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Forum Thread of the Day: “My experience gaming blades as a mid-high handicapper…”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Andus, who shared his interesting experience gaming blades as a mid/high handicapper…

“A few months ago, I decided to buy a Mizuno combo set. I’m gaming 4-6 MP-18 SC, and 7-PW MP-18 MB. All of them have Modus 3 120 X flex shafts. To be honest, I almost wish I went 4-PW in the MB because I don’t find the SC to be any more forgiving than the MB; however, the feel is on par I’d say. My swing speed with driver is about 110MPH and with a seven iron is around 93MPH.

I was a pretty decent ball striker, but my handicap was awfully high due to my short game (putting & within 50 yards). I am a complete sucker for looks & feel, and those two attributes are probably most important to me when choosing clubs to play. With that said, the switch from GI irons to blades has been amazing for me. I personally don’t buy into the whole “forgiveness” thing too much. Sure, a big fat hunk of metal with much more toe weighting might help you pull a few more yards out of a mishit, but the reality is, regardless of the iron you’re playing the shot is going to be a bad shot whether you get five extra yards or not. Nevertheless, these irons have helped me find the middle of the club more often than not, and best of all have inspired me to play golf even more. Every time I see these irons in my golf bag, I can’t help myself put to go pull one out and just admire the beauty (I know, I’m a loser). Anyway, my point in writing this is to hopefully inspire somebody else on the fence about blades to give them a try. If you have any other specific questions, ask away!”

The post has garnered plenty of reaction from our members, who have been giving their advice and opinions to those mid/high handicappers out there who have been considering a switch to blades.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • bub72ck: “We get this topic frequently, and I have to say I disagree. “Good” ball striking is a very relative term depending on what you are looking to get out of your game. If you find enjoyment out of that perfectly struck shot from a blade that’s awesome, but to sluff off forgiveness between MBs and CBs is really painting with a broad brush. I don’t know what your handicap is (you only said mid-high), but I am not sure you know what consistently finding the center of the club is. I don’t think I do either. A round of golf for most anyone, save the top players in the world, is about consistency and quality of mis-hits. Losing 5 yards on a mis-hit shot is the difference between being on the green and off, or in a bunker, or in a water hazard. You said that your short game was weak. That weakness is going to be magnified by missed greens and further distance from the hole. The bottom line is you can do whatever you wish with your game, but more than likely playing blades is costing you strokes.”
  • Bimmer1: “I think about this topic often. Back in the early 80’s blades were pretty much all we had. As a 10-year-old in 1980, I started with blades and played my best golf a few years later as the high school team captain shooting in the mid-’70s with Wilson FG-17’s. A lot of great golfers started out as beginners using blades. There were no alternatives until Ping, Daiwa, and some others started making cavity backs.”
  • Lefty96: “There is nothing wrong with playing blades if they simply bring more enjoyment to your game. Whether that’s because you like the way the feel/look at address, or because you just like being “able” to play blades. But, if you get more enjoyment out of shooting your best score, then you may want to consider making a change. Like people above have pointed out, you’ll just hit more greens with a GI or players GI club then you will with blades. If score isn’t really important to you, by all means, keep playing the blades. They will give you a hell of a lot of feedback about your strike and maybe you’ll even learn to find the middle of the face more often because of it. Most importantly enjoy golf! They are a pretty set of sticks!”

Entire Thread: “My experience gaming blades as a mid-high handicapper…”

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Michael Alonso

    Mar 18, 2019 at 11:17 am

    I’m a 19hdcp and play Mizuno MP-59s. My iron play has never been my issue. I hit the ball high and long and straight. Clubhead speed with a driver is 110 and with a 6i is 98. What’s keeping me from lowering my handicap is my driver and my putter. My putter’s been hot lately, so hopefully that will stay. I got fitted for a driver and will be receiving it next month. Hopefully, staying in the fairway will allow me to score better. As far as playing better/nicer looking/ player’s irons, I can’t see where I would gain anything from playing a GI iron. I recently hit my dad’s new set of Callaway Rogues with Catalyst shafts. Yeah, I can hit his 6i 210, but do I really need that? No. My gapping is fine with my set. Play what you like looking at or you’re not gonna wanna play.

  2. pelling

    Mar 15, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Here’s the thing. If you took 4 clubs, say a 3 wood, a 6 iron, a wedge, and a putter out for 9 holes, your score would be about the same as if you had 14 clubs fitted with the the latest shafts and technology. So don’t sweat it.

    • Leftshot

      Mar 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Just because you said it doesn’t make it true. You provided nothing to back up your opinion.

      Having played in dozens of 5-club and similar format tournaments and analyzed the results I think you are wrong. Here is what I conclude from this data.

