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When to get new irons?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

When do you guys consider getting new irons?

 

Every year?  Every 2-3 years? When the old one's break? When your game improves, if so how much improvement would it take?

 

Do clubs ever "go bad"? If so, when do they start playing worse? I imagines good ones should last a long time.

 

Just curious.  My clubs are close to 2 years old, and have some battle scars.  I am not looking for new irons, but always have my eye on what's out there.  I have SGI Irons, and now that my handicap has fallen almost 6 shots since I bought them I am slightly considering upgrading to a new set of irons.

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 24

I have four different sets of irons, one is my summer set (May through October). One is my winter set (November though April). The last two sets I use as "guest" irons when out-of-town family come for a visit, although I do use them once or twice a season.  I have played 7 other sets that I either sold or gave away.  (I have been playing golf for 50+ years.)

 

I don't replace a set of irons until I feel that I can get a set that is better than the ones in my bag.  I love the feel of the Ping i3+ irons (2002) that are in my summer bag.  Close behind are my Ben Hogan Edge irons in the winter bag.  I got these as my first perimeter set of irons in 1990 as a 10th anniversary gift, and I suspect as long as I am married I will still play them. Very solid.

 

Back to the original question.  I finally replaced my Hogan Apex blades from 1975 when I hit 40 and needed the forgiveness of a perimeter weighted iron.  I replaced my 1990 Hogan Edges in 2009 after almost twenty years, when I found the Ping i3+ irons on Ebay for $300. 

 

Here are the different irons that I have played over the years beginning with my first real set that I bought with a month's salary: Hogan Apex, Hogan Edge, Ping Eye2 Generic, Titleist DCI, Titleist 962, Cleveland 792 VAS, King Cobra2 Oversize, Ping i3+, Wilson Staff Ci7.

post #3 of 24
Do clubs ever "go bad"?
Thoughts?


I've played PING i3+ irons that are close to 10 years old and until I see something that raises my eyebrows I'm still going to game them. It's really a personal preference on if you like what you see behind the ball at address.
post #4 of 24

Do clubs ever go bad?  I've had a few heads come off of the shaft when the epoxy broke down. I've also broken a shaft when I tried to hit a knock-down shot from under a tree and my backswing got too high. But I don't think a club ever goes bad.

 

What I do think is that as we get older we might need to take advantage of modern technology to help our game.  As I said before, when I turned 40, I no longer could hit the blades as accurately as I did when I was 20 or 30.  In part because of old age, and in part because I was now married and spending less time on the course. My old irons were still functional, but the forgiveness of getting perimeter weighted irons made the old clubs seem obsolete.

post #5 of 24
Disregarding financial considerations, get new irons when the ones in your bag no longer serve their intended purpose. A buddy of mine - I played with him yesterday - still plays his Mizuno MP-14s. And given how well he hits them, I'm not going to suggest otherwise.

Have you worn out the grooves or bounce? It's possible. If so, you probably want to replace them. But most of us won't wear out the bounce or grooves of any clubs we ever own. I've heard a few times that Tiger wears out the bounce on his wedges every few months.

Has your body has changed significantly since you bought the irons? For example, if your swing speed has changed (to the point that a different flex is necessary, one way or the other), you might want to consider getting them reshafted. Depending on the expense, it might make sense (and be more fun) to get new irons. Be aware, when you do, that you might be opening yourself to new utility metals or wedges if the lofts have changed (there's about a 4-5 degree difference in PWs depending on sets).

Have your needs changed since buying? When I was practicing 3-4 times per week and playing 1-2 times per week, my mixed set of Mizuno MP-57s and Nike VR blades were great. When I knew I'd be moving to a colder climate and would have less time to practice and play - knowing I'd have a few months without swinging a club, even - I switched to game-improvement cavity back irons. Even now that I'm back in warmer weather, I'm sticking with them. Fortunately when I made that change, I was able to find a set of GI irons with matching lofts to my Mizunos. I'm going to assemble another PW and 7-iron from the set soon for range use (they're the two irons I use most at the range) so that I wear down the full set more or less at the same pace.
post #6 of 24

I am still using my Callaway Golds and they are close to 17 years old. I always consider getting new irons, but after looking at the price and a trip to the simulator, I still have the same clubs in the bag. 

