My Experience Gaming Blades as a Mid-High Handicapper

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  • AndusAndus Members Posts: 49 ✭✭


    Play whatever you’d like, and have a great time with them, but understand that not buying into “the whole forgiveness thing” doesn’t change the fact that “the whole forgiveness thing” is real, because, you know, science.
    Sure, I'm not saying it's not a real thing to some extent, I just personally believe that it's exaggerated majorly by a lot of club makers & marketing... because, you know, profit. Sounds like you drank the kool aid.
  • golfgirlrobingolfgirlrobin Members Posts: 2,369 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Andus wrote:



    Play whatever you’d like, and have a great time with them, but understand that not buying into “the whole forgiveness thing” doesn’t change the fact that “the whole forgiveness thing” is real, because, you know, science.
    Sure, I'm not saying it's not a real thing to some extent, I just personally believe that it's exaggerated majorly by a lot of club makers & marketing... because, you know, profit. Sounds like you drank the kool aid.




    The kool aid in my case includes SGI’s, whippy shafts and a 2 hdcp. Tastes great.



    Driver: Ping G400 Max 10.5*
    Fairway: Epic Flash 14* & 20*
    Hybrid: Ping G410 22*
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    Ball:  Titleist Pro V1 
  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    But you show me a 15 who thinks he/she’s got a good long game and I’ll show you a golfer who isn’t very self-aware.


    More direct than what I was trying to say above, but definitely true.



    I used to think I was kind of good because a) I can hit some perfect shots every now and then and b) can play better than some average random guys you get paired with at a local course. But after tracking various performance measures for a few seasons, I've realized I'm pretty bad even though I've been improving.



    I think there are two factors. First, people remember the perfect swings and attribute it entirely to their skill. Bad swings are assigned to the mistake bucket that just need to be eliminated. Ask most golfers and they are going to be way too confident on the actual percentages of good and bad shots they hit over a sample of 100 swings on the course (not at the range). Unfortunately, the bad swings and mistakes still happen. People just don't want to remember it or admit it.



    Second, mid-handicap golfers are not pros. They have absolutely no ability to judge wind, elevation, temperature, or control strike consistently enough to manage their iron distances within say 3-5 yards. Often, the face/path was OK, contact was pretty good, the ball flight was decent, and the shot ended up on the green. People think they flushed it but most likely they missed it a bit and just don't know it.



    Again, it's just a game so if you are out there simply to have fun that's fine. But like many other things, listening to players' golf skill self-assessments is putting you in a magical land where everyone is above average and doing extremely well.
    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
    Titleist 915F 16.5* & 21.0*, Diamana S+ Blue 70 S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
    Backup Lob Wedges:  Ping Eye 2+ (58*) or Ping Eye 2 XG (60*)
  • buntabunta Members Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    cardoustie wrote:




    Side note: this is especially true with modern drivers as well, Got quite a lesson on Trackman at PING ystdy with Rapture OG vs 400 LST




    What'd you learn ? Went the same distance ?
    TS3, s55, SM7, Juno
  • AndusAndus Members Posts: 49 ✭✭


    Being a 15.4 handicap due to short game and putting is borderline impossible. The math doesn’t work, unless your home course is Augusta or you consistently 4 putt / take multiple shots in the green complex to hit the green on multiple holes per round.



    That said, play whatever you find fun! It’s recreation. But you show me a 15 who thinks he/she’s got a good long game and I’ll show you a golfer who isn’t very self-aware.
    Well I'm living proof that it is possible. My long game is extremely good comparatively to my short game. Almost every time I play in a tournament where handicap is required, I tee off on the first tee and hit a 270-300 yard drive and the guys I'm playing with start making smart remarks about my 15+ handicap and that I'm a sandbagger... Until we get close to the greens, then it starts making sense. Sure, I slice or hook the occasional ball OB, but I'd realistically say my long game is 250% better than my short game. I don't think my long game is great by any means and I am self aware, but it's better than 95% of golfers I play with/get paired up with at my club.
  •  SwooshLT SwooshLT Members Posts: 7,133 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Andus wrote:



    Being a 15.4 handicap due to short game and putting is borderline impossible. The math doesn’t work, unless your home course is Augusta or you consistently 4 putt / take multiple shots in the green complex to hit the green on multiple holes per round.



