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At what point is playing blades an advantage?


Douglsss
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3 minutes ago, MtlJeff said:

 

LOL...gotta think about that one

 

I don't want to insult anyone. I just have seen too much data and observational evidence to just want to push back on some of this. But I should know better by now

 

I feel like a unicorn would have too much of a size advantage on further review. So let's go with that!

Haha I just am trying to get past the normal tropes around blades and take no offense, just having fun 😄

 

My experience with those clubs and strikes of course are extremely anecdotal and honestly only happened with my 8i. Maybe it was crap construction.  I do feel like it's another one of those things that gets slapped around here with any type of hollow body GI club is the "hot face". Maybe some youtuber has done some research on it, would be cool to see. 

 

14 minutes ago, puttingmatt said:

Congratulations on getting a set of blades to play.  You will most likely have some ups and downs in scoring, but you will see how you manage with them.

Compare rounds with your other set,

You will figure out which style of irons you prefer.

Yeah it's for sure the plan. At this point anything beyond 7 iron is a bit sketchy. The misses are short and compared to my ZX7's my distance is similar ( when comparing loft not club number) on most strikes. I noticed though I don't have a thinned long miss. At my club there's a par 3 where a stock 7 with the ZX7 is my standard play. Every so often I do catch one thin over the back of the green(worst spot to miss). The thinned miss with blades always hurts the hands but doesn't shoot long.

 

Beyond all of that, there is something addictive to compressing and just hitting a pure shot with blades. I think it's the sound that amazes me. Just how different that noise is from hitting something slightly off. 

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If you have some speed in your swing the mishits with a blade are not punished that bad. I find with bigger, chunkier irons that the spin drops to much and the distances become to erratic. Way more consistent with blades and especially when judging them out of the rough. Just better for me. 
 

My ball striking is my strength. If I mishit it then no club, no matter how forgiving is going to help. 

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I’m between a 7 and a 3 handicap. I’ve gone from forged cavity back to blades back to forged cavity backs back to blades and the biggest difference to me is the turf interaction seems much better with blades and it’s more pleasing to the eye (subjective obviously).

 

I also don’t notice much of a difference in off center hits between blades and cavity backs, I think the “forgiveness” between different types of irons is over blown.

 

Play with what works best and is most comfortable.

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3 hours ago, Douglsss said:

See this is what makes this discussion more interesting. If I'm 2000 Tiger Woods playing blades and I have a way of gaining even a 1% better striking/miss ratio, wouldn't I take it? It falls into a similar comparison with Tiger of using steel shafted driver vs graphite. Eventually, he made the change because it was better. Why is it so different with irons? By the same logic of the driver, wouldn't top level ballstrikers stand to gain the most from more forgiving irons vs blades?

 

That's why I was asking what is the advantage if all things are equal because the blade argument in regards to performance has never made sense to me for anyone - pro or weekend hack. If it's just preference and what you like, great. But if we are conflating the two arguments it muddles the discussion when people pretend like blades are the end all be all of a "real golfer".

All things equal and having 1% better striking is minuscule a reason to play a club.  We all go through that and most players will not play blades on a 1% gain. And all blades feel wise are different from each other and that can be manufacturer as well. I’ve played Muiras and the feel of the soft metal versus your Mizuno is definitely there for me. Blades offer such a different feel and forgiveness is what a lot of players go after. That is why for me I often go after mixed MB/MC sets. Now I’m gaming the MP20 HMB’s that give me the best of both worlds. Such small gains but I love the Blade style head with the added pop. When gains become smaller, other factors come into play like look and sound amongst other things. 

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When your irons shots begin going over the green consistently.

When you need a lower launch.

When you don't need more distance.

When you can work the iron both ways consistently and it usually curves less than you desire.

When you can hit a 7' dispersion.

When you can only rely on tucked pins from playing a high ball.

 

The whole picker vs sweeper is nonsense.

If you're a picker or a sweeper you can't play blades with consistent success.

You should have both swings for the different turf or condition.

 

And I hate the Stat... the world's best don't use blades.....

Not true. Pgaclubtracker.com says

56% of the world's best carry some form of blade from 6,7 8 iron down.

 

I dont want blades.

I was fit into them.

I tried to play zx7s this year.

I regretted it.

Has nothing to do with ego or cosmetics.

When you need the blade you should game the blade. 

 

If you have to ask they aren't for you.

I dont really understand what the facisnation with blades are.

They suck.

But certain swings benefit from the type of iron.

