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Making a transition to blades, recommended or not?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

I am a 14 handicap in Northern California who has always loved playing Alister MacKenzie courses like Pasatiempo.  I am considering my next iron purchase in blades (looking at Muira's and wishing they were not that expensive).   I have always loved the look and the feel of a well hit forged iron blade (a dreamy cream puff feel).   However, the fact remains, I cannot play as often as I would like and I cannot practice enough to significantly improve my ball striking consistency.   I have changed my swing significantly over the past years and am now a Don Trahan Surgite with a much more vertical swing.   It has enabled me to be far more consistent with my irons (Callaway Fusions) although I am now hitting the ball a little too high.    The question is:  Is it asking for trouble to buy a set of blades?  Has anyone made the transition in similar circumstances?   Was the experience a good or bad one?

post #2 of 42

cavity backs surely give you more room for error ball striking wise, if you miss the sweet spot on a cavity back, you still can hit a shot. With blades you greatly decrease your chances of hitting anything cleanly, and consistently if you're inconsistent to begin with. Hope this helps a little bit. 

post #3 of 42

When I made the transition to blades I was around a 20 capper and I dropped about 8 strokes over the first year and then another 4 or so over the following years. But that's just me. I loved the clean looks of blades, and the feel of a pure strike made me pursue that kind of contact over everything else. I did whatever it took to make clean ball-first contact (it came down to always playing 2/3 punch-type swings, but it worked, and I built up my swing from there).

 

I don't know why people agonize over the choice of trying blades. Unless you are in financial straits, just buy a set and try them out. If they are not for you, just tuck them away or sell them and go back to GI clubs. No biggie.

post #4 of 42

A true muscleback blade is a giant leap from a Callaway Fusion iron.  I'd find a players cavity iron that you like the look of, with a shaft that fits your swing.

 

There are plenty of 'am I ready for blades' or 'blades helped me drop 5 strokes' threads on this forum... My personal belief is that blades are romanticized on internet forums and that a cavity or players cavity would fit most amateur golfers better.  The guys on tour trust their equipment to deliver paychecks, and many of these guys aren't playing musclebacks either.

 

Truth be told, I've got a set of blades in the basement and I score better with my '09 TPs.  With clubs like the AP2, Adamns CMB, etc, there are simply better options out there for most guys.

post #5 of 42

I played competitively as a junior and during that time a lot of my friends started playing blades and I ended up buying set as well which in hindsight was probably to "fit in" somewhat. I had a set of Hogan Apex PCs and they were/are great clubs even though they are 25 years old (10 years old at the time) but I have no doubt that it probably cost me a lot of shots.

 

I had a handicap index of around 3 - 4 at that time so I could play but I also hit balls 4-5 days a week. I ended up leaving the game for many years and this year I came back and after playing a few rounds realized that my blade days are probably over for the foreseable future.

 

As mentioned above there are a of people who tell you blades lowered their scores etc. and maybe it did but a good ball striker is a good ball striker, it doesn't matter what club is in their hand. Cavity back clubs still require that you hit good shots and from my experience you know when you don't you just are not punished as much for a mishit which is probably not a bad thing unless you are masochist.

 

There are some great clubs on the market that provide the feel of a blade but still provide some forgiveness, some of the threads on here have a lot of good things to say about the Mizuno's and I really enjoy my Nike's which also come in a progressive set (cavity long irons, blade short irons) which might be worth considering. Good luck with your decision and if all else fails get a set of blades (Hogan Apex PCs can be found on ebay for cheap) and if you do not like them you can always switch back. Just my .02 a1_smile.gif

post #6 of 42

If you don't have the time to practice your ball-striking, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be honest about the type of miss-hit you typically have.  If your normal problem is fat or thin shots then the blade won't really make things worse.  However if your problem is that you can't hit the centre of the club-face reliably, a blade will hurt your game (not too mention your hands) to at least some extent.  Off-centre hits just don't go very far with a blade.

 

Definitely try a players cavity back alongside whatever blades you were thinking of.  A split set is a great option as well and will give you the best of both worlds.