    That said, play whatever you find fun! It’s recreation. But you show me a 15 who thinks he/she’s got a good long game and I’ll show you a golfer who isn’t very self-aware.
    Well I'm living proof that it is possible. My long game is extremely good comparatively to my short game. Almost every time I play in a tournament where handicap is required, I tee off on the first tee and hit a 270-300 yard drive and the guys I'm playing with start making smart remarks about my 15+ handicap and that I'm a sandbagger... Until we get close to the greens, then it starts making sense. Sure, I slice or hook the occasional ball OB, but I'd realistically say my long game is 250% better than my short game. I don't think my long game is great by any means and I am self aware, but it's better than 95% of golfers I play with/get paired up with at my club.






    Just curious but any effort to practice or receive professional help/instruction? I'm not being condescending....
  • mantanmantan Members Posts: 2,574 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.
    WITB (as of 3/28/19)
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  •  SwooshLT SwooshLT Members Posts: 7,133 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    mantan wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.




    Great post and not bragging but it gets old to hear "great shot" knowing that it was a **** toe pull....lol
  • AndusAndus Members Posts: 49 ✭✭
    edited Mar 12, 2019 9:48pm #40
    SwooshLT wrote:

    Andus wrote:



    Being a 15.4 handicap due to short game and putting is borderline impossible. The math doesn't work, unless your home course is Augusta or you consistently 4 putt / take multiple shots in the green complex to hit the green on multiple holes per round.



    That said, play whatever you find fun! It's recreation. But you show me a 15 who thinks he/she's got a good long game and I'll show you a golfer who isn't very self-aware.
    Well I'm living proof that it is possible. My long game is extremely good comparatively to my short game. Almost every time I play in a tournament where handicap is required, I tee off on the first tee and hit a 270-300 yard drive and the guys I'm playing with start making smart remarks about my 15+ handicap and that I'm a sandbagger... Until we get close to the greens, then it starts making sense. Sure, I slice or hook the occasional ball OB, but I'd realistically say my long game is 250% better than my short game. I don't think my long game is great by any means and I am self aware, but it's better than 95% of golfers I play with/get paired up with at my club.






    Just curious but any effort to practice or receive professional help/instruction? I'm not being condescending....
    I've not had a lesson in my life. I'm only 24 years old, so I feel that I'm still improving by myself but my plan is to get professional help/lessons once I feel like I've plateaued.



    EDIT: I can honestly say that I've never gone to the range or chipping greens and practiced short game for more than 30 minutes. I don't spend much time practicing or at the range, usually only there if I'm about to play 18 and am warming up.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Jupiter, FLMembers Posts: 5,367 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    mantan wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.




    Agreed and I'll add, do you "own" it? We all catch lightening in a bottle occasionally, but can you bring it most every round?



    Several weeks ago I had an awesome round, shot a bogie free 68 and I think hit 14 greens and didnt miss the remaining 4 by much. I certainly was a solid ball striker that day and likely would have had no problems with blades. The following weekend I struggled to break 80 and was ver happy my i200s were in the bag...lol😁!
    USGA Index: ~1

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    Ping G410 LST 9 degree - Tour AD IZ 6x
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    Palmer AP30R putter (circa 1960s)
    Taylormade TP5X Ball
  • AndusAndus Members Posts: 49 ✭✭
    mantan wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.
    When I say I consider myself a good ball striker, I'm saying that comparatively to another mid handicap player. I think my mid and long game is better than average for my cap, but my short game is worse than average... If that makes sense. My mishit is generally thin, and sometimes fat, but not very often toe and very rarely if ever a heel shot. Thin or fat shots are going to suck regardless of iron/club choice... Again, just my opinion.
  •  SwooshLT SwooshLT Members Posts: 7,133 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    dpb5031 wrote:

    mantan wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.




    Agreed and I'll add, do you "own" it? We all catch lightening in a bottle occasionally, but can you bring it most every round?



    Several weeks ago I had an awesome round, shot a bogie free 68 and I think hit 14 greens and didnt miss the remaining 4 by much. I certainly was a solid ball striker that day and likely would have had no problems with blades. The following weekend I struggled to break 80 and was ver happy my i200s were in the bag...lol😁!




    I'll attest to this man's striking ability !
  •  SwooshLT SwooshLT Members Posts: 7,133 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Andus wrote:

    SwooshLT wrote:

    Andus wrote:



    Being a 15.4 handicap due to short game and putting is borderline impossible. The math doesn't work, unless your home course is Augusta or you consistently 4 putt / take multiple shots in the green complex to hit the green on multiple holes per round.



    That said, play whatever you find fun! It's recreation. But you show me a 15 who thinks he/she's got a good long game and I'll show you a golfer who isn't very self-aware.
    Well I'm living proof that it is possible. My long game is extremely good comparatively to my short game. Almost every time I play in a tournament where handicap is required, I tee off on the first tee and hit a 270-300 yard drive and the guys I'm playing with start making smart remarks about my 15+ handicap and that I'm a sandbagger... Until we get close to the greens, then it starts making sense. Sure, I slice or hook the occasional ball OB, but I'd realistically say my long game is 250% better than my short game. I don't think my long game is great by any means and I am self aware, but it's better than 95% of golfers I play with/get paired up with at my club.






