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Blades and the search for "game improvement"


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#31 NRJyzr

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:16 AM

View Postduffer987, on 15 September 2018 - 10:08 AM, said:

View PostNRJyzr, on 14 September 2018 - 06:30 PM, said:

View PostQuintupleBogey, on 14 September 2018 - 06:16 PM, said:

Also - why would the thread be locked?  Have I broken any rules or is it simply that this topic is so over-discussed that the moderators are bored to death with it?


There's a contingent of cavity back holy warriors on WRX, who think anyone who is not scratch is delusionial or merely ego driven, if they choose to play blades.

Funny that. I thought it was because of the flat earth/blade society - who have their own thread that we all play nice with and let it not get locked - who crawl out of it to come start fights before scurrying back to their safe place, where they can tee-hee-hee about all the fools playing anything that doesn't come with a set 2 iron.

Different perspectives eh ;)


I would call your perspective "revisionist history," LOL.   Point out to me where a blade user picks a fight and tells a CB user they're an idiot for using a CB?   I see that stuff from the CB side of the spectrum all the time.

Sort of like "blade users are chumps"    ;)

Edited by NRJyzr, 15 September 2018 - 10:17 AM.

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#32 Gautama

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:23 AM

View PostNessism, on 15 September 2018 - 09:50 AM, said:

View PostGautama, on 15 September 2018 - 09:19 AM, said:

If you don't have a fairly consistent bad strike pattern and are truly all over the face, then what?

The "what" is that with a true GI club, something with a high MOI, not some smallish players cavity that so many of the GolfWRX'ers denote "GI", the shot will end up closer to the target when mishit.  That's the whole point of GI clubs, not distance though stronger lofts.

You misunderstood my post.  If I'm hitting the same shot off the toe all day, the GI may go farther, but not necessarily closer to the target.  Why would it be, unless I didn't know my distances. I'm mis-hitting it, but it's still going the distance it's going, and arguably more consistently with the smaller club in my experience.  Now one can argue for a deviation about the mean benefit, ie that there's less variability from good to bad for someone all over the face and therefore a more predictable miss, but I think that's overstated too as far as actual scoring for reasons I already gave.

Edited by Gautama, 15 September 2018 - 10:25 AM.

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#33 North Butte

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:27 AM

View PostQuintupleBogey, on 14 September 2018 - 05:23 PM, said:

Do "game improvement" clubs actually improve your game?

I ask this as I feel that there are 2 ways to approach golf and indeed any other sporting or competitive activity.

1. Aiming to get the lowest score possible
2. Aiming to be as good as possible

The 2 are obviously not mutually exclusive.  For me the second option is the goal and the first option is simply a way of measuring the second.

If we are not playing in a competition then where does the need for game improvement clubs come in?  If your average score comes down by 4 strokes by playing cavity backed GI clubs then what have you achieved?

This is the crux of my point - are we not all better off playing unforgiving blades and small headed drivers that do not pander to our inconsistencies?

If we make a bad swing and the club compensates for this allowing us to hit the green then we lose the incentive - the requirement - to perfect that swing.  

This is analogous to upgrading equipment in many other forms of sport.   For me the challenge and joy of golf and all other sports I play is mastering the technique and the less forgiving the equipment the more I am driven to do so and the more joy there is in nailing that perfect shot.

Sounds like you really, really want to play blades. Go for it, you have to do whatever brings you joy. Golf is a game, if playing blades is more fun than scoring a couple strokes lower only you can say.
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#34 duffer987

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:42 AM

View PostNorth Butte, on 15 September 2018 - 10:27 AM, said:

Sounds like you really, really want to play blades. Go for it, you have to do whatever brings you joy. Golf is a game, if playing blades is more fun than scoring a couple strokes lower only you can say.
Exactly! Well said.
This should be the auto-reply for any of these what should I play hand-wringing threads. Save all the false justifications and just go play golf, with whatever you want. And if you are having fun great. If not, just keep changing stuff around until you are. Pretty simple.

Edited by duffer987, 15 September 2018 - 10:43 AM.


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#35 Hit em good

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:16 AM

If a golfer practices regularly, I do think better player player irons will help fine tune the swing, to an extent.  There is a point of diminishing returns.  This has been the case for me.  I practice about once per week, and I hit my player CB's better than GI clubs.  However, blade irons are too much for me and I get worse results.

