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Playing blades.


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#1 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

Hey all. I started golfing about 3 years ago and golfing a lot about 2 years ago.  My first set of irons was a used left handed set of mizuno mp32 irons. After beating these to death over 3 years I found a gently used set of mp68 irons. People have often made comments to me that I am not skilled enough or advanced enougb to play the clubs that I play.  It has always bothered me when people tell me I 'need' gi irons and i 'need' hybrid clubs. Over the past year my shot quality has increased and my scoring is much improved. I have learned how to golf on clubs that creating good ball striking ability in myself through negative reinforcement.  If i miss, i miss.

Good misses is not good golf to me.

I am not talkkng about conservative strategy,  that can be very good golf. I am talking about thin shots that still get up in the air and toe hits that still get on the green.

I have never really hit any GI irons(product of being left handed), and I frankly feel if I did I might take several shots of my game, but it could cause me to plateau as far as ballstriking is concerned.

I would like to ask a question to yall out there:

Does learning to play golf with players irons help create a good golfer faster than gi irons?


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#2 golfsavvy

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:00 PM

Play what you hit the best.  I started my son at age 10 with blades.  Everyone said that was a bad idea, but he's better for it now.  Game improvement irons are only game improvement irons if you hit them better.  The key to the right set is the right specifications.  If you want to try a game improvement iron, try it in the same specifications as your blades, but the bottom line is that if you hit a club better, it's probably better for you.  But, it's more about specifications and performance than blanket comments.

I once fit a 25 handicap into blades.  He wasn't a 25 because of his ball striking -- he hit them great.  He was a 25 because he didn't play much and he didn't practice much.  A year later he was a 15 with no extra practice.  Make sure you have the right fit, the right lie angle, the right shaft, etc.

There was a big thread last year about blades and ratings with a guy from Golf Digest.  His comment was that no one should play blades.   Comments like you're not skilled enough to play something are worthless.  Question every comment, including mine...  If it works, do it, if not, don't.  Golf is about YOUR game and YOUR experience.

#3 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:07 PM

Golfsavvy:

Thanks.

The new irons i got are one inch shorter than my old irons. But over time I have devoloped an inside swing. They dont feel short though, I just stand closer to the ball.

All things being equal, does a shallower swing path require less shaft length?

I wondering if I should even bother getting them extended.

#4 DNice26

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:08 PM

That is a good question......"Does learning to play golf with players irons help create a good golfer faster than gi irons?"

I would lean toward YES, but I think the real answer is......it depends.  It depends on the person themselves, their athletic potential and their attitude.

My question to you though is:  what is a "good golfer"......is it the guy that shoots the lowest score?  If so, then I would say that for the VAST MAJORITY of golfers (Professional level excluded), cavity back irons will play more forgiving and allow them a better opportunity to "get away" with less then stellar swings, thereby allowing them to shoot slightly lower scores.  

Finally, your post implies that their is no in between when speaking about blades and GI irons.  Why not play a good forged CB iron?  Even though I play MP68 blades myself, I do believe that they are certainly not for everyone.  I would encourge most people, including really low handicappers to play CBs.  I'm personally trying to make the switch to my backup set of MP53s.....but I have to admit, the feel of my blades is VERY difficult to pass on.....
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#5 CallawayLefty

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

Good topic - and one that hasn't ever been covered on here to my knowledge.


#6 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:15 PM

Dnice:

By good golfer i meant good ball striking.

#7 Pepperturbo

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:19 PM

View PostMox Monkey, on 06 June 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:


I would like to ask a question to yall out there:

Does learning to play golf with players irons help create a good golfer faster than gi irons?

All depends on your approach to those clubs.  I took up the game using Pings.  After a some months switched to Mizuno blades and never looked back; reached single digit inside of five years while working a demanding job.  Faster or slower ??? all depends on your critical reasoning abilities and attention to details.

IMO with blades or blade-like you either focus in on ball striking skills and overcome frustation, or simply give up and move to GI irons.
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#8 pssywgn

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:42 PM

I don't see how good ball striking and poor accuracy are not mutually exclusive.

I can see this being the case with a single digit handicapper, but not for someone in the mid-teens or higher.  GI clubs are not solely about making ball striking more consistent given an inconsistent input from the user.  They can also decrease dispersion and aid in ball flight.

