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At what point is playing blades an advantage?


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1 hour ago, chisag said:

 

... Good catch! 

I only knew because it had already caught me out earlier in the evening 😉

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When you can control spin (while not absolutely necessary blades tend to have more evenly distributed weight top to bottom and side to side so flight is determined in a sense by how you hit the ball instead of how the club responds to the hit, that is, not “biased” as that word in used for golf clubs) and when you are trying to learn to swing well enough to control spin, you might benefit from blades.

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1 hour ago, Red4282 said:

Like clockwork, another site has released a video on this very subject this morning. Its pretty reasonable, and accurate in my opinion. 

Saw that.  Made some good points  but overlooked that there is no club that will make a bad player a good player.  Can't buy a game from a golf shop or fitter.  Have to develop skills no matter what club is used then it becomes a personal preference

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The comments along the lines of “They don’t fix a bad swing”, “you can still hit bad shots with a cavity” etc… Obviously all those things are true, but they’re a bit of a (hate this term, but..) straw man argument.
 

To highlight a few things from the Ricky article:

 

All the numbers as far as distances – everything you look at as far as when you’re testing irons. They were very consistent.

 

I’d see some, if I hit the MB or the CB a little thin, distances could drop anywhere from 7, 8, 9 yards. I was seeing these more in the 4, 5, 6 [range]. A few yards here and there can make a big difference.

 

Overall, I just saw more forgiveness, but at the same time, keeping the characteristics that I want with flight and spin.

 

It feels like there’s a lot of mass behind it, but at the same time get a little more forgiveness, why make it harder on yourself?


Now, if you don’t think he’s just giving the company line and he actually believes it, then it’s all very sensible. 

 

Some imply blades are more consistent; that it’s better to miss short; that you can’t get the same characteristics with a cavity; that blades are beneficial because they make you focus, but Fowler seems to disagree. 

Edited by Wayside
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41 minutes ago, Wayside said:

The comments along the lines of “They don’t fix a bad swing”, “you can still hit bad shots with a cavity” etc… Obviously all those things are true, but they’re a bit of a (hate this term, but..) straw man argument.
 

To highlight a few things from the Ricky article:

 

All the numbers as far as distances – everything you look at as far as when you’re testing irons. They were very consistent.

 

I’d see some, if I hit the MB or the CB a little thin, distances could drop anywhere from 7, 8, 9 yards. I was seeing these more in the 4, 5, 6 [range]. A few yards here and there can make a big difference.

 

Overall, I just saw more forgiveness, but at the same time, keeping the characteristics that I want with flight and spin.

 

It feels like there’s a lot of mass behind it, but at the same time get a little more forgiveness, why make it harder on yourself?


Now, if you don’t think he’s just giving the company line and he actually believes it, then it’s all very sensible. 

 

Some imply blades are more consistent; that it’s better to miss short; that you can’t get the same characteristics with a cavity; that blades are beneficial because they make you focus, but Fowler seems to disagree. 

Can fowler even hit a green these days?

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18 minutes ago, MelloYello said:

 

I've actually always been curious about the negative side of increasing MOI (and whether there is such a thing as "unwanted" MOI). Let's be honest, there were for a very long time always "Tour" versions of clubs (especially woods) that featured smaller heads, different CGs, open face angles, and "preferred" aesthetic upgrades over the standard production models. For example, I remember Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim and Paul Casey all playing "tour-only" 380cc drivers in the Dymo and VR era. Nike even made the 420cc glued-hosel VR Tour head available to the public to go alongside the normal 460cc VR drivers.  

 

It's interesting that people never talk about whether there's a downside to forgiveness from the perspective of what the player experiences. If we make it so that a ball has to do more work to turn the head, it would stand to reason that we ourselves also have to put in an increased amount of work to manipulate face angle through the motion of our swings. It seems reasonable to say a larger, boxier head might swing differently. I don't know how safe it is to assume the more stable club is always the preferred option--especially for players hitting the center of the face who might not see a ton of difference by way of upgrading a club's "forgiveness" versus say, increasing workability. 