    Just curious but any effort to practice or receive professional help/instruction? I'm not being condescending....
    I've not had a lesson in my life. I'm only 24 years old, so I feel that I'm still improving by myself but my plan is to get professional help/lessons once I feel like I've plateaued.






    I'll throw this at you, one 30 min session to "cleanup" the basics in pitching, chipping, sand play and putting will do so much for game....I'm a major proponent of hitting greens is the quickest way to lower your scores BUT a tidy short game just makes the whole effort worth it....not a joke!
  • rxk9fanrxk9fan MidwestMembers Posts: 837 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Funny to me how bad/mediocre players can all benefit from a GI or SGI and should consider nothing else. Many really good players or low single digits who use blades are thought to just be SO good that they can use inferior technology and survive.

    I believe that a lot of better players are better because they use their blades to their advantage when an SGI would make shots nearly impossible. Watch a good player for a round and see how many shots are recovery shots under limbs, around trees, etc.. How many fairways is the mediocre player going to hit? How many times are they going to have to try to come out of trees, under/around branches, etc.? Then they just can't keep that SGI under the limbs, they never learn to salvage a par with a low cut under branches or a rolling hook from trouble on the left. Nope, I see them hit their long, high, and straight SGI right into the trouble and then they do it again or they finally chip sideways into the fairway to finish double or triple bogey.

    Maybe if you play easy course with no trees you will never have to work a ball? Or make you drive the ball so straight you are never in trouble? If that is the case I get using a club that only wants to go long and high.
    Taylormade M5 driver with Tensei Orange stiff
    Taylormade M4 tour 3 wood with Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited stiff
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    First single OEM I have played and love it
  • MilesVJacksonMilesVJackson Members Posts: 65 ✭✭
    Andus wrote:


    I've not had a lesson in my life. I'm only 24 years old, so I feel that I'm still improving by myself but my plan is to get professional help/lessons once I feel like I've plateaued.



    EDIT: I can honestly say that I've never gone to the range or chipping greens and practiced short game for more than 30 minutes. I don't spend much time practicing or at the range, usually only there if I'm about to play 18 and am warming up.




    You don't practice your short game...and you're wondering why your short game is so bad? Practice!
  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Andus wrote:

    mantan wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.
    When I say I consider myself a good ball striker, I'm saying that comparatively to another mid handicap player. I think my mid and long game is better than average for my cap, but my short game is worse than average... If that makes sense. My mishit is generally thin, and sometimes fat, but not very often toe and very rarely if ever a heel shot. Thin or fat shots are going to suck regardless of iron/club choice... Again, just my opinion.


    You definitely have more speed than a typical 15 handicap (not disputing what you are saying). But how many greens do you usually hit per round?
    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
    Titleist 915F 16.5* & 21.0*, Diamana S+ Blue 70 S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
    Backup Lob Wedges:  Ping Eye 2+ (58*) or Ping Eye 2 XG (60*)
  • AndusAndus Members Posts: 49 ✭✭

    Andus wrote:


    I've not had a lesson in my life. I'm only 24 years old, so I feel that I'm still improving by myself but my plan is to get professional help/lessons once I feel like I've plateaued.



    EDIT: I can honestly say that I've never gone to the range or chipping greens and practiced short game for more than 30 minutes. I don't spend much time practicing or at the range, usually only there if I'm about to play 18 and am warming up.




    You don't practice your short game...and you're wondering why your short game is so bad? Practice!
    To be fair, I never said I’m wondering why my short game sucks, I know why it does! It’s always been more fun practicing and trying to perfect long game vs short game to me, but in the next few months, short game is going to become my focus. Will be interesting to see what my scores will do after a few months of practice.
  • BiggErnBiggErn Members Posts: 2,535 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    They make you focus. Within 2 weeks of practicing you’ll be a world class ball striker.
  • AndusAndus Members Posts: 49 ✭✭
    agolf1 wrote:

    Andus wrote:

    mantan wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.
    When I say I consider myself a good ball striker, I'm saying that comparatively to another mid handicap player. I think my mid and long game is better than average for my cap, but my short game is worse than average... If that makes sense. My mishit is generally thin, and sometimes fat, but not very often toe and very rarely if ever a heel shot. Thin or fat shots are going to suck regardless of iron/club choice... Again, just my opinion.


