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Practice / play with two sets of irons?


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I have a gamer set and a 2nd set of another brand and constantly practice with both, but have yet to play with the 2nd set. I did this so I could compare and ensure that my faults / strengths we me, not the clubs.

Just wondering if anyone else has taken this same approach?

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I think you just proved your smallness

I have 3 sets currently but that's only because I'm convinced my swing is perfect and I just haven't yet found the irons to match....

This I know all too well and it's that absolute worst thing you can do for your game, even though I have and do switch between a couple of different sets. The reason I say it's the worst thing any gol

It's really up to you. I usually practice with my gamer set in most cases but sometimes I would like to mix it up by practicing with a different set of irons. Usually if your swing is sound, there would be no difference in performance if the lies between the sets are the same and you like the shafts in both sets.

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I've always got 2 sets of irons at any given time and I routinely play and practice with both. Still searching for the perfect set for me (they don't exist!).

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I find that practicing with two sets really keeps me more focused. Typically, my gamers are a little better than my backup/2nd set, and if they suddenly start performing not as well, then I know I need to perk up.

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Yes and no.
In 2014, I got selected to do an analysis of the TM SLDR irons. (I got to keep them). I played them for about half the summer, and then went back to my X20 Tours. After that, I slowly built a back-up bag with TM equipment: Burner driver, RBZ Stage 2 3WHL and 3H, SLRDR 4i-AW, and Tour Preferred SW and EF-Spin LW, and an old TM putter my brother found at a garage sale. I have taken the set to the range a couple of times, but have yet to play a round with them. And, I got a midsize TM stand bag on clearance for less than $100.
As for trying things out, I get this plenty at the Golf Expo and demo days. Although I retired in May, I had enough real-world turbulence to block out playing with the full TM bag.
So to finally answer your question, I usually just play with my "first bag." Less hassle.@jjfcpa ... FYI, I now have a new EXS 10.5* driver I picked up for $129 at the February golf expo. The seller was some outfit from Des Moines. The EXS was the only Tour Edge club they had on their rack, and they evidently thought it was an off-brand. The one nine I snuck in this spring, I shot 9-over, and hit the fairway on 5 of 6 long holes where I used the EXS.
Not sure yet whether the XR or the EXS will win out for the season.

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5° set +1°, weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges:  Calla MD3: 48° and 54°... MD4: 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced)

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

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To keep myself from hoing as much I keep two sets so if I get bored or my swing gets funky and "needs" a change, I'll game the other set. One set is z945 blades and the other is z745 cavities. Same weight shafts in both and that's the key. Make sure the shafts are very similar in weight/profile (preferably identical). Mine are SPB X and the other is TI X100. Almost the same so I don't find it's difficult going back and forth.

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i also recently got a second set and i plan to keep both. I'm only wondering how to separate and dedicate the time to each one. I spent last season with some cavity backs. I keep the same woods and i upgraded to the latest driver and got a new putter.

I think the putter is an easy one. blade vs mallet and can swap depending on course conditions, or bag both if there are huge greens, for example. I didn't hit my latest putter on a green yet, so i probably take both out for a practise soon.

The irons are where i have the biggest difference. I recently got some blades as i'm really curious how well (or how badly) i will play with them. First try on the range went really well, second practise i stuggled to hit the longer irons.

I plan to start with the recent blades, get used to them and to try them out for a while and as you mentioned in original post, to really check if it's the clubs or the technique :) If i'm doing well, i'll continue with the blades and when i struggle a little, i will probably try to improve the technique with the cavity backs to build back the confidence. On the other hand, i think the blades can also really improve the strike quality and make the play from the cavity backs even better again.

I also have the added difference that my original clubs are one length and now my blades are in "variable" length (or normal, depending on your view)

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I think having a practice and a game set is ridiculous. I'll get a 2nd set the moment that works for a Tour player.

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I have multiple sets and inter change them somewhat regularly, but its just because i personally like mixing it up. I just think its fun using different clubs. They are similar make-ups, so it isnt too big of a deal from a playability standpoint.

Im also not a tour pro, but strike it alright, so hitting any of my sets doesnt change much.

Might look to change up my z785 scoring irons for some z forged soon though!

