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The real difference between blade and cavity back irons

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It is one of the most commonly debated topics in golf: “What are the real advantages/disadvantages between a set of blade and cavity-back irons?” It goes even further when we start comparing traditionally lofted clubs to those with stronger lofts and faster club faces.

I sit in the crosshairs of this debate. As a fitter, I rarely fit any golfer into a full set of blades and instead opt for combo sets to offer better performance into the longer irons. On the other hand, as a lover of traditional equipment, I often play a full set of blades, but prefer to pick my battles on shorter courses that emphasize the ground game and shaping the ball. I fully acknowledge my contradictory approach.

Note: My go-to set is a smaller multi-material players cavity that offers the best of both worlds

Kevin Na even entered the debate when he made this statement on Golf.com‘s Fully Equipped Podcast,

“I can’t play a blade. It’s too difficult, and I’m a pro golfer. I think a blade goes shorter. Off-center hits aren’t going to perform as well as cavity-backs. I don’t see a reason why you’d want to play a blade. I really don’t. I played blades in my early 20s, maybe one year — when I was dumb. But I’m wiser now and play a cavity-back.

“In the longer irons, I even look for more — I don’t want to say a high-handicapper club — a more forgiving club.”

I’ve heard the same thing from other PGA Tour players, including Charles Howell III, who was quoted as saying “I really wish I was good enough to play these (Titleist 620MB’s)” when he was first shown them during prototype testing. Now Mr. Howell and Mr. Na are both tremendous players, but when a 200-plus yard shot over water in a stiff breeze can mean the difference between a top ten and tie for 20th, I can understand why some players would want something a bit more forgiving—you know, just in case.

It’s all about choices

When it comes to equipment, there is more than one way to choose what goes into your bag—you can rely fully on optimizing performance or choose the equipment you want to play based on other factors and do your best to maximize the available performance. I believe both ways of approaches have merit, since every golfer enjoys the game differently, although at the most competitive level, I would still choose total performance over other factors.

Unlike a driver fitting, where distance is almost always the main objective, finding a set of irons involves—as the name suggests, an ideal set of clubs designed to hit shots precise distances and land closer to the intended target. We covered one of the most important iron fitting parameters, descent angle here—Buying new irons? This is the most important fitting parameter

The proof is in the data

Trackman

If you are curious to see the real difference in performance between blades, cavity backs, and then faster-faced irons, check out the video below featuring Titleist Master Fitter Glenn Mahler going through the results of a fitting with Titleist 620MB, 620CB, T100, and T200 irons.

 

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Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. dave d

    Jul 28, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    My improvement from mediocre to OK golfer came with a switch to blades.

    Have been an 8-11 hcp for a loooong time (~25 years), mostly playing a set of 1972 Apex irons that I bought used for $35 in the mid-90s.

    Notable that prior to and concurrent with getting the Apexes I had tried Ping Eye2 and Callaway X-12 in search of higher trajectory and more consistency. What I found was LESS consistency (I had been playing Wilson Staff Goosenecks). Distance control was difficult, and the Callaways in particular would sometimes rocket 10-15 yards longer than expected.

    Once I put the Apexes into play I hit the ball “worse” (i.e., shorter and lower) but my dispersion was much better.

    For the last two years I’ve been playing a used set of Mizuno MP-68s. They are bigger than the Apexes for sure, and easier to hit. But if the Apexes had fresh grooves on them, I’d still be playing those.

    One thing that drives me nuts with trying to play the bigger, “more forgiving” irons is using them for chipping…they’re just too damn big and distance tends to be more difficult to control. Also harder to hit out of thick, wet rough, which we get plenty of here in the PNW.

    Happy with the Mizuno blades and/or the Apexes. The one thing I would consider is a set that progressed toward different weighting in the 5 iron and up…more perimeter weighted. You’re definitely seeing more and more of this with the pros, even the ones who play blades.

  2. B money 87

    Jul 30, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    After being a club fitter for 12 years, it never ceases to amaze how hack golfers try to justify playing blades. The only people that should play forged blades are the ones that HAVE to play forged blades. AKA great ball strikers that also hit the ball too high with anything else. If you arent a good ball striker, stay away from anything forged, blade or otherwise. If you are a good ball striker, forged is fine,but only play a blade if you cant control the flight on CB type irons.

