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Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Okay, I am struggling with type of irons to buy. I am a 7 index, with most play on fairly difficult courses. I bounce between a 6 and a 9. My iron game is fairly strong from the 6-wedges. 5 can be at times. The thing is I don't really try to work the ball. Tee to green I am a fairly straight hitter. I can turn it over if I get in trouble and am blocked out or something, but not consistently because I dont work on it. Am I better to just get a good game improvement irons instead of something like a mp52 or 58 since I dont work the ball much? My swing is flat (3 degrees) so I am somewhat limited to manufacturers. Ping, Mizuno, Taylormade, and Calloway I believe. I currently play 11 year old fitted ping i3 oversized. I assume a decade of technology improvements will also help. My pings are not long (weak lofted).

Thanks in advance. Matt
post #2 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

I was in the exact same boat as you are. The strength of my game is being able to hit my irons flush....puttng is my HUGE issue.... I'm a 12/13HC and was wondering if I could hit more of a players club. After getting fitted and trying a bunch I tried the Mizuno and Cobra forged.....I WILL NEVER own another club but a forged club. I tried the Mizuno MX300, MP57, 58, 52 and Cobra s2 forged. I decided on the 57's. There really is nothing like hitting a Mizuno forged club....hard to explain. People say it's like butter...but I never hit a stick of butter with a club so I don't know what that means....

Even though the MP line are players clubs...they still are forgiving. I really think you should give the 52's or 58's a try.
post #3 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

I switched to "Players Irons" as a sophmore in high school and have been playing forged clubs ever since, I prefer the feedback, consistency, and workability with the blades.
post #4 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

What is your current ball contact like now? Are your current i3's worn in the center of the clubface? If you are a solid ball-striker, I'd advise you to consider a skilled players club... however the fact that you don't enjoy working the ball makes this a relative mute point.

If you want distance, accuracy and forgiveness, go with a game improvement club. The benefits of a forged blade or minimal tour-style cavity/muscle back will be most evident due to the feedback, and versatility of the soles for performing finesse shots. If this isn't your cup of tea, then keep up the long and straight with a new set of forgiving sticks.
post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Originally Posted by delav View Post
What is your current ball contact like now? Are your current i3's worn in the center of the clubface? If you are a solid ball-striker, I'd advise you to consider a skilled players club... however the fact that you don't enjoy working the ball makes this a relative mute point.

If you want distance, accuracy and forgiveness, go with a game improvement club. The benefits of a forged blade or minimal tour-style cavity/muscle back will be most evident due to the feedback, and versatility of the soles for performing finesse shots. If this isn't your cup of tea, then keep up the long and straight with a new set of forgiving sticks.
My current clubs show no sign of where because they are hard as a rock, LOL. I am a decent ball striker. Impact tap has me on the money of slightly to the heal at times. Like all of us, I dont want an occassional bad shot to cland off the club and lose 30 yards either. The more I think about it, I could also see myself working on working the ball more with the appropriate clubs. It is obviously harder to work a ball consistently with 11 year old cast over sized clubs with an offset.
post #6 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

You might try hitting irons like the TaylorMade Tour Preferred, Cleveland CG7 Tour, Titleist AP2, Mizuno MP-57... etc. The biggest thing you are going to likely notice is a much different look at address with these clubs. See if you can find a range and try and hit a few. There are tons of clubs on the market that will allow for the shotmaking and shaping of a forged blade, without the small sweetspot and big yardage penalties for poor-struck balls.

