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Confused about VR mixed set


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In the next few months, I'll be at the point where I'll need/want to reshaft my irons for S-flex, and at that point, I'm going to spend the few extra dollars and get new 5-P. One of the sets I'm considering is mixing Nike's Victory Red line: 5, maybe 6 full cavity. 6-8 Split, 9,P TWB.

And today, I finally got to hit these at a Nike demo event. I hit them, all at a 6-iron, in decreasing forgiveness (allegedly, as you'll see later in this post). I kept switching between the split cavity and the blade, and I couldn't help but notice: the blade felt a lot more forgiving. I don't think my shots with the blade were any better or worse, but they felt better and sounded better. I was hitting into a net, so I couldn't really know for certain. The shaft was the same for each: Project X 5.5, standard length.

When I got home, I checked the MPF ratings from 2009 to see if I was deluding myself in some fashion. The ratings are as follows:

TWB: 516
SC: 328
FC: 458

As I understand MPF (it is possible that I don't), a higher number means it is more forgiving. But this would put the blades above the similar-line full cavity irons for forgiveness, and far beyond the split cavities. Now, clearly, if I'm even considering blades in my set, I'm not basing my decision on forgiveness, but this has sparked my curiosity.
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In the next few months, I'll be at the point where I'll need/want to reshaft my irons for S-flex, and at that point, I'm going to spend the few extra dollars and get new 5-P. One of the sets I'm considering is mixing Nike's Victory Red line: 5, maybe 6 full cavity. 6-8 Split, 9,P TWB.

No, you're not crazy, the VR blades are actually easier to hit. I don't know if Nike did it on purpose or not, but I assume they figured a lot of people (who probably don't need blades) would be going out and buying Tiger's clubs, so they may have done it on purpose. The blade's center of gravity is lower, which is why it is easier to hit.

But on hits off center, I.E. toe or heel, the full cavity is by far the most forgiving based on the MOI. The Split cavity is a touch more forgiving than the blade. The MPF numbers are a total, but the specifics show where the club excells and doens't. The reason the MPF is higher on the blade, however, is because that center of gravity concern vastly overrides the MOI. There is one other thing to consider. Because the MPF is calculated by the 6 iron alone, the full cavity is actually a bit more forgiving than the blade. The full cavity has less lofso t, it's actually got a lower MPF than it would if it had the same loft as the split and blade. The full cavity is the easiest to hit of the bunch probably, if you were to measure apples to apples.
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No, you're not crazy, the VR blades are actually easier to hit. I don't know if Nike did it on purpose or not, but I assume they figured a lot of people (who probably don't need blades) would be going out and buying Tiger's clubs, so they may have done it on purpose. The blade's center of gravity is lower, which is why it is easier to hit.

OK, this makes sense in motivation. Seeing as how I might well be one of those people, I suppose I appreciate the effort that Nike has done.

But on hits off center, I.E. toe or heel, the full cavity is by far the most forgiving based on the MOI. The Split cavity is a touch more forgiving than the blade. The MPF numbers are a total, but the specifics show where the club excells and doens't. The reason the MPF is higher on the blade, however, is because that center of gravity concern vastly overrides the MOI.

This is perhaps my continued confusion, then: why does the lower center of gravity make it easier to hit and MOI doesn't help?

There is one other thing to consider. Because the MPF is calculated by the 6 iron alone, the full cavity is actually a bit more forgiving than the blade. The full cavity has less lofso t, it's actually got a lower MPF than it would if it had the same loft as the split and blade. The full cavity is the easiest to hit of the bunch probably, if you were to measure apples to apples.

Ah. So, if they compared 31° for both, the full cavity would still be more forgiving, so I'm not completely making a fool of myself by considering FC for longer clubs and SC/TWB for the lower ones? But, since SC/TWB match in lofts, I probably shouldn't take too many SC?

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This is perhaps my continued confusion, then: why does the lower center of gravity make it easier to hit and MOI doesn't help?

It helps get the ball airborne, and makes it easier to "get under it," as it were. A higher MOI means less twisting on mishits. I would venture to guess that more people have trouble with fat and thin shots than off center ones, becuase that's where the timing lies in most swings. I've met cavity backs that were far harder to get into the air than blades because their center of gravity was high. The old Acushnet AC-108s had a high COG, and they couldn't be hit thin much at all or the ball would never get in the air. AC-108s have a

negative MPF.
Ah. So, if they compared 31° for both, the full cavity would still be more forgiving, so I'm not completely making a fool of myself by considering FC for longer clubs and SC/TWB for the lower ones? But, since SC/TWB match in lofts, I probably shouldn't take too many SC?

