or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Should I practice with a "players blade"?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Should I practice with a "players blade"?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

I was reading "Solid Contact" by Jim Hardy and after reading a passage remarking the differences of old clubs and the newer clubs ball flight. Basically stating the obvious that the newer clubs were more forgiving. I thought maybe I should use an old blade type iron that is unforgiving and gives me instant feedback on where I hit on the face, face angle as well as club path to practice on the range with. This would also groove a consist "correct" swing and hopefully decrease mishits. I could easily get fit a 3 iron, 6 iron and 9 iron to my specs. Any opinions or others try this?

post #2 of 37

I concur to the point that I actually play blades even though I'm not scratch. The way I look at is, the few times a round that I mishit iron shots would be mishits with GI clubs as well but maybe just a few yards longer or straighter, so I'll take the looks, feel, playability, and feedback over a few yards here and there any day.

 

Beware, after you flush a few shots with blades you will want to game them...

post #3 of 37
I agree. I just got my Cobra S3 pros and wouldn't want to go back to GI clubs at all. Flushed shots felt great, even at 40* weather here in northern Ohio. Slight mishits weren't punished much. You really do concentrate more with a smaller head than with the larger faces on the GI Clubs.
post #4 of 37

funny this topic comes up (player's vs GI), i started a thread about it yesterday and posted my findings just moments ago... only to read this thread right underneath mine lol. It basically answers my original questions... o well, I learned a lil somethin in the process. 

post #5 of 37

FWIW - I tried this and don't think it's worth it. 

 

I did it for the same reasons as you are considering - I thought that practicing with a blade iron would give me better feedback and lead to better ball striking.  I bought a used set of Wilson blade irons in really nice condition for less than $100 bucks - they were not fitted for me but neither are any of my other clubs. 

 

Anyway - I practiced with these and what I found was that I can tell if I flush it or not with any iron - even my SGI Big Berthas.  In fact - I prefer the *sound* of a pure strike with the Big Bertha's to the blades.  The blades would sting my hands a little on bad shots but otherwise there was no real difference the feedback I received.  Fat, thin, off the toe, off the hosel, high on the face, low on the face, glancing blow or solid shot - I could tell just as easily with the Big Berthas - so all I was doing was practicing with clubs I wasn't gaming - making me have to get used to the feel of 2 different sets of clubs. 

 

Although I did "game" the blades once at a par3 course - I've never been tempted to do so as more than an experiment.  Oddly enough - the thing that I think improved my striking the most was the confidence the Big Bertha's gave me.  It is a falsehood, in my opinion anyway, that SGI clubs "mask swing flaws" or promote you learning a bad habits.  In my experience that has not been true at all.

 

Now that my striking has improved - I have started to play my Ping I5s's again for the 7iron up.  This is only because I feel like the thin soles of the Pings make for more versatile short irons - in terms of hitting off various types of lies.  I can get a bit more draw out of them as well - but I can totally draw (or hook) the Big Berthas, too.

post #6 of 37

i would not do it personally.  nothing is more deflating than misshitting a shot in golf.  plus i don't know if it really helps your ball striking that much.  why don't you get a sharpie and start marking your balls and see where they hit on your regular irons?  if it's in the center, your ball striking is good.  keep seeing where it ends up to determine what you're doing wrong.  you can wipe sharpie residue off of your clubs.

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valleygolfer View Post

I was reading "Solid Contact" by Jim Hardy and after reading a passage remarking the differences of old clubs and the newer clubs ball flight. Basically stating the obvious that the newer clubs were more forgiving. I thought maybe I should use an old blade type iron that is unforgiving and gives me instant feedback on where I hit on the face, face angle as well as club path to practice on the range with. This would also groove a consist "correct" swing and hopefully decrease mishits. I could easily get fit a 3 iron, 6 iron and 9 iron to my specs. Any opinions or others try this?

