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4 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:

My player's cavity backs are pretty forgiving off the toe if I keep the strike within the grooves. My noticeable (I can feel it distinctly) toe misses are usually half groove/half no groove, and there's a significant loss from those. I figure a blade with less mass around the perimeter of the club may be worse in that regard. My Mevo should be arriving soon, so now I'm curious to quantify this with strike tape.

I own vintage blades (real butter knives), modern blades, and now I’m playing a player’s GI set I was fitted for. I can tell you there is a significant drop off with the vintage blades off the toe. The modern blades less so, in part because the CoG is actually in the center of the face instead of slightly towards the heel on the vintage set. My new irons have a thick mass of steel out towards the toe for help on toe shots, but ironically I miss it towards the heel these days due to swing changes I made.

I still launch them higher than my blades though and that was an important factor in getting them.

15 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:

At one point I thought I would benefit from GI irons. I tried a few from my friend's set, and also hit a few different models during lessons (Cobra F9, Mizuno Hot Metal), and they just looked too big behind the ball at address, and strangely, this did not give me more confidence.

I don’t like the look of bigger irons, either. The smaller heads make me focus more.

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I'm not going to respond individually to every comment from above but here are my main points.

1. No argument with blade face being more consistent then high COR iron faces with more flex. Obviously, the amount of flex on a small surface area like an iron head will lead to larger variations on misses compared to a fixed face on the blade.

2. Sample size is super important, otherwise it's just a personal review.

3. Weight is so important for consistency within your set and people do have an ideal weight range for the clubs they use. Here we have Mark hitting with an 80g steel shaft in the Max against a 130g (guessing at exact weight) in the Top Flite. That 80g shaft is going to be an issue of him and obviously contributed to a lack of consistency at impact. Not even going to get into what the flex of that shaft may be contributing.

4. The Max was not designed for Mark, not in shape, weight, features, whatever. It's designed for slower, less consistent golfers who need help getting the ball in the air and hitting it farther. That same hot face would be much more consistent on distance if paired with a slower swing speed.

5. I've seen more than a few of this type of video from this guy. Sensationalism gets clicks, and yes it can even be entertaining but it should be viewed for what it is, more National Enquirer than Wall Street Journal. 

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That's a disappointing response.

7 minutes ago, Adam C said:

1. No argument with blade face being more consistent then high COR iron faces with more flex. Obviously, the amount of flex on a small surface area like an iron head will lead to larger variations on misses compared to a fixed face on the blade.

4. … That same hot face would be much more consistent on distance if paired with a slower swing speed.

Those two are slightly contradictory, and the blade would see a "more consistent distance if paired with a slower swing speed" as well.

7 minutes ago, Adam C said:

2. Sample size is super important, otherwise it's just a personal review.

Do you really expect the results to be that different if he had hit 100 balls in each type of strike versus 40 with each club in total? I don't. Just more dots.

Obviously, the sample size of the person hitting the club is "one" but I think people know this, and it's impractical to cite a long list of disclaimers before the video about how "YMMV" and so on.

7 minutes ago, Adam C said:

3. Weight is so important for consistency within your set and people do have an ideal weight range for the clubs they use. Here we have Mark hitting with an 80g steel shaft in the Max against a 130g (guessing at exact weight) in the Top Flite. That 80g shaft is going to be an issue of him and obviously contributed to a lack of consistency at impact. Not even going to get into what the flex of that shaft may be contributing.

He compared similar hits to similar hits. He didn't just hit 40 shots with one club and then the other, happen to strike the blade well and the SGI club poorly, and compare them.

7 minutes ago, Adam C said:

5. I've seen more than a few of this type of video from this guy. Sensationalism gets clicks, and yes it can even be entertaining but it should be viewed for what it is, more National Enquirer than Wall Street Journal. 

This is a non-point. This is like a film critic saying "That guy has always been a comedy actor in the past, so I didn't even watch his artsy film to see if he was any good."

Debate the actual merits of the video, don't just say "Well, this guy…".

Club fitting is over-rated. That's my position, and I'll stick to it. And this video makes us ask the questions: is the "forgiveness" of clubs "overrated" too?

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25 minutes ago, Adam C said:

3. Weight is so important for consistency within your set and people do have an ideal weight range for the clubs they use. Here we have Mark hitting with an 80g steel shaft in the Max against a 130g (guessing at exact weight) in the Top Flite. That 80g shaft is going to be an issue of him and obviously contributed to a lack of consistency at impact. Not even going to get into what the flex of that shaft may be contributing.

