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Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Help
I am thinking about changing irons and don't want to make a mistake. I am wondering if anyone can let me know which type of club I should be looking at with my handicap (15)
Players / Game Improvement / Super Game Improvement
Thanks
post #2 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

I suggest you find a set of game improvement irons. Here is my rule of thumb:
- Handicaps 10 and under should use player irons.
- Handicaps 11 to 20 should use game improvement irons.
- Handicaps 20 and over should use super game improvement irons.
post #3 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Some club makers will tell you what handicap range their club models are best for. Mizuno puts that info in their brochures. For your HC they recommend their MX-100, 200, or 1000 iron sets. Their Blades are for HC 12 and under, 11 and under, 8 and under and 5 and under for the MP-68s.
post #4 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

I would go with "game improvement" irons. I think Kenny Perry still plays the r7 irons which are considered game improvement.
post #5 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

I noticed that when watching the skills challenge thing.
post #6 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Originally Posted by supoffset View Post
Help
I am thinking about changing irons and don't want to make a mistake. I am wondering if anyone can let me know which type of club I should be looking at with my handicap (15)
Players / Game Improvement / Super Game Improvement
Thanks

Your handicap isn't the real issue with what irons you should play; consider the stories of Wild Bill from the early days of the modern era. His typical par-4 would be a drive in the fairway, his second shot to 2 feet, and his fourth shot from the bunker. Iron striking wasn't a problem for him. While I doubt your game is as wild as his, the issue is more why you're a 15 handicap and not so much that you're a 15 handicap. There are general rules of wrist for handicap range and iron choices, based on averages for those handicaps, but you aren't necessarily an average of other players with your handicap.

I got players' irons when my handicap was in the mid-20s. I love them and can't imagine going back to GI/SGI irons. My iron striking has improved immensely; much in the early days of them, then a lot more lately when I practiced again. By contrast, Stacy Lewis is a plus handicap (and a tournament professional) and uses GI irons. Brian Gay won twice on the PGA Tour last year - by a total of 15 strokes - with two irons from an SGI set in his bag.

So, there are some questions:
- what are your current irons? Why?
- How well do you hit your irons? Are you all over the clubface? Are you dead solid perfect each time?
- What do you want to do with your irons? And what do you want your irons to do for you? If all you want is high and straight, SGI might be it for you. If you want to work the ball, or get great feedback, Players' Irons - or, as I like to say, Swing Improvement Irons - might be in the cards for you.
- What do you want out of golf? Is it just a low score? The satisfaction of pulling off a great shot? That awesome feeling of hitting a blade nicely?
- What iron slots are you getting? Do you want an integrated set? Are you using hybrids, and if so, for which slots?
post #7 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

I would look at your current game and ask what you want to do with it or how do you think you could lower it.

I am sure you know all the club types and what there good for.

Could being able to work the ball improved your scores?
post #8 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

I believe I would start with the game improvement category, you might want to consider players clubs for just short irons and or wedges if you like, or players irons with hybrids in the long irons if dissatisfied with game improvement irons. It is unlikely that a 15 can take advantage of the workablility of players clubs in the middle and long irons, in fact many pros use game improvement irons in 6-3 iron ranges.
post #9 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Why is your handicap 15? Do you suck at putting? Or are you not as good at irons? I would hit a bunch of different clubs and styles and see which ones suit you best.
post #10 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

I started with adams and impoved my game unreal in 4 months.
post #11 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
... While I doubt your game is as wild as his, the issue is more why you're a 15 handicap and not so much that you're a 15 handicap...

So, there are some questions:
- What do you want out of golf? Is it just a low score? The satisfaction of pulling off a great shot? That awesome feeling of hitting a blade nicely?
Shindig has good issues for you to consider.
* Why are you a 15 HDCP? Are you improving, been stuck there for three years, or what? Is there one area of your game that bogs you down, or do you have a crisis area that rotates every month or so. May = bad drives | June = Mr. 3 Putt...
Once you realize this, pick irons that will help you out.

* What do you want out of golf? If you eventually want to play in club championships and regional amateur events, you would want to go with game improvement at least. If you mainly want to shoot in the low 80s, and don't have much time to work on your game, super game inprovement might be more reliable.