I don't personally like to talk about ball striking simply as "how close to the sweet spot did the ball come".  I think of it as comprising a lot more elements.

Blades would be for when you CAN control your dispersion and desire to be able to work the ball more around how courses or conditions are setup.  If a person is shooting upper 80's and 90's, they aren't controlling their dispersion.  And if they aren't doing that, they certainly won't be able to work the ball.

#9 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:50 PM

Pssygwn:

Decreasing dispersion and aiding ball flight, another way to say masking toe hits and thin shots?

#10 HitEmTrue

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

View PostMox Monkey, on 06 June 2012 - 01:50 PM, said:

Pssygwn:

Decreasing dispersion and aiding ball flight, another way to say masking toe hits and thin shots?

Mox, GI irons don't mask toe hits and truly thin shots as much as your suggesting...you mainly just get more forgiveness on shots that are struck a little off-center.  Hit if off the toe, you will know it, and it is doubtful you'll be sitting on the green.


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#11 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:06 PM

Oh. I was told toe hits fly almost as far and thin shots still get up in the air.

#12 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:09 PM

Whats the difference between a players cavity and a gi iron?

#13 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:11 PM

Say like the MP59 and JPX800?

Whats the on course differences?

#14 CallawayLefty

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:15 PM

Hey Aithos - can you chime in here?

#15 MelloYello

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:35 PM

Why not look at your stats? That should tell you everything you need to know without having to ask people who've never seen you play before. ;)

Take your last 5 or 10 rounds and look at your overall score, your fairways hit, your greens in regulation, your putts per round. Figure out how good you really are with your irons and if you're really controlling the ball well. If you aren't, then forget blades.

Here's a thought...

You have a 5 iron from the fairway, perfect lie...it's not a problem to hit the green from 180 out is it? You're 9 out of 10 to the center of the green, right? Hopefully that's basic. What if you want to throw the ball up a little and let it ride the wind? Is that something you can do? Can you knock it down a little and flight it lower while controlling yardage and limiting spin? If you can, then it's on to shot-shaping. What's your stock shot? A little fade? A little draw? Whatever you play, are you able to go to the other side on cue? If your stock shot is little 4-yd draw with that 5-iron are you able to hold it off a little and hit a nice high, floating fade? If so, I'd say you have a pretty decent iron game. Not great, but you pass the basic tests. It doesn't take a golf guru to do any of that.

Let's talk about divots...no issues there right? Divot depth is shallow, right? Can't afford not to be with blades of course. Are you sweeping those long irons every time? Not too steep with the short irons either, right? Hopefully not. That'd get pretty ugly pretty quick with blades. What about sidehill lies? Considered that? Easy to miss the center there! Are you good with the ball moved up, down and around in your stance? You're still able to hit your shots with making the right adjustments? You're controlling your spine angle and your angle of attack on each shot right? No reason to punish yourself with blades if you haven't mastered that.

As a personal bit of wisdom I'd recommend you also consider your local course conditions since blades tend to amplify the interaction before the turf and the club's sole.


Some folks might tell you that you don't have to do all this to justify playing a blade design. They might bail out of the discussion with nonsense about personal preference with worn out, cliche'd 'to each his own' mottos.

Well hell, you can carry a bunch of hickory-shafted clubs for all I care. If you want to precisely control your shots and play blades in order to do it, then go right ahead, it's an honorable path to choose. If you want to win your club championship and shoot 65 that's another discussion because no course in the world takes off strokes for having played with blades.

If you want to play golf at the highest of levels, then yes it's done with blade irons without question. To make a statement about doing that while you're currently shooting 85...well, that's embarrassing for most people but 1 in 10,000 guys will do it.

Edited by MelloYello, 06 June 2012 - 02:51 PM.


#16 Jeembo

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:39 PM

I would say yes, playing less forgiving irons will do a quicker job of making people improve their swing than more forgiving irons.  I've played GI irons for quite a while and I decided I wanted to make a concerted effort to improve my swing, so I bought a set of irons that penalize off-center hits a bit more.

Just please, for the love of the golf gods, do not bring a smug attitude with your blades or you'll be no better than the people giving you a hard time for playing them.

Edited by Jeembo, 06 June 2012 - 02:40 PM.


