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what are cons of game improvement clubs (intended for high handicappers)

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

hey guys,

 

i was wondering...(esp regarding irons)

what are the cons of game improvement clubs that are usually for people with high handicaps?

what are the actual differences compared to a higher-end forged irons?

 

thanks!

post #2 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonducks View Post

what are the actual differences compared to a higher-end forged irons?

Being forged or not forged has nothing to do with it.. There are forged game improvement clubs and cast player's irons...

post #3 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonducks View Post

hey guys,

 

i was wondering...(esp regarding irons)

what are the cons of game improvement clubs that are usually for people with high handicaps?

what are the actual differences compared to a higher-end forged irons?

 

thanks!

There are no cons for game improvement clubs other than the look of them.  Better players don't usually play them, by and large, simply because they don't like the way they look.  AND, they don't require the help that those type of clubs offer people with lesser skills ... bigger hitting area, more forgiveness, that type of thing.

 

I fall in the middle ... I don't like the look of the biggest, bulkiest clubs, but I'm also still a bit intimidated by tiny blades.  My clubs kind of fall in the middle as well.  I think "technically" they are in the players category, but they really perform more like GI clubs.  A lot of forgiveness on my toe-hits. :)

post #4 of 40
I waa always under the impression that GI irons gave extra forgiveness at the expense of workability.
post #5 of 40

What I hate most about the typical SGI irons is the offset on the mid to long irons.  I really can't stand to play an offset iron.  I know it's a mental thing, but all I can visualize is the shank I could hit with them.

post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloverUT View Post

I waa always under the impression that GI irons gave extra forgiveness at the expense of workability.

And you're certainly not alone in that assumption.  I'm pretty sure that is just a myth though.

 

I think about it this way ... in all of the lessons I've received, or videos I've watched on here, or essays I've read about ball flight laws, ball trajectory, how to hook it, how to slice it, how to stop hooking it, stop slicing it, how to hit a draw, fade, and so on and so on, I have never seen a caveat regarding the type of club you are using.  It's always about the swing and the physics of the contact between the club and the ball, and nothing else.

 

The other bit of logic I use is that I know a lot of pros play GI clubs ... or at least clubs I would consider forgiving.  Lee Westwood and Mark Wilson, for example, play (or have played) i20s.  Lee Westwood is a top 10 in the world player so he certainly doesn't need the extra forgiveness ... so why would he play clubs that would not allow him to work the ball as needed?

 

Anyways, those are my thoughts.  Not positive I'm right, just what I think. :)

post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

And you're certainly not alone in that assumption.  I'm pretty sure that is just a myth though.

 

I think about it this way ... in all of the lessons I've received, or videos I've watched on here, or essays I've read about ball flight laws, ball trajectory, how to hook it, how to slice it, how to stop hooking it, stop slicing it, how to hit a draw, fade, and so on and so on, I have never seen a caveat regarding the type of club you are using.  It's always about the swing and the physics of the contact between the club and the ball, and nothing else.

 

The other bit of logic I use is that I know a lot of pros play GI clubs ... or at least clubs I would consider forgiving.  Lee Westwood and Mark Wilson, for example, play (or have played) i20s.  Lee Westwood is a top 10 in the world player so he certainly doesn't need the extra forgiveness ... so why would he play clubs that would not allow him to work the ball as needed?

 

Anyways, those are my thoughts.  Not positive I'm right, just what I think. :)

 

Yeah they both still play them.  The i20 clubs are slightly more forgiving(larger heads/soles) in the longer clubs, but the short irons are smaller and all of them are very workable.  I would call them a forgiving players club with the perimeter weighting and progressive sizing.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloverUT View Post

I waa always under the impression that GI irons gave extra forgiveness at the expense of workability.

I put a GI 4i into my bag.  Someone was trying to tell me that I would hook it because of the offset.  That is bogus.  I hit it just fine with the same swing, and can easily work it left or right by adjusting the face angle/stance at address.  The biggest difference is the head is bigger so your distance is still OK on a slight miss-hit.  

post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

And you're certainly not alone in that assumption.  I'm pretty sure that is just a myth though.

