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Forum Thread of the Day: “Most overrated/underrated equipment in golf”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from orangeology who asks fellow members to share what they feel are the most underrated and overrated pieces of equipment currently in the sport. Our members divulge, with word one representing overrated, and word two underrated.

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

  • cliffhanger: “Forgiveness / Having high lofted wedges.
  • Christen_The_Sloop: “Practice / Play. Bridgestone golf equipment – that stuff is underrated
  • Bubb: “Scotty Cameron putters / Titleist TS2 drivers and fairway woods.
  • smithy23: “Major OEMs / Srixon Irons”
  • Kevinz: “Most underrated is the motorised caddies, saves at least two shots per round. Most overrated is the driver shaft, not a whole lot of difference distance wise.”

Entire Thread: “Most overrated/underrated equipment in golf”

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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 @giannimosquito

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Tully

    Jul 23, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Overrated Tiger Woods

    Overrated Taylor Made

    Underrated – Everything else…

  2. s

    Jul 13, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Over – $300+ shafts
    Under – MP-37

  3. Alfredo Smith

    Jul 10, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    UnderRated, PXG

    OverRated PXG criticism and all the hate, LOL

    • kevin moran

      Jul 15, 2019 at 9:32 pm

      Very True. Spot on. Expensive? Yep. Excellent? Yep. I cannot afford a Ferrari, but I can appreciate the excellence of the vehicle. I don’t hate the company for making a premium product.

  4. N D Boondocks

    Jul 8, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Most over-rated – how far guys claim they can hit their driver

    Most under-rated – how far most guys claim the other guy hits his driver

  5. Yomomma

    Jul 5, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Vokey/the umbrella.

  6. Eric Grafton

    Jul 4, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Overrated, most instructors. They all “think” they know what they’re doing..but only teach what worked for THEM at ONE moment in time. Go to 10 different instructors, and you’ll get 9 different ways of doing the same thing. They don’t take into consideration all physical limitations and physical differences of everyone they’re teaching.

    These instructors also include those “fitting” someone into a $500 driver. PLEASE!!….they are doing this sport and industry a disservice. Nothing is funnier than watching a guy in our league FINALLY get a hold of one at 280+, (with his $500 driver) and proceed to duff the next shot, or turn a great drive into a triple bogie because he doesn’t know how to USE HIS WEDGE or PUTT.

    All they do by selling that driver is ultimately frustrate people into not wanting to play and spend more on golf, because that driver didn’t turn them into a 9 from playing off a 25.

    • d

      Jul 8, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      nobody forces anyone to buy anything…..fitting is nothing more than intelligently reducing the possibilities while testing to what you hit best….you can fit yourself if you had more time and all the equipment possibilities laying around. but you dont…

      if someone wants to hit 280 with their one good drive instead of 250 then so be it….
      i think fitting on irons as or more important than driver…

  7. geohogan

    Jul 1, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Alignment sticks so overrated.
    We stand on our legs…legs are attached to the heels of our feet, so why
    do golf instructors lay alignment stick across our toes?

    Our alignment is to the quadrant of the ball we intend to impact, not the target line. So why do golf instructors have alignment sticks along target line
    as if we intend to impact the back of the ball. its no wonder 95 of golfers slice the ball.

    We sweep the inside quadrant of the ball with the heel of the clubface. The design of the golf club ensures the clubface squares to the ball.
    Never will happen as long as we misuse alignment sticks

  8. Alex

    Jun 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    I think pure shafts make a ton of sense. At very least it gives you less to worry about/ be upset about when you aren’t hitting it well.

    • geohogan

      Jul 1, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Golf shafts, off the shelf are worth about $10.
      Imperfect is an understatement. Very overrated.

      Pureing a cheap shaft is like, “lipstick on a pig”.

