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


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It was a thread about blades

 

Please point out a CB or GI thread that was derailed by blade-users

 

No, it was a thread asking what the forum thought about the future of blades.

 

And the answer is pretty clear - its dismal, given current retail outlets and market share, especially compared to what once was.

 

Nobody makes threads about the outlook of GI irons because its obvious.

 

The thread wasn't "de-railed", you guys didn't get the answer you wanted. Blades are fine. Nobody cares what you play. But if you ask any group of reasonably plugged-in golfers about the future of blades you'll get the same answer. Most of the time you find them at yard sales next to Ataris and VHS machines.

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I don't currently play MB's ,but have shot my lowest rounds using them. The blade/CB debate gets old. The main reason I have ever played MB's and probably will again is be cause I just like them. Simple as that.

 

 

But what was your lowest rounds?

 

Not really sure why it would matter as lower is lower no matter what the score, but if you must know, I've had several rounds in the mid 70's using blades. 74 being the lowest to date.

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Another thread derailed into a Blades vs GI debate by the anti-blade crusaders

 

... The sound of one hand clapping. It takes two to tango. Only the zealots do not see this is equally divided among both camps.

 

It was a thread about blades

 

Please point out a CB or GI thread that was derailed by blade-users

 

... I am neutral in this debate. Both sides post what is basically personal opinions yet somehow think that their experience, would be everyone else's experience. As someone that taught full time, one of the silliest things I see posted is MB's will make you a better ball striker and practicing with an MB will do the same. This is simply personal experience from someone with a weak mind and poor discipline. You should practice with what you are playing. But hey, if practicing with an MB or playing with an MB makes you a better ball striker? Good for you, but that is you and you only and that advice does not apply to most golfers. I have seen this sentiment on more than a few CB threads. Pitchers do not throw baseballs with smaller seams so they are more productive with their curveball when they use normal seams. Shooting guards do not use bigger basketballs to fine tune their ability to put it the the center of the rim. The practice with what they play.

 

... Equally as silly is telling someone else that a CB would be much better for their game, and if they are playing MB's they are delusional. There are quite obviously many advantages to playing MB's if you have the skill to make them work for your swing. If not, the best players in the world would not be using them. Speith won the Open Championship using AP2's and Molinari won using P750's and Stenson won using what are very close to SGI irons on a course where controlling your flight and distance is paramount. Of course I can give the same example with Rory and Tiger that won using MB's. I am of the belief that confidence trumps technical performance every time. If you honestly think you hit MB's better, you probably will. If you honestly think you hit CB's better, you probably will.

 

Your comment about confidence trumping technical performance is spot on. I came into our club championships 2 weeks ago with a bit of good form behind me and promptly shot 93/91. I read Bob Rotella’s book ‘Your 15th Club’ during the following days and played last weekend without any intervening practice - I just read the book. I shot 76 with the exact same equipment on the exact same course in pretty much the same conditions. 17 shots difference just because I read a book!! To be honest I didn’t strike the ball very well (5/14 fairways, 5/18 GIR) but the book changed my mindset and I was confident of getting the ball in the hole. FWIW, if I take 8-iron chip shots out, I only hit my irons 21 times.

 

 

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It was a thread about blades

 

Please point out a CB or GI thread that was derailed by blade-users

 

No, it was a thread asking what the forum thought about the future of blades.

 

And the answer is pretty clear - its dismal, given current retail outlets and market share, especially compared to what once was.

 

Nobody makes threads about the outlook of GI irons because its obvious.

 

The thread wasn't "de-railed", you guys didn't get the answer you wanted. Blades are fine. Nobody cares what you play. But if you ask any group of reasonably plugged-in golfers about the future of blades you'll get the same answer. Most of the time you find them at yard sales next to Ataris and VHS machines.

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to this....

 

0e607eb38bb2f94ea9a3500afd9b9244.jpg

to this....

r7quadL.jpg

to this....

Callaway_EPIC_caitzv.jpg

 

 

edit: with all that advancement who on any Tour would still be back playing the original wooden stuff?

 

 

Bob Estes did it in the early 21st Century, even having a club made for him by Louisville Golf.

 

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Driver: TM Original One 11.5*, one click lower loft, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X -or- Aldila NV105 X

3w: Cobra King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h, NV105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58*
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There is $$ in distance, which is why driver tech advances. It is now spreading to fairways and hybrids, and even the new trampoline faced irons.

 

But most people value precision over distance in their iron shots and wedges, which is why forging really hasn't progressed beyond CB irons.

 

Personally, I'd be happy with a set of zero offset blades or CBs. Too bad, everyone wants to ruin good forgings with too much offset.

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to this....

 

0e607eb38bb2f94ea9a3500afd9b9244.jpg

to this....

r7quadL.jpg

to this....

Callaway_EPIC_caitzv.jpg

 

 

edit: with all that advancement who on any Tour would still be back playing the original wooden stuff?

