36 years old
1 handicap when I'm playing my best (0.4 currently - lowest I've ever been).
3 handicap when I'm not.
I play 95% of my rounds at the same course. My home course doesn't require a lot of full iron shots, so 6 and 7 irons are not the strength of my game.
I probably play 75 rounds a year.
With that being said...
Yesterday I spent some time working with Curtis Leggett at Sea Island Performance Center.
It's a 20 hour round trip drive for me, but this is the 4th time I have been. I have worked with Craig Allan twice before, and this was my second time working with Curtis. Both guys are fantastic. I wouldn't be making such a long trip if I didn't believe they were some of the best in the nation at what they do. To me, buying a set of irons is a pretty big investment and I want to know that I'm working with guys who really know their stuff. Curtis works with Davis Love III and Zach Johnson - I just hit balls and hope I don't scare him off.
I was there to be fitted for a new set of irons.
My current irons are 716 AP2 with Nippon Modus3 Tour 130 shafts.
I told Curtis I had a few irons in mind that I wanted to try - the 718 MB & CB and the Mizuno MP 18 & SC.
I told him to just hand me clubs and don't tell me anything about the shafts. I didn't want any preconceived notions of mine affecting anything.
Right away we found that we were chasing my 716 AP2 spin numbers. Everything else I tried was spinning considerably more.
In the chart below, you can see Mizuno still does their fittings with 6 irons, so you can't really compare apples to oranges.
I've never been a fan of the feel of KBS shafts. I love the feel of my Nippon 130 - but have never tried any other Nippon shafts.
Titleist and Mizuno had not sent them the Nippon shafts yet - which was sort of aggravating - but not Sea Island's fault.
The comments below are in the order that I tested the clubs.
I didn't put it in the chart, but average attack angle was -7.7.
Titleist 718 AP3 - These were the first irons Curtis recommended because they're generally a lower spinning head and he knew the CB and MB would spin a lot for me. He was right - they had less spin than most other irons we tried. I just didn't like the look of these. They are larger than my 716 AP2 and I don't like clubs that are real big. This was in my head and I simply didn't make solid contact with them. I hit it lower and lost yardage due to toe shots, fat shots, etc. Bad swings = bad results.
Titleist 718 CB - Before the AP2 irons, I played a set of MB/CB combos. I was familiar with this club look and it suits my eye. However, I simply couldn't put a very good swing on the ball. I had a little nerves at first - pressure to hit good shots. I hit the ball much higher with these and lost distance.
Titleist 718 MB - Curtis said these would spin too much, and he was right. I was starting to loosen up and my swing speed was increasing a little bit. The KBS Tour felt ok to me - it actually felt like some of the smoothest shots I hit all day. However, the spin was too high and the peak ball height was a good bit higher. Despite the fact that the shots felt smooth, the smash factor was down from my AP2 and the ball speed wasn't there. The C-Taper shafts felt rough to me. I didn't like their look and made bad swings.
Mizuno MP18 Blade - Note - this is where I was testing with a 6 irons. The Mizuno were standard lie, which is about 1-2 degrees flatter than I prefer. This was bothering me. I couldn't make solid contact and we didn't spend much time here. I liked the look of the club - but it was pretty quickly obvious that they were not going to be optimal for me.
Mizuno MP18 SC - Also a 6 iron. Lower spinning than the blade, but ball contact was still poor and we moved on.
Ping iBlade - I've never played Ping irons, so the look was a little different than I'm used to. They felt good - but the spin was still too high. Moving on...
Callaway Epic Pro - These clubs were different than anything I'm used to. The top lines seemed thicker (similar to the AP3) and they felt a little clicky. To me, feel is influenced by sound and these had a different sound than a forged Titleist or Mizuno. However, the numbers were better. Spin was a little lower and my smash factor was back where it should be. I was glad to finally get to try a Nippon shaft - and I liked the feel of it. It just felt smoother for my swing than the KBS shafts. When it was all said and done, these were the ones Curtis recommended.
PXG 0311T - These clubs fit my eye. The offset, top-line, everything. The clubs felt pretty smooth to me with the Nippon shaft. Ball speed was nearly identical to my AP2. The spin was still on the high side. This cost me about 2.5 yards carry distance. The KBS Tour V shaft had less spin but didn't feel as smooth - I felt like I had to work harder to feel the shaft kick/load and this resluted in worse swings with slighly slower ball speeds.
I stopped at the PGA Superstore in Atlanta on the way home to look at the entire set of Callaway Epic Pros. No bueno. I simply didn't like the look of the set. Too "big" for my eye.
The PXG 0311T and the Titleist MB/CB fit my eye the best. I really wonder what the MB/CB would do with the Nippon 120 shaft.
I also wonder if the PXG with Nippon 120 shaft is playable, or if I would find too much spin in playing conditions. I am tempted to pull the trigger on them because they provided respectable numbers and fit my eye best.
In the end, my 716 AP2 and very playable and nothing really beat them. I'm simply not crazy about the look of the shorter irons. I don't carry the AP2 pitching wedge - and the 8 & 9 irons feel like they have no "precision".
Pardon my rambling... hopefully someone will find this helpful.
Edited by TNReb, 12 October 2017 - 10:22 AM.