 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

well considering the ap2 and now t100 are the most played irons on tour they do use them. 
 

Not to mention the i210s that are in several Ping staffer bags.l which are definitely more game improvement design than not.

It’s perception that all pros play cb or blades or the at they play the longest lofted and least forgiving drivers.

One doesn’t need to play less forgiving irons ever if they don’t want to and ball flight laws are what they are regardless of the head design. Having more spin will make some shots easier than with al low spin head but anyone that understands how to create a shot shape can do it with any club.

That is true. Especially with WITB very few tour players use blades. When I think game improvement irons I think of  Taylormade Stealth, Titleist T400 etc..... going off MPF Ratings even T100 are considered game improvement irons lol 

 

https://www.golfworks.com/iron-head-mpf-ratings/a/870/

 

Driver: Taylormade Sim 2 Max

3 Wood: Callaway Epic Max

Driving Iron: Titleist u510

Hybrid: Taylormade Gapr

Irons: Taylormade P760

Wedges: Vokey Jet Black 52/56/60

Putter: Taylormade Spider X

Ball: ProV1x

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