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Do blades negatively impact performance? Or is it all in our heads? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been having an in-depth discussion on blade irons. WRXer ‘Royal Mustang’ has questioned whether ‘solid’ players are mistakenly scared off of playing blades, posting

“A lot has been written here about pro-blades/anti-blades. My question for those of you who play them or don’t play them: do they negatively impact your performance? Could you shoot a lower score if you had played a GI or SGI iron? Is that 8-iron you hit slightly thin and left 160 and in the bunker really 164 and a birdie putt with a GI iron? Or is that just your assumption as you have no data to back it up with? Do you see higher scores with blades and lower scores with other irons? Enough to statistically matter to get to a 95% CI? 

I have only played 2 rounds with blades, but I can say that they were both pretty low rounds. I had some good iron strikes. It is anecdotal evidence, however: perhaps I was playing well, perhaps I got lucky. I was well-positioned off of the tee. I can’t say for sure that I was better with these irons. Perhaps I was better as I dialed down my expectations and made smooth swings. I know a blade 8i isn’t going to fly 175, so I don’t try to hit it 175. That is completely mental, however. Make a smooth swing and hit to 165. 

For what it is worth, I play Mizuno MMC MP20s, but I also have a hybrid set of Callaway MB21/Apex Pros. And no, I don’t have enough rounds to say either way. I sure do like the way the MB21’s look when I line up, however!  

I should preface this in that I am talking about people with solid swing fundamentals. The guys/gals you see swing and say “low single digit/scratch/plus”. Their wear spot on their 7 iron might not be the size of a dime, but a nickel is pretty typical.”

And our members have been having their say on the matter in our forum.

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.

  • PuttingMatt: “Honestly, my scores stay relatively the same, whether I play musclebacks or player cavity backs. Ball striking is on the player, not the equipment. When I started playing, blades were your only choice; it is up to you to decide if your irons perform well for your game. The swing you deliver to the ball is everything.”
  • b.mattay: “Yes. Thin shots hang in there much better with a cavity back IMO. Long irons are also much easier to hit. I’m switching into cavity backs and a 4 hybrid for this next year. Don’t have data yet, but I guarantee my par 3 and par 5 scoring will drop this next year!”
  • Jim E: “Pure blades aren’t hard to hit in the short irons. In fact, I think it’s easier. It’s when you get to the 5,4,3 irons that pure blades are difficult. Higher cog means you need a more pure strike with decent clubhead speed to get these on a playable trajectory.”
  • bladehunter: “If you have some speed, there’s no negative effect that I’ve ever seen anybody quantify from say 5 iron down. Obviously, 2-3 iron will require pretty good everything ….. but many play a hybrid there anyway. Personal preference should be the reason for the Choice either way. If you’re hitting the relative middle it’s not performance.”

Entire Thread: “Do blades negatively impact performance? Or is it all in our heads? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Charles Sinacole

    Jan 22, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    I’ve been playing blades since 1993, my asst pro at my country club gave me a set of Mizuno MP29s after I had been playing for only a year and had gone thru at least 3 sets in that time. Since then I have played with Mizuno MP9s , but I’ve settled on a set of Taylormade P770, their a tad larger than your traditional blade but nothing feels better when you hit a blade on the screws. Nothing goes thru the grass better than a blade. So, no blades don’t hurt your game. Just your bad swings do. Blades make you concentrate harder.

  2. Brandon

    Jan 22, 2022 at 10:33 am

    If you can keep your tee shots in bounds and have a reasonable short game the type of irons you play will have very little impact on your score. My handicap has remained pretty steady for about 20 years and I’ve tried every style of iron under the sun. Having a iron shaft that fits your swing is more important than the head attached to it in my opinion.

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (5/25/22): Scotty 009 Beach Oil Can putter

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At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.

It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Scotty 009 Beach Oil Can putter.

From the seller (@CasualLie): “Scotty 009 Beach Oil Can, 34”, just back from the Studio Spa to get a new CT grip/shaft and COA.  Oil can refinishes are not an option so putter head was left alone.  Overall great condition, it was a light gamer so do not expect “new” condition.  009 oil cans are pretty tough to find, especially without crazy stampings.  Comes with used CT FTUO cover.  $5500.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Scotty 009 Beach Oil Can putter

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2022 (May)

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Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec X

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth HL (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: LA Golf Prototype

7-wood: TaylorMade Stealth (21 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black RDX 95 6.5

9-wood: TaylorMade Stealth (24 degrees)
Shaft: LA Golf Prototype

Irons: TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft-stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG (52-09SB @54 degrees, 60-10SB)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider GT Splitback
Shaft: LA Golf
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x 2019 (#1)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Equipment

Details on Dustin Johnson’s PGA Championship putter change

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He only played two days at Southern Hills (missing the cut with a 6 over two-day total), so it’s understandable if you didn’t see world No. 13 Dustin Johnson’s flatstick switch.

As GolfWRXers well know, Dustin Johnson tests multiple different putters every week leading up to just about every single tournament he plays in. While he typically ends up back into his blacked-out TaylorMade Tour Limited Spider, this week he called up a new Spider GT Splitback putter into his starting lineup.

Here’s what TaylorMade Tour rep Bucky Coe had to say about the switch:

“It’s all about the aesthetics. From the feedback I got from him, he grabbed it off the putting green because he liked the longer shape in the back and felt it was more forgiving with the CG placement. The combination of a white cavity and the single sight line allows him to set it up square and align the ball easily.”

TaylorMade also provided the full specs below.

Model: Spider GT Splitback
Loft: 2 degrees
Lie angle: 69 degrees
Length: 35.75 inches, end of grip
Swing weight: E7
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT 1.0

 

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