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Muscle Back "Blade" Irons --- History and Future?


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There is no long term marketing/profit plan for MBs. Where as with CBs and multimaterial irons, you can constantly claim improvements year to year whether noticeable or not. Move the CG by a 0.0001mm rearward and claim it's "easier" to launch than last year. Add 0.000001g more tungsten and claim it's more forgiving. MB buyers aren't looking for that extra fluff, so there isn't really much marketing that can be done aside from "improved feel and control".

G400 LST, Tour 75 stiff
G410 14.5, Tour 75 stiff
G410 19, 22, Tour 85 stiff
T200, 5-gw, AMT Black stiff
Vokey, SM6, 54S, 58M
Never Compromise Portofino

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I like most have watched Shiels, Crossfield, Newton, and others saying how the P730's are for elite ball strikers and pro's and I can say that this is just not the case for me. I am still recovering from knee surgery in March, and my rounds are limited to 9 holes typically, for most of this season I have been playing P770's that I had a member on here custom build for me. REcently I picked up a set of stock specs P730's and to be totally honest, my scores are no worse using them versus any other irons. What I do find is that I can hit the 4 & 5 irons in the P730's my expected distances, yet the 9 & PW tend to come up short for me. Perhaps due to the weaker lofts the ball spins up the face and loose distance. I have played z945's and z965's before, but I wouldn't call those true blades as they definitely have a fair amount of help. And for reference, I usually score from 39-45 for 9 holes, again, much of that is my knee still but regardless, if I can put a decent swing on the P730 or P770 I still get desired results.

 

Here's some sim testing I did recently, more amazed at how similar they are than not.. (no comments of swing speed or spin please.. my rehab is still a work in progress..)

 

Taylormade P770 7i DG 120 Tour Issue S400;

 

 

Taylormade P730 7i KBS Tour FLT 120s;

 

 

Where is the help on the z945 or 65? A tungsten weight on 6 iron on down?

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver:  Cobra Fly-Z+, Xcaliber 7.5 TS, 44", King LTD, HZRDUS 75 6.5, 44.25"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Aldila Tour Blue 85 S, 42.5"; Stage 2 Tour, SO Fiber Tour Trac 100 X, 42.5"
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, NV105 S or DGS400

Irons grab bag:  Mizuno MP-37, DGS300; Golden Ram TW276, NV105; Golden Ram TW282, Precision 6.5; Ram TG-898, Super Peening Blue X; 1980 Golden Rams, Dynamic S; MacGregor Muirfield, Dynamic S; Wilson Staff 78 Tour Blades, Dynamic S
GW:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, DGS400
SW:  Ram Watson Scoring System 55*, DGX 7i shaft; Ram TG-898, DGS400; Ram TG-898, NV105 S; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS300; Ram 1982 Commemorative Nickel 58*, Dynamic S; Ram TW282, DGS; Ram TW276, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60* mid sole, DGS400; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, NV105 S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.25"; Yes! Nicky, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or 50 Elite, TP5

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

 

Lol, there’s way too many parallels to the major religions in this debate. I hope that I’ll be reincarnated as a channel back form forged iron when my time comes. Just to blur the lines!

Ping G400 10.5° (Ping Tour 65S)

Sub70 Pro 18° (UST ProForce V2 75S) || Tour Edge Exotics CBX 16.5° (ATMOS Blue 60S)

Callaway x2Hot Pro 20° (KBS Hybrid Steel)

Titleist 818H2 22° (PX 6.0)

Ping i210 5-U (DG S300) || Ping Blueprint 5-W (PX 6.0)

Titleist SM7 54° F / 58° D (DG S300)

Titleist SC Mil-Spec Newport 33"/350g

Titleist ProV1x/AVX

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

 

OMG, 'Cavity Crusaders'!

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

 

 

Not really. It’s the lol moments like the guys who justify it by saying they shoot no worse with one vs the other when for all we know they could be shooting 105. Who knows? Or the ones that say they just work for “their swing”. Or the ones that try to rewrite physics. Or the ones that claim they love the workability but couldn’t hit a single shot left to right, right to left, or high/low on demand if their life depended on it. Just saying

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As you can tell by my username, I am (and always have been) a big Titleist fan. So, from that brand alone and their amazing club archive, as well as my personal experience, I felt it worth writing a little bit about "blades". I mean real blades, the kind that grass cannot get caught in the back, the kind that most golfers fear, but would help each of them with their games if only if used on a range for practice.