 

I think about it this way ... in all of the lessons I've received, or videos I've watched on here, or essays I've read about ball flight laws, ball trajectory, how to hook it, how to slice it, how to stop hooking it, stop slicing it, how to hit a draw, fade, and so on and so on, I have never seen a caveat regarding the type of club you are using.  It's always about the swing and the physics of the contact between the club and the ball, and nothing else.

 

The other bit of logic I use is that I know a lot of pros play GI clubs ... or at least clubs I would consider forgiving.  Lee Westwood and Mark Wilson, for example, play (or have played) i20s.  Lee Westwood is a top 10 in the world player so he certainly doesn't need the extra forgiveness ... so why would he play clubs that would not allow him to work the ball as needed?

 

Anyways, those are my thoughts.  Not positive I'm right, just what I think. :)

The problem as I see it is, most people don't agree on what GI clubs are.  Some consider anything that's not a blade (Titleist MB, Mizuno MP-64/69) a game improvement iron. 

 

I think many people confuse game improvment irons with SGI or UGI which do have thicker top lines and greater offsets.  I wouldn't consider Ping i20's or Mizuno MP-59's blades.  Both sets have a fairly thin top line and minimal offset but they offer more forgiveness from toe and heel hits than blades, which I'd think would be appealing to any golfer. 

post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

What I hate most about the typical SGI irons is the offset on the mid to long irons.  I really can't stand to play an offset iron.  I know it's a mental thing, but all I can visualize is the shank I could hit with them.

 

 

aaaaabsolutely... i'm the same way

post #10 of 40
The SGI clubs (as opposed to GI) are probably NOT used by better players because the sole design limits the shots you can make. Those wide, fat soles and low CG takes away some trouble shots that everyone has to have in the bag. I picked my GI clubs because they have a thin top line and no offset, and I CAN work the ball a bit. It's a compromise for most players. Unless you are being paid to play golf, most casual or better players wouldn't mind some of the features of a GI club to make up for an occasional mishit.
post #11 of 40
Switching from a SGI to GI, then to a blade is an individual process. Ideally someone new to golf, starts with the SGI. Lower CG, Higher launching, wide sole, draw bias(prevent slicing), and a low leading edge. The GI irons have most of the same characteristics but less to the extent.
As you get better, so should your clubs. They will hinder your progress and keep a good player from getting better.
For example, my personal experience. Started playing 2 1/2 years ago. I'm very athletic, catch on very quickly, and I hate not being good at something. Therefore, I practiced religiously.
Started with a set of TM game improving irons. In my first year I broke 90 a few times and started consistently hitting solid shots. Last year I was putting up #s in the mid 80s and shot 79 twice. I was ready for a little workability. So as I'm learning to hit high, low, draw, fade.....I realized that my irons were fighting against anything that wasn't high and straight. I had the misconception that blades were only for tour players. But with some research and advice, I found the forged Adams CMB irons. A player iron, with a small cavity. Forgiveness was still somewhat present, and I could actually hit a variety of shots. My distance was much more consistent, and I could get more aggressive when attacking the pin. My first round with them, I got steep on a 5 iron from 198 out and stopped it on a dime 5ft from the hole. That's how love happens!
I dropped 6 on my h-cap just because I upgraded my irons. I know a couple of scratch guys that use GI irons because it fits their game. Irons are not their strong point. But they can hit a straight driver and sink putts.
If ball striking is not an issue, I urge you to think about upgrading. Your bad shots will be slightly worse, but your good shots will be even better.
post #12 of 40

IMHO. The difference generally is ego related. Many seem to have this unusual malady of throwing up a little in their mouth at the mere sight of an SGI "shovel". This is generally followed by the winning lines, " i'm a great ballstriker, just can't drive or putt for Sh*t" and my 20+ handi would be single digits if only I had a bit more workabilty on my irons to help me get onto those tucked away pins.

 

All over these type of boards you see/ hear of tons of good low digit cappers playing Ping G- series irons, whilst all the 20 cappers want to justify buying forged blades.