 

My second bag of clubs,  Ram Axials, well I upgraded them only because the irons I replaced them with, FX Max 10s, are pretty good and cost me less than fifty bucks on sale. 

post #7 of 24

I still play my Ping Eye2s which have to be 15 years old. I also have a set of Ping G15s which I play most of the time but I take the Eye2s out once in a while. I really keep them for guests. They are still great clubs, sure they are dinged up but I still like playing them. I don't think irons ever "wear out". I plan on keeping my G15s for many years to come, they now fit like a glove.

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCfanatic35 View Post

When do you guys consider getting new irons?

 

Every year?  Every 2-3 years? When the old one's break? When your game improves, if so how much improvement would it take?

 

Do clubs ever "go bad"? If so, when do they start playing worse? I imagines good ones should last a long time.

 

Just curious.  My clubs are close to 2 years old, and have some battle scars.  I am not looking for new irons, but always have my eye on what's out there.  I have SGI Irons, and now that my handicap has fallen almost 6 shots since I bought them I am slightly considering upgrading to a new set of irons.

 

Thoughts?

I believe that if you are somebody who plays a lot AND play with soft steel clubs (probably means forged irons, which you don't have) I think you can wear down the grooves over time.  But I don't think your Callaway's are ever going to "wear out."

 

Unless you really have grown to hate the look of your clubs or something, I would not bother to get anything new unless you decided they didn't fit your swing and you planned on getting properly fitted for them.

 

I just got new clubs last year after having my previous ones since 1997.  And I liked the old ones, just had a hunch that because of my size, I needed something that fit better.  (And I was right).

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I believe that if you are somebody who plays a lot AND play with soft steel clubs (probably means forged irons, which you don't have) I think you can wear down the grooves over time.  But I don't think your Callaway's are ever going to "wear out."

 

Unless you really have grown to hate the look of your clubs or something, I would not bother to get anything new unless you decided they didn't fit your swing and you planned on getting properly fitted for them.

 

I just got new clubs last year after having my previous ones since 1997.  And I liked the old ones, just had a hunch that because of my size, I needed something that fit better.  (And I was right).

I would like to get fitted for my next set of clubs but after you told me how expensive it was, I'm not sure if the other half would allow that expense unless I worked some overtime or something to pay for it.  I imagine getting them fitted would be more helpful than buying new ones.  Would it be possible/stupid to get my current clubs fitted to me?

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCfanatic35 View Post

I would like to get fitted for my next set of clubs but after you told me how expensive it was, I'm not sure if the other half would allow that expense unless I worked some overtime or something to pay for it.  I imagine getting them fitted would be more helpful than buying new ones.  Would it be possible/stupid to get my current clubs fitted to me?

Getting fitted doesn't have to be that expensive.  I chose to go all out because - like I said - I haven't bought clubs in 15 years, and likely won't for another 15.  You should be able to get a decent fitting from Roger Dunn or Golfsmith.  (And by that I mean, it's probably something like $50 that will be put towards your purchase if you buy something)

post #11 of 24
Irons tend to last me about 5 years or so. I get new irons when mine look old compared to what is out. However my next set is going to be determined by handicap... When I hit single digit... new irons.

You can get current clubs fit to length loft and lie pretty inexpensively... Just get new grips and they'll feel like new irons.
post #12 of 24

Basically, my changeouts are related to getting stronger (when younger) and later to swing adjustments and getting older...