 

Before I get into the history of the blade (at least from the last 30 years using Titleist), I wanted to point out that blades are back with a vengeance (or are they)?

 

Below is the current top 10 world golf rankings, where as you can see, 7 of 10 use true blades. And of course there is another pretty big name (currently outside the top-10) named Tiger Woods.

1. Dustin Johnson (BLADES)

2. Justin Thomas (BLADES)

3. Justin Rose (BLADES)

4. Brooks Koepka

5. Jon Rahm

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler (BLADES)

8. Rory McIlroy (BLADES)

9. Jason Day (BLADES)

10. Tommy Fleetwood (BLADES)

 

Back to my experience that led me to this topic. Really it was just a Titleist brochure I picked up at my local GolfMart while buying a SM7 wedge a few days back. Tonight I finally got around to looking at it and I was pretty surprised. See cover below and tell me what's missing (completely not even mentioned)?

 

 

 

That's not fair, from the title you probably guessed correctly ... the 718MB (and CB) are missing completely, not even a mention.

 

Also, the other day I saw a flier in the mail from the Roger Dunn Superstore, which as I flipped through were missing blades for every manufacturer. Now this may be due to blades not being a high buy-rate item so they made a marketing decision, but not a mention (no where, no OEM).

 

So, what gives? This is where I wanted people to follow the Titleist club history to think about what happened, when and why things have evolved to today's current market conditions. In responses, I would like fellow WRXers to project blade volumes going forward ... do they trend ever downward despite players using them every weekend on TV or do they make a resurgence?

 

Let't start with Titleist. Again, using my history and this handy website (which I think every OEM should keep (other than TM because they would break the internet - slight dig on how frequently they change club models)) ... we can look through the history of Titleist blades.

 

Long time ago (1990s), Titleist made blades because that was pretty much what everyone played on tour, either blades or Ping Eye2s. The sole grinds had not been figured out yet, but they were sweet (but not being purchased), so the last blade (Titleist Tour Model) was made pretty much unchanged from 1991 to 1997. Titleist then stopped making blades.

 

Along came this guy named Tiger Woods, who used a set of Mizuno blades to absolutely dominate Augusta National in 1997. Titleist wanted to get him on their staff, so they went into hyperdrive trying to create a set of blades to get Tiger on their staff. Born was the 681MB and "T" version (Tiger's specs of the 681 blank stamped simply with a T). Due to popularity of Tiger and his incredible run in 2000, Titleist released the 681 to the public and even some "T" versions in 2001. The 681 continued in 2002 along with the 690MB, which was easier to hit with the muscle lower in the head and longer heal to toe. This is where Titleist went a bit haywire, deciding that one type of blade was not enough. They decided to bring out over the next few years the 680MB (likely most beloved of all - and still played by many on the PGA tour including major champions), the 670MB and 690.MB.

 

Back to my own experience, in 2004, I was stationed in Everett, WA. There was a golf shop having a Titleist trial and when I got there as a Titleist and blade lover, it was one of the best experiences of my life ... I was able to try 680MB, 670MB and 690.MB all at the same time (pure heaven), all shiny and new. Wish I had stocked up on some 680MBs right then.

 

Anyway, that was Titleist's blade hayday from a build quality and variety standpoint. I cannot think of any single OEM that built three types of blades at the same (or near enough the same) time as Titleist did during 2002 to 2004.

 

But, horrible sales led to Titleist not making a single blade in 2005 (head scratcher), but in 2006 they brought out the beautiful 660MB (but only for pros or custom orders) and the horrifically ugly 695MB. From that bad taste in their mouths, Titleist again gave up on blades until 2009 when the beautiful 710MB was brought to market, which was the start of the 7-series designating irons and "10" designating the model year (sort of). Titleist then got on an every other year thing with MBs in 712 (2012 sort of), 714 (I have a set of these), 716 (trying to resemble 680) and the most recent 718 (which look nice).

 

Shifting away from Titleist for a moment over to TaylorMade with their most recent development of the P730 blades (also very nice looking), and versions specifically for big-headed PGA pros like "Rors", "Rose" and most recently "Tiger", it seems they are now following the Titleist 2002-2004 path (history repeating itself?).

 

Anyway, hope you think about this topic and let me know what you think with this trip down blade-memory lane.

 

My raw 680MBs (in away bag).

 

 

 

What do the faces look like?