 

In short, is it not fair to ask whether the MOI question is less about maximizing a number representing stability as opposed to finding the right MOI for a given player? 

 

When I see that a large percentage of great golfers use blades despite them being "less forgiving" and I even hear someone like Dustin Johnson commenting that his CBs were going "too straight," I have to wonder about increasing MOI and whether it's always a good thing, especially where we expect to hit a club solid (7-Pw).

 

After all, by how many casually define stability as "forgiveness" (which seems to inherently protect Proximity such as in your example above) it can pretty much never be bad. I can see why people who back themselves into a logical corner by talking about forgiveness as only being constructive can ultimately find it illogical that anyone anywhere (including TW) plays with something other than a CB. 

 

...and yet tons of players opt not to go with CBs, even players at the highest levels who you'd think would care the most about potential benefits. 

 

SO maybe we should stop saying "forgiveness" and instead talk about "stability" as accept that it's only 1 variable of the fitting process. There will always be trade-offs between variables like looks, feel, turf interaction, stability, workability, etc. 

 

Just something to think about. 

 

.

All good points, and just like mentioned in the video, in lofts above a traditional 8 iron, cb, blade, hollow, it really doesnt matter when it comes to “forgiveness”. Loft overrides all those other design characteristics and dominates the ball flight behavior. Also mentioned is that almost NOBODY is playing a 3,4,5 iron blade, and even the best eventually combo to something more forgiving there. 

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Adding to what @chisag posted above, part of the reason we may see more pros with blades in their bags is just because that's what they grew up playing and they don't feel comfortable changing.  20 years ago it was a badge of honor to play blades.  Younger players aren't gravitating towards blades like they once did, so maybe the percentage of blade users will wither away in the coming decade(s).  Just speculation but there could be something to it.

 

-Mag

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On 9/11/2022 at 8:42 AM, WristySwing said:

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. 

 

THANK YOU !!! clappy.gif

 

It is FAR more likely this is the case,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

and/or there is some sort of weather (read wind) shift during that shot (or the player misread the wind in the first place), and/or the player hit the ball higher on the club face, so it flew higher than normal and spun less,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, like ummmmmm,,,,,,,,, errrrr,,,,,,,,, a (real) FLIER - like out of the rough. You know, "hi launch and low spin" equals what again ? Oh, right, DISTANCE.

 

Now, please tell us about the 10+ handicapper who hits 6 or 7 different drivers,,,, and picks the one he got absolutely the best result with,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ON ONE SHOT.

 

The rest of the shots with that driver went all over the place,,,,,,,,, and 1, or more, of the others was 2-3 yards shorter but much more consistently struck and accurate. :classic_laugh:

 

Golfers be cray cray. 🤦‍♀️

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1 hour ago, MelloYello said:

 

I've actually always been curious about the negative side of increasing MOI (and whether there is such a thing as "unwanted" MOI). Let's be honest, there were for a very long time always "Tour" versions of clubs (especially woods) that featured smaller heads, different CGs, open face angles, and "preferred" aesthetic upgrades over the standard production models. For example, I remember Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim and Paul Casey all playing "tour-only" 380cc drivers in the Dymo and VR era. Nike even made the 420cc glued-hosel VR Tour head available to the public to go alongside the normal 460cc VR drivers.  

 

It's interesting that people never talk about whether there's a downside to forgiveness from the perspective of what the player experiences. If we make it so that a ball has to do more work to turn the head, it would stand to reason that we ourselves also have to put in an increased amount of work to manipulate face angle through the motion of our swings. It seems reasonable to say a larger, boxier head might swing differently. I don't know how safe it is to assume the more stable club is always the preferred option--especially for players hitting the center of the face who might not see a ton of difference by way of upgrading a club's "forgiveness" versus say, increasing workability. 

