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Who doesn’t want to play a muscle back iron?


GolfSpy_BEN

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Hard to beat the feel, sound and ball flight from a pure strike with a forged club.  But golf is hard enough without making it harder, by choice.  I'm interested in enjoying every round and chasing the improvement journey with my GI clubs.  Even the rounds where my swing is MIA and I'll take all the help I can get.  

Driver: Callaway Rogue ST 10.5

FW: 3HL Callaway Paradym

FW: 5 Callaway Mavrik

Hybird: Rogue ST 5

Irons: Paradym X 6-AW, UST Dart 75g

Wedges: Vokey TM9, 52F, 58S

Putter: Odessey OG 

Callaway Chromesoft or Titleist Tour Speed

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5 hours ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

I do miss my cobra amp cell pro irons. I wouldn't game them, but they are pretty. 

I feel the same about my king forged CBs (2019 ed.). Cobra really knows what they are doing with their players irons. I don't think the broader crowd realizes they have a forging process very similar to Mizuno...

As for this topic, I don't expect to ever use blade in anything stronger than an 8i. After playing my miniature CBs for three years and then switching to my current combo set about 18 months ago, I will take the forgiveness at the top of the bag all day, and can settle for minor bumps of that pured buttery feeling in my scoring irons only.

Even if I moved down from my current 5-6HC to an unrealistic goal of scratch, I reckon I would never go blades, since I could always use a bit of forgiveness, and even if I wanted to be stubborn about it, I am a pretty high spin player and don't have the joints to handle the C Taper / PX LS shafts required to counter the higher spinning blades.

Driver:  :titelist-small: TSi 3 10* w/ Graphite Design AD IZ 7X 

Fairway/Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSi 2 15* & 18* w/ Graphite Design AD IZ 7X, AD IZ 95X

Irons: :taylormade-small: P790 4i, P770 5-7i, P7MC 8-P, $ Taper 120

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 52F/54 S, 58 M w/ Modus 125

Putter:  :cameron-small:  California Hollywood 34" Circle H

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On 5/22/2023 at 8:25 AM, russtopherb said:

I like looking at MB irons. I certainly don't want to play them.

I personally enjoy looking down at a larger clubhead. It gives me more confidence and allows me to swing a little more freely. I don't mind a little junk in the trunk at all. I don't have any desire to hit or even try MBs. 

For those who enjoy playing them, I say "have at it and have fun!". 

 

... There is just something about a set of forged MB's conjuring up images of a Medieval Blacksmith pounding and shaping a sword iron out of a solid piece of steel. Then the finished look is so alluring in it's simplicity and beauty. I think every equipment nut should get a set of MB's and attempt to play them. Or better yet, get a 2nd set of MB's and play them every now and then. And for 99% of those serious about the game, that will be enough and they will go back to playing what works best for their swing. 

... There is a reason there are only a couple MB sets on the LPGA Tour, arguably the very best ball strikers on the planet. They want to shoot their lowest scores. I would compare MB's to a 6 speed manual transmission used for racing on a winding track. In the hands of a skilled driver, it provides control an automatic transmission does not. Yet that same skilled driver facing traffic with constant stop and go and traffic lights every few blocks will prefer an automatic transmission because it accomplishes that job much better than a manual 6 speed. MB's provide a little more control of trajectory and shot shape, but just a little in the hands of the highly skilled. Spieth, Zalatoris, JY Ko and Korda all use CB's and are shot shapers and great iron players. On any given shot do you need to reduce your trajectory by 5 yds, reduce spin by 700rpms, move the ball one way or the other 6 yds with one shot and 11yds with the next? If not, MB's are probably going to do more harm than good. Todays ball and irons are designed to go straight and high with more workability as you progress from SGI to GI to Players irons.

... Most know my mantra of play the most forgiving irons you can effectively play. Effectively play means different things to different golfers. For the vast majority of us golf isn't a game about how good are your best swings but how bad are your worst swings. For some that is 4 or 5 shots a round and others it is most of their shots. 🤪   Lastly addressing the legendary feel of a MB that by law must be described as "butter" my MIM Tours are the best feeling irons when hit dead center I have ever played and that includes about 15 sets of MB's. There is no doubt a solid forged carbon steel iron feels awesome, but so do many CB's and even multi material irons. I think what most are describing with MB's is dead center feels much better than slight mishits which makes that center contact even more pronounced and heavenly.

