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Tom Shanks

Game "De"provement Irons, Internet Mumbo Jumbo, Or Just Blind Luck?

8 posts in this topic

Keeping the blah blah blah to a minimum......Haven't swung a club in 10 years until this past July, wasn't serious before, obsessed now and play every day, hit the range everyday, hit the practice green everyday, practice swing mechanics at home and work, etc. (Yes.....my girlfriend hates me now.)

Took some lessons, high speed video and sensors.  Lots of work got me down from shooting well over 100 to the upper 80's where I am now.  Was hitting some Callaway Razr X irons, but purchased a new set of Mizuno MP58's that arrived in the mail today.  To answer your question, yes......I am totally the guy that thinks better more expensive equipment will make you play better.

The MP58's were a steal at 500 brand new on ebay(the seller has a bunch of good deals on last years Mizuno irons if anyone is looking) and knowing that I was going to buy a new set come spring anyway I purchased them.  Only thing is.......s300's on em.  7 iron for me is 150.  the Razr X's have that "uniflex" which is supposed to be regular stiff or something....but certainly more flexible than the s300.  So after having a bit of buyer's remorse I looked all over the internet to try and see what I was in for.  The conclusion i came up with last night is that the irons were out of my league and the shafts probably a little too stiff.  I don't have the fastest swing but have a very quick transition into my downswing.

If you offered me 800 million dollars and gave me 100 balls to hit one slight tiny draw with the Razr's I would fail.  While I don't think that hitting a draw is the Holy Grail of golf like some people do, everything I've worked on and watching myself on tape tells me that I should be able to hit one if I tried.  I just settled with the fact that I was a straight ball hitter with a tendency for a slight fade.

OK....cutting to the chase.  I just got back from the range where I fully expected to hit slicing, worm-burners 30 yards right of target only to be surprised by.....a slight draw?  I'm a righty by the way.

The green I was aiming at is pretty small, with a bunker to the right.  150 out so it's a perfect 7.  The bunker would still be green on pretty much any course.  before I would hit about 60% in the bunker, 20% right of the center pin, 10% at the pin, and the other 10% slice right of the bunker.

I didn't want to work on anything, I just wanted to rapid fire balls to see how the clubs were working with my swing.  I hit 120 balls in about 40 minutes and my entire shot dispersion shifted 5 yards to the left, back on target.  80% of my shot's had a slight draw, the one's that ended up a little right were slight pushes, and the one's that were right of the bunker were slices that I could feel immediately.  I expected to lose a bit of distance as the MP's have 2 degrees more loft, and it was right on the money.  Every shot just on the front edge of the green or just short.  The trajectory was just the same as well.  I expected to have a much lower flight.

Left to right dispersion was fantastic on well struck balls, but even more so was the distance.  Balls were falling at the same distance every time.  If I really tried to put a little extra on it I'd get only a few more yards, whereas with the Razr's sometimes I would hit it 150.  Sometimes 155.  Sometimes 170!

With the Razr's I couldn't get any right to left movement.  Even with foot positioning trying to promote a big hook, I would barely get a little draw towards the end.  I could certainly slice it though when I wanted.  With the MP's today, repositioning my feet just an inch would give me nice movement to the right or left which I know will come in handy on some of these courses I play.

Enough babble....I'm just excited to try these on the course tomorrow morning.

I guess my question is.........do game improvement irons hold people back at all?  Even mediocre players?  I know they're not as "workable" but can they correct a slight draw?  Did I just stumble into the perfect shaft flex/lie combination.  Or am I just insane?

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Hahaha! Sorry Tom - think you are quite insane! Honestly it seems like you are doing all the right things and actually doing the practice.  Don't think you need to get the most expensive equipment at all - seems much more about finding the equipment that suits YOUR game best...maybe have a look at golfredefined where you can do a whole lot of demo'ing of the very best golf drivers. they have them all...

good luck

Originally Posted by Tom Shanks

Keeping the blah blah blah to a minimum......Haven't swung a club in 10 years until this past July, wasn't serious before, obsessed now and play every day, hit the range everyday, hit the practice green everyday, practice swing mechanics at home and work, etc. (Yes.....my girlfriend hates me now.)

