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When is it time to retire the Stiff Flex/Blades for Reg Flex/Game Improvements

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Ok, I know there is no formula. Just looking for opinion.

I play stiff flex TM Blades. I am 37 (closing in on 38). Not old but not getting younger and certainly not getting MORE athletic.

Lately I've been feeling like if I had Reg Flex easier to hit irons then maybe I could swing easier and still get the same distance. Its takes quite a bit of work for me to stay on top of my game with the blades. Maybe that is an indication that I should not be hitting them in the first place.

Just curious if anyone has had a similar feeling and followed through with Reg Flex/GI irons. Lessons learned? Good decision?

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Originally Posted by Jason M Henley

Ok, I know there is no formula. Just looking for opinion.

I play stiff flex TM Blades. I am 37 (closing in on 38). Not old but not getting younger and certainly not getting MORE athletic.

Lately I've been feeling like if I had Reg Flex easier to hit irons then maybe I could swing easier and still get the same distance. Its takes quite a bit of work for me to stay on top of my game with the blades. Maybe that is an indication that I should not be hitting them in the first place.

Just curious if anyone has had a similar feeling and followed through with Reg Flex/GI irons. Lessons learned? Good decision?

At your age, I don't know about the shaft flex just yet but it can't hurt to try something other than a blade.

You say you are around a 9 handicap. Was that always so, or were you closer to scratch? Because, if not, I wouldn't use a blade anyway.

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Originally Posted by phan52

At your age, I don't know about the shaft flex just yet but it can't hurt to try something other than a blade.

You say you are around a 9 handicap. Was that always so, or were you closer to scratch? Because, if not, I wouldn't use a blade anyway.


I was around 6 but never lower. Got the blades when I was about a 12 but greatly underachieving and Club Pro who helped me get fitted agreed I should have been about half that. Errant drives were the biggest culprit there. Fixed the Driver and then blades took me down to 6 but I've slowly lost ground. If I go to range twice a week and play 1-2 times per week then I can stay around 6. From there I'm sure I could get my wedges and putter to the point where I was making more birdies and go even lower.

That last part is just conjecture though. Reality is I don't have time for the range anymore and play at most 1 time per week.

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Shat flex and blades/cavities are very different issues. You could be swinging it at 110mph, i.e. a stiff flex, but still need GI irons. (Obviously) match your shaft to your swing speed but after that go with what you fancy.

Have a look at what the top 10 on the world rankings play. Last time I looked it was a 50:50 split between blades and cavities.

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Originally Posted by Jason M Henley

I was around 6 but never lower. Got the blades when I was about a 12 but greatly underachieving and Club Pro who helped me get fitted agreed I should have been about half that. Errant drives were the biggest culprit there. Fixed the Driver and then blades took me down to 6 but I've slowly lost ground. If I go to range twice a week and play 1-2 times per week then I can stay around 6. From there I'm sure I could get my wedges and putter to the point where I was making more birdies and go even lower.

That last part is just conjecture though. Reality is I don't have time for the range anymore and play at most 1 time per week.

At your age, the flex shouldn't be as much an issue as the blade vs. GI. That's where I would investigate if I were you.

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I don't think age has anything to do with it (at least not until you're waaaaay past retirement age).    It really has more to do with your swing style, what you want to get out of the game, and your playing habits.        I'm 54 and went back to regular flex shafts and SGI clubs about 5 years ago because I wasn't playing much and my swing didn't have the power that it used to.    But I started playing a lot again and got into "playing shape" and now I hit the ball just as hard as I did when I was 30.   I'm back to stiff flex (borderline XS if I wanted) and playing a player's iron, and don't expect to change for a long time.

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37?? You're a pup, a spring chicken, a youngster. I'm 53, been playing blades with stiff shafts for 10 yrs now, and my ball striking is as good as ever. What holds me back from lowering my hc is the occasional miss (thin, fat, pull-hook, bladed chip, etc.), and there ain't no GI club that will correct that. As a 9 hc, you must strike the ball fairly well. Now, if you consistently miss the ball a little every time and always hit, say, a weak slice, then maybe GI clubs would help you.

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Originally Posted by Jason M Henley

Ok, I know there is no formula. Just looking for opinion.

I play stiff flex TM Blades. I am 37 (closing in on 38). Not old but not getting younger and certainly not getting MORE athletic.

Lately I've been feeling like if I had Reg Flex easier to hit irons then maybe I could swing easier and still get the same distance. Its takes quite a bit of work for me to stay on top of my game with the blades. Maybe that is an indication that I should not be hitting them in the first place.

Just curious if anyone has had a similar feeling and followed through with Reg Flex/GI irons. Lessons learned? Good decision?

My handicap has never been as low as yours, but I'll bite.  I've never used stiff flex comfortably, and I'm 6'2" and have been around 230-260 lbs most of my golfing life.  Flex isn't all about swing speed.  It can be mitigated if you have a smooth transition.  I've never been an exceptionally long hitter (although I used to be above average), or a fast swinger (95-100 was my norm in my prime), so stiff shafts have always felt more like swinging a broomstick for me, and now at nearly age 66, I'm probably getting close to that senior flex (my AP-2 irons are "R" flex steel).  I've known guys who made the decision based solely on ego... they wouldn't be caught dead using anything but a stiff or x-stiff, whether it was actually right for them or not.  If you go with graphite, there are so many option combinations for kick and flex that it becomes less of a stiff vs. regular than it is a case of just being properly fitted for your swing.

I personally don't like the true GI or SGI irons.  My AP-2 (Titleist calls them a "player's cavity"? ) are sort of a tweener, forged, but not really a blade, and not a GI cavity either.  Whatever you call them, the head is smaller than a GI but more forgiving than a blade.  I like them a lot.  Other brands have similar offerings.

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Might not be necessary to go to a game improvement iron. Possible a cavity backed players iron might be a good compromise, the playability close to a blade and the forgiveness closer to a GI iron. As far as what shaft, that can only be determined during a proper fitting. Without getting fit properly the rest is a crapshoot.

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Get fit to see if things have changed? Consider a mixed cb/mb set?. I recently demoed the Cleveland 588 mixed irons and was very impressed.

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Originally Posted by dak4n6

37?? You're a pup, a spring chicken, a youngster. I'm 53, been playing blades with stiff shafts for 10 yrs now, and my ball striking is as good as ever. What holds me back from lowering my hc is the occasional miss (thin, fat, pull-hook, bladed chip, etc.), and there ain't no GI club that will correct that. As a 9 hc, you must strike the ball fairly well. Now, if you consistently miss the ball a little every time and always hit, say, a weak slice, then maybe GI clubs would help you.

Sounds like you should be investigating GI clubs yourself. Hitting a blade in the sweet spot is pretty difficult for the vast majority of golfers and I would suggest that a lot of your mishits are because of the blades. You're a 9.6 and that means that you mishit shots relatively often compared to most players using blades.

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