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What to expect when switching from game improvement to player's irons?


rmbudd3

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I have a set of callaway x-16's that I am thinking about trading in for Taylormade's rac forged tp's. I have several reasons for the change. I am a 12 handicap and I feel that the x-16's hit the ball so straight that I have to make dramatic swing changes to work the ball, this causes my driver and wood shots to fluxuate too much. I also have x-stiff shafts in my woods and would like to try x-stiff irons. I also think the x-16's launch too high and balloon on me. My question is, what type of changes could I expect from this type of players iron. The last thing I want to do is switch irons and have my score go up. I also don't want to shank balls off the smaller head. I like to hit the ball hard, but I have noticed that other hard hitters like players irons, i.e. John Daly plays TM rac mb's. Any comments, or do I just need a professional clubfitting?

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I'm on a crusade tonight.

 

Why do you want to give up clubs you hit straight and high?

 

Why do you want to 'work' the ball? 'Working' basically means mishitting in a controlled manner. Isn't it better to hit your irons straight?

 

You don't mention how long you hit your driver and other woods, except that you want to hit X in your irons. But why? The only reason I can think of to hit X shafts is if your current ones are out of control to the left. I was using an X on my driver, but there is no way I would want to use one on my irons.

 

So, the changes you might expect are: mishits on your long irons that you wouldn't notice now, but which result in a shot falling 50 yards short. You will feel a mishit in your hands. You will hit fat more often because the sole will dig. You will look at your club after every shot to see where you hit.

 

An X stiff iron shaft will make you push the ball straight right more often. I draw most everything, which is why I went X. If you don't, you will be wide right.

 

I'm not saying that off your handicap you shouldn't be playing X stiff shafts and player irons, because I was. But I'm 6'4 and 250. I'm a really crappy putter and chipper and yet I can still whack the ball.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

Mavrik Fuji Pro

G410/Epic Flash/Fli Hi Hybrids/woods
PXG Gen3 irons
Cleveland wedges
Odyssey Rossie OG 

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I think if you switch to "players" irons your score will go up.

 

One of the most enlightening quotes I ever heard on the subject was this: "Most players can't play blades, and those who can, probably shouldn't". I believe it was Dave Pelz who said that but I'm not 100% sure.

 

Now, there is much difference between a players' irons such as the TM Rac TP and a blade, but no matter how far you go in that direction expect less distance, especially on off center hits, and less overall forgiveness.

 

The advantages of players' clubs are more workability and trajectory control, and better touch when using pw,9,8,7-irons to chip around the greens. However, I would go so far as to say that "feel" is no longer an issue because there are plenty of tweener irons with great feel, so feel is no longer the exclusive domain of players' irons.

 

IMHO you lose out in the exchange. There are plenty of clubs with excellent forgiveness that are still workable. E.g. the TM Rac LT2.

 

Empirically speaking, I've played with blades (Cleveland TA-1) and a mixed set (TA-1/TA-3). And currently I play the LT2. I find that my ability to work the ball with the LT2 is just as good, if not better than with my old set, except overall distance and distance control is much better. Off center hits still go great. Plus, the confidence to know that I don't need to fear severe hand pain if I miss the middle allows me to swing with more confidence to work the ball.

 

All in all, my advice would be something just short of a players' iron.

 

Check out these tweener irons (not players' irons but not game improvement either):

 

Taylor Made LT2

Callaway X-16 Pro or X-18 Pro

Nike Slingshot Tour

Cleveland CG4 Tour

Titleist 775

 

I'm sure there are others but these are just what comes to mind first.

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I don't think it's too bad an idea if you don't mind working with them at first. When I transitioned from a set of Callaway X-12s to Mizuno MP-30s, I struggled briefly with them...especially the long irons. But after a couple months of playing with them, my ball striking was better than it had ever been, they basically forced me to tighten up my iron game a bit (but I was prepared to struggle at first).

 

I ultimately replaced the short irons with MP-33s and played a combo set for awhile. Now, with a 4 month old and no time to practice, I've switched to a set of i5s. Like 'em so far.

Titleist TSR2 10*, Ventus Blue
Titleist TSR2 15*, Ventus Blue
Titleist TSR2 18*, GD IZ
Titleist T100s, 4-GW, PX
Vokey SM9 54, 58
Scotty Super Rat 1
Pro V1x

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i wouldn't even consider buying any new irons if you don't always, or nearly always, hit the middle of the face. it annoys me that so many people have this misconception that 'players' clubs have much smaller heads. yes, it is true that they aren't as bulky and the cavity usually isn't very large but when was the last time you hit the ball with the back of the club!? what i'm trying to say is that the length of the hitting area on the face (between the two tram-lines) is almost exactly the same between clubs such as x-16's and Titleist 690.mb or any other blade.

 

this is why i said you shouldn't consider buying new irons unless you middle each shot. huge cavity backs will 'mask' a bad shot where a 'players' cavity back iron will be more punishing. so, if you think you are going to be banging balls of the hozel (shanking) then no new irons can help with that, but if it's a smaller head you are concerned about then just take into account what i said before about the size/width of the face!