  3. Joey joe joe

    Jul 18, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    When Davis Love iii wants to hit a long driver, he focuses on a dead center strike. Every amateur in world seems to swing harder. This is why we suffer 6 hour rounds. Play a blade. focus on strike and accuracy on every shot. Save literally a $1000 by opting for an older MP over a T200 and learn to strike the ball dead center while hitting down on it. You don’t need tungsten. Cavity backs are fine but don’t think they are going to save you strokes. They won’t. Playing a premium ball around the green and making solid strikes will. It’s that simple.

  4. BigBoy

    Jul 6, 2020 at 3:38 am

    It’s what you grow up playing with.Golfers who take up the game in their late teens or later are better off playing CB. I got handed a blade when i was 12yrs old and that’s all i know. The only CB i have tried and would think of using would be the Ping i210s….and yet they still look like shovels to my eye.

  5. Rich

    Jun 26, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    I play blades.

    I also play baseball with a tennis racket, eat spaghetti with a spoon, surf the net with a Selectric, pet my electric eel, and argue with my wife.

  6. JohnBoy34

    Jun 22, 2020 at 12:45 am

    OK… The setup… I’m probably no where as good as the golfers posting here. Currently a 13.2 HC But feel I have been currently playing to a 20. My iron play is crap right now. My golf is limited from September to February and declines significantly due to the layoff. I also have health related physical limitations. I’ve been practicing much more the last two weeks.

    I have 3 sets of irons. Mizuno MP 68 3-PW, Mizuno MP-5 3-PW and Titleist 716 AP2 4-GW. I carry hybrids in place of the 3I, 4I & sometimes 5I. I put the 5 Iron back in the bag as my swing speed and contact improves. I have Ping G-410 Plus driver, Ping G-410 3 Wood and Callaway Epic Flash Heavenwood. The Heavenwood will never come out of my bag! If I got one club right, that is it.

    The MP-5 are my main carry set, my favorite. I bought the Titleist last year to have a little more forgiving cavity back February to Mid-May as my swing transitions back. Bad decision, I can’t hit the Titleist and the distances are shorter when I do. This year I decided to try “super game improvement” or “game improvement” (you pick what they are) irons to help with forgiveness and distance. Ping G-400 was selected. They tend to be a little more forgiving but I had issues squaring the club face, most shots were a 5 to 10 yard fade. I couldn’t turn the ball over. I also struggled with consist distances. I honestly thought I would have some issues with “feel” and “sound” but I didn’t. That really surprised me. Do the MP-5 feel and sound better? You bet. But with the G-400 it wasn’t even an issue, I was seeking help. I’m taking them back though.

    The MP-5 are back in the bag. Much more consistent shot dispersion. Much more confidence. Why? I honestly do not know. Other than I get better results with them. Why does a high handicap golfer such as myself get better results from blades/muscle backs than cavity backs? I don’t know.

    In the future I plan to have two sets of clubs, a game improvement and blades/muscle backs (as mentioned above/below). I’m unsure the degree of game improvement desired. Moving forward I will try the PING G-710, The Titleist TS 100 and might even upgrade the MP-5 to MP-20 MB.

    The Titleist TS 100 is very intriging and honestly look like a set that could be “The Set.” Maybe combo with T200, T300, T400 and/or U-500.

    Bottom line, I love my blades. I’m more consistent with my blades. But I’m willing to give other types a try.

    • Joachim

      Jun 30, 2020 at 9:16 am

      The reason why you fade your ping g-400, may be the weight of the club and the thicker sole that makes the toe of the club go more down. That will give you more fade.

      So for that reason, it may be the sole and better turf interaction that makes you play better with the MP-5.

      I had a miura cb501 set, but when i sold that set, and borrowed a “game improvement” set with thicker soles and in theory a more forgiving irion, i had a hard time controlling the dispersion and distance of the shots.

      So for me also, CB\MB all the way.

  7. TacklingDummy

    Jun 21, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Personally, I’m not a fan of putting together combo sets (blades, cavity backs) because they have a lot of differences. Combo sets have different soles, offset, blade size, weighting (sometimes), feel, etc. So, they do perform quite differently. However, I do like sets that are made to be a progressive combo set because then the iron differences are slightly incremental through the set and not a distinct difference between the blades and the cavity back sets. I had some Hogan FTX Tour irons that was a great progressive set. Bladed wedges and differences (more cavity back, wider soles, more offset) progressed through to the 3 iron. Great set at the time.

