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You've Changed Irons. What did your handicap do?


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It didn't affect me.  My number is dependent on how my putting/ short game is going.  That said, the distance dispersion on my current irons is noticeably tighter than the last set (i500 to 0311T), which puts me in better position more often.


It still comes down to short game though, particularly putting.   

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Started in the summer of 2019 with hand me down Cleveland TA3s from my dad. Handicap at infinity. Soon realized I was gonna be golfing for life and believed the "you shouldn't play blades unless you're pro" hype so retired the TA3s and bought ping g410s off ebay. HC got to high teens. Realized the fit was not good so got rid of those after a few months and got jpx 919 tours. HC to low teens. Gamed the tours for the past year but sold em to my friend and am back full circle to the Cleveland TA3s with a 8 HC. Just ordered some ZX7s though so hopefully those get me to scratch 😅


The iron changes probably had little to do with my drop in HC. My short game, putting, and shot choice just improved and I stopped watching YouTube swing tips.


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My handicap has not changed over a 2 year period. This is a list of irons I've had in play over that period of time. 


Wilson Staff blades

Wilson V6's 

Srixon ZX5'S 

Wilson D9

Titleist 714AP2


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Ping G410  10.5 Project X Evenflow 5.5

Taylormade M2 3 wood

Ping G425 5 wood
Ping Anser 20* Hybrid

Titleist 714AP2, 4-GW, Ping Glide 58ES

Bettinardi Queen B 6



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Add me to the No Change list. 


I shoot around the same with my main set (iBlades), my retro sets (BeCu Eye 2+s or BeNi ISIs), my holiday set (Ansers) or my occasional change set (Vega VC-02s).  My handicap stayed about the same in moving from i20s to i200s to iBlades in the past 5 years.  All irons feel different, but I don't really believe that irons make a huge difference as long as they are roughly the right spec for the player using them.  Changing drivers and putters, on the other hand, makes a much bigger difference.

  • PING G400 Max 9* Tensei Orange 60g S
  • PING Anser 17 & 20* hybrids Graphite Design 85S
  • PING iBlades Green Dot CFS 80-S
  • PING Anser Forged wedges Blue Dot DG Spinner
  • PING PLD Anser (Trisole Carbon Steel) / PING Ketsch TR 400g CB








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Too early to tell. Also too difficult to tell whether it's me or the irons. 


I just switched irons and wedges, and two days ago was the first full round I've played with them. I think it's actually a meaningful change because I went from variable-length to single-length irons. 


But I was out of the game for a long time before COVID. Since I came back a year ago, I've dropped 4-5 strokes from my HC already. I've taken a lesson in March and have been working that move at the range ever since. I'm playing WAY more frequently than I ever used to. 


I think the single-length irons will improve my consistency, but trying to separate that effect from the effect of playing and practicing more will be impossible. I've noticed my game improving in the run up to getting the new clubs, so new clubs might help me improve my HC faster, or they might just be a change that has no effect. Tough to measure. 

Ping G25 10.5* w/ Diamana 'ahina 70 x5ct stiff (set -0.5 to 10*)

Toski 4w 16* w/ DG S300

Wishon EQ1-NX 4h, 5i-GW single-length built to 37.5" w/ Nippon Modus3 120 stiff

Sub70 286 52/10, 286 56/12, and JB 60/6 wedges, black, built to 36.75" w/ Nippon Modus3 120 stiff

Odyssey White Hot XG #1 w/ SuperStroke jumbo

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Made a significant iron change prior to this year and my handicap has dropped by 4. Switched from SGI irons (Cleveland Mashie combo set) to Ping i500’s but I would mostly attribute the improved iron play and scoring to changing from a regular flex shaft to stiff.

I do feel much more confident standing over iron shots with less offset and a more compact looking club head. 

Ping G400 9.5* Alta CB 55S

Ping G400 3W 14.5* Alta CB 65S

Ping G410 5W 17.5* Alta CB 65S

Cobra King F9 Speedback 4H 21* Fujikura ATMOS 7S

Ping i500 5-UW True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

Cleveland RTX-3 54* and 58* True Temper Dynamic Gold

Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 Notchback 34”

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Went from Maltby DBMs to Srixon zx5/zx7 combo set in March.  Handicap has only moved slightly up and down, just about the same.  However, my scores have been way more consistent.  Hovering around a 6, scores with my old clubs would vary from 74ish to high 80s with no telling what I would shoot day to day.  With the Srixons, My last 20 now has only 4 scores in the 80s, and low 80s at that. I went 11 straight rounds with scores from 76-79. Never done that before. So, yeah, I'm playing better, but it's not necessarily reflected in the handicap. Haven't broken par yet with this set, but that's attributable to bonehead decisions more than anything else.