      There are shafts that are mostly perfectly round and symmetrical due to
      the manufacturing process. eg Nunchuk Xi at $50

  9. Dan

    Jun 30, 2019 at 4:04 am

    Overrated-PXG, Jumbo Maxx grips, anything that promises distance for seniors and ladies, low compression balls for everyone, chippers, pro-v 1’s price, and most of all puring shafts. No real players do it. Look at all the pro’s , all the shaft logos are down in the same spot, not 1 pured. Huge scam to add cost. You trust the $200+ shafts preformance but not how they want it installed? Plus the shaft doesn’t flex in a straight line anyway. It goes toe up and back to toe down and through. Most amateurs can’t make the same swing twice anyway and the ones that can don’t pure them. If you adjust the driver weighting it affects the way the cluhead releases which if it worked you’d need the shaft repured after every adjustment. Totall BS scam.

  10. James Awad

    Jun 29, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Titleist & Cameron. Most over rated everything

    Underrated? FOURTEEN, Brigestone irons, Srixon irons, Tour Edge proline Wilson proline & Mizuno metal woods – even the hardcore Miz guys won’t even demon them ‘gotta have Titleist driver’????????????

  11. John

    Jun 29, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    See More putters are so underrated. Such quality !!!
    Srixon Irons… or is the word out now?

  12. joro

    Jun 29, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Under rated, Wilson Golf, quality and lower cost. Over rated, all those that have to spend Millions to convince us that their product is the best and in many cases it is nothing but Bull+++T. And included in the Over Rated krap is those self promoting “GURU Teachers. Does the teacher make the player or does the player make the teacher.

    Equipment and teachers are both over rated.

  13. THETadersalad

    Jun 29, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Over rated – variable length irons
    under rated – single length irons

  14. T

    Jun 29, 2019 at 2:27 am

    460 cc drivers. Complexly under rated and misunderstood.
    Who wants to go back to 150cc Persimmons?

  15. Rich

    Jun 28, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Overrated? Any irons that promise more distance. That’s jive. They offer more distance by strengthening lofts, making the shafts longer, and keeping the number the same. You don’t want more distance. You want predictable distance and precise gapping.

    Any woods that promise anything other than more accuracy. Woods are already limited in length, size, MOI and COR. You simply cannot make a wood hit it farther. But you CAN continue to use exotic materials to move weight out to the perimeter to make them more forgiving, and you CAN make them wonderfully adjustable so they can be fit with precision.

    PXG? Maybe. Forget price; are they better clubs? If so, then “overrated” isn’t the right adjective. They may not be worth the price, but if they’re really better, they’re not overrated. But are they really better? If not, they’re overrated.

    Blades. Sorry, but those are about ego, not performance. They don’t perform better. But people who play this game for a living can it the sweet spot so precisely that perimeter weighting wouldn’t help them anyway. But for the vast majority of golfers, they’re a detriment to their games.

    Anything that creates a distinction without a different. The TM SLDR driver, for example. Or the Twist Face–does it really make a difference?

    I hit a driver about 245 carry. I carry an 8-iron about 160. If you offer me more distance than that, I’ll pass. (It probably comes from tricks with trade-offs anyway.) But if you offer me more accurate clubs–even if they’re shorter–I’m listening.

    • geohogan

      Jul 4, 2019 at 7:48 am

      @ Rich
      Heavier clubheads, with mass further from centerline of the shaft(flywheel)
      will increase forces that cause droop, kick and twisting. These are all causes of less consistency and loss of accuracy.
      ie larger clubheads are often over rated as more accurate, if and when paired with cheap off the shelf golf shafts, that cannot withstand increased forces causing droop, kick and twisting.

      • Simms

        Jul 12, 2019 at 2:47 am

        Do think for one minute a major OEM is going to spend up words of $300,000 to develop a driver head and then put it on a shaft it will not work with, even if the shaft cost $10 it will work with the driver head….sure the highest level player is looking at inches and a high end shaft maybe be 5 yards longer of 3% more on line, but by far the average player maybe a 10 or more is going to be fine with tne OEM standard shaft.

    • JC

      Jul 4, 2019 at 7:55 am

      You should be carrying your driver 280+ if you carry 8 iron 160.