 

The difference between a blade and a CB is the CB adds speed to perimeter of the face. If you're fast enough Bad strikes won't hurt you as much as you think

 

 

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11 hours ago, MtlJeff said:

 

40yd fliers are not real. I'm sorry but they are not real.

 

This thread is silly

 


Yes, I would say one flawed premise is this belief that non-blades or GI clubs are inconsistent on distance. It’s a bunch of baloney. They’re as consistent as the person swinging the club. Shots do fly different distances and fliers do exists — because the golfer is inconsistent. You always hear these anecdotes about inexplicable hot shots but those are not real data, just meaningless folklore. If the shot in question is measured on a monitor, the “inconsistency” is revealed and has zip to do with the club. It’s just golfers blaming the clubs, that’s a cornerstone of the game!

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The only time blades have an advantage is in windy conditions. Not breezy, windy.

 

What is always left out is that the spec profile of traditional MB's has an appeal and is useful to some mortals. They actually swing better to it, So when you build CB's to those specs they lose a bunch of that "forgiveness" the humble ride their broom on. Bubba's Ping's are not your Pings. Neither is the bulk of tour rigged gear. Vast majority of which has a mass profile like a traditional MB''s. So it's all a bit of a mirage and a false premise. I have a set of GI clubs set up like old MB's and no one here would put them in play by the standards that are in vogue.

 

OEM's build stuff to win demo day. In slow progression the base line for what a standard bag is today has moved quite a bit. It's better for many but not all and some that do would do better with gear that was once more common.  Most all gear built in last 25 years is good enough to get around any course today. We have been blessed with a much better ball and Ti tech that added 40 yards to those in upper register of speed. 

 

Play what you want but stop brow beating to justify dropping 2 large very year on a new toy.

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12 hours ago, rd1959 said:

No, hot spots are a thing. They don't come up often, but they are real. I'll sometimes use impact tape when practicing. When using a GI iron, even hitting square in the middle of the sweet spot the ball will take off for an extra 10-15 yards. It happens maybe once in 25 shots, but it does happen

 

Again, is this because of a design flaw, or maybe you just juiced a shot a little more? After all, you are not Iron Byron Junior, you are a human being. Or, maybe a livelier gamer ball flew OB onto the range, and ended up in your bucket?

 

Once in 25 shots? That's an outlier, an oddity. 

 

Again, a few irons do have hot spots. The Callaway Rogue X irons? Yes // the earlier X20 Tours? Not really...

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I'll add one other player type that often fits in a blade better.  One who does not generate a lot of spin.  That's generally been my problem.  I'm a shorter golfer, with a flatter swing plane.  When I've been fit, then entire effort is about finding more spin.  Driver, fairways, and irons.  I've been fit into blades both times I've done a full fitting with trackman.  The thinner sole probably helps a bit too, since my AoA is so shallow.  

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13 minutes ago, ChipNRun said:

 

Again, is this because of a design flaw, or maybe you just juiced a shot a little more? After all, you are not Iron Byron Junior, you are a human being. Or, maybe a livelier gamer ball flew OB onto the range, and ended up in your bucket?

 

Once in 25 shots? That's an outlier, an oddity. 

 

Again, a few irons do have hot spots. The Callaway Rogue X irons? Yes // the earlier X20 Tours? Not really...

Sorry, i can confirm they are real too. Ive tested and seen 5-7 mph ball speed jumps just randomly with same swing speed. 

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Just now, Red4282 said:

Sorry, i can confirm they are real too. Ive tested and seen 5-7 mph ball speed jumps just randomly with same swing speed. 

Hot spot on the club, or livelier golf ball? You have only established that the the ball speed is higher. You have not established the cause of the jump.

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Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

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1 hour ago, WristySwing said:

What is missing from this discussion and what many completely gloss over is that tour pro data is heavily skewed.  Everyone loves to point to the Tiger, Rory, and DJ argument of "oh well they play blades and they are the odds on favourites to win when they tee it up."  What about the Brooks Koepkas, the Cam Smiths, the Nelly Kordas, the Steven Alkers, the Fred Couples', the Colin Morikawas, the Lee Westwoods, etc. of the world that are/were top of the world in terms of ball striking, world ranking points, etc., but play cavity backs?  I can guarantee you that none of the blade players in this thread can hit the ball better than Nelly Korda does, and chances are she could probably outclub you by about 10-15 yards as well per iron.  Do you think she experiences fliers?  What about Lydia Ko and her gel-filled, hot faced, thin-faced PXG irons and lightweight graphite shafts?  Think she has issues with hot spots and suddenly airmailing one 20 yards over the flag?