      A mid to high handicapper’s scores does on average suffer more than a scratch or low single handicap. However, in a net score tournament, the winner is still most likely a mid to high handicap player. This IMO is due to the wild variations in scoring day to day of such players. The same thing happens in net score tournaments with 14-clubs.

      Scratch players generally have skills in this format that most mid to high handicappers do not. The ability to execute half and three quarter swings, knockdowns, vary ball height and sometimes shot shape, just to name a few.

  3. Tim

    Mar 15, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    My issue with blades has always been the stock shafts that most blades come with. I’m not that strong and have always hated Dynamic Gold shafts, they’re totally wrong for me. Now that fitting is so widely available, I’d like to try a Mizuno blade with lightweight steel shafts. Currently I use a Nippon Zelos shaft in my Titleist AP1 irons, but based on my results. I know I could play fairly well with those shafts in a blade. It’s a very girly shaft, but who cares; it works for me.

  4. Mike Cleland

    Mar 15, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Whatever works. Both blades & game improvement clubs have positives & negatives. Most golfers, not scratch players, should be playing woods & hybrids down to a 7 iron anyway.

  5. Mike Cleland

    Mar 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Whatever works.

  6. Under the roof

    Mar 15, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I really love the feeling of a well struck shot using a traditional blade, it is that “feeling” which is one of the reasons that I play the game. For me the issue with a full set of blades was at the long end of the irons; as the carry distances between clubs started to get compressed, thus leaving a large gap from my 4-I to hybrid.
    -My solution to this gaping problem has been playing 7-pw cb as a degree strong, then 6/5 ap2 and a 4- as an ap3 into a hybrid keeping a 4 degree loft gap between clubs and letting the “more forgiving” faces of the longer irons keep better gaping.
    I know it’s not the same as a pure set, but I’m not 32 anymore either.

  7. Brandon

    Mar 14, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve played every style of irons over the last 10 or so years and my scores have remained fairly consistently in the low 80’s with the occasional round in the 70’s or 90’s. A chunk is a chunk and a skull is a skull regardless of that club is in your hand. Hitting drives OB and duffing chips is where doubles or worse come from.

  8. Swirley

    Mar 14, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Guys, thank you for not making fun of Gianni. I can’t stand all the Gianni bashing. He is a good person.

  9. drew

    Mar 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    i’d love real strokes gained proof either way. Prove to me GI work to actually improve my game. Prove to me that blades hurt my game. I really don’t know, especially if you are comparing a well fit set of players clubs vs. a well fit set of game improvers. Until there’s good data, I really don’t care what irons any cap picks up as long as they pay out their bets after the round.

    • Straight

      Mar 14, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      Have you ever been on TrackMan? What a moron…

      • Raj lp

        Mar 15, 2019 at 2:56 am

        Not a great comment “straight.” Makes you look more like what you’re calling someone who stated an opinion.

      • Tom Zanarini

        Mar 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

        Hey Straight, take a 7i AP1 and a 6i MB on Trackman. Check the lofts. Don’t go by the number stamped on the sole. Get back to us.

  10. Sean

    Mar 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I play Srixon 785s and 13hcp I love them. Recently went for a shaft fitting an he gave me jpx919 hotmetal and ap2 I struck them very badly compared to my own. My theory is you won’t improve strike unless you get feed back and you can’t get feed back from GI irons.

  11. TR1PTIK

    Mar 14, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Play whatever you want to play/makes you happy. Enough said.

  12. P

    Mar 14, 2019 at 11:22 am

    This dude had 110 mph swing speed. Duh.
    Most mid-high handicaps that the retail fronts sell those giant tech clubs are for the weekend hacks who swing at 90mph.

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: P2 putter grips

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Product: P2 putter grips

Pitch: From P2: “The patented P2 technology is based on the way the shaft is housed through the bottom of the grip. This effectively elevates the golfer’s hands at address, locks the wrists in place and creates sought after shaft-forearm symmetry.”

Our take on P2 putter grips

Putting is the one part of golf that truly levels the playing field – a sliding two-footer is worth just as many shots as a 345-yard drive, and from beginner to pro, we’ve all experienced the simple agony of missing one we know we really should have made. With so much recent focus on redefining putter technology the one part of the club that is still highly overlooked is the grip — but P2 is trying to change that.

The key part of the P2 design is the Bottom Shaft Housing that positions the grip asymmetrically around the shaft – on the vertical plane (don’t worry the grip are 100 percent symmetrical). This design, fully legal under the rules of golf, has scientifically proven through the use of Quintic, results that show both improved strike pattern on the face as well as getting more putts started on line at the intended target.

Part of the reason this design helps golfers putt more consistently is that it puts the putter more inline and on plane with the forearm to help create a single motion. As much as we would all love a putting stroke that flows as smoothly as Ben Crenshaw or Brad Faxon the amount timing needed in the hands to produce great results through these methods is often too difficult even for the better player to achieve. In a way, the P2 Grip design helps you get into an “armlock” position without fully overhauling your putting technique (and it allows you to keep your current putter).