#17 CallawayLefty

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:52 PM

View PostMelloYello, on 06 June 2012 - 02:35 PM, said:

Why not look at your stats? That should tell you everything you need to know without having to ask people who've never seen you play before. ;)

Take your last 5 or 10 rounds and look at your overall score, your fairways hit, your greens in regulation, your putts per round. Figure out how good you really are with your irons and if you're really controlling the ball well. If you aren't, then forget blades.

Here's a thought...

You have a 5 iron from the fairway, perfect lie...it's not a problem to hit the green from 180 out is it? You're 9 out of 10 to the center of the green, right? Hopefully that's basic. What if you want to throw the ball up a little and let it ride the wind? Is that something you can do? Can you knock it down a little and flight it lower while controlling yardage and limiting spin? If you can, then it's on to shot-shaping. What's your stock shot? A little fade? A little draw? Whatever you play, are you able to go to the other side on cue? If your stock shot is little 4-yd draw with that 5-iron are you able to hold it off a little and hit a nice high, floating fade? If so, I'd say you have a pretty decent iron game. Not great, but you pass the basic tests. It doesn't take a golf guru to do any of that.

Let's talk about divots...no issues there right? Divot depth is shallow, right? Can't afford not to be with blades of course. Are you sweeping those long irons every time? Not too steep with the short irons either, right? Hopefully not. That'd get pretty ugly pretty quick with blades. What about sidehill lies? Considered that? Easy to miss the center there! Are you good with the ball moved up, down and around in your stance? You're still able to hit your shots with making the right adjustments? You're controlling your spine angle and your angle of attack on each shot right? No reason to punish yourself with blades if you haven't mastered that.

As a personal bit of wisdom I'd recommend you also consider your local course conditions since blades tend to amplify the interaction before the turf and the club's sole.


Some folks might tell you that you don't have to do all this to justify playing a blade design. They might bail out of the discussion with nonsense about personal preference with worn out, cliche'd 'to each his own' mottos.

Well hell, you can carry a bunch of hickory-shafted clubs for all I care. If you want to precisely control your shots and play blades in order to do it, then go right ahead, it's an honorable path to choose. If you want to win your club championship and shoot 65 that's another discussion because no course in the world takes off strokes for having played with blades.

Agree with everything above except the bold.  That's a bit extreme.  PGA pros don't hit anywhere near 9 out of 10 on the green from 180.  It's far from basic.  Other than that, I agree with your general point that this guy probably shouldn't be playing blades.

EDIT: Bubba Watson is #1 on tour right now in GIR from 175-200 with just over 70%.  Boo Weekley, who is known as a fantastic ball striker, is right in the middle of the pack with an average of just under 50% (he might be a bit off this season, but still...).

Edited by CallawayLefty, 06 June 2012 - 02:56 PM.


#18 MelloYello

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:56 PM

View PostCallawayLefty, on 06 June 2012 - 02:52 PM, said:

View PostMelloYello, on 06 June 2012 - 02:35 PM, said:

Why not look at your stats? That should tell you everything you need to know without having to ask people who've never seen you play before. ;)

Take your last 5 or 10 rounds and look at your overall score, your fairways hit, your greens in regulation, your putts per round. Figure out how good you really are with your irons and if you're really controlling the ball well. If you aren't, then forget blades.

Here's a thought...

You have a 5 iron from the fairway, perfect lie...it's not a problem to hit the green from 180 out is it? You're 9 out of 10 to the center of the green, right? Hopefully that's basic. What if you want to throw the ball up a little and let it ride the wind? Is that something you can do? Can you knock it down a little and flight it lower while controlling yardage and limiting spin? If you can, then it's on to shot-shaping. What's your stock shot? A little fade? A little draw? Whatever you play, are you able to go to the other side on cue? If your stock shot is little 4-yd draw with that 5-iron are you able to hold it off a little and hit a nice high, floating fade? If so, I'd say you have a pretty decent iron game. Not great, but you pass the basic tests. It doesn't take a golf guru to do any of that.

Let's talk about divots...no issues there right? Divot depth is shallow, right? Can't afford not to be with blades of course. Are you sweeping those long irons every time? Not too steep with the short irons either, right? Hopefully not. That'd get pretty ugly pretty quick with blades. What about sidehill lies? Considered that? Easy to miss the center there! Are you good with the ball moved up, down and around in your stance? You're still able to hit your shots with making the right adjustments? You're controlling your spine angle and your angle of attack on each shot right? No reason to punish yourself with blades if you haven't mastered that.