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#36 Kingcat990

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:24 AM

Use blades to generate HC, use GI's in tournaments to pad that sandbagging HC :)
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#37 rrowe

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:37 AM

View PostGautama, on 14 September 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

And there is absolutely no question, zero, that it took less skill to ski the same terrain,and to my eye few skiers developed the same level of skills that they would have in another era.  I'm a better skier for having learned in the gear I did...100%.

You are WAY off here.  If you think skiers in the 80s or earlier developed more skill than modern skiers, you are out of your mind.  Those straight stiff sticks you are so fond of would have you getting killed skiing the terrain being skied today.  Were there big mountain skiers before? Yeah.  Were they straight lining giant Alaskan faces?  Hell no.  Equipment progressed and the sport and athletes did as well.

Have fun noodling down those groomers tho.  Are you still skiing in leather boots?

As I understand it, blades have performance characteristics which are still sought after.  No one is buying Olin Mark V's (or making anything similar) because they do not provide an increase in performance over modern ski designs.

Edited by rrowe, 15 September 2018 - 11:44 AM.


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#38 Stanks

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:44 AM

Use blades to get better, period. GI irons will only get you so far and then you might start relying on the assistance granted and not forced to become better. Punish yourself and learn from your mistakes will push you to become more advanced than you once were.

No pro ever got somewhere by being coddled and "groomed" for success. If it is hard to do and it's punishing then, you're learning.
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#39 BiggErn

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:50 AM

View PostStanks, on 15 September 2018 - 11:44 AM, said:

Use blades to get better, period. GI irons will only get you so far and then you might start relying on the assistance granted and not forced to become better. Punish yourself and learn from your mistakes will push you to become more advanced than you once were.

No pro ever got somewhere by being coddled and "groomed" for success. If it is hard to do and it's punishing then, you're learning.


Simply absurd “reasoning”

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#40 dubbelbogey

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:53 AM

View Postrrowe, on 15 September 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:


You are WAY off here.  If you think skiers in the 80s or earlier developed more skill than modern skiers, you are out of your mind.  Those straight stiff sticks you are so fond of would have you getting killed skiing the terrain being skied today.  Were there big mountain skiers before? Yeah.  Were they straight lining giant Alaskan faces?  Hell no.  Equipment progressed and the sport and athletes did as well.

Have fun noodling down those groomers tho.  Are you still skiing in leather boots?

I'm actually gonna agree with most of what you said here about skis and skiers as it pertains to the top level of the sport. What the big mountain skiers do today is absolutely mind boggling (and frankly, pretty nuts.) What Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety do in the gates is equally impressive. But when I think about mainstream, average resort skiers, that's where I think the skill has not really improved, but their skiing has, because of equipment. Those skiers had no chance of true carving back in the day, but a lot of them can make a reasonable go of it with today's gear. Skiing powder was especially hopeless for intermediate skiers when skinny skis were the norm.New equipment totally changed that game, but didn't make that class of skiers any more skilled. That said, I don't think the median skill level of skiers has become worse or better in any real way, even though the top end of the sport has pushed the boundaries quite far. Where I'll agree with the OP is that being a good skier on the old gear made transitioning to and capitalizing on the new stuff silly easy.


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#41 Chuck905

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:57 AM

Honestly, blades are not hard to hit so this forgiveness argument is muted to me personally.

I play blades for the looks and utmost feel.
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#42 duffer987

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:04 PM

View PostBiggErn, on 15 September 2018 - 11:50 AM, said:

View PostStanks, on 15 September 2018 - 11:44 AM, said:

Use blades to get better, period. GI irons will only get you so far and then you might start relying on the assistance granted and not forced to become better. Punish yourself and learn from your mistakes will push you to become more advanced than you once were.

No pro ever got somewhere by being coddled and "groomed" for success. If it is hard to do and it's punishing then, you're learning.


Simply absurd “reasoning”
I'm assuming he's taking the piss, because no reasonable person could possibly hold those views, regardless of how bias their POV is.
Imagine if young Jordan Spieth had played FG-17s and an old Bubble Burner driver, he might have made something of himself.