 

I went through the transition when I decided to switch to MP-33's I found for a great price (recently switched to MP-58's as I'd worn the grooves so dull I couldn't stripe a ProV1).  I was a 14 at the time and I dropped to a 5 over the following year.  But I also put in a lot of practice time.  So I don't totally buy the 'blades made me a better ball striker' argument.  I have no doubt ball-striking improved while using blades, but it's all the practice that actually does it.

post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul View Post

If you don't have the time to practice your ball-striking, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be honest about the type of miss-hit you typically have.  If your normal problem is fat or thin shots then the blade won't really make things worse.  However if your problem is that you can't hit the centre of the club-face reliably, a blade will hurt your game (not too mention your hands) to at least some extent.  Off-centre hits just don't go very far with a blade.

 

Definitely try a players cavity back alongside whatever blades you were thinking of.  A split set is a great option as well and will give you the best of both worlds.

 

I went through the transition when I decided to switch to MP-33's I found for a great price (recently switched to MP-58's as I'd worn the grooves so dull I couldn't stripe a ProV1).  I was a 14 at the time and I dropped to a 5 over the following year.  But I also put in a lot of practice time.  So I don't totally buy the 'blades made me a better ball striker' argument.  I have no doubt ball-striking improved while using blades, but it's all the practice that actually does it.

I agree with Brad here.  I was in the market for new irons this past summer and fell into the category of people like Delav mentioned who romanticized players clubs and specifically blades.  I started dreaming of AP2's then worked my way up to 712 CB's and then the MB's.  Loved those clubs (just the look and idea of them ... how "cool" I would be playing them) but when it came time to actually make a purchase, I had to face reality:  my mis-hits are all over the club face ... and especially out towards the toe.  Toe-ward misses are not fun with players clubs, especially blades.  Ouch!  So I ended up with i20's and haven't looked back.

 

So, if your misses are on the toe, you are gonna be hurt a lot more by a blade than something like your current irons or i20's.  If you miss anywhere else, fat, thin and even heel, then you are not losing anything more with blades.

 

And if you gain confidence by using them and don't miss on the toe much, I say go for it!

post #8 of 42

I have moved to blades over the past couple of months and love it. I do have those bad shots here and there, but I have much better ball control. I make great contact and have a good flight to the ball. The great shots I am making with blades outweigh the bad shots. I love them. I will not go back to cavity backs.

post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by delav View Post

A true muscleback blade is a giant leap from a Callaway Fusion iron.  I'd find a players cavity iron that you like the look of, with a shaft that fits your swing.

 

There are plenty of 'am I ready for blades' or 'blades helped me drop 5 strokes' threads on this forum... My personal belief is that blades are romanticized on internet forums and that a cavity or players cavity would fit most amateur golfers better.  The guys on tour trust their equipment to deliver paychecks, and many of these guys aren't playing musclebacks either.

 

Truth be told, I've got a set of blades in the basement and I score better with my '09 TPs.  With clubs like the AP2, Adamns CMB, etc, there are simply better options out there for most guys.

 

Agree 100%.  There's a wide range of options between the Fusion Shovels and a real MB blade.  If you're set on forged clubs, look at Mizunos, they have a range of club options which may serve you well.

post #10 of 42

Part of the appeal of blades is the "sexiness" of them as well as the nice, soft, "buttery" feel that you can get from them. However, they are damn hard to hit. The thing is though, with many of the clubs today you can get that same "sexiness" and "buttery" feel from a cavity. Right now, I'm playing the Mizuno MP-H4 irons... they have the great looks of the Mizuno MP line and they have that classic Mizuno feel that everybody talks about, but they are forgiving.

post #11 of 42

With some of the nicer cb/mb mixed sets you can't see a difference standing over the club. I love the Cleveland 588 cb/mb.

post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by preisman View Post

I have moved to blades over the past couple of months and love it. I do have those bad shots here and there, but I have much better ball control. I make great contact and have a good flight to the ball. The great shots I am making with blades outweigh the bad shots. I love them. I will not go back to cavity backs.