I've also got a great set of Titleist 962's that I'm looking to move :)
post #7 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Originally Posted by mcotter View Post
My current clubs show no sign of where because they are hard as a rock, LOL. I am a decent ball striker. Impact tap has me on the money of slightly to the heal at times. Like all of us, I dont want an occassional bad shot to cland off the club and lose 30 yards either. The more I think about it, I could also see myself working on working the ball more with the appropriate clubs. It is obviously harder to work a ball consistently with 11 year old cast over sized clubs with an offset.
I was in the same boat last year looking to replace my old Tommy Armour 845s Ti face irons I had for probably 9-10 years. Being a high single digit, I wasn't going to delude myself (although I did hit some) going for a true blade like the Titleist ZM or some pure blade style Mizunos - although I did hit them. I tried all of the following:

Titleist ZM
Titleist ZB
Cleveland CG7 (I think the yellow or red - whichever is more of a "player's" club)
Mizuno MP68 (I think)
Taylor Made Tour Preferred
Ping S57
Titleist AP2
Wilson Staff ci7
Nike Victory Red Blades
Nike Victory Red Split Cavity

In the end I went with the Taylor Made Tour Preferred - they just felt right to me and, maybe it's because they're cast (then again, so are all Vokey's) never gave me that "clang" you can get with a pure forged blade. Hey, I would love to go out there with a some thin as a dime blades and never hit a bad one, but right now the TPs are great. People will harp about the graphics, but it looks as good as any club I've ever hit at address - and that's all that matters.
post #8 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

I think the decision between 'Players clubs' and 'improvement clubs' really depends on what you want to achieve. If you hit the improvement clubs, you will probably fairly quickly knock a few strokes off your game, but wont challenge you to progress your game any further. If you are just wanting to enjoy the game at your current level, this is a great option.
If you strive to get better, you might want to go with a blade because it will challenge you to become a better striker. At first, you may loose a few strokes.. but over time you will learn to hit them consistently.
post #9 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Get a combo set. If you don't want to switch to a hybrid for your 4I, I humbly suggest that you choose a 4I with some offset with a shaft that will increase your ball flight. Something along the lines of a Nike full cavity or the Taylormade R7 draw irons. They are both really easy to hit and get airborne. For your 5I and 6I, think about getting some type of player cavity-You mentioned Callaway- you can't go wrong with the X Tour series. Although not listed, take a look at the AP2, a really nice club.

If you don't want to go the route of a combo set, then give the Mizuno MP 57 a try. They are really easy to hit, forgiving and can be had for a steal.
post #10 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

I've never understood the idea of making the game any harder than it already is. There's no reason you couldn't use a more forgiving club like the Mizuno MX 300 or TaylorMade R9 or any other game improvement club with a scratch handicap. The thought that you can only become a better ball striker by hitting players clubs also seems a bit odd, surely if you continue to improve with the GI clubs, it just means you hit the GI clubs even better.

If you don't need or want to move the ball a lot, make your life easy and stick with GI clubs. There's a guy on the European Tour who uses the MX 200, a club designed for 20 handicappers. The 300s are forged but much more forgiving than the MP 52s (I'm actually switching to these in the next couple of weeks), so if you're set on getting the mighty "Grain Flow Forged" feel of Mizuno you might want to try these. Otherwise just look for a forgiving GI club that you like the look of, they've come a long way in recent years and don't look so fugly anymore. Golf is a bugger of a game without making it harder.
post #11 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Your game sounds somewhat similar to mine and I jumped around the last two years trying to find a club that will fit what I want out of my game when it comes to ball striking (straight and consistent distance)…I am serious in that I went from blades (Titleist ZM) to GI (TM-R9) and a few in-between but really could not seem to get comfortable…but I learned from each experience and as I kept researching I found my way back to the PING i15…read various reviews on this club and you will see this club called a “tweener”…which basically means it is the most forgiving “players” iron on the market. You can work the pw-6 iron but if you want to hit it straight they will abide and the longer irons (5-3 iron) are slightly bigger and are more forgiving then the rest of the set. I LOVE these irons and seeing that you already play PING these should slide into your bag nicely…just my 2 cents…good luck with whatever you decide...
post #12 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Honestly, I think everyone needs to get with the times. I don't know why everyone still has this idea that blades are incredibly hard to hit. We're not talking about the blades from 30 years ago guys! The blades of today are very forgiving, and the player cavity backs are even more so. Everyone seems to think that with blades or player cbs that there's only like a nickel sized sweet spot. Well, sure I suppose, it's pretty much the same with a SGI as well. If you hit a thin shot on the toe with a blade, will you lose 20 yds? Yeah, probably. You would also lose close to 20 yds hitting the same shot with a SGI.

