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JHC09

When is the proper time to switch from "game improving" to "player's" irons?

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Is it when my irons start to feel kinda thick and chunky?  I got serious with golf about a year and a half ago. I bought a set of TM Burner Plus irons and have been playing like crazy for about a year now with those.  Im consistently in the mid 80's with those with the occasional 81 or 82.  My ball striking with my irons is my strongest part of my game, short game being the worst.  I still feel comfortable hitting these, but they are starting to feel a bit thick and chunky.  I've demoed the Mizuno MP53's and MP58's and love them both.  Is it too early to upgrade?

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It is what you yourself feels what is best ...... I have been playing the MP-57 which have the name to be as easy as the MP-53 or MP-58, bur in reallity these kind of forgiving players irons can be more difficult than expected and can make the game less joyable if you are a tiny bit off, bc. missing the sweetspot for sure means loosing distance.

Besides that if you have little need to work the ball, your current clubs might get you to scratch if you practice enough.........

There are a lot of options when it comes to players irons, you should also look at what other brands have to offer, I personally use the Titleist AP-2 which are in the same range as the MP-58, coming from a GI Cobra S2 and I must admit it took me about 2 weeks and maybe 3000 balls before I could handle the 3i-5i well enough ...... I am sure these clubs PLUS the effort I put in the game will lower my hc a bit further. But let me convince you it will be most ME and the time and dedication I put in and the club's input will be minimal ..........

But you might also have a look at a few others like the TM R9, Wilson Staff Ci9 or FG-Tour, Ping i15, Ping S56, Adams CB1, Cleveland CG7 Tour or CG16 Tour, Callaway Razr X Tour, Razr X forged and '09 X Tour and many others.

If you can hit a MP-53 with confidence you might also try clubs in the region of let's say MP-68 or Titleist 710 CB/MB, don't be fooled with the marketing crap these only to be suited for the world'd most demanding players ....... on the other hand, Tour Pro's making a living from golf are playing these true MB or Blades less and less .......

I personally feel upgrading should mean going to a forged club (not to start a new cast vs. forged debate ......), but a forged club will give you a better feedback on where you have hit the ball on the face.

Key factor of getting to a lower handicap is not being longer or being able to steer the ball, but the major factor is to control dispersion ..... not only in the angle, but in the length aswell !

Anyway which ever upgrade you go for, make sure the new toys are properly fitted !!!

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I apologize before hand, I am no help to you here.  However I have always wondered this as I play Cobra s9 and feel the same about them as you say you do about your clubs.  Thanks for asking so I could see the answers!!

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with a -15 handicap....I say go for it. lol

seriously, I went for the trade to players irons because I felt it was the right time. so, whenever you feel right about getting some players clubs. go for it.

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The time ISN'T at a certain number, unless all parts of your game are average for that number.

When you don't like your irons, or their general design, that's a time to get new ones.

When the design you like is a so-called players' iron, get that.  Maybe avoid them if you can't break 100 regularly, or maybe even if you can't even sniff breaking 90.

But once you're consistently under 85, I suspect your ball striking is at least good enough for so-called players' cavities (e.g., MP-57, Ping S56, Callaway Razr X Tour).  Do you like the look and feel of such clubs?  Go and and give it a go.  If you decide that the six on down are good for you, but you want the GI for 5 and above, then mix a set (be wary of loft and shaft differences for distance gaps when doing this).

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I went from Wilson SGI irons to Adams A4 last year and notices a big improvement in my game (HC from 21 down to 13-14).  The Adams CB2 is the replacement for the A4 and is a GI iron but with a smaller head.  It has a bigger sweet spot, but you can work the ball better because the head is smaller.

I would think if you are comfortable then switching to an iron that is a bit of both players and GI would be fine.  There are a bunch of them that are in between as the posters above noted.

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The correct answer is, "when youre ready."  It all depends upon how your ballstriking is and what you want out of your irons.  If you want shotshaping ability and feedback, go for the players' irons.  Theres no rule that you HAVE to use players' irons in order to play well though.  A good player could play just as well with SGI irons as they could with blades, IMO.

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If you hit your current irons that well, then I'd keep them and work on your short game. Changing to a players iron or a blade isn't something that you ever "need" to do. There are tour players hitting g15 irons. If you want to, then go right ahead. But I'd hold on to those shovels for those days where your swing is out of whack.
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I would say generically the time would be when you are posting 80-85 on a regular basis which is about single digit handicap territory.  This is a transition time that if you wanted to take it to the next level, you should make the jump.