... Now all that said I don't wanna be a negative nancy on this excellent thread that is really more about the love of equipment than which irons produces the best shots and lowest scores. Lots of reasons to play this game and enjoyment should be at or near the top of that list. If that comes from the challenge of playing MB's or just loving the look or any number of other reasons ... the only person that can decide which irons are best for your enjoyment of the game is you. I have a set of Srixon Z Forged MB's I think are beautiful to look at and play them 3 or 4 times a year to remind me why I play a more forgiving Players Iron but also because every now and then, they are just a ton of fun to play. Best of luck with your MBs Ben! 

Driver:     :taylormade-small:  Qi10 10.5* ... Ventus Red Velocore 5R
Fairway:  :cobra-small: Aerojet 3/5 ... Kai'li Blue 60R
Hybrids:  :ping-small:      430 Hybrid 22*... Steelfiber 780Hy 
                  :taylormade-small:  DHy #4 ... Diamana LTD 65r 
Irons:       :titleist-small:         '23 T200 5-Pw ... Steelfiber i95r
Wedges:  :taylormade-small: Vokey 50*/54*/58* ... Steelfiber i95r
Putter:     :cobra-small:  Sport-60 33" 
Ball:           Maxfli     Maxfli Tour

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I'm in the same spot other have posted about. I'm currently gaming forged CBs, but they are getting older so I would like to get a newer set soon. I love the look of the MBs and would love to play blades again but that's only huburis. I really should move more towards a hollow body players iron like the TM P790 or Titleist T100.

Take Dead Aim

Driver: PXG 0211 10.5* 

Fairway: Titleist 917 F3 15*

Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro Boxer Gold 18*

Irons: MacGregor MT-86 Pro

Wedges: Vokey 50/54/58

Putter: SeeMore X2 Costa del Mar

Ball: Srixon Z-Star

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5 minutes ago, chisag said:

 

... There is just something about a set of forged MB's conjuring up images of a Medieval Blacksmith pounding and shaping a sword iron out of a solid piece of steel. Then the finished look is so alluring in it's simplicity and beauty. I think every equipment nut should get a set of MB's and attempt to play them. Or better yet, get a 2nd set of MB's and play them every now and then. And for 99% of those serious about the game, that will be enough and they will go back to playing what works best for their swing. 

... There is a reason there are only a couple MB sets on the LPGA Tour, arguably the very best ball strikers on the planet. They want to shoot their lowest scores. I would compare MB's to a 6 speed manual transmission used for racing on a winding track. In the hands of a skilled driver, it provides control an automatic transmission does not. Yet that same skilled driver facing traffic with constant stop and go and traffic lights every few blocks will prefer an automatic transmission because it accomplishes that job much better than a manual 6 speed. MB's provide a little more control of trajectory and shot shape, but just a little in the hands of the highly skilled. Spieth, Zalatoris, JY Ko and Korda all use CB's and are shot shapers and great iron players. On any given shot do you need to reduce your trajectory by 5 yds, reduce spin by 700rpms, move the ball one way or the other 6 yds with one shot and 11yds with the next? If not, MB's are probably going to do more harm than good. Todays ball and irons are designed to go straight and high with more workability as you press from SGI to GI to Players irons.

... Most know my mantra of play the most forgiving irons you can effectively play. Effectively play means different things to different golfers. For the vast majority of us golf isn't a game about how good are your best swings but how bad are your worst swings. For some that is 4 or 5 shots a round and others it is most of their shots. 🤪   Lastly addressing the legendary feel of a MB that by law must be described as "butter" my MIM Tours are the best feeling irons when hit dead center I have ever played and that includes about 15 sets of MB's. There is no doubt a solid forged carbon steel iron feels awesome, but so do many CB's and even multi material irons. I think what most are describing with MB's is dead center feels much better than slight mishits which makes that center contact even more pronounced and heavenly.

... Now all that said I don't wanna be a negative nancy on this excellent thread that is really more about the love of equipment than which irons produces the best shots and lowest scores. Lots of reasons to play this game and enjoyment should be at or near the top of that list. If that comes from the challenge of playing MB's or just loving the look or any number of other reasons ... the only person that can decide which irons are best for your enjoyment of the game is you. I have a set of Srixon Z Forged MB's I think are beautiful to look at and play them 3 or 4 times a year to remind me why I play a more forgiving Players Iron but also because every now and then, they are just a ton of fun to play. Best of luck with your MBs Ben! 