 

Look, as a fitter, play what you like to play.  However, I have never seen a single soul in my 20 years in this business who actually hit a blade better than they hit a player's distance iron or a similarly-bladey CB head.  And I agree with @MtlJeff, fliers are generally not a thing.  When I see someone complain about a flier, I generally think "oh, they actually hit one in the middle of the head for once!".  I see it every day in the bay.  The strike point shows they are missing the middle consistently and then they catch one exactly in the middle, with tour pro level dynamic loft (i.e. around 22-23* of loft on a 6i) and they suddenly gain 15 yards.  No, it's not the hot faces, it's you actually did what you were supposed to do for once.  I hit Pro 225, i525, Forged Tec, and Rogue ST Pro over the last 2 weekends and had very predictable landing yardages.  The clubs I struggled with the most regarding getting a heater or a weird short ball were with the Pro 223, T100, and Miura TC201...but hot faces bro.

 

Slightly related tangent: this always reminds of a guy I fit and I knew it was him because of what else he had in the bag loudly proclaiming on a local golf forum I frequented how he bought p790s on the reco of the fitter (me) and proceeded to have "distance control issues" and was hitting them "too far" that "adversely hurt his scores".  The guy hit 20 balls with a baby fade right on top of each other +/- 5 yards in the bay and was over the moon.  8 months later they are posting how they are on the hunt for a small headed CB to remove fliers, because after magic-penciling away 10 shots off their handicap for the internet vanity points from when I saw them, they became a scratch player and need superior iron control because these irons supposedly hurt their scores 🙃.  I don't know what way going from 10 to a 0 is hurting your scores when the only major change you made was a lie angle change on the putter and new irons, but hey, you want that fake internet clout, all the power to ya.  I take what I read everywhere with a MASSIVE grain of salt and assume that everyone online, including myself, are gigantic hacks with zero equipment knowledge until proven innocent.

I play blades and am a good striker. When i got my jumper, it wasnt cause i actually “did what i was supposed to do for once!”. Its a design flaw, that there is a tiny spot that is incredible hot and a massive drop on slight misses. Woods get away with it better because there is such a massive improvement on moi.

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1 minute ago, ChipNRun said:

Hot spot on the club, or livelier golf ball? You have only established that the the ball speed is higher. You have not established the cause of the jump.

Same ball. I tested several irons, multiple times and have seen this repeatedly with the “spring” faces. Theres a reason 98% of pros do not play this type of iron

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I moved from an MB into the new T100 recently because they look like a blade at address and play/feel similar with some added forgiveness. I still have my MB's tho and won't ever get rid of them. There is something to a blade if you can hit them correctly. They just come out a little different and its hard to replicate with something other than a straight muscle back iron head. I got great numbers with MB's as well so that's why I played them.

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1 hour ago, WristySwing said:

What is missing from this discussion and what many completely gloss over is that tour pro data is heavily skewed.  Everyone loves to point to the Tiger, Rory, and DJ argument of "oh well they play blades and they are the odds on favourites to win when they tee it up."  What about the Brooks Koepkas, the Cam Smiths, the Nelly Kordas, the Steven Alkers, the Fred Couples', the Colin Morikawas, the Lee Westwoods, etc. of the world that are/were top of the world in terms of ball striking, world ranking points, etc., but play cavity backs?  I can guarantee you that none of the blade players in this thread can hit the ball better than Nelly Korda does, and chances are she could probably outclub you by about 10-15 yards as well per iron.  Do you think she experiences fliers?  What about Lydia Ko and her gel-filled, hot faced, thin-faced PXG irons and lightweight graphite shafts?  Think she has issues with hot spots and suddenly airmailing one 20 yards over the flag?

 

Look, as a fitter, play what you like to play.  However, I have never seen a single soul in my 20 years in this business who actually hit a blade better than they hit a player's distance iron or a similarly-bladey CB head.  And I agree with @MtlJeff, fliers are generally not a thing.  When I see someone complain about a flier, I generally think "oh, they actually hit one in the middle of the head for once!".  I see it every day in the bay.  The strike point shows they are missing the middle consistently and then they catch one exactly in the middle, with tour pro level dynamic loft (i.e. around 22-23* of loft on a 6i) and they suddenly gain 15 yards.  No, it's not the hot faces, it's you actually did what you were supposed to do for once.  I hit Pro 225, i525, Forged Tec, and Rogue ST Pro over the last 2 weekends and had very predictable landing yardages.  The clubs I struggled with the most regarding getting a heater or a weird short ball were with the Pro 223, T100, and Miura TC201...but hot faces bro.