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

 

OMG, 'Cavity Crusaders'!

 

My crusade depends on the cavity.

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What do the faces look like?

 

 

 

[size=3][font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif][url="https://www.usna.edu/homepage.php"]Go Navy![/url]

[b][u]WITB[/u][/b]
Titleist 915 D4 8.5 Oban V430 6.5 75g
Titleist 915 F2 15 Rogue Silver 80S
Titleist VG3 18.5 JDM PX 6.0
Titleist 680 raw 4-PW Nippon MODUS 125S
Titleist TVD raw C-C 53 and Indigo SM5 58 DGTI
Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport Beach 340g 35"
Scotty Cameron MilSpec Gen2 330g 35"[/font][/size]

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

 

 

Not really. It’s the lol moments like the guys who justify it by saying they shoot no worse with one vs the other when for all we know they could be shooting 105. Who knows? Or the ones that say they just work for “their swing”. Or the ones that try to rewrite physics. Or the ones that claim they love the workability but couldn’t hit a single shot left to right, right to left, or high/low on demand if their life depended on it. Just saying

 

 

I think I was right the first time. You're sounding a lot like a Defender of the Faith

 

4555-1b3791fb-c5ad-472c-8e80-1ed0bc7be98e.jpg

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver:  Cobra Fly-Z+, Xcaliber 7.5 TS, 44", King LTD, HZRDUS 75 6.5, 44.25"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Aldila Tour Blue 85 S, 42.5"; Stage 2 Tour, SO Fiber Tour Trac 100 X, 42.5"
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, NV105 S or DGS400

Irons grab bag:  Mizuno MP-37, DGS300; Golden Ram TW276, NV105; Golden Ram TW282, Precision 6.5; Ram TG-898, Super Peening Blue X; 1980 Golden Rams, Dynamic S; MacGregor Muirfield, Dynamic S; Wilson Staff 78 Tour Blades, Dynamic S
GW:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, DGS400
SW:  Ram Watson Scoring System 55*, DGX 7i shaft; Ram TG-898, DGS400; Ram TG-898, NV105 S; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS300; Ram 1982 Commemorative Nickel 58*, Dynamic S; Ram TW282, DGS; Ram TW276, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60* mid sole, DGS400; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, NV105 S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.25"; Yes! Nicky, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or 50 Elite, TP5

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

 

 

Not really. It’s the lol moments like the guys who justify it by saying they shoot no worse with one vs the other when for all we know they could be shooting 105. Who knows? Or the ones that say they just work for “their swing”. Or the ones that try to rewrite physics. Or the ones that claim they love the workability but couldn’t hit a single shot left to right, right to left, or high/low on demand if their life depended on it. Just saying

 

 

I think I was right the first time. You're sounding a lot like a Defender of the Faith

 

4555-1b3791fb-c5ad-472c-8e80-1ed0bc7be98e.jpg

 

Cavity Crusaders with bladed swords. How ironic :-)

* Titleist TS2 * Titleist 716 MB 5-PW * Cleveland RTX 4 52 MID | 56 FULL | 60 XLOW * Special Select Newport 2 * ProV1x

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Not only does the ball sound better coming off these, but the rattle in bag as you walk is heaven. Almost as good as the sound of real metal spikes on the cart path!

TaylorMade SIM Max 9* (9.75*) Ventus Blue 6S Shaft
TaylorMade RBZ Tour 14.5 w/ Matrik Ozik S 
Callaway XR Pro 18 Project X 6.0
Titleist 716 CB Irons 3-PW w/ Dynamic Gold S300 Shafts (Standard LLL)
Titleist Vokey SM7 52 58 Wedges
Odyssey Milled Collection #5 
Titleist Pro V1 

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Not only does the ball sound better coming off these, but the rattle in bag as you walk is heaven. Almost as good as the sound of real metal spikes on the cart path!

Those vokeys look nice but they do look out of place..

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what is it about blades the bring out the evangelist in 95% of the people that use them on this forum?

 

Ironic. Blade users talk about how they like their sticks. The Cavity Crusaders are the ones looking to convert everyone to the "True Faith." LOL

 

 

... I think you know better than that. How many times have we read that hitting MB's is the only way to improve? That MB's are the only way to reach your potential? That everyone should try MB's? Physics tell us MB's are the hardest to hit consistently and are the least forgiving on mishits. I think it bears mentioning, there are a ton of MB players on tour that have more forgiving long irons in their bag basically reaping the best of both worlds that would think this "argument" just silly.