  8. Mick

    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Keep in mind , today’s ” blades” are really much more bigger and forgiving than those if years ago. They really are musclebacks. Wilson Staff blades of the 70’s make today’s Mizuno MP 20’s look like cavity backs!

  9. R

    Jun 20, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    So, here’s how I have the numbers from trackman, based on the screencap.

    620 MB–Backspin: 6187 rpm, Carry: 148.3, Peak: 82 ft, Desc. angle: 45.6
    620 CB–Backspin: 6800 rpm, Carry: 147.4, Peak: 89 ft, Desc. angle: 48.2
    T100–Backspin: 6928 rpm, Carry: 154.5, Peak: 83 ft, Desc. angle: 45.8
    T200–Backspin: 5766 rpm, Carry: 161.4 Peak: 87 ft, Desc. angle: 45.7

    Looking at these numbers, the outlier seems like the t200. I’d be afraid of what happens to spin on a mishit–where you might get a ball that just won’t stop. The MB would typically bleed ballspeed, so you’ll have a shorter shot by a club or two, but you won’t blow past a green.

    The CB seems to give the best stopping power here given the steep descent and high spin. The T100 also looks good–more backspin than the MB with a similar descent. The MB doesn’t look terrible, either.

    Long story short–the t200 just looks like a 6 iron in this relationship.

    All that being said, I’d be curious to know how much a foot of height is worth in stopping power. Everything here is basically within the same spectrum–similar descent angle and heights–the only one that stands out is the CB.

    Happy to hear your thoughts, Ryan–but it seems to me that every iron on that sheet is playable with slim margins of difference, with maybe the CB taking a lead based on the higher spin and steeper descent.

    • Mike

      Jul 4, 2020 at 12:39 am

      Long story shorter – blades suck. The traditional blade – the 620 MB – is atrocious and only made playable by turning it into the 620 CB. The T100 is decent and T200 is better but only because they threw some tungsten in it for height and forgiveness, and delofted it 3 degrees (as you said, turned it into a 6 iron). But blades look cool.

      • Chris

        Oct 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm

        Hmmm, my 71 yesterday with the 620MB seemed to counter your “blades suck” comment. Would I have shot a better score with the other irons mentioned?

        And, frankly, I think my current rifle shaft 6.0 is too soft for me.

    • Giordano

      Nov 16, 2020 at 5:54 am

      Il T200 ferro 7 è praticamente un ferro 6.
      Dovrebbero confrontare i ferri dalla loro lunghezza e loft invece di confrontarli guardando solo il numero stampato.
      Non sono un fitter ma mi sembra palese la cosa e non capisco perchè continuano a non considerare questo. Anzi lo sò.

  10. joro

    Jun 20, 2020 at 10:25 am

    It looks like the trend in Irons is now going to Hybrid looking clubs with wide soles and easy to hit. The Cleveland, Cobra, Wilson and even titles is doing toe dip along with Callaway. The point is to make is easier. Of course today it is all about looks, ego, I need what the Tour Guys Play, and more reasons not to use the latest in tech. I am sure it was that way back in 20s also. But so many think it is only for hackers and not for them. As a guy told me one day way back when I asked him why he played that butt ugly club called PING, He said he bought them because he got tired of losing to all the guys at his club played PING.

    If this is as good as they think we may even see sets on the Tour,,, way down the road of course. I have played old pure blades in my time, newer blades, then to CBs and after hitting the Wison will probably go there. At 81 I found hitting was easy as hitting a Hybrid, I think they are the futures.

  11. Uwe

    Jun 20, 2020 at 2:17 am

    I am PGA Pro and played with many different brands and models over the years, mostly blades, sometimes cavity backs. The article above is the opinion of many people I met, but is nonsense in my opinion, because there are blades that play buttery soft and forgiving and there are cavity backs that break your bones and dont forgive the slightest offcenter hit, also ones that provide the ball strike performance of blades. Also is it sometimes the opposite, it depends very much on the model. In many years, the MBs of Titleist been more foregiving than the CBs, Mizuno and Cleveland blades are mostly unforgiving, Miura Blades are sweet as hell, but we also shouldnt forget the shafts and grips who make big differences. The tour players who made that statements above, tell in that sentence why they never will be No. 1 in the world. Nr.1 players of the last 30 years played blade irons.

    • Adam

      Jun 24, 2020 at 7:12 am

      Jordan Spieth wasn’t playing blades when he got to world number one.

