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Forum Thread of the Day: “My experience gaming blades as a mid-high handicapper…”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Andus, who shared his interesting experience gaming blades as a mid/high handicapper…

“A few months ago, I decided to buy a Mizuno combo set. I’m gaming 4-6 MP-18 SC, and 7-PW MP-18 MB. All of them have Modus 3 120 X flex shafts. To be honest, I almost wish I went 4-PW in the MB because I don’t find the SC to be any more forgiving than the MB; however, the feel is on par I’d say. My swing speed with driver is about 110MPH and with a seven iron is around 93MPH.

I was a pretty decent ball striker, but my handicap was awfully high due to my short game (putting & within 50 yards). I am a complete sucker for looks & feel, and those two attributes are probably most important to me when choosing clubs to play. With that said, the switch from GI irons to blades has been amazing for me. I personally don’t buy into the whole “forgiveness” thing too much. Sure, a big fat hunk of metal with much more toe weighting might help you pull a few more yards out of a mishit, but the reality is, regardless of the iron you’re playing the shot is going to be a bad shot whether you get five extra yards or not. Nevertheless, these irons have helped me find the middle of the club more often than not, and best of all have inspired me to play golf even more. Every time I see these irons in my golf bag, I can’t help myself put to go pull one out and just admire the beauty (I know, I’m a loser). Anyway, my point in writing this is to hopefully inspire somebody else on the fence about blades to give them a try. If you have any other specific questions, ask away!”

The post has garnered plenty of reaction from our members, who have been giving their advice and opinions to those mid/high handicappers out there who have been considering a switch to blades.

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.

  • bub72ck: “We get this topic frequently, and I have to say I disagree. “Good” ball striking is a very relative term depending on what you are looking to get out of your game. If you find enjoyment out of that perfectly struck shot from a blade that’s awesome, but to sluff off forgiveness between MBs and CBs is really painting with a broad brush. I don’t know what your handicap is (you only said mid-high), but I am not sure you know what consistently finding the center of the club is. I don’t think I do either. A round of golf for most anyone, save the top players in the world, is about consistency and quality of mis-hits. Losing 5 yards on a mis-hit shot is the difference between being on the green and off, or in a bunker, or in a water hazard. You said that your short game was weak. That weakness is going to be magnified by missed greens and further distance from the hole. The bottom line is you can do whatever you wish with your game, but more than likely playing blades is costing you strokes.”
  • Bimmer1: “I think about this topic often. Back in the early 80’s blades were pretty much all we had. As a 10-year-old in 1980, I started with blades and played my best golf a few years later as the high school team captain shooting in the mid-’70s with Wilson FG-17’s. A lot of great golfers started out as beginners using blades. There were no alternatives until Ping, Daiwa, and some others started making cavity backs.”
  • Lefty96: “There is nothing wrong with playing blades if they simply bring more enjoyment to your game. Whether that’s because you like the way the feel/look at address, or because you just like being “able” to play blades. But, if you get more enjoyment out of shooting your best score, then you may want to consider making a change. Like people above have pointed out, you’ll just hit more greens with a GI or players GI club then you will with blades. If score isn’t really important to you, by all means, keep playing the blades. They will give you a hell of a lot of feedback about your strike and maybe you’ll even learn to find the middle of the face more often because of it. Most importantly enjoy golf! They are a pretty set of sticks!”

Entire Thread: “My experience gaming blades as a mid-high handicapper…”

 

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

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Brad

    Apr 3, 2019 at 8:09 am

    “Forgiveness” in irons is only relevant to a point. The blades of today are nearly as “forgiving” as many cavity backs from decades past. Besides, this guy has a swing speed of 110mph. He is probably hitting a wedge into most par 4s and no more than an 8 iron into most par 5’s after bombing it off of the tee.

    The best sort of forgiveness comes from hitting clubs with more loft into greens from shorter distance. I’d say this guy has that covered. That’s why tour pros can kick your @r$e up and down the course, not because of their accuracy with mid or long irons, but their distance off the tee and wedge play for approach shots. They are simply hitting less club than you ALL of the time. That makes it much easier to have a much higher GIR than the average joe and putting it close to the pin makes putting easier too. Pretty simple.

    Yeah, if you can barely hit the ball 200 yards off of the tee, then blades are probably not for you. No doubt about that. If you are hitting it 330 yards over the back of the green off of the tee and are chipping when everyone else is hitting 7 iron into the green – then you can probably play with a LITERAL butterknife and still score well.