 

 

I don't recall seeing many such posts, but there have been some. Certainly considerably less than even a majority, however, much less "95%." I don't feel that way myself, for what little it's worth; I feel you can improve with Eye2 as well. It might be a slightly different path, but it's still in the same direction.

 

What I don't see from blade users are posts deriding cb users for daring to play such clubs, not unlike what we're seeing in this thread from some of the cb faithful. The clubs I play aren't for everyone, but I don't assume others are idiots or liars for not doing so. ;)

 

 

... That said, some high swing speed, high spin players may only be able to play MB's. I would never try to talk anyone out of MB's unless they asked for advice and were playing poorly with their MB's. And I have played with complete hacks using MB's that probably never hit the center once in a round of golf. Most people here repeat this mantra over and over again "play what makes you happy". You want to score the lowest? Play the most forgiving irons you can effectively play. You love the game and you feel there are many other reasons to play other than lowest score? Play whatever brings you the most joy. Even if that is 962B's.

 

I agree with both sentiments. Play what helps you score, and play what you enjoy playing. I don't see them as mutually exclusive, as some seem to. I used to regularly carry a 2 iron and even a 1 iron, because I scored with them, and avoided 5 woods or hybrids because they didn't help, or even hurt my game. When it became otherwise, I added a 5w, then switched to a 2h. I spent a year playing Eye2+, which didn't hurt my scores, but also didn't improve my scores, either.

 

I've been auditioning a set of TP MC this year, off and on (you might be familiar with them ;) ). What I've really noticed is a difference in launch conditions, such as one can see with the naked eye. I've come to think that's the biggest difference between the "two worlds," spin and launch variables. I saw it with my Ping usage, it's mentioned in the story of Dufner's National Custom set, and so on.

 

It's all about finding what works, while ignoring the marketing or preconceptions. <shrug>

 

Nice 962B reference. LOL

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver:  Cobra Fly-Z+, Xcaliber 7.5 TS, 44", King LTD, HZRDUS 75 6.5, 44.25"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Aldila Tour Blue 85 S, 42.5"; Stage 2 Tour, SO Fiber Tour Trac 100 X, 42.5"
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, NV105 S or DGS400

Irons grab bag:  Mizuno MP-37, DGS300; Golden Ram TW276, NV105; Golden Ram TW282, Precision 6.5; Ram TG-898, Super Peening Blue X; 1980 Golden Rams, Dynamic S; MacGregor Muirfield, Dynamic S; Wilson Staff 78 Tour Blades, Dynamic S
GW:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, DGS400
SW:  Ram Watson Scoring System 55*, DGX 7i shaft; Ram TG-898, DGS400; Ram TG-898, NV105 S; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS300; Ram 1982 Commemorative Nickel 58*, Dynamic S; Ram TW282, DGS; Ram TW276, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60* mid sole, DGS400; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, NV105 S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.25"; Yes! Nicky, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or 50 Elite, TP5

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... You are looking at things thru your eyes and your experience. As a full time instructor for 5 years I can assure you there were very few students that could shoot their lowest score and play MB's. Again, they are certainly out there and you seem to be one of them, but you are in the minority. There is a reason they don't let MLB players use a perimeter weighted aluminum bat, and it is crazy rare to see a college player use a solid wood bat. The advantages of perimeter weighting is undeniable and you just don't see many MB players using a 300 cc driver with limited perimeter weighting as opposed to a 460/440cc forgiving driver. That said, if you have the game to hit the center and control your trajectory the difference between a CB and MB can be non existent for you and of course for some, a CB with more weight low in the head producing a higher trajectory can be worse for their game.

 

... WRX seems to be the only place this topic generates opposition form either side. Now that I am not teaching, I couldn't care less what you play. : )

 

 

There was quite a bit back and forth on GEA in the old days, but not so much anymore. ;)

 

I realize I'm an aberration. It's why I usually say things like "you won't know unless you try, it may work, it may not" and so on. Its worked for me, though I admit I'm not entirely sure why. It's not like I try moving the ball all over the place. There have also been a fair number of clubs I've really wanted to work, but have been forced to set aside, like the Peerless Tours or PTPs.

 

Somewhat ironically, my drop into single digits golf coincided with my having switched to playing persimmons exclusively for two or three months, during 2008. LOL, go figure.

