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Beginner advice needed on selecting a full set of new clubs - Page 4

post #55 of 76
Thread Starter 

Thanks SolarBear.

 

I see these terms "GI" and "SGI" bantered about all the time, and after a while, I figured out just what they actually mean, but in my travels to the local golf shops, I've honestly seen no mention of these terms or any correlation of them with specifics sets (or makes) of clubs (I don't know if I've simply missed it or what?). So I don't really know how best to use them in a shopping context. I like the look and feel of the MP-64s, but I'm guessing they're "SGI" level (?) and therefore beyond what's recommended for me. I'll have to corner one of the sales people and ask them to clarify this for me one day, by showing me some specific brands and models that fit into each of these classifications.

post #56 of 76

You can check out Golf.com's Club Tests or Golfdigest.com's Hotlist.  These will often categorize the clubs into SGI, GI or Players.

post #57 of 76
Thread Starter 

Thanks Buki!

 

By the way, my apologies for not thanking you previously for your earlier and nicely detailed post - it was quite helpful. Its been particularly hectic here today, but I have a number of comments relative to yours, so I'll try to respond properly tomorrow. Until then, thanks for your patience. ;-)

post #58 of 76

   Mizuno has the MP-64 at a +2 to 10 handicap range. But if you hit it (and I would suggest trying to hit a short, mid, and long iron) and like it, then who cares what handicap range they place it at. I would recommend hitting something with a larger cavity back though if you're not a solid golfer. I play a set of Mizuno's MP-32s, a muscle-back forged blade, and my friend, who isn't a good golfer, tried to hit a shot with them and claimed they hurt his hands (because he poorly struck the ball).

   I can't advocate this enough though, if you're going to buy clubs, any club, get fitted and hit them first. Iron sets can be very expensive (Mizunos can cost up to $1,300 for a set) and it would be a shame to spend that kind of money and have a set that you find are too unforgiving or that you don't like afterwards. 

post #59 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watermark View Post

Thanks Buki!

 

By the way, my apologies for not thanking you previously for your earlier and nicely detailed post - it was quite helpful. Its been particularly hectic here today, but I have a number of comments relative to yours, so I'll try to respond properly tomorrow. Until then, thanks for your patience. ;-)

No apologies necessary.  I love talking about golf clubs, its really been a passion ever since I started golfing.  I guess I've been on a personal quest to find the best clubs for my swing and my game.  My quest has educated me on various aspects of selecting golf clubs, from club fitting to clubhead design to the different parameters and characteristics of different golf shafts.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a golf professional in any way, its just when I like something I tend to dive in with both feet, I get passionate about it. Some would say I get obsessed with it.  When it comes to golf, I learned to not only swing a club, but to modify them. To remove and change out shafts from my clubs so I could try different shafts.  I learned how to check and adjust the lie angle on my clubs, and I even bought a Mitchell Loft and Lie Machine so I could make any adjustments to my clubs myself.  I've fixed broken clubs for friends and even custom built clubs for friends.  Like I said, I'm obsessive about the game of golf and golf clubs.  I look forward to your future comments.

post #60 of 76

Sgi - super game improvement - very large head, lots of weight low and in the bottom of club, lots of offset, perimeter weighted of course, when you set it on the ground you can see the junk hanging off the back

 

Gi - game imrpovement - perimeter weighted, less noticable offset, less trash hanging off the back of the club

 

I would look at something more in the gi range like a cobra amp or rocketblade.

 

Mp 64 is a players club and I would not look at one.  Jpx  825 would be more beginner clubs.

post #61 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solarbear View Post

Sgi - super game improvement - very large head, lots of weight low and in the bottom of club, lots of offset, perimeter weighted of course, when you set it on the ground you can see the junk hanging off the back

 

Gi - game imrpovement - perimeter weighted, less noticable offset, less trash hanging off the back of the club

 

I would look at something more in the gi range like a cobra amp or rocketblade.

 

Mp 64 is a players club and I would not look at one.  Jpx  825 would be more beginner clubs.

I agree.  Irons in the SGI category look really "clunky".  I just hate the way they look at the address position, especially those thick toplines and the extra bulkiness from the extreme perimeter weighting.  I think the Mizuno JPX-825 is probably the best looking iron in the SGI category.  But I still don't like its thick topline and bulkiness.  Plus the JPX-825 is a cast clubhead, so you don't get that forged feeling at impact.  I think the Mizuno JPX-825 PRO Irons are much nicer club.  Even though they are a GI iron, Mizuno did a great job disguising it so it still looks more like a Player's club.  The perimeter weighting is still there, but not so extreme that it makes the clubhead look bulky. The topline is thick, but does not look thick at address because Mizuno beveled the topline giving it the illusion that it is thin.  The JPX-825 PRO still has the look of a Player's club at address.  The PRO's are also forged, so a well struck ball has that sweet sound and feeling at impact.  I'm sorry, this sounds like a commercial, but I just think that the JPX-825 PRO's are great irons that can make the game of golf more enjoyable for both the average everyday hack and the seriously skilled player.  Just my opinion

post #62 of 76
Thread Starter 

O.K., so just to make sure, do I have this right . . . 