Took some lessons, high speed video and sensors.  Lots of work got me down from shooting well over 100 to the upper 80's where I am now.  Was hitting some Callaway Razr X irons, but purchased a new set of Mizuno MP58's that arrived in the mail today.  To answer your question, yes......I am totally the guy that thinks better more expensive equipment will make you play better.

The MP58's were a steal at 500 brand new on ebay(the seller has a bunch of good deals on last years Mizuno irons if anyone is looking) and knowing that I was going to buy a new set come spring anyway I purchased them.  Only thing is.......s300's on em.  7 iron for me is 150.  the Razr X's have that "uniflex" which is supposed to be regular stiff or something....but certainly more flexible than the s300.  So after having a bit of buyer's remorse I looked all over the internet to try and see what I was in for.  The conclusion i came up with last night is that the irons were out of my league and the shafts probably a little too stiff.  I don't have the fastest swing but have a very quick transition into my downswing.

If you offered me 800 million dollars and gave me 100 balls to hit one slight tiny draw with the Razr's I would fail.  While I don't think that hitting a draw is the Holy Grail of golf like some people do, everything I've worked on and watching myself on tape tells me that I should be able to hit one if I tried.  I just settled with the fact that I was a straight ball hitter with a tendency for a slight fade.

OK....cutting to the chase.  I just got back from the range where I fully expected to hit slicing, worm-burners 30 yards right of target only to be surprised by.....a slight draw?  I'm a righty by the way.

The green I was aiming at is pretty small, with a bunker to the right.  150 out so it's a perfect 7.  The bunker would still be green on pretty much any course.  before I would hit about 60% in the bunker, 20% right of the center pin, 10% at the pin, and the other 10% slice right of the bunker.

I didn't want to work on anything, I just wanted to rapid fire balls to see how the clubs were working with my swing.  I hit 120 balls in about 40 minutes and my entire shot dispersion shifted 5 yards to the left, back on target.  80% of my shot's had a slight draw, the one's that ended up a little right were slight pushes, and the one's that were right of the bunker were slices that I could feel immediately.  I expected to lose a bit of distance as the MP's have 2 degrees more loft, and it was right on the money.  Every shot just on the front edge of the green or just short.  The trajectory was just the same as well.  I expected to have a much lower flight.

Left to right dispersion was fantastic on well struck balls, but even more so was the distance.  Balls were falling at the same distance every time.  If I really tried to put a little extra on it I'd get only a few more yards, whereas with the Razr's sometimes I would hit it 150.  Sometimes 155.  Sometimes 170!

With the Razr's I couldn't get any right to left movement.  Even with foot positioning trying to promote a big hook, I would barely get a little draw towards the end.  I could certainly slice it though when I wanted.  With the MP's today, repositioning my feet just an inch would give me nice movement to the right or left which I know will come in handy on some of these courses I play.

Enough babble....I'm just excited to try these on the course tomorrow morning.

I guess my question is.........do game improvement irons hold people back at all?  Even mediocre players?  I know they're not as "workable" but can they correct a slight draw?  Did I just stumble into the perfect shaft flex/lie combination.  Or am I just insane?

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In my opinion, a game improvement iron isn't necessarily going to "handicap" your capability to hit a draw in a drastic way. My father owns a set of Cobra S3 Max irons and I can usually hit a slight draw on command with them when I grab one his clubs for the hell of it. With my father golfing for nearly 30+ years, he simply likes the confidence that the wider soles give him and they also promote a higher ball flight for him which he likes better than relying on a lower trajectory shot with spin. The courses that we play here in Ohio typically favor a higher trajectory as the few courses we play require many high shots to land safely on greens due to blind green shots and rolling fairways that dip up and down in 6 foot increments - plus it's also nice to know you can safely get the ball in the air rapidly when you're trying to clear obstacles.