 

It's like there is some unwritten credo that your not playing real golf unless you do it with a wafer thin butter knife of a set of blades.

post #13 of 40
Agreed. The guy who absolutely had to have the 60* vokey wedge because he saw a tour player hole out with it during the masters, is still cutting sod with it on the practice green.
post #14 of 40
Worst trade in was getting rid of my x-20's for McGregor forged. The forged didn't last long. I moved onto x-22 tours. Going into my 3rd season with them. Only thing learned I am inbetween reg and stiff flex. Enter 5.5 flighted shaft. Oh yeah and still nees a gi iron.
post #15 of 40
You can find tour players with GI irons, which are most likely long irons. Some got Conventional ones, which you can find in shorter irons too. Then you got a lot of players with Classic irons, which are the hardest to hit.

One thing to think about is how much you want to work the ball. Here is a quote from Erik from the "Shaping the Ball"-thread:
Quote:
95% of the shots a pro plays (Tiger Woods may be one of a group of very small exceptions, and even he isn't as different as many think) are their stock shot. They don't curve much, but if a player is a drawer of the golf ball, 95% of their shots draw. It's the most reliable, dependable way to play - with a pattern.

So, before you got out there with your blades and shape the ball every which way, remember that you are most likely better off playing the same shot 95% of the time. Clubs that are easier to hit will allow you to hit your stock shot more easily every time. Having GI, SGI or UGI irons does not mean you can't shape the ball or hit a stock draw or fade. They are made to be more forgiving and in many situations help you get lift on the ball.

Comparing an amateur to a tour pro is still a bit weird. They got a consistency and ballstriking abilities you are not even close to. They can play less forgiving irons because they hit the ball consistently in the sweet spot almost every time.
post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

 

I think about it this way ... in all of the lessons I've received, or videos I've watched on here, or essays I've read about ball flight laws, ball trajectory, how to hook it, how to slice it, how to stop hooking it, stop slicing it, how to hit a draw, fade, and so on and so on, I have never seen a caveat regarding the type of club you are using.  It's always about the swing and the physics of the contact between the club and the ball, and nothing else.

 

Gd, I agree with you, but I think you are unintentionally arguing against any differences between blades and GIs. IE, if it's all about the swing, what does it matter what kind of hunk of metal is at the end of the shaft?

 

In my experience, most misses are chunks or thins, which no amount of GI is going to change (yes I know about sole/turf interaction, but when you hit 1" behind the ball no amount of width/cambering/radiusing/chamfering is going put lipstick on that pig). The next most common miss is the bananna slice or duck hook, and those are issues of swing path and clubface orientation, and again, no amount of cavity/inverted cone/COG manipulation is going to turn OTT open face contact into ITO square face contact. So, why not go with clubs that will at least feel great and give you intimate feedback?

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

Gd, I agree with you, but I think you are unintentionally arguing against any differences between blades and GIs. IE, if it's all about the swing, what does it matter what kind of hunk of metal is at the end of the shaft?

 

In my experience, most misses are chunks or thins, which no amount of GI is going to change (yes I know about sole/turf interaction, but when you hit 1" behind the ball no amount of width/cambering/radiusing/chamfering is going put lipstick on that pig). The next most common miss is the bananna slice or duck hook, and those are issues of swing path and clubface orientation, and again, no amount of cavity/inverted cone/COG manipulation is going to turn OTT open face contact into ITO square face contact. So, why not go with clubs that will at least feel great and give you intimate feedback?

I don't really have anything to back it up but I actually think it does help a bit if you hit 1" behind the ball since most have the wider sole and increased bounce.  How could it not?  I don't know too many people that banana slice or duck hook irons so I don't really think that is as big an issue really.  Mainly they help in large part with off center hits.  Shot distribution would be better for most golfers with them, and most golfers don't need intimate feedback playing once a week or a couple times a month.  I can feel where I hit my 4i on the face just fine as well.  

post #18 of 40

 There are very few cons using SGI irons. One would be they are more forgiving and thus you get spoiled and become a little more sloppy with your swing. Some also mute the bad shots and you think you have hit it well and it falls 10 yards short. For a high handicapper there is little wrong with them. The pros way out weigh the cons. Offset helps to square the club some and the lower center of gravity helps get the ball up in the air easily. Perimeter weighting makes the club more forgiving although that can be a pro or a con. They are a personal decision club. If you dislike offset or a thick top line or a wide sole that you might want to go with a GI club instead. 

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