This only matters for consistency of strike in terms of how often they happen, not the result from where the ball was struck on the face. The shaft difference is accounted for because he was comparing similar strike locations, dynamic loft, and club head speeds.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

That's a disappointing response.

Those two are slightly contradictory, and the blade would see a "more consistent distance if paired with a slower swing speed" as well.

Okay, first I said the distance would be more consistent referring to only the Max, not against the blade. 

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Do you really expect the results to be that different if he had hit 100 balls in each type of strike versus 40 with each club in total? I don't. Just more dots.

Sure, more dots are better. But again what I said was 500 ball to get used to the club then 40 balls, and repeat with the other.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Obviously, the sample size of the person hitting the club is "one" but I think people know this, and it's impractical to cite a long list of disclaimers before the video about how "YMMV" and so on.

It may seem obvious that he is only one person, but he presents himself as an expert so that what he says carries weight for many of his viewers (scary but true). You don't need a long disclaimer about it, maybe just title the video Do I Hit Blades better than Cavity Backs? Of course that's not the kind of click bait title that Golf Myths Busted is.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

He compared similar hits to similar hits. He didn't just hit 40 shots with one club and then the other, happen to strike the blade well and the SGI club poorly, and compare them.

Never said he was cherry picking, or it was random chance that he hit the blade better, have been trying to explain why he got the results he did. This is a case where the results are less important than what was behind them.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

This is a non-point. This is like a film critic saying "That guy has always been a comedy actor in the past, so I didn't even watch his artsy film to see if he was any good."

Pretty sure I covered objectively why the results were what they were and what the value of those results were before I got into his video history.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Debate the actual merits of the video, don't just say "Well, this guy…".

When "this guy" makes claims about debunking golf myths and that leads people to incorrect conclusions then yes I think it's okay to explore his tendencies and motivations.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Club fitting is over-rated.

This I agree with completely.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Club fitting is over-rated. That's my position, and I'll stick to it. And this video makes us ask the questions: is the "forgiveness" of clubs "overrated" too?

Funny, I just read an article an issue of Golf Magazine last night "the average 30 handicapper will save 7 to 9 strokes by being properly fitted." That's a direct quote from the article.

To that I have always asked "How badly fitted was this 30 handicapper to begin with?" 

I enjoy being fitted for clubs and if you are going to pay 1000 bucks or possibly more for a set of irons, you may as well, especially if the fitting is free. But 7 to 9 strokes... really? 

In terms of "forgiveness" of clubs being overrated. I think with irons it probably is. We're getting into "just my opinion" here, because I don't have much testing background to back any of this up.

But I did have one really interesting day at the Taylormade golf center where I got to hang out with some club testers and an iron Byron. I'm here to tell you they could pick any set of clubs … I mean ANY SET OF CLUBS and get one so that the iron Byron could land a dozen shots in row in a kiddie pool from a 150 yards away. They proved it over and over again, by selecting different people's clubs from the group of golfers who were there that day. Some were weak lofted, some strong, some bladey, some chunky. It didn't matter. They could find the right club in the set to produce the consistency from that distance that they wanted. They could also pick a different club from the set and have a really hard time getting any kind of consistency to that 150 yard kiddie pool. 

The most fascinating thing I learned that day was that there were SOME distances, with SOME clubs were humans were actually as good or better than Iron Byron. 

Which all leads to ONLY one conclusion... Golf is a difficult game to master. 

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@Adam C, I cleaned up your post. Please don't type responses to quotes in the quote box itself, because it comes up blank if people try to quote you using the quote function.

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1 hour ago, Adam C said:

Okay, first I said the distance would be more consistent referring to only the Max, not against the blade. 

And I said the blade would likely be more consistent too.

1 hour ago, Adam C said:

Sure, more dots are better. But again what I said was 500 ball to get used to the club then 40 balls, and repeat with the other.

I don't think that's necessary, and you don't seem to be understanding that he wasn't trying to see how well he could hit each club. He didn't hit the blade better - he hit them the SAME - but the blade performed better.

1 hour ago, Adam C said:

maybe just title the video Do I Hit Blades better than Cavity Backs?

Again, that's not what the video was about.