PREACH

Take Dead Aim

Driver: PXG 0211 10.5* 

Fairway: Titleist 917 F3 15*

Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro Boxer Gold 18*

Irons: MacGregor MT-86 Pro

Wedges: Vokey 50/54/58

Putter: SeeMore X2 Costa del Mar

Ball: Srixon Z-Star

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3 minutes ago, chisag said:

 

... There is just something about a set of forged MB's conjuring up images of a Medieval Blacksmith pounding and shaping a sword iron out of a solid piece of steel. Then the finished look is so alluring in it's simplicity and beauty. I think every equipment nut should get a set of MB's and attempt to play them. Or better yet, get a 2nd set of MB's and play them every now and then. And for 99% of those serious about the game, that will be enough and they will go back to playing what works best for their swing. 

 

Agreed. You are absolutely right, and in the interest of full disclosure, it was this line of reasoning that prompted me to get a set of Srixon ZX7’s, a forged CB, because as much as I romanticize the idea of playing MB blades, I am much more pragmatic in my approach to playing actual rounds. Thus far, I have been testing out a set of Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal Pros, a players distance iron, the above mentioned Srixon players CB and the Apex MBs. Of these 3, the Srixons have been the most consistent. The Mizuno’s are great for distance but the carry dispersion is far too great to be reliable. The Apex’s produce a lovely feel and shape when struck properly but are far too punitive when I catch one slightly off center. The srixons fall right in the middle, where there is some forgiveness but I still get that buttery feel and reliable distance. 
 

In the beginning, this thread was about trying something new and somewhere along the way it became something of a player’s iron admiration society and conversely a sounding board for those that wish to express the exact opposite sentiments. Me? I just like talking about equipment that fascinates me. So to one and all, whether you love these clubs or hate them, be sure to leave a comment. Let’s talk about it!

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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1 minute ago, Ben Joest said:

Of these 3, the Srixons have been the most consistent. The Mizuno’s are great for distance but the carry dispersion is far too great to be reliable. The Apex’s produce a lovely feel and shape when struck properly but are far too punitive when I catch one slightly off center. The srixons fall right in the middle, where there is some forgiveness but I still get that buttery feel and reliable distance. 
 

In the beginning, this thread was about trying something new and somewhere along the way it became something of a player’s iron admiration society and conversely a sounding board for those that wish to express the exact opposite sentiments. Me? I just like talking about equipment that fascinates me. So to one and all, whether you love these clubs or hate them, be sure to leave a comment. Let’s talk about it!

 

... Statement above is one of the things I really dislike it when others change it to "MB's are not as difficult to hit as many think". Of course they aren't difficult to hit if you are hitting them in a dime size circle. But miss them 1/2" toward the toe and they are exactly as you described, far too punitive. 

... And right there with you, talking about equipment that fascinates someone is the very foundation of a golf equipment forum. Open to a discussion on pros and cons without being judgmental about a position where someone tells someone else they are wrong, is where threads get sidetracked. But thankfully that rarely happens on MGS. I enjoy a thread about MB's just as much as a thread about a full set of hybrids with iron head covers!  😇

Driver:     :taylormade-small:  Qi10 10.5* ... Ventus Red Velocore 5R
Fairway:  :cobra-small: Aerojet 3/5 ... Kai'li Blue 60R
Hybrids:  :ping-small:      430 Hybrid 22*... Steelfiber 780Hy 
                  :taylormade-small:  DHy #4 ... Diamana LTD 65r 
Irons:       :titleist-small:         '23 T200 5-Pw ... Steelfiber i95r
Wedges:  :taylormade-small: Vokey 50*/54*/58* ... Steelfiber i95r
Putter:     :cobra-small:  Sport-60 33" 
Ball:           Maxfli     Maxfli Tour

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Playing weighted or off-weighted gear will generally reduce to preference for the most part, nothing wrong with that.    I still play blades and even with my speed loss a knock on the middle door is very gratifying, and I like the immediate feedback which feels more pronounced to me.    Last couple times out I've been living toward the toe side of center just enough to rattle my cage and the carbons are telling me to have a look.    Here's a tournament level perspective-quote from Nick Price some may enjoy, courtesy of Bradley Hughes.

“With perimeter weighted clubs, considering my shots on a scale from 1 to 10, I know I wouldn’t hit a shot worse than a 6, but because of the club’s resistance to subtle influences I may want to impart, my best shots wouldn’t be better than an 8 or 9.  With blades, my bad shot might be as bad as a 3, but my best shots would be 10’s, and the difference between 8 and 9’s and a 10 at the top end of the scale is the difference between winning and losing a major championship”

 

Edited by MacTourney

Good hand action comes from good body action.     