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver:  Cobra Fly-Z+, Xcaliber 7.5 TS, 44", King LTD, HZRDUS 75 6.5, 44.25"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Aldila Tour Blue 85 S, 42.5"; Stage 2 Tour, SO Fiber Tour Trac 100 X, 42.5"
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, NV105 S or DGS400

Irons grab bag:  Mizuno MP-37, DGS300; Golden Ram TW276, NV105; Golden Ram TW282, Precision 6.5; Ram TG-898, Super Peening Blue X; 1980 Golden Rams, Dynamic S; MacGregor Muirfield, Dynamic S; Wilson Staff 78 Tour Blades, Dynamic S
GW:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, DGS400
SW:  Ram Watson Scoring System 55*, DGX 7i shaft; Ram TG-898, DGS400; Ram TG-898, NV105 S; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS300; Ram 1982 Commemorative Nickel 58*, Dynamic S; Ram TW282, DGS; Ram TW276, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60* mid sole, DGS400; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, NV105 S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.25"; Yes! Nicky, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or 50 Elite, TP5

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... "Aberration" is an understatement. :drinks:

Cobra Xtreme 9* Tour Length ... Tensei Pro Orange 60s
Cobra Speezone 15.5* ... Atmos Blue TS 75s

TaylorMade RBZ Tour Hybrid ... KBS 80Hys
4-w Titleist T100-S ... Kuro Kage Tini 105's
SM6 52* F Grind /SM8 M Grind 58* ... Recoil 110s
Newport 2.5 ... 33.5"
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There is no long term marketing/profit plan for MBs. Where as with CBs and multimaterial irons, you can constantly claim improvements year to year whether noticeable or not. Move the CG by a 0.0001mm rearward and claim it's "easier" to launch than last year. Add 0.000001g more tungsten and claim it's more forgiving. MB buyers aren't looking for that extra fluff, so there isn't really much marketing that can be done aside from "improved feel and control".

 

This post has a lot of truth in it. As someone who runs a golf course, and by extension a pro shop, I've been in the club retail business for over 20 years now. There's just not much way to improve on a true MB design, and marketing needs "change" and "improvement" to actually have something to build a marketing plan around. And "feel" just isn't that big of a differentiation anymore, as some of the more geez-whiz multimaterial tech has many of the CBs and even game improvement clubs have just as good of a "feel" (due to elastomers, etc) as pure MBs do when struck well.

 

I do think that MBs will stick around to some degree, as long as touring pros play them. The manufacturers have to make them for those guys anyway, so may as well release some for public consumption to help recover some of the tooling/R&D spent to make/design those clubs for touring pros. But at the retail level, I can easily see a day where they are custom order only, and very expensive. In my time in golf operations/golf retail, I can think of exactly 3 sets of pure MBs that I've sold. And none of those have been in the last 13 years. Even at manufacturers' demo/fitting days that I've hosted, I haven't seen a rep bring MBs (even if the company makes them) to the events in YEARS. Every manufacturer I've talked to states their pure MB sales (if they even offer a MB model) make up at BEST 3% of their overall club sales. At those sell through numbers, there's not many (if any) companies that are going to throw advertising/marketing dollars at the MB club segment. Marketing cost BIG dollars, and there's just no way to get it back selling so few MB clubs.

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There is no long term marketing/profit plan for MBs. Where as with CBs and multimaterial irons, you can constantly claim improvements year to year whether noticeable or not. Move the CG by a 0.0001mm rearward and claim it's "easier" to launch than last year. Add 0.000001g more tungsten and claim it's more forgiving. MB buyers aren't looking for that extra fluff, so there isn't really much marketing that can be done aside from "improved feel and control".

 

This post has a lot of truth in it. As someone who runs a golf course, and by extension a pro shop, I've been in the club retail business for over 20 years now. There's just not much way to improve on a true MB design, and marketing needs "change" and "improvement" to actually have something to build a marketing plan around. And "feel" just isn't that big of a differentiation anymore, as some of the more geez-whiz multimaterial tech has many of the CBs and even game improvement clubs have just as good of a "feel" (due to elastomers, etc) as pure MBs do when struck well.