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15 hours ago, jbrunk said:

The courses I play have a greater bearing on my handicap than the equipment I play.

An honest assessment, and probably applicable to many people.

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  • Titleist TS2 @10.25', Ventus 5 Series S
  • Titleist TS2 @16', Ventus 6 Series S
  • Titleist 718 T-MB 2i - Tensei AV White S
  • Titleist 620 Series 3-4i Tensei AV White S
  • Titleist 620 Series 5-PW - MMT 125S
  • SM6 F-52/8 - MMT 125S
  • SM6 M-58/8 - MMT 125S
  • SC CA Monterey
  • DASH-ProV1x & AVX
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Pretty sure nothing. Usually I’m changing irons to go with a change in swing methods. My last set change two years ago was to the Mavrik Irons. Yes my hcp went down by 4 but my swing was changing to use more of a Jim Venetos swing type.  I was happy but my back isn’t anymore. So I’m off on another one of my infamous let’s change back to……

This time to Manuel Del La Torre swing and to my AP1 718s until my Mizuno 921 Hot metals come in. I’m a Ho…and I have a problem.

Livin' proof that Lefties are not naturally talented.

Driver Callaway Epic Flash 10.5 set to 9.5
3 Wood Epic Flash set to 16 degrees
3-5 Hybrids Epic Flash 18 20 23 degrees
6 hybrid Big Bertha 26 degree 
7-AW Callaway Mavrik Irons 
50 degree GW Vokey SM7
56 degree SW Vokey SM7
Odyssey White Hot V-Line Fang

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1994: went from 1970s blades to cavity back - HDCP dropped ~ 4 strokes.

2009: went from stiff to regular shafts - HDCP dropped ~ 3 strokes.

2018: stayed the same.

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


Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; 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°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

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

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

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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5 hours ago, mburl549 said:

What is this golden tip you speak of?

Put the club slightly on the toe. Stopped me shanking and duffing it almost completely. Now land on the green, instead of circling around it..🙄 Still need to work on distance control but at least I now get on the dance floor.

Also using the straight arms as he does here (as does Jason Day if I am not mistaken)




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Home bag: Driver: Titleist 910D3 9.5o; ; 3h: Nickent 3ds; 5h: Acer 5h; Irons: Srixon Z355 5-pw, AW: Taylormade RSi (50o); SW: Titleist 65o; Putter: Wilson

Travel bag: 3w: Nike Covert 2; 4h: TM M1 ('17) ; MD Golf 7i & 9i, PW: McGregor PW; LB: Cleveland 60o; Putter: Spalding Pro Flite


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After i changer to player cb and or blade from gi.... id say my game improver a few strokes for sure.... but changing within the better players irons has consistenly been the same scores.... which is fine because the best of any clubs for yourself can only do so much. At some point the player just had to play better!

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My iron striking definitely got much better after getting fitted irons, my handicap well there are other factors for that. But my average scores have gotten better so I'd say a good improvement, could be better. 


Driver: 9° Ping G410 Plus - HZRDUS RDX Smoke Blue 6.0

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

3H: 19° Ping G410 - 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 - Kingdom Putter - NCW Boyd - and more. 

WITB Thread

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I replaced a 12 year old set almost exactly a year ago and my index has been in the same +/- 0.5 range before and after. New irons have made me more excited to play and practice.

D| Ping G400 w/ Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 6.5

4W| Cobra F9 Tour 16* w/ Grafalloy Platinum 65X

H| Ping G400 22* w/UST Mamiya PROFORCE V2 Black X

4-P| New Level 902 w/DG S400 TI

GW| Maltby DBM w/DG Black Onyx S400 TI 

SW| Maltby M-Series+ Tour w/DG Black Onyx S400 TI

LW| Maltby Tour Grind MG w/DG Black Onyx S400 TI

P| Yes! Evelyn 12

Ball| Snell MTB Black

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I recently switched from PXG 0311XF (Gen 1) to Cobra Forged Tec (copper).