:macgregor-small:  :benhogan-small: :cobra-small:

 

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I think they are like St Andrew’s, any outdoor only baseball park, or leather football helmets, really cool to look at but much nicer behind glass in a museum. Essential to the development of the game, a huge part of the story but best left unused except by those wishing to participate in historical recreations. 🙂

Taylor Made Stealth 2 10.5 Diamana S plus 60  Aldila  R flex   - 42.25 inches 

SMT 4 wood bassara R flex, four wood head, 3 wood shaft

Ping G410 7, 9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Srixon ZX5 MK II  5-GW - UST recoil Dart 65 R flex

India 52,56 (60 pending)  UST recoil 75's R flex  

Evon roll ER 5 32 inches

It's our offseason so auditioning candidates - looking for that right mix of low spin long, more spin around the greens - TBD   

 

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I found these (2-P) by the side of the road, cleaned them up and added some paint fill.

Would I play these in a match when it mattered? Heck no! Is it fun to try them once in a while... definitely!

Heel to toe they are 3 inches, top to bottom 2 3/4 inches. (a golf ball diameter is 1.68 inches)

According to https://swingyard.com/macgregor-irons-by-year/ these are from 1968... (55 years young and looking sharp!)

image.png.6ff0fe86a0f4fdd8dfe4ea2d79e46ec1.pngimage.png.a25795ee4adbea93205c4e1d84559724.pngimage.png.69a678a218b102abd0aa779d5e02c4eb.pngimage.png.ed502ae00aac0a1878cf41e27f41bf74.png

DriverPING G425 Max
Woods- PING G 3w, Sub70 pro 4w, 
Callaway UW 19*, Cobra F9 24* 
Irons- XXIO X (6-A)

Wedges- Callaway Jaws Raw (54/58)

Putter- Cleveland HB Soft #1 w/UST
Ball- Maxfli Tour X
Buggy- Clicgear 4.0
Bag- Callaway Org 14

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  • 2 weeks later...

I should really rename this thread “I want to play blades.”

At any rate, I hit about 30 balls into the net tonight with the Apex MBs. The first 2 were thin and stung a little. I was close to stopping right there. However, no risk it, no biscuit. So I persisted. On the third swing, I had an epiphany. By slowing my tempo slightly in the back swing, it allowed me to presumably set properly and I came through the ball proper. Awash with that buttery goodness, I tried it again, and again buttery goodness. Rinse, wash, repeat for the next 20 balls. Each shot instilling micro doses of confidence until I was convinced I have made a breakthrough with these irons.

I’m going to take them to the range tomorrow and see if it translates. If I can repeat this at the range, I am excited to compare the Apex’s to the ZX7s I’m currently gaming. May even get nutty and play a full round with them. My head says the ZX7s are my best bet, but the heart yearns to play these beauties. And well, the heart wants what the heart wants, ya know?

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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5 minutes ago, Ben Joest said:

, I am excited to compare the Apex MB’s to the ZX7s I’m currently gaming. May even get nutty and play a full round with them. My head says the ZX7s are my best bet, but the heart yearns to play these beauties. And well, the heart wants what the heart wants, ya know?

 

... Play a full round! It's fun and usually very illuminating. But hitting into a net and using them on the course when it counts and you don't get a 2nd swing ain't the same thing. I play my MB's about 3-4 times a year and it's a blast and always solidifies why I use Players Irons. But we are all different and who knows, maybe you are a Tiger/Rory/JT kinda golfer!!!! 

Driver:     :taylormade-small:  Qi10 10.5* ... Ventus Red Velocore 5R
Fairway:  :cobra-small: Aerojet 3/5 ... Kai'li Blue 60R
Hybrids:  :ping-small:      430 Hybrid 22*... Steelfiber 780Hy 
                  :taylormade-small:  DHy #4 ... Diamana LTD 65r 
Irons:       :titleist-small:         '23 T200 5-Pw ... Steelfiber i95r
Wedges:  :taylormade-small: Vokey 50*/54*/58* ... Steelfiber i95r
Putter:     :cobra-small:  Sport-60 33" 
Ball:           Maxfli     Maxfli Tour

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Just now, chisag said:

 

... Play a full round! It's fun and usually very illuminating. But hitting into a net and using them on the course when it counts and you don't get a 2nd swing ain't the same thing. I play my MB's about 3-4 times a year and it's a blast and always solidifies why I use Players Irons. But we are all different and who knows, maybe you are a Tiger/Rory/JT kinda golfer!!!! 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ve always been a pretty decent ball striker, so who knows…

Also, I agree with you completely regarding the net, but the thousand mile journey begins with a single step and so on and so on. The first step for me, was proving to my self that I can string more than a couple good strikes together. I want to enjoy the round I use them in. I’m a romantic, not a masochist 😬

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed this read. I’ve been playing for a little over two years now and have chunky anvils in my bag. You’ve inspired me to try out something slimmer.