  2. Dan

    Mar 29, 2019 at 12:54 am

    Ok folks here’s the skinny on all iron styles to clear up all the confusion. I’m a +2 and been fitting clubs since the mid 90’s. The sweet spot on every iron ever sold is the size of a dime(called the center of percussion) blade or GI iron. Forged clubs being of a softer metal spin the ball more due to the ball being griped by the grooves longer, so stopping spin and workability is high. Due to their high CG they rotate a lot on off center hits producing inaccuracies and distance loss. Pro’s play forged due to the amazing distance control of high spin reducing distance ( like a bag of wedges). Cast clubs are harder metal with spring like faces. The balls on the face a shorter time due to added velocity and so they spin less and go farther. The low CG rotates the club less when miss hit producing less inaccuracies and less distance loss. For forged the cb or blade option it’s purely a trajectory preference. Blade goes the lowest, cb a bit higher and so on towards hybrids. All irons are designed to fly properly as well so low trajectory blades have weak lofts and GI irons that go high have strong lofts. A 43 deg M6 pw still hits it higher than a forged mb 47 deg pw. Lofts aren’t strong for distance it’s for trajectory and distance is a welcomed secondary affect. Look at pro’s bags where it’s common to up the forgiveness of long irons due to tour green firmness. Go ahead and pick the weapon that fits your need and throw out your reservations. I play a rogue pro cast iron. Looks like an apex pro. Hits it like an M6 and reduces the high spin I have, their cheaper than forged and go easily a club + longer. That’s a win,win,win for me. If you don’t hit 7/10 balls solid don’t play forged, blade or not. Your welcome

  3. sal

    Mar 28, 2019 at 9:50 am

    To each his own. But I will say that when I have played cast cavity back irons, my game goes south after a few weeks because I’m not as precise, especially in the short irons.

    FG-17 irons. Back in the 80s, wow! Caddy Shack and big hair golf. Thanks for the article.

  4. Michael Alonso

    Mar 18, 2019 at 11:17 am

    I’m a 19hdcp and play Mizuno MP-59s. My iron play has never been my issue. I hit the ball high and long and straight. Clubhead speed with a driver is 110 and with a 6i is 98. What’s keeping me from lowering my handicap is my driver and my putter. My putter’s been hot lately, so hopefully that will stay. I got fitted for a driver and will be receiving it next month. Hopefully, staying in the fairway will allow me to score better. As far as playing better/nicer looking/ player’s irons, I can’t see where I would gain anything from playing a GI iron. I recently hit my dad’s new set of Callaway Rogues with Catalyst shafts. Yeah, I can hit his 6i 210, but do I really need that? No. My gapping is fine with my set. Play what you like looking at or you’re not gonna wanna play.

  5. pelling

    Mar 15, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Here’s the thing. If you took 4 clubs, say a 3 wood, a 6 iron, a wedge, and a putter out for 9 holes, your score would be about the same as if you had 14 clubs fitted with the the latest shafts and technology. So don’t sweat it.

    • Leftshot

      Mar 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Just because you said it doesn’t make it true. You provided nothing to back up your opinion.

      Having played in dozens of 5-club and similar format tournaments and analyzed the results I think you are wrong. Here is what I conclude from this data.

      A mid to high handicapper’s scores does on average suffer more than a scratch or low single handicap. However, in a net score tournament, the winner is still most likely a mid to high handicap player. This IMO is due to the wild variations in scoring day to day of such players. The same thing happens in net score tournaments with 14-clubs.

      Scratch players generally have skills in this format that most mid to high handicappers do not. The ability to execute half and three quarter swings, knockdowns, vary ball height and sometimes shot shape, just to name a few.

  6. Tim

    Mar 15, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    My issue with blades has always been the stock shafts that most blades come with. I’m not that strong and have always hated Dynamic Gold shafts, they’re totally wrong for me. Now that fitting is so widely available, I’d like to try a Mizuno blade with lightweight steel shafts. Currently I use a Nippon Zelos shaft in my Titleist AP1 irons, but based on my results. I know I could play fairly well with those shafts in a blade. It’s a very girly shaft, but who cares; it works for me.

  7. Mike Cleland

    Mar 15, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Whatever works. Both blades & game improvement clubs have positives & negatives. Most golfers, not scratch players, should be playing woods & hybrids down to a 7 iron anyway.

  8. Mike Cleland

    Mar 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Whatever works.

  9. Under the roof

    Mar 15, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I really love the feeling of a well struck shot using a traditional blade, it is that “feeling” which is one of the reasons that I play the game. For me the issue with a full set of blades was at the long end of the irons; as the carry distances between clubs started to get compressed, thus leaving a large gap from my 4-I to hybrid.
    -My solution to this gaping problem has been playing 7-pw cb as a degree strong, then 6/5 ap2 and a 4- as an ap3 into a hybrid keeping a 4 degree loft gap between clubs and letting the “more forgiving” faces of the longer irons keep better gaping.
    I know it’s not the same as a pure set, but I’m not 32 anymore either.