It was purely for aesthetics and I wasn't really expecting any real improvement, although I wouldn't have accepted any drop off either.


At first I got what expected. I hit the Cobras about as well (or as badly) as I hit the PXGs.


Then I regripped the Cobras with the same mid-sized Golf Pride Align grips I used with the PXGs.


Over the next couple of weeks I had my lowest round ever (72), a bunch of others in the mid 70s and my handicap dropped two shots to 7, which is also my lowest ever.


I'm at the age (60) where most of my long-time playing partners see their handicap go up, so I was pretty happy.


I'm going through the inevitable patch of poor ball-striking at the moment so the Cobras are by no means magic. In fact I cheated on them today with a set of PXG Gen3s with very good results.


But, coincidence or not, there is no denying that my time with the Cobras coincided with my lowest score.


Mind you, now I think about it, I was off 12 when I switched to the PXGs a couple of years ago and dropped 4 shots in my time with them.



Edited by sfdoddsy
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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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I went from 714 AP2's and a 13hcp to Mizuno JPX900 Tours (4-9i) and it dropped several strokes off my handicap to around a 8hcp. Currently a 4.1 but that was after the driver fitting which saved me tons as well...


Changes between the irons was moving out of the DG S300 shafts into KBS C-taper 125+. The lighter and stiffer profile really helped me out and added a full club distance. 


Biggest difference I could tell was in the sole design. The AP2's sole was too wide (or just didn't get along with my swing) for the conditions I usually play in here in the southeast. Tight, dry turf conditions really called for a thinner sole design and a pre-worn leading edge which is exactly what I got. I will never look back...

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Switched into Ping i210s about 3 months .....my reasoning was I'm looking for a set that felt the same from 4i down to wedge with some help but still not overly bulky......I had looked into these when they were released in 2018 but went iblade to my chagrin .....they didn't feel nearly as good as i210s;  I thought the slimmer profile and minimal offset would suit me better.


So after 2 combo sets (Srixon Z785 7-pw Z585 4-6 and T200s which added that weird button on long irons making a clacky sound) I found a set of lefty i210 and immediately it was love at first strike!  


My scores have been consistent;  73.5 is my scoring average......I'm hitting more greens.....150 holes played I'm at 72.6 % 


I don't know the complete effects on my handicap but I'm certainly playing better than 7 I was for past 2 years.......

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If my 25 years of playing have taught me anything, my HDCP is based on my athletic ability not the clubs I choose to use.   Same is true of my guitar playing; and, much like guitars, it's more about experiencing something new/different than it is the belief that the new irons/guitar will somehow make me better.  

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My handicap has dropped, but mainly because of swing work and my wrist fully healing from surgery.


That being said, my distance control is much better with my current irons than any others I have played before and make more solid strikes.  Sure, no iron fixes bad path or face angle, but my spin and landing angles are much better.  My average approach proximity is lower than it was pre injury, but because my putting has gotten worse my handicap is about the same as it was.

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  • Driver - Callaway Epic Max LS on Ventus Purple
  • 3 Wood - Taylormade SIM2 Titanium - testing shafts
  • 7 Wood - Company that shall not be named, turned down 1* and open on a UST Mamaiya Black
  • Hybrid - Cobra King Tec 17* 
  • Util - Srixon ZXU 18* on Recoil 110
  • Irons - Srixon ZX5 4&5 iron on Recoil 110
  • Irons - Srixon ZX7 (6-9) on Recoil 110
  • Wedges - Clevelland 46* Zipcore, Cleveland 50* mid Zipcore, Cleveland 54* mid Zipcore, Cleveland Zipcore 60* Mid all on Recoil 110
  • Putters -  Sunset Beach Ocracoke or Mannkrafted MA/66 on UST Frequency Filtered with SS Counter Core
  • Ball - Srixon Z Star XV auditioning Snell, Bridgestone and one other this offseason.
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I was 6.2 when I changed my irons in 2019. I went from TM's with KBS Tour 105R to Mizunos with Recoil 95 F3. I went up to 8.1. After I put a strip of lead tape on the back of each club, I have gone back down to 5.8.

Mizuno Shaft Optimiser sucks!

