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Good beginner blade?
So I've been giving my NDS irons a run for a few months now. It was the first set of irons I purchased after getting back into golf and I went from having no handicap to now having a 12 (in 3 months). I have rounds anywhere from 79 to 85 and am a pretty good ball striker. I do especially well around the greens with chipping and putting. From 100 in I have all the confidence in the world I will 1 putt.

So enough of my background there. I went out to play the other day and was watching a kid at the end of the range hit his Titleist 690 somethings a mile high in the air and landing them nice and soft on the green. I asked him if I could hit a few shots with his 6 iron. While definitely a different feel, I was doing quite well hitting them. I could really feel where the ball was going to go and where I hit it on the clubface. With my NDS I just aim and go, really nothing to it. If I need to draw it, I draw it, fade, fade it. Really no big deal. I just can't feel it like I want to.

My question is, why can't I play blades? Everyone says they are for LOW handicappers. 10 and under. I think my game would benefit from some sort of blade or perhaps new shafts or something on my NDS. I play the stock uniflex shafts. What is a good blade to start out on? I was thinking the Bridgestone j33b's or the Nike forged as I can get a decent set on eBay for 200-300 bucks. I don't mind spending a few hundred dollars to drop a few shots here and there. Are the Minuno mp60's my answer?

Was that just all over the place? I guess I would just like to know what blades I could use starting out as a new blade owner and maybe work myself up.
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If you're shooting 79-85 you're already a LOW handicap (5-8) according to the USGA.

 

I would avoid the J33B's, they've got a long hosel and very high center of gravity. They are VERY difficult to hit for a modern msucle back.

 

Just out of curiosity, why do you think you'd benefit from a blade? You're already working the ball, and making great contact. A blade won't help you make better contact.

 

Honestly, I don't really know what the point of muscle back's are really any more. Some guys (who are excellent ball strikers) just love the look and / or need hte trajectory control. However, if you browse through some of the PGA WITB threads, you'll see that most guys are playing 1/2 cavities. There are probably a similar number of super game improvement irons as there are muscle backs out on Tour.

 

The MP-60's are a cavity, and probably the style of club you should be looking at.

 

It's your $$, there are a ton of great blades out there, Mizuno always has great feeling irons (MP-33, 32), Titleist 690's or 695's are all fairly "playable" blades. Just about all these clubs have a larger blade size, relatively wider sole, and a lower muscle position to help with "forgiveness." The Mizuno MP-32's should recieve some strong consideration, because they're just about the most forgiving "muscle back" on the market now.

 

Hope that helps a little.

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If you're shooting 79-85 you're already a LOW handicap (5-8) according to the USGA.

 

I would avoid the J33B's, they've got a long hosel and very high center of gravity. They are VERY difficult to hit for a modern msucle back.

 

Just out of curiosity, why do you think you'd benefit from a blade? You're already working the ball, and making great contact. A blade won't help you make better contact.

 

Honestly, I don't really know what the point of muscle back's are really any more. Some guys (who are excellent ball strikers) just love the look and / or need hte trajectory control. However, if you browse through some of the PGA WITB threads, you'll see that most guys are playing 1/2 cavities. There are probably a similar number of super game improvement irons as there are muscle backs out on Tour.

 

The MP-60's are a cavity, and probably the style of club you should be looking at.

 

It's your $$, there are a ton of great blades out there, Mizuno always has great feeling irons (MP-33, 32), Titleist 690's or 695's are all fairly "playable" blades. Just about all these clubs have a larger blade size, relatively wider sole, and a lower muscle position to help with "forgiveness." The Mizuno MP-32's should recieve some strong consideration, because they're just about the most forgiving "muscle back" on the market now.

 

Hope that helps a little.

 

My handicap program is lying to me?! I'm actually lower? I need to make a phone call.

 

I think I would probably try the mp60 over anything else out there. I love the look of the Taylor Made blades. Titleist irons just look great behind the ball. But I guess I'm just looking to change up my game a bit. Getting kind of boring. I want to shave a few strokes off consistently and get back out there and try to get my + handicap.

 

Ever get bored with your game?