-Galvan

Mizuno STZ 10.5; Tour Edge C522 irons; Cleveland wedges RTX; Cleveland Huntington Beach Putter, Srixion Z-star XV

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9 minutes ago, Galvanized23 said:

Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed this read. I’ve been playing for a little over two years now and have chunky anvils in my bag. You’ve inspired me to try out something slimmer.

 

... Not so fast! Which would you rather eat?  😉
 


resize.webp.0f62714c5d830abed1d329edef7e56f0.webp



Kerrygold-Butter-2x1-1-ab61a99db3ad47ed94e2e2ef43fa8db0.jpg.cae2060589970068f91a967cf2f0619e.jpg







 

Driver:     :taylormade-small:  Qi10 10.5* ... Ventus Red Velocore 5R
Fairway:  :cobra-small: Aerojet 3/5 ... Kai'li Blue 60R
Hybrids:  :ping-small:      430 Hybrid 22*... Steelfiber 780Hy 
                  :taylormade-small:  DHy #4 ... Diamana LTD 65r 
Irons:       :titleist-small:         '23 T200 5-Pw ... Steelfiber i95r
Wedges:  :taylormade-small: Vokey 50*/54*/58* ... Steelfiber i95r
Putter:     :cobra-small:  Sport-60 33" 
Ball:           Maxfli     Maxfli Tour

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I would love to play musclebacks, but I also know my game would suffer. In a alternative universe, maybe in 10 years, i might get a split set with MBs from 8i-wedges and the rest CBs and PDIs. will see.

Follow my journey to enjoying golf and going low

Driver: :callaway-small:   Epic Max LS :Fuji:Ventus Black 6x 44.5" 

3wHL: :callaway-small: Rogue ST LS 75x  Tensei AV Blue w/ xlink

7w: :callaway-small:Apex UW 21* MMT 80S

DI: Caley 01X 18* with KBS PGH Stiff plus 95g

4-AW: th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 3/4" long, Soft stepped, MOI matched

Wedges     :cleveland-small: Zipcore 

Putter: L.A.B. Directed Force 2.1 69*/35" in blue 

 

Ball:  TBD

Shot Tracking: :ShotScope:

Bag: Vessel VLX 2.0

Grip: Lamkin Sonar +  Midsize 

My Reviews:

Caley 01X Driving Iron Review 2023

Max Swing Speed Training and Speed Progress: Current Speed 120 in the MGS Speed Challenge (updated 3/15/23)

 :1332069271_TommyArmour:TAIII #2  Review here: TAIII Impact #2 Putter )

 :cleveland-small: Zipcore Tour Rack 54/full and 58/mid (review here)

th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  2019 Unofficial Review

 

 

 

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 I had a range session today where I was able to grab some data re: the Apex MB 18s and whether or not i could/can realistically game these blades. In the session I compared the Apex's with my current gamers, the Srixon ZX7s, I hit 5 shots with the PW, 7i, & 5i with the follow results:

image.png.75d4835729c6a5421cd18571344e8b60.png

My initial reaction to the results is that these clubs performed very similar in the carry and total distance categories. However, what set the Apex's apart from the ZX7's is the average apex height. Both the PW and 7i for Apex would conceivably land softer than the ZX7s while maintaining similar distances. That was nice. As to the 5i, neither club launched particularly high, but I rarely find myself in a situation where I am relying on a 5i to hold a green. If faced with 190 into a green, I am more likely to hit a 7 wood with an 80% swing and let the ball fall on the green like a gentle summer rain. Today's experiment has given me the reassurance I need to play these in a round. I may take them to the natural turf range this weekend, as a last quality check prior to systems go. One thing is for certain, while I am not sure how sustainable my ability to center strike these irons will be, in this moment right now, when I swing them I have no fear and absolute confidence of where they are going. That's all any of us can really ask for.