      • Michael Constantine

        Jul 6, 2019 at 8:43 am

        I carry my driver 275 plus and my 8 iron 155 at most. I don’t think driver and iron swings equate in some amateurs such as myself. I’m a fairly strong guy who played baseball all my life. Swinging a driver is like riding a bike for me. Swinging anything less than a 6 iron feels awkward to me and I struggle the further I go down the line from 8-Lob on full shots. So to say if you carry an 8 iron 160 means you carry a driver 280 isn’t always the case.

      • Bob Johnson

        Jul 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

        JC – I could not agree more…

      • Rich

        Jul 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm

        I might be conservative with the driver carry estimate. But I definitely don’t carry it 280.

      • RP

        Jul 9, 2019 at 4:44 pm

        Why? Do you know his driver and iron specs?

        • RGL

          Jul 25, 2019 at 1:02 am

          RP….It points to a lack of efficiency with the driver. A lot of people struggle with that…myself included but am working on it. Typically with amateurs the gapping narrows and efficiency drops as you move to your long irons and woods. Driver carry average for me is 250 which is up from 235. My driver was only about 10yds longer than my 3 wood at that time. 3 wood carry is at 235 now and 8 iron carry is stable at 150. Ideal goal for me is 265-270 carry with a driver. Confident I’ll be there by end of the year as I usually get 2 or 3 out there at that distance in a round now.

  16. Madeline Morgan

    Jun 28, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Scotty Cameron/Evnroll

  17. Distance Compression Dude

    Jun 28, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    GX7 Hot Metal, Vixa V12, Square Strike Wedge, C3i Wedge, Hammer Driver

    All overrated and hot garbage.

    • MIKE

      Jul 9, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      You have to yell when you hit the Hammer driver or else it doesn’t perform well. Just like the infomercial. LOL

  18. dj

    Jun 28, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Pured shafts! Overrated!

    • James Awad

      Jun 29, 2019 at 6:54 pm

      No. Proven a thousand times on Trackman & high speed HD video at our place. We don’t build any high end irons or install a driver shaft without doing it. It absolutely works

      • Dan

        Jul 2, 2019 at 9:43 pm

        I’ve heard Puring is a must and it’s complete BS. I understand each shaft has a spine and the concept makes perfect sense but people who know a lot more than me don’t think it matters.

        • Dan W

          Jul 25, 2019 at 3:44 am

          Look up how high end graphite shafts are made. They don’t have spines. The layers are overlapping. And btw spining shafts find a strong and weak side of the shaft. Either way puring shaft is total BS. I don’t care what someone proves the preformance says otherwise.

  19. David Lehmann

    Jun 28, 2019 at 11:21 am

    PXG!! PXG!!! PXG!!!

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Whats in the Bag

Sebastian Munoz winning WITB: 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 @9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 6.5

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow

Irons: Ping i200 (3), Ping i210 (4-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI Hybrid 85X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth (50), Titleist Vokey Design SM7 sand (56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Valor

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

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Whats in the Bag

Danny Willet’s winning WITB: 2019 BMW PGA Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 60X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway Apex UT (18), Callaway X Forged (21), Callaway X Forged (5-9 iron)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold SuperLite X100

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (46 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Superlite X100

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab Tuttle

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Related to Danny Willett WITB

 

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Equipment

New Mizuno MP-20 irons now available at retail

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The 2019/2020 Mizuno MP-20 irons family, the next series of MP irons to connect golfers to the classic  “Mizuno Feel,” with four new models (MP20 Blade, MP-20 MMC, & MP20 HMB – Hot Metal Blade), are now available at retail.

The MP-20 series was born from tradition and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player. Mizuno has accomplished that goal with modern design and an attention to detail on every level with all three models. Speaking to the Mizuno tradition, and something they touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them!

Mizuno MP20 iron copper underlay

“Mizuno Feel”

It is part of the golf vernacular. It’s ingrained in golf (nerd) culture—it’s a real thing.

But where does it comes from, how did it get here, what is it really, and how is it a component of 2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons?