    You definitely have more speed than a typical 15 handicap (not disputing what you are saying). But how many greens do you usually hit per round?
    Pretty tall, and younger so speed isn’t the issue. And eventually, I hit all of the greens... lol but honestly, probably 6-7GIR. If I hit the GIR I can usually make par, but if it includes a chip on to the green, I usually will chip and 2 putt. That’s what I hope to do, sadly.
  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    rxk9fan wrote:


    Funny to me how bad/mediocre players can all benefit from a GI or SGI and should consider nothing else. Many really good players or low single digits who use blades are thought to just be SO good that they can use inferior technology and survive.

    I believe that a lot of better players are better because they use their blades to their advantage when an SGI would make shots nearly impossible. Watch a good player for a round and see how many shots are recovery shots under limbs, around trees, etc.. How many fairways is the mediocre player going to hit? How many times are they going to have to try to come out of trees, under/around branches, etc.? Then they just can't keep that SGI under the limbs, they never learn to salvage a par with a low cut under branches or a rolling hook from trouble on the left. Nope, I see them hit their long, high, and straight SGI right into the trouble and then they do it again or they finally chip sideways into the fairway to finish double or triple bogey.

    Maybe if you play easy course with no trees you will never have to work a ball? Or make you drive the ball so straight you are never in trouble? If that is the case I get using a club that only wants to go long and high.


    I think there are a couple of things. First, most modern courses (even the ones the pros play) have very few obstacles that absolutely require someone to bend the ball 10 yards+ a lot. Sure, some approach shots would benefit if you can truly work the ball both way. But most courses seem to have forced carries/hazards as the defenses, and there aren't a lot of situations where high, straight, and landing softly won't work. In contrast, a lot of older courses had greens that were cutoff by trees if you weren't in the correct half of the fairway. Bottom line, I don't think the tendency for straight shots these days is simply determined by whether the course you play is hard or easy.



    Second, everything with clubs is a trade-off. Pros and some extremely good amateurs would be worse off with a GI/SGI for the reasons you mention (and other features of the club). But the average golfer isn't hitting low cuts or running hooks as recovery shots on to the green anything more than lottery odds anyways. If they are in the trees, they should aim 10-20 feet left/right of what they think is the safest line and just get the ball back in play. I think you need to play the percentages and give them a club that's easier to hit the 4 times they can place the ball on a tee and the few times they are in the middle of the fairway.



    Others have said it above, but I don't think the average golfer can truly work the ball both ways. I know I can't, and just playing with different people over the years I'd say that the vast majority of people at my level +/- 3 shots can't either. My natural shot shape is a fade. I try to hit everything straight because if I start hitting fades it usually brings in past (i.e. natural) swing flaws that become worse and worse in the longer clubs. That said, I think I can hit a 5-10 yard fade reasonably consistently if needed. Can I hit a draw? If I'm behind a tree on a par 5, I can try to hit a draw for my second shot. Sometimes it comes out perfect and runs down the fairway. A bunch of other times it blocked in the right rough or overcooked into the left rough. Take the 18th hole at Doral. Can I consistently start the ball at the bunker and draw it back to the back left pin? No way. I'll be in the bunker or water more times than not. I.e. even though I can turn the ball over from time to time, I can't really work the ball both ways.
    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
    Titleist 915F 16.5* & 21.0*, Diamana S+ Blue 70 S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
    Backup Lob Wedges:  Ping Eye 2+ (58*) or Ping Eye 2 XG (60*)
  • mantanmantan Members Posts: 2,574 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Andus wrote:

    mantan wrote:

    dpb5031 wrote:


    Interesting to me is what is considered the definition of a "good ball striker"?



    I think a lot of recreational players simply define it as someone who hits a decent amount of solidly struck shots.



    That may not be entirely inaccurate, but I think most Tour pros would define a good ball striker as a player who hits >65% of GIRs and has control of his golf ball...trajectory, shot shape, and precise distances.




    That's my thought as well. It's funny how the definition changes the better you get. I've seen SO many posts over the years by mid-handicappers who claim they are 'good ballstrikers' and by single digit guys who say they 'aren't great ballstrikers.'



    As a midcapper usually defines a good ballstriker is someone who hits solid shots on a consistent basis. To a single digit and below, that's usually a given. It's more question of how you can consistently hit precise distances, be able to take a little off or give a little extra on a shot. It's being able to control trajectory high and low whenever you want and the ability to work the ball. Not calling pulling a shot and calling it a draw or reverting back to a slice and calling it a fade, but truly work the ball a set amount in every direction and doing it on the course....not 1 out of 4 tries at the range.
    When I say I consider myself a good ball striker, I'm saying that comparatively to another mid handicap player. I think my mid and long game is better than average for my cap, but my short game is worse than average... If that makes sense. My mishit is generally thin, and sometimes fat, but not very often toe and very rarely if ever a heel shot. Thin or fat shots are going to suck regardless of iron/club choice... Again, just my opinion.