         

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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The random thunderstorms that have been popping up all weekend prevented me from doing a range session on the natural turf at the golf ranch, so I opted for a virtual round instead. Since the range’s covered hitting bays are equipped with Top Tracer Range, it allows for virtual rounds while also getting the visual feedback of actual shot shape and distance. One of the drawbacks of hitting into a screen for indoor simulators is the lack of seeing the ball go beyond the 10 or so feet. And, frankly it beats mindlessly hitting balls down range. I still want to hit a bucket from the turf, prior to playing the blades in an actual round, so I can get a sense of the turf interaction, but the virtual round was by all accounts a test that the Apex MBs passed. It terms of distance and knowing which club to select for which yardage, the Apex’s were similar to the ZX7s. My yardage averages for the MBs are as follows:

PW: 120

9i: 135

8i: 150

7i: 165

6i: 180

5i: 195

I am using a 50, 54, & 58 to cover all the yardage up to 115.

I have 21 degree utility & a 7 wood, that are lofted the same but hit 2 entirely different types of shots, along with the 3 & 5 woods that are currently starring in their own unofficial review thread. Admittedly, part of the fun of these various testing threads is trying to unlock the right combination of clubs for optimal scoring. My next post in this thread will be the natural turf range results, unless I unwittingly stumble into a playing opportunity between now and then.

 

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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I play either a combo of mp20 7-PW (5,6 are hmb) or PXG 0211dc.

Two very different sets ..

But I will say that the TP18s I have had for 30years and used during my golfing formative years are harder than the MP20s. 
There is a vanity thing about blades, and when I went to buy my clubs, I tried everything. I was surprised I could live with the MP20s, the Mmc was nice but just too powerful, hmb are just distance machines … which is how I see 5 and 6 irons. 
 

The PXG set was bought to replace my away clubs, these are ultra forgiving, hot ( even with 2 degrees more loft) but I think you can get flyers .. they are great if your in bad swing rut..

My next set will possibly be a cavity back… I went from the TP18s to Zing2 ( beautiful to ugly) but dropped my HC from 12 to 3 in a month (partially due to iron but putting practice everyday for 20 mins for 2 weeks… did most of it)..so for me scoring is key

 

Epic speed - GPLB in long flex 

Ping 425 max 3 wood/ Callaway Rogue 5w

PXG 7 wood/ Ping g425 Crossover 3 

Ping G430 irons 5- 46 degree (+2 degree loft)  ( graphite shafts) 

Ping  glide 4 , 50,56

Vokey SM6 60 degree M grind

yes Donna or maybe a centre shaft white hot 2ball 

assorted updates/ stand ins stored safely for the call up

Still adjusting the set up 

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I will be playing the MB’s in a round on Saturday morning and the accompanying write up should put a neat and tidy bow on what has been a genuinely fun thread to write on. For those that have been following on since the beginning, one question remains: Can these blades earn a spot in the bag? Tune in to find out.

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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Share on other sites

Without writing a full unofficial review of these irons, I will borrow a couple of the components to help recount the round I played this morning with the Apex MBs, as well as give my thoughts and offer some insight into what happens next.

The Good, The Bad, The In-between

The Good: The height and shape of shots for these irons is heavenly. I hit 2 PWs that stand out in my memory as text book examples of golf shots. There was a 6i off the tee on the 2nd hole that split the fairway and left me in position A for my approach. They look like and are a proper iron, and hitting them makes one feel like a proper player. I only had one shot I would characterize as a mishit, the rest were struck well. I managed to avoid any skulls, tops, thins, etc. 

The Bad: There were 2 7i's that I hit, that felt as buttery smooth and pure as could be, and they both came up short of the intended target. In both cases, they were online and one didn't prevent a par but the other did. They were short. 

The In-between: Majestic Springs is a short course (5800+ yards, from the tees we play from) that relies on overgrown heather that lines almost every hole, coupled with a variety of doglegs that are designed to be risk/reward and put a premium on being straight or accurate or both. That being said, even on a day when I leaned on my fairway woods to get off the tees, because the driver decided not to show up, the majority of the shots played were tee shots and wedges. I counted up my iron shots as I was reviewing the round on Shot Scope, I hit 9 irons and 3 were PWs. This is a long winded way of saying that this course may not be the best test of whether a set of irons are compatible with my game. However, for today's round I finished with a 76 on a Par 71 course. Of those 5 dropped shots, 2 came on the short Par 3 3rd that I made a hash of with 3 wedge shots just to get on the green. The par 3 5th was bogeyed off the back of one of those aforementioned short 7 irons. The next was a poorly hit 8 iron that led to a bogey on the par 3 7th hole. The last bogey of the day arrived on the par 4 10th as I hit a short drive, then followed it up with a 9 iron I flushed pin high but well right of the green. In a final tally, those three holes are the difference between a 5 over 76 and a 2 over 73. 