Personally, it again just comes down to what works for you and I'm not savvy in the technical department of golf like Mike and Erik are, so they would be able to best explain this for you. I personally just feel like a wider sole is not simply not going to put that much of a damper on drawing the ball, or make the possibility more rare.

BTW - I love my Cobra S2's and do not see myself upgrading anytime soon. Though, I do have very nice shafts and grips that I replaced the stock with, but the club heads are simply butter. They're considered GI and I have better scores with them than any Mizuno that I've taken out... but I'm also by no means a professional or even a "great" golfer, so take my words with a grain of salt.

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Very interested to read your post as we sound very similar in terms of current position. I also did not play for about 15 years and got addicted again in Sept 2011 and ended this season at 16,1.

I am currently thinking about replacing my Burner 2s for a better set of irons (I was thinking MP-53's, JPX 825 Pro or MP-64) as I feel that the Burners hide bad hits and will make it difficult to really improve my ball striking further. I also found that they were not consistent in length and I could not work the ball with them. My only concern was I would get on with them.

I will do a fitting in the new year but please provide updates on your progress with the new toys.

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I'm also in the same boat - feel my game has improved to the level where I would benefit from more feel related irons & want to step up from "super game improvement" category.    Just don't want to go way over my ability level & be sorry I did it ... starting to look around and think I could handle irons in the R11 / JPX825 / AP1 "game improvement" class.    Definitely not ready for players clubs, but am curious how your upcoming rounds go with the new clubs...

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I have actually gone from playing Blades back to more of a "game improvement" club. The fact is they are easier to hit. I don't think you can hurt your game by hitting the ball straighter. I think if you tend to hit a draw, then you play the draw. Sometimes a hole (or a golf course for that matter) just won't set up for you. It's nice to be able to work it but if your not making a living doing it then I can't see anything wrong with hitting it straighter.

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I'm curious about this as well. I doubt that someone who only plays occassionally needs players clubs or even blades, but I can see how a better player would want more feel. For those golfers who never plan on trying to work the ball, I wonder if anything other than GI irons make sense. If you aren't trying to work a fade, draw, etc. is there any point to blades or players irons?

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I've logged 3 rounds with the MP58's and I must say that they're working really well for me. 86, 88, and one round I didn't track due to constant interesting conversation with the guy I paired up with. 40 degrees and rainy all three days. The number one benefit I've noticed since the switch is distance control. In my time on the range, the distance dispersion on well struck shots seemed to be only a few yards. Even when I really nuked one it would only travel about 5 yards farther or so and hit the far back edge of the green I was hitting at.....or just barely roll off. As someone who is currently in training, taking lessons, and really working on building a good swing......the feedback I get from the new clubs is also really beneficial. I can instantly feel a good hit, toe hit, little thin, slice, push etc. The MP58's are still considered "game improvement" clubs, but they're more catered to low to mid handicappers. Another thing I like is that the weight of the club feels like its more at the sole, where with the Razr X's it almost felt like it was in the shaft. I always like the feel of my Vokey wedges over the Callaways for this reason. I've definitely been hitting the ball better. Is it due to the clubs? Most likely not. Probably due to my obsessive frequent practice and my coach. But I certainly haven't found them detrimental at all to my game. At the end of this off season, when my swing has hopeflully developed and improved, I'll get fitted and see if the lie or shafts need to be adjusted/changed. I just wanted to get a little conversation and ideas on this because I've noticed that most people believe that you shouldn't be hitting a certain club due to your handicap. I think it's all preference. You can be a 38 handicapper hitting blades or a scratch golfer hitting super game improvers. Obviously.......if you're having problems with a club, shaft, etc. you should look for other options and cunsult a professional.
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