You left out the "every hole" part, which is pretty important to my post. Nobody would ever argue that if you have to hit some long irons every round you are on the wrong tees. That is obviously nuts. I've played with players who are hitting long irons on 2/3rds of the par 4s (and not on purpose because they laid up).
A similar phenomenon occurs when people deceive themselves as to distance. I am willing to bet a whole lot that if you charted 100 amateur rounds randomly, the vast majority (70%+) of approach shots would be short. If I had a dollar for every time I hear some guy say he was pulling 8 from 165 and then lunge/smash it somewhere horrid I'd be pretty rich. That is a 5 or 6 for most, not an 8. So some people are playing long iron holes, they just don't realize it because they think they can reliably hit a 9 iron 150 when its more like 130.
Me and you are similar caps. I drive it around 270/80. I don't hit my pitching wedge from much longer than 125. That's what I was driving at, not the literal use of irons with "3" or "4" on the bottom, but the delusional belief that the tees are correct because a "mid-iron" is pulled out of the bag (Even though the player should be 2-3 clubs up and swinging half as big).
Good example this past sat. Shot even par front 9 TPC Louisiana. I'm on hole 9, a par 3, and I have 181 to a back pin. My playing partner (probably a 20 cap) hit 5 iron. I hit 3 hybrid with a short, hard swing. He went way right and short, I went back fringe. I can hit a 3 hybrid 220, but that doesn't mean I have to or want to, ever. I would be willing to bet Pepper that if I put your brain into a 20 caps body he'd become a 10 cap overnight, simply because you "hit long irons" - but you hit them correctly, with a short, crisp swing. Most don't.
My favorite swing tip for higher caps: take more club and don't wrap it around your neck in the backswing.
Understand. You hit driver like my buddy. 👍️ I am a measly 250+ hitter and look for all the fast fairway help I can get.
Yep, my back-swing is 3/4ish and I accelerate my hands and adjust them just before impact adding juice and desired spin. My PW is 115-118yd carry and 3i is 190-195. I am still getting to know my new irons though. I may get another yard or two thanks to graphite. When people comment on my swing its usually "you make it look so easy." I get a lot of personal satisfaction hitting sweet iron shots but especially 2i-4i long irons.
Recently I faced a tough 440yd uphill par 4 that plays into the breeze and we figured 450+yds. I hit a stinky drive that leaked left resulting in a leave of 210 uphill but with conditions played like 220 and had hit my ball between two tight trees. I get excited just thinking about the shot. I hit a sweet hard 2 iron that started out low and climbed up between the trees and landed on the uphill short of the green and rolled backwards a bit, then chip wedge to 3' for a tap in Par.
Contrary to what's bantered about on the DB, a good long iron game has just as much if not more value to keeping a good round moving forward than alleged wedge shots because most amateurs regardless of club-head design, don't hit driver far enough or have much of a long club game, so they need to move up to shorter tees.
Dam, I love how this game tests me and new irons. Have a good day.
Well, we could all recite countless examples of great long irons we've hit. I take it as a matter of fact that we all have memories and stories like what you're sharing. The last time I went out I threw my 3-iron in the bag for kicks and ended up hitting it as an approach club into #1 and #4 thanks to a couple poor tee shots. I made par on both holes hitting the fringe on #1 and hitting the center of the green on #4. Was I pleasantly surprised? You bet. But did it make me want to keep hitting 3-irons into greens? F no. I've had wedges into both those holes before.
TBH, I'm more impressed with the strategy, self-belief and the pitch you described than I am the long iron which seems pretty hum-drum to me. In fact, looking back, I can't honestly tell you that I hit those 3-irons particularly well. It's just I hit them solid enough to get them to where I needed them and I'm good enough not to hook or slice. But nobody should be wanting 200-yd approaches because the best scores from that range are pars.
That's the topic I'd stick to. If you're not noticing a difference in scoring between long irons and short irons consider that it's statistically abnormal and at some point downright impossible. You're basically telling yourself that distance doesn't affect your accuracy. Well, you know that can't be the case so what you're probably describing is the fact you simultaneously hit long irons acceptably but aren't able to consistently hit your short irons close enough to score significantly better. That's very possible.
As I've pointed out many times before, there are people here who'd always (regardless of circumstance) rather face a 100-yd shot than a 60-yd shot. That isn't brought about by the fact those people are "good" from 100-yards. It's an artifact which stems from their lack of ability over that 60-yd shot. In all but the most difficult of scenarios a competent wedge player would gladly accept the advantageous gift of dropping his ball 40-yds closer to the target!