 

I do think that MBs will stick around to some degree, as long as touring pros play them. The manufacturers have to make them for those guys anyway, so may as well release some for public consumption to help recover some of the tooling/R&D spent to make/design those clubs for touring pros. But at the retail level, I can easily see a day where they are custom order only, and very expensive. In my time in golf operations/golf retail, I can think of exactly 3 sets of pure MBs that I've sold. And none of those have been in the last 13 years. Even at manufacturers' demo/fitting days that I've hosted, I haven't seen a rep bring MBs (even if the company makes them) to the events in YEARS. Every manufacturer I've talked to states their pure MB sales (if they even offer a MB model) make up at BEST 3% of their overall club sales. At those sell through numbers, there's not many (if any) companies that are going to throw advertising/marketing dollars at the MB club segment. Marketing cost BIG dollars, and there's just no way to get it back selling so few MB clubs.

 

Agreed. Most golfers are looking for forgiveness distance these days and there's almost nothing you can do to increase forgiveness distance in a blade :-)

* Titleist TS2 * Titleist 716 MB 5-PW * Cleveland RTX 4 52 MID | 56 FULL | 60 XLOW * Special Select Newport 2 * ProV1x

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Interesting fact in the MPF details.... The Precept Tour Premium irons have a higher MOI than the Ping ISI. :pimp:

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver:  Cobra Fly-Z+, Xcaliber 7.5 TS, 44", King LTD, HZRDUS 75 6.5, 44.25"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Aldila Tour Blue 85 S, 42.5"; Stage 2 Tour, SO Fiber Tour Trac 100 X, 42.5"
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, NV105 S or DGS400

Irons grab bag:  Mizuno MP-37, DGS300; Golden Ram TW276, NV105; Golden Ram TW282, Precision 6.5; Ram TG-898, Super Peening Blue X; 1980 Golden Rams, Dynamic S; MacGregor Muirfield, Dynamic S; Wilson Staff 78 Tour Blades, Dynamic S
GW:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, DGS400
SW:  Ram Watson Scoring System 55*, DGX 7i shaft; Ram TG-898, DGS400; Ram TG-898, NV105 S; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS300; Ram 1982 Commemorative Nickel 58*, Dynamic S; Ram TW282, DGS; Ram TW276, DGS
LW:  Maltby Design 60* mid sole, DGS400; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, NV105 S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.25"; Yes! Nicky, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or 50 Elite, TP5

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Blade users are “woke”. CB users are “deplorables” :)

Ping G400 10.5° (Ping Tour 65S)

Sub70 Pro 18° (UST ProForce V2 75S) || Tour Edge Exotics CBX 16.5° (ATMOS Blue 60S)

Callaway x2Hot Pro 20° (KBS Hybrid Steel)

Titleist 818H2 22° (PX 6.0)

Ping i210 5-U (DG S300) || Ping Blueprint 5-W (PX 6.0)

Titleist SM7 54° F / 58° D (DG S300)

Titleist SC Mil-Spec Newport 33"/350g

Titleist ProV1x/AVX

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'A long time ago' started well before the 90s ;)

 

Below is the current top 10 world golf rankings, where as you can see, 7 of 10 use true blades. And of course there is another pretty big name (currently outside the top-10) named Tiger Woods.

1. Dustin Johnson (BLADES)

2. Justin Thomas (BLADES)

3. Justin Rose (BLADES)

4. Brooks Koepka

5. Jon Rahm

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler (BLADES)

8. Rory McIlroy (BLADES)

9. Jason Day (BLADES)

10. Tommy Fleetwood (BLADES)

 

 

They are not using 'true blades' though are they? They're using modern muscle back irons and not like the old days of razor-thin 2i on down.

In the case of Rory, Justin, and Tommy at least, only from 5 iron down as well.

 

BTW, cool irons.

 

I smiled when I read your post... true... I have a set of real deal custom MacGregor butterknife blades that many of my friends can't hit, though they have tried. Yep, those PGA tour guys are playing contemporary spec blades, yet many fear those clubs still. For that reason, we can't take anything away from the skill needed to use them effectively. Rory and Justin often carry 2i. Least that's what I have seen. Even Speith carrys 718TB 3 iron and 4 iron down AP2. And what that list doesn't show all the other tour players that play blades, and there are many today.