 

In short, is it not fair to ask whether the MOI question is less about maximizing a number representing stability as opposed to finding the right MOI for a given player? 

 

When I see that a large percentage of great golfers use blades despite them being "less forgiving" and I even hear someone like Dustin Johnson commenting that his CBs were going "too straight," I have to wonder about increasing MOI and whether it's always a good thing, especially where we expect to hit a club solid (7-Pw).

 

In the way that many people casually (or carelessly) define forgiveness (as something that inherently protects Proximity, such as in your example above) it can never be bad. I can see why people who back themselves into a logical corner by talking about forgiveness as only being constructive can ultimately find it illogical that anyone anywhere (including TW) plays with something other than a CB. 

 

...and yet tons of players opt not to go with CBs, even players at the highest levels who you'd think would care the most about potential benefits. 

 

This logic, borne out of my experience, leads me to think maybe we should stop saying "forgiveness" entirely? Maybe we should instead talk about "stability" and accept that it's only 1 variable within a multivariable fitting process where an embarrassingly large number of things end up being surprisingly subjective. While there are sometimes clear advantages to a certain design feature (e.g. a lower CG for a slower swing speed), there will always be trade-offs when we have so much to consider: looks, feel, turf interaction, stability, workability, course conditions, distances, the golfer's abilities to generate ball speed, launch angle, etc. 

 

And maybe rather than obsessing about what seems on paper to be optimal (at least according to a simplistic analysis), we ought to instead ask why players don't always prefer to use that "optimal" equipment and whether it's this argument about what's optimal that isn't wrong as opposed to the players themselves. 

 

Just something to think about. 

 

.

Yup, the downside to an overly ‘stable’ club is that it’s arguably somewhat harder to work the ball. The typical MB shape is felt to be better for controlling spin than a perimeter weighted club with weight moved away from the centre of the head. Some also claim that the feel of the clubhead (both feedback and sense of clubface position,etc) is better when the mass is in the centre. 
 

It’s why so many OEMs have had variations on the T-Zoid type design, where they try to combine peripheral and central weighting with a pad behind the centre of the face, and why more modern shotmakers clubs (like P7TW) go ever further the other way by putting extra weight behind the centre in the form of tungsten slugs. 

As @chisag says, if you grew up/learned with blades then you’d maybe need to change your technique to get the same degree of movement on the ball, which is a no go for many. But some will make that move when the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Persimmon and balata were better for feel and control than the more modern options, but their other disadvantages saw their demise. Same with small Ti drivers, they didn’t last that long. 

 

Theres is an issue of how offset and head size affects the way the clubface rotates, but that’s not really that relevant to this discussion as we’re talking about when blades are an advantage, not when chunky heads are a disadvantage.

 

I personally feel blades are only an advantage when you’re totally competent at working the ball, and working it doesn’t impact the quality of your strike. And even then, only if you’re struggling to work it enough with a players cavity.

 

As has been said, Shane Lowry is proof that modern shotmakers can do without blades, but if he’d been born 10 years earlier he might be a committed blade guy 🤷‍♂️ 

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34 minutes ago, Dpavs said:

Grew up having to play blades? Not sure if serious or on the Super Seniors tour now.  😝

 

If you grew up during the 1960s you played blades.  Every iron from every OEM was a blade.  There was no alternative.

 

And some of us "super seniors" still prefer to play blades regardless of vintage simply because we enjoy them.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dpavs said:

Grew up having to play blades? Not sure if serious or on the Super Seniors tour now.  😝

I grew up in the 70/80s. My first set was second hand. Laminate woods, blades, blade putter. Big, heavy PU golf bag. Fur head covers that weighed about 3lbs when they got wet. 
 

Then I upgraded to Persimmons and cavity backs. Got a metal wood when I was 18 with a graphite shaft and I couldn’t get peace at the range to use it as everyone wanted a try. 
 

It was… character building. Young uns these days, don’t know they’re born. 

