I did this experiment because I am currently using blades after using game-improvement irons for a long time. And after a few rounds with the blades, I have found no real drop in performance.
Moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of an iron’s forgiveness, is as a selling tool for new irons, but I am not sure how much real improvement it is offering the golf community. My video goes a long way to show that maybe the way we’re thinking about fitting irons to our game is quite wrong.
Both the irons I tested in the video had stiff shafts. The Mizuno MP-5 (blades irons) had True Temper’s Dynamic Gold S300, while the JPX-EZ (game-improvement irons) had True Temper’s XP 95 S300 shafts. Both irons were tested with stock lofts and lengths.
Gear Dive: Life chat with Sahith Theegala and first impressions of the Titleist TSi metal woods
In this episode of TGD, Johnny has a nice heart-to-heart with PGA Tour Rookie and Fred Haskins Award winner Sahith Theegala and also offers a first impression on the new Titleist thunder sticks.
TG2: My Vokey SM8 wedge experience
My custom Vokey SM8 wedges are in and have been on the course for a few weeks now. I talk through the whole experience of starting with a Vokey fitting on a Titleist Thursday, custom ordering my wedges on the WedgeWorks website, and playing the wedges out on the course.
The Wedge Guy: Has the game changed forever…or just “theirs”?
I’m betting no one saw this coming through all the build up of how Winged Foot was going to be a “true” U.S. Open test – narrow fairways, deep rough and firm, fast conditions. I’ll bet very few had Bryson DeChambeau in their list of “most likely to”, even if you are an ardent fan of the young man.
No, I’m thinking most of us never saw it coming…I know I certainly did not. As I watched this year’s edition of our national championship unfold, I was struck by a number of oddities and acceptances.
First of all, with fairways “as narrow as 30 yards”, I thought surely these tour professionals would respect the gnarly rough and display an atypical set of shotmaking talents and skills, showing us finally that they can hit accurate drives when they have to.
Boy was I wrong. Did you notice how many were missing fairways even when they hit fairway woods and irons from the tee? That really shocked me, to be honest. I just believe that PGA Tour professionals would be able to navigate tee shots into 30-yard-wide fairways at a much higher percentage that we witnessed. The field average was closer to 25% than 50. But they proved that their strength and power can muscle the ball out of even that kind of rough with enough control to “tame” an otherwise beast of a golf course.
The other “acceptance” we all need to realize is that these guys are simply amazing around and on the greens. Their exquisite talents and skills allow them to hit a remarkable variety of recovery shots – chips, pitches, bunker shots, run-ups . . . Their talents are borderline mystical. And their putting skills are just as impressive. These guys (and their caddies) read greens with astounding accuracy and just do not seem to hit very many bad putts. Their misses more often look like the ball “wanted” to go in, but it just wasn’t to be.
So, what can we “mere mortal” golfers learn from all this?
I believe the first takeaway is that we play a totally different game than they do. Very few of us recreational golfers have the strength to continually muscle the ball out of even “normal” rough to put it in a position to successfully finish out the hole with a par or better. For most of us, I have no doubt that our best scores come when we hit the fewest shots from the rough. I challenge all of you to keep track of your “strokes lost” when your tee shot does not leave you in the fairway with a clean lie and open shot to the green.
Secondly, we do not have anything close to their skills around the greens. If you miss greens, you are more likely to make bogey or worse than to save par. Leaving the distance thing out of the equation, this is the largest chasm between the skills of tour player and regular amateurs. Day in and day out, these elite players get up and down more than 50% of the time, and very few amateurs approach 30% from my research. What’s the moral of that story? Spend more time practicing your creativity and execution on the shortest of shots…that is, IF you really want to lower your scores.
Finally, these guys are so darn good with the putter in their hands…It certainly doesn’t hurt that they putt on pool-table-perfect greens most of the time. Or that they have a great caddy to help them get an accurate read on most every putt. Or that they focus on positioning their approach shots and recoveries to give themselves the best look at the hole. But also realize that they practice incessantly on this part of the game.
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