Note: On this blog, we have two club rating systems at play. Most posters use the Golf Digest three-band system: Players, GI and SGI.
If you want super detail, and are dipping into a golf club history lesson rather than just what's new today, you might want the Ralph Maltby Maltby Playability Factor(MPF). This system has six categories: Player Classic (most challenging), Classic, Conventional, Game Improvement, Super Game Improvement, and Ultra Game Improvement (most user-friendly).
The GD system collapses the categories of the full MPF system.

Also: Consider putting a "What's in my bag" list in your sig line. That way, we can tell what club mix you currently use, and how you approach the game.
post #12 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Originally Posted by supoffset View Post
Help
I am thinking about changing irons and don't want to make a mistake. I am wondering if anyone can let me know which type of club I should be looking at with my handicap (15)
Players / Game Improvement / Super Game Improvement
Thanks
I think an assessment by a clubfitter is in order. Not every mid-high handicapper needs to use an offset, high bounce, decal laden, shovel (typicalSGI category irons). Check out some of the wedge fitting tools available on-line (e.g. Titleist/Vokey, Scratch) and I think you'll see what I mean. Not every 15 hdcp swings over the top, hits a slice, and tends to hit shots fat (taking beaver pelt sized divots). Sometimes an elevated handicap boils down to course management or a lack of refinement in the short game - including putting (may be related to inexperience).
post #13 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Lots of good information has been posted to help you out but it really comes down to what you want out of your game (someone already metnioned that I am sure) and what your challenges are as a 15 handicap...take me for example I am an 8 handicap and mainly becuase I have a solid short game (chipping and putting)...when my ball striking is in the slot I break 80 and when it is not in the slot, I struggle to break 90. I have played "players irons" for quite a while but have recently changed to what is called a GI iron the new R9 irons (I have also recently made a swing change and have converted to the S&T) But I changed to these irons mainly because I have no real interest in working the ball...I want to hit it as straight as I can and with good consistent distance. I also wanted a club that when my swing was not in the slot it did not ruin my chances of scoring and the new R9 irons definitely help me with that as they are more forgiving then a "players iron". However, with less offset then a traditional GI iron they are very appealing at address and they allow you to set up very well to make a good golf swing. Good luck with whatever you decide...
post #14 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
Your handicap isn't the real issue with what irons you should play; consider the stories of Wild Bill from the early days of the modern era. His typical par-4 would be a drive in the fairway, his second shot to 2 feet, and his fourth shot from the bunker. Iron striking wasn't a problem for him. While I doubt your game is as wild as his, the issue is more why you're a 15 handicap and not so much that you're a 15 handicap. There are general rules of wrist for handicap range and iron choices, based on averages for those handicaps, but you aren't necessarily an average of other players with your handicap.

I got players' irons when my handicap was in the mid-20s. I love them and can't imagine going back to GI/SGI irons. My iron striking has improved immensely; much in the early days of them, then a lot more lately when I practiced again. By contrast, Stacy Lewis is a plus handicap (and a tournament professional) and uses GI irons. Brian Gay won twice on the PGA Tour last year - by a total of 15 strokes - with two irons from an SGI set in his bag.

So, there are some questions:
- what are your current irons? Why?
- How well do you hit your irons? Are you all over the clubface? Are you dead solid perfect each time?
- What do you want to do with your irons? And what do you want your irons to do for you? If all you want is high and straight, SGI might be it for you. If you want to work the ball, or get great feedback, Players' Irons - or, as I like to say, Swing Improvement Irons - might be in the cards for you.
- What do you want out of golf? Is it just a low score? The satisfaction of pulling off a great shot? That awesome feeling of hitting a blade nicely?
- What iron slots are you getting? Do you want an integrated set? Are you using hybrids, and if so, for which slots?
Seems that you're taking the words right out of my mouth a lot lately!! I totally agree with everything here.

To the OP, despite my handicap, I have a few blades in the set (8-PW) and the mixed set overall works very well for me. Maybe the mixed set is another option for you to consider.