I've been out hitting all sorts of irons over the last month or so because I'm looking to move up from my old Nike Ignite irons to more of a players club. I can honestly say, I think every club i've hit has been just as, if not more forgiving that my old set. That includes AP2s, Titleist CB 710s, Nike VR Splits, Callaway X-Forged, and Even the Nike VR Blades just for kicks. I think all of you guys just have a negative mindset when going to hit a blade iron, so of course, you make a bad swing, and when the shot sails 10 yds right and 15 yds short you blame it on the iron being not forgiving. Don't kid yourself, that same shot would've sucked with a Ping G10 iron as well. The only major difference is you will feel that you didn't hit it in the sweetspot with a forged club with less perimeter weighting. With my ignites, just about every shot feels the same. So when I end up 10 yds short and right of my target, I will never know: was it because I hit it on the toe? Was it the wind? Did I misjudge the distance?

Honestly, I think anyone can and should play a player's cavity back if they want to. They're all forgiving, and if the look at address inspires more confidence, you will hit better shots. That said, if you like your SGI, then stick with it. Just go out and hit the clubs without the negative attitude for blades/player cbs and i think you will all see that there really isn't as much of a difference as we make it to be.

-Gibby
post #13 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Originally Posted by Gibby View Post
Honestly, I think everyone needs to get with the times. I don't know why everyone still has this idea that blades are incredibly hard to hit. We're not talking about the blades from 30 years ago guys! The blades of today are very forgiving, and the player cavity backs are even more so. Everyone seems to think that with blades or player cbs that there's only like a nickel sized sweet spot. Well, sure I suppose, it's pretty much the same with a SGI as well. If you hit a thin shot on the toe with a blade, will you lose 20 yds? Yeah, probably. You would also lose close to 20 yds hitting the same shot with a SGI.
Wow! Some strong words there Gibby but I guess you are entitled to your opinion.

However, I have to disagree as I have played blades and GI irons and some in-between irons and there is a difference. I think the biggest difference is related to forgiveness in that your misses with a GI iron are not as severe as with a blade if your swing is just a little off (say toward the toe)…but I agree with you if you shank the ball regardless of what type of club it will go straight right (for a right handed player).

I found when I was playing the Titleist ZM’s that when I was swinging well they were awesome clubs but if my swing was just a little off I would really struggle with distance control...if I did not hit right on the sweet spot it was hard to predict my distance variances…when I played the TM R9’s I found that my distances where a lot more consistent regardless of where I hit it on the club face…within reason...again big misses are big misses regardless of the type of club.

Also to debate this subject lets look at what Pros put in the bag…yes some of the Pro's still play blades but their ball striking ability is way more consistent then any of us as they hit more balls in a month then we do in a year (most of us anyway)…but I was at the Transition Championship this weekend and I will tell you that the majority of the field was playing some type of cavity back players iron or GI iron…heck the guy who came in 2nd place was playing 3-PW PING G15 irons…what’s up with that???
post #14 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Originally Posted by Gibby View Post
Honestly, I think everyone needs to get with the times. I don't know why everyone still has this idea that blades are incredibly hard to hit. We're not talking about the blades from 30 years ago guys! The blades of today are very forgiving, and the player cavity backs are even more so. Everyone seems to think that with blades or player cbs that there's only like a nickel sized sweet spot. Well, sure I suppose, it's pretty much the same with a SGI as well. If you hit a thin shot on the toe with a blade, will you lose 20 yds? Yeah, probably. You would also lose close to 20 yds hitting the same shot with a SGI.

