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Forum Thread of the Day: “Hitting blades better than game improvement irons?”



Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from BobaDefett who has found that he is hitting his friend’s blade irons better than he is his own game improvement irons. Perplexed by the situation, BobaDefett asks WRXers for some answers, who as always, shine some light on the issue.

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.

  • Z1ggy16: “IMO forgiveness is overrated. Learn how to play golf instead. I’m not saying total hacks should play blades but if you’ve got a pretty decent swing, but maybe your short game suffers, or you can tend to stall the hips and hit hooks sometimes… it’s no reason to force yourself into playing big old shovels.”
  • Sean2: “I have a friend who went from the M2’s to the MP-20s. He hits the MP-20s much better. Handicap dropped quite a bit too.”
  • BB28403: “I think learning to play with blades with cure more faults that are covered up by cavity back super game improvers. An iron that causes the ball to go straight even on a mishit is a false sense of security. Like learning how to bowl with the bumpers on.”
  • Captain_Black: “I think a lot of it is to do with the clubhead offset. A GI iron will typically have twice as much (or more) offset than a players iron, couple this with a strong grip (like I have) produces all manner of weird shots with a GI iron (usually a hook).”
  • GWfool: “For me, mentally looking at a larger head makes me feel like I have too much real estate. I had this problem with a set of Epon 703s. Thin top-line and everything but the blade length was long and made the face seem huge. I also don’t like a large sole. Whether any of that is scientific, I have no idea, but confidence goes a long way in this game.”

Entire Thread: “Hitting blades better than game improvement irons?”

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



  1. joro

    Jan 29, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    No way a Blade is better than a cavity back. Take the CB with the weight around the perimeter and you have a more playable Iron, no matter who you are, from Tour Pro to hacker the CB will be more consistent. Sure blades can be beautiful and they inflate the ego but they are used only by a small number of Players compared to CBs. Some say you cannot work the CBs,, that is not right and Ping proved it when a lot of Stars played with and loved the Eye series which are offset and a thick toppling. They could work it very well and the same with the early Callaway BBs. Fact is most of the ego satisfying people can”t work the ball with anything. But, that is life, just don’t tell me CBs ae only for hacks. So there!!!!

  2. Rich Douglas

    Jan 13, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Blades aren’t over-rated; working the ball is.

    With clubs that hit it higher, but with less spin, it’s easier to attack pins more directly and harder to shape the shot.

    You don’t learn to hit the sweet spot with a smaller sweet spot. That’s like putting a kid on a bike for the first time, but without training wheels or a parent running along side. Oh, and the bike is a performance model with ultra-thin tires and touchy brakes. You’ll be digging that kid out of the pavement every 20 feet or so.

    You learn from your successes. You can only learn from your failures if you know why you failed. But pounding shots with blades–or any other time–alone doesn’t do that. In fact, it could cause you to be ultra-careful and not learn to hit with power.

    I don’t care what anyone plays. But to suggest that performance irons are better for high-handicap players than game-improvement irons is just ridiculous. In fact, they’re really not better for anyone–unless you want to bring back wound balls with balata covers.

  3. Rascal

    Jan 13, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Instead of taco Tuesdays, can we have another blade thread wednesdays?

  4. Rich Douglas

    Dec 29, 2019 at 10:56 am

    First, I really don’t care what someone else plays.

    Second, I see a lot of people playing clubs that have, clearly, not been fitted for them. So it really doesn’t matter what those people play.

    Third, playing a blade doesn’t make you a better ball-striker. It can make your misses worse, but it won’t make you put it on the sweet spot more often. That’s not how people learn.

    Fourth, the only advantage of blades is the purposeful miss, the desire to curve the ball left or right. The vast majority of players have no business doing this, and they do not need the unintended consequences that come with it.

    Fifth, if you think you play better with blades, fine. But that’s in your head. And if you can’t get that out of your head, you’ve probably got a lot of other nonsense locked up in there, too.

    Finally, did I mention that I don’t really care what others play? Go have fun already.

  5. ActualFacts

    Dec 28, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Buy what you want. Play what you want. Enjoy…

    • A. Commoner

      Jan 14, 2020 at 9:03 am

      AcFac……Great post! Says it all. My life is not effected by what clubs my neighbor plays. Let dreamers and pretenders freely choose. Let the equipment curious and experimenters have their fun.