Given the last two comments I'm not sure what you're talking about or whether you saw the video? He hit them both the same, and got surprising results.

1 hour ago, Adam C said:

Never said he was cherry picking, or it was random chance that he hit the blade better

He didn't hit the blade better!

1 hour ago, Adam C said:

Pretty sure I covered objectively why the results were what they were and what the value of those results were before I got into his video history.

I don't think you have.

1 hour ago, Adam C said:

When "this guy" makes claims about debunking golf myths and that leads people to incorrect conclusions then yes I think it's okay to explore his tendencies and motivations.

I disagree, and I don't really think he's done so here.

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19 minutes ago, billchao said:

@Adam C, I cleaned up your post. Please don't type responses to quotes in the quote box itself, because it comes up blank if people try to quote you using the quote function.

Thanks. Did not realize it was doing that until it posted.

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10 minutes ago, iacas said:

And I said the blade would likely be more consistent too.

I don't think that's necessary, and you don't seem to be understanding that he wasn't trying to see how well he could hit each club. He didn't hit the blade better - he hit them the SAME - but the blade performed better.

Again, that's not what the video was about.

Given the last two comments I'm not sure what you're talking about or whether you saw the video? He hit them both the same, and got surprising results.

He didn't hit the blade better!

I don't think you have.

I disagree, and I don't really think he's done so here.

He may not have said that he hit the blades better, however every chart you showed from the video is in fact demonstrating that he hit the blades better (ie more consistent) based on every metric you showed compared to the Max.

Again I say these were only his personal results, and I would need to see other golfers who would usually benefit from the SGI iron types go through this to be on board.

And who knows, maybe those Mavrik Max clubs are crap, never hit them myself.

If people really think this has merit, then if you're in the market for some SGI irons, buy yourself a set of heavy old blades and see how that works out for you.

 

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11 minutes ago, Adam C said:

He may not have said that he hit the blades better, however every chart you showed from the video is in fact demonstrating that he hit the blades better (ie more consistent) based on every metric you showed compared to the Max.

Again, that's not the point of the data.

Compare like to like and isolate the good ones. Or the "bad" ones. The blade is still better.

Your proposed title is not what he's demonstrating.

11 minutes ago, Adam C said:

If people really think this has merit, then if you're in the market for some SGI irons, buy yourself a set of heavy old blades and see how that works out for you.

Again, this is not what he's demonstrating.

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Here you go, @Adam C:

good.png

The good shots are more tightly grouped… though he also hit only seven compared to 19. (So, yes, I acknowledge he hit the blade "better" overall but that's still not the point).

poor.png

The "poor" shots are also a bit more tightly grouped… if you can eliminate four of the shots from the Mavrik Max. If you can eliminate the worst four from each, you get this:

poor_4_eliminated.png

That's 19 shots versus 14.


So… the club that is supposed to be "more forgiving" still isn't showing up as being "more forgiving."

Granted, these are only shots 5mm+ off-center and along an axis, but the point I think he's trying to make is that the "more forgiving" iron is not "more forgiving." It's not a "win" if the Mavrik Max performs about the same as the blade.

P.S. I could have eliminated three of the blade "poor" shots and it would have looked almost exactly the same, with one more dot a tiny bit higher and out on the right side of the line.

 

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

Here you go, @Adam C:

good.png

The good shots are more tightly grouped… though he also hit only seven compared to 19. (So, yes, I acknowledge he hit the blade "better" overall but that's still not the point).

poor.png

The "poor" shots are also a bit more tightly grouped… if you can eliminate four of the shots from the Mavrik Max. If you can eliminate the worst four from each, you get this:

poor_4_eliminated.png

That's 19 shots versus 14.


So… the club that is supposed to be "more forgiving" still isn't showing up as being "more forgiving."

Granted, these are only shots 5mm+ off-center and along an axis, but the point I think he's trying to make is that the "more forgiving" iron is not "more forgiving." It's not a "win" if the Mavrik Max performs about the same as the blade.

Thanks for doing this. I noticed it before, but it's much easier to see with the shots separated like this.

The Mavrik has two separated groupings. One for good strikes, one for poor strikes. They're distinct, and the good strikes are clearly longer than the poor ones. If you define forgiveness as "less distance lost on an off-center shot," the Mavrik is actually the less forgiving club here because the blade has good strikes and poor ones distributed fairly evenly.

