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How do you decide the makeup of your combo set? Every fitting I go to has either a 7 or 6 iron only. There is no chance of hitting the short and long irons until you buy them.

 

I played the original p790 and really liked the 4-8 but struggled with the w and gap. I’m currently testing a set thats 5-8 790 and 9-gap 770 and so far the results are good but I’ve never seen a combo set built this way. They usually stop at the 6 or 7 for the more forgiving irons. Just want to see what the thought process was for the guys playing combos. Or is it as simple as that’s the way the manufacturer offers them. 

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Interesting. When I decided to take my game seriously, a combo set seemed perfect. I got my Nike VPC's and they were amazing. I am currently running full blades with a Mizuno MP-32 6. I feel VERY good

At some point most all golfers reach a point of what is essentially “law of diminishing returns”. The point where a certain amount of loft and length in a certain club head design no longer produces m

Great topic. With combo sets becoming more and more popular the industry may have to adapt but it won’t be easy. There is no real good way for the average golfer to truly “fit” all 14 clubs in their b

31 minutes ago, Smokey227 said:

How do you decide the makeup of your combo set? Every fitting I go to has either a 7 or 6 iron only. There is no chance of hitting the short and long irons until you buy them.

 

I played the original p790 and really liked the 4-8 but struggled with the w and gap. I’m currently testing a set thats 5-8 790 and 9-gap 770 and so far the results are good but I’ve never seen a combo set built this way. They usually stop at the 6 or 7 for the more forgiving irons. Just want to see what the thought process was for the guys playing combos. Or is it as simple as that’s the way the manufacturer offers them. 


Great topic. With combo sets becoming more and more popular the industry may have to adapt but it won’t be easy. There is no real good way for the average golfer to truly “fit” all 14 clubs in their bag. 
 

I doubt that golf retailers or fitters like Club Champion will ever reasonably offer multiple fitting heads (5, 7, PW for example) just to the expense and increased time. 
 

You sort of have to do it trial and error over time. What iron or loft do you start to lose ball speed or proper gaps on the long side. Decide what you like to look at in the short irons and just go from there. Then be willing to bend a club strong or weak. 
 

A few times over the years I’ve asked the pro at our club to do a “gap test”. Instead of a typical lesson or fitting we take the TrackMan to the range and I go up and down my bag hitting shots and looking if anything stands out where there may be not ideal gaps. 
 

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Posted (edited)

I originally split mine at 7 because I can't find a 6 iron blade. I really like the blade 7 and am looking for a 6 still.

 

<edit> my CB's are bent 1* weak to match the blades and even my gaps. 

Edited by lefthack

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Would be awesome if fitters fit your whole set.  I've done a driver fitting, woods fitting, irons fitting, and wedge and putter fittings.  For everything but the irons, I've hit every potential club that I would receive upon purchase.  For irons, you'd think they'd fit you into each iron.  Would likely be a pain from their perspective.  You'd also conceivably see some folks walking around with different manufacturers at a given iron.  Imagine you hit the P770 P the best, while the JPX Tour 921 best in the 9i and 6i.  Lastly, your remaining irons you hit better with different manufacturers.  Do you simply have a really mixed bag?

 

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Posted (edited)

I went away from combo sets years ago largely because there were so many odd / unanswerable questions.

 

It seemed good on paper but never worked out in reality. Why someone would admit they need a more stable club-head in the long irons but turn that benefit down in the short irons (which get hit more often!) always seemed odd to me. 

 

When I tried combo sets the transition always felt forced. In golf, we balance so much on a knife edge anyway, it always seemed crazy that people didn't try and minimize the number of club types they had. This is my same argument against hybrids. While the launch conditions are sometimes better, it's a massive change to add an entirely different club into your bag which will demand practice and a whole new array of shot-making feels be developed. That's not to say hybrids can't work for some folks who really need the help, but simplicity is usually of more value as it leads to reliability. 