 

Because I am more of a sweeper, real butter knife design clubheads worked for me with sharp leading edges, very narrow flat soles, weaker lofts, minimal offset with real dime-size sweet spot closer to heal. Also have original 670MB's, which have a center sweet-spot which I played for three years. Only 23 tour guys played them, beautiful clubs. Those hadn't evolved yet into contemporary blades but on the cusp. As for my 716CB's they are challenging because their shallow CB has a muscle in the middle that allows them to be workable, minimal offset and narrow sole; not nearly as forgiving as AP2's. :beach:

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The future of blades is in better shape than reflected in sales. Thank the land of the rising sun for that.They have a healthy reverence for them and without that, they might have gone the way of the dodo bird a while back.

 

Too much is made of MOI in irons, 2/3 of a great club is in the overall weighting and SW and shaft profile. Ping loyalists love the forgiveness but they probably love the specifications that Ping adheres to. Mizuno fans love their forgings but they are also liking the flatter than average lie. Hogan's are specified with a softer than average tip which does much for their appeal. Blades in general carry heft. Something that has strong appeal to many, something that works well with their swing.You might lose an added 15 feet on miss hit but your probably more online direction wise. Shorter in front of target 9/10 times is flat out a good miss and small price for the upside of them, which there are plenty.

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You might lose an added 15 feet on miss hit but your probably more online direction wise.

 

Anything shorter is automatically more on line. Impact is measured in degrees. If I hit a ball 10 yards 1* open it goes a little right. If I hit a ball 500 yards 1* open it goes way, way, way right. They're shorter on mishits, period. Now, you can say "i'd rather be shorter on mishits than longer" and that's fine I guess but its not a property of blades. You can just swing slower with a GI iron and get the same effect (shorter but less offline).

 

Too much is made of MOI in irons

 

Too much is also made about what a club actually does / what the truth actually is. Walk into a Dick's. There isn't a single set of blades in the place. Even Edwin Watts only has them in the used section. Compare that to golf store shelves in 1995. They've already gone the way of the DoDo. If we're discussing the reality of how good or bad blades are, there are points on both sides. If we're discussing (As OP has) the "future" of blades, its awful. They arn't in stock anywhere and they don't make any of the OEM's money.

Ping G30 driver 3h 4h 5h stock stiff shafts

Bridgestone j40 DPC 6-PW x100

Vokey sm5 50/12F 56/10S x100

Taylormade Spider X

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... You are looking at things thru your eyes and your experience. As a full time instructor for 5 years I can assure you there were very few students that could shoot their lowest score and play MB's. Again, they are certainly out there and you seem to be one of them, but you are in the minority. There is a reason they don't let MLB players use a perimeter weighted aluminum bat, and it is crazy rare to see a college player use a solid wood bat. The advantages of perimeter weighting is undeniable and you just don't see many MB players using a 300 cc driver with limited perimeter weighting as opposed to a 460/440cc forgiving driver. That said, if you have the game to hit the center and control your trajectory the difference between a CB and MB can be non existent for you and of course for some, a CB with more weight low in the head producing a higher trajectory can be worse for their game.

 

... WRX seems to be the only place this topic generates opposition form either side. Now that I am not teaching, I couldn't care less what you play. : )

 

I agree that if you cannot hit the center of the club, MBs are not for you. I said the benefit of an MB for such a person is on the driving range, where they will learn through better feedback how to hit the center.

 

For those who CAN hit the center of the club face, the benefits are far better distance control, ability to shape shots, and better ability to dig through rough. So, there are reasons for good players to use blades, other than just wanting to look cool. Just look at the pros. Their income is based on how they perform with their clubs. World ranking does not care what your irons look like, but your bank account does care about world ranking, finishes and endorsements.

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... You are looking at things thru your eyes and your experience. As a full time instructor for 5 years I can assure you there were very few students that could shoot their lowest score and play MB's. Again, they are certainly out there and you seem to be one of them, but you are in the minority. There is a reason they don't let MLB players use a perimeter weighted aluminum bat, and it is crazy rare to see a college player use a solid wood bat. The advantages of perimeter weighting is undeniable and you just don't see many MB players using a 300 cc driver with limited perimeter weighting as opposed to a 460/440cc forgiving driver. That said, if you have the game to hit the center and control your trajectory the difference between a CB and MB can be non existent for you and of course for some, a CB with more weight low in the head producing a higher trajectory can be worse for their game.

 

... WRX seems to be the only place this topic generates opposition form either side. Now that I am not teaching, I couldn't care less what you play. : )

 

I agree that if you cannot hit the center of the club, MBs are not for you. I said the benefit of an MB for such a person is on the driving range, where they will learn through better feedback how to hit the center.