Completely blind like this, without knowing the target distance or the club, I'd bet a lot of people would pick the blade as the left data set based on assumptions about forgiveness.

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Okay, at the risk of people thinking I'm a complete nut cake I'm going to throw this out there. 


Is it possible some of Mark's results are related to the choice of Mavrick Max irons? While on the throne a little bit ago, I came across an article in Golf Magazine about how Callaway created the Mavrik family of irons. In this article the guy from Callaway was explaining how truly challenging it was to take the A.I. technology from the Callaway drivers to the irons. He was saying they wanted to bring out A.I. irons an entire year before they did, but they couldn't get their computer to "really understand" what their engineers were after. So, Callaway had to build/buy an even bigger computer than the one they used to create the A.I. faces for their drivers. 

I'm not saying this IS the case, but is it possible the A.I. got it wrong?  … I have no idea, but the idea hit me while I was on the throne and I thought I'd toss it out there. 👍😁👍

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23 hours ago, billchao said:

I remember that article, so Mark's results don't surprise me in the least bit ;-)

It's why I'm not getting rid of my blades now that I'm playing cavity backs again. One day...

Have to keep in mind though that this is a high skilled player performing this test. His definition of "very poor strike" is a good strike by my standards.

Blades are going to perform better around the sweetspot than cavity backs, because by design, cavity backs have less mass behind the sweetspot than blades do. There is going to be more variation in the result from the collision of the club and ball. Where you're going to see the design advantage of a cavity back is farther away from the sweet spot than 5mm.

This is why I have thought for years that the old "players blades" could teach you to be a better player! Yes, some of those blades were tiny! But, if you could get all that mass to the back of the ball....Oh! how it would fly! 

10 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I've been following and occasionally commenting on this series. I find it fascinating. I think what I've learned by all of this is: Find some irons you like. Get 'em fitted, and learn how to hit 'em. 

I'm going to argue the Indian is more important than the arrow. 

I also wonder if the modern "Game Improvement" iron. Is designed to compensate for way off center hits and therefore over-compensates for mildly off center hits??? 

Exactly! The GI irons moved the weight of the clubhead all around the perimeter to eliminate twisting on off center strikes! But, if you hit it in the center, it won't go as far because there's not as much mass there. 

What can we do about this? We can crank down the lofts and lengthen the clubs! We have been sold such a bill of goods! 

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18 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Exactly! The GI irons moved the weight of the clubhead all around the perimeter to eliminate twisting on off center strikes! But, if you hit it in the center, it won't go as far because there's not as much mass there. 

What can we do about this? We can crank down the lofts and lengthen the clubs! We have been sold such a bill of goods! 

It is clear from this post you don’t seem to understand much about club design.

Hell if you just watched the video you can even see that the balls hit from the center of the GI club went farther than the ones from the center of the blade.

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13 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Exactly! The GI irons moved the weight of the clubhead all around the perimeter to eliminate twisting on off center strikes! But, if you hit it in the center, it won't go as far because there's not as much mass there. 

To go along with what @billchao said, the real problem is with semi-off-center hits. If all of the weight is equally distributed around the perimeter, and you flush one, its still going to go far because the club has similar overall mass and it is distributed evenly. That paired with a hot face is a lethal combination for distance. Extreme heel and toe strikes get a big boost in distance with these clubs compared to blades. Mark's hits that are "poor", aren't really on the toe or the heel, they are kind of in a dead-zone for SGI irons. The reason they are so sporadic is that there isn't weight directly at the impact spot AND the weight isn't distributed evenly. If you change one of these conditions, those strikes go as far as the blade, if not farther. Mark's "poor" hits on the blades are still backed up by a majority of the weight of the club, despite being not perfect. The problem with blades is that if you hit them off the toe, there isn't either. It isn't balanced and there is minimal mass behind the strike and there will be twist. If someone can't hit the ball within the size of a quarter or so, SGIs are going to help them because more of their strikes would be of a quality that wasn't represented in this mini-test.

I learned with blades, and still love them, but when you hit a bad one, it is really bad. Tech can be helpful, but each player has what "feels" good and what works well. We try to find a balance when we look for a new club

 

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7 hours ago, billchao said:

I own vintage blades (real butter knives)

 

11 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

I learned with blades, and still love them

I started playing with some Wilson blades from the 1980s my college roommate gave to me (one of his dad’s many sets). I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start browsing ebay today to try and find a similar set. 

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