 

There's this idea out there that you make worse contact with the longer clubs but I don't think that's necessarily true in real golf. In most cases, players want the increase their launch angle in the longer irons, but that's often best achieved with a shaft change as opposed to a more stable club-head that benefits from a higher MOI.

 

Bad swings produce bad contact and bad swings occur with all clubs with about the same frequency. The idea that I would want a forgiving 4-iron but a workable 8-iron is something I a lot of us tried but I feel most of us put to bed. Golf doesn't really work that way. 

 

Edited by MelloYello

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5 hours ago, MelloYello said:

I went away from combo sets years ago largely because there were so many odd / unanswerable questions.

 

It seemed good on paper but never worked out in reality. Why someone would admit they need a more stable club-head in the long irons but turn that benefit down in the short irons (which get hit more often!) always seemed odd to me. 

 

When I tried combo sets the transition always felt forced. In golf, we balance so much on a knife edge anyway, it always seemed crazy that people didn't try and minimize the number of club types they had. This is my same argument against hybrids. While the launch conditions are sometimes better, it's a massive change to add an entirely different club into your bag which will demand practice and a whole new array of shot-making feels be developed. That's not to say hybrids can't work for some folks who really need the help, but simplicity is usually of more value as it leads to reliability. 

 

There's this idea out there that you make worse contact with the longer clubs but I don't think that's necessarily true in real golf. In most cases, players want the increase their launch angle in the longer irons, but that's often best achieved with a shaft change as opposed to a more stable club-head that benefits from a higher MOI.

 

Bad swings produce bad contact and bad swings occur with all clubs with about the same frequency. The idea that I would want a forgiving 4-iron but a workable 8-iron is something I a lot of us tried but I feel most of us put to bed. Golf doesn't really work that way. 

 

Interesting. When I decided to take my game seriously, a combo set seemed perfect. I got my Nike VPC's and they were amazing. I am currently running full blades with a Mizuno MP-32 6. I feel VERY good from 6 to PW, but my 5 is not 100% and my 4 can be often worse.

 

So for me, a combo set is truly perfect. You see a lot of pros with blade 6 or 5-PW and CB 3, and 4. Because for some if us, golf DOES work that way.

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Posted (edited)

My set is 5-7 (G400) with stock lofts and and 8-U (i200) 2* strong in the 8 and 1* strong in the 9.  I got them secondhand, but I would have ordered them like this anyway as the short irons and wedges transition well into Glide wedges...

Edited by 14max
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I've fiddled with this for the last couple years and IMO the objective between scoring clubs and target'ish clubs are around the 6-7 irons for most "slightly better than average" golfers. With my 6 iron the swing thoughts are more aim center of the green, same with 7. With 8 iron and in I don't take dead aim but I find that these clubs are more 85-90% swing clubs and are more target centric. With my combo sets I always make the split between 7 and 8 irons. 

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1 hour ago, lefthack said:

Interesting. When I decided to take my game seriously, a combo set seemed perfect. I got my Nike VPC's and they were amazing. I am currently running full blades with a Mizuno MP-32 6. I feel VERY good from 6 to PW, but my 5 is not 100% and my 4 can be often worse.

 

So for me, a combo set is truly perfect. You see a lot of pros with blade 6 or 5-PW and CB 3, and 4. Because for some if us, golf DOES work that way.

 

I did the same thing for awhile and eventually realized I shouldn't have been playing blades anywhere in the set.

 

But back then I wouldn't have listened to anyone saying blades were a stupid idea. I would've come up with some stupid rationale about how I was good enough for this iron but not good enough for that one. 

 

When you get past being such a dopey noob, you realize what a moron you were. Truth is, I think I just wanted to imagine I was a "player" out there "working the ball" way better than all my mid-handicap peers. 

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I really do love my blades. I love the 4 and 5, too. But I do miss off the toe or hit a bit too much fade. But I had big a** GI shovels before and have zero interest going back there.

 

In all likelihood I will put the 4 and 5 CB back in the bag and I may never find a 6 iron blade. But I have no desire to play the rest of the CB's even though I have them. 