Play It or Trade It 

Full credit to @chisag. His assessment of blades is accurate. And I quote, "I play my MB's about 3-4 times a year and it's a blast and always solidifies why I use Players Irons" They are gorgeous to look at and fun to hit, and if I were independently wealthy and could devote the time and energy to fine-tuning my swing to be compatible with an iron of this type, then yes they would stay in the bag. As it stands, I am not, so I will opt to enjoy them periodically and rely on something a little more friendly to my game.

Conclusion

This all started when I spied a muscle back 7 iron on the Callaway Pre-Owned site for a pittance and thought, that might be fun. It has been quite the journey and I have learned the following: I have the chops to play a muscle back iron. I can strike it in the center and produce a shot that makes me feel like anything is possible. But the level of concentration necessary to hit that shot every time is what separates the tour Gods from the rest of us mere mortals. While this leg of the journey has come to a fitting end, the search for my ideal irons remains and now it is time to start looking again. Lastly, if you have made it this far please accept my sincere gratitude for all the views, comments, and reactions. Until the next thread...

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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Share on other sites

When getting fit for my irons I was surprised that I actually hit the center of the club face more with the blades than with the cavity backs or players distance irons. When I saw this I kind of wondered to myself why would that be, but I think one reason was that when I looked down a blade, I focused much more on hitting the center than with cavity backs and distance clubs where all I was thinking about was hitting it far. I think from your test it could be a very similar story where you look at the blade and think about how important the strike is, so you then strike it better.

WITB

Titleist TSI4 Tour AD IZ-7 Tx, Sim 2 Titanium VA composites Raijin 75x, Mizuno Fli High 3 iron Nippon Modus3 105 X-stiff, Titleist T100 4-6 DG Tour S400, Titleist 620 MB 7-P DG Tour S400, Mizuno T22 52/9, 56/10, 60/6 DG Tour S400, 1997 Scotty Cameron Coronado 2

 

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13 minutes ago, Connor_H said:

When getting fit for my irons I was surprised that I actually hit the center of the club face more with the blades than with the cavity backs or players distance irons. When I saw this I kind of wondered to myself why would that be, but I think one reason was that when I looked down a blade, I focused much more on hitting the center than with cavity backs and distance clubs where all I was thinking about was hitting it far. I think from your test it could be a very similar story where you look at the blade and think about how important the strike is, so you then strike it better.

I think this is a large part of it. But I also wonder if having a smaller club head means there’s less available space for off center strikes, therefore, forcing you to keep it closer to the center

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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7 hours ago, Connor_H said:

When getting fit for my irons I was surprised that I actually hit the center of the club face more with the blades than with the cavity backs or players distance irons. When I saw this I kind of wondered to myself why would that be, but I think one reason was that when I looked down a blade, I focused much more on hitting the center than with cavity backs and distance clubs where all I was thinking about was hitting it far. 

 

... I have to ask, as a 1 why would you change your focus hitting a CB/Players DI? Wouldn't it make sense to concentrate on hitting the center of every club and if that produces more yardage, that is just a bonus?  

Driver:     :taylormade-small:  Qi10 10.5* ... Ventus Red Velocore 5R
Fairway:  :cobra-small: Aerojet 3/5 ... Kai'li Blue 60R
Hybrids:  :ping-small:      430 Hybrid 22*... Steelfiber 780Hy 
                  :taylormade-small:  DHy #4 ... Diamana LTD 65r 
Irons:       :titleist-small:         '23 T200 5-Pw ... Steelfiber i95r
Wedges:  :taylormade-small: Vokey 50*/54*/58* ... Steelfiber i95r
Putter:     :cobra-small:  Sport-60 33" 
Ball:           Maxfli     Maxfli Tour

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45 minutes ago, chisag said:

 

... I have to ask, as a 1 why would you change your focus hitting a CB/Players DI? Wouldn't it make sense to concentrate on hitting the center of every club and if that produces more yardage, that is just a bonus?  

I think there is risk of hitting at it if you focus like that. Plus when your searching for centre it’s highly likely you will start to phaff with your hands. 
It is best just to swing and collect the ball and there lies the difficulty with blades because you do focus on centre etc…

everything else is huge, you don’t get bad news the ball flies within the 5 yards front to back ( unless it’s got some hot face stuff and just shoots to oblivion) .. 