      • Derek

        Jul 6, 2020 at 9:24 am

        Maybe ask yourself why his stay was so short? He was #1 briefly against an extremely weak field. Lots of injuries and time off for other good players.

        Spieth would kick my butt any day of the week. But there’s a reason he’ll never be #1 again. And why the other top players all play blades from 6 or 7 down. Mild cavity up from there. Very few hybrids. Lots of driving irons and strong lifted drivers.

        These players are a different animal. For sure. But someone seeking to be the best should emulate the best. It’s always been that way. It’s why Adam Scott has built a major winning career being a carbon copy of tigers old swing.

        Should the average golfer hit blades? No. But a 10 handicaper isn’t the average golfer. The average golfer is a 110 plus golfer. Anyone with good middle contact and striking angle would benefit from the spin and descent angle of MBs and CBs. The monitor shows it. The best numbers in terms of trajectory were the mbs and cbs. 7 yards don’t mean anything if you can’t hit or hold the green. Period.

      • Craig

        Jul 13, 2020 at 8:47 pm

        Or Jason Day, Brooke Koepka….

    • Gunter Eisenberg

      Jun 29, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Duval was playing 962s when he became world #1. Silly man.

    • gwelfgulfer

      Jul 29, 2020 at 11:44 am

      Lee Westwood and Luke Donald didn’t have blades in the bag when they hit #1. But much of what you said isn’t based in reality anyway, just flawed and easily debunked opinion…

      Also, your run on sentences and grammar suck…

  12. Brandon

    Jun 19, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve played everything from super game improvement irons to blades. My scores never change based on what irons are in the bag. Seems to me what effect my scores are if I keep my tee shots in play, avoid chunking or skulling chips, and make a few putts. I’m just as likely to shoot 90 with sgi’s as I am to shoot 78 with blades. Just depends on how the cookie crumbles that particular day.

  13. Parker

    Jun 19, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Great article thank you.
    I’ve been on the search for the highest ball flight possible with all clubs except driver for years. Refer to it as a playable trajectory. Also been working swing mechanics too.
    One take away is “softer tips” do not always equate to better results which leads me to the question of during this head comparison, were the same shafts/flex used in the mb through the T200?
    Another question that I imagine that the answer is likely swing mechanics; I find it easier to get the club on the back of the ball for crisper contact than with a Mb instead of a head profile size of the t200. I would play a full set of hybrids but I don’t think my ball striking would improve at all

    • dill

      Jun 19, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      We can do some head comparison.

    • geohogan

      Jul 6, 2020 at 9:12 pm

      Remove the shaft from your 5 iron and replace it with your 6 iron shaft….
      now how much higher do you hit your 5 iron.
      That is in effect what the snake oil guys do.

      Its the shaft not the clubhead.
      and most of us play with too much SW.

  14. Delbert

    Jun 19, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Hitting a MP-18 seven iron pure is like self-gratification without the guilt.

  15. Mike Arnold

    Jun 19, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Funny thing the picture of the Haig Ultra is the clubs I purchased back in 1972. I still have them and play on occasion. After 59+ years they are in excellent condition.

    • Brian

      Jun 20, 2020 at 12:03 pm

      You scared me. I was born in 1972, but I’m (checks with wife) 48.

  16. chisag

    Jun 19, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Here we have a well written article, science based with no bias and it gets 52 shanks? LOL I am never surprised by the WRX MB fanboys, that could shoot lower scores, have a higher smash factor, generate more ball speed at a higher peak and still claim anything other than a MB is hype from OEMs. Like you Ryan, I have a set of Srixon Z Forged MB’s I play every now and then for fun. But I play T100-S irons because they give me all the advantages of a MB with the added forgiveness of a CB. Like a blade, high and low struck shots really suffer but a little on the toe and heel turn out much better than my Srixon’s. I am playing to a +1.2 but will take all the forgiveness I can get. Nice article!

    • Chris

      Jun 21, 2020 at 8:33 am

      Plus one to this. I play T100 which look and feel like a blade but my thin miss still carries. These irons also have a thin enough sole to flight the ball if needed. I really don’t see why I would play a straight up blade except that they look awesome!

  17. jeff

    Jun 18, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    Worms! Worms everywhere!
    Who opened that can?!