 

<edit> everyone has a limit to their skills. Mine happens to be right about the 6 iron. It is what it is and that's why blended sets exist. It's not about "good enough" it's about comfort level.

Edited by lefthack

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45 minutes ago, dhen9 said:

I've fiddled with this for the last couple years and IMO the objective between scoring clubs and target'ish clubs are around the 6-7 irons for most "slightly better than average" golfers. With my 6 iron the swing thoughts are more aim center of the green, same with 7. With 8 iron and in I don't take dead aim but I find that these clubs are more 85-90% swing clubs and are more target centric. With my combo sets I always make the split between 7 and 8 irons. 

Thanks. This thought process makes a lot of sense to me. I’m not trying to work the ball but I need consistent yardages with my shorter irons. For some reason in my original 790s and z585s I struggled getting consistent yardages with my short irons and that was something I had never had an issue with in several different versions of Pings. 

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2 hours ago, lefthack said:

Interesting. When I decided to take my game seriously, a combo set seemed perfect. I got my Nike VPC's and they were amazing. I am currently running full blades with a Mizuno MP-32 6. I feel VERY good from 6 to PW, but my 5 is not 100% and my 4 can be often worse.

 

So for me, a combo set is truly perfect. You see a lot of pros with blade 6 or 5-PW and CB 3, and 4. Because for some if us, golf DOES work that way.

I’d say for MOST of us it makes perfect sense.

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I played a split set once. Maltby MMB (5-7) and Maltby TE (8-gw). I thought it was cool having a split set. Turned out I hit both equally well, or bad if you will. I ended up putting both up for sell and keeping the set that didn't sell.

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Irons: Maltby TE Forged

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Putter: Odyssey White Hot #1

 

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Well, with any equipment change you should be considering what you're trying to gain.  If you're getting fit, maybe check the numbers using your current set as an indicator of where your consistency or distance gapping drops off.

 

When first I switched into combo sets, the irons I was moving from had a big gap between the set PW and specialty GW, also hit long high bombs with 8 & 9 irons, 7 iron was about where I'd expect it to be, then gaps tightened between 4-5-6 irons, and with less consistency.  I went to Apex MB and X-Forged (2018), split the set between 6 & 7 iron.  The MB 7 iron didn't quite catch up to the 6 like I wanted, and had a tendency to overdo side spin into the wind.  I picked up the X-Forged 7 to replace the MB and got the set to work better that way.

 

This season, I've gone another step, back to Srixon but with ZU85 4U (23°), Z585 6-7 irons (27° & 31°), Z785 8-A (36°-41°-46°-51°).  This is the best combo I've played yet, distance gaps & playability right where I need them to be across the board.

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3 hours ago, lefthack said:

Interesting. When I decided to take my game seriously, a combo set seemed perfect. I got my Nike VPC's and they were amazing. I am currently running full blades with a Mizuno MP-32 6. I feel VERY good from 6 to PW, but my 5 is not 100% and my 4 can be often worse.

 

So for me, a combo set is truly perfect. You see a lot of pros with blade 6 or 5-PW and CB 3, and 4. Because for some if us, golf DOES work that way.

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9 hours ago, MelloYello said:

I went away from combo sets years ago largely because there were so many odd / unanswerable questions.

 

It seemed good on paper but never worked out in reality. Why someone would admit they need a more stable club-head in the long irons but turn that benefit down in the short irons (which get hit more often!) always seemed odd to me. 

 

When I tried combo sets the transition always felt forced. In golf, we balance so much on a knife edge anyway, it always seemed crazy that people didn't try and minimize the number of club types they had. This is my same argument against hybrids. While the launch conditions are sometimes better, it's a massive change to add an entirely different club into your bag which will demand practice and a whole new array of shot-making feels be developed. That's not to say hybrids can't work for some folks who really need the help, but simplicity is usually of more value as it leads to reliability. 

 

There's this idea out there that you make worse contact with the longer clubs but I don't think that's necessarily true in real golf. In most cases, players want the increase their launch angle in the longer irons, but that's often best achieved with a shaft change as opposed to a more stable club-head that benefits from a higher MOI.

