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Have Players Distance/Power Blades made SGI's obsolete?


MtlJeff
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As a 19HC I would say no. I want to make the switch to players distance but they are noticeably less forgiving than my current GI's. My friend who is a 12hc just switched from some old GI's to the T200s and is struggling a bit to get used to them.

 

Players distance offer pretty great forgiveness but for us high handicappers the GI's still offer an advantage.

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I have also recently switched to Forged Tecs, in my case from PXG 0311s.

 

I did it simply because I liked the look of the copper.

 

The FTs and PXGs are obviously very similar in the sense they are hollow players distance irons. they perform pretty much the same on course too.

 

But, as suggested by the OP, both are just as forgiving and just as long as GI and SGI irons I’ve had in the past G700, G400, Steelhead etc etc.

 

But they look and feel much better. And, importantly for me, have less offset.

 

So there is no penalty going with the cool clubs in town.

 

I’ve also played blades and forged players irons like Adams CMB and the FTs and 0311s are significantly easier to hit, yet look and feel just as good.

 

There really is no downside for me.

Mavrik Hzrdus Smoke
Cobra F6 Baffler

Ping G410/Epic Flash Hybrids
Cobra Forged Tec Copper Irons
Cleveland CBX2 wedges
PXG One and Done

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There will always be a market for SGI Irons.  The OP is a very good player (pretty much scratch) who loves playing player's irons, but want a little more distance.  That is where the player's distance category comes in.  They're for good players who want a little more distance.   On the other hand, there are other players who are brand new to the game and/or hit the ball all over the face (or accomplished players who want a bit more confidence in their iron play), that is where SGI irons can come on and help.

10.5 deg Titleist 905R with stock UST Proforce V2 Shaft (Stiff flex)
Titleist 990 (3-PW) with stock Dynamic Gold in S300
Taylormade V-Steel 5W & 3W with Grafalloy Prolaunch Red shafts (Regular Flex)
2011 Adams Tom Watson signature wedges in 52 and 56 degrees with stock steel shafts (Player's Grind)
Rife Island Series Aruba Blade Putter

 

"Loft for loft, length for length, and shaft for shaft, the ball will go the same distance when hit on the sweet spot regardless how old the iron."

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I don't think the Player's Distance (e.g., Cobra Forged Tec) will replace the GI/SGI clubs but the Player's Distance is certainly a viable choice for anyone who can regularly hits the ball in the air and who doesn't hit fat shots. 

Here's my experience and specifically with the Forged Tec: 

I played blades for about 10 years (1981 Maxfli Australian Blades and Wilson Staff), moved to older GI, (Ping ISI and G2, Cobra FP II), then moved to newer GI/SGI ( TaylorMade Rsi, Taylor Made Sim Max). I recently bought Cobra Forged Tecs because it was the only category of iron I had not tried.

Blade to Player's Distance comparison: 

The Forged Tecs are good clubs but they are in no way like a blade, or at least an old fashioned one.  The entire club is larger, the soles are wider, and the top line is a lot thicker. The lofts are a lot stronger and the face is way hotter.  The Forged Tecs are much easier to hit than a blade.  

I could hit a draw with a blade and sometimes I could succeed at a fade. The shot pattern I could hit with the Forged Tecs was more or less straight. 

The Forged Tecs feel different on a flushed shot than a blade. It is not a bad feeling but it is different. 

They've been nicknamed "Power Blades" but I think "Sort of Blades"  or maybe "Oversized Blade" is more apt. 

Players' Distance to GI/SGI comparison: 

The Forged Tec is a much nicer looking club than the Taylor Made GI/SGI.  It is smaller than the GI/SGI but not that much smaller and the soles are only a little narrower than the GI/SGI clubs but it has a better, more classic, shape and top line appearance at address. The Forged Tecs are more responsive feeling than the Taylor Mades.  You can more or less tell where you struck the face of the Forged Tec. 

The Forged Tecs have less offset than the TaylorMades and that's a nice thing. 

However, even though the Forged Tecs are easy to hit, the Forged Tecs pale in comparison to the Taylor Mades as far as use. The Taylor Mades are more or less effortless.  Almost any kind of swing with the Taylor Mades will send the ball pretty far and more or less straight. In comparison, the Forged Tecs require a little more precision. So far a person who doesn't play much or sweeps the ball the Taylor Mades are probably a better choice than the Forged Tecs. The wider sole on the Taylor Mades probably helps sweepers. 

In conclusion, the Player's Distance (Forged Tecs) are outstanding clubs but I think there will always be a market for GI/SGI because they're so easy to use. The GI/SGI are really good for a golfer who might play once or twice a month or less than dozen times annually. 

 

"I want a hamburger..no, a cheeseburger, I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake."

"You'll get nothing and like it."

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On 5/7/2021 at 3:14 PM, kthomas said:

I currently play Ping Rapture irons, and I really wonder what it would be like to play with the new "distance player irons". TM P790's, Cobra Forge TEC's, Ping i210's, etc. 

 

I'm a ~15 handicap, with good ball striking (not 0.5 handicap good) and crappy putting/short game. 

 

These "distance player" irons are certainly intriguing. 

Go check out the Sub70 699 or 699 Pro irons. Used to play Callaway XR Pros and my new 699 irons are way easier to hit!

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Driver: Callaway Mavrik Max 10.5* Riptide Regular
Wood: Adams Tight Lies 4w 16* Stiff
Hybrid: Adams Tight Lies 2 4h 22* Stiff
Irons: Sub70 699u 5i/6i, 699 7-PW
Wedges: Callaway MD2 52* Tour Grind, Callaway MD2 58* Tour Grind
Putter: Odyssey Stroke Labs #10

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