 

Slightly related tangent: this always reminds of a guy I fit and I knew it was him because of what else he had in the bag loudly proclaiming on a local golf forum I frequented how he bought p790s on the reco of the fitter (me) and proceeded to have "distance control issues" and was hitting them "too far" that "adversely hurt his scores".  The guy hit 20 balls with a baby fade right on top of each other +/- 5 yards in the bay and was over the moon.  8 months later they are posting how they are on the hunt for a small headed CB to remove fliers, because after magic-penciling away 10 shots off their handicap for the internet vanity points from when I saw them, they became a scratch player and need superior iron control because these irons supposedly hurt their scores 🙃.  I don't know what way going from 10 to a 0 is hurting your scores when the only major change you made was a lie angle change on the putter and new irons, but hey, you want that fake internet clout, all the power to ya.  I take what I read everywhere with a MASSIVE grain of salt and assume that everyone online, including myself, are gigantic hacks with zero equipment knowledge until proven innocent.

Love that post. 
 

I used to be a fitter too and pretty much agree with everything you’ve put down, and I had to laugh at the magic-pencilling. So true. Annoyingly, the company social media guidelines always forbid me to reply… probably saved my job though. 
 

I’ve also had the experience of ‘I only play blades’ guys coming in, proving to them that they can get better results with a cavity, especially in the long irons, and seeing them leave with a 3-W set of blades, often with shafts which were too stiff.

 

For my own gear, I’d rather look at what they’re playing on the Seniors or LPGA. So many beautiful ball-strikers, so few demanding clubs. 

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14 hours ago, MtlJeff said:

I've played everything from blades to SGIs , spectacularly I might add.....

 

I don't think there's much advantage to blades it's all personal preference.

 

Anyone who says "hot spots" are a problem I usually assume is a poor ballstriker. 

This is the most contentious topic.  I've found hot spots a problem on some SGI irons like Burner 2.0.  We can agree to disagree but I believe.  

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1 minute ago, WristySwing said:

 

There is no convincing data I have come across that can prove a hot spot. Get an Iron Byron out with the juiced club out there, I don't care what it is, a T400, a PXG, a Rogue Max ST, whatever.  Have it hit the club every mm across the face and prove a hot spot, then I'll believe it.  Places like MGS and characters like Rick Shiels (the shock, clickbait YT personalities) would be all over this.  They have enough resources to do this, yet none of them do it.  They should.  Until then, I chalk it up to user error, I don't care how good you are.  I see tour pros air mail greens once a week on TV, sometimes you just turn the face down, compress it more than normal, there's a little moisture on the ball etc.  Nothing that cannot be explained if a monitor was there to see exactly what wrong instead of the mystical "hot spot" that nobody can prove where it is, how big it is, or how hot it actually is.

Id love to get an iron byron to prove but sadly dont have access. EVERY year i test irons to see if i can move to something that offers more, and every year its the same thing. Anything with thin hot faces gives TERRIBLE  front to back dispersion, and ball speed discrepancies. There is plenty of other data out there that suggest the same things, so to suggest an iron byron is needed seems excessive. The most damming is the usage on professional mens tours. Less than 2% of pros play something all the way through the short irons like an apex pro, t200, p770/790, etc. if there was SUCH an advantage…. This wouldnt happen….As someone pointed out to the womens and senior tours…. Maybe… because of the slower speeds they might see a slight benefit to added speeds, but IMO thats a tradeoff, and some are willing to make that. Im not here to say someones experience of never seeing jumpers is wrong, so id appreciate the same respect when I and many others say we have seen them, time and time again. Its not being about right or wrong, thats for each individual to decide with their own experiences. 

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12 hours ago, Douglsss said:

Agreed. Was fit for ZX5's at one point and hitting an 8 iron 160 to catching a heater and it goes 200 was not very fun on course. Switch to the ZX7's and haven't had any issues like that.

 

I currently play the zx5s and played the z765s before that. I have never hit a flier with either set.  I have NEVER had anything that resembles a 40 yard flier😂
Do you usually hit them off the toe and finally hit one out of the middle? 