Edited by Wayside
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The only thing I can offer is that modern blades are a far cry from old school blades.  My first good set of clubs were late 60's Haig Ultras.  They are about the same size as Muira Baby Blades, but not as well engineered.  Modern blades that I've admired are longer from heel to toe, so the cg has moved away from the hosel, and the cg is way more center face.  Play what you like, but do not kid yourself with the "DJ plays these, sign me up".

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9 hours ago, MelloYello said:

 

I've actually always been curious about the negative side of increasing MOI (and whether there is such a thing as "unwanted" MOI). Let's be honest, there were for a very long time always "Tour" versions of clubs (especially woods) that featured smaller heads, different CGs, open face angles, and "preferred" aesthetic upgrades over the standard production models. For example, I remember Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim and Paul Casey all playing "tour-only" 380cc drivers in the Dymo and VR era. Nike even made the 420cc glued-hosel VR Tour head available to the public to go alongside the normal 460cc VR drivers.  

 

It's interesting that people never talk about whether there's a downside to forgiveness from the perspective of what the player experiences. If we make it so that a ball has to do more work to turn the head, it would stand to reason that we ourselves also have to put in an increased amount of work to manipulate face angle through the motion of our swings. It seems reasonable to say a larger, boxier head might swing differently. I don't know how safe it is to assume the more stable club is always the preferred option--especially for players hitting the center of the face who might not see a ton of difference by way of upgrading a club's "forgiveness" versus say, increasing workability. 

 

In short, is it not fair to ask whether the MOI question is less about maximizing a number representing stability as opposed to finding the right MOI for a given player? 

 

When I see that a large percentage of great golfers use blades despite them being "less forgiving" and I even hear someone like Dustin Johnson commenting that his CBs were going "too straight," I have to wonder about increasing MOI and whether it's always a good thing, especially where we expect to hit a club solid (7-Pw).

 

In the way that many people casually (or carelessly) define forgiveness (as something that inherently protects Proximity, such as in your example above) it can never be bad. I can see why people who back themselves into a logical corner by talking about forgiveness as only being constructive can ultimately find it illogical that anyone anywhere (including TW) plays with something other than a CB. 

 

...and yet tons of players opt not to go with CBs, even players at the highest levels who you'd think would care the most about potential benefits. 

 

This logic, borne out of my experience, leads me to think maybe we should stop saying "forgiveness" entirely? Maybe we should instead talk about "stability" and accept that it's only 1 variable within a multivariable fitting process where an embarrassingly large number of things end up being surprisingly subjective. While there are sometimes clear advantages to a certain design feature (e.g. a lower CG for a slower swing speed), there will always be trade-offs when we have so much to consider: looks, feel, turf interaction, stability, workability, course conditions, distances, the golfer's abilities to generate ball speed, launch angle, etc. 

 

And maybe rather than obsessing about what seems on paper to be optimal (at least according to a simplistic analysis), we ought to instead ask why players don't always prefer to use that "optimal" equipment and whether it's this argument about what's optimal that isn't wrong as opposed to the players themselves. 

 

Just something to think about. 

 

 Really well said. You hit on nuance that never ever gets spoken about.

 Really well said. You hit on nuances that never ever gets spoken about.

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Good friend of mine who isn't an equipment junkie asked if his clubs were muscle backs like mine.

 

I have a 770/790 blend (after playing OG CB 770s for a few years). He has older TM Tour Preferred CBs, good solid club but the 5-7 could use a bit of tech for sure with his strike pattern. 

 

We always have at least $5 on a fun match, and I have hit quite a few greens I had no business hitting with my P790 6 and 7 iron this year on less then ideal strikes. 

 

Needless to say when club pro tells my friend he needs new irons, I continue to tell him he's fine with the set he has, no need for any "musclebacks" like mine. Hey, I like my $5. 

 

To me the only point of hitting blades is for the fun of it. There are no strokes gained with blades below 40d loft really to be had over the course of a season for us mortals and most tour pro's really.

