If you are trying to get more distance by using the ground and you have been told you have a flat swing, you may be in for a long hard struggle! This video will show you why you will need to get that backswing up to get down and turbo charge the swing with the ground!
The Wedge Guy: A defense of blades
One of the longest-running and most active conversations in all of golf equipment is the subject of blades versus game improvement irons. Over the nearly 20 years I’ve been writing this blog as “The Wedge Guy,” I’ve addressed this in various ways and always stimulated a lively discussion with my readers.
I hope this angle on the conversation will do the same, so all of you please share your thoughts and observations.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have always played some kind of blade-style irons, with only a few detours along the way. But I always come back to my blades, so let me explain why.
I grew up in the 1950s and 60s when blades were all we had. As a teenager with a developing skill set, I became a devotee to those models from the old Ben Hogan Company, and played the “Bounce Sole” model, then several iterations of the Apex line after it was introduced. Those few sets served me well into my 30s, when I became involved in the golf equipment industry. Having Joe Powell Golf as a client, I switched to his pure muscle back model called the “PGI.” They were certainly sweet.
In the late 1980s, I was handling the marketing for Merit Golf, who offered a cavity back forging called the Fusion, which was inspired by the Ben Hogan Edge irons, but offered a more traditional face profile. So, I switched to them.
Playing to a low single digit handicap at the time, I really didn’t see my scores change, but I just wasn’t making as many birdies as I had before. Openly pondering why my golf felt different, a regular golf buddy noted, “You’re not knocking down pins as often as you used to,” and I realized he was right. I was hitting just as many greens as before, maybe one or two more, but I wasn’t getting those kick-in birdies nearly as often. So, I went to the closet and broke out the old Joe Powell PGI irons and had an epic day with three birdies inside five feet and a couple more in the 5-10 range.
Those blades stayed in the bag until I developed my first iron design, the “RL blades” by my first company, Reid Lockhart. By this time, I had seen enough robotic testing prove that the most penalizing mishit with a blade was a toe impact, which mirrored my own experience. So, I sculpted a pure muscle back blade, but added a bit of mass toward the toe to compensate for that deficiency of all such designs.
I played those irons for 20 years, until I created the “FT. WORTH 15” irons for the re-launch of the Ben Hogan brand in 2015. In that design, I further evolved my work to very slightly add a bit of modified perimeter weighting to a pure forged blade, taking inspiration from many of Mr. Hogan’s earlier personal designs in the Apex line of the “old” Ben Hogan Company. Those are still in my bag, going on eight years now.
So, why do I think I can make a solid defense for playing blade irons? Because of their pinpoint distance control, particularly in the short irons — those with lofts of 35 degrees or higher.
I’ll certainly acknowledge that some modern perimeter weighting is very helpful in the lower lofts . . .the mid- and long irons. In those clubs, somewhere on or near the green is totally acceptable, whether you are playing to break 90 or trying to win on the PGA Tour. [Did you know those guys are actually over par as a group outside 9-iron range?] That’s why you see an increasing number of them playing a conservative game-improvement design in those lofts. But also remember that we in the golf club design business deal with poor “hits” only . . . we have no control over the quality of your swing, so the vast majority of bad golf shots are far beyond our influence.
But what I’ve seen in repeated robotic testing and in my own play, when you get to the prime scoring clubs – short irons and wedges – having a solid thickness of mass directly behind the impact point on the face consistently delivers better distance control and spin. In my own designs of the SCOR wedges in 2010, and the Ben Hogan FT.WORTH 15 irons and TK15 wedges, I created a distribution of mass that actually placed a bit more face thickness behind the slight mishit than even in the center, and the distance consistency was remarkable.
I’ve carried that thinking to the Edison Forged wedges by positioning much more mass behind the high face and toe miss than any other wedges on the market. And in robotic testing, they deliver better transfer of energy on those mishits than any other wedge we tested.
So, back to that experience when I switched back to my Joe Powell blades from the Merit cavity back forging, I can sum it up this way.
If your pleasure from your golf is derived more from how good your worst shots turn out, then a game improvement iron is probably the way to go. But if your golf pleasure is more about how good your best shots are, I think there is a very strong case to be made for playing some kind of blade iron design, at least in your scoring clubs.
Alright, fans: sound off!
Photos from the 2022 Presidents Cup
GolfWRX was live for the “United States vs. Everyone (except Europe)” showdown, otherwise known as the Presidents Cup.
Contested this year at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, from an equipment standpoint, the Presidents Cup offers the opportunity to get an up-close look at the wares of the best golfers in the world and always provides for some interesting custom equipment — like Justin Thomas’ wedge, below (and Max Homa’s in the featured image).
Check out all our galleries from the Presidents Cup, below.
- Joohyung Kim – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Jordan Spieth – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Justin Thomas – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Si Woo Kim – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Mito Pereira – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Max Homa – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Cameron Young – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Taylor Pendrith – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Scottie Scheffler – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Tony Finau – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Corey Connors – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Kevin Kisner – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- KH Lee – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Cam Davis – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
- Sebastian Munoz – WITB – 2022 Presidents Cup
Photos from the 2022 Fortinet Championship
GolfWRX is live this week at the Fortinet Championship as the 2022-2023 PGA Tour season gets underway in Napa.
Plenty of general galleries to fill your cup with this week, as well as WITB looks — including Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler. We also have a limited-edition Odyssey putter cover and new drivers from Wilson and Srixon.
Check out Rickie discussing his new irons in this PGA Tour x GolfWRX video.
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Also featured this week: An in-hand look at Greyson Sigg’s Mizuno JPX923 Tour irons (the long-rumored and already widely discussed successor to 2020’s 921).
Check out links to all our galleries after the photo of Hideki Matsuyama doing Hideki Matsuyama things, below.
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Monday #1
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Monday #2
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Monday #3
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Monday #4
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Monday #5
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Tuesday #1
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Tuesday #2
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Tuesday #3
- 2022 Fortinet Championship – Tuesday #4
- Augusto Nunez – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Harry Hall – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Kevin Roy – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Philip Knowles – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Taylor Montgomery – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Nico Echavarria – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Harrison Endycott – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Byeong Hun An – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Tano Goya – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Alex Lee – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Jimmy Walker – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Rickie Fowler – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Beau Hossler – WITB – 2022 Fortinet Championship
Pull out Albums
- Kramer Hickok’s custom Cameron putter – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- New Odyssey putter covers – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Kevin Tway’s new Wilson Dynapwr driver – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Rickie Fowler with new Cobra King Tour irons – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Rickie Fowler, Ryan Brehm & Doug Ghim – Cameron putters – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Ping PLD putters – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Greyson Sigg – new Mizuno JPX 923 Tour irons – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Srixon MKII X5 & X7 drivers – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Fujikura Ventus Black TR and Red TR shafts – 2022 Fortinet Championship
- Tyson Alexander’s custom Cameron putter – 2022 Fortinet Championship
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