I’m here to give you some answers and introduce you to MP-20 family of irons from Mizuno.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-irons-7-iron-

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons: 7-iron

Born from tradition, and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player, the 2019 Mizuno MP-20 family is the next series of MP irons that will connect golfers to the “Mizuno Feel.” Speaking to tradition, and something I touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them! (Before someone tries to correct me: yes, I realize that they have done this for more recent Japan market model)

What does this copper layer mean? Here’s the funny thing, even Mizuno has had a hard time trying to quantify it. Through multiple rounds of extensive blind prototype testing with all of their staff players, the irons with a copper underlay won on feel EVERY SINGLE TIME! How’s that for dominance?

But why? They are truly still trying to 100 percent figure that out. Mizuno has used its HIT (Harmonic Impact Technology), metallurgy analysis, and every test it can to try and figure out why. Engineers even went as far as trying to prove the hypothesis the copper underlay “feel” was based on nostalgia but time and time again Cu won in blind testing. At the end day, the human element was still the deciding factor because humans are the ones that ultimately hit shots.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-address

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons

This brings us to the flagship MP-20 (Blade) (The Ultimate Tour Blade as described by Mizuno’s Product Manager & Engineer Chris Voshall). Evolving from the tradition built into the MP-18, and taking design cues from historic models like the TN 87 and MP14, the MP20s provide more flow throughout the set from top to bottom leading to even more control over ball flight. This flow also increases forgiveness (please remember it’s still a blade) and launch in the longer irons, with an increased ability to flight the ball in the scoring clubs…all of this AND a thinner top line.

Now about that top line: it’s an extremely important part of the look of the club, but what many don’t realize is it also plays a big role in feel and acoustics too. Let’s simplify for a moment: think of a clubhead like hunk of metal—a cube—now when you hit that thick piece of metal on something it doesn’t reverberate much and when it does, it’s at a different frequency making it sound heavy and “thuddy,” or as some would say, SOLID.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-face

Now imagine if that same piece of metal, and same mass, was stretched out like a saw blade. Have you ever hit something with the side of a large saw blade? It’s wobbly, loud, and generally unpleasant, that’s what happens when an unsupported part of a club gets too thin, it acts like an amplifier of bad sound, creating terrible feel. By blending a small channel (think MP5) with the classic looks of yesteryear you get a club that feels and performs like no Mizuno before it, and as I said, with a thinner look from address.

What’s all this talk of “Flow”?

Center of gravity and mass placement (or as a Mizuno Engineer explained to me “Vertical Moment of Inertia”). Since each club is designed individually, you need the center of gravity to shift throughout the set to help control launch/trajectory (or “traj” as the kids say), and make sure spin is also at an optimal level.

For the MP-20, it means long irons that are “easier” to hit (air quotes, because like I said before, it’s still a blade), and short irons that can be more easily flighted lower with greater spin and control. Just like with the MP-18s, Mizuno is keeping with the continuous reduced blade length into the short irons for a look preferred by better players and for improved grass and turf interaction.

But What About the Rest?

You might have noticed off the top I called it the “MP-20 Family.” Here’s why: In golf, like with any other industry, data is important. But it’s only as good as you use it and well…let’s just say Mizuno has been paying close attention to how golfers and fitters have been making combo sets over the last few years. It’s all about understanding what golfers really need and thanks to some proprietary data they went even deeper when it comes to designing each and every iron in this family to make sure its performance is maximized. This is why I continue to emphasize how each set has a flow—to make sure each club in your bag is just right for you. Now to introduce you to the rest of the family members…

2019 Mizuno MP20 MMC irons (Multi-Material Construction)

2019-mizuno-mmc-irons-1

2019 Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons: 7-iron

I know, you think you’ve heard this story before but…NOT LIKE THIS!

The new MP-20 MMC is a BIG shift in design, not just because of the Cu underlay, but a radical change in how the whole club is put together. I know it sounds very “big biz,” but in the world of manufacturing it truly comes down to how “parts” are manufactured. Now, with Mizuno, I will reiterate a well-known story. All of its forged irons are single-sourced from one foundry (Chuo) in Japan through a handshake agreement that has been in place for decades.