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I see far too many golfers with irons that aren't forgiving enough.  My philosophy is to play the most forgiving irons you can tolerate the look and feel.  Let's take a look at KJ Choi's golf bag this weekend at the Masters.  He is one of the best players in the world and is doing rather well this weekend, yet plays what many would consider SGI clubs.  The past three weekends he has replaced his irons up to and including the 6 iron with hybrids.  KJ Choi's golf bag

DRIVER: TaylorMade r7 Limited (8.5˚) with Aldila NV 75X shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue TP (19˚) with a Tour AT UT 85 shaft
IRONS: Ping G15 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S100 shafts
WEDGES: PING G15 (52˚, 56˚), Tour-W (60˚) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts

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Lots of good of advice above.  I totally agree with the statement that a lot of people swinging player's clubs would be better served with ones that are more forgiving.  These are usually the same people that take out their 6-iron on a 190 yard par 3 because once at the range they hit it 190 yards but they usually hit it 170.  But I digress...

I'm in a similar boat as you - I'm playing '09 Burner irons and demoed the Mizunos.  I actually got fit for and preferred the MP-58s.  I intentionally hit some shots toward the toe with the Mizuno to see how much of a difference in distance it made and it wasn't any worse than my Burners.  So, I think a player's club can be just as forgiving as a game improvement if well designed.

Another thing to take into consideration when switching from player's irons to game improvement irons is offset.  Most game improvement irons have more offset which helps get the ball airborne and also allows the club face to get more closed at impact.  This is a benefit for novices who tend to slice and have problems getting the ball in the air, but for more advanced players who've learned to hit down on the ball and square the club face, it isn't necessary and in some instances can be a detriment.

Finally, most player's irons are forged which is a softer metal.  This is great if you want to adjust loft and/or lie but also makes them more susceptible to drift.  Meaning that through repeated use, the club head can bend.  So, forged clubs need to be checked regularly for loft and lie to make sure they stay in specs.

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Personally, I have no interest in a wide soled long headed overly offset iron. Especially if it's been needlessly dressed up with decals in the cavity back.

What's a game improvement iron and what's a player's iron anyway?  When comparing the two irons below. It's obvious the iron on the right is a game improvement iron.

irons2heads1.jpg

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Personally, I have no interest in a wide soled long headed overly offset iron. Especially if it's been needlessly dressed up with decals in the cavity back.

What's a game improvement iron and what's a player's iron anyway?  When comparing the two irons below. It's obvious the iron on the right is a game improvement iron.



I just got a cleveland cg16 7 iron in the mail for free, it was part of the "play it forward" program in which they send a free 7 iron to people and then they pass it along to demo as well.

Hit it side by side with my mizuno mp-32, I actually hit the mp 7 iron better and Im not a scratch player. The wide sole on the cg16 was a bit too much for my taste

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Irons start to feel thick and chunky when you start spending time on golf message boards.  Keep your clubs and get some 80's blades for next to nothing if you want to start trying out some player's irons.

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Originally Posted by max power

Irons start to feel think and chunky when you start spending time on golf message boards.


Truer words have never been spoken!   I also think of it as "invention is the mother of necessity" - one probably doesn't really need new clubs but each time a new model is "invented" we find them something we absolutely must have.    But sometimes just having new clubs gets one reinvigorated about the game and inspired to practice and play more, so that's good.

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Originally Posted by uttexas

I see far too many golfers with irons that aren't forgiving enough.  My philosophy is to play the most forgiving irons you can tolerate the look and feel.  Let's take a look at KJ Choi's golf bag this weekend at the Masters.  He is one of the best players in the world and is doing rather well this weekend, yet plays what many would consider SGI clubs.  The past three weekends he has replaced his irons up to and including the 6 iron with hybrids.  KJ Choi's golf bag

DRIVER: TaylorMade r7 Limited (8.5˚) with Aldila NV 75X shaft

HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue TP (19˚) with a Tour AT UT 85 shaft

IRONS: Ping G15 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S100 shafts

WEDGES: PING G15 (52˚, 56˚), Tour-W (60˚) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts




that list might be outdated. He was using an R11 white driver at the masters

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

The correct answer is, "when youre ready."  It all depends upon how your ballstriking is and what you want out of your irons.  If you want shotshaping ability and feedback, go for the players' irons.  Theres no rule that you HAVE to use players' irons in order to play well though.  A good player could play just as well with SGI irons as they could with blades, IMO.

I agree, ballstriking is the key, if are a good enough ballstriker, it doesn't matter what your handicap is, you will be able to play more of a players' iron.

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Originally Posted by max power

Irons start to feel thick and chunky when you start spending time on golf message boards.  Keep your clubs and get some 80's blades for next to nothing if you want to start trying out some player's irons.



+1. I'll give you an example. Saturday I was out and shot a 1 over 36 for the front nine with my AP1's. Granted a fairly easy course and the greens were sticky but nonetheless still hit the shots needed to have a very good front 9. I decided in the offseason that I am sticking to the equipment I already have come hell or high water and my game so far has been better for it. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the looks of my AP1's and regretted trading in my 735cm's but as they say it's the indian... Besides, there isn't a a club made that doesn't feel great when flushed, GI or blades.

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