As long as the blade is fitted to you, it seems like it couldn't possibly hurt you to practice with it.  If it's not fitted correctly, you could start forming bad habits as compensations to tweak the ball flight only to find that those don't work with your actual clubs.  For me, I am fine using my regular (GI) clubs for practice and I just pay attention after each shot to contact.  (I should mark the club or get impact tape or something, but with range balls its usually easy to tell regardless)

 

I think this is very similar to the mats vs. grass dilemma discussed in other threads here.  If you are not paying attention, you might not be able to feel fat shots because the mats mask them, just like the GI forgiveness could mask toe hits.  But if you are paying attention, practicing with GI clubs on mats exclusively can be just as helpful as blades on grass.

post #8 of 37

I'm a true believer that you practice with what you plan to game and play competitive / handicap based rounds with.  

 

Why?  Because I found that things as subtle as changing grips from a 48 gram Dri Tac, to a 52 gram Lampkin can feel very different.  

 

For instance, when I went to the Lampkin grips this past summer, after using Dri Tac grips for a year+, the Lampkin's felt considerably heavier/bulkier in my hands.  I felt like the club loaded differently in my hands.  And I hit a lot of golf shots without a glove.  My hands created calluses in new areas on both my right and left hands - areas I hadn't seen previously callus with the Dri Tac grips.

 

My point is ... Something as little as 4 grams in weight caused me to have different feels.  And when you have different feels in the golf swing, you typically have compensations that follow.  Compensations create variables which can lead to imperfections.  Imperfections ultimately effect your ball striking and scoring abilities.  I do hit loads of golf balls a week... So perhaps my body is more in tune with certain feels, and the average Joe golfer, who only plays or practices once a week wouldn't see these type of changes as something that would impact them? But it took me a little while, and some deliberate practice sessions to really start feeling the proper loading of the shaft again, just by moving to the Lampkin grips.  

 

Therefore, having a set of practice clubs, and then having another set of clubs to actually play round with sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me.  Perhaps I'm mental?  But I wouldn't do this unless the sets were identical as I want to have the same feels that I have on the range, that I do when I'm playing golf.

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

why don't you get a sharpie and start marking your balls and see where they hit on your regular irons?  if it's in the center, your ball striking is good.  keep seeing where it ends up to determine what you're doing wrong.  you can wipe sharpie residue off of your clubs.

This is sound advice.  It works.  Take a large black marker/sharpie to the range.  Draw a large black circle or line on the ball.  Line the freshly applied mark so that it is  in the area where your clubface will make contact with the ball.  And the mark will leave residue on the face of the club... Giving you instant feedback on where you made contact with the ball.

 

The funny thing is... The range I go to... The balls are mostly booty boo e1_poo.gif... And they leave a mark on the face of the club anyway!!

post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

This is sound advice.  It works.  Take a large black marker/sharpie to the range.  Draw a large black circle or line on the ball.  Line the freshly applied mark so that it is  in the area where your clubface will make contact with the ball.  And the mark will leave residue on the face of the club... Giving you instant feedback on where you made contact with the ball.

 

The funny thing is... The range I go to... The balls are mostly booty boo e1_poo.gif... And they leave a mark on the face of the club anyway!!

 

Or, just put masking tape over the clubface before hitting.  You can clearly see where you're hitting.

post #11 of 37

I'm undecided right now on this topic.  When I first started to practice with blades I thought they helped my swing and provided me better feedback.  As I practiced more and played more I started to wonder if they were really helping because of the reasons you specified. 

 

Weight, grind, lofts, etc are all likely different from a players blade to SGI or GI irons.  If I practiced more than a few days between rounds the irons I gamed during a round felt different because I was so used to the practice blades.  For the last month and the rest of this season I've put the blades away and use my game irons for practice and on the course which has me feeling more confident and comfortable with them on the course. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

I'm a true believer that you practice with what you plan to game and play competitive / handicap based rounds with.  

 

Why?  Because I found that things as subtle as changing grips from a 48 gram Dri Tac, to a 52 gram Lampkin can feel very different.  

 

For instance, when I went to the Lampkin grips this past summer, after using Dri Tac grips for a year+, the Lampkin's felt considerably heavier/bulkier in my hands.  I felt like the club loaded differently in my hands.  And I hit a lot of golf shots without a glove.  My hands created calluses in new areas on both my right and left hands - areas I hadn't seen previously callus with the Dri Tac grips.