 

SGI = Beginner (Entry-Level)

GI = Intermediate

P (Player) = Advanced (Semi-Pro/Pro)

 

Also, could someone please clarify something for me? Why is it that the hollow or so-called "cavity-backed" irons are recommended for beginners rather than the solid-backed or muscle-backed" irons? What is it about the hollow-backed design and its physical or performance attributes that is structurally conducive to learning the game for a beginner? Or, to put it somewhat conversely, what is it about a muscle-backed iron like the MP-64 or MP-69 (other than the smaller surface area of its face) that is functionally 'detrimental' to a beginner's swing or beginner's game?

 

I presume that a hollow-backed iron is significantly lighter and with larger surface area to help minimize mis-hits or to maximize the sweet spot, but why is the lighter weight (less mass) helpful? I would think that a beginner would want the exact opposite - I would think that a beginner would need the added mass in order to achieve greater distances?

 

Anybody?

 

And by-the-way, I don't dislike the look of the JPX-825 or JPX-825Pro - not at all. I'd probably be perfectly happy with them, but it would be awfully nice to understand the physics of it all.

post #63 of 76

Here's a video comparing the JPX-825 and MP-58. Also gives a brief description of the differences in a blade vs cavity back and why the cavity back is more designed towards beginners.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ6LICVXKi8

post #64 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBrew View Post

Here's a video comparing the JPX-825 and MP-58. Also gives a brief description of the differences in a blade vs cavity back and why the cavity back is more designed towards beginners.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ6LICVXKi8

Excellent - thanks for the reference (and link) BostonBrew.

 

Unfortunately, as you've said, the description of the physics behind it all is a bit brief in that video, but I think I get the gist of it. If I understand it right, they appear to be saying that beginners routinely mis-hit the ball (which is certainly true), and that the bulk of those mis-hits are concentrated in the 'toe' region of the club, somehow causing fully forged muscle-back type irons to tweek or pivot off-axis (L/R) at impact, more so than cavity-backed irons, leading to greater deviations in final trajectory? And, that cavity-backed irons are less prone to this 'tweeking' phenomenon, because they are designed with more of their weight concentrated in the very bottom or toe of the club? Have I got that right?

 

If so, then something about that assessment seems fundamentally upside-down to me. I'm certainly no physicist, and given all of the clu recommendations that have been made here for me as a beginner, I'm sure I'm wrong, but I would have thought that the club with the higher overall mass (the muscle-back) would be less prone to such tweeking when mis-hit, than the lighter (cavity-backed) club. Wouldn't you? What have I missed?

post #65 of 76
I would expect the overall mass of the clubs to be close to the same. The difference is on a cavity back the majority of the mass is moved from the heel and center to the toe to offset the torqueing of the club and to the bottom of the club to help get under the ball and get air born. SGI clubs have extra mass added to the bottom to really help get the ball airborn and have offset to help control slices.
post #66 of 76

The perimeter weighting of the cavity backs limits the amount of twisting the clubface experiences on mishits. So the cavity backs are more forgiving to golfers who don't strike the ball well. That's the philosophy behind them being considered GI irons. As for overall mass, I don't know if there is much difference between a blade and cavity back. You might see a difference between a forged club and a cast club, but I doubt its much. I would think with the wider soles most GI irons have, they would have more mass behind the ball. I'm not a physicist either and I know club manufacturers often talk in terms that are beyond me. 

post #67 of 76

BostonBrew. Understand how you feel. I get confused these days too when how with every new clubs were meant to go longer and hit easier stating it was state of the art and made with alloy composite that can only be found on Mars. If that was the case, I should have been a club pro by now.

 

Golf clubs design and technology has not changed much over the last 10-12 years. I looked at the new golf clubs such as the new Mizuno MP-H4 with a niche club brand known as Zero Tolerance from 10 years ago. The design was very similar. However, I do believe shaft technology has improved tremendously.

 

For the OP, go for what you feel good when setting up and looking at it every morning. Most clubs are so well made these days that even blades has become quite easy to hit.

post #68 of 76
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.