Epic speed - GPLB in long flex 

Ping 425 max 3 wood/ Callaway Rogue 5w

PXG 7 wood/ Ping g425 Crossover 3 

Ping G430 irons 5- 46 degree (+2 degree loft)  ( graphite shafts) 

Ping  glide 4 , 50,56

Vokey SM6 60 degree M grind

yes Donna or maybe a centre shaft white hot 2ball 

assorted updates/ stand ins stored safely for the call up

Still adjusting the set up 

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Inspiration occurs in the oddest places sometimes. After Saturday’s round with Apex MBs, I did my write up but the whole thing felt/feels unfinished. Enter the cobra challenge Irons only competition. That dove tails nicely with my desire to test these clubs out fully on the course. May be great, may be a train wreck in slow motion, but it should be entertaining. Stay tuned…

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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Share on other sites

I need to take these for lie adjustment, trim, and re grip. 

These things are butter knives, but the soles have more mass than my T100 irons.  They're super fun. The 6-4i do have perimeter weighting but it's so minimal. 

Screenshot_20230713-123103_Gallery.jpg

:cobra-small:   RADspeed 10.5, :Fuji: Motore X F3 R 

:cobra-small:  Bio Cell 3/4w, Project X PXV 6.0s; AMP 3h 19deg Aldila RIP R.  Bio Cell 4h 22.5deg PXV R. Aldila RIP 70 R; King Utility 4i, UST Recoil 780 ES SmacWrap S 

:titleist-small:          2021/22 T200 5-7, T100 8-P (bent 1deg strong), Project X LZ 5.5 

:cleveland-small:      CBX-2 50/11 

:taylormade-small:   ATV 56/16deg 

:1332069271_TommyArmour:  Impact No.3 Align putter

:Arccos:     Caddie for tracking.     

:titelist-small:            Pro V1X balls

 

Previous forum tests:

2019: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Plus 4 grips, Lynx Black Cat 5-PW.    2020:  :skycaddie: LX5 Watch.    2021:  :1332069271_TommyArmour: Impact #3 Align putter

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So as a means of preparing for the irons only round on Sunday, I was at the driving range today, among other activities I played an irons only virtual round through the top tracer range. IMG_0962.jpeg.5f99a7a266c0152957f4d810c66edea9.jpeg

Overall, the score wasn’t great but I was encouraged by my ball striking. I feel like I have got a good feel for the distances and my ability to consistently center these irons has improved quite a bit from the first range session I hit them at, earlier in the season. IMG_0963.jpeg.49c3cb2f0e56b7c096603f227c91e105.jpeg
 

What really did me in was the 60 yard pitch shot that determines the score for the hole. It takes where the ball first lands as your attempt without considering run out. Trying to hit a 60 yard pitching wedge without worrying where it will roll out to is counterintuitive and frankly, stupid. 
 

Remarkable how dependent I am on my 58* for anything inside of 80 yards. 
 

My 21* Utility Iron is a reliable fairway finder that goes between 215 - 230 consistently. 
 

and lastly, a slight adjustment with where I was grounding the club behind the ball coupled with a lowering of my hands had me finding center on every iron shot. 
 

Fortunately/Unfortunately, depending on how you look at, I am not done with these irons.

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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Share on other sites

Today I played the irons only round for the Cobra Challenge. I used the Apex MB 18's 5i-PW, as well as, my putter and a Callaway X Forged 21° Utility Iron. Today was awesome! I had one of those days where every club I grabbed was the right one. I managed not 1, but 2 sand saves with my PW and out of 73 shots, 31 of which were putts, so let's say 42 shots, all save 2 of them were center-cut perfection. The 73 I shot at Majestic Springs, represents my new personal best round! And I freaking did it with muscle back blades, to boot. Holy crow! What a day! What a game! What a round! 

I know that this journey with the muscle back blades has a high probability of flaming out. But right now, I am just going to sit in the afterglow of a beautiful round and savor this. 

WITB:

D: TBD ??? 🤔

3w: :callaway-small: Paradym ♦️♦️♦️15° Hzrdus 6.0

3h: :ping-small: G430 19° Tour 2/Stiff

4u:   :titleist-small:  T200 Utility Build 24° Hzrdus 6.0

5i-7i:  :titleist-small: T200 25°-30.5° Recoil 110 f4

8i-PW: :titleist-small: T150 36°-44° Recoil 110 f4

50°:   :vokey-small:SM-8 

54° & 58°:   :ping-small: Glide Forged Pro

P:   :L.A.B.: Mezz1.Max

Ball:  :callaway-small: Chrome Tour X

Bag:  Jones Trouper R stand bag 

"And so, we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past." - Fitzgerald

” The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep. - Frost

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Whitman

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