As a personal bit of wisdom I'd recommend you also consider your local course conditions since blades tend to amplify the interaction before the turf and the club's sole.


Some folks might tell you that you don't have to do all this to justify playing a blade design. They might bail out of the discussion with nonsense about personal preference with worn out, cliche'd 'to each his own' mottos.

Well hell, you can carry a bunch of hickory-shafted clubs for all I care. If you want to precisely control your shots and play blades in order to do it, then go right ahead, it's an honorable path to choose. If you want to win your club championship and shoot 65 that's another discussion because no course in the world takes off strokes for having played with blades.

Agree with everything above except the bold.  That's a bit extreme.  PGA pros don't hit anywhere near 9 out of 10 on the green from 180.  It's far from basic.  Other than that, I agree with your general point that this guy probably shouldn't be playing blades.

Hell no. From a perfect lie with a 5 iron you don't think that's a basic shot?

Put Zach Johnson on playing lessons from the pro's with a 5 iron from a perfect lie and tell him to hit the middle of the green...

...you don't think he does that 10 out of 10 times?


It's all the other things that make it difficult. A stock shot is a stock shot.

#19 tocino

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:03 PM

Im a high handicapper but I switched from burner plus irons to an old set of mp-14's. It was horrible the first couple of rounds, but with practice and the tour striker I got a couple months ago I could never go back to my old set. My ball striking is way better now and I love the feel of striping a well struck iron. I may try and get a cheap set of players cb irons to try but I'm pretty sold on blades now

Edited by tocino, 06 June 2012 - 03:04 PM.

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#20 Mox Monkey

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:06 PM

All those things that mellow said are things that i try and am trying to achieve.

Everything has to apparently be perfect, and thats how I want it.

I dont have many of those skills consistent yet.

I work hard at it though.

Thanks for everyones input.


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#21 Pepperturbo

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:09 PM

I categorically disagree with anyone that says GI heads don't mask poor strikes. Their essencial purpose is forgiveness and less dispersion; that means to an extent, make lemonaide out of lemons.

Many of the average golfers I know use GI clubheads, which there's nothing wrong with that.  Even some better amateurs opt for them. I don't address pros as they have a completely different agenda, beyond the amateur.  Anyway, they have huge sweet spots with impressive perimeter weighting.  As a result, and by design, they mask how far forward or towards the heal the mishit is from the sweet spot.  IMO perimeter weighting also offsets the value of forged head by masking feel to a degree; thats somewhat dependent on the user too.

If anyone learned with old style blades they know moving the ball in either direction is the direct result of where the ball impacts on the face, in relation to the dime sweet spot.  Contempory blades are different and easier to hit because the sweet spot is more like the size of a nickel; centered on the face, but most of all, lower as compared to high and closer to the heal of older blades.

Those are the best reasons for learning with blades that I can offer.  You just need determination and patiences and practice.  But, if you're in a hurry and or don't have much patience, or time constrints, use GI heads.  Even though my current irons are blade like, when my swing is off, I know how to adjust.  But, if more is needed, I pull out my blades for a quick reschooling.

Edited by Pepperturbo, 06 June 2012 - 03:15 PM.

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#22 BrianMcG

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:20 PM

I think SGI irons are a pure marketing ploy. Equipment companies have done a great job in convincing the public that they cant even get a ball aireborne if it wasnt for their club.

The reason is they can come out with some new looking club and lie to you and tell you how much better you will be and you will plunk down $1000 every year.

Once someone buys blades they keep them until the grooves wear out. Its hard to get a player to buy another blade that looks identical to the one they are playing.

How in the world did Ben, Jack, Sam, Byron, and Old Tom ever learn to play without SGI clubs. Im baffled.

Im curious how a game which requires a great amount of feel in order to do well would require a club wich almost completely eliminates any feel you get from hitting the golf ball.

Edited by BrianMcG, 06 June 2012 - 03:21 PM.


#23 CallawayLefty

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:20 PM

View PostMelloYello, on 06 June 2012 - 02:56 PM, said:

Hell no. From a perfect lie with a 5 iron you don't think that's a basic shot?

Put Zach Johnson on playing lessons from the pro's with a 5 iron from a perfect lie and tell him to hit the middle of the green...

...you don't think he does that 10 out of 10 times?


It's all the other things that make it difficult. A stock shot is a stock shot.

