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The difference between GI irons and smaller heads. When did you switch? Or any other opinions on the subject


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So I’ve always played GI irons. I think, anyways. They weren’t always declared GI back then. My first set was Zings. Been Ping all the way since then. I know 95% of you folks on here wouldn’t dream of playing GI irons, but I’m wondering when some of you made the switch? If ever? And what were the reasons? I hit my irons well. Honestly it’s the best part of my game. Rarely hit it fat or thin. At least not in the drastic terms of fat or thin. I’m not chunking 8 irons 90 yards or thinning 8 iron low line drives. Most of my buddies play smaller heads. Apex, JPX, P770, 210s, that kind of stuff. I look at those clubs in my pro shop and they look tiny. Kind of intimidating. I realize I’m just used to seeing a larger head, but I worry I’d start hitting them all kinds of messed up. I know all you low single handicaps probably don’t give a rats behind, but do any of you mere mortals like me have an opinion? Is “feel” the answer? What’s so bad about hitting straight iron shots but not having that softer feel? Or maybe I’m just crazy? Probably just crazy...🙄😂

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I can work the ball both directions...but I don't always mean to 🙃

But the thing is blades are no more workable than any other club. An iron is still a flat surface hitting a round ball and any shot that can be hit with a "player's club" can be replicated with a GI c

Once again we have the chorus of 10+ handicappers who can work the ball both ways at will.  If you truly can do that, you must be the worst putter, short game artisan or driver in existence. Face path

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Posted (edited)

Play with what you're comfortable with.  If you want to switch to a smaller head, then I would recommend buying a used set first.  Try them and if you don't like them, you can always resell them or not and either way it's not a huge loss.  I'm a mere mortal especially when it comes to irons.  Ball striking is the weakest part of my game.  I refuse to play GI irons not because I'm an iron snob or too stubborn to switch.  It's because I grew up playing blades and small cbs.  I tried GI irons once on the range.  Hit 50 balls and said nope, can't do it.  It's the way they set up behind the ball with all that offset.  The balls would come off left and would launch way too high.  Distance control was also very iffy even on well struck shots.  Different strokes or in this case irons for different folks. 

Edited by phizzy30
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Posted (edited)

Ok I’m that mortal hah.  I played Ping G irons up until this year. At most was playing once to twice a week. I Made the switch to I1210. Honestly I’m now having the most fun playing golf up until our shutdown in Ontario. 

 

Couple observations 

They are more forgiving than I imagined, I was  Worried that when I got on the course I would be unable to hit the 4 and 5 iron which look small to me ( I imagine they still look big to others) I had even thought about keeping my 4-5 g in the bag if I couldn’t hit. But no real issues getting it out there. 

 

 I feel a bad strike more which in a way is making me concentrate on a better strike. 

 I have hit just some beauty shots that hold its line, dead straight. And what they say is true about the buttery soft feel.  

I feel more confident out of the rough with the smaller heads.

I also had a tendency to hit the G really high and was really beginning to hook them last season.

 

Honestly I have nothing bad to say about the G. I played ping g20, then moved to The Ping G. Family, time all impact how much I can play.

 

I like the look of these  irons much more and just wanted to prove to myself I could hit them. 
 

ping offers a power spec which I did with good results. 

 

At this point I haven’t had any worse rounds with these irons and actually two of my lowest rounds in years. For me this set of irons doesn’t feel unplayable.

 

if there is a set that catches your eye give it a try! 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dannynoonan1
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Golf is a psychological game. While your mind can’t solve every biomechanical flaw, it certainly can influence performance in different ways. If you like hitting GI irons, then continue enjoying them. If you’re blade-curious, then buy a 7i and have at it. The reality is that there are a lot of variables, and conventional wisdom doesn’t always apply to an individual. Often, but not always. Because, statistics.

 

also depends on why you play and what gives you satisfaction. If it is scoring low, then finding the tool that enables that is key. If it is hitting good shots that feel pure - even if it is not every (or even most) shots, then find a tool that facilitates that. No single path, no single answer.

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Posted (edited)

I posted these pics in another thread. I went from Ping Zing 2's (20 years) to Nike Vapor Combos (2 months), VR Pro Combos (2 months) to KZG combos (2 weeks).

 

This is my Ping 2 iron with my blade 4 iron.

 

 

PXL_20210501_015931757.jpg

PXL_20210501_174416301.jpg

 

<edit> I only played the Pings about 2 dozen times in 20 years. I've been playing at least 3 days a week since last summer.

Edited by lefthack
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Posted (edited)

If you want to play GI or SGI irons regardless of your skill level go right ahead.  As you may know, a lot of tour pros won with Ping irons (like the Eye 2 which is obviously a GI iron).  Lee Westwood had a lot of success with his Zing 2s for the longest time.

