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Irons in between GI and players


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I’m a midhandicapper who has been playing for about 2.5 months after a legit 20 year layoff without hitting a ball (I’m 42 now). I’m currently playing a set of m2’s. I have no issues with them, but would like to get into something a little less bulky. While I know the real answer is to get fitted and try a bunch of different clubs, that is not possible right now, not only because of the lockdown, but also because I don’t want to invest that Kind of $$ until I get to a single digit handicap or thereabouts. I know I’ll get the advice to stick with what I have and basically I agree that is probably the best option. It is also the less fun option. I like tinkering and trying new things.

I got a set of apex cf16’s to try at a crazy low price and found that while I like them quite a bit, they are a little intimidating. I don’t know if it is just a confidence thing or what. If the head was just a little longer I think they would be perfect for my current abilities. What would you guys suggest that falls in between the m2’s and apex’s? I like the look of the TM p790’s and also the Titleist t300’s. Are the cobra forged tech blacks any bigger/more forgiving than the apex? The jpx 919 or 900 forged look great but I’m hesitant to give up any more distance (I was a long hitter in high school but injuries and loss of flexibility during my 20 year layoff cost me a lot of distance). Most of these options are pushing my budget though as I would like to spend less than $500 (the lower the better). A combo set may fit my needs, although with my budget it would probably need to be cobbled together, possibly using the long irons from my m2’s.

Any input is appreciated. Again, I know there is no real reason to change, but I’m bored and it gives me something to research and play around with. I’m willing to spend a little bit of money to give myself something to think about and do. I’m also willing to give up a few strokes per round for the entertainment factor and to eventually improve (After such a long layoff I’m very much trying to improve and not so much worried about scoring yet). Thank you for reading this rambling post...

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JPX 919's or i210s are my picks. You can always tweak lofts for distances.

For the price point I would say CF-16s used.

Have you looked at the PXG 0211s. At the current pricing they are hard to beat. The scoring irons have a nice small profile similar to a "players" cavity back, but since they are an injected hollow de

Rogues are true GI irons along the lines of the M2s. Rogue Pros are sort of a tweener, but perhaps err on the side of players irons. To be honest, the Steelhead XR Pros are a terrific set of irons along the lines of what you are looking for. They are very forgiving, in a sleeker package than a true GI iron.

Otherwise, Ping i series, Mizuno 919 HM, HM Pro and Forged offer different options (HM more traditional GI, but not overly chunky). I think the TM M5 irons are a very underrated iron set from the past few years. Nice look and feel, but with plenty of forgiveness packed in. Titleist AP3/T200. Cobra Forged Tec. Srixon 565/585. PXG 0211 and 0311 XF. Really lots of options for what you are looking for.

Callaway Mavrik 10.5* Driver, Aldila Rogue White 130 M.S.I. 60 R
Callaway Big Bertha Epic 5 and Epic Flash 7 Woods, Accra Fx 2.0 200F M3
Callaway Big Bertha ‘19 4 Hybrid, KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 65 R
Wilson Staff C300 Forged Irons 5-GW, KBS Tour 105 S
PXG 0311 SW (54*/14) and LW (58*/12), TT Elevate Tour S
Scotty Cameron 009-M Putter
 

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Look into the "Players Distance" category like Srixon 585, Callaway Apex, Titleist T200 or T100-S, Mizuno JPX, etc, etc.

For your budget of $500 you'd probably be able to find a set of the older Srixon 565 which are still good or an older Apex model.

I would say go get fit but if it's not in your budget just make a list and start hunting.

Lefty WITB

Driver: 9° Ping G410 Plus - Tour 65S

3W: 13.5° Ping G410 LST - Aldila NV 2KXV Green 75X

3H: 19° Ping - Tensei CK Pro Orange 90TX

Irons: 4i - 7i Srixon 585 / 8i - PW Srixon 785 - AMT Tour White S300

Wedges: 51° MD3 - 56° Glide 2 - 60° PM2

Putter(s): TP Mills Handmade - SIK Pro Tour Proto - MannKrafted MA/66 LN - and more. 