  6. Jim A

    Dec 28, 2019 at 9:18 am

    My MP68s were finally on my last Grove, so I replaced them with 0311Ts (looking to regain some distance lost over the past 30 years). Watched my handicap balloon from 4 to 7. Switched to P790s, but my handicap continued to climb (to a 9). I then dug out an old set of MP33s, played them for two months and my handicap dropped to a 6.

    I have a few theories for this. But the biggest reason is that with blades, I always know where the center of the face is. And every time I hit the center of the face, they carry the exact same distance. Blades never surprise me, so I can feel confident being aggressive or taking calculated risks when I need to.

    My new set for next season is the 620MB/CB blended.

  7. Joshua Martin

    Dec 28, 2019 at 5:42 am

    When i golfed 4 times a week I could hit any shot with any club and played blades. Now 15 years of marriage and 3 kids later I have Cobra One Length irons… Its always the Indian not the Arrows but an old Indian, out of his prime as a hunter, with a 30/30, has a better chance at getting dinner.

  8. Daniel Whitehurst

    Dec 28, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Ok, I’ll settle this for you all. If you can’t break 80 every time, playing blades is totally pointless. About 1/2 the tour plays them. They also don’t make a bad player better by forcing them to hit it solid. Most average players have no idea what to do to get better no matter what club you give them to hit. Trust me, I’m a fitter, instructor and a +2 index. High MOI clubs only improve accuracy slightly. What they do do is make miss hits not go as short as blades by having a larger max speed area, large sole for height and reduced effect of hitting it fat. Forged clubs have huge distance control due to slower ball speeds and high spin, like a wedge. Look at that you can hit a bad shot solid with any club and can hit a straight miss hit with anything. Most players don’t practice and just want to have fun, with immediate preformance returns with more forgiveness. If this theory of playing blades when not ideal teaches you how to be better then why are these proponents of this playing a high MOI , 460cc driver? You always will need to work shorts, change trajectory, distance and spin as an advanced player. But the AP2 is the most used iron on tour for a reason and it’s not a blade.

    • Richo

      Dec 28, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      This sort of response from someone who says they’re a fitter is irritating. People who go to you for advice are going to hear rubbish like “pros don’t use blades so you shouldn’t”. It’s such a narrow minded OEM driven load of rubbish. Everyone is different and deserve to be treated as such. I’ve tried GI irons on so many occasions and I do NOT score better with them over blades and I am not a regular sub 80’s golfer. I hit blades MUCH better than GI or SGI irons and they are far more reliable and confidence building because I know how far they are going to go and I can allow for miss hits if needed. Pro’s use GI or non bladed irons because they need to hit exact numbers too. They want to hit it 164 but I don’t need to. I need to hit it 164 +/- 5m and I hit that window with blades MUCH more often than with GI irons. GI also don’t help if you have bad face to path control so if that’s your problem, GI irons will offer you nothing over blades. Bad advice in the industry is everywhere and unless you think about the detail, you’re just on the train with everyone else that’s just average.

      • gwelfgulfer

        Dec 28, 2019 at 8:36 pm

        Pro’s can play anything under the sun and still hit the numbers needed, because they are that good, have a consistent, REPEATABLE swing. The vast, VAST majority of golfers do not have this, and honestly can’t even dream about it. WRX is a community of golfers who are above average in their interest and ‘wokeness’ about the industry and equipment. The total members on this site is like 4% of the golfers in NA alone. So as much as each is an ‘individual’, blanket statements can and will be made because there is strong merit behind them. Bad advice is in the industry, just like telling a 20+ capper to play blades because he/she likes the looks, but in 5 swings will hit the ball on 6 different places on the club face…

      • Kourt

        Dec 28, 2019 at 10:33 pm

        If you are inferring that blades somehow hit a ball more consistently than a GI iron then you are mistaken. Either club when hit perfect every time will fly the exact same distance. Mis hits will fly further with GI than with a blade, but in my studies with trackman and gc quad and a swing robot, once you get above 42 degrees in loft perimeter weighting doesn’t hardly give you any better performance than a blade does on mis hits because it’s such a glancing blow at that loft you don’t lose much distance. But the lower the loft the more important forgiveness becomes. I’ve seen as much as a 20 yard difference in 5 iron carry distance between a miss hit with a blade vs an identical lofted blade.