 

My point is ... Something as little as 4 grams in weight caused me to have different feels.  And when you have different feels in the golf swing, you typically have compensations that follow.  Compensations create variables which can lead to imperfections.  Imperfections ultimately effect your ball striking and scoring abilities.  I do hit loads of golf balls a week... So perhaps my body is more in tune with certain feels, and the average Joe golfer, who only plays or practices once a week wouldn't see these type of changes as something that would impact them? But it took me a little while, and some deliberate practice sessions to really start feeling the proper loading of the shaft again, just by moving to the Lampkin grips.  

 

Therefore, having a set of practice clubs, and then having another set of clubs to actually play round with sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me.  Perhaps I'm mental?  But I wouldn't do this unless the sets were identical as I want to have the same feels that I have on the range, that I do when I'm playing golf.

post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the weigh ins. I guess I was looking to be more consistent in hitting the sweet spot and I thought the blades would give instant feed back. My regular irons are pretty good about feed back but still perform decent even when slightly mishit. I think I should be able to swing any iron that is fitted but thinking and doing are two different things. I guess I could give it a go and see if my heart is into it. Who knows maybe I would switch over to blades completely...

post #13 of 37
I'm solidly in the "what the F is a players blade" camp.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

I'm a true believer that you practice with what you plan to game and play competitive / handicap based rounds with.  

 

Why?  Because I found that things as subtle as changing grips from a 48 gram Dri Tac, to a 52 gram Lampkin can feel very different.  

 

For instance, when I went to the Lampkin grips this past summer, after using Dri Tac grips for a year+, the Lampkin's felt considerably heavier/bulkier in my hands.  I felt like the club loaded differently in my hands.  And I hit a lot of golf shots without a glove.  My hands created calluses in new areas on both my right and left hands - areas I hadn't seen previously callus with the Dri Tac grips.

 

My point is ... Something as little as 4 grams in weight caused me to have different feels.  And when you have different feels in the golf swing, you typically have compensations that follow.  Compensations create variables which can lead to imperfections.  Imperfections ultimately effect your ball striking and scoring abilities.  I do hit loads of golf balls a week... So perhaps my body is more in tune with certain feels, and the average Joe golfer, who only plays or practices once a week wouldn't see these type of changes as something that would impact them? But it took me a little while, and some deliberate practice sessions to really start feeling the proper loading of the shaft again, just by moving to the Lampkin grips.  

 

Therefore, having a set of practice clubs, and then having another set of clubs to actually play round with sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me.  Perhaps I'm mental?  But I wouldn't do this unless the sets were identical as I want to have the same feels that I have on the range, that I do when I'm playing golf.

As for the bold: Most definitely!!!!! c2_beer.gif

 

In all seriousness, though, those are fantastic points.

post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Datsyuk View Post

I'm solidly in the "what the F is a players blade" camp.


http://www.wilson.com/en-us/golf/irons/fg62/ or http://www.golfsmith.com/product/30060394/titleist-mb-712-3-pw-iron-set-with-steel-shafts

post #16 of 37

I bought a MP58 6iron to see whether I could hit it.  The results have been hit or miss, but I haven't really done more than pulling it out now and then to hit a handful of balls.  

 

Part of me thinks I should try to use them more, for the reasons most identified here. I put it a lot of time trying to improve, so I tend to think I may be better off just going with more of a player's style as I work on my game.  

 

But what I notice more than anything when I swing is that it just doesn't feel right.  I tend to think its the weight of the smaller head.  Its probably just something that takes getting used to, but until I commit one way or the other, I won't feel right.  Also the club isn't fitted to me, but I could fix that.

post #17 of 37

 

Those are fairly easy to hit. I'd consider them game improvement blades. You're probably looking for something from the 1960s and preferably with reverse camber, like a MacGregor or Hogan.

post #18 of 37

Not sure about the Wilsons, but I loooooove those MB's.  I wanted a set so bad, but then I went to my fitting and realized that they weren't for me.  I still love the look of them though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Datsyuk View Post

Those are fairly easy to hit. I'd consider them game improvement blades. You're probably looking for something from the 1960s and preferably with reverse camber, like a MacGregor or Hogan.

By definition, that doesn't make any sense.  Game Improvement involves technology of some kind, and usually perimeter weighting is involved prominently.

 

Blades are just solid chunks of metal.  There is nothing "game improving" about them (except maybe confidence-wise for some people)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Should I practice with a "players blade"?