  18. sandtrap

    Jun 18, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    “We’re so excited about our t200 line”… so excited that for this test we put a 30deg club up against a 35deg club to see if it goes further. That is more that a full club in loft. Pure propaganda. They could have put the 8iron from the T200 into the test and it would have been stronger lofter than the MB’s andCB’s 7 iron.

    The number on the club is irrelevant. The club that feels best, travels in the air the best and suits your game the best is the most important thing. If you are so self conscious that you want to hit a 7 iron longer than everyone else, the get a custom set and stamp your 24deg iron as a 7.

    The really interesting thing about this test was the fact that the the blades outperformed the CB’s.

    • Ryan Barath

      Jun 18, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      Hi,
      The test shows how much vertical CG and faster-faced irons create more launch and even with stronger lofts achieve higher descent angles which is exactly what most golfers need – myself included.

      • sandtrap

        Jun 19, 2020 at 3:45 am

        No doubt, but in the spirit of a true test, you should have tested the 620MB 6 iron at 31deg in comparison to the T200 7 iron at 30deg (like lofted clubs). It would most certainly have proved your point on vertical CG even more as the gap in height and descent angles would be larger again (and the distance gain would not be so misleading).
        When you go out looking to buy a fairway wood, you don’t go out and test a 15deg 3W to a 21deg 7W expecting to get a true indication of performance.

        • Ryan Barath

          Jun 19, 2020 at 12:45 pm

          Hi,

          Testing X iron to X iron is the best way in my opinion because its the way 99% of fittings are conducted and is also how most golfers get fit and compare clubs. Our goal is always to educate the greatest number of golfers while also going in-depth to allow people who are already knowledgeable extra insights.

          • Tommy

            Jun 21, 2020 at 1:18 am

            Not sure if you saw this video from some people you also coop with:
            https://youtu.be/dfKbkytvpmM

            Based on that blade and CB are very similar distance wise if you make the same lofts.

          • Bill Elliott

            Jun 22, 2020 at 7:58 pm

            ryan,
            now you’re reaching, as sandtrap said, it should have been comparable lofts. We all know why lofts have been jacked–I will spare you that debate…

            • sandtrap

              Jun 24, 2020 at 6:52 am

              Listened to the podcast. You say let’s call it an ‘A wood’, a ‘B wood’ a ‘C wood’. Why not just call them an ‘Elephant Wood’, a ‘Pineapple Wood’ or a ‘Cloud Wood’?…
              … OR just label them by loft? The actual scientific standard for that particular club.

              Like I said originally, this is pure manufacturer propaganda, which you are obviously happy to promote. I guess it is all good as long as the fitter explains that the buyer may need to buy 1-2 extra wedges between their 43deg PW and their 56deg SW.

              • sandtrap

                Jun 24, 2020 at 7:08 am

                …I should also add that a slower swing speed golfer who is looking for a higher descent angle and more spin would actually be more impressed if they compared the numbers of a 34deg t200 to a 34deg CB (if they are not concerned with the fact that it doesn’t go 14yds further as the manufacturers would want you to believe by their ridiculous lofting on GI clubs).

          • Test Better

            Jul 1, 2020 at 1:16 am

            https://youtu.be/dfKbkytvpmM?t=894

            If anything, the cavity is slightly better for players who don’t dime it.

            For those of us that can, the blade is far more predictable.

            If you sacrifice predictability for distance in irons, you’re not a good golfer.

  19. Tommy

    Jun 18, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Blades are the easiest to square at impact and have the best turf interaction. This is one of key reasons some people play them. Combo is not ideal blend, this is why clubs like ping blueprints are so good but still a lot of folks don’t get it.This article is one of many that should just me removed, sorry.

    • Mower

      Jun 18, 2020 at 5:05 pm

      Definitely can’t beat the turf interaction with blades, especially out of fairway bunkers and trouble lies.

    • Rootaford

      Jun 18, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      Not to mention that it looks like Ryan’s warmed up proper with the T200 vs his initial shots with the MB/CB’s (I know my numbers get better and better at the range for about 40 balls before they plateau and then eventually drop off). The only test worth looking at for this is with a robot and an unbiased operator of the robot IMO. The drop in spin rate vs the peak height is going to affect how much grab that ball has also and it’s not being mentioned anywhere : / (especially with 1200 RPM).

      I bag two sets of clubs, I have my tech bag for when I want to play my best (Odyssey mallet, 5-gw 716AP2’s, two hybrids, mid/high bounce CBX wedges), I avg an 8.6hc with this bag.