 

coming from a set of x-16's you will probably find a set of x-tours easy to get along with but still being 'workable'.

 

Dan.

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As the others have mentioned, when switching to 'players' clubs (i.e. blades/musclebacks) your score will initially be higher and your ball striking not be as crisp.

 

When I did the transition from oversize irons into blades, I struggled to hit anywhere near regular distances with anything greater than a 7 iron. This was because I was coming on an inside path on the downswing and striking the ball on the right side of the clubface (which, by the way, is not what you want to be doing on a brand new set of Nike forged blades).

 

The great advantage to using blades/musclebacks, is that you will be forced to correct any swing flaws. If you don't, you will most certainly be punished in the distance department.

 

To be honest, even though I have developed a solid swing, I still find it difficult to hit 3-4 iron consistantly. Sure, I do hit crisp long irons occasionally, but if it is only approximately 60% of the time, that is 40% of the time where you are going to be scrambling to save par.

 

I guess it really comes down to self-assessment and what you wish to achieve from golf.

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The major difference with the game improvement genra is their resistance to inertial changes. They have a high moment of inertia, so they help self-align through the swing. There are good and bad things about this. The good thing is that really bad hackers with horrible alignment still manage to hit consistently decent shots. The bad thing is that they will never break 80. [Emphasis added]

 

Couldn't disagree with you more. There are plenty of tour players using tweener type clubs which are closer to game improvement than they are to players' clubs. I'm pretty sure at least some of those guys manage to break 80 from time to time.

 

I've broken 80 many a time with my LT2's. So I would avoid making such strong statements as, "they will never break 80" lest you enjoy the taste of foot in mouth.

 

P.S.

 

Annika uses X-18's and I'm sure she manages to break 80 every so often.

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The major difference with the game improvement genra is their resistance to inertial changes. They have a high moment of inertia, so they help self-align through the swing. There are good and bad things about this. The good thing is that really bad hackers with horrible alignment still manage to hit consistently decent shots. The bad thing is that they will never break 80. [Emphasis added]

 

Couldn't disagree with you more. There are plenty of tour players using tweener type clubs which are closer to game improvement than they are to players' clubs. I'm pretty sure at least some of those guys manage to break 80 from time to time.

 

I've broken 80 many a time with my LT2's. So I would avoid making such strong statements as, "they will never break 80" lest you enjoy the taste of foot in mouth.

 

P.S.

 

Annika uses X-18's and I'm sure she manages to break 80 every so often.

I regularly play with a guy that uses Callaway Fusion irons. I can't remember the last time he DIDN'T break 80.

Titleist TSR2 10*, Ventus Blue
Titleist TSR2 15*, Ventus Blue
Titleist TSR2 18*, GD IZ
Titleist T100s, 4-GW, PX
Vokey SM9 54, 58
Scotty Super Rat 1
Pro V1x

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I would say that it depends on what type of 12 handicap you are. I'm a 12 handicap, but probably the most inconsistent 12-er you've ever seen. So, when I made the move to forged from Ping i3, I wanted to go with something with a little forgiveness.

 

If you are a 12 that stays consistently within a few shots of your handicap, then you may be able to play a blade-like club like the TP. But you have to consistently hit the middle of the club or you and your game will suffer.

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LT2 has more offsets than x 16 pros!

 

True...but at the same time less than some mizuno blades. Plus, the implication that game improvement clubs are for people who are overweight is as assinine as it is insulting. What utter nonesense. I expect more from the members here.

 

Game improvement clubs are great if you're the kind of golfer who can benfit from them, no matter how thin you are.

 

However, the benefits of blades, E.g. more spin, thinner topline, less offset, narrower sole, etc. are now available in lot's of tweener type models.

 

Let's keep the stereotyping rhetoric to a minimum.

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I switched from TA6's to MP-60's, and I found the transition to be very easy. While you can argue that the 60's aren't a blade, they aren't exactly game improvement irons either. I actually hit the longer irons better with my 60's than I did with my TA6's. I'm sure my swing has a lot to do with it. I would say demo the blades on grass, and see if you can hit them consistenly.

 

:idhitit:

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I made the switch a couple of years ago and It has really helped me with my ball striking and ability to work the ball . If your going with forged clubs you will love it. The feel is awesome!

[center][color=#00ff00][b]~ Bomb Tech Grenade 9* Matrix Radix S7~[/b][/color][/center]
[center][color=#00ff00][b]~ Bomb Tech Grenade 3 wood 15* ~[/b][/color][/center]
[center][color=#0000ff][b]~ Mizuno Mx-300 5-GW ~[/b][/color][/center]
[center][color=#0000ff][b]~ Bomb Tech Grenade 56* Black Oxide ~[/b][/color][/center]
[center][color=#0000ff][b]~ Ping Craz-E Center shafted ~[/b][/color][/center]
[center][color=#0000ff][b]~ Penta ~[/b][/color][/center]

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