 

 

 

Edited by bvanlieu
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15 hours ago, Dpavs said:

Grew up having to play blades? Not sure if serious or on the Super Seniors tour now.  😝

 

I'm 42. When I learned how to play golf in the 80s in the UK the only real choice for beginners who wanted cheap clubs were blades. Pings, Silver Scots etc existed, but not for the pocket money I had. 

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14 hours ago, anser85029 said:

 

If you grew up during the 1960s you played blades.  Every iron from every OEM was a blade.  There was no alternative.

 

And some of us "super seniors" still prefer to play blades regardless of vintage simply because we enjoy them.

 

 

Well that was my point right?  Those who grew up in the 60's/70's do not fit the age demographic for the PGA tour.

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14 hours ago, Wayside said:

 

I grew up in the 70/80s. My first set was second hand. Laminate woods, blades, blade putter. Big, heavy PU golf bag. Fur head covers that weighed about 3lbs when they got wet. 
 

Then I upgraded to Persimmons and cavity backs. Got a metal wood when I was 18 with a graphite shaft and I couldn’t get peace at the range to use it as everyone wanted a try. 
 

It was… character building. Young uns these days, don’t know they’re born. 

I grew up in the 60's/70's and my experience was much the same to be honest. $15 dollar first set... old persimmons and rusty blades... a few had hickory shafts...lol! But I don't think our age bracket is demographically a fit for the PGA tour, which is what I was trying to say. I think guys\gals growing up in the late 80's and 90's had plenty of used cavity backs to choose from if they looked around.

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33 minutes ago, bvanlieu said:

asked if his clubs were muscle backs like mine

Your hollow player's distance irons are not musclebacks. ???

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9 minutes ago, Dpavs said:

I grew up in the 60's/70's and my experience was much the same to be honest. $15 dollar first set... old persimmons and rusty blades... a few had hickory shafts...lol! But I don't think our age bracket is demographically a fit for the PGA tour, which is what I was trying to say. I think guys\gals growing up in the late 80's and 90's had plenty of used cavity backs to choose from if they looked around.

Hey, I'm only 46! I’m not quite prehistoric. I do feel it though!

 

I don’t know if anyone was meaning to suggest people ‘had to’ play blades, but some will have done. Some of the juniors at my club play them. 12 year-olds fatting and thinning it with P7MBs 🤦🏻‍♂️  But if it works for Charlie Woods…

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2 minutes ago, Ger21 said:

Your hollow player's distance irons are not musclebacks. ???

 

Correct. If you inferred that from what I wrote perhaps I was too subtle. I want my friend to continue thinking they are MB's and hard to hit so he doesn't upgrade his gear. $5 is $5 🙂 

 

It also goes to the overall trend of MFGs shaping clubs to be less chunky, easier on the eyes, thinner soles yet still being relatively forgiving and retaining ball speed better and more consistently than before. 

 

Every MFG has at least 1 model (some 2-3) that are so friendly and anyone from a scratch to 15 cap can game.

 

 

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19 hours ago, MelloYello said:

It's interesting that people never talk about whether there's a downside to forgiveness

 

Freely admit that I've not read all 8 pages, and have no plan to, so this with apologies if it's a repeat....

 

There *is* a downside to CBs that's been demonstrated with robot testing.  On good hits, they produce a larger dispersion pattern than what you would see on same contact with blades.

 

For a great many golfers, that won't come into play.  For some, it does.  <shrug>

 

Generally agree with your entire post, but felt like commenting on that specific point.

 

 

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2 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

 

Freely admit that I've not read all 8 pages, and have no plan to, so this with apologies if it's a repeat....

 

There *is* a downside to CBs that's been demonstrated with robot testing.  On good hits, they produce a larger dispersion pattern than what you would see on same contact with blades.