This comparison doesn't work for irons. 100% of Tour pros use 440+cc titanium drivers because they are without question superior for driving the ball. 100% use bladed wedges, because they're clearly superior for distance and trajectory control. Type of iron? Not definitive for ALL golfers. Mallet style putters? They're easier to line up and more forgiving right? So why don't ALL touring pros use them. Some technology is clearing superior, others not so much. Irons, especially short and mid irons are user specific.

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to this....

 

0e607eb38bb2f94ea9a3500afd9b9244.jpg

to this....

r7quadL.jpg

to this....

Callaway_EPIC_caitzv.jpg

 

 

edit: with all that advancement who on any Tour would still be back playing the original wooden stuff?

This comparison doesn't work for irons. 100% of Tour pros use 440+cc titanium drivers because they are without question superior for driving the ball. 100% use bladed wedges, because they're clearly superior for distance and trajectory control. Type of iron? Not definitive for ALL golfers. Mallet style putters? They're easier to line up and more forgiving right? So why don't ALL touring pros use them. Some technology is clearing superior, others not so much. Irons, especially short and mid irons are user specific.

 

You just called out a comparison that didn’t make sense while making one right after.

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Another thread derailed into a Blades vs GI debate by the anti-blade crusaders

 

is becoming super sensitive and unable/unwilling to hear other opinions/critiques a side effect of playing blades?

 

because if it is, i may just have to put my cobra king mb 4-G up on the BST.

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Another thread derailed into a Blades vs GI debate by the anti-blade crusaders

 

is becoming super sensitive and unable/unwilling to hear other opinions/critiques a side effect of playing blades?

 

because if it is, i may just have to put my cobra king mb 4-G up on the BST.

 

You haven't posted a single meaningful opinion in this entire thread. If I'm wrong, please point it out.

 

Those are great irons, I'd hold onto them.

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Another thread derailed into a Blades vs GI debate by the anti-blade crusaders

 

is becoming super sensitive and unable/unwilling to hear other opinions/critiques a side effect of playing blades?

 

because if it is, i may just have to put my cobra king mb 4-G up on the BST.

 

You haven't posted a single meaningful opinion in this entire thread. If I'm wrong, please point it out.

 

Those are great irons, I'd hold onto them.

 

I’m not one to offer meaningful opinion to people who don’t operate on logic and reason.

 

What’s left to say that hasn’t already been said? My opinion is irrelevant because it’s just that: opinion.

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Ping G400 5 wood @ 16.5° (Ping Alta CB 65S)

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Ping i210 PowerSpec 5-U (DG S300)

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Sure is amusing when some people that play a particular type of club can't stop comparing and justifying their choice to a different kind of club. Anecdotal or research, NOBODY in their right mind buys clubs based on marketing hype alone. When it comes to laying down cash, their personal experience with that clubhead is what buys the club. So, stop throwing out anecdotal as if it doesn't have merit. It does but not with someone's preconceived bias.

 

I know plenty of beginners and intermediate people purchase clubs based on how forgiving the club is for their skill level. We can call that anecdotal. Changing to blades often comes when someone realizes their game goal is different than before, and maybe an acquaintance has had substantial success with MB / blades. After playing Pings for eight months, a relative that was quite successful with MB / blades suggested I consider them after he heard my goal. So I switched to Mizuno blades. Would I advise people I encounter on that choice, no?

 

For specific reasons muscle back blades will be around for a long time past when I am gone, as they should. Do those of us that enjoy blades care about your choice, NO? Will we think less of you, NO, not unless you become a raving azz because of your choice and or insecurities? You shouldn't care about our choice in clubs either unless your goals appear aligned with our goals and what we've chosen is of interest. I am in my late 60's and still intermittently enjoy my 670MB's and MacGregor Butterknives when my ball striking gets stinky. :beach: :lol:

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Keep storming the castle....

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: TM Original One 11.5*, one click lower loft, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X -or- Aldila NV105 X

3w: Cobra King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h, NV105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58*
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I keep playing the same damn irons so I don’t have to learn what new clubs will do.

How sad is that?!

 

Not sad at all. You must trust and feel comfortable with your clubs, and you're not alone. Lots of decent amateurs don't like to change irons, I am one.

 

I've been around long enough to know just because its new or pricy doesn't necessarily mean its better. Lots of time, all that changes is cosmetics. Besides, in defense of OEM's, every year it's difficult to find something that surpasses or revolutionizes certain game aspects. :) :beach:

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I do think this is one of the few really sad elements of GolfWRX.

 

The fact a few trolls come into these threads ruins it for the rest of us.

 

Sadly, I don't think there's anything to be done about it. It's just ironic considering how many folks actually hit MBs around here.

 

You seriously do not think the OP was a troll post? Really?

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As for the lack of consistent distance control in GI irons, that is a myth that has been busted many times.

 

Lol where? I'll wait.

 

As the line in my reply that you did not quote said, if GI irons truly had hot spots that could create 15 yard bursts they would never pass USGA conforming tests.