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I like having two different set of irons for two different functions that have their place in my game.

 

I practice and play in prime season my 2018 Callaway Apex MB with Px rifle shafts. Just really enjoying the feel and pure strikes but does have function, sometimes I want lower spin.

My most recent set is i210 irons in Px LZ shafts. Those is what I’ll start the season off with because of the forgiveness. The higher launch and spin rate is also useful for wet courses.

 

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If you don’t think there are tour players with multiple sets of irons you’re kidding yourself. I’m not advocating someone go and practice with blades and then game cavities. I’m just saying having more than one set for an am is fine. I might go through a phase where I only game/practice with one of them for a few months and then I’ll give the others a go. I do think continuity with equipment is generally a good thing but we’re also here to have fun.

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Toulon Austin 34" | Byron Morgan DH89 34.75/70*/2*

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I regularly flip between two sets of irons, different brands but same shafts and so I feel happy to do so. Wedges same in both bags.

If it is logistically more convenient to have multiple sets in different places (travel etc) that can match I don't see an issue.

Maybe have one set as blades / players irons and one that is more forgiving to work on strike?

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You're a 12 handicap. It is pretty nuts to think you can conclude its the irons or you based on a good or bad day. You're not close to good enough to isolate the variable.

 

Now, if you're having fun, keep at it. But its kinda a nonsense theory that a 12 cap can "know" its him or the clubs by switching out iron sets.

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For you guys that have multiples sets, do your sets fall into the same category of iron (e.g. both players, or GI), or do you mix it up and have a set that offers more forgiveness? Identical shaft or different between the sets?

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I can almost guarantee, it's not the clubs.

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Kind of have to agree with this. The reason I have two sets is essentially that I prefer to play a set of blades with a more helpful 4 iron. I use a 785 4 iron and 5-Pw in the 945. When I’m not practicing a lot or feel like my swing is off, I mentally prefer to feel like I have a bit more help. It has nothing to do with the actual irons and blaming them, it’s more to do with my body feels. We all know when we aren’t synced up and when I’m feeling like that I opt for more help. Having a second set just to check whether bad swings are the clubs fault is not a great system IMO.

I hit the sweet spot ~90% of the time whether it is practicing or on course. My misses are generally path related but still hitting center of the face. If you're over a 12, you're likely missing the sweet spot a good amount still. Even with identical shafts etc you are still changing static weights, balance points etc etc and taking an already inconsistent swing and changing clubs isn't the best way to improve. That said, we are all doing this for fun so if playing multiple sets brings you enjoyment go for it.

Callaway Mavrik SZ 9* Aldila Rogue 130MSI 60x

Taylormade Sim Max 15* Aldila Rogue 110MSI 70x

Callaway Apex '19 20* Veylix Rome 988 90x

Titleist U500 4i Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Titleist T100 5i-PW Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100  |  Miura CB-57 4i-7i, MB-001 8i-PW Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Titleist JDM Forged 51F & 56M Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Titleist SM8 60S Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Toulon Austin 34" | Byron Morgan DH89 34.75/70*/2*

Titleist Pro V1x or Bridgestone Tour BXS

Ping Hoofer

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Tour players have tons of stuff (heck I did when it was free), but unless they are lost and looking for any kind of spark (like Justin Rose), they are going to practice and play with one set of irons until they wear them out. Tour players know when it's time to replace a set and some work them in during a few sessions. Others just take the new irons and go with them. You'll never see a Tour player practice before an event with one set and then haul out a different set for game time.

Since most of us don't have access to launch monitors and complicated testing machines, we get a set of irons and deal with it. Tweak the lies, lofts, lengths and grips, but other than that, we deal with what we have. It takes months of practice and play to learn the characteristics of each iron and how it performs. To trust what happens under certain conditions. You're not going to get that by jumping around from set to set. I personally have at least 5 sets of irons and all but one of them just gather dust. I rarely hit any of them, even just for fun.

Everyone likes new clubs and to try them. That's fine. I just don't think it is good for your game to practice with something you aren't playing with.