    That makes sense. I guess when people don't hear the qualifier, it sounds like you're talking about in general.



    I totally get having a long game that is better than your handicap. At my club I get paired with a lot of different people in league. I can hold my own in driving distance with 90% of the guys out there and outdrive them on at least a few holes.



    The biggest difference between my game in their game is consistency. Good players almost always keep it in play off the tee and have a shot at getting on in regulation. The big difference is short game. According to Grint statistics, most single digit handicap players are still hitting less than 50% of greens in regulation. The difference is they are usually around the green and have the short game to get up and down consistently.



    If I had a choice between being as great iron player with an average short game or an average iron player with a great short game, I'd take the great short game every single time.
    WITB (as of 3/28/19)
    PING G400 Max 10.5*
    PING G400 5-Wood
    PING G25 20* Hybrid
    PING G25 23* Hybrid
    Srixon Z565 5-AW
    PING Stealth ES Glide 54*
    PING Glide ES 58*
    PING Sigma 2 Fetch
    Callaway Chrome Soft TruVis
  • avguyavguy Replacement Player Sonoran Desert, AZMembers Posts: 1,075 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    rxk9fan wrote:


    Funny to me how bad/mediocre players can all benefit from a GI or SGI and should consider nothing else. Many really good players or low single digits who use blades are thought to just be SO good that they can use inferior technology and survive.

    I believe that a lot of better players are better because they use their blades to their advantage when an SGI would make shots nearly impossible. Watch a good player for a round and see how many shots are recovery shots under limbs, around trees, etc.. How many fairways is the mediocre player going to hit? How many times are they going to have to try to come out of trees, under/around branches, etc.? Then they just can't keep that SGI under the limbs, they never learn to salvage a par with a low cut under branches or a rolling hook from trouble on the left. Nope, I see them hit their long, high, and straight SGI right into the trouble and then they do it again or they finally chip sideways into the fairway to finish double or triple bogey.

    Maybe if you play easy course with no trees you will never have to work a ball? Or make you drive the ball so straight you are never in trouble? If that is the case I get using a club that only wants to go long and high.




    Not to derail the thread & it's uniqueness, but just noticing bag sigs like yours and agolf1 and I really like those shaft choices......One very peculiar factor of golf equipment choices I see so much on WRX is shafts in sets that are the same as Tour Pros - Super Heavy X-Flex Steel!



    Good Lord, no wonder so many golfers eventually get injured or have to back down their iron class when they go with Reebar for shafts! Of course, we have many single HC players on board whom handle that category, but comparing to the LPGA swings and bags is where I can still feel pretty he-man myself.... image/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />
    BAG ONE:                                                                                                                     BAG TWO:
    D-Titleist 917 D2  or 910 D2                                                                                           D-Srixon Z355 
    3-TM RBZ ts                                                                                                                   3-TM R11ti
    H-Titleist 915 H1 17, Titleist 816  H1 21, Bridgestone Precept ECU 25                        H-TM 2.0 SF 18 & 21, Cobra AC 25
    I - Honma TW727M or Callaway R MBs                                                                         I - TM M5 or P790
    W- Mizuno 52, Vokey SM6 58                                                                                       W- Mizuno 53, & 58
    P-Bellum Winmore Midi  787                                                                                         P-Guerin TS Black 370

  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Andus wrote:

    agolf1 wrote:


    You definitely have more speed than a typical 15 handicap (not disputing what you are saying). But how many greens do you usually hit per round?
    Pretty tall, and younger so speed isn't the issue. And eventually, I hit all of the greens... lol but honestly, probably 6-7GIR. If I hit the GIR I can usually make par, but if it includes a chip on to the green, I usually will chip and 2 putt. That's what I hope to do, sadly.


    According to this article, if you hit 6-7 greens than you are above average for your handicap. Last season I averaged 5 GIR, which is on the lower side for my index level (my driver is quite erratic and bad tee shots take me out of any chance to hit the green a couple/few times per round. However, I don't know if my drives do this more than others at my level).

    https://****.com/2016-report-overall-golfer-performance-by-handicap/



    But take this as a sanity / reality check. If your handicap is 15, I'm guessing with the slope and how the handicap system works (just averaging the better scores) that your average score is about 93 or 21 over par. If you get 6 pars per round (from greens hit), that means you would need to be 21 over on the remaining 12 holes. Not factoring in penalty shots, this would imply that more often than not you either a) miss the green with your third shot (shorter approach after bad drive, pitch, chip, etc) and/or b) 3-putt a majority of the time. I.e. 3 on and 3 putts for double (Par 4) or 4 on and 2 putts for double (Par 4).