 

I know its starting to sound like a broken record, but it really is a quandary, because the experienced golfers among you are absolutely correct when you suggest getting an entry-level iron. That advice simply cannot be wrong for all of the great reasons already mentioned. And yet, as a beginner who hits most irons reasonably well and a driver really well, if I were to purchase a set of GI- or intermediate-level irons, I've either gotta learn to hit 'em or I'm faced with selling them, right? And I just can't see that happening.

 

I know how I am, and I just don't see myself spending $700+ for a 5-9 set of GI-level irons (or to some extent, even player-level irons) and getting so frustrated that I'm forced to sell them. Rather, as I believe I may have said earlier in this thread, the more mis-hits and the more frustrated I get, the more I see myself striving to improve, and rapidly getting to the point where I'm hitting those irons properly or the way they were intended to be hit. I'm sure mileage my vary for others, but that's just who I am, and I think this may be why others here on this thread have suggested that I simply buy what looks and feels good to me, and stop obsessing about groupings or ratings or handicap classifications.

 

Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm inclined to run right out and buy the MP-69s or even the MP-64s, but it does mean that I'm more inclined to buy the MP-64s (or something like them), and eventually learn to play 'up' versus buying something for $300 at Sports Authority and floundering (playing 'down') out there indefinitely.

 

Anyway, the weekend is rapidly approaching, so rest assured, this saga of mine will end, and soon. I'll finish up a proper fitting, talk with a few more sales folks about the various GI vs. SGI offerings, and hit a few balls. Then at that point, I'm just gonna go with my hunch (go with what feels right), pull the trigger, and start hitting the driving range in the evenings with my new purchase. At some point, you've just gotta stop the nonsense and jump, right? After all, we're not talkin' about a zillion dollars. I've already got my three wedges and putter sitting here - its high-time to get going.

post #69 of 76

That sounds like a good plan. You can come on here or any other site and read about how great the various iron sets are, but until you actually have them in your hand and hit balls with them, you can't make any decisions. I like your philosophy. My first set were blades and even though I couldn't hit them as well as I do now, the bad shots just forced me to make a better swing. The best equipment in the world doesn't mean anything if you can't make a proper swing. 

post #70 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watermark View Post

 

I know its starting to sound like a broken record, but it really is a quandary, because the experienced golfers among you are absolutely correct when you suggest getting an entry-level iron. That advice simply cannot be wrong for all of the great reasons already mentioned. And yet, as a beginner who hits most irons reasonably well and a driver really well, if I were to purchase a set of GI- or intermediate-level irons, I've either gotta learn to hit 'em or I'm faced with selling them, right? And I just can't see that happening.

 

I know there's lots of people out there saying that playing a "more difficult" club will make you improve faster because you need to be better to play it. In my view that's rubbish. Having the club go "clunk" when you hit it thin is not going to magically make you improve your weight transfer. Improving your weight transfer is something you need to work at consciously and it won't matter what club you have in your hand to do it.

 

Playing a GI or SGI club will just mean that commonly hit poor shots work out a little better. Hit it thin and the weight lower in the face of a SGI/GI club will hit the ball a little higher and further than a players iron. Hit it fat and the wider sole of an SGI/GI club will dig in less before the ball and mean you loose less distance. Hit it on the toe and the perimeter weighting will mean club will twist a little less and the larger sweet spot will mean the ball travels a little further.

 

So with all these advantages why do some golfers choose a player's iron? Because they make the above mistakes so rarely that those advantages aren't a great benefit to them and other factors like a smaller clubhead to cut through the rough, less weight low in the clubface to lower their ball flight, a thinner sole to cut through the turf (these golfers only hit the ground after the ball unlike most of us) etc are more important to them.

 

Golf is such a frustrating game, why not make it slightly less frustrating by getting the most out of your less than brilliant shots? Unless of course you're already in the second category above.

post #71 of 76
Thread Starter 

Mmmm, I can't really tell you with any degree of certainty which of your two 'categories' I might belong in (?), but I can say with confidence that I'm not inclined to be obsessive or "frustrated" by any of it. There's simply no fun in that for me, and I won't ever let it get to that either. I don't have any aspirations to turn pro, no real edgy or competitive spirit, no launching of clubs out into the airspace - I just wanna have some fun out there. I hope that helps.

 

Also, I never really thought about posting this until now, because until recently, I never even paid attention to what the term 'handicap' meant, but the very first round of golf I ever played (18-holes), using rental clubs back in 2000/2001, I shot a 97, and here about 2-years ago, I shot a lifetime low of 89, so I'm probably not the all-time worst golfer to ever grace the course!

 

'Jus sayin' . . .

post #72 of 76

Enjoy shopping around.  It sounds like you're learning alot in the process.

 

Don't overlook brands like Wishon, Alpha, Maltby - Wishon has several offerings in the GI category.

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