I know I struggled with short irons a bit this year myself. I generally hit my wedges quite well. And I was more often than not either okay with the results of my long irons or pleasantly surprised. What disappointed me most was that there was such a steep drop-off in proximity to the hole between my best approach clubs (wedges) and the next group (short irons). I would've thought that being a good wedge player would've made me a solid short iron player but that wasn't necessarily the case.
While I'm most definitely better than my handicap in terms of wedge skill, my short irons may in fact be the opposite. Yet as I get back to my long irons, I'm probably just as good as most guys thanks to being able to hit it reasonably straight (and shape it when I need to).
If you suffer from a similar condition, do what I'm doing...work on your short irons!!!
I play a Srixon blended set. U65 4 iron, 565 5 & 6 iron, 765 7 & 8 iron, and 965 9 and PW. Why because it gives me forgiveness where I need it and playability where I want it. Long irons 6 and up fly high and straight and land soft on the greens, 7 and down I can move, flight, spin and score. Plus, the Trackman fitting told me this was the way to go, bent the irons to fill the yardage gaps and haven't hit the ball this good in a long time!!
The games already hard enough, why make it that much harder?????
Before utilities and hybrids I played the Titleist 735.cm, Z-blended and a sgi/gi/cb/mb mix why? for all he same reasons!
How many degrees did you bend the 565's to? I love this set and was wondering the same. I suppose it would depend on the gapping for each person but just out of curiosity,
I play the Srixon also. IMO they are the easiest to blend. I have 965 in 7 - PW, 765 in 5 - 6 irons and the Z U45 as my 4 iron at 23 degrees.
No doubt the 765 are less punishing on mis hits, but not by a wide margin. I just love the look of the blades and play them because I want to. I won’t have the swing speed forever to play them, I already have lightweight shafts to make it easier.
It’s also comforting to know that when I am further out than a 7 iron, the 6 and 5 will give me a little extra height and forgiveness as required
I had to bend them 2/3* weak, but your right it will be different for each player, I did a trackman gap fitting so I was able to gap them as needed. Was really easy and the benefits are so good.
If you're already playing a forged player's iron, the change to blades really isn't as drastic as everyone makes it out to be. Aside from weaker lofts and strike feedback, you won't be seeing any negative results your not used to from your current gamers.
I recently switched from 718 AP2's to 620 MB's (5-PW). I use a 718 T-MB in the 4 iron for that extra forgiveness. However, 5-PW you really won't see a change other than maybe a slightly lower ball flight in the 5 and 6 irons vs your current gamers. I'm of the opinion that if you are playing a modern day forged player's iron, the minimal/extra mass compared to a blade doesn't make it all that much more forgiving. THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE you will feel is FEEDBACK. Blades don't go any shorter on miss hits than a modern day forged player's iron with minimal cavity. THEY DO HOWEVER give you more feedback via feel on where you struck the ball on the face. If you miss it with blades, you know it; even more so than with a forged player's club with a small cavity/tungsten.
Coming from a 1.5 handicap who recently started playing my first set of blades (5-PW), I'd recommend a 4 iron that's more forgiving. They already go low enough (don't need a blade to flight it lower) and how often are you going to be hitting a 4 iron into a green that you need to stop on a dime? If your answer is often, I'd recommend working on a different arsenal of shots you could hit with a hybrid or 5 wood.
The stigma around blades drives me crazy. If you can game a modern forged players club, you can play blades at least 7-PW. Because of the feedback, they'll force you to focus on ball striking and can help you IMPROVE rather than just "get by" with playing them.
As to why play blades? Just look at them...
Just wish more players would admit that they're drawn to blades because of the looks. There's nothing wrong with that, in fact, it's often the very first thing to come out of the mouth of a truly great player (i.e. PGA Tour Pros).
The idea that CBs don't provide ample feedback is just wrong. The evidence is right there in front of peoples' faces. The VAST majority of elite players have some sort of perimeter-weighted CB. So obviously they work just fine and there's plenty of feedback to be had.
The simple truth is that people who elect to play blades do so out of personal preference and most of that preference is based on looks. I wish it were more complicated than that, but it's just not. After all, there's a reason that blades are a rare sight in person and yet they're in the bags of half the people who post on internet golf equipment forums.
The cold hard reality is that the more people actual go out and play, the less they tend to care what their equipment looks like. The more people frequent internet golf equipment chat-rooms, the more they care about looks and prestige. That's just how it is.
Though what @MelloYello says about looks and blades has merit, it's not completely true for everyone, much less better amateurs and pros. Bias can overshadow good intentions. I know and regularly played with a PGA pro that when home, prefers his Titleist blades and no hybrids in the bag; reasons that are similar to mine.