 

Your scorecard doesn't care about what clubs you used to arrive at that score.

Edited by cgasucks
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I think the only valid reason to move from GI clubs to a smaller more unforgiving club head, especially if you’re playing well with them, would be if have started shaping the golf ball (or trying) and find yourself unable to hit certain shots. If you’re “only” able to hit your GI clubs high and straight (I wish I had that issue), but you’d like the ability to hit low/curve around corners/etc then that may be the time to start looking towards better player clubs. 
 

Almost everything else is psychological or pride related (“can’t it chunky irons” or “all my friends have small clubs, so I should too”).

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I've been shocked at how easy clubs like the Forged TEC are to hit. Or clubs like TMAG's P790 are super popular now

 

It's not that hard to find a set that looks really nice and is easy to hit.

 

I am a good ballstriker but if you're a 7 you know your way around a course. I find the Forged TEC's to be just as forgiving on slightly off center as my G410s were. I honestly notice zero difference in forgiveness and they are much sexier looking heads

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I learned to play back in the 90's with forged cavity back "players" irons.  Took a 10 year break, came back and figured I'd go with some new "game improvement" irons.  If you are a solid enough ball striker, the thing I found with the game improvement clubs was they launched the ball too high.  All the tech was around helping slower swing speed, inconsistent contact players get the ball airborne.  That wasn't my issue so the clubs never felt all that comfortable.  I went for a fitting and my smash factor was pretty solid, so guy doing the fitting, said, contact wasn't an issue, lets try and get ideal ball flight.  Ended up back into a forged cavity back, with little offset.  I think the pics above help show that there really isn't a huge difference between the actual hitting surface, it's all the other stuff around it that makes the club bigger.  

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I've always played GI irons.  Waiting on a set of Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Pro irons to replace my 13 year old Mizuno MX-200's (forged GI) at the moment.  Being off 2 I strike everything pretty well, my miss is towards the toe so if I can find heads that limit the penalty on mishits why wouldn't I game them.  I also like thicker toplines, a bit (but not too much) offset and slightly bigger heads - all of which I can easily get in GI irons.  In terms of feel there are some very good cast irons out there that feel close to forged.  I tried the whole JPX range and it was very hard to tell the difference between the forged and cast offerings.  any iron hit out of the screws is going to feel good - the opposite is also true.

 

Play what you like the look of and what gives you confidence over the ball. 

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It is possible to post good scores with any type of iron. If you want to find out whether you would enjoy something other than what you are currently playing go get a set and try them. Unlikely anyone else knows the answer for you.

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I think it is mostly psychological.  I like nice things so I bought a set of players distance irons last season (Apex cf 19).  I can work them just like I was able to work my Callaway Steelhead XRs.  I went with the standard Apex because they have the same lofts as my set of GI irons had.  They do have a much smaller head, and yes that took a bit to get used to, but now when I pick up one of my old clubs, I just think, wow that is ugly!  They are slightly more unforgiving, toe shot being my miss they are more penalizing than my Steelheads were, and they don't sound or feel good when you strike it on the toe either.  I would say my miss is pretty much the same, but in a smaller area than the Steelheads, even though the head is smaller, it seems the strike area changed proportionally, if you can follow that line of thinking.  

 

I will say that I will probably always play the jacked lofts of todays irons though.  I don't for see myself ever buying traditional lofts as I learned to play with what the lofts are now, so I am stuck in the players distance category, and will likely never try blades. 

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Posted (edited)

Couple thoughts.  With the popularity of a players game improvement style iron, you can easily game something smaller and not give up much in the way of forgiveness or faster ball speeds.  As for my switch, I played Callaway RAZR XF irons for years, which are HUGE irons, and got down to mid teens before I decided I wanted something new.  Two things drove my decision, first I wanted less offset because hitting a hook really pisses me off!  Second, I wanted something that appealed to my eye.  I find smaller irons to be way better looking and wanted to play something like that.

 

Good luck with your game and play whatever clubs bring you the most joy!

Edited by blues72
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GI irons are great for launching the ball. Helpful for retaining ball speed on off center strikes.

 

For me:

* The short irons launch much too high. Causes distance control problems.  

*  Low spin nature of the design makes it difficult to hold greens down wind.

*  Low spin design does not facilitate applying any shape to the shot.  I started playing in the 1980s and learned to play this way so it was difficult to get used to setting up,shots.

 

GI irons were helpful for me after an eight year hiatus from the game.  ( Family obligations and challenges forced this)  They were helpful in me regaining confidence and getting the ball down the golf course.  As my ball striking ability approached where I once was, the GI irons then held me back from progressing further.  Love the design of the Titleist AP2 now which offer more control yet not a demanding muscle back head.

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I've played game improvement irons, like the Ping G15, and blades.  I don't think either had a huge effect on my score.  Play what suits your game.  I seem to have more fun hitting the blades. 