 

Bad swings produce bad contact and bad swings occur with all clubs with about the same frequency. The idea that I would want a forgiving 4-iron but a workable 8-iron is something I a lot of us tried but I feel most of us put to bed. Golf doesn't really work that way. 

 


I know, right?
Just chaps my hide when those golfer that jack those bags together, 4 fairway woods or a hybrid or two or mixed irons) ... dadgum major championship winners ain't gotta clue.

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1 hour ago, jbrunk said:

This season, I've gone another step, back to Srixon but with ZU85 4U (23°), Z585 6-7 irons (27° & 31°), Z785 8-A (36°-41°-46°-51°).  This is the best combo I've played yet, distance gaps & playability right where I need them to be across the board.

 

That sounds like a great setup. 

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On 5/31/2021 at 10:52 AM, MelloYello said:

I went away from combo sets years ago largely because there were so many odd / unanswerable questions.

 

It seemed good on paper but never worked out in reality. Why someone would admit they need a more stable club-head in the long irons but turn that benefit down in the short irons (which get hit more often!) always seemed odd to me. 

 

When I tried combo sets the transition always felt forced. In golf, we balance so much on a knife edge anyway, it always seemed crazy that people didn't try and minimize the number of club types they had. This is my same argument against hybrids. While the launch conditions are sometimes better, it's a massive change to add an entirely different club into your bag which will demand practice and a whole new array of shot-making feels be developed. That's not to say hybrids can't work for some folks who really need the help, but simplicity is usually of more value as it leads to reliability. 

 

There's this idea out there that you make worse contact with the longer clubs but I don't think that's necessarily true in real golf. In most cases, players want the increase their launch angle in the longer irons, but that's often best achieved with a shaft change as opposed to a more stable club-head that benefits from a higher MOI.

 

Bad swings produce bad contact and bad swings occur with all clubs with about the same frequency. The idea that I would want a forgiving 4-iron but a workable 8-iron is something I a lot of us tried but I feel most of us put to bed. Golf doesn't really work that way. 

 


At some point most all golfers reach a point of what is essentially “law of diminishing returns”. The point where a certain amount of loft and length in a certain club head design no longer produces more reliable yardage- especially with the right trajectory, peak height and spin. For Justin Thomas that might be the 3i in his Titleist MBs. Doesn’t mean he can’t hit a 3i it means that consistently he gets better results (compared to his 4i) with a different model head. 
 

For most amateur players that is likely somewhere between 4i and 6/7i depending on club model. At that point it’s worth seeing if there is a different club head design to improve that performance. That could be stronger loft, more perimeter weighting, different sole width for turf interaction, a cup or hot face to retain ball speed, etc. Most likely it’s a combination of said factors. 
 

Now this is starting from the assumption that the scoring clubs are some form of players iron. Whether that be a forgiving distance model like an Apex, etc or a true blade or split cavity single piece forging. 
 

But why would someone want that in the beginning? Most better players prefer a nice look at address. I for one find it easier to hit a 9i blade than I do a big “Big Bertha” style GI 9i. But that’s not to say the same could be said for the 4i. 
 

Let’s say player is using A set of CB irons and avg 7i carry is 162 with a 45 degree descent angle and they are happy with that all the way down to PW. Then 6i is avg 171 with 42 degree land angle. 
 

But 5i only averages 178 with a 38 degree land angle. Then we try a different model 5i. This one is a little bigger and stronger with a hot face. Now that 5i is carrying 184  with a 40 degree land angle.

 

Which 5i should be used? Obviously the one that puts a good gap between the 6i. But the 7i from that set goes 173 avg. Should that player now decide to play those irons all the day down? I think that just varies player to player.
 

People put way too much thought into what model is “forgiving” which I think it’s overrated. It’s about the model that can produce the right (not max) carry numbers with a proper amount of spin, peak height and descent angle. 