      • BuntFiletsAllDay

        Jan 5, 2020 at 11:46 am


  9. robert

    Dec 27, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    You might focus more with such a small sweet spot. You’ll spin the ball more that could add stopping power on the green. Chip and runs would probably be easier and they’ll look better in your hands and in your bag. You should also be able to work the ball more too. The flip side is slight misses will be penalized with greater distance loss and more spin means less distance overall. If you don’t need the extra distance and you consistently hit the center of the face than it’s a winner. IMHO you should be able to break 80 more often than not if you’re considering playing blades. The majority of tour pros aren’t playing blades. That should tell you something…

  10. Matt

    Dec 27, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    This is my situation to a tee! Switched to MP-20’s and dropped so many strokes that i went from mid/upper 90’s to consistent 80’s since their release!

  11. Jeremy

    Dec 27, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    It’s usually because the blades have heavier shafts in them which helps low-point control.

    • geohogan

      Dec 30, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      @jeremy, agree that the shaft is much more important than the head.

      Bigger or smaller, this shape or that, iron heads are a mass of metal.

      IMO, it is the shaft that will make the difference in consistency, shot shaping,
      ball control and ability to groove a swing.

  12. Max R.

    Dec 27, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Ten years ago when I got fitted for my Titlist irons and after back-and-forth switching of shafts and heads, the Titlist fitter told me that my making much better solid and consistent contact with the AP2s than the AP1s. He agreed that the differing offset and head size may have contributed to my eventual choice to AP2. Love them.

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Whats in the Bag

Anirban Lahiri WITB 2020



  • WITB accurate as of January 2020

Driver (two models): Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 M.S.I. 60 TX


3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees, DS OptiFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 70 TX


5-wood: Ping G410 (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX


Hybrid: PXG 0317 X (22 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi MMT UT 105 TX


Irons: Srixon Z 785 (4), Srixon Z 945 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7  (50-12M)
*We were unable to photograph Lahiri’s other wedges

Putter: Toulon Design Austin Stroke Lab

Putter: OnOff Prototype


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A Deep Dive: The equipment timeline of David Duval, 1993-2001



Like Tiger, David Toms, and Fred Couples there are certain players that I have been obsessed with for years. If you go to my Instagram, you can see it in plain sight. When it comes to DD it was more than the what, it was the why, the how that sparked my curiosity. Let’s face it, in 2000 with the Mossimo gear, Oakley shades, jacked-up physique, and on Titleist staff, was there ever a cooler looking player?

No. There wasn’t or isn’t.

That’s where my interest in Larry Bobka came about. I saw David and Larry walking the fairways of Sahalee at the ’98 PGA Championship.

At the time, I was already knee-deep in David Duval fandom but that experience took me over the top. Bobka had a handful of clubs in his hands and would pass DD a 970 3-wood, Duval would give it a rip and the two would discuss while walking down the fairway. Of all my time watching live golf, I have never been so awestruck.

This is an homage to David’s equipment during his prime/healthy years on the PGA Tour. From his early days with Mizuno, into the Titleist days, and finally Nike.

1993-1995 Mizuno

*This was an interesting time for Duval from an equipment standpoint. The pattern of mixing sets to put together his bag began and it was the time he transitioned from persimmon (Wood Bros driver) into metal woods. It was also the beginning of his long relationship with Scotty Cameron, a relationship that still stands today.

What was in the bag

Driver: TaylorMade Tour Burner 8.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100 (*he also played with the Bubble XHKP Prototype)


King Cobra @14 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

TaylorMade Tour Issue Spoon @13  w/ Dynamic Gold X100


1993: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1994: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1995: (2,3) Mizuno TC-29, (4-PW) Mizuno TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges: Mizuno Pro (53, 58) with Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport (35 inches, 71 lie, 4 degrees of loft)

Ball: Titleist Tour Balata 100

Glove: Mizuno Pro

1996-2000 Titleist

The beginning of the Titleist years started off quietly. There wasn’t any new product launched and David wasn’t quite the star he would become 12-18 months later. However, it gave Titleist the opportunity to get to know DD and his overall preferences, which aren’t dramatic but certainly unique. He didn’t win in 1996 but did qualify for the Presidents Cup Team and finished that event off at 4-0. So the buzz was going in the right direction and his peers certainly took notice.