  10. Brandon

    Mar 14, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve played every style of irons over the last 10 or so years and my scores have remained fairly consistently in the low 80’s with the occasional round in the 70’s or 90’s. A chunk is a chunk and a skull is a skull regardless of that club is in your hand. Hitting drives OB and duffing chips is where doubles or worse come from.

  11. Swirley

    Mar 14, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Guys, thank you for not making fun of Gianni. I can’t stand all the Gianni bashing. He is a good person.

  12. drew

    Mar 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    i’d love real strokes gained proof either way. Prove to me GI work to actually improve my game. Prove to me that blades hurt my game. I really don’t know, especially if you are comparing a well fit set of players clubs vs. a well fit set of game improvers. Until there’s good data, I really don’t care what irons any cap picks up as long as they pay out their bets after the round.

    • Straight

      Mar 14, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      Have you ever been on TrackMan? What a moron…

      • Raj lp

        Mar 15, 2019 at 2:56 am

        Not a great comment “straight.” Makes you look more like what you’re calling someone who stated an opinion.

      • Tom Zanarini

        Mar 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

        Hey Straight, take a 7i AP1 and a 6i MB on Trackman. Check the lofts. Don’t go by the number stamped on the sole. Get back to us.

      • Brad

        Apr 3, 2019 at 8:19 am

        Ever heard of D-plane? Hitting a 7 iron with the loft of a 5 iron is NOT going to improve your scores. Yes, you will hit it further than the 7 iron with a more sensible loft, but that GI club with a 5 iron loft is also going to be as hard to hit consistently as a – 5 iron. Because fo D-plane.

        You’re only fooling yourself if you are playing Trackman golf aka “look how far I can hit this 7 iron, dudes!” If GI clubs improved scores so dramatically, then it would be expected that the guys depending on playing well for their livelihood (PGA Pros) would be playing the $h1t out of those GI irons all around the world. Funny though, because they don’t – at least not until you get down to low lofted long irons where even some of them can apparently use the help as well because of – D-plane.

  13. Sean

    Mar 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I play Srixon 785s and 13hcp I love them. Recently went for a shaft fitting an he gave me jpx919 hotmetal and ap2 I struck them very badly compared to my own. My theory is you won’t improve strike unless you get feed back and you can’t get feed back from GI irons.

  14. TR1PTIK

    Mar 14, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Play whatever you want to play/makes you happy. Enough said.

  15. P

    Mar 14, 2019 at 11:22 am

    This dude had 110 mph swing speed. Duh.
    Most mid-high handicaps that the retail fronts sell those giant tech clubs are for the weekend hacks who swing at 90mph.

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm WITB (October 2020)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @10 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

jon-rahm-witb-2020 jon-rahm-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 @14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

jon-rahm-witb-2020Utility iron: TaylorMade RSI TP UDI (4)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade MG Hi-Toe (52-09), TaylorMade MG2 (56-12SB, 60-11)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X (Chalk)

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 (#10)

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The most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now (Fall 2020 edition)

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What are the most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are some of the best-selling golf shoes on Amazon as of October 2020.

1. Adidas Men’s Tech Response Golf Shoes

From the listing:Mesh/synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Thintech, adituff, thintech cleat, traxion, adiwear. Lightweight mesh and synthetic upper for enhanced breathability and comfort. Soft eva insole for lightweight comfort and cushioning. 6-spike configuration with thintech low-profile technology for improved traction and stability.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

2. Skechers Go Golf Men’s Torque Waterproof Golf Shoe

From the listing:Synthetic. Imported. lace-up. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Replaceable soft spikes. Waterproof.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

3. FootJoy Men’s Fj Flex Golf Shoes

 

From the listing:100% Textile. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Performance Mesh – lightweight performance mesh delivers incredible comfort, breathability and all-day comfort. Complete support – a soft EVA midsole provides increased underfoot cushioning, enhanced comfort and exceptional stability.”

Price: $89.99

Buy here.

4. PUMA Men’s Ignite Nxt Lace Golf Shoe

From the listing:100% Textile and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Sole shield. Performance Mesh +TPU. Ignite Foam.”

Price: $99.99

Buy here.

5. Skechers GO GOLF Men’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Skechers Goga Max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning for all day comfort. Durable grip tpu outsole with a spikeless bottom. Lightweight. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $74.97

Buy here.