 

If a shaft change is what you think I need. Rifle Project X? I see a lot of good reviews on those. I also hit those TT's with the sensicore, those were nice. Kind of lost feeling though.

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My handicap program is lying to me?! I'm actually lower? I need to make a phone call.

 

I think I would probably try the mp60 over anything else out there. I love the look of the Taylor Made blades. Titleist irons just look great behind the ball. But I guess I'm just looking to change up my game a bit. Getting kind of boring. I want to shave a few strokes off consistently and get back out there and try to get my + handicap.

 

Ever get bored with your game?

 

If a shaft change is what you think I need. Rifle Project X? I see a lot of good reviews on those. I also hit those TT's with the sensicore, those were nice. Kind of lost feeling though.

 

Bascially what I'd say to you is, "if it ain't broke don't fix it"

 

The equipment stuff is fun to read about and try, but it really should be done with a purpose. If you were to say I'm balooning my Dynamic Gold S300's and it's costing my 10 yards with each iron, then you would be a great candidate for Project X. As is, a change like this could hurt your game more than help it.

 

If I were in your shoes, I'd honestly stick wtih what you've got now, go on ebay and buy a single MacGregor VIP 6 iron (true blade) to fool around with at the range, and save your money for lessons and playing the game, because that's how you're going to improve.

 

Sounds like you've got the shots and you've got the short game. You just need to keep doing it and the scores will keep coming down.

 

I don't think I'll ever get bored until I start winning every golf tournament I enter. :cheesy:

 

Just my $.02 take it for what it's worth. :smilie_cally:

 

EDIT: I should also mention that when I first started playing I got pretty good quickly much like you. I then switched over to 690.MB's which I hit about shoulder high in the long irons because that's what I thought tour palyers did. Then I went out and watched them, and I realized that they played a different game than I did. I quickly sold off the muscle back's and went back to my Ping Zing's and went to retool my swing piece by piece. I've since settled on the idea that my score is more important than my ego, and on my "off days" I need a cavity for some forgiveness. I will NEVER go back to a muscle back especially since there are so many great cavities on the market which look like blades at address, but play like cavities. :)

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79-85 you are probably and 8-10 handicap already, not a 12. As for playing blades I prefer them and have watched my handicap go from 9 to 6 . I find blades more pleasant to look at and better feeling, not to mention the positives of lower ballflight and greater distance for me over cavitybacks. I've owned just about every bigbuck CB on/off the market and always go back to blades.

 

Only set of CB's I may keep for awhile are my Nike Splits....everything else is sold or being sold.

Woods : Callaway Razr TA, Titleist F3-05
Hybrid : Adams LSP XTD
Irons : Fourteen TC910 3&4I, Nike VRProCombo 5-PW
Wedges : Fourteen RM-11 54/60
Putter : Nike Method 003 Oven

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Nike splits? Pro Combos? I was looking at those the other day. Might help me get zoned in on my short irons and give me a bit more workability.

 

I do actually hit my lower irons pretty high. I find myself short a lot but if I club up I end up flying the green. On a 120 shot into a green I will regularly take a 9 and just hit it smooth as silk and let it fly. I'd rather be hitting a pitching wedge without having to kill it. My SW goes about 80.

 

I just ordered some new vokey raw wedges today, a 60 and a 58 to compliment my short game a bit. Needed a new wedge anyways. My poor cleveland 588's get a lot of use.

 

Thanks for all the reply's. I think I won't spend a grand on something and just maybe reshaft my NDS. I really do love the clubs. With NXT's they hit so soft and fly so well. Just a bit high sometimes.

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you weren't looking at nike splits unless you are on the Tour or in a Nike Tour Van :cheesy:

 

It's worth a try, buy some used blades from ebay..you'll never know till you try. Blades these days are not what they used to be. I took my 67 VIP blades for a spin and wow, I was instantly a club shorter and hitting my 5,4,3 the same distance. In other words today's blades are easy to hit.