Now back to the MMC. Before the MP-20 the MMC always had one tiny design difficulty (not a bad one, just a truth) and that was the titanium piece in the back was the same size throughout the whole set. This lead to a set with almost constant sole width. That doesn’t mean previous generations were constructed poorly, but it just means there were improvements that could be made to how the set flowed (there’s that word again) from top to bottom…which leads us to the tech story.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

For the first time in the MMC’d life, the titanium piece of the iron will actually vary in mass depending on the club. It will be broken up in the middle of the set to allow better CG placement, and like its blade cousin, improved turf interaction in the shorter irons.

What is also very cool from a build and engineering perspective is the way the titanium gets into the club in the first place. Here we go down a metallurgy rabbit hole, buckle up…

  • Titanium has a mass density (rounded) of 4.5 g/cm3 – cubed
  • Carbon steel has a mass density of (rounded) 7.9 g/cm3 – cubed

That means that from every cubed cm of steel volume you replace with titanium in the head, you save 3.4g… which might not seem like much, but in a 4-iron for example that has an average mass of 248g for (4) cm3 you save 13.6g or just over five percent. I realize this is DEEP into the mass property weeds, but when you think of what a club head weights and how every half percentage point matters, five percent is a lot! That’s more forgiveness, more MOI, more spin control, and overall better performance.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

What is also very cool is all of these parts (titanium and tungsten) have ZERO chemical bond—no epoxy. They all fit snug based on the shrinkage rates of the different materials. Ti & W( tungsten – W comes from the ore Wolframite) shrinks less than the steel so as the steel cools around the titanium and tungsten pieces it creates a mechanical (solid) bond.

All of this together adds up to an iron that looks smaller than the previous version, offers more “flow” in CG, something we mentioned earlier that creates more forgiveness and control throughout the set, and at the end of the day it means a better-engineered version than the one before it.

Hot Metal 2019 Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons

YES…you read that correctly. Mizuno is bringing Hot Metal tech to the MP line!

A hollow body blade looking iron using the same strong yet highly flexible Chromoloy material as the 919 Hot Metals except this time forged to create an iron like they never have before. The look and shape of a blade the speed of a Hot Metal.

Let’s break things down.

The look is clean as clean can be, from there the face of the HMB is thin and fast, while hidden inside the back of the club is complex geometry for both acoustics and precisely positioning mass. These will be the replacement for the MMC Fli-His but unlike that set, only going to the 6-iron, the new HMB will go all the way to the pitching wedge.

What is also different for the HMB vs. the MMC Fli-Hi is the way tungsten is used in the head to create different impact dynamics. The Fli-Hi had all the tungsten (20g worth) in one place in the head (low and towards the toe). The CG was still located right in the middle but through in-depth testing some players found that the Fli-Hi was a more difficult club to turn over and draw.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-hmb-irons

To improve the workability of the new HMB, the Tungsten was split into two 12g pieces (four more grams than previous Fli-Hi) and positioned into precisely formed pockets on the heel and toe in the back of the club. This allows the unsupported face to flex and makes the club more workable while still maintaining all the forgiveness you would expect from a hollow body iron built for speed. Seriously who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Since the new HMB is a full set and not just long irons, there is more to the tech story… here is comes… better flow and CG positioning throughout the set. This is hugely important for the mid and short irons where loft is already going to create spin so controlling ball flight and traj on approach shots is vital for scoring better.

This is again where the MP-20 Family discussion comes into play. Mizuno knows they are going to sell a lot more HMB long irons vs. blade and MMC long irons, so the entire family is designed holistically for every player to find each and every head that optimizes them on the course.

The Full Package

Like with previous generations going back almost a decade, Mizuno is keeping its industry-leading matrix of shaft and grip options available at NO upcharge. BUT… based on the growing demand for more exotic options the newly expanded shaft line up will include a few shafts that will come with a slight upcharge.

Whatever you end up being fit for, it’s important to realize that there has never been family of Mizuno irons designed like this, which could also mean you could be bringing home some new family members soon.

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