 

The MP53 is a good example of a solid players cavity.  It's not a blade, however a3_biggrin.gif

 

 

1000

post #13 of 42

I agree with Tristan, its all about the sexiness aspect with blades.  Whenever I hear anyone invoking Muira's I think poser...  I feel that if you have to ask yourself and everyone one else for that matter if switching to blades is a good idea....the answer is probably no.   Blades are like dating the really hot girl thats also kinda crazy...yeah theyll make your friends jealous but they are hard to live with and will embarrass you publicly from time to time

post #14 of 42
Great analogy Rip.
post #15 of 42

I like Rips analogy but disagree that people playing Miura's are posers (unless they can't spell Miura properly e2_whistling.gif)  I'd suggest you go hit them and see how they feel and what the results are on Trackman or range.  

 

In the end it's about enjoying golf, so the question is will you enjoy golf in 2013 more having Miura's in your bag and potentially having your handicap go up a few strokes or a more forgiving forged iron (MP-53's, 712 CB's, X-Forged 2013) that gives you a better shot at maintaining or lowering your handicap. 

post #16 of 42
From personal experience in terms of what I've tested and hit, I really liked the Mizuno MP-69 blade. But ended up buying the MP-59's players iron with a cavity back.

I've also recently hit the Callaway RAZR X muscle backs, and compared to the Callaway Forged X - I personally liked the Forged X better (flight and feel), but preferred the look of the muscle back (beautiful appearance).

For me, I want to buy blades in my next set, to force me to find better / more consistent center contact. Someone above used the word masochist personality? But I think you can turn it into a motivator to improve your contact.

Lastly, I've been told that if your consistently heel sided, a blade will be just fine - even for a mid to high handicapper. My misses are typically heel side, so this also makes me think I'd do just fine playing with a blade.
post #17 of 42

It's hard to quantify just how many strokes any one player throws away by playing hard-to-play clubs. At a 9 index, I'm sure it can't be more than a couple per round for me. I more or less flush about 80% of my iron shots, with 1/10 being a toe/fat/thin and maybe the other 1/10 a skunker. The way I see it, the skunker ain't gonna be saved by a GI club, and the toe/fat/thin shot not being much improved either. So, I will take the feel, control, and looks over saving 1 or 2 strokes per round. Some may call it posing or going for sexiness, but then why do looks count so much for cars, houses, clothes, and women?? I guess it all depends on what you want out of the game. I play for the sensory input - the sight, sound, and feel of a pured shot. Score really is secondary for me. Sure, I might win an additional $20 per month from my skins group if I played more forgiving clubs, so what. BTW, I just got an old school blade putter, and I will probably be giving away another stroke or two using it, but guess what, I don't care!

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

It's hard to quantify just how many strokes any one player throws away by playing hard-to-play clubs. At a 9 index, I'm sure it can't be more than a couple per round for me. I more or less flush about 80% of my iron shots, with 1/10 being a toe/fat/thin and maybe the other 1/10 a skunker. The way I see it, the skunker ain't gonna be saved by a GI club, and the toe/fat/thin shot not being much improved either. So, I will take the feel, control, and looks over saving 1 or 2 strokes per round. Some may call it posing or going for sexiness, but then why do looks count so much for cars, houses, clothes, and women?? I guess it all depends on what you want out of the game. I play for the sensory input - the sight, sound, and feel of a pured shot. Score really is secondary for me. Sure, I might win an additional $20 per month from my skins group if I played more forgiving clubs, so what. BTW, I just got an old school blade putter, and I will probably be giving away another stroke or two using it, but guess what, I don't care!
If you've described your typical round properly, then I say there's no way those clubs are costing you more than one shot per round. The fat/thin/skunker will have identical results regardless of club. The toe shot is the big difference but you still lose distance with it no matter the club. So maybe once every round you are 30 yds short of the green on an approach instead of 10. I'd say you're costing yourself 1/2 shot a round at most. Blade away!! :)
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