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I was recently fitted for Mizuno MP-20 MB irons.  During the fitting I was able to hit a 4 iron in the MB, MMC, and HMB.   Surprisingly my best dispersion was with the MB.  I'm definitely glad I had the opportunity.  If not I probably would have purchased a combo set.   

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I love playing a combo set. I have 2018 Apex MB irons 3-GW and 2016 Apex pro irons 3-6. Both sets have the same shafts, swing weight, grips and lofts. Distances between the clubs are very similar. My standard set up is Apex pro 3 iron and Apex MB from 4-GW. I do find the Apex pros lose less distance on bad strikes but are not as good through the turf. With this setup my 3 iron is mainly used as a driving iron for tight holes.
 

Off a perfect lie in a simulator I generally have better dispersion with the MB irons. In the real world I know the apex pros help me retain distance on bad strikes especially with the 3 iron. 

I do play different combinations depending on the course and the state of my swing. Would I ever play all Apex Pros? No I don’t like them below the 6 iron as the sole is too wide. 
 

Do the different combinations impact my scoring? The Apex pro 3 iron, yes. Below that the impact to my score round to round is minimal and well within the noise of other variables. 

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I have a CB 7 iron with the same shaft that I could swap in. It was actually my test club to try out the shaft. Minus the 6 iron, I have both full sets, but I don't have nice shafts in the 8-PW CB's due to cost since I will never play them.

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everyone plays a combo set - at some point there is a shift to wedge/putter on one end and hybrids/fairways/driver on the other end. So why not combo within the irons? Seems that not entertaining that option is largely based on tradition rather than performance. There certainly are aesthetic and CDO* reasons for wanting a matching "set" of irons, but even the "scoring" clubs transition is shades of gray. At some point your contact consistency and/or dispersion gets to where you need a "different" club. That could be a different iron type, or a hybrid, or a fairway. No single answer, depends on what works for you and what you want to hit.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tar_Heel_93 said:

I love playing a combo set. I have 2018 Apex MB irons 3-GW and 2016 Apex pro irons 3-6. Both sets have the same shafts, swing weight, grips and lofts. Distances between the clubs are very similar. My standard set up is Apex pro 3 iron and Apex MB from 4-GW. I do find the Apex pros lose less distance on bad strikes but are not as good through the turf. With this setup my 3 iron is mainly used as a driving iron for tight holes.
 

Off a perfect lie in a simulator I generally have better dispersion with the MB irons. In the real world I know the apex pros help me retain distance on bad strikes especially with the 3 iron. 

I do play different combinations depending on the course and the state of my swing. Would I ever play all Apex Pros? No I don’t like them below the 6 iron as the sole is too wide. 
 

Do the different combinations impact my scoring? The Apex pro 3 iron, yes. Below that the impact to my score round to round is minimal and well within the noise of other variables. 


I have the exact same combo setup ‘18 Apex MBs and ‘16 Apex Pros (that were originally a full set). I ended up going into the ‘18 Apex Pros in the 5-7i because I was struggling with gapping at the 5i with the ‘16 model (to the point I had gotten a CF16 5i and weakened it). The ‘16 Apex Pro model definitely transitions smoother as it’s more blade line than the ‘18 but I actually have gotten to like the cup face and slightly more forgiveness with the ‘18 model. 
 

The 2018 Apex MBs are just a joy to hit! One of the best and most “forgiving” blades I’ve ever hit. I could easily game the 7i and maaaybe the 6i

Edited by cmatthews77

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Epic Speed 9 degree (8°)- Hzrdus Yellow Handcrafted
Epic Flash Sub Zero 3W (16°)- Hzrdus Smoke
Apex 3 (20°) & 4 (23°) Hybrid- Kuro Kage
'18 Apex MB (8-PW) and '19 Apex Pro (5-7i) Nippon Pro Modus 105 s
MD3 Black 50°, 54° (S Grind), 58° (PM Grind)
Toulon Design Odyssey Chicago (with Atlanta and Las Vegas rotations sometimes)
Ball: Chromesoft X Triple Track or Bridgestone Tour BXS 
 

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