      I also have my wannabe pro bag for when I don’t care what I score (Titleist 917D2, 917F2, TMB 3-4iron, 714MB 5-9i, 47-60º Vokeys and Scotty blade). I avg an 9.8hc with this bag.

    • Ryan Barath

      Jun 18, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Tommy,
      You are correct. For better players a golf club with a center of gravity closer to the axis of rotation ( the shaft ) is easier to square at impact, this includes all clubs with shorter blade lengths in general. But it can also be more difficult to create a consistent closure rate for less skilled players because the club is also easier to move around that same axis.

      Its why an iron like the T100 is so popular because it has a very high MOI for a club with a shorter blade length. This gives more stability on off-center hits to help maintain ball speed but gives better players the ability to control face angle.

      As much as you suggest we remove the article I believe it offers a lof of golfers insight between different clubs – thanks for reading it.

  20. JR THOMAS

    Jun 18, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    … that pick brought back memories played a set of Haigs back in the 70’s… you had a nickel-sized area to strike or your forearms would soon reverberate…beautiful looking clubs, I had them refinished & rechromed and they hang on the wall in my family room…????

  21. Lowell Madanes

    Jun 18, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    For me it comes down to personal preference. I still play blades now but have more cavity towards my longer irons. I played Mizuno for the longest time. Switched over to Cleveland CG1’s and fell in love with having to strike the middle of the club face. Yes you will lose in results if you don’t hit the face consistently enough. I love the feel of a well hit blade and I tend to make adjustments based on how I am hitting my irons. That’s me an my preference. Kevin Na is staying his case and what he likes. At the end of the day, go with what feels good and gets you the results you want.

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Whats in the Bag

Patrick Reed WITB 2021 (July)

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Patrick Reed what’s in the bag accurate as of The Olympics. 

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 125 MSI 70 TX

(Photo via Sports Marketing Surveys)

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 130 MSI 80 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro (20 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Recoil Prototype 95

Irons: Grindworks PR-202 (4) Grindworks PR-101A (5-PW)
Shafts:  True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Artisan Proto (51), Vokey SM8 (56-08M), Vokey WedgeWorks Proto (60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

(Photo via Sports Marketing Surveys)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro 3

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Featured image via @sms_on_tour

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Equipment

Titleist launches new U505 utility and T200 long irons

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Titleist has introduced its new U505 utility and T200 long irons, which are available for fittings today and will hit retail on August 26.

The new U505 utility irons and T200 long irons from Titleist will offer players seven new opportunities for golfers looking to increase launch and spin from their utility and long irons, including four options in the new U505 model and three irons from the new T200 family.

Note: This is the tour U505. The retail version doesn’t have the hotmelt port.

“The new U•505 is the direct result of tour player feedback of the originalU•500 and U•510utility irons. The U•505 combines the best of both, and the result is our highest performing and most playable utility iron yet. The new T200 long irons offer similar high launch and speed with the look and feel of an iron set at the top of the bag.” – Josh Talge, Vice President, Titleist Golf Club Marketing

2021 Titleist U•505 utility: ‘The Players Utility Irons’

The new U•505 utility iron from Titleist is a wide-soled, high-launching club designed for the player looking to increase launch and speed from their long irons with a faster face.

With a thinner forged L-Face and the infusion of Max Impact Technology (Max Impact 2.0), the U•505 is Titleist’s highest COR utility iron ever.

The club features a new reconfigured hollow body, core support structure, and enhanced high resilience polymer core in design to ensure that dynamic speed generation now comes with a superior feel and sound.

Utilizing Denser D18 tungsten weights and a brazing process used in aerospace construction, Titleist engineers could concentrate weight more efficiently and be even more precise with CG placement. In the U•505 utility iron, that meant sliding it lower and towards the heel, where according to the company, tour pros and better players felt it improved launch dynamics the most.

The U•505 was designed with a shorter blade and shallow face but kept the wide sole to maintain all of the performance advantages of its predecessors while moving towards a look that feels more in line with an irons set.

Specs & Pricing

The new Titleist U•505 utility irons are priced at $249 (HZRDUS shaft) per club.

2021 Titleist T200 long irons: ‘Performance and Technology’

The new T200 long irons are designed for the better player looking for long irons to increase launch and speed at the top of their bag.

The improved Max Impact Technology in the new long irons from Titleist includes a core support design and an enhanced high resilience polymer core designed to improve both off-center speed and mass efficiency at impact across a forged, high COR SUP-10 L-Face Insert.