It was 1997 that things took off on all fronts and it was the year that Titleist made David Duval the face of the DCI brand and with that decision spawned the greatest cast players cavity ever: the 962B—and also equipped David Duval to go on a 3-year run that was surpassed by only Tiger Woods.

Hence the deep dive article I wrote up earlier this month

What was in the bag



TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype


TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype

King Cobra Deep Face 9 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100, True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ Fujikura Prototype X


Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

1999: Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) @ 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

2000: Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X



King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100


King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100


Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

Callaway Steelhead 3+ @13 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Titleist 970 (Dark Grey Head) @13 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (only tested this one)


Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

Cobra Gravity Back 14.5T w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X



(2-PW) Titleist DD Blank Prototype w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

(2-PW) Titleist DCI Black “B” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

*This prototype set was a blank set of the DCI Black “B” but with sole modifications. 

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000: (2,3) Titleist DCI Black (4-PW) Titleist DCI 962B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

*David liked the original prototype version of DG Sensicore X100 that had weight removed from the center of shaft to create better feel and a slightly higher trajectory

24 Feb 2000: David Duval watches the ball after hitting it during the World Match-Play Championships at the La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Mandatory Credit: Harry How /Allsport


1996: (52 @53, 58) Mizuno Pro, (56 @57) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1997: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG, (58) Titleist Bobka Grind, (57 @58) Cobra Trusty Rusty w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1998: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTGw/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1999: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

2000: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400


1996: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport 1 35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft, Scotty Cameron Long Slant Neck Laguna Custom (double welded neck)

1997: Odyssey Dual Force Rossie 2, Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

1998, 1999, 2000: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

2001: Nike Golf and The Open Championship

The relationship with Titleist Golf ended quickly and when David showed up to Kapalua with a non-Titleist stand bag the rumor mill went nuts. The story (although super speculative) was that David opted out in the middle of a $4.5 million per year deal with Acushnet, a lawsuit followed, but Davids’s stance was that he had a marquee player clause that allowed him to walk if he wasn’t “marquee” aka highest-paid.

Apparently he had a point, Acushnet had recently inked big deals with Davis Love and Phil Mickelson leading someone on the outside to do the math. However, I’m not an attorney, wasn’t there, and have no clue what the legality of any of it was. Point is, he walked and landed at Nike with a new head-to-toe contract. 



Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975E Prototype 8.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Nike Titanium w/ True Temper EI-70 II Tour X (pictured below)

Nike Titanium Prototype 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (featured image)


Callaway Steelhead Plus 4+ @15 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Nike Prototype @14 degrees w/ True Temper EI-70 Tour X

Sonartec/Excedo (SS-03 head) Driving Cavity @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X


(2-PW) Titleist 990B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)

(2-PW) Nike Prototype “DD” Grind MB w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

(2) Titleist DCI Black w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)



(53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

(53,58) Nike DD Grind w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip


Over the years the one constant was David’s iron and wedge specs. As a shut-faced player he has always favored traditional lofts in his irons. However, a cool thing to note is his lie angles remained constant 59.5 (2-4), 60 (5-9). The running theory here was being a shallow (low hands) and shut faced player, keeping the lie angles at a constant (flatter) lie angle allowed him to feel like his angle of attack could remain the same for each iron. It’s just a feeling but that’s what he did. If the “why of it” is true, it looks like he was doing Bryson things before Bryson did.