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13 hours ago, Douglsss said:

Agreed. Was fit for ZX5's at one point and hitting an 8 iron 160 to catching a heater and it goes 200 was not very fun on course. Switch to the ZX7's and haven't had any issues like 

Edited by mukster
Duplicate

Callaway Epic Flash Subzero Driver, 9 degrees, Diamana S+ shaft

Mizuno ST180 5 wood

Ping G425 Max 7 wood
Srixon ZX4 4 iron
Srixon ZX5 irons 5-AW, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120 shafts

Cleveland Zipcore 54* wedge
Cleveland RTX 58* full face wedge
Cleveland VP Milled No. 3 putter
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13 hours ago, Douglsss said:
Edited by mukster
Duplicate

Callaway Epic Flash Subzero Driver, 9 degrees, Diamana S+ shaft

Mizuno ST180 5 wood

Ping G425 Max 7 wood
Srixon ZX4 4 iron
Srixon ZX5 irons 5-AW, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120 shafts

Cleveland Zipcore 54* wedge
Cleveland RTX 58* full face wedge
Cleveland VP Milled No. 3 putter
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13 hours ago, Douglsss said:
Edited by mukster
Triplicate. Crappy hotel wifi

Callaway Epic Flash Subzero Driver, 9 degrees, Diamana S+ shaft

Mizuno ST180 5 wood

Ping G425 Max 7 wood
Srixon ZX4 4 iron
Srixon ZX5 irons 5-AW, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120 shafts

Cleveland Zipcore 54* wedge
Cleveland RTX 58* full face wedge
Cleveland VP Milled No. 3 putter
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So far this discussion has brought up two things I rarely see on this site.

 

1. Outside preference and for maximum performance(however we define that) there seems on average to be no reason to play blades. That leads to the second question of if I'm the worlds best ballstriker, why play blades if I gain any performance with non blades?

 

2. Hot Spots

This feels like a more contentious topic than blades/non-blades

I will admit I'm not the best ball striker in the world. Also, I learned how to swing a club using a sandwedge - essentially a blade. When getting fit for my first set of clubs, trying to hit shovels in comparison to a traditional sand wedge - I struggled. It could be that's where that "hot face" lives. As many point out, I'm correctly hitting the spot on the face required for the best strike too infrequently - which i have now figured out is my preference for smaller club faces. Even the switch to ZX7's was night and day difference of quality of strike and finding the correct spot on the club to hit. I suspect this is also why certain blades seemed "easy" to hit. 

 

Last bit:

If I'm a fitter and someone is struggling with GI strikes, is it common for a fitter to suggest a "less forgiving" iron? It seems conventual wisdom points to if you can't hit a GI how can you hit a players iron or even blade?

 

18 minutes ago, mukster said:

I currently play the zx5s and played the z765s before that. I have never hit a flier with either set.  I have NEVER had anything that resembles a 40 yard flier😂
Do you usually hit them off the toe and finally hit one out of the middle? 

It's actually pretty accurate. With the larger clubheads, I would hit a lot of toe shots - to the point of almost missing the ball. The smaller the club head I would use, the more consistent my strikes became. I don't chalk this up to preference though. If I got better results and consistence with SGI, from a performance standpoint I'd take those all day but it just wasn't the case for me. Like others have said here, I don't prefer blades - I just happen to get the best performance out of them for my swing. Maybe that's the case for Rory/Tiger/blade playing pro. This is just a much rarer topic in terms of why anyone selects clubs.

 

 

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There's literally no advantage to blades. However, if you're a good ball striker (an actual good ball striker ... not some 15 who thinks just because you don't whiff that means you must be a good ball striker) there's not a huge disadvantage either. 

 

Play what you want to play, but let's call a spade a spade here. The lengths people go to rationalize their decisions is really something sometimes. When in reality, the only rationale needed is "I play X because it's my game, my money, and that's what I want to do."

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and the 40 yard fliers are absolutely from finally finding the middle of the face. Something the vast majority of people out there just don't do very often. 

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Cobra RadSpeed (9°) - Fujikura Ventus Black 6X

Cobra SpeedZone Big Tour (13.5°) - Fujikura ATMOS TS Black 7X

Cobra SpeedZone Tour (17.5°) - Fujikura ATMOS TS Black 7X

TaylorMade Rescue 11 TP (16°) - Aldila RIP 85X

Titleist U500 (2) - Fujikura ATMOS TS Black 95X

Titleist 620CB (3-6) - True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Titleist 620MB (7-9) - True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Titleist Vokey SM8 (48.10F, 54.12D, 60.12D) - True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Taylormade Spider X #3

Titleist ProV1x

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When i started playing blades and smaller players irons my scoring went lower actually. The gi stuff ballooned too many of my short iron approaches. The feel is also better. If i could control curving the ball the way i wish i could it would be even better. Todays blades are actually plenty forgiving for almost anyone but not enough people try them because they have bad stigma from blades of the long past. I find mizuno blades to be the most forgiving out of all so far. 

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