An engineered muscle plate contributes to precision sound tuning and saves weight which is optimized in a streamlined 17-4 chassis.

The retail version doesn’t have the hotmelt port.

The T200 long irons also feature a shorter blade length, less offset (same as the new T100), narrower topline and thinner sole. The combination of all of this is in design to provide long irons with a tour-inspired look and feel while delivering maximum speed and distance.

In addition, the long irons utilize denser D18 tungsten weights, which seek to provide greater mass efficiency, while also allowing Titleist engineers to position the CG more precisely in design for faster, more forgiving, and higher launching long irons.

Specs & Pricing

The new Titleist T200 long irons are priced at $249 (Project X HZRDUS shaft).

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Titleist introduces next-generation T-Series irons

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After much anticipation since tour seeding started in June, Titleist has introduced its latest iteration of the T100 iron with four models: 2021 T100, T100S, T200, and T300, coming to retail on August 26.

The new T-Series iron family features new materials, processes, and refinements designed to provide exacting precision, performance, and unmatched feel, with a model for every golfer’s needs, according to the company. 

“The new T-Series irons represent another step forward in Titleist iron design and technology. With these new irons, across the board, every detail matters. They provide the best precision and performance in their respective iron category with stunning aesthetics and feel. Golfers don’t buy an iron ‘line’, they want specialization, and that’s what each of these models offer.” – Josh Talge, Vice President, Titleist Golf Club Marketing

2021 Titleist T100 iron: ‘The Modern Tour Iron’

The “player’s iron” of the new family, the T100 iron features an all-new Tour-designed sole, which was inspired by discussions with both the tour staff and the Vokey wedge design team. It features a new variable bounce sole design, which provides less bounce in the heel and more bounce in the toe to facilitate better turf interaction and improved feel.

The new T100 face features a continuous cradle construction that aims to provide a seamless striking surface and a more uniform leading edge than its predecessor.

A fully forged, dual cavity supports the face construction, and the faces on the 3-7 irons have been redesigned to impart slightly more spin for improved shot-shaping and increased control. The 8-PW are forged with one-piece 1025 carbon steel.

In addition, by utilizing a denser version of tungsten (D18) weights in the heel and toe of the 3-7 irons for greater mass efficiency and a brazing process used in aerospace construction, Titleist engineers were able to eliminate weld points and be even more precise with CG placement to produce the highest MOI in a “players iron.’

Jordan Spieth put the new T100 irons (4-9) in his bag earlier this month at The Open Championship, and speaking on the new clubs said

“The sole just glides through the ground so nicely. With the added bounce off the toe and the reduced bounce in the heel similar to the wedges that we have on those grinds, it just allows for some consistency when you get a little bit off. The idea that you can be on uneven lies and have it kind of make up for that, and then if you get in the rough and have it not drag as much, but instead slide through just as easily, that’s where we see the improvement in these irons.”

Jessica Korda is another high profile player to put the T100 irons (5-9) into play recently as well as a T200 4-iron, and said on the new irons from Titleist:

“They’re just really pure. It’s like I’m hitting blades, but you’re not. I loved how solid they felt. The height on them is incredible. It’s exactly what I’m looking for, especially in the longer irons.

“The consistency is what I look for. Because when I’m standing over the ball and I need this thing to travel a number that I have in my head, and I can rely on that and just be like, just make a good swing, it takes so much of the guesswork out of it and it makes you commit to the shot more. I don’t change often. It has to beat what I have, and this is really nice. To be even better, to help me hold greens like I need to with the longer irons, especially going into par fives, it’s really, really nice.”

Specs & Pricing

The new Titleist T100 irons are priced at $186 per club and $1,299 per 7-piece set (steel).

2021 Titleist T100S irons: ‘The Faster Tour Iron’

Aimed at players who want the feel of a tour iron but who want added distance, the new T100S head dimensions exactly match the specs of the T100, except for being engineered – not bent – two degrees stronger.

The iron also features the same fully forged face, backed by an innovative Muscle Channel designed to add both speed and launch. 

Like the T100, the new T100S face features a continuous cradle construction designed to create a seamless striking surface and a more uniform leading edge.

A fully forged, dual cavity supports the face construction, with the 3-7 iron faces redesigned to impart slightly more spin for improved shot-shaping and increased control, while the 8-W are forged with one-piece 1025 carbon steel.