Woods : Callaway Razr TA, Titleist F3-05
Hybrid : Adams LSP XTD
Irons : Fourteen TC910 3&4I, Nike VRProCombo 5-PW
Wedges : Fourteen RM-11 54/60
Putter : Nike Method 003 Oven

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It could be a material issue. You like the softer feel of forged carbon steel over cast stainless. There are plenty of options in the forged CB market that will give you the blade feel with a little more forgiveness.

Mizuno ST200G 9° / Aldila Synergy Black Proto 75-TX   
TC Callaway XHot 3DEEP 13° / Graphite Design DI-10 TX

TC Callaway X2Hot 5DEEP 18.5° bent to 17° / Fujikura Ventus Black 10x

Callaway X-Forged UT 21° / Fujikura Ventus Black 10-TX

Callaway X-Forged UT 25° / Nippon Super Peening Blue X hs1x 

Raw Mizuno MP-32 6-PW / Nippon Super Peening Blue X hs1x 

Titleist Vokey SM8 Black 50.08F / Nippon Super Peening Blue X Stage-stepped
Titleist Vokey SM8 Black 54.12D / Nippon Super Peening Blue X Stage-stepped

Titleist Vokey SM8 Black 58.14K / Nippon Super Peening Blue X Stage-stepped
Mizuno M-Craft I Blue Ion 365g / Stability Shaft

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I do live about 5 minutes from nike golf. I wonder if they would fit me over there. I should go out there with a camera one day and take pics of all the big wigs that show up. It's pretty neat. There is a driving range attached to their offices that I'm a member of.

 

Any pictures of the clubs you are talking about on the site here?

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I would go try some of the player's cavity backs a try before you switch to blades. This means MP-60, CG-2, RAC LT2. You may be suprised at how they feel.

 

I ended up buying MP-32s even though you'd wax my a** any day. It's great when you make solid contact, but doesn't punish you if things aren't perfect. They're much more forgiving than any other blade out there (if you are willing to call them a blade) but definitely have a more solid feel than the other player's cavities back when I got them (talking about original LTs [which I think felt more solid than the current LT2], and Cleveland TA2). I tried 690.CB and 690.MB - man, they look so cool, but are so hard to hit and so unforgiving. I really admire guys who play these, because they really attract elite players. The thing that sold me on the MP32 was the solid strike feel and the leading edge of the heads - just felt exactly right to me, as opposed to Clevelands which have a rounder front edge or Titleist which is like a razor blade. There have been a number of times since then when I think a set of RAC LT might have been a better choice for me.

 

What you get with a club that's not a traditional muscle back is a little forgiveness when impact isn't perfect. If pros think it's a worthwhile tradeoff, it doesn't mean that it's right for you, but probably is worth thinking about.

 

One other thought... I did try out a number of traditional blades. You might try looking for a set of Cleveland TA1s. They have the traditional look, are very cheap either used or NOS. Although the heads seem really tiny, I found them to be pretty forgiving and definitely hit higher than Titleist or TM blades.

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You might think about the Nike Pro Combos if you are looking for a change. Cavities where they are needed in the long irons and blades in the short irons. Plus you get the great feeling of forged. You can find a good deal on the originals on ebay if you look good. Might be an option.

 

Also, reshafting the NDS's would be a great idea if you are not happy with your ball flight. I have a set with DGSL shafts and it made a world of difference.

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I just ordered some new vokey raw wedges today, a 60 and a 58 to compliment my short game a bit. Needed a new wedge anyways. My poor cleveland 588's get a lot of use.

 

I realize this is a tangent, but can anyone order raw Vokeys? Or are these Oil Cans you're talking about, and you'll just wait for the finish to wear off? I've always loved the look/feel or raw wedges, but they seem hard to find these days. Anyone know if you can still order 400-series Vokeys as well?

 

Thanks!

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I don't know why some people say blades are so hard. I honestly can't tell a difference, for me the only difference I can see is in the materials the club is made of, and the offset. with big offset I hit behind it, other than that the clubs all contact about the same for me.

 

 

 

I might not be a good judge, I learned on blades about 25 years ago, so if anything the clubs of today seem super forgiving.