    If all of the above was true, I'm not sure what causes the 3-putt frequency when not on in regulation vs. when you hit the green. If it is truly bad pitching, chipping, it should be relatively easy for you to improve a lot if you just spend some time here.
    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
    Titleist 915F 16.5* & 21.0*, Diamana S+ Blue 70 S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
    Backup Lob Wedges:  Ping Eye 2+ (58*) or Ping Eye 2 XG (60*)
  • IamMarkMacIamMarkMac SF Bay AreaMembers Posts: 718 ✭✭✭✭✭
    mantan wrote:




    If I had a choice between being as great iron player with an average short game or an average iron player with a great short game, I'd take the great short game every single time.




    Just wondering how you define this. In my mind, a great iron player is someone who hits a lot of greens in regulation (with a lot of chances for birdie) and, when he's not on the green, doesn't need a super short game to save par or won't do any worse than a bogey.



    I've played with a lot of average iron players with great short games and their problem is that the great short game is there because you're often in trouble and trying to save par. Eventually, all that scrambling will catch up with you and your score blows up.



    If this is the case, I'd take the great iron game every time.
    Bag 1                                                                 Bag 2
    Ping G400 LST 10                                             Epon Technicity 9
    Ping G400 3W 14.5                                          TM R9 3W 14
    Ping G400 3H 19                                              Miura 3H 19
    Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro 5-P               Epon 503 4-P Nippon Super Peening Orange
    Mizuno s18 50, 54, 58                                     Miura 51, 56 k-grind
    Bettinardi BB1                                                  Scotty Cameron Newport 2
  • dmeeksDCdmeeksDC ClubWRX Posts: 2,291 ClubWRX
    The OP will improve a lot more by taking in a half- or full-day short game school than by switching to GI irons. Can’t recommend it enough. You sound like you have a powerful swing. I like to hit it hard too. When I took the short-game school (Erika Larkin) first thing she said was, “You’re bringing too much of your full swing game to your short gsme.”



    Tempo is the key. Tempo leads to touch. Watch pros hit these shots. It is very rhythmic, not powerful. Not full swings because it is not necessary.



    Almost all short game shots I hit now are 75 percent or less. Produces far better shots. I dropped 4-5 shots a round very quickly. Another tip (from Mike Malaska): Only practice 50-60 yard shots for a range session, using different clubs to varying targets. Changes your mentality and lets you see how little speed is required to hit a 60 yard shot. And weirdly, it makes your full swings better without even practicing them.



    As for the irons, I also found no difference between the MP18 MB and SC. I think the Cally Apex MB is really appealing too and the Srixon 965 is my favorite MB of past few years. Go to short game school with a pro who teaches it well and the irons will be fine whatever you choose.
    Ping G400 9 degrees, Ping Tour stiff shaft, 65 grams
    Callaway XHot2 Pro 5 wood, 17 degrees, Aldila Tour Blue stiff shaft
    Titleist 915F fairway, 21 degrees, Diamana Blue 70 stiff
    Srixon 565 4 iron, Nippon 980GH stiff shaft
    Adams CMB irons, 5-PW, KBS C Taper regular shafts (110g)
    Titleist Vokey SM7 50 degree, F grind, Dynamic Gold S200 shaft
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 54-degree wedge, S grind, DG wedge shaft
    Ben Hogan TK wedge, 59 degree, KBS black wedge shaft
    TaylorMade TP Chaska putter, sliver, 34 inches
  • knackersknackers Members Posts: 31 ✭✭
    It is the bit like the person that buys a new putter thinks they automatically become a better putter, but it was the constant use of the new putter that was the case. I started out with player CB irons which friends said if you have really good hand-eye coordination Super GI clubs are pointless and you would notice and learn quicker from the feedback of miss-hits of a players CB.

    Blades main value is the workability and feel of the club. So What are the reasons for within 50 wedge shots thinning/fatting? or is it controlling distance ?, Not knowing your yardages is problematic and what makes it worse with short irons is not constantly finding the middle if that were the case. Some people might be umm and arring because when someone isn't got for some reason which in your case is practice in others it's that faults in the swing become more apparent in shorter irons. Player CB irons shouldn't be overlooked and would be easier to learn how to shape the ball because it is harder with a CB to shape compared to a Blade therefore more forgiving and it is always the second shot that hurts people out of a tight lie it would be better for a CB than a blade for consistency.