In addition, utilizing denser D18 tungsten weights and a brazing process used in aerospace construction, the T100S irons feature the exact precise CG calibration as the T100 irons.

Weight savings from the Muscle Channel are shifted to produce even lower CG and higher launch, resulting in improved MOI and increased ball speed from a solid, fully forged design.

“The uniqueness of the T100•S comes from the fact that we engineered the 2* stronger loft into the iron rather than just bend them. The reason for this is to keep the integrity of the sole and optimize its performance through the turf. That would be lost by simply bending a T100.

“In addition, the ‘S’ represents ‘speed’ and the new Muscle Channel delivers it through the long and mid irons by providing longer distance, tighter dispersion and higher angle of descent for greater consistency and scoring opportunities. It has the same look and feel of the T100 but longer flight for those who want it.” – Marni Ines, Director, Titleist Irons Development, Golf Club R&D

Specs & Pricing

The new Titleist T100S irons are priced at $186 per club and $1,299 per 7-piece set (steel).

2021 Titleist T200 irons: ‘The Tour’s Distance Iron’

The retail T200 doesn’t have the hotmelt port pictured on the tour version.

With 10 different patents utilized, Titleist is calling its new T200 iron its most advanced iron ever.

The improved Max Impact Technology (Max Impact 2.0) in the T200 iron now includes a core support design and an enhanced high resilience polymer core designed to improve both off-center speed and mass efficiency at impact across a forged, high COR SUP-10 L-Face Insert.

An engineered muscle plate seeks to contribute to precision sound tuning and saves weight, which is optimized in the new, streamlined 17-4 chassis.

A shorter blade length, less offset (same as T100), narrower topline and thinner sole provides a tour-inspired look and feel while still aiming to provide maximum speed and distance.

As with the other clubs in the T-series family, Titleist utilized denser D18 tungsten weights in the 3-7 irons of the T200 irons for greater mass efficiency and a brazing process used in aerospace construction allowed engineers to position the CG more precisely for maximum benefit in every club.

“Many golfers want the benefit of advanced technology in an iron –and the T200 is our most advanced iron yet – but they don’t necessarily want to see it. All of that ‘Max Impact’ technology-and more-is now ‘under the hood’ in the new T200, so it looks and feels like a Tour-played iron but has the game improvement qualities preferred or required by this golfer.

“With the evolution of Max Impact, we were able to include an Engineered Muscle Plate that allowed us to free up weight and add lightweight polymer and over 100g of high-density tungsten to the design. The result was extremely high MOI properties at Tour inspired blade lengths which allows the iron face to return more energy to the golf ball on off center shots and produce tighter dispersion and more consistent distance.” – Marni Ines, Director, Titleist Irons Development, Golf Club R&D

Specs & Pricing

The new Titleist T200 irons are priced at $186 per club and $1,299 per 7-piece set (steel).

2021 Titleist T300 irons: ‘The Ultimate Game Improvement Iron’

Aimed at those seeking high launch along with long-distance and forgiveness, the new T300 iron features Max Impact technology which seeks to maximize speed across a new variable face thickness (VFT) design.

The Max Impact 2.0 technology in the T300 irons is hidden under the badge. A cantilever core support structure features a new high resilience polymer core in design to deliver maximum speed and distance control.

The T300 now employs a High COR Variable Face Design that is thinner towards the heel in the long and mid irons to improve performance at what is traditionally one of the least effective strike points.

The high-density tungsten (D18) weights are utilized in the heel and toe of the 4-7 irons for greater mass efficiency. In addition, Titleist engineers were able to add 40 percent more tungsten than was in the previous generation T300 through a brazing process applied from aerospace construction usually reserved for Tour-played irons.

The size and shape of the T300 is designed to provide confidence, while a new chrome-plated finish offers a premium look.

“The T300 is the ultimate Titleist game improvement iron. It is for the golfer who wants high launch, long distance and forgiveness, and wants to see the technology they are using. This model utilizes the Max Impact 2.0 technology which is featured in a sleek, clean package at addres sfor which Titleist irons are known.

The design team retained the offset, shape and size, but was able to add 40 percent more tungsten to this iron, precisely lower the CG and meet the performance needs of this golfer.” – Josh Talge, Vice President, Titleist Golf Club Marketing

Specs & Pricing

The new Titleist T200 irons are priced at $143 per club and $999 per 7-piece set (steel).

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