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40 minutes ago, MtlJeff said:

I've been shocked at how easy clubs like the Forged TEC are to hit. Or clubs like TMAG's P790 are super popular now

 

It's not that hard to find a set that looks really nice and is easy to hit.

 

I am a good ballstriker but if you're a 7 you know your way around a course. I find the Forged TEC's to be just as forgiving on slightly off center as my G410s were. I honestly notice zero difference in forgiveness and they are much sexier looking heads

Kinda off topic, but I hit the forged tec years ago at a demo day and haven’t gotten that iron out of my head.  They were the best feeling iron I’ve ever hit.  Too many great options in this damn game and my wallet just can’t handle it!!

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Went from apex to apex pro, no real difference and the smaller clubs look nicer and make me feel cooler.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, SugarLandGolfer said:

I think the only valid reason to move from GI clubs to a smaller more unforgiving club head, especially if you’re playing well with them, would be if have started shaping the golf ball (or trying) and find yourself unable to hit certain shots. If you’re “only” able to hit your GI clubs high and straight (I wish I had that issue), but you’d like the ability to hit low/curve around corners/etc then that may be the time to start looking towards better player clubs. 
 

Almost everything else is psychological or pride related (“can’t it chunky irons” or “all my friends have small clubs, so I should too”).

But the thing is blades are no more workable than any other club. An iron is still a flat surface hitting a round ball and any shot that can be hit with a "player's club" can be replicated with a GI club.  

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26 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

But the thing is blades are no more workable than any other club. An iron is still a flat surface hitting a round ball and any shot that can be hit with a "player's club" can be replicated with a GI club.  

Wrong.  A hot faced low spin iron has a lot going on differently at impact from a single piece muscle back.

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1 hour ago, Old Tom Morris said:

GI irons are great for launching the ball. Helpful for retaining ball speed on off center strikes.

 

For me:

* The short irons launch much too high. Causes distance control problems.  

*  Low spin nature of the design makes it difficult to hold greens down wind.

*  Low spin design does not facilitate applying any shape to the shot.  I started playing in the 1980s and learned to play this way so it was difficult to get used to setting up,shots.

 

GI irons were helpful for me after an eight year hiatus from the game.  ( Family obligations and challenges forced this)  They were helpful in me regaining confidence and getting the ball down the golf course.  As my ball striking ability approached where I once was, the GI irons then held me back from progressing further.  Love the design of the Titleist AP2 now which offer more control yet not a demanding muscle back head.

To each his own. To this day, still spin my Eye 2 irons more than any blade iron. Ping Eye 2 irons have won major golf tournaments. TA 845’s were played by the best players in the world. Path to face is what causes the spin axis which makes the ball curve, not iron style. While I agree the “newer” strong lofted irons spin less, I’ve found loft for loft the spin numbers are similar. Compare a “traditional” 48* PW to a new GI 48* GW and there isn’t much difference between the two in spin. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Righty to Lefty said:

But the thing is blades are no more workable than any other club. An iron is still a flat surface hitting a round ball and any shot that can be hit with a "player's club" can be replicated with a GI club.  

I disagree.  I find my blades much easier to work than my Ping G15's.  I can work the ball with either set, but the blades are much more sensitive to spin inputs. 

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I switched back in HS many years ago.  My first set of irons had a ton of offset (Powerbilt TPS circa 1993ish) and at the time was struggling with a hook.  Upgraded to the original Mizuno T-Zoid my senior year and instantly fell in love with forged, low offset, players CB.  

 

Over the past 25 years, every time I try to veer into larger footprint irons, I always come back to a forged players CB.  For me, the thinner soles give far better turf interaction leading to better contact.   

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Posted (edited)

Once again we have the chorus of 10+ handicappers who can work the ball both ways at will.  If you truly can do that, you must be the worst putter, short game artisan or driver in existence. Face path and strike postion are the two most important criteria in determining trajectory, spin and directional control.

 

A guy at my club has won the C. Champ. 26 times and he has used everything from Ping ISI-K's to Big Berthas to Nike blades. His ball striking never varied. As mentioned earlier, many Tour Events were won by Ping Eye 2s, Armour 845s, Titleist DCIs and so on.

Edited by rgk5
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4 minutes ago, rgk5 said:

Once again we have the chorus of 10+ handicappers who can work the ball both ways at will.  If you truly can do that, you must be the worst putter, short game artisan or driver in existence. Face path and strike postion are the two most important criteria in determining trajectory, spin and directional control.

 

For the record:  I cannot work the ball.  Full disclosure.  🙂

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13 minutes ago, rgk5 said:

Once again we have the chorus of 10+ handicappers who can work the ball both ways at will.  If you truly can do that, you must be the worst putter, short game artisan or driver in existence. Face path and strike postion are the two most important criteria in determining trajectory, spin and directional control.