Ping G400 9º TFC 419 Stiff at 45"

Jazz 3 wd Powercoil Stiff
Ping i20 3 Hyb 707H Stiff
TM R7 TP 3i Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
X2 Hot 4_-PW Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
Vokey SM2 52º cc, Ping ES 56º and ES 60º
Ping Sigma2 Valor at 34.75"
MCC Align Midsize

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I have a gamer set and a backup set. I travel for work with the backup set (but will bring my gamers for golf trips and vacations), and play most of my rounds in the winter here in Michigan with the backup set. Reason for this? The ground is hard in the winter. My backup set is has steel shafts, and gamers have steelfiber. My gamer driver is heavily carbon, back up driver is all metal. I know people say that cold does not affect the carbon in the driver, but material science tells me otherwise. Drivers are too expensive these days to take a chance on cracking on a trivial winter round of golf.

Shafts are about as close as steel can be between steel and graphite (DG300 vs Steelfiber), and both are some level of cavity back (S57 vs. Z745). I don't hit a driver all that much in the cold weather, as I use this as a time to work on long items, both off the tees and into the green. I like both sets of irons... I could play either all the time.

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I have 2 sets. I practice mainly with my 2nd set to save face wear on my gamer set. I hit alot of balls in my basement golf setup.

 

I also use my 2nd set for play when it gets cold (fall weather) just being ocd and over protective of my gamer set.

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Primary set and a vacation/fun set. My vacation irons are slightly harder to hit Miura CBs vs my blended P770/790 primary set. If I had to game the Miuras I could, one reason I get them vs MB's for a holiday set :)

 

Some days I just want to go out and play for the sake of playing, and playing blades, my old pings (rarely come out) or the Miuras fit that bill nicely.

 

 

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I do it in a round about way. I have 2 bags, but 1 bag is all evens and 1 bag is all odds. All the same shafts and grips etc. 3 wood thru Putter. Did a trackman gap fitting and everything works great. See Sig below for set-up.

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I'll reiterate what many have said above. I have older (relatively) backups that I use specifically for practice, and a gamer set for playing on course. The most "egregious" example are my wedges. I have a 2 season old set of wedges that I use just for practicing and my fresh set for playing. I want to save the wear and tear on my gamer wedges and use my older wedges for hitting at ranges, mats, practice bunkers, etc. During this winter, I did a TON of practicing at an indoor location I have almost unlimited access to, and I was practicing 2-3 times a week for more than an hour at a time. That's a ton of wear and tear on my gamer wedges that I was able to save.

I've also started replacing clubs here and there from my 2018 set of irons, so I basically have a half backup set built up from what I have at the top and bottom: 4i, 5i, 9i, PW. I expect an 8i will join the backups at some point this season.

Either way, all of the irons and wedges are forged, gamer or backup. They all have matching shafts, so things stay as consistent as possible. There may be a loft difference here and there, but I don't really care that much about distance during my winter practice.

The only pain is the tuckus part is that it costs me almost twice as much to have a lie/loft audit done on all of the clubs. Again, they are forged, and they do have a tendency to spec drift over a season. Might be overkill to do all of them, but that's the type of OCD that I have. I'm sure some of you can relate...

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This I know all too well and it's that absolute worst thing you can do for your game, even though I have and do switch between a couple of different sets. The reason I say it's the worst thing any golfer can do is the level of consistency. Golf is all about repetition and consistency and bouncing between two different sets, with different grips, feel, weight, balance, etc. will only throw off any level of what you, as a golfer, are trying to achieve. Again, I do this and hate that I do. Some of the best golf I've ever played was when I only had one main set of clubs. Knowing all the characteristics I mentioned above of the one setup was the best way to achieve my goals. Over the years I've acquired more clubs than I'd like, and if I had a few bad rounds with my main set I'd switch to the other setup or mix and match. This masked the issues I had for a while but eventually the same issues would creep back in and I'd be back to where I was originally, never moving forward.

Now it's up to each individual as to what they like and how their expectations are on the course or range time, but for me and several of the high level golfers I've been around through the years, it's not the best way to go. Pick one setup and use it until it wears out. Then you will build what level of proficiency you're looking for as a golfer.

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I practice with MBs that i used to game years ago. I practice off mats which can alter the loft/lie of a club so i try to avoid hitting my gamers off the mats.

 

The weight and cg locations are very similar for both sets.

 

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