As much as I hate to go into the whole brand/model thing, another option I'd take a look at is the Mizuno MX-300s. They're meant to stagger the line between players iron and GI iron. I'm reviewing them now, and I'd feel like I'm doing a disservice if I didn't mention them, because they are nice irons, and I feel like they really do blur that line. To me, they're kinda like the Nike VR Split Cavity.

Another rhetorical question I'd like to add on to Shindig's post is how much do you practice and play? Lets say you did buy something that's just a little bit over your head, are you the kind of person to spend a bit of extra practice time, working on your ballstriking, or do you want something that's going to play absolutely perfectly for you right now? There's no shame in either one, you just gotta be honest with yourself from the get-go.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Guys REALLY great input, thanks! A little about me my clubs and my game. I play 36 to 45 holes a week and try to practice my chipping around the green the most. Up until last may I played 1988 ping eye 2's. I changed to the ping I 10's and struggled. During the season I purchased a Cleveland 56 cg 14 and LOVED it! I loved it so much that I bought a 52 and a 46, and to be honest was very good with them. My handicap went from a 21 in June down to a 14.8 (yes .8 lol) As far as how I want my game to be well before the change to the new clubs (eye 2's to I 10) I was always playing around 11 or 12. I would be very happy in that area. My thinking was if I could get a club that felt like those wedges I would be in heaven! I was looking at the new cg 7 series from Cleveland for that reason. I am only going to buy 6 -9 and was even considering a mix between the GI and Players club.
Well' I really appreciate all the good thoughts and time that my fellow hackers have taken to help me. I really hope this thread helps others as well as myself. Oh and one more thought I have downloaded score card and am going to try and use it to answer some of the very questions a lot of you have asked!
Thanks again and KEEP it coming!
Frank
post #16 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

I just switched from some Cleveland TA6s to Bridgestone J36 Pocket cavs. While I LOVE the switch, in hindsight I would've gone with a combo set with some GI/SGI in the longer irons. A combo set may be just what you're looking for. Having also owned the Cleveland wedges, I absolutely love gaming my 7-PW now. I'm hitting more greens than ever, and able to bring 2nd/3rd shots from 10-15 yards, now down to closer to 10-15 feet. That said, my long irons suffered, a lot. I'll be looking to fix my swing, or if all else fails, incorporate more hittable longs.

My best advice is to go hit some new stuff at the range, and let us know what feels good.
post #17 of 17

Re: Which type of iron for a 15 handicap

Originally Posted by supoffset View Post
Guys REALLY great input, thanks! A little about me my clubs and my game. I play 36 to 45 holes a week and try to practice my chipping around the green the most. Up until last may I played 1988 ping eye 2's. I changed to the ping I 10's and struggled. During the season I purchased a Cleveland 56 cg 14 and LOVED it! I loved it so much that I bought a 52 and a 46, and to be honest was very good with them. My handicap went from a 21 in June down to a 14.8 (yes .8 lol) As far as how I want my game to be well before the change to the new clubs (eye 2's to I 10) I was always playing around 11 or 12. I would be very happy in that area. My thinking was if I could get a club that felt like those wedges I would be in heaven! I was looking at the new cg 7 series from Cleveland for that reason. I am only going to buy 6 -9 and was even considering a mix between the GI and Players club.
If you are comfortable playing to a 11 or 12 handicap then I would stay in the GI range of irons unless your ball striking is a very good part of your game. Going from Eye 2's to I10's was like going from SGI's to Players irons. The bounce and offset between these clubs are very different as I played Eye 2's (first set of clubs) and they were extremely forgiving and I played the I10's for about 6 months and hated them....The new I15's are more forgiving then the I10's in my opinion and more like a GI iron where the G15 is more like a SGI iron. Anyway I don't see any advantage of going with a split set unless you just like the look of them as you seem content to stay around 11-12 handicap. Plus again do you want to work the ball with your shorter irons 9-7 iron? If not then no advanatge of owning a players iron in this range unless again you just like the look of them...which I love the looks of pure blades more then any other type of club and when I set them down feel like I can hit them and I can if I am swing very well (owned a set of Titleist ZM irons for about 6 months) but if not then they SUCK! Again I would test all the clubs in the GI range both inside and especially outside (might have to wait until srping as I see you live in Mass) but it will be worth it because I have found that the "Grass does not lie"...good luck!
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