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I have to agree with the last post. I don't really see a huge difference. I'm not going to sit here and deny the science behind the cavity, however from my own experience, the difference is not large enough to make me want to change. I used to play TA6's and decided this year to switch to blades. My reasons were 2 fold. Loved the look obviously! and the feel is unmatched. I bought a set of KZG ZO blades. I honestly can say that Im striking the ball just aswell if not better than before. I really feel that the only person that is going to benifit from a cavity is someone who already has a very good repeatable swing and maybe mishits it on occasion. ie tour or competitive players. A bad swing will produce bad results no matter what the club type. Unless you make your money playing this game, and you need to save a couple a strokes a round due to the occasional off center hit, then ya, grab a CB. However for the average player its really only a matter of preference. For me, more strokes are lost from wayward drives or or poor shortgame then iron play. Lessons and club fitting are, by far, much more impotant than club technology. The greatest golfer of all time did it with skill and practice, not the latest technology.

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I don't see why you can't if you can hit them. I personally play between an 18 and a 23 and I play blades, I can not remember the last time in the last couple years that I mishit an iron more than say 8-10 yds. off target. The one thing I will admit is that I can barely hit my driver in play and can't putt to save my life which explains my handicap. What it comes down to is that if you can hit blades then hit them, if you can't then don't

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I have to agree with the last post. I don't really see a huge difference. I'm not going to sit here and deny the science behind the cavity, however from my own experience, the difference is not large enough to make me want to change. I used to play TA6's and decided this year to switch to blades. My reasons were 2 fold. Loved the look obviously! and the feel is unmatched. I bought a set of KZG ZO blades. I honestly can say that Im striking the ball just aswell if not better than before. I really feel that the only person that is going to benifit from a cavity is someone who already has a very good repeatable swing and maybe mishits it on occasion. ie tour or competitive players. A bad swing will produce bad results no matter what the club type. Unless you make your money playing this game, and you need to save a couple a strokes a round due to the occasional off center hit, then ya, grab a CB. However for the average player its really only a matter of preference. For me, more strokes are lost from wayward drives or or poor shortgame then iron play. Lessons and club fitting are, by far, much more impotant than club technology. The greatest golfer of all time did it with skill and practice, not the latest technology.

 

Ok lets take an average golfer, give him a Bridgestone J33b 5 iron and a Cobra 3400 5 iron and play spot the difference! :)

 

Does anyone else think we might see a difference, or am i alone on this one! :cheesy:

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Ok lets take an average golfer, give him a Bridgestone J33b 5 iron and a Cobra 3400 5 iron and play spot the difference! :)

 

Does anyone else think we might see a difference, or am i alone on this one! :cheesy:

 

I gotta agree on this one.

 

It's true that a bad swing produces a bad result, but with a blade bad swing that hits off center produces a shot that not only has bad direction, but more importantly bad distance. A cavity goes much closer to the intended distance needed on off center hits which is the big key.

 

I'd much rather be five yards short of the green chipping with an iron than 15 and pitching with a wedge. . .

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I started with the Pro COmbo (original). They were a tough set to hit as a 'first upgrade' set from my All in One set. Missed shots were punished severely. They were short and off line. I found I just could not play those irons effectively at the time.

 

I needed a new set, and wanted the Pro Combo OS, but the NDS was an experiment as they were currently available and 1/2 the cost. So I picked them up and found immediate results.

 

I am still improving, and am solidly shooting in the mid eighties. I took the exact opposite road you did, and I have no regrets yet. The NDS irons provide a forgiveness that can't be found in the players clubs. I still have the PC's in reserve, but will likely buy a set of NDS's as a back up before I bag the PC's again.

 

I my opinion, the forgiveness of the NDS out weighs the accuracy of blades....

Nike Covert Tour 2.0 - Velox
Nike T60 3w & 5w - Aldila NV
Nike Covert 2.0 or CPR 3 HY
Nike NDS/Pro Combo Split Set
Nike VR 52* & 56*
Nike T130

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I have to chime in before someone takes some bad advice.

 

First of all I noticed on your initial post that from 100 in you have all the confidence that you will one-putt. How often do you get up and down from 100 yards out? If the answer is more than about 50% than you're a much better player than you let on. However, I suspect you should strongly evaulate your game before dropping your more forgiving irons in favor of blades.