In my personal testing, I decided to use the P2 Core Classic. This was my preferred grip since it offers the smaller width while giving the full experience of the Botton Shaft Housing tech. My putter specs are generally flatter than most with a lie angle around 68 degrees, when using a traditional grip this results in having the butt end point more towards my belly button and, as I’m fully willing to admit, a more rotational stroke. I never had to adjust any of the specs on my putter to get the grip to do exactly what it says it will. The grip plane became more aligned with my forearm and after a small adjustment period to the new shape, I was 100 percent making a more pendulum stroke with less arc. So far, results inside have proven to be a success, and I’m looking forward to taking it out to the course once the season really gets started.

Within the P2 lineup, there are four shapes and two weight categories to choose from to allow the player to find the exact fit for both grip method and balance. The original “Core” series is on the heavier side of the grip weight spectrum, but for many players using modern heavier putter heads this could be a huge advantage to help give your putter a higher balance point, and at the end of the day, produce a smoother putting stroke. As the current trend of research from multiple OEMs has proven, a higher balance point through weight distribution can lead to some big improvements in stroke consistency.

Whether its a claw, cross-handed, or more of a traditional grip method you use, there is a P2 grip that should fit your style and hopefully help you sink a few more putts.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Puma polos

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Product: Puma polos

Pitch:  From Puma “A world leader in high-performance sports clothing, Puma launched their first golf collection in 2004 complete with Puma golf shoes and clothing. The collection has gone from strength to strength ever since its creation, with tour pro golfers wearing the range out on the course. With bold colorful clothing to classically sporty and smart pieces, Puma golf is a versatile collection certain to appeal to golfers of all preferences.”

Our take on Puma’s polos

It’s difficult to look past Puma’s 2019 polo collection without seeing its Paradise golf shirt. Showcased by Rickie Fowler during the Island stretch of golf to begin the new year, the unconventional all button up shirt may not be to everyone’s taste, but anyone who pulls the shirt on will likely agree on its comfort. The shirt will channel your inner Ned Flanders, “feels like I’m wearing nothing at all,” and the ultra-lightweight feel combined with the looseness makes it an ideal summer shirt for swinging the club freely on the golf course.

Puma has a lot more polos on offer in 2019 than its Paradise shirt though, and one of the most visually striking shirts of theirs is the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo. The shirt comes in three vibrant colors (blue, white and green), and its camo inspired pattern is subtle and discreet which gives the shirt a cool look without being distracting. Also a lightweight polo, the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo features a clean three button look, as well as a very comfortable fit, and its dryCell technology means you won’t be drenched in sweat this summer.

Then there’s the Rotation Golf Polo which comes in both solid and stripes styles. The shirts offer a very modern feel and look, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with the selection of colors which the shirts come in, with an abundance on offer.

On the throwback front, Puma has you covered with their Nineties Golf Polo, with a striped shirt style and color. There are five different color blocks to choose from which are about as representative of spring/summer as I’ve seen, and the shirts also come with Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which is a nice summer touch.

The Faraday Polo is according to the company itself “one of our best”. Lightweight and one of the softest shirts they provide, it’s hard to disagree with them in terms of comfort level. The only off-putting feature of this shirt for me is the odd unfinished lining around the pocket.

The exhaustive selection of golf polos provided by Puma is impressive, and they’ve covered everything you’d want in a golf shirt in each of their styles. Prices range from $50-$70, and no matter what your taste, you’re bound to find a great summer golf shirt to add to your collection from their 2019 lineup.

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Sexy, slick, minimal irons?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Glowbal who is on the lookout for sexy, slick, minimal irons ala Scratch Golf’s old SB-1 iron set. Clean, as little branding or markings as possible and lofts instead of numbers on the club, are all the things Glowbal wants from an iron set, and our members have been on hand sharing their suggestions.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Fried Slice: “National Custom Works are Scratch. Same grinders and owners I believe. I’m sure they can hook you up. http://www.nationalcustomworks.com 
  • 11forgedblades: “When I was looking for irons without any logo, Geotech blades only had the numbers on them…completely blank.”
  • ivygynonc: “I have a set of Kyoei MB’s black.  They are nicer than my BBs as far as feel and looks.  Look great at set up.  Can’t go wrong with these.  And they are on the low end as far as costs for JDM blades, at least they were when I bought mine.”
  • kmay: “Another for National Custom works, incredible products, and from what I see watching there IG every day, they will make them to your exact requests, any stamping you want (or don’t) any shape muscle you want, sole grinds you want, seems like everything can be customized starting from forged blanks. True craftsmen.”

Entire Thread: “Sexy, slick, minimal irons?”

 

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