David Duval Iron/Wedge Specs


  • 2-17/59.5/40.25/D5
  • 3-20.5/59.5/39 1/6/D4
  • 4-24/59.5/38 9/16/D4
  • 5-27/60/38 1/16/D4
  • 6-30.5/60/ 37 9/16/D4
  • 7-35/60/37 1/16/D4
  • 8-39/60/36 9/16/D4
  • 9-43/60/36 5/16/D4
  • P-47/61/36/ 1/16/D5
  • GW-53/62/35 5/8/D4
  • LW-58/62/35 9/16/D6

Whew…since this prolific run, David transitioned into some interesting projects with smaller companies like Scratch, B.I.G Golf (AKA Bio-engineered in Germany), back to the mainstream with Nike, and most currently Cobra Golf.

I hope you all enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me, Duval is not only fascinating from a career standpoint but digging into the equipment of DD has been quite the experience.

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“Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?” – GolfWRXers have their say



In our forums, our members have been discussing irons and how to hit your numbers consistently. WRXer ‘Hubb1e’, who is a 15 handicap, is having issues and says:

“I recently upgraded from 20 year old Taylor Made 360 irons to a set of custom-built Callaway Apex 19 Forged irons. Old irons were traditional cavity back. New irons are categorized as players distance irons. Both have the same fit.

My new 3 iron will go 230 yards or 130 yards and not even make it far enough to reach the fairway. My new 7 iron will typically go 160 yards but will often will fly 175 yards or drop out of the air at 120 yards. I can’t control the distances of my new irons, and I spent a fortune custom fitting them to my swing. Why is this happening? This was never an issue with my old irons. A bad hit would go 10-20% shorter, but I never had balls fly over the green or completely fall out of the air. What is going on with my new equipment?”

Our members offer up their solutions in our forum.

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.

  • ThreeBoxers: “Strike quality is your answer. Tech or no tech, irons will not have 50-yard distance discrepancies. Not super familiar with the Apex irons, but they’re pretty forgiving no? You might lose 10 yards on toe or heel strikes but 40, 50? You’re probably hitting it heavy. If they have a beveled edge, it may mask the feeling of hitting it fat a bit, but not the result. My Mizunos have a pretty aggressive front edge grind which helps a ton on heavy shots. It’s the difference between landing 15 yards short and 50 yards short. +1 on using foot spray to check impact.”
  • extrastiff: “It also would not hurt to check your swing speed. Even strike being terrible that’s a large discrepancy. Maybe your last build had a weight that helped you get consistent swing speed.”
  • WristySwing: “I would say inconsistent strike is the biggest issue. Now that can mean a couple of things. It could mean you, as in the person swinging, are not hitting the ball properly because of inconsistent delivery. The other option is the fit is bad, and it is causing you to be extremely inconsistent because you cannot feel the head. It might be a little bit of column A and column B. However, I would lean more towards column A in this scenario because even a horrifically misfit set someone could get used to it eventually and not have 100 yards of discrepancy in carry shot to shot. I’ve seen people who are playing 50g ladies flex irons with fat wide soles who are very shallow and swing a 6i 92mph still not have 100 yards of carry flux with their sets. If your miss is toe-side 9/10x that is because you are coming too far from the inside. When you get too stuck on the inside you typically stall and throw your arms at it. When you break your wrists (flip)/throw your arms at it you get a very inconsistent low point average that often manifests in extremely fat or thin strikes….typically fat since your squat and rotate is out of sync with your release. As others have said, get some impact tape/foot powder spray and see where you are actually making contact. Then if you can get on a video lesson and see what the issue is. As of right now, we can all only assume what is going on. If your low point control is good, you don’t get stuck, and you are hitting it in the middle of the head — then fit comes into question.”
  • larryd3: “I”d be on the phone to my fitter and setting up a time to go back in and see what’s going on with the irons. You shouldn’t be getting those types of results with a properly fit set of irons. When I got my fitting earlier this year at TrueSpec, the fitter, after watching me hit a bunch with my current irons, focused on increasing the spin on my irons, not on distance but on consistency. So far, they seem to be working well when I put a decent swing on them.”
  • fastnhappy: “One possibility that wouldn’t necessarily show up indoors is sole design and turf interaction. You may have a real problem with the newer clubs because of a sole design that doesn’t work for your swing. That’s hard to tell when hitting inside off a mat. If so, you’d see major distance inconsistency because of strike. The feedback I’ve seen on the players distance irons is exactly what you’re describing… difficult to control distance.”

Entire Thread: “Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?”

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