Edited by Pete O'Tube
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Mizuno ST190 TS Driver Fujikura Atmos 6R

Cobra Radspeed 5W Fujikura Motore X F3 R

Mizuno FliHi Hybrid 4 Recoil ESX F3 R
4 - 6 Mizuno MP18 MMC FliHi Recoil F3 95g R
7 -W Mizuno MP18 SC Recoil F3 95g R
53.08 Vokey SM5
56.08 Vokey SM5
Any one of 5 different Pings!

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Early 2020 gamer irons were Callaway XR pros bought 2nd hand from the facebook marketplace. Took up golf before pandemic after meeting wife, who played in high school and declined college scholarship. Started to play seriously starting last year 2020, shot around 100-110.


Last month, swapped out gamers for Apex pro 21 irons KBS 120g stiff shaft, yes I am aware I am a high handicap player. Spent last year and this year improving with my ball striking. Also, got a new driver thanks to my wife, before driver I would hit a 7 fairwood or 4 iron off the tee. Still trying to figure out driver. But after 1st outing with the new irons, shot 88. Before hitting 88, I was hitting around the high 90s. 2nd outing with new irons, shot 88 again. So yes, f*** lessons and instead buy new clubs. Guaranteed to fix your crappy swing. 


Serious note, previous gamer irons had different shafts. 8 and 6 irons had graphite shaft that had no logos. For the rest of the irons, I'm assuming it was regular shaft. Regardless, I will spend this off season on improving my swing with a pro.


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Almost sold the 2021 apex mb's after 2 weeks of hitting them. Ended up keeping them and shot my two lowest rounds ever this summer. 64 and 63, both in comp. humble brag lol.

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g410p 10.5° KKXDtx 

0341X Proto 15° Diamana S+ 

King SZ Tour 5w

Apex UT 21° Shimada

Apex MB 4-PW Shimada

JAWS Forged 52°-56°-60° Modus 125


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My handicap has gone up this year because I’ve flipped my whole bag about 4 times in the last 16 months. Now that my bag is starting to stabilize, and I’m getting more comfortable with all my clubs, my scores are starting to come back down.


Did a fitting in March, which was a game-changer, and now my Srixon Z 785 irons and Cleveland RTX Zipcore wedges are properly fit for me at 6’7 (2* Up and +1.5” long). Starting to get more Birdie looks and Pars over the last 2 weeks, and my Handicap will start decreasing and levelling out.

Callaway Epic Max LS (10.5*) / Hzrdus Smoke 6.0

Callaway Rogue (15*) / Aldila Synergy 60 S

Callaway Rogue (19*) / Aldila Synergy 60 S

Srixon ZX5 (4-5), ZX7 (6-PW) / Modus3 Tour 120

Cleveland RTX Zipcore (52, 58 Mid) / Dynamic Gold Spinner

TaylorMade TP Collection Soto (36")


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I get my new set this week, so i'm really hoping for a 3 shot improvement.


I have been playing TM MC from 2011 (not really forgiving), and haven't had a top of the bag i liked for 2 years.  Played irons only for 6 months, it was so bad(my handicap improved 2 strokes, lol).    


During my fitting i found out my irons are too upright which causes my ball to start left of target, and i struggle with the woods because i was never willing to accept help (slight draw weighting made a huge difference, i don't slice long clubs but its too much fade for me to play comfortably).


Also with my current irons, i get punished with mishits.  Not so much on direction, but distance.    

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  • 1 month later...

I  went from my Muzino 919 Tours at a 12.3 HDCP in April to my back up P790's with graphite shafts, and first time out shot my low score of 75. Previous low was 79. 


My HDCP now is 9.0 as of my round yesterday. I have shot about 4 rounds in the 70's since April. Previously shot 3 rounds in the 70's in my lifetime. 


P790's made the game easier for me by giving me 10 more yards per club. But the 919 made me get better with ball striking. 

Sim2 Max (9 Deg) w Hzrdous Smoke RDX 6.0
Sim2 Max 3 wood
Mizzy CLK 19degree Hybrid  
Mizzy 4-PW 919 Tour - Modus 120
Mizzy T-20 Raw 50 - Modus 130
TM MG2 54/58 wedges - Modus 130
TM Spider X (Chalk) 
Nike Air Hybrid II Bag x 2 (camo and all white)

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