    Also Food for thought does a player that tries to hit straight find more fairways than a person that fades or draws the ball?
  • bodhi555bodhi555 Members Posts: 835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    dmeeksDC wrote:


    The OP will improve a lot more by taking in a half- or full-day short game school than by switching to GI irons. Can't recommend it enough. You sound like you have a powerful swing. I like to hit it hard too. When I took the short-game school (Erika Larkin) first thing she said was, "You're bringing too much of your full swing game to your short gsme."



    Tempo is the key. Tempo leads to touch. Watch pros hit these shots. It is very rhythmic, not powerful. Not full swings because it is not necessary.



    Almost all short game shots I hit now are 75 percent or less. Produces far better shots. I dropped 4-5 shots a round very quickly. Another tip (from Mike Malaska): Only practice 50-60 yard shots for a range session, using different clubs to varying targets. Changes your mentality and lets you see how little speed is required to hit a 60 yard shot. And weirdly, it makes your full swings better without even practicing them.



    As for the irons, I also found no difference between the MP18 MB and SC. I think the Cally Apex MB is really appealing too and the Srixon 965 is my favorite MB of past few years. Go to short game school with a pro who teaches it well and the irons will be fine whatever you choose.




    I think this is the best advice so far to be honest. OP I was in a similar situation to you when I got my first set of Blades, back in 2004 when I got fed up of ho'ing around the latest set of CB's/GI's with very little improvement in my scores, so I thought that year I'd buy a set of blades and see how I got on. I found a set of the mythical blades that Nike had recently released (they were like gold dust in the UK), tried them out, found them much easier to hit than legend would suggest so bought them and put them straight into play. At that point I played off 12, 2 seasons later I was off 7 for one simple reason - they made me practice. There was an element of wanting to improve my ball striking, but to be honest, most of the time I just wanted to go and hit some iron shots.



    I sort of stagnated after that as real life meant game time was limited, hovering between 8 and 10 depending on how my swing was holding together. However I started a course of lessons 2 years ago, just one a month to work on various parts of swinging a golf club i was getting wrong (overswing, then coming over the top and flicking through impact), so I could rely less on good timing and hand-eye co ordination and more on good mechanics and rotation. But along with this we worked on the short game, and now most of my practice is 100 yards and in, and it's having the most impact on my scores. I went from playing to my handicap when the planets aligned to consistently scoring around 80, with a few forays into the low 70's.



    Yet interestingly at no point during this process did my coach suggest I move away from the MB's I'm currently playing, despite the fact he owned the golf shop attached to the range we work at. He didn't see that any of my mishits would benefit from more help, and I'd lose a lot of flexibility in the work we were doing around trajectory control. If you play at a typical tree or gorse lined course in the UK, the need to shape a shot round, over or under an obstacle tends to arise quite frequently.



    tl:dr stick with the blades and get some short game lessons image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
    The Dee Three: Titleist 917 D3 9.5 degree - Aldila Rogue Max 65X
    The Stenson: Titleist 917 F3 15 degree - Aldila Rogue Max 75X
    The Walking Stick: Titleist 818 H2 19 degree - Aldila Rogue Max 85X
    The Blades: Nike VR Pro 4i - PW - DG S400 TI Shaft
    The Rusties: Nike Engage 50, 54 Square Sole, 58 Toe Sweep
    The Putter: Nike "The Oven" Method 003
    Balls: Nike RZN Tour Black/Platinum, Bridgestone Tour B XS, Titleist AVX
    Bag: Sun Mountain Four Five


  • bub72ckbub72ck Members Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Golf is the same at every level, it's just the margins get smaller and expectations get higher. A 15 handicapper is averaging 7 GIR and trying to get to 10. A scratch is averaging 14 GIR and trying to get to 16. Doesn't sound like much but 2 additional GIR on average is huge for scoring.



    I personally don't think good ball striking has much at all to do with working the ball. That's an idea that mid and high handicap players think you have to develop to be good and it's just not true. My goal, and the dozens of other scratch players I've had in groups over the years, is to find a consistent shot shape and practice that until it's routine and trusted. For me it's a fade with the woods and a draw with the irons. My clubs are set up to encourage that ball flight. Can i draw a driver or fade and iron? Yes, but not that well and its only attempted when I have no other choice. I am looking to find my trusted shot as much as possible. My home course has very small greens so accuracy is a premium. I'm not checking wind and playing shots to "ride against" the wind or any of that crap. If the shot fits my profile I am more aggressive, and if not, I'm looking for the middle of the green. I have personally never seen a reason at my ability to complicate the game any more than it needs to be.
    Titleist TS3 9.5* Kuro Kage 70X
    Taylormade Jetspeed TI 16* Speeder 869 X
    Taylormade Rescue 09 TP Aldila XVS9
    Titleist 714 AP2 TT DGX100 4-PW
    Vokey SM5 50*, 54* and 60* TT DGS400
    SIK Pro Custom
  • agolf1agolf1 Members Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Mar 13, 2019 8:52am #60
    bodhi555 wrote:

    dmeeksDC wrote:


