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Irons for a Guy Who Plays 2x a Year


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I golfed fairly often in High School back in the late 90's. I then took a 10 year hiatus and tried to be back to golf again in the 2010's. Thanks to this forum, I ended up buying a set of used Ping Eye 2s for around $200 which I used during my return to the sport. Then I had kids, got a high pressure job with long hours, and other interest overtook golf. I still play a few times a year, and I feel like I might benefit from an irons upgrade, unless this forum tells me otherwise. I play in one tournament every year with clients and a couple times a year with my father in law. I also take my two kids who are 5 and 6 to the driving range 3-4 times a year. I enjoy golf, but I just don't think I will have time to play unless my kids take an interest.

What I "think" I am looking for are irons that will help me not embarrass myself on the course. I play horribly with the Eye 2s. I never really took to them, even with lessons to get back on track. When I have rented clubs, I feel i play better.  I have been decent enough that I can par a couple of holes during a round. Getting the ball in the air is my weakness. I want to buy used to save some money. I swing very hard, but when I concentrate on slowing my swing down, I hit better. I just have a lot of trouble slowing my swing down. I think it is ingrained in me from other sports I played. I am happy to give additional details. I will likely at least get measured, and perhaps, it makes sense going to a retailer that sells used clubs. Thanks in advance.

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14 minutes ago, codwater said:

Getting the ball in the air is my weakness.

 Be sure to hit down on the ball, and you’ll get it up in the air. The loft of the club will get it in the air if you strike it reasonably well. 
 

Swing stuff aside, you may consider higher lofted fairway woods or hybrids to fill in the longer end of your set and then grab some chunky, GI short irons. Some manufacturers may offer a set like this. If not, don’t be afraid to find on eBay or somewhere to piecemeal a set. These clubs will help you get the ball airborne due to more ball speed and the COG being back and low in the head. I said this in another thread on here that I know of a guy who plays all the way to a 13 wood; he’s older and has lost a lot of speed, so they help him a lot. 

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It's possible that new equipment may help you a little, but it's going to be pretty hard to improve much if you don't have the time to work at it. How you spend your money is your business. Unless there is something seriously wrong with those Eye 2s, don't expect a miracle.

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Put up a swing video if possible.  It may be that because you play once or twice a year that your swing is bad and even SGI/hybrids can only do so much to improve it.  The Eye2 are a good set if you get some level of consistency with your swing.

Ideally practice will help more than a new set of clubs, but if you can't or wont invest the time and possibly money into lessons and practice, I would suggest keeping your existing set and swinging easier.  I know how hard that is to do since my instinct is to smash the living daylights out of it in any sport I play, be it golf, tennis or cricket.

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2 hours ago, codwater said:

I play in one tournament every year with clients and a couple times a year with my father in law. I also take my two kids who are 5 and 6 to the driving range 3-4 times a year.

A more forgiving club may help but you are using the clubs so infrequently that it will be very hard to get a consistently good swing, unless you are one of the very few that has some incredible natural talent.  The trick is to find ways to get more practice and time on the course. 

Not sure what you do for a living, but maybe getting more clients that golf will allow you more opportunity to get on the course throughout the year and call it "Work". 😜 

You could also give the kids a couple of lessons and maybe that will help them get hooked on the game, allowing you more time at the range with them.  It's hard to say what a 5 & 6 year old will like but it may work.

 

 

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I always assumed it was because I don't play enough, but with the clubs coming up on their 40th birthday, I thought maybe I should upgrade. It sounds as if the consensus is save my money.

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28 minutes ago, codwater said:

I always assumed it was because I don't play enough, but with the clubs coming up on their 40th birthday, I thought maybe I should upgrade. It sounds as if the consensus is save my money.

High pressure job with long hours... you should be making a lot of money.  Get fitted and buy new clubs.  Splurge.  But the bottom line is you are going to need to practice/play more to become better.  Golf is the one game that doesn't allow you to walk up to the first tee and be proficient... or even fake it.  It's the one game where you must put in the time.  Otherwise I recommend badminton

Your clubs should never be older than you..  

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13 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

High pressure job with long hours... you should be making a lot of money. 

Doesn’t make life any easier. Usually just more obligations and responsibilities. The trick is to not let your personal standard of living change too much despite making more money. Hard to do when there’s so many more shiny things in reach now. 

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1 hour ago, codwater said:

I always assumed it was because I don't play enough, but with the clubs coming up on their 40th birthday, I thought maybe I should upgrade. It sounds as if the consensus is save my money.

I picked up a used set of Eye 2 + for $100 a couple winters ago. Got them for the nostalgia. Got them regripped with my golf pride mediums. I swap them out with my regular, newer set every few months just for the variety. Doesn't make much difference. I can triple bogey a hole using any club.

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1 hour ago, codwater said:

but with the clubs coming up on their 40th birthday

I missed how old the current clubs were.  You should definitely look at some new clubs. Tech has changed a lot in the past 4 decades.

 

1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Your clubs should never be older than you..

100% agree with this.

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26 minutes ago, StuM said:

I missed how old the current clubs were.  You should definitely look at some new clubs. Tech has changed a lot in the past 4 decades.

 

100% agree with this.

Unless, of course, if you're 10 or under.

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6 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Unless, of course, if you're 10 or under.

Or the previous owner was Harry Vardon.

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If you are playing twice a year, do you really think that newer clubs would make much difference? You're hitting a few dozen shots every six months. Just get some second hand TM RBZ irons or something like that. If ever you decide to play more often they'll be fine to get you started.

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I would recommend TM Burner 2 irons. They are 10 years old now but great value for money. I'm still playing with mine as I haven't found a new set I like more.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for all the advice. I had an epiphany this weekend. I think some of my poor play is mental. I have been letting the situation and partners I am playing with affect me too much.

I have now played three times since May, including this past Saturday. The first round in May was an annual tournament I have to play in for work at a mediocre course. This year I was playing with three people I didn't know very well (two potential clients from two different firms and new coworker). It was a very awkward round. The demeanor of my partners ranged from silly to uptight. I played like garbage and blamed it on the infrequency of play.

The second round was with my father-in-law, who has recently become a curmudgeon, at a low end course. He bitched and moaned and worried about the weather nearly the entire round. I played worse than I did in May. I blamed in on the infrequency of the play plus the age of my clubs. That is what prompted me to post here.

Last weekend I played with three old friends, two of whom are excellent at golf, and one who usually plays similarly to me. We played a top notch course. I played VERY WELL by my standards. I didn't lost a ball until hole 8 and parred a couple of holes before completely falling apart around 15. It was just plain FUN! Everyone commended me on my play. I won several closest to the pin side bets. I didn't have to worry about anyone being uptight or a total goober. We all kind of fed off of each others' energy. At the end of the round, I said, "If we all lived close enough, I would get out and golf more regularly." That made me think of this post.

I may still upgrade my irons to the used TM recommended here, but I don't think it is necessary. Honestly, I just have to be myself and stop being self-conscious out there. I need to be comfortable setting the expectations with people I am playing with to ensure we all know it is about "fun" and not winning. But at the same time, "fun" does not mean being totally aloof and not playing to course standards. I have to accept that without practice, I am going to hit some very bad shots. But I also have to remember that I can hit just as many good shots.

If I find some fun people here I can play with, I might just get back into it. Maybe if/when my son starts playing, I will have a few years before he only wants to play with people his age. Thanks again for all the advice.

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/21/2021 at 1:59 PM, Double Mocha Man said:

Your clubs should never be older than you..  

So, what am I going to do with the hickory shaft, Wilson mashie that I'm restoring?

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