 

A guy at my club has won the C. Champ. 26 times and he has used everything from Ping ISI-K's to Big Berthas to Nike blades. His ball striking never varied. As mentioned earlier, many Tour Events were won by Ping Eye 2s, Armour 845s, Titleist DCIs and so on.

Older cavity backs had significantly thinner soles I've noticed compared to more "modern" offerings.  As lofts have gotten stronger and CG has lowered over the years, soles have gotten a lot thicker.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

But the thing is blades are no more workable than any other club. An iron is still a flat surface hitting a round ball and any shot that can be hit with a "player's club" can be replicated with a GI club.  

100% agreed. Another website did a sample test with a PGA pro and they could work a GI club left/right and up/down, but it was a little more challenging because of 1) slight offset differences compared to what they we used to and 2) lower CG wanted to get the ball up in the air and not move as much left/right. Still moved, but not as many yards left/right as a non GI club.
 

it’s not impossible, but larger GI and especially into SGI and hybrid irons, I may be a little hard to shape them. 

Edited by SugarLandGolfer
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I played Ping G25's and wanted something less chunky so I switched to PXG 0311 xf irons bc to me they were a little less chunky but still had the confidence. I now want to go to something along the lines of p790 or gen 3 P irons but im not sure if it will be a waste of money so i scheduled a fitting for next month at club champion. I figured the $150 will be a good investment before i drop another grand or more on a new set. 

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2 hours ago, Hougz79 said:

Older cavity backs had significantly thinner soles I've noticed compared to more "modern" offerings.  As lofts have gotten stronger and CG has lowered over the years, soles have gotten a lot thicker.  

Good observation and this was done to keep better trajectory characterisitcs.

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So I am going the other way.  Have played “players cavity backs” for a  number of years with some good, some bad and some in between results.  Ego had a bit to do with that.  Just recently switched to PXG Gen 4 XP and am loving the added forgiveness and playability.  Don’t look to bad behind the ball, feel great, can be worked, forgive me for my bad shots and are long (yes I know lofts are strong).  Hoping I can lower my 7 HCP with these in the bag. Ego is not bruised in the least!

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    • 2021 Travelers Championship - Discussion & Links
      2021 Titleist T100 irons (in hand photos) - Travelers Championship
      2021 Titleist T100S irons (in hand photos) - Travelers Championship
      2021 Titleist U 505 (in hand photos) - Travelers Championship
      Mitsubishi Tensei K series (red, white & blue US Open) shaft - 2021 Travelers Championship
       
      Rickie Fowler's custom Cameron putters - 2021 Travelers Championship
      Scotty Cameron putters - 2021 Travelers Championship
       
      2021 Travelers Championship - Tuesday #1
      2021 Travelers Championship - Tuesday #2
       
      • 16 replies
    • Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Discussion and Links
      Please put any question or comments here.
       
      Links to the galleries...
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #1
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #2
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #3
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #4
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #5
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #6
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #7
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #8
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #9
       
      Adam Svensson with new model of Puma golf shoes - 2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry)
       


       
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #1
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #2
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #3
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #4
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #5
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #6
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #7
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #8
      2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry) - Tuesday #9
       
      Adam Svensson with new model of Puma golf shoes - 2021 Wichita Open (Korn Ferry)
       

       
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      • 4 replies
    • 2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree - Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       

       
      2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree - Tuesday #1
      2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree - Tuesday #2
      2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree - Tuesday #3
      2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree - Tuesday #4
      2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree - Tuesday #5
      2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree - Tuesday #6
       
       

       
       
      Bryson Nimmer's Bettinardi putter - 2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree
      Dustin Johnson's got the putter try-outs going on - 2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree
      Scotty Cameron putters - 2021 Palmetto Championship @ Congaree
       
       
       
       
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      • 35 replies
    • 2021 Memorial - Discussion & Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
       
       

       
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #1
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #2
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #3
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #4
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #5
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #6
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #7
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #8
      2021 Memorial - Tuesday #9
       
       
       

       
       
       

       
      Piretti putter & cover for Hideki - 2021 Memorial
      Odyssey putters - 2021 Memorial
      New Odyssey (play like a kid) putter over - 2021 Memorial
      Bettinardi putters & covers - 2021 Memorial
      Ben An's Cameron putter - 2021 Memorial
       
       
      • 27 replies
    • 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge  - Discussion & Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       

       
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #1
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #2
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #3
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #4
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #5
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #6
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #7
       
       

       
      2021 Charles Schwab Challenge winner will get this Power wagon
      Eric Compton testing Axis 1 putter - 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Cameron putter and new cover - 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge
       
       
      • 7 replies

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