I've been out hitting all sorts of irons over the last month or so because I'm looking to move up from my old Nike Ignite irons to more of a players club. I can honestly say, I think every club i've hit has been just as, if not more forgiving that my old set. That includes AP2s, Titleist CB 710s, Nike VR Splits, Callaway X-Forged, and Even the Nike VR Blades just for kicks. I think all of you guys just have a negative mindset when going to hit a blade iron, so of course, you make a bad swing, and when the shot sails 10 yds right and 15 yds short you blame it on the iron being not forgiving. Don't kid yourself, that same shot would've sucked with a Ping G10 iron as well. The only major difference is you will feel that you didn't hit it in the sweetspot with a forged club with less perimeter weighting. With my ignites, just about every shot feels the same. So when I end up 10 yds short and right of my target, I will never know: was it because I hit it on the toe? Was it the wind? Did I misjudge the distance?

Honestly, I think anyone can and should play a player's cavity back if they want to. They're all forgiving, and if the look at address inspires more confidence, you will hit better shots. That said, if you like your SGI, then stick with it. Just go out and hit the clubs without the negative attitude for blades/player cbs and i think you will all see that there really isn't as much of a difference as we make it to be.

-Gibby
VERY well said Gibby and I agree 100%. I think if people picked up a Mizuno MP52, 57, 58 or a Cobra S2....they WILL NEVER go bacl to a SGI or GI club again.....it really is not as hard as people think and they are all VERY forgiving.
post #15 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

I have to agree with the post above - most players on the Tour are using some sort of cavity back (be it forged or not), so there should be no stigma to it. Anyone getting into the whole "grain flow forged" speak is just buying marketing hype - and the Mizuno crowd is one of the biggest culprits. Great clubs, but really no better than the offerings from other companies out there when all is said and done.

That being said, I need to hit these Miura's - I've never seen a better looking club:

post #16 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Originally Posted by mcotter View Post
...My iron game is fairly strong from the 6-wedges. 5 can be at times. ... Am I better to just get a good game improvement irons instead of something like a mp52 or 58 since I dont work the ball much?
Matt
Some of the low handicappers on the blog have mixed their iron sets. If you want to work the ball more, you might go with a player's club in 6-iron on up, and game improvement or SGI irons for the 4 and 5.

I remember when the Ping I3 line - which you play - came out. Some of the competition players at my home course got mixed sets: I3 Blade for 7 iron on up, I3 O'Size for 3i to 6i.
post #17 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Originally Posted by golf_junkie27
Get a combo set.
Best advise in this thread. Lots of companies now carry blended / combo sets. The transition from blade to cavity was perfect in my combo set. Basically you get the best of both worlds: added control from your short irons (blades) and the extra forgiveness in your longer irons (cavities or GI).

Originally Posted by pherg View Post
I've never understood the idea of making the game any harder than it already is. There's no reason you couldn't use a more forgiving club like the Mizuno MX 300 or TaylorMade R9 or any other game improvement club with a scratch handicap.

Otherwise just look for a forgiving GI club that you like the look of, they've come a long way in recent years and don't look so fugly anymore. Golf is a bugger of a game without making it harder.
Who says they make the game harder? I don't care what studies have been done and I couldn't care less how many pros carry cavities or game improvement irons. Bottom line for me is I hit blades better then bulky, frumpy, gaudy game improvement irons…..and that is the only reason they are in my bag, period.
post #18 of 35

Re: Players Irons or Game Improvement Irons

Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
Some of the low handicappers on the blog have mixed their iron sets. If you want to work the ball more, you might go with a player's club in 6-iron on up, and game improvement or SGI irons for the 4 and 5.

I remember when the Ping I3 line - which you play - came out. Some of the competition players at my home course got mixed sets: I3 Blade for 7 iron on up, I3 O'Size for 3i to 6i.
In essece that is what I was trying to say in an earlier post about the PING i15 iron set...the 6-PW are player irons (small heads and not much offset) and the 5-3 iron are bigger in size with more offset and much more weight on the toe to be more forgiving...
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