 

Those mythical "no reason fairway jumpers" are simply just less than stellar strikes that reduce the spin on the ball, therefor increasing distance. It is an example of the difference in the performance of center mass vs perimeter weighting.

 

If I hit my Titleist 690mb's out on the toe I will come up short pretty much every time. Sometimes just a few yards short but sometimes by as much as 15-20 yards. In the same regard, if I hit my Steelheads or G700's out on the toe, sometimes I still get "normal" distance, but sometimes I get a low spin knuckle ball that carries 10 yards further than normal and rolls out further than normal. Technically that is what a jumper is, but I also know that the reason for the "jumper" was the strike, not some magical hot spot on the iron. Also in all fairness, occasionally a bad toe strike on my GI irons will still come up short, but only by a few yards. Either way, any of those misses was caused my a less than perfect strike. Maybe for some people the Blade vs Game Improvement debate really just comes down to, "when I do make a mistake would I rather come up short or long?".

 

As for the future of blades, they are not going anywhere, but I don't think they will ever be a dominant force in the market again. Personally I love the look and feel of blades, and if I had a more consistent short game I would probably still be playing them. I choose to play game improvement irons because I feel I can manage my misses better with them.

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I do think this is one of the few really sad elements of GolfWRX.

 

The fact a few trolls come into these threads ruins it for the rest of us.

 

Sadly, I don't think there's anything to be done about it. It's just ironic considering how many folks actually hit MBs around here.

 

You seriously do not think the OP was a troll post? Really?

 

I seriously do not

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To try and steer back to the original topic, I think that the future of blades will be refinements on the T-MB, P790, I500, PXG concepts. Doing things like multi-material construction in order to improve head stability and/or increase the size effective "sweet spot" by 1mm-2mm. I would be curious to see if any of the manufacturers have tried utilizing layering different metals (say carbon steel with aluminum) then hitting them with the forge to allow them to reallocate weight to different areas. When it comes to a fundamental blade and trying to push it's boundaries, I think Mizuno has come up with some cool concepts with the MP-32 and MP-5 lines. I would be interested to see what could come out of them revisiting and improving on concepts like the cut muscle design. The biggest thing holding it back, as many have pointed out, is the market share size as it is a very niche genre. Why allocate 10 million to experiment and refine if you'll likely never recoup that money unless you end up with lightning in a bottle.

 

The type of golfers that play blades are not your "standard" golfer. It's not so much of a skill level dependent as the desire for the physical properties like trajectory and distance windows, look at address, and shot feedback. Even then, they are not for everyone especially with how the "players CB" has evolved. 90%-ish of golfers do not care about the physical attributes of blades because their wants do not match up. They want the forgiveness, height, and distance in addition to confidence a larger club head provides. None of which are offered with blades. Blade cool factor quickly goes away when your buddy is hitting a 150 yard PW to your 8 or 9 iron and only if you hit it flush. Workability is an over-used catch word with blades, just watch TXG's video on it. A good player who understands the cause and effect in his swing can move the ball as he needs with the only difference perhaps being the exaggeration of the action required to pull off the shot.

 

While I think it could be interesting to see where things could go with blades given the resources (we're starting to see it with PXG driving the train), I don't think the "true" solid forged blade is going to advance much past it's current point given the market.

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Wuuuut???^^^^. I leave the equipment forums in you guys hands and comeback and the 790 and Tmb are now “ blades”. ? Lol. 790 are like 8 inches heel to toe.

 

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"While I think it could be interesting to see where things could go with blades given the resources (we're starting to see it with PXG driving the train), I don't think the "true" solid forged blade is going to advance much past it's current point given the market."

 

I concur. Although tongue in cheek from earlier if blades are going to survive they are going to do so with the help of science. Advanced metallurgy and multi material builds will put them back in the hands of the "every Golfer". We are at the very small beginning swell of a giant crest that is new iron tech. This decade will be that of the iron as driver tech is all but maxxed and manufacturer's have to continue to turn out product. As someone who's owned Hogan Apex (mid 90's) to 0311XF and almost everything in between I can't wait to see what golfs smartest guys cook up next.

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Maybe IF somebody comes up with a 790 type iron with a sharp leading edge and a sole that doesn’t bounce , so you can actuallly compress the ball I could see it. The biggest gripe I have with modern irons is that they all have such dull and wide soles. You cannot take a divot on anything short of wet ground. And no divot , equals no compression , which is less spin , which is less control. And that is counter productive.

 

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Vokey sm7 50 54 58 MCI 125 mild  

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Maybe IF somebody comes up with a 790 type iron with a sharp leading edge and a sole that doesnt bounce , so you can actuallly compress the ball I could see it. The biggest gripe I have with modern irons is that they all have such dull and wide soles. You cannot take a divot on anything short of wet ground. And no divot , equals no compression , which is less spin , which is less control. And that is counter productive.

 

 

What? A wider sole can only help it’s not gonna hurt a good ball striker. Buy the time any of what you said happens the ball is gone. Hit the ball in the middle of the face and you’ll have plenty of spin and control...a divot is inconsequential.

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