 

For those who CAN hit the center of the club face, the benefits are far better distance control, ability to shape shots, and better ability to dig through rough. So, there are reasons for good players to use blades, other than just wanting to look cool. Just look at the pros. Their income is based on how they perform with their clubs. World ranking does not care what your irons look like, but your bank account does care about world ranking, finishes and endorsements.

 

Its not binary. You don't hit or not hit the center. You hit it to varying degrees. Even good players miss by milimeters and they do so quite often. Hogan said he only hit it perfectly 2 or 3 times a round. MBs are cool clubs, but there isn't a player alive who hits the exact center of the clubface over half the time.

Ping G30 driver 3h 4h 5h stock stiff shafts

Bridgestone j40 DPC 6-PW x100

Vokey sm5 50/12F 56/10S x100

Taylormade Spider X

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You might lose an added 15 feet on miss hit but your probably more online direction wise.

 

Anything shorter is automatically more on line. Impact is measured in degrees. If I hit a ball 10 yards 1* open it goes a little right. If I hit a ball 500 yards 1* open it goes way, way, way right. They're shorter on mishits, period. Now, you can say "i'd rather be shorter on mishits than longer" and that's fine I guess but its not a property of blades. You can just swing slower with a GI iron and get the same effect (shorter but less offline).

 

Too much is made of MOI in irons

 

Too much is also made about what a club actually does / what the truth actually is. Walk into a Dick's. There isn't a single set of blades in the place. Even Edwin Watts only has them in the used section. Compare that to golf store shelves in 1995. They've already gone the way of the DoDo. If we're discussing the reality of how good or bad blades are, there are points on both sides. If we're discussing (As OP has) the "future" of blades, its awful. They arn't in stock anywhere and they don't make any of the OEM's money.

 

Dick's?........You're a funny guy. I wouldn't buy.....oh never mind.

 

There's several foundries making blades in Asia, in 25 years they'll still be making them and probably for the OEM's as they do now.

 

Every OEM has a current line of blades that integrate well with a CB offering, hell even Ping has got in, done in their ping way.

 

#5-PW with the modern ball is not a stretch for the enthusiast to play. Hybrids or integrated clubs can fill the bottom end easily.

 

I've seen more blade sets at the range in the last 3 years than I've ever seen in prior 25. Young guys w/shiny new ones too. Titleist is a popular with them.

 

So I'm bullish, they will never take over but they are not going away anytime soon.

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You might lose an added 15 feet on miss hit but your probably more online direction wise.

 

Anything shorter is automatically more on line. Impact is measured in degrees. If I hit a ball 10 yards 1* open it goes a little right. If I hit a ball 500 yards 1* open it goes way, way, way right. They're shorter on mishits, period. Now, you can say "i'd rather be shorter on mishits than longer" and that's fine I guess but its not a property of blades. You can just swing slower with a GI iron and get the same effect (shorter but less offline).

 

Too much is made of MOI in irons

 

Too much is also made about what a club actually does / what the truth actually is. Walk into a Dick's. There isn't a single set of blades in the place. Even Edwin Watts only has them in the used section. Compare that to golf store shelves in 1995. They've already gone the way of the DoDo. If we're discussing the reality of how good or bad blades are, there are points on both sides. If we're discussing (As OP has) the "future" of blades, its awful. They arn't in stock anywhere and they don't make any of the OEM's money.

 

Dick's?........You're a funny guy. I wouldn't buy.....oh never mind.

 

There's several foundries making blades in Asia, in 25 years they'll still be making them and probably for the OEM's as they do now.

 

Every OEM has a current line of blades that integrate well with a CB offering, hell even Ping has got in, done in their ping way.

 

#5-PW with the modern ball is not a stretch for the enthusiast to play. Hybrids or integrated clubs can fill the bottom end easily.

 

I've seen more blade sets at the range in the last 3 years than I've ever seen in prior 25. Young guys w/shiny new ones too. Titleist is a popular with them.

 

So I'm bullish, they will never take over but they are not going away anytime soon.

 

You just described me perfectly at the end. I'm 26 with a brand new set of Titleist 716 MB's lol.

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Just depends what you mean by “future” and compared to what. Of course they won’t go away, but they’re a shadow of what they used to be in terms of use among casual golfers.

Ping G30 driver 3h 4h 5h stock stiff shafts

Bridgestone j40 DPC 6-PW x100

Vokey sm5 50/12F 56/10S x100

Taylormade Spider X

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