Edited by duffer987, 15 September 2018 - 12:06 PM.


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#43 mahonie

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:14 PM

View PostNRJyzr, on 15 September 2018 - 09:04 AM, said:

View PostNessism, on 15 September 2018 - 08:35 AM, said:

Where the OP's logic goes out the window is in assuming that the feedback and poor results of a bad shot with an unforgiving club will somehow lead the player to improve his swing.  This is analogous to finding dog pee on the floor and then punishing your dog after the fact, only the dog is incapable of connecting the two events.  I'm a case in point: I strike most shots out toward the toe and can't seem to fix it.  Would playing blades force me to improve?  No.  I played blades for more than a decade and will never go back other than maybe for a retro bag.

No offense, but i think your analogy is a poor one.

That said, I tend to agree with you.  It's not something that can *make* you improve.  It can help, but you still need the ability to make the adjustments necessary.  Not everyone has that.

Where I differ with the common line of thought is that there's a significant difference between blades and what folks call the "players CB."  My experience has been that there's little difference, if any.  When you get to something like the G series for Ping, it may be different, but I've found I can't play something like that; the last time I hit a G20 8iron, I ballooned it in virtually no wind.  LOL   I played the A10 for a time, found them to give me nothing extra.  Same with the TM TP MC.  And so on.

Ultimately, golf is not one size fits all.  There's nothing that works for everyone.  And, I feel any player won't *really* know if something works until they make an honest effort.

I also think launch conditions are a bigger player in this particular choice, maybe an overlooked aspect.  I had to put away a set of Mizuno blades due to excessive spin, and switched to Eye2+ for that same reason (better spin).  Cant believe I'm alone in that arena.

I find the whole issue of ‘feedback’ and feel in golf to be fascinating and particularly how you can combine feel with correct technique. Faldo was always criticised for being overly technical, but he actually was very much a feel player. He honed his technique on the practice range and probably practised more than any other of his peers but when he got to the course, it was all about clearing his mind and limiting swing thoughts to one only and playing sub-consciously.

This article explains how this method is taught and the fundamental focus is on knowing where the centre of the club is:

https://www.psycholo...olf-instruction




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#44 Pepperturbo

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:20 PM

Legitimate question.  The answer is clubhead design is NOT a critical factor in being a better than the average golfer.

1. Aiming to get the lowest score possible = lots of practice
2. Aiming to be as good as possible = lots of practice

Game improvement = practice like those intending on being professional.

When I took up the game at 40, I was banging on average 1000-1500 balls per week; I organized my practice sessions each with purpose and only played executive courses for some time before venturing out on a regulation course.  Though I switched to blades after playing six months, they were "NOT" a crucial factor in my improvement, just my preference in tools as they fit my golf game intentions.  :beach:  

Also, I am self-taught.  For that reason, back then a relative on tour advised me if ball-striking was important to me switch to blades.  His words, "blades will help me find the proper swing plane, and I believe that was true then... not so much today, as blade design has changed.

PS; being a clinically educated professional that is a low-single-digit golfer, I don't buy most theories bantered about by Psychologists.  Typically, they have the same application limitation that golf instructors have, can't teach through their bias, and as instructors of golf, don't know their limitations.

Edited by Pepperturbo, 15 September 2018 - 12:37 PM.

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#45 duffer987

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:39 PM

^Interesting. So this nonsense happens on skiing forums too.
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#46 Gautama

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:49 PM

View Postduffer987, on 15 September 2018 - 12:39 PM, said:

^Interesting. So this nonsense happens on skiing forums too.
Every day's a school day.

LOL, indeed, guilty as charged, I deleted my rant.  Leather boots indeed...good grief :lol:

Edited by Gautama, 15 September 2018 - 01:06 PM.

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#47 buzlin

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:02 PM

OP, I'm assuming by now you've figured out why these threads get locked.  It's become quite polarizing and political.

I've played my best with MBs and subscribe to your philosophy about the lack of compensation and increased feedback being beneficial to improving.  I play both MBs and CBs depending on how I feel about my game and how much time I have to practice.

What you'll continue to see is people making personal statements about what works for them, and then people jump all over them with their own personal experience, or better yet, assume because MBs work for them that they must be part of the small but passionate (and somewhat misinformed) blade crazies.