 

Blades go very short if you miss the middle. They tend to be very punishing on less than near perfect contact.

 

On the flip side, cavity back irons play very well for low handicappers. There are plenty of cavity backs in play every week on tour. So the real question remains, why switch to blades?

 

Blades are aesthetically more pleasing, true enough. Blades have better feel, arguable. Blades force you to make better contact, well sure, otherwise the ball doesn't go...which makes them a good tool for practice on the range.

 

Everything beyond that is a myth. Distance control is as good if not greater with cavity backs (Consider what has been said regarding off center contact with blades). Great feel can be had with cavity backs these days too. My LT2's have exceptional feel. I can work the ball any way I want to with 'em. I can play high or low shots. And I use to play blades so I'm speaking from experience.

 

I'm getting to a point where I'm feeling that playing plades has more to do with machismo than performance.

 

If you're playing well, shooting high seventies to mid eighties, there is no reason to change.

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go on ebay and buy a single MacGregor VIP 6 iron (true blade) to fool around with at the range, and save your money for lessons and playing the game, because that's how you're going to improve.

 

That's pretty wmuch what I did, got a couple irons to use for practice which are much less forgiving than my Adams. I use those on the range, though I did bring one out this weekend and hit shots on the course with it to compare. I have to say I LOVE the feel of a forged head on a soft ball when you hit it clean, my Adams can't come anywhere close to it. Now that the swing is coming around, I can actually hit the cavitybacks OK, before it was a disaster.

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I noticed I wasn't getting any better (9hcp) playing the 704.CB sticks that I had before my blades.

 

Basically because I was getting away with very poor shots/swings. When I started playing the blades, I noticed that at first, my ball striking was below average; but after playing a couple times a week & trying to hit balls a couple times a week with the blades (less forgiving than the cavity back setup) I got better, my swing got more grooved to make up for the margin for error being smaller.

 

I would buy a set & play with them until they wear out, you're only going to get better

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I have to chime in before someone takes some bad advice.

 

First of all I noticed on your initial post that from 100 in you have all the confidence that you will one-putt. How often do you get up and down from 100 yards out? If the answer is more than about 50% than you're a much better player than you let on. However, I suspect you should strongly evaulate your game before dropping your more forgiving irons in favor of blades.

 

Blades go very short if you miss the middle. They tend to be very punishing on less than near perfect contact.

 

On the flip side, cavity back irons play very well for low handicappers. There are plenty of cavity backs in play every week on tour. So the real question remains, why switch to blades?

 

Blades are aesthetically more pleasing, true enough. Blades have better feel, arguable. Blades force you to make better contact, well sure, otherwise the ball doesn't go...which makes them a good tool for practice on the range.

 

Everything beyond that is a myth. Distance control is as good if not greater with cavity backs (Consider what has been said regarding off center contact with blades). Great feel can be had with cavity backs these days too. My LT2's have exceptional feel. I can work the ball any way I want to with 'em. I can play high or low shots. And I use to play blades so I'm speaking from experience.

 

I'm getting to a point where I'm feeling that playing plades has more to do with machismo than performance.

 

If you're playing well, shooting high seventies to mid eighties, there is no reason to change.

 

 

 

 

Well said,

 

Check out this months Golf Digest Arron Oberholseris playing Titleist Cavity Backs NOT blades and seems to be doing very well with them. Also Trevor Immelman who just won the Cialis Western Open is playing Nike Pro Combo OS.

 

 

MCCA

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I want to chime in here and say that my game's gone the other way. When I started I played cavity backs until I got down to a 14. I used to hit all my clubs high as a kite then and I switched to blades (Mizuno T-Zoid True forged) to get my ball flight down. My handicap dropped to a 9. Several swing changes later, I've switched back to cavity backs (MP-60, NC-1) and my handicap's dropped to a 5.

 

You'll need to make equipment changes to cope with what you feel will help your swing. If you're not sure, buy a set of blades but keep your NDS at hand in case it doesn't work out.

 

Have fun!

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