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For saving money:

565, first gen P790, AP3, Rogue/Mavrik Pro, Apex 16/19 (slightly shorter blade length), prior gen Cobra Forged Tec, 900 Forged, 900 HM

Ping G400LST VA Drago 65

Cobra F8+ 3W / 5W VA Slay 75

PXG Gen2 0317x 4H VA Slay 85

PXG Gen3 0311T 5-PW Oban CT 115

Titleist Vokey SM7 50/54/60 Oban CT 115

TaylorMade Spider X

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I currently play 2 sets of players CB, in the 737v, and 919T, love both, but can be tough on off days, and my distance is not increasing.

i had a set of Mavrik Pro irons earlier this year with a LZ 105 and reall liked them, but sold after buying yet another set of CB in the 747.

i liked the spin and launch with lighter shaft, but like the elevate in the 737 better than LZ 105.

i sold the 747 and ordered another set of Mavrik Pro irons with elevate 105 and to my specs this time . I think they are a sleeper, was very happy with distance control in first set which was main concern, looking forward to this new set

GBB Ventus Black 6
F9 Tour 3w-Ventus black 7
F9 Tour 5w-Smoke 70
F9 21* hybrid - ATMOS black 

F9 24* hybrid Hzrdus smoke 
JPX921F 6-G LZ Blackout 
MD5 53/58
Toulon Portland Garage 
TM TP5X 
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Definitely look into the Hogan PTx offerings. Pretty much the definition of "in between" GI and and player's iron, in my book. The short irons are solid player's CB's, while the mid and long irons look similar, but have all of the tech included to make them much easier to launch/hit than a true player's CB set. I've the originals, and love them, I haven't hit the PTx Pros, but they look very similar. Some think they have a touch too much offset for their liking, but I've grown used to them and it doesn't bother me at all, anymore.

Ping G400 LST 7.5* Speeder 757 Evolution 
Cobra F7 3/4 16* Evenflow Blue 75

Cobra F8 5/6 19* Aldila NV2KVX Green 7
PXG 0211 4-PW Nippon 950GH 
Callaway MD CB 48* KBS-V125

Callaway MD4 52* S Grind Project X 
Callaway MD PM Grind 58* KBS-V125, 64* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0
Scotty Cameron Phantom X #8
Titleist AVX /Taylormade TP5x

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One challenge all of us have: sorting through the hype generated by golf's marketeers.

Maltby's MPF system assigns clubs to categories based on a five-variable algebraic equation based upon the clubhead's physical characteristics.

In comparison, the Golf Digest Hot List assigns clubs to categories based upon perceived market niche: Players, Players D, Game Improvement, and Super Game Improvement.

And, from my experience the Hot List sometimes misses the mark for how it slots a given iron model.

For example, the Ping i200 got slotted as PD. I found it played much more like GI: I could get the irons launched down to 4i, and got pretty good dispersion between clubs. (Launch helped by the AWT 2.0 shafts that help a little in the longer irons).

Next comes the Hogan PTx version from 2017, slotted as GI. On idfferent days I tried two slightly used sets of the PTx,. Both had shafts similar to the ones I play. In both cases I hit a few good shots, and several shots that went wherever. It reminded of my results when hitting musclebacks.

As for clubs for you, the Ping i200 and i210 would be worth testing out. The Rogue and Rogue Pro would also be testing (though out of production now).

 

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

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, 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°, 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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For a cast club, Ping i-series fits this nicely. For a forged offering, the JPX forged line. I wouldn't get too hung up on distance loss with irons, I'd be more concerned with feel and precision, but that's just my opinion. I'm an 8-hdcp and am going on my 4th season with the Ping ie1s. they have enough forgiveness on my off days, come in a tidier package than the G-series and offer great feel. On a budget, I'd look into the i200 or JPX 900 forged.

Ping G400 Max 10.5* w/ Rogue Black
Ping G25 4W w/ TFC
Ping G25 20* Hybrid w/ TFC
Ping ie1 4-U w/ CFS
Ping Glide 54* WS
Ping Glide Stealth 58* ES
Cleveland HB SOFT  11 @ 35"

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Have you looked at the PXG 0211s. At the current pricing they are hard to beat. The scoring irons have a nice small profile similar to a "players" cavity back, but since they are an injected hollow design they give that sleekness of a blade.