I again like it to politics, if you disagree then it must mean you're on one extreme or another.  Many don't want to hear or accept anyone's personal thoughts if they differ from their own.
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#48 BiggErn

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:11 PM

View Postbuzlin, on 15 September 2018 - 01:02 PM, said:

OP, I'm assuming by now you've figured out why these threads get locked.  It's become quite polarizing and political.

I've played my best with MBs and subscribe to your philosophy about the lack of compensation and increased feedback being beneficial to improving.  I play both MBs and CBs depending on how I feel about my game and how much time I have to practice.

What you'll continue to see is people making personal statements about what works for them, and then people jump all over them with their own personal experience, or better yet, assume because MBs work for them that they must be part of the small but passionate (and somewhat misinformed) blade crazies.

I again like it to politics, if you disagree then it must mean you're on one extreme or another.  Many don't want to hear or accept anyone's personal thoughts if they differ from their own.


I liken it to reality and physics. The supposed greater feedback doesn’t mean you’ll get better. Living with more penal shots does not guarantee you’ll get better. Of course the feedback thing is a farce anyway as all clubs provide feedback. It’s about playing golf to shoot the lowest score possible not about playing the hardest to hit clubs for the challenge with the fallacy they will make you better.

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#49 North Butte

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:17 PM

View PostStanks, on 15 September 2018 - 11:44 AM, said:

Use blades to get better, period. GI irons will only get you so far and then you might start relying on the assistance granted and not forced to become better. Punish yourself and learn from your mistakes will push you to become more advanced than you once were.

No pro ever got somewhere by being coddled and "groomed" for success. If it is hard to do and it's punishing then, you're learning.

I prefer to pay someone to follow me around the course and swat me up aside the head with a stick every time I make a bad swing.  How can I not get great with all that feedback?
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#50 buzlin

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:23 PM

View PostBiggErn, on 15 September 2018 - 01:11 PM, said:

View Postbuzlin, on 15 September 2018 - 01:02 PM, said:

OP, I'm assuming by now you've figured out why these threads get locked.  It's become quite polarizing and political.

I've played my best with MBs and subscribe to your philosophy about the lack of compensation and increased feedback being beneficial to improving.  I play both MBs and CBs depending on how I feel about my game and how much time I have to practice.

What you'll continue to see is people making personal statements about what works for them, and then people jump all over them with their own personal experience, or better yet, assume because MBs work for them that they must be part of the small but passionate (and somewhat misinformed) blade crazies.

I again like it to politics, if you disagree then it must mean you're on one extreme or another.  Many don't want to hear or accept anyone's personal thoughts if they differ from their own.


I liken it to reality and physics. The supposed greater feedback doesnít mean youíll get better. Living with more penal shots does not guarantee youíll get better. Of course the feedback thing is a farce anyway as all clubs provide feedback. Itís about playing golf to shoot the lowest score possible not about playing the hardest to hit clubs for the challenge with the fallacy they will make you better.
Bigg, love it.  Thanks for playing along.

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#51 farmer

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:25 PM

Blades have changed a great deal since the '60's, when I started to play.  Even the bladiest blades are easier to play than they were back in the day.  That said, why is easier a bad thing?  If golf is to grow and thrive, having equipment that makes a basic level of competence easier to attain seems a no brainer.  A modern GI iron makes it easier to get a ball in the air, bad mishits tend not to be as catastrophic as they were with my old Hagen blades.  This is a golf nerd site, and is the only place I've heard a blade-gi debate.

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#52 Itsjustagame

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:28 PM

So it seems many people who play blades and many people who don't play blades feel iron selection has no significant impact on scoring and it's all about personal preference?
Seems pretty simple and should about wrap up this thread.

Edited by Itsjustagame, 15 September 2018 - 01:30 PM.

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#53 BiggErn

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:34 PM

View Postbuzlin, on 15 September 2018 - 01:23 PM, said:

View PostBiggErn, on 15 September 2018 - 01:11 PM, said:

View Postbuzlin, on 15 September 2018 - 01:02 PM, said:

OP, I'm assuming by now you've figured out why these threads get locked.  It's become quite polarizing and political.