6. Adidas Men’s Tour360 Xt Spikeless Golf Shoe

From the listing: Leather and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Leather and microfiber synthetic upper. Spikeless Puremotion outsole for enhanced flexibility and grip with X-Traxion primary lugs for grip and balance.”

Price: $135.59

Buy here.

7. FootJoy Men’s Fj Originals Golf Shoes

From the listing: Built on the Austin Last, this last offers the fullest rounded toe character, fullest fit across forefoot, standard instep and heel. EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) Fit-Beds provide lightweight cushioning underfoot. EVA does not take a set, so the cushioning will remain the same for the life of the shoe. This easy care synthetic upper offers outstanding 1 year waterproof comfort, breathability, and durability.”

Price: $89.95

Buy here.

8. Skechers Women’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Spikeless, durable grip tpu outsole. Ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA Flight cushioning. Goga max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $57.55

Buy here.

9. FootJoy Women’s Sport Retro-Previous Season Style Golf Shoes

From the listing: ” Lightweight – the linen-textured synthetic uppers offer lightweight comfort and durability. Cushioned rubber – the gum rubber outsole is a soft rubber compound which provides flexibility and comfort. Enhanced traction – This molded rubber outsole provides turf gripping performance and durability.”

Price: $59.95

Buy here.

10. New Balance Men’s Sweeper Waterproof Spiked Comfort Golf Shoe

From the listing: Synthetic. Imported.Rubber sole.Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Waterproof microfiber leather upper. REVlite 10mm drop* midsole provides lightweight cushioning & premium responsiveness. NDurance rubber outsole with removable FTS 3.0 Pulsar spikes.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

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Justin Thomas: What makes him an elite wedge player

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It might be easy to say that a player like Justin Thomas is near the top of the leaderboard because

  1. He hits it the best
  2. He drives it long and relatively straight
  3. He is having a good putting week

I would agree and disagree with all three. Yes, they are definitely factors, but in my opinion, it’s his wedge play that has been the most notable part of his game—especially in 2020.

If you look at the stats, you will find a player who is not only damn-near deadly from 150 yards and in, but also a player who gets out of trouble about as well as anyone in the top 10 in the world.

We are talking about 2020 as a whole FYI.

(Stats via PGATour.com)

Now strokes gained wedge stats have multiple variables affecting the ultimate stat, fairways hit, where a player misses it, out of the rough vs out of the fairway, putting, yada, yada, yada….

At this point, if I had to pick a player to get it done around the greens it would JT or Jon Rahm. True artists. Go back and watch some of the shots from the FedEx at TPC Southwind or even Kapalua this year, it was the reliance on his wedges that became the secret sauce. Like the putter, good wedge play can be an equalizer when anything else is falling short. And when the rest of the bag is decent, for a player like JT, good wedge play equals wins.

I wanted to dig in a little deeper, so I asked my old friend, Vokey’s Aaron Dill a few questions on what makes JT unique with a wedge in his hands…

JW: As far as technique, what in his action makes JT so good? And if you could compare him to someone who would it be?

AD: Justin’s technique is really something to watch. His ability to stay loose, calm, and maintain effortless speed while delivering the wedge accurately really shows his comfort with a wedge in his hands. Justin keeps the club out in front of him and he has mastered the ability to control his golf ball’s flight and spin.  I could compare him to many, but I sometimes feel he is in a league of his own.  

JW: Beyond the great shots we see on highlight reels, where does JT really get it done from an SG perspective? What do you see that the average person wouldn’t? 

AD: Justin does it all very well. You know this because he is 9th in SG around the green and this is partly due to his spotless technique but his ability to scramble in difficult situations. Something he does that amazes me is his creative vision of shots. There are times when he is in a situation where he hits a shot we don’t expect or think of. His comfort with a wedge is fun to watch, he makes all short game shots seem like they are no big deal and you can see this by his free-flowing, loose and speedy wedge action. You can tell he feels at peace with his wedge technique.

JW: He has an interesting set up for his wedges that has been well covered, but since you first met him, how has his understanding and approach to his wedges and wedge play evolved?

AD: Justin’s wedge set is unique, however, a lot of thought and intelligence has gone into crafting this matrix. Since the first time I met him, he has worked hard and he has always had the desire to want to improve and push himself. You can see it in his strength training, his increase in ball speed, and his general approach to competitive golf. His knowledge of his short game has improved over the years and it shows in his success. You can see how comfortable he feels when a wedge is pulled from the bag, you can bet he will be landing the ball close to the hole setting himself up for a makable putt.

Justin Thomas’ wedge specs 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46-10F @47.5, 52-12F @52.5), Vokey SM8 (56-14F @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60T @ 60.5)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)

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