 

For a great many golfers, that won't come into play.  For some, it does.  <shrug>

 

Generally agree with your entire post, but felt like commenting on that specific point.

 

 

Typically for this subject, that’s been ‘proven’ both ways. 
 

I think a lot of it has to do with the models they pick for testing and comparison. And maybe a little to do with what point they’re trying to prove 🙂

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1 hour ago, Wayside said:

Typically for this subject, that’s been ‘proven’ both ways. 
 

I think a lot of it has to do with the models they pick for testing and comparison. And maybe a little to do with what point they’re trying to prove 🙂

 

FWIW, the test to which I refer was presented as producing a surprising result.  The inference being, it was not a test such as you're describing.

 

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Driver: TM 300 Mini 11.5*, Tour Blue 85 X, 44" -or- Cobra Fly-Z+, Phenom NL 60 X, 44.5"

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, NV105 X
Hybrid:  Cobra King Tec 2h, MMT 80 S -or- TEE CBX 17*, HZRDUS 85 6.0

2 iron:  Mizuno MP-20 HMB, Steelfiber i95 S, 39.5"

Irons grab bag:  1-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 1-PW Golden Ram TW282, RIP Tour 115 R; 3-AW Pinhawk Vertex irons, Apollo std stepped S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S -or- Ram TW282 SW -or- Ram TW276 SW
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34" -or- Rife Bimini, 34"
Balls: Chrome Soft, Kirkland Signature 3pc, Srixon Q Star Tour

Grip preference: various GripMaster leather options

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      Nick Hardy's custom Swag putter - 2022 RSM Classic
       
       
       
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      • 18 replies
    • 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open - Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
      General Albums
       
      2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open - Monday #1
      2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open - Monday #2
       
       
       
      WITB Albums
       
      Johannes Veerman - WITB - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      Richy Werenski - WITB - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      Danny Lee - WITB - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      Ben Kern - So. Texas PGA Section Champ - WITB - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      Justin Rose (mini WTB) custom JR irons - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
      Carson Young's custom Cameron - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      New Mitsubishi Tensei K series shaft - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      Cameron putter - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      Garrick Higgo’s custom Cameron - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      Tyler Duncan's custom Cameron putter - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
      New Super Stroke Zenergy grips - 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open
       
       
       
       
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      • 8 replies
    • The 2022 CJ Cup at Congaree Golf Club – Discussion Thread
      General Galleries
       
      The 2022 CJ Cup – Tuesday Pt. 1 The 2022 CJ Cup – Wednesday Pt. 1  
      WITB
       
      Tommy Fleetwood WITB Shane Lowry WITB – 2022 CJ Cup  
       
       
      Pullout Threads
       
      Scottie Scheffler's custom Scotty Cameron mallet putter Kevin Kisner's new Callaway Apex TCB irons (w/ Nippon prototype shafts) Congaree hole-by-hole walking tour (hole Nos. 1-11, and 18) New Bettinardi Hexperimental Proto mallet putters – 2022 CJ Cup Tommy Fleetwood's custom Scotty Cameron Buttonback Masterful putter – 2022 CJ Cup New Srixon ZX5 MKII irons, and ZX MKII utility – 2022 CJ Cup Cameron Young's new Titleist TSR2+ 3-wood, TSR2 5-wood, SuperStroke putter grip – 2022 CJ Cup LA Golf P-Series 135 "Tom Kim" backup putter shafts – 2022 CJ Cup New Srixon ZX MKII fairway wood – 2022 CJ Cup  
       
       
       
      • 4 replies
    • Ping G430 LST and Max drivers, G430 Max fairway wood & G430 hybrid  – 2022 Shriners Children's Open
      Ping G430 LST and Max drivers, Ping G430 Max fairway wood – 2022 Shriners Children's Open
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      • 639 replies
    • New Srixon ZX7 MKII irons – 2022 Shriners Children's Open
      New Srixon ZX7 MKII irons – 2022 Shriners Children's Open
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 200 replies

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