Not really a concern, just hit them and see how they gap.

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Thank you; you've given me much to think about. Thin iron shots are a lot worse for me than off-center, although I suppose low on the club face is technically a form of off center. I may have to consider the blades for my next set due to their game improvement aspects.
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I will chime in here since I've had experience owning both.....

I started golfing in December. Literally my first ever set. I didn't know about the entire Blade vs CB vs SC etc....

I bought the VR Blades and started striking them at the Range and the learning curve began. I came on here and other forums and started reading how hard blades are to difficult to hit so I bought into that and did a change for the SC and gave away my Blades. Biggest mistake I've made. I lost distance with the SC's and I didn't feel the control as much. Now I know many of you will say how would you know if you just started playing. Well, I go to the range ATLEAST 4-5 times a week. It was very obvious to me i made a mistake. These blades actually are way above and beyond in the forgiveness cat. over the SC. I ended up changing AGAIN and went back to the Blades with a mid size grip. The blades are just so much more easier.

And for those who wanna come on here and question my game. I've broke 90 twice. Once with a 85 and once with a 83. Again, I do play a lot more than most but I take this game serious and I practice a lot. Ive only been playing 6 months and hope to be 1-4 handicap by 2012.
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I just ordered the VR Split Cavities about 2 days ago and I just now took a look at the MPF Ratings, and I'm a little concerned that I should not have bought the VR Split Cavities. I didn't think I had nearly enough game to play blades, so I didn't even try those ones. It's hard to understand how the MPF for the Split Cavities are significantly less than that of the blades. I did hit the Split Cavities well though... I guess we'll see how it goes.
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A similar situation arose with 2009 Callaway irons.

X-Forged had an MPF = 621. | X-Tour had MPF = 594. (Both were classified as game improvement in Maltby's six-category system.)

Maltby advises to use the MPF to rough-sort clubs you might want to try, and make choice after side-by-side tests.
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Thank you; you've given me much to think about. Thin iron shots are a lot worse for me than off-center, although I suppose low on the club face is technically a form of off center. I may have to consider the blades for my next set due to their game improvement aspects.

So what are you going to do Shindig? You can't leave us all hanging.

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I bought the VR Blades and started striking them at the Range and the learning curve began. I came on here and other forums and started reading how hard blades are to difficult to hit so I bought into that and did a change for the SC and gave away my Blades. Biggest mistake I've made. I lost distance with the SC's and I didn't feel the control as much. Now I know many of you will say how would you know if you just started playing. Well, I go to the range ATLEAST 4-5 times a week. It was very obvious to me i made a mistake. These blades actually are way above and beyond in the forgiveness cat. over the SC. I ended up changing AGAIN and went back to the Blades with a mid size grip. The blades are just so much more easier.

I definitely got that feeling from hitting the SC and TW side by side. I wish Nike would do a demo day at a range so I could see the ball flight. I may have to make a trip down to one of the golf shops that has a range and lets you demo the irons on the range, but I think the nearest to me is in Anaheim. Thanks for the heads-up. Your story is actually more useful to me than if you had gone through it after a few years of playing: if someone rather new to the game finds the blades easier than the split cavities, I think it says something.

So what are you going to do Shindig? You can't leave us all hanging.

I don't know yet. I'm not exactly known as someone who keeps quiet about things, so when I decide, I will let the board know for certain =)

I won't make any iron set purchases until at least August 6, as I want to advance to candidacy first. These are, in part, a gift to myself for achieving this milestone. And I finally hit an iron with the shaft I'm considering yesterday when I went to measure my swing speed (6-iron 80-82 mph, up from a high of 76 six months ago). So... I have time to decide, but I promise to update the board with it. And, of course, the new ones will appear in my signature, and I rarely go missing for more than a day or two at a time :)
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I'd like to hit a different blade for kicks.

Right now the Nike Blades on gppgolf are going for 499.99. Should have waited just a bit bit longer. You are def going to get a good deal when your ready Shindig.
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Outfoxed--
You were right, I love them.

First nine with them was not great (56), but the second nine was my best ever (41). I swing for good contact now--unlike before when I just tried to crush ever shot with my Nike Slingshots. Love having a three iron also, great club off the tee on a short par 4.
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