Blades talk to the hand in a manner that forgiving forged CB's can't match. @srolph17 is right about who can transition to MB's easily. I have custom MacGregor 1025MB's and original Titleist 670MB's plus my current blended 620CB & 620MB's set. Blended on account I recently lost some strength that 3&4MB irons demand. Once back to full strength I'll more than likely put the rest of the 620MB's in the bag.
Anyway, like a beautiful woman, "YES", MB blades are par-dee to look at but both have purposes beyond looks that some of us appreciate, others not so much. To the latter point, I am not into telling others what they should or should not play, that's personal choice. My greater point is blades have attributes that require greater attention to detail, lot of patience and dedication and practice to benefit. If you don't have those at your beckoned command, best stick with GI or SGI and tell those with excessively strong opinions, pound it. Have a good day. 😎
I'd like to comment on what pinestreetgolf said about hitting the right club. Getting caught up in how far you hit certain clubs can cost you strokes. I think some people almost want to prove to themselves they hit their clubs farther than they actually do. It doesn't matter if you can hit a 9 iron 150, or a 5 iron 180, etc. It matters if you hit whatever club the right yardage.
The yardage is paramount. The club is almost meaningless.
I'm back playing after 7 years off. I went straight back to blades. I spent years trying to fix my game with clubs. It wasn't the clubs. I could't practice because I was always hurt. I bought MP 20s and love them. I should never have gotten rid of my MP 33s. I'm looking forward to practicing again. Play what makes you happy.
I completely agree. I am currently a 9 handicap (going the wrong way) and the best rounds I have played all year have been with a set of Nike VR Pro Combo's (8-PW Blade). I have gamed 718 AP2's recently and my scores didn't change for the better at all. In fact, I would bet that my worse rounds came with the AP2's. I am currently gaming 718 CB's which feel really good and I have no issues hitting the 4 iron to the moon. I think even Mizuno said during their MP20 release that the forgiveness difference from their MMC and blade is minimal but the MMC will give a higher flight for those that need it.
your linebacker material
I generally agree with the people saying there is no overall advantage to playing MBs for most players. For me it's not about gaining any particular advantage. I play them for the challenge and personal satisfaction. Executing a specific shot using MBs makes me feel good, knowing it was all me. I generally don't get much satisfaction making poor swings/strikes regardless of outcome, so more forgiving clubs aren't entirely appealing. That being said, I also understand my limits and there is a tipping point where my lack of skill as a golfer overrides my ability to execute quality shots with longer irons, so I'll use more forgiving clubs from 6i-driver.
I play cavity backs and hybrids because I need the help getting a higher flight, but I get it, because I am that way with the putter. I play a blade putter because it looks cool and feels awesome. I just enjoy putting more now compared to when I used to play with big inserted ugly mallets.
I don't play blades anymore. I did for a long time. I agree with one poster that in the short irons it makes no difference to an average or above average player. If you can't hit a 9 iron somewhere around the center of the face you shouldn't even be reading this thread. While blades look great that was never a consideration for me.
When I did play blades I suppose I did for a few reasons. First, nothing feels better than a forged blade. Particularly one with some meat behind the sweet spot. Those are also the least forgiving blades.
Second, for me, was ballflight and distance control. MB produce a different ballflight than a CB iron. The modern player's cavity backs are much more workable and have less offset than years ago of course. But blades still have more control in the right pair of hands. So my second priority was that the club needed to have as little offset as possible as it's a much more versatile golf club. I wanted to hit a controlled cut, not a high draw.
Third was arrogance. Blades are the ultimate challenge. I like to challenge myself. I wanted to play great golf with skill and didn't want any help. Frankly playing GI irons and a belly putter would've felt like cheating to me. (I got over it lol)
And last I was good enough to play them and I didn't see any benefit to playing anything else. The one thing I can say without a doubt regarding blades is that while my misses may have been a little wider and a little shorter, my great shots were better and closer to the hole. Controlling the distance with a blade is second to none.
Truthfully if I'd put some thought into it when I bought my last set I would have gone 4&5 585, 6&7 785, and 8-W Z-forged. And now that I'm thinking about that I may just order the short irons in the Z forged and give it a go.
Actually when I think about it I don't really know that playing a full or almost full set of blades would really affect my scores all that much. Let's be honest. When it's all said and done most of your score is dictated by your driver, your wedges and your putter. Your iron game can vary depending on what kinds of clubs you're playing, but for a better player it's marginal. A really good player is still going to miss 6 greens per round average. No matter what you do you can't make good scores if you can't drive the ball in play and be an average or above putter. Honestly the more I type I'm starting to realize how much we overcomplicate this lol. I'm gonna get my last set of blades (KZG ZO) out of the closet and play a round of golf and see if it makes any difference. I'll report back. :)
You'll probably need to play a couple rounds to really test it, if the test is your goal. The need to adjust (or readjust) being what it is.
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