 

I have played:

  • TopFlite SynchroDyned irons from 1966-1974 (R.flex)
  • To quit hooking the ball, switched to MacGregor MTs from 1974-1994 (S.flex)
  • To get perimeter weighting and flatter lie, switched to Pro Tour Blacks , (S.flex/2* flat) from 1994-2008 \ Ping Eye2 clones
  • To get more flexible shafts and more upright lie, switched to Callaway X20s (Uniflex) from 2009-2011
  • To get smaller heads and flighted shafts, switched to Callaway X20 Tours (PX 5.0 Rifle Flighted) 2011 to Present

 

I switch out drivers and FWs somewhat more often. Since 1995, changes in graphite shafts and clubhead design for woods more radical than tech for irons.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

Another reason why I'm asking is now that my game is improving would it benefit me to get better irons? What I mean is switching my SGI's for GI's or better.

post #14 of 24

short answer.... whenever you feel like it!

 

but seriously, i started out with hand me downs.  doesn't really matter what you use in the beginning since all you want to do is advance the ball forward.  then i bought a set of used, very forgiving SGI irons.  after a while, you begin to understand shaft flexes and ball flight and then realize maybe i need to upgrade the equipment to maximize your game. 

 

through it all, part of the fun comes from trying out different clubs

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCfanatic35 View Post

Another reason why I'm asking is now that my game is improving would it benefit me to get better irons? What I mean is switching my SGI's for GI's or better.
No. First off, GI are not "better" than SGI irons. It just depends on what look you prefer and what amount of forgiveness you need/want. I don't like SGI in general because they are usually too big and the top lines are too thick for me. But it's only preference ... They're not "worse" than my clubs, just "worse" for my tastes.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post


No. First off, GI are not "better" than SGI irons. It just depends on what look you prefer and what amount of forgiveness you need/want. I don't like SGI in general because they are usually too big and the top lines are too thick for me. But it's only preference ... They're not "worse" than my clubs, just "worse" for my tastes.

That's not what I meant as better.  What I meant is that I don't see Pro's or even low handicappers using SGI clubs very much if at all, so there must be a reason they are not.

post #17 of 24

*SGI irons tend to clubhead designs featuring a very low Vertical Center of Gravity (VCOG) which helps get the ball up. But, if you have moderate clubhead speed and play an SGI iron with a high-launch shaft, the head + shaft can get the ball up too high for you. This is a problem on windy days.

 

* (I'm using the Golf Digest categories of SGI, GI and Player's)

 

When I switched out irons back in 2009, I tried some SGI irons such as Ping G10s and Callaway Big Berthas that had stock high-launch shafts. I later decided on the X20 irons: SGI head with mid-launch Uniflex shafts that delivered a solid medium-height trajectory. Shafts were fine, even on breezy days.

 

I later switched to X20 Tours to get a smaller head and better feel. The shafts were Project X 5.0 Rifle-Flighted. (Flighting gives a little extra lift on long irons, and prevents ballooning on short irons). These irons have a reputation as extremely easy to hit GI irons.

 

(My irons are improving; just have a lot of trouble with fairway woods and hybrids).

 

Check out the recent Golf Digest Hot List issue. It will talk about which irons fit in which category. Note: the categories reflect marketing niches.

 

If you have time to work on your game, you could probably use GI clubs if you wanted more feel.  Remember, get the right shaft for your swing and game - that's half of any club. At a 2012 golf expo, the Ping rep was an area club pro. He said he was fitting 5 to 20 HDCP players with the G20 irons.  He was recommending a lot of different shaft models, however, depending on the golfer's game and swing.

post #18 of 24

IMO as long as you hit an iron well, i say buy the iron that has the most versatility that you can grow into.  that will just make the iron set last longer in your bag since you will constantly be learning a new way to use it.  otherwise if you buy GI from SGI, in a couple of years when your game gets better you may get curious about a Player's iron, or at the very least a Player's/GI combo like Mizuno and PING are making these days.  in fact i went with the i20 for this very reason.  i hit the clubs very well, and i am a 16 handicap.  i know the clubs can do things i haven't yet been able to make them do, but in a few years when i understand those capabilities the club won't be limiting me, and therefore i won't have to go spend $1,000 again to get new clubs that can do the things i want.

 

that goes without saying too many people buy forged with this mentality and can't hit them for crap.  so i definitely think it's important you hit the club first and make sure you are making solid contact before you purchase just because you think you'll eventually grow into them.

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