    The OP will improve a lot more by taking in a half- or full-day short game school than by switching to GI irons. Can't recommend it enough. You sound like you have a powerful swing. I like to hit it hard too. When I took the short-game school (Erika Larkin) first thing she said was, "You're bringing too much of your full swing game to your short gsme."



    Tempo is the key. Tempo leads to touch. Watch pros hit these shots. It is very rhythmic, not powerful. Not full swings because it is not necessary.



    Almost all short game shots I hit now are 75 percent or less. Produces far better shots. I dropped 4-5 shots a round very quickly. Another tip (from Mike Malaska): Only practice 50-60 yard shots for a range session, using different clubs to varying targets. Changes your mentality and lets you see how little speed is required to hit a 60 yard shot. And weirdly, it makes your full swings better without even practicing them.



    As for the irons, I also found no difference between the MP18 MB and SC. I think the Cally Apex MB is really appealing too and the Srixon 965 is my favorite MB of past few years. Go to short game school with a pro who teaches it well and the irons will be fine whatever you choose.




    I think this is the best advice so far to be honest. OP I was in a similar situation to you when I got my first set of Blades, back in 2004 when I got fed up of ho'ing around the latest set of CB's/GI's with very little improvement in my scores, so I thought that year I'd buy a set of blades and see how I got on. I found a set of the mythical blades that Nike had recently released (they were like gold dust in the UK), tried them out, found them much easier to hit than legend would suggest so bought them and put them straight into play. At that point I played off 12, 2 seasons later I was off 7 for one simple reason - they made me practice. There was an element of wanting to improve my ball striking, but to be honest, most of the time I just wanted to go and hit some iron shots.



    I sort of stagnated after that as real life meant game time was limited, hovering between 8 and 10 depending on how my swing was holding together. However I started a course of lessons 2 years ago, just one a month to work on various parts of swinging a golf club i was getting wrong (overswing, then coming over the top and flicking through impact), so I could rely less on good timing and hand-eye co ordination and more on good mechanics and rotation. But along with this we worked on the short game, and now most of my practice is 100 yards and in, and it's having the most impact on my scores. I went from playing to my handicap when the planets aligned to consistently scoring around 80, with a few forays into the low 70's.



    Yet interestingly at no point during this process did my coach suggest I move away from the MB's I'm currently playing, despite the fact he owned the golf shop attached to the range we work at. He didn't see that any of my mishits would benefit from more help, and I'd lose a lot of flexibility in the work we were doing around trajectory control. If you play at a typical tree or gorse lined course in the UK, the need to shape a shot round, over or under an obstacle tends to arise quite frequently.



    tl:dr stick with the blades and get some short game lessons image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />


    There's no doubt that big changes in short game will do more than blades vs. GI/SGI. In the OP's case, either he really isn't hitting 6-7 greens a round consistently or there is easily 5-10 shots he can cut in 1/2 a season just by playing some very basic pitch / chip shots (I'm not talking becoming the next Mickelson) and keeping 3 putts to a controllable level.



    I can't comment on the type of course you play and what benefits a blade brings. But I think you are not giving enough credit to practicing more and improving mechanics for your better scores (obviously anyone will get better if they do these two things, and I don't know why one can't do this with any clubs). The question is whether there's another shot or two out there from playing an different iron that saves a few marginal swings or gets you 10 feet closer to the hole a few times a round.



    I don't dispute that GI/SGI actually work worse for some golfers. But pros are playing long irons with tons of help (you think they can't practice hitting an MB 2-4 iron better) and there's a +3 handicap in another thread trying to save a shot with a more forgiving club (Henrik Stenson would agree with him). Yet there's 6-12 handicaps everywhere that insist the clubs make no difference on mishits, they hit the ball great, and they need to work the ball up / down, left / right, and probably back and forth in the same shot.



    Gotta think the 6-12 guys are overestimating their ability and true results just a bit.
    Titleist 915 D4 10.5*, Diamana S+ Blue 60 S-Flex
    Titleist 915F 16.5* & 21.0*, Diamana S+ Blue 70 S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
    Backup Lob Wedges:  Ping Eye 2+ (58*) or Ping Eye 2 XG (60*)

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