The set is progressive, so as you move towards the long irons the offset gradually increases and the sole width increases a little to provide help elevating the long irons. In a way they have created a combo set with scoring irons with accuracy, and long irons with some forgiveness.

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Someone did not read the OP.... ;)

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Callaway Mavrik 10.5* Driver, Aldila Rogue White 130 M.S.I. 60 R
Callaway Big Bertha Epic 5 and Epic Flash 7 Woods, Accra Fx 2.0 200F M3
Callaway Big Bertha ‘19 4 Hybrid, KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 65 R
Wilson Staff C300 Forged Irons 5-GW, KBS Tour 105 S
PXG 0311 SW (54*/14) and LW (58*/12), TT Elevate Tour S
Scotty Cameron 009-M Putter
 

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0211 might be exactly what you’re looking for too.

and at 95/club, it’s about as cheap as you’re going to find for new if you’re ok paying a touch more than you’re $500 ceiling

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Ping G400LST VA Drago 65

Cobra F8+ 3W / 5W VA Slay 75

PXG Gen2 0317x 4H VA Slay 85

PXG Gen3 0311T 5-PW Oban CT 115

Titleist Vokey SM7 50/54/60 Oban CT 115

TaylorMade Spider X

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I wish the used 0211’s reflected the current new pricing better. If I was going to buy new I think I would want to get fitted and I can’t do that now, and wasn’t planning on doing that until/if I can score consistently in The 70’s. Also, that low price has fairly light shafts in them. I don’t know that it would be an issue but 95g shafts make me a little nervous. I agree that they may be the perfect choice though, and perhaps in the next month or two the pricing on used will come down some so that they are less expensive than just buying new...I’m not in any hurry, as the m2’s are just fine and I can also play with the apex’s and see if I get more comfortable with them.

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This is a good suggestion. The PTX Pro actually has a slightly bigger face compared to the original PTX. The Pro is a co-forged iron that is really forgiving in the long irons. Check out reviews on it. Only problem is it is hard to find used sets. Brand new 4-P sells for $795, cheaper than competitors with their direct to consumer model.

Also, TaylorMade has continually improved the look of the M line and they’ve gotten better and better. Don’t assume they are like what you have now. The M5 is a players distance iron and is a good step up for what you’re looking for. Mid-size to compact head, excellent head shape, strong distance. I like it better than the 790, which doesn’t feel as good to me. (I admit I like the M5 and the P770, but didn’t care for the 790. Tested it head to head against Ping i200 and at the time went with the Pings bent to power specs.) The M5 definitely is better feeling than the Rogue irons, which I found harsh. M5 can be found at a nice price.

Srixon 565 or 585 also fit the bill

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The buy and try method is an expensive one.

Since you are not intwrested in a fitting, your best bet is to go and try different models at a retailer,

Hit them all till you find what you like, then find them where you can for your best proce.

Places are opening up, so you can opt to try things out, good luck, keep us posted



Play Golf.....Play Blades......Play Something Else.....Just Go Play.....

4 HC
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I took the Apex back out today and I may stick with them a little bit longer and see if I can get used to them. The squat head size was really intimidating at first but the more I hit them the more I gain confidence in them. The c taper lite stiff shafts are also kinda stout, and while I don’t love the feel the results seem pretty good. I suspect if I were having an off day I would suffer a good deal with this set up but but I really enjoyed them at the range today.

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That said there is no doubt that if I needed to go out and shoot a good score tomorrow the answer would be the M2’s. I’m new to This but there is definitely a part of me that wonders if most people with a handicap over 10 wouldn’t score better with some big ugly irons... With that said it is more fun to try to really improve and try to work the ball a little more even if it does not translate into helping my scores at this point

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I have the Srixon Z585 3 iron (used as a driving iron with my 785 set) and I could see those as being an awesome option for someone who wants to transition from the big time game improvement club to something a little more pleasing on the eye. Thinking they will be plenty forgiving still and will feel great. They would also then allow for a good transition to something more players specific later if you ended up going that way.

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