I've played my best with MBs and subscribe to your philosophy about the lack of compensation and increased feedback being beneficial to improving.  I play both MBs and CBs depending on how I feel about my game and how much time I have to practice.

What you'll continue to see is people making personal statements about what works for them, and then people jump all over them with their own personal experience, or better yet, assume because MBs work for them that they must be part of the small but passionate (and somewhat misinformed) blade crazies.

I again like it to politics, if you disagree then it must mean you're on one extreme or another.  Many don't want to hear or accept anyone's personal thoughts if they differ from their own.


I liken it to reality and physics. The supposed greater feedback doesn’t mean you’ll get better. Living with more penal shots does not guarantee you’ll get better. Of course the feedback thing is a farce anyway as all clubs provide feedback. It’s about playing golf to shoot the lowest score possible not about playing the hardest to hit clubs for the challenge with the fallacy they will make you better.
Bigg, love it.  Thanks for playing along.

You’re welcome. Good times

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#54 North Butte

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:42 PM

View PostItsjustagame, on 15 September 2018 - 01:28 PM, said:

So it seems many people who play blades and many people who don't play blades feel iron selection has no significant impact on scoring and it's all about personal preference?
Seems pretty simple and should about wrap up this thread.

Choice of equipment certainly affects scoring. But for some people other things matter more than the lowest possible scores.

Heck, some people use antique hickory shafted clubs because they enjoy them more than modern clubs.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#55 duffer987

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:43 PM

View Postfarmer, on 15 September 2018 - 01:25 PM, said:

Blades have changed a great deal since the '60's, when I started to play.  Even the bladiest blades are easier to play than they were back in the day.  That said, why is easier a bad thing?  If golf is to grow and thrive, having equipment that makes a basic level of competence easier to attain seems a no brainer.  A modern GI iron makes it easier to get a ball in the air, bad mishits tend not to be as catastrophic as they were with my old Hagen blades.  This is a golf nerd site, and is the only place I've heard a blade-gi debate.
Too true.
I've had more than one person ask about them or say cool blades in regards to my S55s. One time I said, oh well, really they're small CB not actually a blade, but it's the most compact iron Ping makes, yadda yadda yadda... as I saw their eyes start to glaze over at my pedantic reply, I copped on. Now I just say - yes, thanks :)

Edited by duffer987, 15 September 2018 - 03:00 PM.


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#56 vman

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:48 PM

Some of the best ball flight and distance control I've ever seen was by Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood. At the time one had original Big Berthas and the other Zing 2's. It's really not about the irons but the individuals using them.
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#57 duffer987

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    $1300+ for Cally irons?!

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:53 PM

View Postvman, on 15 September 2018 - 01:48 PM, said:

Some of the best ball flight and distance control I've ever seen was by Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood. At the time one had original Big Berthas and the other Zing 2's. It's really not about the irons but the individuals using them.
Didn't Annika use those GIs too? Maybe x-12/14s? Yes a quick google does show that.

Not comparing us to them, but above folks have made the 'pros' reference.

Edited by duffer987, 15 September 2018 - 01:53 PM.


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#58 Cwebb

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:56 PM

View PostPepperturbo, on 15 September 2018 - 12:20 PM, said:

  
Also, I am self-taught.  For that reason, back then a relative on tour advised me if ball-striking was important to me switch to blades.  His words, "blades will help me find the proper swing plane, and I believe that was true then... not so much today, as blade design has changed.


That's a new one that I hadn't heard of  :dntknw:

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#59 dunn

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 02:04 PM

Practice and hard work lower scores get a golfer as good as possible,

Equipment is maybe 5%
The swing, mental approach is 95%

Why focus on smallest part of equation and only get a 5% return

Edited by dunn, 15 September 2018 - 02:06 PM.


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#60 North Butte

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 02:12 PM

View Postdunn, on 15 September 2018 - 02:04 PM, said:

Practice and hard work lower scores get a golfer as good as possible,

Equipment is maybe 5%
The swing, mental approach is 95%

Why focus on smallest part of equation and only get a 5% return

So are you saying if someone buys a set of AP1’s they are not allowed to practice their swing and mental approach?

You are allowed to have both, the best clubs AND the hard work and practice. The whole 100% at once!

Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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