Zach only hits 73% from the fairway, which includes every shot from the fairway under 180 yards (and concededly over 200 yards).  But yeah, I don't think he hits 10/10 from that distance, and if you do, you're kidding yourself.  I think people tend to overestimate how good pros are in every area except short game, in which they tend to underestimate.  Anyway, I'm getting way off topic for this thread, so I'm out.

Edited by CallawayLefty, 06 June 2012 - 03:21 PM.


#24 sonofagunn

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:22 PM

I bought a Titliest forged blade 5 iron for practice. I am not a great ballstriker (50% fairways, 30% GIR) and honestly, the difference between my cavity backs (Wilson Staff Ci6) on mishits isn't that great. You feel it more, for sure, but the results aren't as bad as someone who has never played blades might think after reading threads like this and the game improvement marketing material.

I do not think my scores would suffer if I played blades. Sure, I might lose a little distance on mishits, but my mishits are usually off-line, so getting down sooner is helpful as often as it hurts.
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#25 Wknd_Warrior

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:33 PM

The worst part about playing blades is being told you shouldn't play them all the time.  Just say "I'm a traditionalist", or "I've never played anything else"..

My biggest problem with GI irons (other than they are ugly) is the offset most of them have.  Unless it really works for you I think it's poison for the golfer who is key to improve, so in that repect I'd say ya.

One could argue that GI clubs enable you to swing way too hard and beleive your swing mechanics are better than they really are.  Needless to say, it doesn't have to be that way, but I can see some pitfalls.

Most blades are simple clubs with no smoke and mirrors, you'd think that would lend itself well to working on the swing.


#26 Wknd_Warrior

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:35 PM

View PostBrianMcG, on 06 June 2012 - 03:20 PM, said:

Im curious how a game which requires a great amount of feel in order to do well would require a club wich almost completely eliminates any feel you get from hitting the golf ball.

well said!

#27 Colum

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:36 PM

View PostMox Monkey, on 06 June 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

Hey all. I started golfing about 3 years ago and golfing a lot about 2 years ago.  My first set of irons was a used left handed set of mizuno mp32 irons. After beating these to death over 3 years I found a gently used set of mp68 irons. People have often made comments to me that I am not skilled enough or advanced enougb to play the clubs that I play.  It has always bothered me when people tell me I 'need' gi irons and i 'need' hybrid clubs. Over the past year my shot quality has increased and my scoring is much improved. I have learned how to golf on clubs that creating good ball striking ability in myself through negative reinforcement.  If i miss, i miss.

Good misses is not good golf to me.

I am not talkkng about conservative strategy,  that can be very good golf. I am talking about thin shots that still get up in the air and toe hits that still get on the green.

I have never really hit any GI irons(product of being left handed), and I frankly feel if I did I might take several shots of my game, but it could cause me to plateau as far as ballstriking is concerned.

I would like to ask a question to yall out there:

Does learning to play golf with players irons help create a good golfer faster than gi irons?

I think so, in fact I would guess you may very well be disappointed in GI clubs if you are used to blades. I would suggest getting a set with minimal offset if you chose to go that way, the JPX-Pro and Ap2's must be worth a looking if you are after more forgiveness.

#28 HitEmTrue

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:56 PM

View PostPepperturbo, on 06 June 2012 - 03:09 PM, said:

I categorically disagree with anyone that says GI heads don't mask poor strikes. Their essencial purpose is forgiveness and less dispersion; that means to an extent, make lemonaide out of lemons.

Pepper, I said "as much as you (the OP) are suggesting."  Poor strikes WAY out on the toe don't magically land on the green.

Edited by HitEmTrue, 06 June 2012 - 03:56 PM.


#29 anth

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 04:19 PM

Has Bubba ever played blades?  He seems to work the ball just fine.

Oh that's right I forgot - you can't mention the pros whenever these debates surface.  Don't know why.....

Blades may well help you become a better player but I think the practice you put in to improve has greater influence.  

There are heaps of clubs that sit between blades and GI irons by the way.  Not sure why you would restrict yourself to one or the other
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#30 crapula

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 04:30 PM

If I hit a 30 yard hook with a blade, will that become a 15 yard hook with a GI iron and a 5 yard draw with an SGI?

Most people I see have no problem "working" the ball 40 yards right with an SGI.


Has there been any robot testing on the work-ability between players, GI, and SGI irons?

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